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The Real Franchise – Episode 3 – What happens after you make an inquiry?

Watch the full episode of The Real Franchise Episode 3 – here

Rhiannon – Hello and welcome to The Real Franchise, a video series designed to deliver real information, real answers, and real insights into franchising. This series is brought to you by James HomeServices Australia. I’m the CEO and Justin is one of our owners and our head of new businesses. Together we’re going to tackle all of the big topics unscripted, unplanned and unfiltered.

No sales, no fluff. We’re just going to give you information straight up. Today’s topic is all about what happens when you make an inquiry. Let’s just say you’ve been surfing around the web. You’ve been looking at other alternatives. Maybe your boss is starting to get on your nerves a little bit. Maybe that daily commute is starting to take a little bit longer and a little bit longer and a little bit longer, and it’s eating into your family time.

You’ve made the decision that maybe looking at starting your own business might be something you should consider, and you fire off an inquiry one way or the other. You ring us. You email us, you submit an inquiry on our website. You send up a smoke signal. Justin, what happens when someone submits an inquiry to us?

Justin – Really quite simple. And I think very different to any other company. Every inquiry comes to me, straight to me. and and I’ll respond to it personally. and I think that’s fairly unique in that, you know, I’m one of the owners of the company. I think I think it’s really important for people that are looking, you know, I fully understand because I’ve made the same decision, you know, I inquired many years ago to James.

And we joined with our own franchises. And it’s a big decision. It’s a scary decision. And you sort of I think it’s probably most for most people, the second biggest financial decision, someone will make other than buying their own house. So I take the all the inquiries come to me personally. and then I call, the person individually and, and have a chat, I guess.

First up, because this is not a sales that first chat, we’re not in. James, what I love about our subscription model, we don’t make money up front from selling a subscription. Right. It takes a years before we get a return on that subscription. So this is very much that initial chat is very much, having a discussion just to see if this possibly could be a good fit for the individual looking at James and like, or maybe getting a good feel for whether or not this possibly could be a good fit for what that person’s looking for.

Rhiannon – What kind of questions do you ask?

Justin – What kind of questions to ask? yeah. some of the main ones on first. Obvious. What did I ask people? I’ll just confirm that they’re permanent resident or citizen of Australia. Because in our business, we’re committing to the individual. and we need to know that people have security of tenure in this country. Right? we have issues in the past.

And so that’s why we’ve made this a requirement of having a franchise in James. So you must be a permanent resident or citizen. So that’s that’s literally the first question. And then sort of have a question, discussion about what they’re looking for. You know what? Why are they inquiring? You know, I have some people ring, they just want a second job, you know, a cleaning job in the night to earn a bit of extra cash.

Well, that’s really not this business model. This is a a serious business, for want of a better word. You know, it’s a it’s a full time focus. We find those that do well, focus on it full time and kind of a really good income. You know, we’ve got many of our teams have lots of staff, things like that.

So just trying to find out what they’re looking for.

Rhiannon – there’s questions around sort of, you know, what what motivates them, what has led them to this point, you know, is that really important for us to get an understanding of, you know, almost what they, what their life circumstances are and what’s what’s been the trigger, really, for them to be considering something as significant as self-employed men.

Justin – That’s right. Yes, definitely. Because I think a lot of people that appreciate, particularly in the beginning, it is difficult getting any business, it doesn’t matter what you do business wise. The first part of that business is usually the most difficult. And I think a lot of, a lot of people that I speak to have this perception that, oh, yeah, when I have my own business, then the money just flows in, you know, and that’s that’s not reality.

You’ve got to put in the hard yards, you know, that’s I always say to people it’s like getting fit, you know. Yes, we can all be fit and feel great, but there’s a process that you’re going to go through to get there. And it’s the same with having a business. Yeah. so it’s not it’s not just a walk in the park, you know, you got to be committed and you’ve got to be prepared to put in the effort.

And those are some of the the questions that I ask around sourcing that sort of stuff. Yeah. You know, are people committed to this or is it just want to put my toe in the water and just see whether having the businesses? For me? Yeah.

Rhiannon – So that first phone call is purely exploratory for both sides. They’re asking you questions about what this is what it looks like. What are the options? What is the subscription model? How hard do I have to work? What kind of commitment do I need to have? But similarly you’re asking them kind of the same questions. You know, what brought you here?

What drives you? What motivates you? You know, why are you wanting to do this? And, you know, have you got the time and the ability, to commit what we need you to be able to commit in order for us to know that you’re going to be a high chance of being a successful business in our network. So it sounds like it’s just genuinely exploring on both sides.

Justin – Yeah, very much so. so many of the people that I speak to, because I speak to hundreds and hundreds every month and so many people, when they first ring or when I first call them back, a very it’s almost, it’s like this wall of protection. They’re very nervous and standoffish and. Yeah, and part of it, the first part of the discussion is just letting people know, look, there’s no secrets.

It’s no pressure. There’s no arm twisting. We’re an open book. You get to meet through the process, that we I take people through. You get to meet as many of our team as you wish. We share dozens of phone numbers with you. You can call anyone at any time, do your own work. and then after that, if you decide this is for us, go.

Yeah. Then we go into an application and sort of the next steps of the process. But yes, it’s very open and transparent. It doesn’t hurt to make an inquiry and just have that initial chat.

Rhiannon – No, there’s absolutely no expectation on our part that someone who makes an inquiry is going to continue through that process. And in fact, very few who make an inquiry do actually go all the way through the process because, wait learned that maybe they’re not a great fit, or they learn that actually what they’re looking for isn’t what it is that we’re offering. You know, all circumstances change during that process. Or maybe after looking into their own business, they decide it just wasn’t for them. It’s always worth it’s always worth asking the question. So and you know, it’s never wasting our time for somebody to make an inquiry and for us to give an A, give us an opportunity to have a chat with them.

It’s never it’s never a waste of your time. It’s never a waste of their time. And hopefully they get a little bit of information from us that actually helps them decide what’s right for them, because that’s actually what this is about. It is about actually enabling people with enough information to be making really informed decisions for themselves. I look at our process and I say it’s not a sales process, it’s actually an information.

And it it’s it’s an information sharing process to put someone in a position where they can make an informed decision about what’s best for them. Yeah, I think really that’s what our process is about. And so if at the end of that first exploratory call, they’ve got a really good feeling that maybe this is something worth exploring a little bit more, and if you also feel that they, you know, what they’re looking for is what we what we offer, where does it go from there?

Justin – Yeah. So at the end of that first phone call, if we both feel, yeah, this could have some possibilities, we might get time to catch up on zoom so that we can talk face to face just like this. Because I think it’s for me personally, it’s much better talking face to face. And I can also share your screen and what I do is take people through what we call an information session.

But so we book a time to catch up on zoom. It’s at the end of that call, and that first meeting, for that interim going through the information session I find generally takes about an hour, sometimes less, sometimes more, depending how many questions people has it have as we go through it? the other thing I do at the end of that meeting, once we book the zoom meeting or time for it, I also send an information email and, our marketing team have set up this, great website where we’ve got all sorts of interviews, you know, the national news stories from, my first released a subscription model, this question and answer stuff that that you record and react and on how it all works. And I really ask people to take the time to go through that information first. And any questions and anything they’re not sure about to write them down so they don’t forget. And then I can answer those questions when we do. The zoom meeting.

The other thing I really ask is, you know, if people have a partner or, you know, spouse to try and we try to make it to them so that both of them can be in that meeting because, you know, often that’s just one person going to do the business. But I think it’s really important for that other person to be part of it.

So they know what the person’s looking at. and also they have different questions, you know, really different point of view, which is often excellent. You know, I because I think of when I, my wife thinks of things that I often don’t think of, and her questions come from a totally different angle than mine. What. And that’s good.

Rhiannon – And we’re giving out an awful lot of information in that in that zoom session, having two heads to take that on board, you know, you’re going to take away a little bit more, you know, you might remember most of it, but your partner might remember some things that you don’t. And, you know, it can feel really super overwhelming.

It’s it’s must be scary sitting in that, you know, thinking, goodness, what am I going to do this year? This is huge, you know, am I really going to start my own business? And I can only imagine that, you know, it feels a little bit fearful. It feels quite overwhelming. And then we’re. And the other thing that I really love about, how we operate through this process is that we don’t gatekeep.

There’s no there’s no information we won’t give to you. And there’s no question that we won’t answer. And in fact, we get feedback from people who walk through this process all of the time. One of the most frequent things that we have, people say to us is, it was so refreshing that you guys just answered our questions, period.

There was nothing off limits and we didn’t have to jump through hoops to get our hands on that information. We now have to book three, four, five, six follow up meetings. We didn’t have to, you know, ten circuits inside ourselves to try and access that information. We asked the question and you gave us the answer. And actually, something that people say often, too, is that we give them the answers, even if sometimes those answers are hard, even if even if it’s a tricky topic, even if, even if the answers maybe aren’t what we think they want to hear, we’re going to be honest anyway.

So that, that information session there is an awful lot of information that’s shared with someone, and it probably can feel very overwhelming for them at the time. But we also do follow up with a copy of that. yeah. The information email that you send out as well, so that they’ve, they’ve got it there and they’ve got your contact details so I can reach back out at any time.

Yeah. Yes. So if someone’s been through an information session, where to from there. That now that now had an exploratory call with you. They’ve probably done some research online about us. Maybe they’ve watched some videos that maybe looked at those resources that you sent through that had that information session.

Justin – What then accessed right at the end of the information, I email, a number of documents. So one of the great things about this country, there’s some set forms that the government have us send out and, and any franchise should be doing the same. And, you know, one of those things are, an information sheet from the government of things to think about when you’re looking at getting in business.

So there’s all these, regulatory forms, but there’s also a summary. Well, not even more detail. information memorandum that’s there, which is goes into detail exactly what we talked about in the information session. So I always say to people at the start of that information session, look, you don’t have to remember everything. You don’t have to make copious notes because you’re going to get it all in straight afterwards.

In an email, the important thing about the information session is to ask the questions and and grasp the principles of how this business works and what makes successful franchisees what James does, but also what the person has to do in order to be successful in these businesses. You know, it’s just not you just don’t turn up Monday and and the money flow in sort of thing.

There’s a process and a system and a step system we call it. So yeah, at the end of that meeting, you get that email or and attached as one of the attachments also is an equipment list. So, you know, itemized every single item that you’re going to get in your kit. Because we provide a full kit, all the equipment that you need to run that particular business so you can go through and see exactly what we’re going to provide to.

And then generally what I do after that meeting is we always book a follow up zoom for about 2 to 3 days later to give you time for the person, time to think through, going through the information. And there’ll be questions that you think of. I remember when I went through that session, when I was first looking at our first franchise, I literally went to bed that night with a notepad beside my on the bedside table and a pen, and I kept waking up through the night.

Oh, what about this? And what about that? And what about this? And so the follow up meeting. There’s nothing really I have to say. It’s simply to answer those questions that people think of. And, you know, some people have 1 or 2 questions some people may have on a page and a half. so the meetings generally that second, that meeting, the information is usually five minutes to sort of 45 minutes in length with follow up meeting.

And that’s purely just to answer questions that they have.

Rhiannon – So we literally schedule time during our process not to sell, but actually just to listen to listen and respond to any queries concerns, questions, requests for further information, request requests for clarification of information that we’ve already given. I think that’s a wonderful thing. I think it’s lovely that we actually allow and that that recognition that, you know, so, so many processes like this one, they can feel rushed and hurried as it’s not designed to be quick.

if you think that you’re going to make an inquiry one day and start a business the next way that then your expectation is not going to align with what our processes, because our process is quite considered and it can take, you, you set the pace as the inquiry, you set the pace. However, it can take a few weeks to work through and it can take months to work through.

Also, if you’ve got other things going on in your world and you might need to pause and come back to it when it’s in a more appropriate time for you. But I really I really love that our process is not far out because we don’t want people to feel rushed into making a decision, because what is actually the most important thing out of this is that the person is making the right decision for them.

It’s not do we end up with a new franchise, say it’s only a great outcome for us to end up with a new franchisee if we both mutually feel like that is a really good, solid outcome and we feel like we’re going to work really effectively together. And, you know, they have a real belief that this is for them.

As much as we think you’re going to be wonderful at any work, you know, it’s got to be mutual. So once you’ve had that follow up and let’s say they’ve got loads of questions, all really right, quality questions and you work your way through that with them if they’re still showing an interest, what’s that next step. How do we progress from there?

Justin – The next step is probably one of my favourites because I don’t have to do much. but that’s not why it’s my favourite. It’s just, I’ll explain the next step. What we do is we book a time for another zoom. However, this time there’ll be 6 or 7 people on the screen. All right. So it’ll be the person looking at the franchise. but it’ll also be quite a few people who are in that same franchise running their own businesses, people that have come through the process maybe only a few weeks before, a few months before, or even a few years before. So we got to existing business owners on here, who take time out of their day to share, with people that are genuinely looking at James and they share their story, share how their businesses are going.

You know, what they’re earning, what, the average hourly rate. and then we just open it up to questions. and I just the reason why I love it is just, I just love hearing stories because, you know, I’ve walked this journey through the same process, through with everyone. And to see these people that are just really achieving success because of their efforts and because of the system and business that they’ve aligned with, it’s just, just gets me on a bus, you know, you can have a hard day, and then I come to the end of the day what we do, what we call a zoom around, which is where we have a heap of these business owners on. And it’s just so encouraging the other people that we often have. Well, we always have the business coach. So everybody who joins them has a business coach working with them to support them. and so the person who I feel would be the best business coach for that individual I have on their zoom meeting as well, so that I can get to meet them and hear their story and the sorts of things that happen in the training.

And then so when you do start your business here as a coach, how what do they do? And they’ll share that sort of stuff as well. so, so on that zoom around, you usually guys from an hour to an hour and a half because people looking at James are a little bit nervous at first, but once everyone starts talking and sharing their stories, it just opens up and the chatting it and I know for my wife and I, when we went through that process back in 2009, that’s what really convinced us, you know, to actually see it in the flesh that, well, this actually does work.

And, you know, this business has come so far since 2009, and it’s just really exciting to watch that.

Rhiannon – Yeah. So often there’s this there’s that saying the proof is in the pudding. Well, we actually, you know, we cut the pudding in half and we put it face up on the table and we introduce you as a potential new member of our team to existing franchisees. And there’s nothing that’s off, off limits. And, I love, I really love I always know when you’ve done one of these super apps because I will often get a text message and it’s just a couple of quotes, some things that our existing cohort have said about, you know, how how it’s been a really great decision that they’ve made and they haven’t looked back and they’ve got more time than they ever had before, and they can work to their own schedule. They’re making more money than they were in their previous job. They’re happier. You know, they’re seeing more of their kids in their family. Those comments just it is one the highlight to one of the highlights of our roles is to be able to hear that organically from people that, in our network and using our system and building successful businesses off of it. I love that part. yeah.

Justin – So I will just caution something that I’ll just say to just for people listening. Yes, we get them to talk about all the great stuff, obviously. But one of the questions I always ask is, so what don’t you like? What have you found really hard? What are the challenging aspects? Because that’s really important. And it’s so good to see the shiny apples.

But you got to know the yeah. What’s what’s the other side of the coin like. And so it’s a very open once again, it’s very open. It’s very transparent. Cause we don’t want people coming in. with, with the wrong perceptions, the wrong intentions. you mentioned before about a whole process. I find I am so often trying to slow the process down.

I have a lot of people in that initial phone call. Go. Yes, I want to do something. I want to start next week. Like, literally, they’ll go, yes, well, I can start on Monday. And you’re like, whoa, no, no, no, you’ve got to find out what this is all about first. And that’s the real a number of reasons for that, that I think it’s just wisdom, you know, to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Rhiannon – Yeah, there’s no harm in slowing the game down and making sure that actually, you’re making a decision based on all the information that you need made available to you. you mentioned earlier that in that zoom around, we involve the business coach that we think will be the best fit for that particular potential franchisee. And, we pick we we have a number of business coaches in our network and other networks often will organize, business coaches or, you know, often they call them regional managers.

We don’t we actually refer to them as to what they do. They are your business coach. They are your mentor, that they are your cheerleader, your support person. They are your life support. You know, in those first few weeks while you’re doing everything you can to get the wheels moving, they are critical. and we don’t necessarily try and organize that by geographical location.

We actually select out of our cohort of business coaches who we think is going to be the best fit for working with you, for your strengths, your weaknesses, your personality. You know, how, your, your attitude to certain things. You know, we try and make a really educated guess as to who will gel with you the most and who you will gel with the most, because it’s a it’s a really pivotal relationship. And I really love that we do that in our network, in that we don’t just kind of slap you with anyone or slap you with who has availability or who has capacity. We actually make sure that we’re putting you with someone who we think is going to work really effectively with you, and we can only do that because we ask so many questions, and we learn so much about you during that process to that point.

So you’re feeding us with the intelligence that then allows us to make decisions, which hopefully means that you really get a business coach that is going to work with you and really align with you and really be that extra superpower you need in your business. And I really love that we do that. The other thing I love is that we bring that business coach on board so early in the process.

We haven’t even talked about agreements. We haven’t talked about approvals. We you know, there’s so much still to go in the process. And yet already you’ve not signed anything, you’ve not paid anything. You’ve not given us any indication whatsoever that you’re a goer But we’re already saying, hey, this will be your person, you know, and I love that because how often do we go through a process and you, you work through with one person and at the end of it you just kind of get handled, and then all of a sudden you’ve got to like re-explain everything to someone brand new and you just feel like, you know, you spent weeks working with someone.

They understood where you were at, you made a decision to purchase based on that, or to go ahead with what you were doing based on that, and then you literally get handle to the next person and you’ve got to start again. It’s so frustrating. So I really love that we have designed a process that fully integrates that business coach so early on. I feel like it’s really important.

Justin – And I find that it really connects people to the greater, to the bigger company. Right. in our old system where we had, as you referred to regional managers or regional franchisors, that’s the only person that the franchisee or the person coming had contact with. And, and if they didn’t connect, like if they weren’t, if there’s a clash, it was it was.

Yeah. Well where do you go from there. That point. Whereas you know now we, we’ve got we’re not tied geographically thanks to things like zoom and a whole range of other things we can really connect. We’ve got a range of different personalities in our business coaching team and a range of skill sets. and the other thing we do is I’ll often get on Jo from the call center as well, so.

Right. Yeah. Like you said, right back there, people being connected with the different people within the organization. So, you know, once they start, that’s the other great thing. There’s not just the business coach, there’s just not this one point. There’s there’s a whole range of people that they already know that they can connect with and, and ask questions and support and all that sort of thing.

And after that information session, the phone numbers are all sent out of the people that I’ve met. all the business coaches phone numbers are sent out, the, the call center Jo, who runs a call center. And then we also have maybe usually sort of ten, 15 phone numbers of other franchisees in that service that they haven’t yet met.

But like, feel free to ring anyone. and it just really opens. It’s just about being transparent so they can call people. And it’s interesting. Some people literally ring everybody on that list. others don’t. you know, there’s no obligation to bring as many. But, you know, people need to feel free to do their research, talk to people.

Hey, the good, the bad, the ugly, that sort of thing.

Rhiannon – Yep. as human beings, we naturally have an inner critic. And for any for any astute person listening to this video, they’re probably thinking, well, that’s all well and good, but you know, the people that you include on that zoom around, you probably stacking it there, probably people doing really well. They’re probably people who’ve told you that they really happy.

You know, you’re only going to put the best of the best on the zoom right. And we encourage we really encourage honesty and transparency in that zoom around. And so we actually select franchisees again that we think, operates the type of business that the potential franchisee has explained. They have aspirations to operate. So if as the inquiry, you’ve told us, that actually what you’re looking for is to be able to build your business and run it with teams while you are the manager, well, then what you can expect from us is that we’re going to go and ask people who are doing that in our network to join that zoom around so you get an opportunity to talk to people unbiased, who are just doing what it is. You’ve indicated to us that you want to do. The other thing for anybody who has that little inner critic working, the phone numbers of every single one of our business owners, freely available on our website. And so you don’t have to just rely on the information that we give to you.

You have the phone number of every single one of our business owners, freely and publicly available to you at any time you wish. So if you’re worried that we’re stacking that session to just be positive, you can absolutely go away and do your due diligence and make sure by ringing other people at random. And we have plenty of potential inquirers who do that.

And we love when they do, because it really demonstrates to us that they are so committed to this. They really want to make sure they’re making the right decision. That’s such a great sign for us. Yeah. we, we are eating up time, and I don’t want to bore anybody listening, by sort of continuing on unnecessarily.

However, we are only partway through the process. We we then move into an application process and, you know, we start to issue legal documents, right? We start to get to the pointy end. You know, you’re making your decision about whether this is this is something that you want to, review a draft agreement over. And if it is, then we also ask you to make a formal application, which is just an online application.

We’re going to do a whole episode on what are those legal documents? We’re going to, like demystify this whole process around the legal documents. But just quickly, is there anything at that application and legal documents stage that we should be sharing so that people have an expectation around what happens at this stage of the process?

Justin – Really important stage. Some of the people that in court I have say. I think quite rudely, but everyone’s different. They just say, just send me an franchise agreement and I’ll have a look over it and get back to you. And it’s like, well, when we send someone a franchise agreement, we are literally making an offer of a franchise.

And I think we have a great business at James because we have great people in the business. So we are very careful of the people we bring into the business. So this is why we have an application. You know, it’s not it’s if we don’t accept everybody. Right. Because put yourself in, you know, if you had a James business and then just and just lets anybody join and some crazy bloke joins down the road and he’s running around in a James shirt, it’s going to affect my business.

All right. So we really want to make sure we’re getting the right sort of people into chaps. So the application when I sent it out after the zoom around I find after the zoom round, basically everyone’s keen to go further after meeting some of the team. So we email out this application and, and there’s a number of things on there.

The first thing is we need anyone who has a James franchise to have a clean police history. So we need to get a copy of a valid police check. so, so long as it needs to have been done within the previous three years. they last three years in our industry, so we get a copy of that.

So if people have a chequered history, this. Yeah. They’re not going to be approved. so that’s the first thing, we obviously get confirmation of citizenship or, you know, permanent residency if they if they’ve immigrated to Australia. that’s the other thing. And then something that we do, which is quite unique, I think, in this industry of franchising is we ask people, to fill in and assets and liabilities and the personal budgets are two different spreadsheets we get them to fill in.

And there’s really sound reasons for this. And it’s we have a I’ve got a duty of care. As you know, you have a duty of care here. And that duty of care is around making sure we’re bringing the we’re not setting people up to fail. All right. And this is where sometimes the slowing down discussion I have with people happens where?

Yeah, I’ve got a couple of people in the process at the moment that, have some massive debts. You know, they just restructuring, real estate and investment properties, but they’ve got big financial commitments and they’re the only income winner. So if they’re going to quit their job, start that James business. And I have no savings, nothing to rely on whilst they building their income.

Things could go pear shaped very quickly. You know, if they have a slower start, hopefully they’ll hit the ground and you know the business takes off as sometimes I do, but sometimes it’s a slower start. The system always works if people work the system, but sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Yeah. And so that’s why we asked for those.

I said some liabilities and the personal budget. So we know what the outgoings are versus what reserves and commitments they have. so that’s the intent of getting that information. Yeah. and then we have a sorry. Go ahead.

Our system also sends out, a more normal type application where people put in the, referees so that we can call and do some, just some background checking on the individual from a work point of view. Also, you know, previous qualifications, work experience, things like that, just to help give us a, a better understanding of the individual.

Rhiannon – Yeah. We’re just trying to round out the picture so that, you know, we’re making an informed choices. We’ve advocated so much through this chat, for people’s right to make an informed choice about us and investing in us and making a choice to, to join our network. And, that right. Is it operates both ways. We also have a right and a responsibility.

We have actually got an enormous responsibility. I mean, the whole industry does, but, I know that our network takes this incredibly seriously. we have an enormous responsibility to make sure that we’re making the right decision. And frankly, sometimes that means that we’re we’re saying a very respectful no to people because we know that taking up our opportunities is going to put them into financial distress, maybe for that first 8 to 12 weeks of their business or, you know, something in their in their circumstances is going to really act as a barrier to them being able to have the time available to invest and commit in our business.

So we try and get a really round picture because honestly, we take it like they just aren’t words really to they just aren’t adequate words to say just how seriously we take the decision to actually accept someone in this is it’s life changing, and it can be life changing in a really good way. When we get the decision right and when they get the decision right.

And you know, we’ve all heard the horror stories, it can be life changing in a bad way if either party gets that decision wrong. And so we take that really seriously and we collect as much information as we feel we need to make sure we’re making a good decision. Yeah. If so, I said before, we’re going to do a whole episode demystifying all of the legal documents.

There are quite a few, in fact, at one point I summed it up. There’s a total of ten legal documents that we send someone throughout this process. If you’ve just fallen off your chair listening to that number, climb back up on it and stay tuned in, the next few weeks for an episode demystifying all of that, because that’s a big number.

But, we’re going to break it down and make it really simple because it’s really critical information in those documents that you should know, and they’re not that hard to navigate once you know where you’re looking and what you’re looking for. So, let’s just say I want to sort of fast forward through the legal documents in that process before we let anyone sign our franchise agreement, we do something.

I don’t think any other network has the balls to do. We have a final meeting with our potential franchisee, and that final meeting is pretty upfront around this is going to be probably one of the bigger challenges you’ve taken on in your life. If you’re not ready, if you’re not 110% all in, right now, you shouldn’t sign this document, right?

You just want to like, what are the headline things that you talk about with someone? Because basically I like I love how you describe it. And almost it sounds to me like basically we’re trying to scare the pants of someone before signing the agreement to make sure and again, with the absolute right intentions, because our intention is that if anyone’s having hesitation, they give themselves the time to work through that before putting their signature on a legally binding document.

Right. So what’s that conversation that you have with people and why do we have it? Why is it so important?

Justin – The why, I guess, comes from experience. I’ve just seen it’s so exciting going through the sales process. You know, I went through it on the other side, sales processes, the wrong word information process. Right. And you’re meeting people and you’re seeing all this success and all that awesome stuff. And, and you can just be looking at the one side of the coin.

And it’s really important to look at the other side of the coin. That and this is why I have this discussion. And it’s yeah, I used to be very nervous because, you know, I spend sometimes 15 hours with someone by the time we get to here. So we really have a close relationship. But people need to understand what happens if it goes wrong because as I’ve said before, starting any business is not easy.

You know, some have a miracle start, but average is average, right? So most people are going to have a, tough, tough couple of weeks in the beginning. And I say to people upfront, like I’m saying that you got to expect that, right? Because otherwise you hit the tough. And it doesn’t matter how much I say this side of starting, once it happens, it’s like, oh no, this is tough.

It’s like, yes, remember that conversation? And so it’s just preparing, I call it inoculating someone if we’re prepared for it being tough, we can prepare for it. You don’t want to be a shock You know, you don’t want to come out of the hot water, jump into this freezing cold pool, so to speak, and get this massive heart attack.

It’s about going this is expected it it will be tough. But that’s why you join a system. You know, because we we’ve done this hundreds of times. And we know that if you do these certain things, a business is going to grow. And where we’re spending all the money on advertising, etc., etc.. So in that meeting, sorry, I’m rambling.

We go through what happens. So what are the fees? First we revisit all the fees so you know exactly what the costs are because often there’s been 1 to 3 months going through this information process and it’s easy to forget what was discussed in those first couple of meetings. I mean, you’ve got all the soft copies, but just in case, I just revisit the fees, revisit what happens if you wish to exit, you know, that’s really important.

Fundamentally, there’s two options. You either sell the business and that’s what we all do in a business is to grow a business. And for most of us, we’re not going to retire. Still, being in James. So that means at some point in time we’re going to need to sell. So yeah, that’s that’s the preferred option. The other option is you’re going to have to pay out the balance of the term of your agreement if you wish to leave, if you can’t sell or and we talk through that, the illustration I give for some people that are not familiar with franchising.

So every franchise has a set term and their franchise agreement, you know, as if you’re on a subscription is five years to along with the five year subscription. other franchises are seven years. Some of the most franchises are ten years. and I say to people, the example I give is it’s like, if you were to rent a unit, you know, and if you sign up a five year lease and then two years into your lease, you say to the landlord, all, we don’t like living here anymore.

We’re going to shift will. The landlord is going to say, hey, you’ve got another three years to go and you’re leasing. Either keep tying the lease or find another tenant and then they have example, the other tenant is selling your business or you keep paying your lease or sublicense. There’s the terminologies in franchising.

Rhiannon – And just like that. Yeah. Yeah. And and just to add more clarity, this is normal in franchising networks.

Justin – Yes. Absolutely.

Rhiannon – In fact I think probably all networks I would be surprised if there wasn’t a network that didn’t didn’t enforce that the term of their agreement was on it, because essentially that’s all we’re doing. You sign an agreement for five years with us, and all that is doing is saying for five years, I will operate my business in your network.

And if for some reason I can’t do that or I don’t want to do that, I will sell it or I will need to continue in paying those fees to you, because I have agreed to operate a business for five years, and this is standard. If anybody is sort of, you know, if jaws are on the floor. and I can understand why because if this is the first time you hearing this information, it’s probably quite jarring for you.

And you’re thinking, goodness me, that sounds horrific. But also, it might sort of add that no one, no one who gets to this point with us in our network has the intention of cutting and running after six months. You know, you’ve only made it this far through the process because you’ve really got this. So, you know, no one actually has the intention of cutting and running early and actually five years by industry standards is quite a, short agreement.

There are others in our industry that operate with a much longer agreement so that final meeting just and sounds like it really is like we just we strip it all bare and we say, hey, here’s what happens if you have to exit or you want to exit, you can’t give out. This is you know, this is an enormous decision.

You’re going to need to dig deep and work hard. But our system is proven, and we know that if you work hard and you follow our systems, we can work with you and we can work with you in building a successful business. Right. And I think that’s a wonderful final conversation to have. Has anybody do people not proceed further after that conversation?

But what happens?

Justin – I don’t think I’ve had anyone not proceed at that point, because usually through that process, the concerns have already come up. And, and, and we’ve worked out whether or not they’re right. It’s been very rare at this point that someone I think actually we’ve had one couple I can think of in the last four years that people are afterwards. But once they sign the agreement, that’s when the for me, the fun stuff, it’s like Christmas in July sort of thing because then the moment you sign and pay the thousand dollars, that’s when we order everything. So the business cards, the brochures we’re organizing, signage of the vehicle, all the equipment. So everything starts turning up. for you to start your business, and.

And the training gets booked then. And then the business coach. So I know we’ve been going a long time in this particular episode, but that’s when the business coach then steps in as well. And this I think this what’s the set up? Listening.

Rhiannon – Listening. There is this is go time for us. If you say yes, starting a business is, overwhelming and there’s a lot for you to do. there is so much more that we do for you. We have got a whole episode planned later in this series. It’s going to dive in in detail because we’re going to be here for another three hours.

If we if we go on. Yeah. So, there is a list. It’s it’s over 100 items long. And those are the things that we do in order to get you from signed franchise agreement to operational business. So yeah, that deserves an entire episode of It’s Ours. So, I guess let’s really, really quickly sum up our, information process is, it’s not rushed.

It is. We are an open book. We are cards up on a table. You ask us questions, we give you answers. We get to know you. We allow you to get to know us. And what we want at the end is that both of us are making a really informed decision. That this is the right thing for both parties.

And so that process is you make an inquiry. There’s an explorer, and explorative phone call. We just in one of our own is, 15, maybe 20 minutes is just a bit of a it’s a really casual chat. There’s no pressure. There is no, there’s and there’s no pressure and no sales tactics at any of our prices.

Throw it out the window. Any any franchise network dishing you at sales tactics in 2024 is honestly so outdated. It’s not a thing. We don’t do it. We just give you information so you can make a decision. So a phone call and then we give you an information session. And then we let you make the team. And then we get down to business.

And you know then there are some legal documents and an application process to go through. And then there’s that final meeting with Justin before we let you sign your agreement. And we make sure that you are super, super clear and across what this means, and we give you an opportunity to do it. You bolt if you need to.

There is you have never gotten too far down a road that you can’t do a U-turn and go back. At no point in our process have you committed until you’ve actually signed a franchise agreement, and we give you loads of opportunity right up until that point to take your time and make sure the decision is the right one for you and your family.

I think that is the right place to end this episode because we have got I’ve mentioned a couple of times throughout it, we’ve got other episodes coming that are going to dive deep in on a couple of topics. So stay tuned for those if you’ve made it this far. Thank you. I hope that you found this really, informative.

I hope it’s given you some level of confidence that, we operate with integrity and that those aren’t just words. We actually our actions really are designed, and our intent really is that we just support people with good quality information to make good quality decisions for them and their families. So with that being said, I really hope that you join us for the next episode and, we will see you soon.

Justin – See you then.

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James Home Services Lawn & Garden Atherton South
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