Client Spotlight: How Griswold Home Care Is Growing Their Brand With Heart
Franchising is a business model that has led millions of small business owners to financial success and career satisfaction.
It’s also a powerful growth strategy for a brand to expand beyond its humble roots into a nationwide or global organization.
But what goes on inside the minds and hearts of candidates during the process of becoming a franchisee? Today’s we are giving you a rare behind the scenes look at what that journey was like for two new franchisees.
Griswold Home Care was the first franchise company in the United States to offer in-home care to seniors and adults with disabilities, illnesses, or injuries. They operate in almost 200 locations across 30 states, touching more than 100,000 families. As the category pioneer, we have a unique position and understanding of the business of compassionate care at a deeper level.
Below we will unpack a few of their insights, along with tips to help you have an experience that’s as successful as theirs.
Make sure your investigation is not a rumination
Franchise investigation can be a lengthy, complex and challenging process. And as it should be. When a small business owner is determining if a franchise opportunity has the components they want, it’s not worth cutting corners. That person has to narrow down their options to the few that match their preferences and skills, and also have the best chance of success.
Let’s hear what Brandon Harrison and Viking Dietrich had to say about this early stage process:
“When we first started our franchise investigation, we knew that we wanted to do something in the service industry. We also knew that we wanted to have a direct impact on our customers. Both of us come from the energy business. We work for big companies and our customers are big companies like banks and pipelines. And we really wanted to change that up and work directly with our clients and customers. We also wanted to make sure that we did something that made a difference. We wanted to give something back, in whatever business that we decided to invest in.”
If you’re going through franchise investigation right now, know this. If you’re doing research and come to the realization that a certain opportunity is not the right fit for your needs, be vocal. Express gratitude for the franchisor’s time, alert them of the misalignment, and move on. It’s best for both parties.
You’re buying the brand, but also the people behind it
People buy people first. Just as you wouldn’t hire someone who you wouldn’t want to work with every day, you wouldn’t join a franchise team with whom you didn’t gel interpersonally. Make sure you feel a sense of connection and psychological safety while talking on the phone and meeting either in person or virtually.
If you’re curious what it feels like to buy the right people behind the right brand, read these insights from the newest Griswold franchisees:
“What we liked about this opportunity was this long history of success and the culture Griswold built over the years. And as we learned more about the home office and got to know some of the other owners, we knew we had an opportunity to join a family rather than just, invest in a business.”
As you're connecting with future team members on your franchise journey, make sure you're buying the people in addition to the product.
If it’s an uphill battle, you might be on the wrong path
Every franchise organization has their own unique way of connecting with potential franchise owners. Some have a fast turnaround time that only lasts a few months, while other companies might take up to a year. But regardless of how long the process is, communication is essential every step of the way. If you’re looking for the franchise that’s most compatible for you, part of the value proposition is the ease with which you exchange before an agreement is signed.
One insight from Brandon Harrison and Viking Dietrich that caught our attention related to the ease of the process:
“Never did we feel any pressure to make a decision. Never did we feel like we were just being sold something. What we found was, Griswold would provide us with the information and we went and did our own homework, and we found that this was a good fit for us. Everybody that we dealt with at Griswold really made the whole process easy. From the very start of first contact all the way through discovery day.”
Are you concerned with investing your energy in the wrong direction? Don't let someone pressure you to move forward if it's not in your best interest.
Make sure discovery day is both educational and transparent
Typically Discovery Day happens at a brand’s headquarters, although digital discovery days have become more common during the pandemic. But either way, you’ll meet everyone you’ve been working with in the process thus far, as well as any other founders and executives. Now, since today’s franchisees seek more transparency than ever before, what’s critical is that you walk into and walk out of Discovery Day feeling a sense of excitement and momentum.
Here’s one last experience from Griswold’s franchisees, who epitomize the kind of energy you want as a potential franchisee:
“Discovery day itself really was the icing on the cake for us. Going into that meeting, we had an idea that this was something that we want to be a part of, given the opportunity. After discovery day, our momentum increased tenfold. This franchise was something we were very excited to be a part of, and still makes us happy to be a part of today.”
Does that describe your discovery day? If not, you might need to look elsewhere.
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Congrats to Griswold Home Care for expanding their franchise family, and for exemplifying what the franchise development can (and should!) look and feel like.
Franchise Mergers and Acquisitions
There are several reasons for franchises to consider acquiring another franchise. It could give them the opportunity to add new products without the risk or cost of developing these offerings internally. It could help the buyer add new markets, geographically or demographically speaking, with an already strong existing brand. Acquiring a franchise supplier or distributor could build efficiency through vertical integration. Acquisitions can also help a franchise develop sufficient scale to compete with a larger rival more effectively.
Capital Formation Strategies For the Growing Franchise
One of the most difficult tasks faced by the leadership team of a growing franchisor is the development and maintenance of an optimal capital structure and access to the resources that the franchisor will need to stay strong and maintain its growth plans. Access to affordable debt and equity capital continues to be a problem for the growing franchisor even though franchising has matured as a viable method of business growth.
Low Cost Franchising - Options for Affordable Franchising
Fortunately, there are numerous excellent low-cost franchise options available, and those options span nearly every industry an entrepreneur could imagine.