Small Business Franchises with Giuseppe Grammatico

Small Business Franchise businesses with Giuseppe Grammatico. Giuseppe is a Franchise Coach, Consultant, Speaker, Author, and the host of The Franchise Freedom podcast. He is the author of “Franchise Freedom – A New Manifesto for Your Financial and Time Freedom.” On this episode of the podcast Giuseppe explains why a franchise can be a great option for someone transitioning from a corporate career to business ownership, leading to potential financial and time freedom


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Giuseppe Grammatico - Franchise Expert

About Giuseppe Grammatico:

Giuseppe is a franchise veteran who simplifies the process of franchising and excels at guiding his clients to the model that best suits them. His greatest joy is helping people realize the American dream and sharing the freedom that comes from franchising. Franchising has allowed Giuseppe to enjoy the freedom so many hope for. Sharing his expertise with his clients, learning about their goals and their lives, and guiding them towards their dreams are what lights him up the most.

Giuseppe lives in New York City.

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Schedule your free franchise consultation with Giuseppe: Schedule Call

Questions and topics discussed on this episode of The How of Business podcast on the topic of  Small Business Franchises with guest Giuseppe Grammatico:

  • Please share a brief overview of your early career in financial services, and what led to launching your first small business.
  • Why did you decide to help others with franchises?
  • When did you know you wanted to be your own boss? Who were early entrepreneurial influences (family is in the restaurant business)?
  • Why should I consider a franchise? Own a franchise or start a business from scratch?
  • Why is a Franchise often a good fit for someone who is transitioning from a corporate career?
  • What are some of the skills that you learned in the corporate world that can help me as a franchisee?
  • What questions should ask myself to help determine if a franchise is right for me?
  • Best franchises to own? Are there certain criteria you recommend we look for?
  • How much investment is needed to own a franchise?
  • Can I keep a franchise and have a full-time job?
  • Absentee owner, hands-on-manager, or something in between. – Is absentee owner realistic?
  • The 4-Step Franchise Freedom Process:
    • Schedule a Right-Fit call where we can get to know each other and decide if we’re a fit for each other.
      What should I look for in a Franchise Broker or Consultant?
      Why should I use a Broker or Consultant?
    • Identify YOUR personal goals & the characteristics you are looking for in a business.
      How do you help people begin to define what they are looking for?
    • Get matched with 2-3 franchise companies (out of the 4000+ franchises on the U.S.) that fit your goals and the type of business you want to own. What are the top two or three things to consider when evaluating a potential franchise?
  • Navigate the franchise investment process (if you decide franchising is a fit).
    What are some common mistakes you often observe?
    What’s one thing you always look for and evaluate in the FDD?
    What are your thoughts on franchises that don’t include Financial Performance Representations (Item 19 of the FDD)?

Episode Host: Henry Lopez is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and the host of this episode of The How of Business podcast show – dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business.

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Episode Transcript:

The following is a full transcript of this episode. This transcript was produced by an automated system and may contain some typos.

Small Business Franchises with Giuseppe Grammatico:

Henry Lopez: [00:00:16] This is Henry Lopez. Welcome to this episode of The How a Business. My guest today is Giuseppe Grammatical. Giuseppe, welcome to the show.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:00:23] Henry, it’s a pleasure. Looking forward to it.

Henry Lopez: [00:00:26] So am I. We’re going to talk about the topic of franchises investing as an owner, as a business owner, rather, in a franchise, and why a franchise might be a great option for especially for somebody like I was transitioning from the corporate world or corporate career to business ownership and how that can lead to potential financial and time freedom. So we’re going to chat with that about that, rather, with Giuseppe, who is an expert in this field. So Giuseppe Grammatico is a franchise coach, a consultant to speaker and author, and he’s the host of his own podcast called The Franchise Freedom Podcast. Giuseppe is a franchise veteran who, as he says, he simplifies the process of franchising and excels at guiding his clients to the model, the type of franchise that best suits his clients. His greatest joy is in helping people realize the American dream and sharing the freedom that comes from franchising. Franchising as allowed Giuseppe to enjoy the freedoms so many of us hope for. Sharing his expertise with his clients, learning about their goals and their lives and guiding them towards their dreams are what lights him up the most is the author of Franchise Freedom A New Manifesto for Your Financial and Time Freedom. And as I mentioned, he’s the host of the franchise Freedom podcast. Giuseppe lives in the New Jersey or in the state of New Jersey, somewhere used to live in New York. He lives in New Jersey now. And so, once again, Giuseppe Grammatico, welcome to the show.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:02:19] Thanks again, Henry. I’m very, very excited to be here.

Henry Lopez: [00:02:21] Absolutely. Looking forward to this. I’d like to start do as we usually do on this show with the journey, how you got to where you are today and doing the research. If I got it right, you had a career, a very successful career in financial services, right?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:02:36] Yes, that’s it. Yeah. I so I guess the quick version is I’m first generation, as we both are for Cuban, I’m first generation Italian and, you know, hard work. Right. We’re brought up with that hard work ethic work really hard for what you have. And I grew up in the restaurant industry and after working many, many years and giving up many weekends and holidays and then not being able to go to events, I said, you know what, restaurant is just not the industry I want to be. And so I went the college route. I got an undergrad and my MBA from Ryder University here in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and went through multiple jobs in the investment world. Income was really good, so I was happy with the income but just wasn’t fulfilled. I felt like I wasn’t really going anywhere. You know, every job led to a little bit more money and I just wasn’t happy. So I kind of went back to my entrepreneur roots, to my family and said, OK, the business of a restaurant maybe wasn’t a good fit, but what else is out there? So fast forward hired a business coach, figured out, I like a business in a box, I like process, I like systems in place. And startup was the opposite of that. So I went the franchising route, ironically, work with a franchise coach and consultant as well back in 05, 2005, 2006, and ended up investing in two franchises. And don’t regret a day since it was it’s been a fantastic journey.

Henry Lopez: [00:04:10] What type of franchise businesses were they?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:04:13] We were in cleaning and building maintenance. So former Wall Street guy, you know, how the heck did I get into that? And quite frankly, we didn’t. We were looking at an annuity stream and something that could take the brunt of what was to come with the crash of the ‘08 stock market. So I was looking for we specifically got the commercial building maintenance because a little bit more recession proof versus what we saw on the residential side.

Henry Lopez: [00:04:42] Right? Right. And it does a, did you get out of those business or do you still have those businesses?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:04:46] Yes, I actually I saw those last year to double down on my consulting business as the hours kind of vary depending on people’s schedules. So I sold them. And yeah, I’m able to dedicate one hundred and ten percent of my time on this business.

Henry Lopez: [00:05:01] Fantastic. When you go back to. Early in your career, did you still nonetheless have aspirations of starting your own thing, you just didn’t know what or did what was it like? Business is not for me back then.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:05:13] It was always, you know, I ran the business with my family. There was always that itch. And I loved how, you know, you got to call the shots and, you know, you just had control, control of your destiny, control of the business. You know, you got to make the decision versus where I was an employee. I think I had 10 managers. Every time I did something wrong, I heard it ten times. So and that was frustrating. So I always had the itch. But I think just being in the restaurant industry, I didn’t know what else was out there and I didn’t explore as much as maybe I should have. So I said, you know what, I see a lot of people making good money in the investment world, which is what drew me there. And, you know, that stuff and not the should it be the motivating reason, although I still had an interest, but I said, you know what, I have that itch. What else is out there? I knew about franchising. I thought it was all about McDonald’s and. Right. And Wendy’s and Burger Kings and all these fast food restaurants to come to realize there’s literally a franchise in every business. Every industry.

Henry Lopez: [00:06:11] Mm hmm. Yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions, Giuseppe, is that it’s that franchising is all about restaurants.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:06:17] Right, exactly. And that’s what we talk about almost every single day. So a lot of basically, if you can name a business, there’s a franchise in that business.

Henry Lopez: [00:06:27] Yeah, it’s amazing. All right. So let’s dive into it. I thought I’d start with this question of trying to get us started, why you’ve touched on some of it already, but why should I consider a franchise?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:06:39] I mean, there are a lot of benefits to franchises. But before I even get into that, you know, franchising, you know, a lot of people say, you know, Franchise Freedom is the name of your podcasts and your book, and I am passionate about it. That’s where I focus my time. But it’s not the right fit for everyone. And simply put, you have a startup or a franchise. And if business ownership is the path, you just need to figure out if you want the system in place. And what I coined and talk about in my book, the unfair advantage of owning a franchise business, or do you want to start it on your own and create everything? One is not better than the other. It’s based off of kind of what matches what you are, what you’re looking for. Franchising is great. There’s, you know, over four thousand franchise companies in the U.S. It is extremely overwhelming. But, you know, when we talk about just benefits, you know, we we go back to the definition of what is a franchise in a franchise is essentially a license to do business with that brand. So, you know, when you buy a Subway franchise, you don’t own any part of Subway. You’re owning essentially a license to do business as a as a subway franchisee. You’re given the entire system. You still have to obviously invest in the build out, but they’re giving you essentially a turnkey system.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:07:56] So advantages are they’ve figured it out. Trial and error. Right. They figured out the hard way this is the franchisor and what’s the best way to do business. In many cases, depending on the franchise and business vendors are in place. You take a painting franchise, their vendors are in place and you have economies of scale because they’re buying at such a large volume. An independent contractor could not buy at the same prices as a franchise owner. And by far, the number one advantage aside from the system and everything you get is I call it, it’s almost like a mastermind, right. Mastermind. You hear about that? That’s kind of the big buzzword. And I’ve seen masterminds just pop up here and there. And when I the reason I say mastermind is, you know, you’re are you are working depending on the size of the franchise with tens, hundreds, thousands of other franchises that you meet with typically once a year, at minimum, the share ideas of what’s working, what’s not working, how can we team up and work together prior to even that those same franchisees are the people you’re going to validate and talk with to learn about the franchise and ask the difficult questions, such as knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again? So the same franchise franchisees that you’re validating and asking questions are the same ones you’re going to be collaborating with and sharing ideas.

Henry Lopez: [00:09:20] It’s one of the you know, I kind of when you do the same thing, you when you summarize the key areas to look at that, as I call it, that network effect is so valuable. Being a business owner can be such a lonely pursuit. And when you’re on your own, you don’t you have to kind of try to cobble that together. But in a franchise and that’s one of the things you have to look for is I have and what I what I have found is of being a franchisee is that those people and you’ve got to that’s what you look for initially. They’re more than happy to help and to share. And that’s so valuable because you don’t feel like you’re going alone here, right?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:09:56] Absolutely. That’s it’s a huge advantage. So but both strategy, startup or franchise are. Great people will ask our franchisees typically more, what are the stats, you know, I don’t I don’t I really don’t look at the stats. The odds are if you followed the system of a strong franchise brand and just as important, believe it or not, the system has to match what you’re looking for. I find plenty of people. I go into very strong systems that are a horrible match. It’s the complete opposite of what they’re looking for and sometimes they don’t do as well. So, you know, following that system, getting match is something you truly like. The odds are and all the support you’re getting, the odds are you’re going to be more successful. The issue with startups and statistics, which, you know, they vary depending from one site to the next, is many people in their startups. It never happens. It’s a word document that’s saved on your laptop that you never pulled the trigger on. So it’s very difficult. So I tell people sometimes it’s the catalyst. I call it a franchise. Is the stepping stone the catalyst to get you into business ownership? Maybe you own one location, a territory, and that motivates you to maybe doing your startup. And now you have two businesses, one franchise, one non franchise. So a lot of exciting stuff. Just some things I’ve been hearing along the way.

Henry Lopez: [00:11:20] A great point. I think, you know, one of the ways that I had to explain to me that made a lot of sense is I think you have to and what you help people do is analyze where am I on this spectrum or are people who are all the way over to one side entrepreneurial. In other words, they want to do it all. They want to invent it all. They want to have complete control. And on the other end is where a lot of people said, especially making the transition from the corporate world where they know they want this independence, but they need help. They need to leverage somebody else’s systems and experience. Right. And you help people identify where are we? Because to your point about following the system, if I go into a franchise and I’m the type that doesn’t want to follow the rules, I want to reinvent things, that’s usually a bad match.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:12:01] Absolutely. And that’s if you’re even allowed a true message. A franchise. Yeah. I mean, that’s if the franchise companies will pick that up right away. So if you’re telling the Subway franchise or better yet, the McDonald’s franchise. Yeah. You know, I’m looking to expand the menu and add this item and that item. They’re going to be like next not a good fit. So they would not even give you the ability to invest in the franchise. So. Absolutely. And that’s good. I mean, that’s not a negative thing. It’s a positive thing because it saves you the hassle. That’s right.

Henry Lopez: [00:12:32] The other thing that I think is a misconception sometimes, Giuseppe, is you can buy an existing franchise business or it doesn’t always mean you got to build that franchise, meaning starting from scratch is the wrong term. But that was go build my own. There are franchises, existing franchises that are for sale as well.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:12:49] Yeah. So we come across two things. One is a corporate owned business that converts their model into a franchise. So they have hundreds of locations they’re converting into a franchise. So that’s essentially a resale because there’s an existing revenue coming in. It’s an existing business. And I as a as a consultant also help with resale. So if I have an individual looking at a particular area and there’s nothing for sale at all, it’s I’m sorry, it’s there’s existing franchises in the area. We can make a quick call to the franchise owner and just say, hey, I know there’s nothing for sale in the whole area. The whole state’s taken. Would you mind dropping a line to the franchisee? Do you think they’d be interested in selling? And so we so, you know, maybe not an active listing on this buy sell, but, you know, for the right price, maybe the existing business owner decides they may want to sell their business.

Henry Lopez: [00:13:43] And that’s often one of the best ways to find a business is for sale. Right. I know one of the areas you focus on is helping corporate executives, people in a corporate career to transitioning to their first business, in particular being a franchise. Why are and we’ve touched on something, but why is franchise often a good model for a person with that background? With that corporate background?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:14:08] Yeah. So the corporate executive has a couple options. So they know their skill set. Right. So we say corporate executive, because what does that imply? It implies you’ve been in the business world for a little while. You know, you’ve worked for maybe some large corporations. So you know what your skill set, you know, you’re truly good at. You’ve probably worked a few jobs. So it’s good to figure out what you’re good at. What’s your skill set, what’s your weaknesses, you know, areas you need to improve upon. So a corporate exec with a skill set of, for example, they’re a great manager. They may be a good fit for a cleaning franchise because one company in particular will handle essentially all the marketing and even give you a call center to handle all the inbound calls. So essentially there it’s almost like your sales arm. So the skill set of the franchisee, the corporate exec that’s becoming the franchisees more of a manager. Manage the employees or the subcontractors or whoever’s involved in that in that business model, so, you know, it’s a great business that you can go in also as a semi absentee and say, OK, I’m in danger of possibly losing my job, but I want to hold on to it. There are certain franchises, not all that will allow you to be what we call a semi absentee owner so that you can keep your job and work the business 10, 15, 20 hours a week and have the ability to transition full time or just keep it that way and have a general manager in place if need be.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:15:39] So lots of it, lots of options, you know, funding wise corporate execs that they can, if it’s a former employer, can roll over a potential retirement money to fund the business. So there’s a lot of options to those people. But, yeah, just one thing, and this is more along the lines of how do you pick a franchise? But, you know, figure out the ideal business, what your role, what you’re what you want your role to be in the business and what’s your skill set. And that’s a really good starting point versus the complete opposite, which is what most people do, including myself in the very beginning. And that was picking a franchise and trying to make my likes and wants all kind of fit that franchise where, you know, maybe it was a food related franchise and I did not want to work seven days a week. So I was trying to mold and change up my requirements to kind of fit the franchise. So I think if you reverse engineer it, you truly kind of figure out what you want. I think it’s so much easier to decide on a franchise and working with a consultant. You know, we talk to the brands directly, sometimes the CEOs, the presidents, the VPs. We even have conversations on your behalf to see if this individual is a good fit for that franchise. We even check the territory to make sure there’s availability in the area.

Henry Lopez: [00:16:58] Yeah, OK, great points. That’s such a great takeaway because again, like you said, people often make the mistake there. And also I think people struggle with well, I don’t know anything about business, so I don’t know if this is if I’m ready for it. But again, that’s what the franchise provides for. A good franchise provides the systems for you. You’re not expected to invent that. But the role that you’re going to play or that you have time available to play is such a key thing. And then the point you made about the skill set, if I’m a good people person and good at leading and developing people, that that helps you narrow down franchises that might be a fit for them. If I if I’m strong in marketing, that not might be a different focus that I might go on, depending on that skill set that I already have and that I can bring to bear for this franchise that I’m going to that I’m going to select. Right, right. Absolutely. Absolutely. I want to go back to the point you touched on, because it’s such a critical one for me, this whole concept of absentee semi absentee hands on. And as you said, there are franchises are required to be the person involved and others that allow this semi absentee. What I’ve seen as a big misconception, though, Giuseppe, curious as to your thoughts, I’ve yet to find a business, a small business where I can be completely absent from it, at least not in the initial years. What are your thoughts on that?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:18:19] Yeah, I mean, you know, the initial years, obviously, especially that first year, you’re learning the business, especially if you’re a first time business owner. So your time commitment absolutely is going to be much greater than, you know, year two, year three going forward. So certain businesses, you know, I should say, certain franchises allow it and they allow it because they have a specific system built for that. They have a training, a train, the trainer program, you know, to put a key person in charge. Maybe it’s a general manager. It’s not all about having you know, I got money in the bank. I can make anything absentee. You could. That’s that may be the case for a startup, but not in the case of a franchise. A franchise will want to interview you and make sure if it is, you know, an owner operator business that the owner is involved full time, the first six to 12 months. But there are options once someone is looking at the universe, starts to scale down a little bit and say, OK, there’s you know, we were looking at, you know, X amount of companies. Now we know we bring it down to maybe 10 or 15 companies.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:19:23] So, you know, we there are certain businesses built better than others for absentee ownership. And that’s what I am what I’m calling semi absentee. Once you’re getting into, you know, true absentee and now you’re talking about general managers really running the show where they’re where they are empowered, maybe they have a vested interest. Maybe they own a small percentage of the business, five, 10 percent, and they’re able to make those decisions. But, you know, ultimately it’s between the system and the you know, the how the franchisee what kind of what kind of what’s the word authority, decision making that you give, you know, empowerment that you give to your employees. Because if they have to run everything, by you mean the business. But if you empower your employees and you have a good system, there are quite a few, especially a lot of retail franchises that we work with that will allow a really solid semi absentee with minimal time investment as long as the training and the right employees are hired from the very beginning.

Henry Lopez: [00:20:29] So in that case, if it is someone that you identify, that’s what they’re looking for and you find them opportunities that allow for some absentee do. Often those people keep their corporate job while they do this on the side. What’s your experience there?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:20:43] It’s been all over. I mean, some people, they say, OK, I, I can really run this business, my absentee. So, you know, they call me up and they say, OK, things are going well. What do I do next? And I go, I’m a coach. Right. I’m not in sales. I’m not a salesperson saying to buy franchises. I am simply coaching you through the process to help you get you through your due diligence with each franchise company. So the options are you look at another franchise that you can also run semi absentee. Maybe it’s an exact complement of your current business, of your current business is home services, where you’re providing a service such as mosquito spraying, you know, to homeowners and you invest in a painting home, painting pool, the power washing pool. Yeah. You name it. It’s a complete complement, minimal ramp up time because you already have the client base. You’re just upselling to them or it just may be, you know what, instead of me investing in another franchise, why don’t I for now quit my job and run it full time and then decide from there how I want to run the business or scale the business. So there are a lot of options and the beauty is, is No. One right answer. It’s what best fits what you’re looking for at that time, because, you know, two or three years may go down the road. Things may change. Maybe you have your first child, maybe you get married. There’s different priorities. Maybe you’re moving. You know, there’s so many different things. So, you know, anytime I have a conversation, I like to do a status check where they’re at and have their goals changed. If they haven’t, OK, maybe we should look at these two options as far as expansion.

Henry Lopez: [00:22:20] Yeah, wonderful. This is Henry Lopez with a brief pause to share a special offer from our new show sponsor

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Henry Lopez: [00:23:55] All right, we’ve touched on it, you follow a process, you call it a four step franchise freedom process, which makes a lot of sense. I just want to cover it and talk and ask a couple of questions at a high level. The first step is to schedule what you call a right fit call. You’ve alluded to that already. But just give me briefly what happens in that call.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:24:14] Yeah, so it’s four steps. So the first step is the right fit call. 20 minutes. We get on the phone, we figure out based off that conversation, I can tell relatively quickly if business ownership is the right fit. We talk about the options of franchise versus non franchise, and if we mutually agree to continue the conversation, that that goes into step two. So we mutually agree. That’s a key word. There can’t work with everyone. Some people just aren’t a good fit. As someone that’s really hungry, that has no money, it’s going to be difficult to invest in a franchise. So if that’s the case, maybe we put together a plan. I more than glad to make an introduction to a funding company or a financial advisor, and they can continue the conversation there.

Henry Lopez: [00:25:00] That’s such a good point. But I want to go back to the fit point, because I want to ask you, there is what you what should I look for to find a franchise consultant or broker that is a fit for me.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:25:14] Oh, great. I’m glad you brought that up, so, you know, it’s number one, it’s going to be well, there’s a couple of things, but number one, it’s personality. You know, when I got into this business, you know, I worked so many hours and there’s only so many hours of the day. I want to spend my I never miss a soccer practice or game. So I have my priorities. So I’m limited. Right. Just physically limited to the amount of number of people I can talk to on a weekly basis. So making sure it’s a good fit if the personality fit isn’t there, maybe you want to look elsewhere because it’s someone, for example, a consultant like myself. We’re going to be working together now during the process and after even investing in the franchise. So making sure the personality fit is there. And in my opinion and you know, the way I picked the consultant that I work with years ago was I asked them, I said, have you owned a franchise? And because many people owning eight, owning a business or a franchise is not a requirement for to become a franchise consultant. And I would say it’s very difficult to talk about business ownership with all the training experience you have if you’ve never owned it. I mean, the emotional rollercoaster involved the not receiving a paycheck the first month, that kind of thing. That’s hard to learn. I didn’t learn that in my MBA program and I was told that. But being told that and setting the expectation versus going through it are two different things. So personality and, you know, a resume showing what the consultant has accomplished, including obviously owning a franchise I think is a major plus.

Henry Lopez: [00:26:51] Yeah, yeah, I agree. Listen, I think it may seem obvious, but at this point, the first point about a personality match, that’s what I always recommend to people, whether you’re looking for an attorney, a CPA, a franchise broker, a commercial broker, if the personality is there’s not a match there. Listen, this is one of the reasons, as you articulated, why we get into business is to have some control as to who we work with. And you’re going to go on a journey here with this person that’s got to be somebody you enjoy talking to at a minimum.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:27:20] Yeah, that’s we’re not asking for much. Right. I just it’s really I mean, we talk about time, freedom, financial freedom and freedom of who we can work with. That’s right. And that that’s with the franchise, the vendors, the franchisees, the candidates we work with. Absolutely. Someone that doesn’t call me back, someone that is rude on the phone. Why would I want to work with that person? So and same goes for the consultant. You know, if the consultant is rude, then there’s other consultant. There’s other people that do what I do. Yeah.

Henry Lopez: [00:27:48] All right. I’m going to expedite it here because of the lack of time at a high level. The second step in the process is you then work with your client to help and identify their personal goals and the characteristics of what they’re looking for. We’ve touched on that already, like the role that you want to play, the skill sets that you can leverage a lot that goes into that. I don’t mean to trivialize that. But then you move on to you then with that information, narrow it down to a small selection of franchises to begin to vet maybe two to three, something like that, once you get to that step, right?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:28:22] Correct. Yeah, I create a model for them what their ideal business looks like. We look at tour, I talk to multiple companies, but we narrow it down to two or three, which we present to them at step three. And the fourth step is helping them through the process, making the introductions to the franchise companies, since that’s kind of not necessary, the handoff. But it’s more of just an introduction where we introduced the franchise. They start their, you know, their first calls, the I call it the interview, first interview calls. They get the information from the franchise companies and I coach them to find out progress. Are they asking the right questions? You know, what kind of feedback? What are your feelings on it? And we continue that process until they narrow it down to one that they ultimately invest in.

Henry Lopez: [00:29:09] One of the key things that happens there is you get the franchise disclosure document. I am amazed, Giuseppe, but I know you’re not. I’d have many people I talked to about a franchise and have barely perused their FTD. This is after they already signed, right? Yeah. That’s one of the things I love about your book, is you walk through it step by step through all of the sections that have to be there by law, right?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:29:31] Yeah. And they all read the same. They also is not this is not there’s some legal jargon, but it’s written in a way for the average person to read it. You know, franchising is regulated by the FTC. It’s a boring read. Yes. It’ll give you a lot of information. But yes, I encourage you to read every single page and take it a step further. If you’re comfortable, great. But if not, hire a franchise, specifically a franchise attorney to review it. Don’t expect to make changes on that document. But when they say red line, just maybe bring some items to your attention so that you can maybe ask those questions to the franchise company directly.

Henry Lopez: [00:30:11] Yeah, I think that’s critical at. I always advise my clients to hire an attorney, like you said, don’t be delusional and think you’re going to negotiate the FTD or that. Right. More specifically, the franchise agreement, but you hit on it. What it does is that an attorney will interpret for you and say, here’s what you’re agreeing to. So go into it with eyes wide open and understand what it is that you can and can’t do and what you’re committing to. That’s why it’s so important. Now, one thing that does frustrate me, though, on the FTD is item 19, and you talk about this in the book, some franchise laws provide or share performance representations and others don’t. Right.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:30:49] Yeah. And, you know, and I don’t I don’t know the the true reason I know in some cases, because obviously it’s in the document, there’s it’s not a guarantee. It’s just the rain. So what I say is this. I just recently work with a franchisor and they remove the item 19 because they made some significant changes due to covid to their business model. And I get it. So certain things were some changes, some of it. What’s new as the company pivoted, ultimately, you know, these are just ranges. Sometimes it’s an average across the system. Sometimes it’s the average rookie, first year average, three year average, five year, et cetera, et cetera. So every company does it slightly different. What’s more most important is speaking with franchisees, but not just any franchisee speaking with franchisees across the country that may be running the business as you would be running it. So what do I mean by that? Speaking and validating with franchisees that, for example, are running it as a semi absentee, so asking the franchisor, who can I contact that has their full time job that’s been running it part time for the past a year or so that I can speak with? Because, you know, there may be a little bit slower growth if you’re doing it all yourself.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:32:06] There may be additional expense if you hired a general manager, but you may want to validate and speak with those people and prioritize the people you speak with, to those that are running it the way you feel like you’re going to be running it. So if the represent the item nineteens that in there, it’s not that big of a deal, you’re going to be speaking with the franchisees and asking them, hey, you know, what did you make your first year? Is the item seven, is the investment range accurate? And if it is, can I make 20 percent margins? And, you know, they’re not guaranteeing anything. They’re just telling you what they made in their business. You’ll get a good idea after speaking with you five, six, however many number of franchisees to the point, you know, when you’re comfortable with their answers, you can kind of average maybe the numbers that you were given.

Henry Lopez: [00:32:53] Yeah, fair enough. It’s another thing that just amazes me, Giuseppe, is how many people did not do that level of due diligence? And do you think it’s I mean, a good franchise, obviously a good franchise or I think encourages that. And of course, you’re working with a broker like you. You’re going to require that. But do you think sometimes people just are maybe don’t know that they can ask for that access just to speaking with existing franchisees?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:33:18] Yeah. I mean, if you’ve never if you’re doing it on your own and the franchisor doesn’t offer it. Yeah. They, they you don’t know what you don’t know. So maybe they feel like they’re off limits. I mean, the FDD lists the existing franchisees in the system. You know, they’ll list off.

Henry Lopez: [00:33:34] They have to list them all in

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:33:35] Their right, existing and former French. So yeah. So someone maybe that’s doing it on their own may not know and may not know. So most of the companies I work with after receiving the Ph.D., doing an economics call and looking at a number of territories available to get you to, you know, to where you want to be financially, that’s when they they’ll set up sometimes group calls. And that’s been a trend where, you know, maybe a couple of franchisees go and speak with a group of franchise candidates, because what’s happening is due to the popularity of franchising, a lot of these franchisees are getting calls daily to validate. And it’s just becoming you know, it’s a lot, right? You have a business to run. So they’re doing these live calls where everyone can’t because guess what? The questions we have nine out of nine out of ten of the kids are going to be the same anyway. So it’s the same question. So they’re doing group calls to really take advantage of the time. So to franchisees on for maybe an hour and now they’re talking to ten prospective franchisees and it just makes everyone’s life a lot easier.

Henry Lopez: [00:34:40] Yeah. Mixes and also you get to hear what other people will ask it. You may not to think about asking. So it works very well, I think both ways.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:34:47] Correct. And other and others took it a step further or other franchise where they said, you know what, I’m going to record two or three of these episodes. So you do one live. So now you’ve essentially validated with ten franchisees because you have these recordings, plus the live call that you were on. So it’s great. And that’s the advantage you have of being in a franchise and ask away and ask the questions. And the franchisees, they will answer those questions. Because they were in the same spot you are in several years ago, of course.

Henry Lopez: [00:35:16] And they’re also have a vested interest in making sure that the new franchises are going to be successful. And it’s the right that you make the decision for all the right reasons, hopefully, correct?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:35:25] Absolutely. Yeah. You’re an extension of the brand. That’s right. Potentially each franchise owner, you may do a joint agreement, a partnership. If they’re your territories, touch. And guess what? If your territories do touch that person that you may be working with today, maybe your future buyer. And that happens. That happens very, very often where your neighbor ends up buying you out. So it’s a great advantage to have.

Henry Lopez: [00:35:48] All right. As we get to wrap it up, what’s hot? What’s you know, what’s what are some of the trends that you can share in franchising that’s going on today?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:35:58] Yeah, so, I mean, a lot in franchising doesn’t change because it’s all about sustaining, you know, the sustainable businesses. And if the market’s up or down, if the economy’s doing well or not. So a lot doesn’t change what we see as far as that has done. Well, but that’s going to do even better is franchises around coaching, coaching small businesses specifically and how to pivot and change their business model. There’s even franchises that will just do they’ll just come in to reduce your expenses, which is big because obviously and do it for you where there’s no fee and they’ll just kind of split the savings with you. You know, these are businesses that have gone, have grown and have done well because there’s an extreme need for that. And on the flip side, I see businesses around home services. Right? People have been stuck at home. The pandemic isn’t over. We’re getting vaccines, but people have definitely utilize their homes. They’re working from home. So, you know, they’re using the yards more. So there are family of brands that offer multiple services, such as mosquito spraying, so you can take back control of your yard. We even have companies that will come in and build out your own custom home office, you know, maybe grabbing some room from your garage or basement or an exterior building or converting a shed. So home based services, just because we’re spending a lot of time at home, we’ve been seeing quite a bit of that. So home base business coaching, helping the, you know, the small business get around. There are two areas that have done extremely well.

Henry Lopez: [00:37:34] Interesting. Thanks for sharing that. We’ve touched on it, but summarize for us the services that you offer in. And I think you’ve got a couple of things for our listeners as well to take advantage of.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:37:44] Yes, the service is really simple. So we essentially help individuals, corporate execs figure out if business ownership is the right fit for them and then take the next step and if it’s franchising or non franchising. And we work with you to find out what’s best for you, not what’s hot, not what’s everyone else is doing, but specifically what your ideal business looks like. We craft the model. We find two or three great companies that match that model and we put you in direct contact where it’s to the point you get a call within twenty four, twenty four to 48 hours, you get a contact from the franchise company reaching out to set up that answer call. I do that you can. It’s a free service. We are paid directly from the franchise companies. I tell everyone if they’re not at the stage where they’re ready for a conversation, as I invite everyone on the call to to give me a call and to set up that intro, they can download my free book. I just bought a new domain here, my franchise roadmap dotcom. And you can pick up a copy of my new book franchise Freedom. You can also go on that same link and listen in on. We have about 50 plus podcasts uploaded to to our website and we also have a twenty minute webinar presentation so that if you don’t have time, if you’re not a reader or don’t have time to read the book, which is a pretty short read, you can watch that webinar, which covers a lot of the same information that’s in the book. So three great ways to if you’re not ready for that, call me the podcast, webinar, the book. But when you are ready, even if it’s a question, you shoot me an email, go to my franchise roadmap dot com. You can get on my calendar, shoot me an email, give me a call. I’m here and I answer, as I mentioned, all my calls and emails.

Henry Lopez: [00:39:32] Great. In the book again is called Franchise Freedom A New Manifesto for Your Financial and Time Freedom. In addition to your book, is there a book that you would recommend?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:39:41] Yes, it’s actually I used to recommend the same books, but someone introduced me to Dan Sullivan from Action Coach, and the book is called Who Not How. And the premise of the book is essentially, you know, you know, obviously you need to know how to fix things and how you’re going to go about running your business. But the better question in some cases is the who can help me get to my goals much quicker than me trying to figure out the how and going online. So that would be a perfect example. It will be Henry Lopez yourself on helping you in your current business. I would also be a who in helping you kind of expedite the process to to figure out if if just let alone franchise ownership in general is the right fit but who not how to. I think it was ninety nine cents around Christmas time on Amazon, on the Kindle version. Great. Really quick read and then just really just talks about who you know and who can get you to the next stage in life.

Henry Lopez: [00:40:39] Yeah, great recommendation. A big fan of Dan Sullivan’s. We talk about him all the time on this show. I think that the WHO can also apply to a franchise. Right? That’s who can help you get into business ownership without you needing even necessarily any kind of expertise as far as the what the business delivers necessarily, correct. Yeah, they play that role of the WHO as well as it can help you get there.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:41:03] Correct. It’s finding the right. The right who. That’s exactly.

Henry Lopez: [00:41:08] All right. Very good. Great stuff. What’s one thing you want us to take away from this conversation we’ve had about franchising?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:41:15] One thing is I level the playing field. So put it put aside the opinions, what you read, what Uncle Ted said at Thanksgiving dinner. Franchises don’t cost millions of dollars. They’re not all built the same. I would just you know, if you have just a mere interest in owning a business, give me a call, go to the website. You know, check out the book. It’s literally the book is a forty, forty five minute read. Take that next step. You know, stop surfing the web and get gathering more information. That’s very difficult to apply. I give you an action strategy to figure it out on your own. And you know why not? You know, why go it alone? Why not use a consultant like myself? But in the event you want to try it yourself, follow the steps of the book. It’s a free download. It’s four ninety nine on Amazon if you if you want a hard copy. But you know, if you have that interest, don’t put the opinions aside and go for it. You know, give it, give it a shot. At least look into it, speak with some people because you know, the worst thing you can have in life are regrets. And I talked to a lot of people much older than me that regret not even looking into business ownership because they felt like they can lose everything and they got just you got a little too emotional about it.

Henry Lopez: [00:42:27] Yeah. And by that same point, it’s never not necessarily too late. So I feel I found people making that transition at all types of ages, young and middle age older. It’s a matter of when you’re ready. So it’s never too late necessarily, correct?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:42:43] I absolutely agree. And some people, they build a legacy, right? They buy the franchise. Maybe they they’re older. They have five years till retirement. They’ve been laid off starting a business. And this is something they can leave as a legacy passed on to their children, their grandchildren and start the start the well start the freedom. Right. Start them off on the right foot.

Henry Lopez: [00:43:04] Yeah. One of the key takeaways for me is that the whole point of how to look for the right fit by looking at the role and understanding and be honest about the role that you want to play. That’s how we got into the conversation about semi absentee or you’re going to be in the business. But then also the skill set and understanding that when we say skill set, we’re talking about things like are you good with managing and leading people? Not Do you know how to kill mosquitoes? The franchise will teach you that. But what skill set do you have in using that approach to begin to narrow down the field of what might be a good fit for you?

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:43:38] Yes, that’s a very, very good point, right. The franchise will train you. You don’t need experience a mosquito spraying. But yes, you know, now that I’m glad you brought that up,

Henry Lopez: [00:43:48] I tell us again where you want us to go online to learn more.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:43:50] So go to my franchise roadmap dotcom and you’ll have access. All the info can set up your initial call with me or just give me a call. My number’s right on the website and I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Henry Lopez: [00:44:03] Just a great conversation. Thanks for all of the insights and helping us understand franchising even more than I did before coming into it. So I appreciate you taking the time to be with me today and sharing.

Giuseppe Grammatico: [00:44:14] Henry was a pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.

Henry Lopez: [00:44:17] This is Henry Lopez, thanks for listening and joining me on this episode of The How a Business. My guest today again was Giuseppe Grammatico. We released new episodes every Monday morning and you can find us on Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, and at our website, www.thehowofbusiness.com. Thanks for listening.

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