Have you ever wondered if franchising could be a viable option for you? There’s no better expert to give you the honest truth than our guest, Heather McLeod. Heather is the Chief Marketing Officer of Authority Brands, LLC, and her career of fast growth lends itself perfectly to the franchising world.
After graduating from Baylor, Heather was looking for marketing opportunities, and landed the position of Marketing Manager for Rainbow International Restoration in 2010, her first step in a path that would find her deep into the service industry. Shortly after, she became Senior Marketing Manager for the Dwyer Group, then Brand Marketing Manager for Mr. Rooter, Director of Franchise Sales & Marketing for the Dwyer Group, VP of Marketing for The Cleaning Authority, and finally landed where she is today with Authority Brands. This is all in the span of a decade, and if that dizzying climb through the ranks doesn’t convince you Heather knows how to grow, keep reading!
Authority Brands, LLC, is a parent company to 7 national home service brands. It’s an acquisition brand, always growing and searching for the next national brand to bring into their family of ever-growing businesses. They represent all of the trades from heating and cooling to plumbing and electrical, as well as indoor and outdoor services like pool services, pest control and more.
During this tumultuous year, franchising has become an even more interesting topic in the trades. While most understand the basic idea behind franchising, the details of how it actually works and plays out are best told through an expert like Heather.
With Authority Brands, Heather explains, franchising means getting the right to use their brand as far as name, and all of the systems and processes they implement to run a business. That includes software, technology, training (both technical and front office), logos, colors, advertising, website, and more. You still own 100% of your business, and you can still sell it down the line! Basically, it gives you the right to operate under the Authority Brands name using all of their stuff but with your location, your people, and your employees. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership with a ton of value, and you’ll be supported by successful people that know how to run a business.
If you’re a contractor interested in franchising, you’re certainly wondering what the benefits are for franchisees.
One of the biggest reasons to consider becoming a franchisee for Authority Brands is the operational and marketing support you gain. You’ll get access to a team of experts actively checking on and supporting you at regular intervals. You no longer have to be an expert or hire an expert for each aspect of your business, and you can utilize the corporate resources made available to you. All of the brands under the Authority Brands name have people who are supporting you from a technical and operations/business management perspective who have actually run these franchises! They aren’t just hired straight out of school. You’ll get advice and guidance from people who have faced the same exact problems you’re facing, and the pool of resources you gain to help navigate the business is invaluable.
There is an entire branch of Authority Brands that solely focuses on technical training for franchisees. This includes technical training and touchpoints, or relevant, topical training that comes up along the way. It’s video training, webinar training, and everything else that can help franchise owners better and more quickly train employees and technicians. They even offer up weekly meeting ideas so it’s not always the owner on an island trying to figure what to say, especially during times when conveying the right message to your team is a must.
No longer will you need to fret and worry over choosing the perfect colors, the right images, and the right text for your marketing materials! When you’re a franchisee for Authority Brands, you’ll have the option of using the marketing designed, researched, and developed by experts like Heather for your business. By taking the stress out of one of the most important aspects of your business, you can focus on growing and less on all of the difficult details that often consume too much time for an owner.
This is a huge benefit that is often overlooked! The bottom line in business is that the bigger you get, the better deals you get. Authority Brands gets to add up all of their unit counts and spend across the board and go to the negotiating table not just as a single location or brand, but as 7 national brands. That’s a ton of leverage, and franchisees are the direct beneficiaries. Authority Brands has a ton of great deals, rebate programs, purchasing price discounts and more that extend to all franchisees whether you need it or not. For example, some brands are heavy fleet vehicle users, and some are not. But every brand gets that benefit!
First, it’s important to know what the tradeoff is for a private business owner who is considering a peer group network or franchising. It really depends on your personality. If you’re the type of owner who wants to make every decision, choose and comment on every piece of advertising, and weigh in on each decision for the business, you probably won’t be a great fit for franchising. One of the biggest benefits of being a franchisee is that the franchisor makes a lot of the decisions for you to make your life easier. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you simply won’t get the full range of benefits from the partnership. If your goal for the business is growth and you’re open to relying on other people to help, you’ll be a much better fit.
As far as what it takes to be a successful franchisee, Heather makes note that it’s difficult to quantify. However, there is one key personality trait that always exists: the inability to accept failure. That’s true in business whether you’re in franchising or not! It’s a certain level of drive that refuses to make excuses. You’ll need to be able to leverage your resources, and be willing to take advice and guidance from others who have done it before.
If you’re interested in learning more about Authority Brands, franchising, or want to get in touch with another franchisee Heather is more than happy to help! The easiest way to get in touch with Heather is to email her for franchising information. Or, if you want to speak with someone specifically about franchising through Authority Brands, you can call Marla of Authority Brands at 855-432-4076!