Finding the Right Franchise Fit
How Fibrenew Has Grown to Over 275 Global Locations
We recently caught up with Fibrenew’s Director of Franchise Development, Bob Johnston. Bob joined the Fibrenew family in 2012, and he knows which qualities make a great prospective franchisee. As he tells it, finding the right fit has a lot do to with aligned values–namely honesty, and integrity. Fibrenew’s transparency is a big part of why we’re in the top 15% of Franchise Business Review’s 2021 Top 200 Franchise list. Of course, there’s a bit more to the story. Here’s how we help would-be owners decide to invest in a lifestyle franchise like Fibrenew.
Finding the right fit starts with scheduling a phone call with Bob Johnston, Matt Woodcock or Jamie Myles of the development team to learn a bit more about each other, including why you’re considering a franchise. We hear from people with a variety of motivations, from a recent layoff to a desire to be more self-reliant, i.e. ready to be your own boss. Once you’ve had a chance to ask questions, and you’re interested in continuing the conversation, Bob, Matt and Jamie will dig a little deeper to confirm you possess, what he refers to as “5 Essential Qualities”.
5 Essential Qualities of a Fibrenew Franchise Owner
Trait #1: A Tetrachromat
“Tetra-who?” – don’t let the term throw you off, it’s just the technical term for having complete color vision. A significant part of our mobile repair business involves working with color and color-matching, so being color-blind is one of the few things that might stand in your way of being a successful Fibrenew franchise owner.
Trait #2: Handy
Do you enjoy working with your hands? This is a great role if you like rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty on the occasional DIY project or light repair job. Keep in mind you don’t need technical know-how to do our repairs just yet – that’s what we’re here to teach you about.
Trait #3: Trainable & Coachable
Be open to training and certified coaching. We’ve been fine-tuning our processes since 1987. So while you will certainly bring your own personality and strengths to franchise ownership, please respect that we have a proven business model – reinvention of the wheel is not necessary.
Trait #4: In Shape
Doing repair work is going to require some bending and lifting. You don’t need to be a top athlete, but you do need to be in reasonable physical condition, as opposed to having chronic arthritis in your hands, or nagging knee or back issues.
Trait #5: People Person
According to Bob, the most important quality is being a people person. As he explains, you need to be somebody who “isn’t afraid to introduce yourself, shake hands and go right to showing [before & after] pictures. When people see these pictures, their first words usually are ‘You can do that?’ ” Yes, we certainly can!
Our franchise owners come from all walks of life, ranging from former engineers who find the repair technology fascinating to former teachers, mechanics, or folks who have been downsized from a corporate job. More and more people want to avoid the worry of looming layoffs and are ready to take control of their own situation. Commonly, it comes down to a matter of work-life balance, and the ability to put family first.
Official Presentation and Franchise Validation
Once it’s clear that you meet the key criteria, it’s time to move forward with the official presentation. It’s designed especially to help you figure out if Fibrenew is the right fit, not just for you, but your family and/or partner too. We always include spouses in these meetings, because owning a franchise is a major decision. Bob elaborates “we want them to be involved so they have a chance to see and hear everything, just like on the first call.”
At this stage, ownership becomes even more exciting and tangible. You’ll get a map of your (exclusive) Fibrenew territory, as well as the opportunity to phone anybody in the franchise system and inquire about their experience. We expect you to take a week or two to complete a minimum of seven to ten calls.
A Day in the Life
We have a dozen franchise owners we work with to provide a “day in the life” of a franchisee. You’ll go along and ride with them for a whole day. It’s a great chance to ask questions, be hands-on, and generally experience what a typical day is all about.
A few days after your ride-day, it’s time for Bob to follow up and get your feedback. Approximately 95% of interested candidates will be approved. According to him, the three most common things he hears after a ride-day sound like this:
“My gosh, Bob. The transformation was unbelievable. It’s like watching magic.”
“You know, I thought maybe it would be a little more difficult to do, but after I did it, and they explained to me about certain techniques, it wasn’t hard at all.”
“You should have seen the look on the customer’s’ face…at the end of the day we talked about money, and they showed me what they made. The money was pretty interesting!”
“Compared with other service-based businesses, whether it’s window cleaning, residential fire restoration, or anything in between we always seem to come out ahead, and I think the reason is the flexibility of the lifestyle.” – Bob Johnston, Director of Franchise Development
Our franchise owners typically work Monday through Friday. If you want to work on a weekend, you go right ahead, because the money is good–but it’s always your choice. You don’t get phone calls in the middle of the night. When your day is done, your day is done. Phone calls go right to your voicemail, and the next morning you address the calls that have come in. Another key distinction is you don’t have typical overhead. No brick and mortar expenses and you only add employees when you want to.
Flat Rate Royalty Franchising
Finally, when stacked against other franchise concepts, our flat-rate royalty is a major win. You start with a six-month grace period to help you get your footing. With most franchises, you will pay a 7-10% royalty, immediately. Similarly, many other franchise-based businesses have national marketing fees, based on 1-2% of gross sales. Not with Fibrenew. Our flat-rate royalty is locked in. It goes up slightly after two years, along with a product fee, and we think that’s pretty reasonable. We’ve developed over 200 proprietary products, all of which have been independently tested for safety and effectiveness. The products you’re using are safe AND divert a tremendous amount of landfill waste, so you can also be proud of joining an environmentally conscientious company.
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