On Today's episode, we have Lance Graulich; the CEO and Founder of ION Franchising., a company committed to helping companies promote, grow, and scale their brands. Lance Graulich has grown his company up to a stage where both his friends and colleagues see it as a respectable outfit. ION has performed so well in their niche that they now consult for private equity groups.
Growing in an entrepreneurial family in New York, with his father working as a wall street executive, Graulich has always wanted to be in the business world. He had wanted to be like his father and work in wall street as well, but he had a problem, he didn’t want to live in New York. Lance had tried his hands on different businesses before he founded his company. He had worked with his uncle and helped him grow his TGI Fridays restaurant business from just four locations to 65 in five years, with over $200 million in profit annually. This business was where he gathered all the knowledge he needed in starting his company.
Prior to starting his company, Lance met with several professionals in the industry, one of many being Josh Brown, a known name in the industry. Even after representing over 600 brands, ION believe that they are not meant to represent just about every product. Some of these products include (what Lance prefers calling) the “big box restaurants,” and sometimes real estate, but very keen with brands like home restoration brands.
Lance see different types of client who come with different types of products: those with fantastic features and often comes with incentives, potentially reducing franchise fees to get people involved in their business. And some that come with waiving royalties. Again, some other products have incentives that come reasonably regularly to encourage people to get involved.
14% of products in the company’s care are owned by veterans including people of colour and military veterans. Lance, through his company, designed an investment package where veterans (both active and none active) can invest, and it is an entirely passive business venture. Its major commodity is something everybody needs, so the profitability is guaranteed, and some of the essential commodities are vet-related.
Those personal Challenges, and how a Company like ION deals with Clients with Ergophobia
Often, their major clients are military folks, who are not mostly given the luxury of learning the fundamental investment during their training. Even Lance agrees that his kind of business has more obstacles compared to other niches, so most of the time these prospective investors tend to be scared of coming in, owing to their lack of investment knowledge. But ION is about giving people the brand they are excited about; the company does go through some scrutiny before accepting a brand, these processes include taking a tour of the said facility, meeting with the leadership team, after which talks for the franchise can commence officially.
Lance had his difficulties, especially while starting the business. At first, his wife thought he was crazy, leaving his job, later it translated into pestering questions like how much do you make? Would you do this over again? E.t.c. But the truth remains; you achieve whatever your mind is set at. Lance has lived to see people who have risen from not having a clue of how a product works, to making millions out of that same venture. He has got dozens of stories related to that. He believes that you don’t have to know everything about a product before you venture into it; all you need to do is to hire the right people to help you out.
Experience on the Job
Lance has had a lot of experience in this business, he has worked with both newbies in entrepreneurship, and with people, he preferred calling “corporate refugees.” The later will always want to make a move, probably because they were either persuaded by retirement, COVID-19 or seeking to have an early retirement. So, they find these opportunities and decide to jump in without any prior knowledge of investment. Well, to the company, it is a good thing, because all they need do is to think of them. They go to the company website where a free assessment is published.
The assessment published on the company website appears to be more scientific, and geared towards helping everyone make a decision based on their mindset, and skills. Despite how the company has simplified this process, some people still prefer to meet with Lance one on one, and according to Lance, “they do ask some awful questions just to understand how the investment level.”
Finally, you have to understand that Lance’s knowledge and hard work are what has kept his company moving. As we all know, some industries are easier to invest in than others, but usually, it all has to do with the 25% SBA down payment.
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