Brian Felderstein explains how Business Alliance, Inc. helps entrepreneurs become the best trained franchise brokers in the industry
For the past 20 years, franchise industry expert Brian Felderstein has been helping people run their own franchise brokering businesses by joining Business Alliance, Inc. (BAI).
The current economy and job market make now a great time to be a franchise broker with BAI as there’s a great need. When the economy is good, our business is great. When the economy is bad, our business is fantastic!
“People are going to need the security of being in business for themselves because job insecurity is worsening,” Felderstein says. “Companies are under tremendous pressure to make sure they are profitable, and the larger corporations have stockholders to answer to. Because of that, employees have become commodities.” On top, businesses are closing, and owners of these businesses need a low cost business to get into that will utilize their business building experience.
The business world is changing, and some professionals in traditional careers, such as financial planning and insurance, find themselves looking for a change. Franchising is an attractive option. “That is the beauty of franchising,” Felderstein says.
Felderstein talks about why it’s a great time to join BAI as a franchise broker, the advantages of working for yourself, and how BAI supports its franchise consultants and sets them up for success.
Can you explain what Business Alliance, Inc. is and what makes it the premiere franchise broker?
We are a 30-year-old franchise consulting firm, and the oldest and most respected in the industry. BAI supports approximately 220 consultants we’ve handpicked from people who have contacted us to work with us. We train them, support them, mentor them, and offer them the best franchises vetted in the industry to represent.
Our training, recruiting, and support make us the premier company in the industry. Obviously, it all starts with recruiting. We don’t take just anybody who wants to be a franchise broker. We typically look for people with a very strong consulting, corporate, or business ownership background. Then, we train them over a period of years through various methods: round tables, internet training, face-to-face via work with franchisors, as well as ongoing certifications, conventions, and sales training. Then, they’re mentored by professionals in the industry with Business Alliance. We always hear from franchises that of all the franchise brokerage organizations, we are their favorite because we are the highest producing, easiest to work with, and best trained.
What does a franchise consultant do?
We’re almost like executive recruiters for the franchise industry. Franchises don’t want failure, and they don’t want people who aren’t going to be successful for a couple reasons. Number one, if they have a problem with franchisees who are not making money or don’t have the business acumen to be successful, that person is going to be a problem. Number two, if that person fails, it would make it very difficult for them to sell franchises in the future.
So, they hire us to find the perfect candidate for their particular franchise. And XYZ franchise says to Business Alliance we want this background, this experience, and so forth. We go out and find that person through leads and other marketing, recommend them to the franchisor, and work them through the process so the franchise gets an excellent candidate. Then, they pay us a finder’s fee.
Who makes a great franchise consultant, and what kind of person do you recruit?
There is no one size fits all in the franchise broker world. Ideally, I love people who come from a business ownership background because they already have the mentality of a business owner. Not because of the successes, but because the failures make a person knowledgeable on businesses. If you’ve had troubles in business, you know what to avoid in the future. So I love a business person who has been in business for a while and has been beat up. I love executives who have run businesses for corporations, business development people, and people responsible for bringing new business in. Anyone with a background in building a business and building revenue usually makes a great franchise broker.
What kind of franchise systems does BAI work with?
There are literally thousands of franchise brands, and they come in all shapes and sizes. You can have everything from retail to food-related to B2B to B2C to consumer-based. One that is very hot today is home-based franchises, anything somebody can do with limited employees and from their house. There are repair franchises, business consulting franchises, advertising franchises, so really it’s a plethora across the board. Sometimes you’ll get a call from somebody asking for one type of franchise, and they end up buying something 100 percent different because they didn’t even know it existed.
How does BAI help franchise consultants market themselves?
Marketing is the lifeblood for all businesses. There’s not a business in the world that doesn’t rely on new clients coming in. That is the secret sauce to every business. If you don’t have clients, then you don’t have a business.
Fortunately, with franchise brokering, it’s the American dream to be in business for themselves. You want to get a lot of high quality leads. There are different ways to do it. Most people think the only way is by buying them from the major franchise portals. At Business Alliance, we teach you different ways to upgrade your leads, whether it’s through unique marketing, social media, or working your natural market of influence.
After close to 30 years in this business, we feel we’ve perfected our marketing. We have a major training effort we put forth so our affiliates are completely in tune with finding the best candidates. Not just somebody that wants to be a franchisee, but who has the financial ability, the correct motivation, etc. They need to want to be in business for a specific reason…they’ve lost their job, they’ve sold their business. They need to be somebody in the market for a change, and somebody whose whole family is on board. We teach our consultants how to find the right candidate and find as many of them as they want.
What kind of training do you provide?
The training is nonstop. It is not a week of training, and then you’re a franchise broker. Initially, there’s training on the do’s and don’t and using the systems and the leads. But the training afterwards is where the main training is: round tables, mentoring, conventions, and training with individual franchises. Our brokers can call our corporate office and talk to our staff members who will hand hold them and help them find the right franchise. They can offer as much or little support as needed. If they haven’t been in this business before, they need a lot of hand holding, but as time goes on, the amount of help they typically need is less and less.
Why do you think this is a meaningful thing to do with your life?
We’re in some difficult and challenging times. Unemployment is up. Businesses are failing. The atmosphere of business in the world today has caused a lot of turmoil. Whenever that happens, and I’ve been in this business 20 years, so I went through 9/11 and the Great Recession, people have a lot of fear. A lot of it is real. People fear getting laid off, and at a certain age, it is tougher, so they want to start businesses. We hand hold people, we coach them, and we give them opportunities they may not have even known existed.
Ready for a meaningful career?
To learn more about becoming a Registered Franchise Consultant with BAI, simply fill out an inquiry form to start a conversation. We can’t wait to learn more about you!