Been There, Done ThatJames Tillman and Joseph Hulston, as well as Richard and Katie Vance, have all brought big-name businesses to southwest Missouri. Read on for their tips on investing in your own franchise.
Look to Trends. James Tillman, who owns and invests in multiple 417-land businesses and brought First Watch to Springfield along with his partner, Joseph Hulston, says to think about trends when you’re thinking about investments. “First Watch offers items that are fresh and healthy,” Tillman says. “It’s liked by everyone from senior citizens to millennials.”
Locate with Purpose. When you’re looking to locate, be selective. “Do not pick a bargain back-row beauty,” Tillman says. “It’s all about location. Signalized intersections with a strong traffic count is what you’re looking for.” Richard and Katie Vance, who offer consulting services with their company, Southern Solutions Consulting, agree. “What we boil it down to is location with gut,” Richard says.
Know Your Market. Will people in your city be interested in purchasing your product? If you’re serving food, will they drive where you are to eat what you offer? “You have to know what the town wants, and where it needs to go,” Katie says. “A lot of times, places that fail in Springfield are opened by people coming in from out of town.”
Do Your Research. If you’re going to buy a franchise, make sure it’s a viable one that is going to support you. You’re buying a system. “If you follow this system, you don’t have to recreate the wheel,” Richard says. “You just have to enhance the wheel and make sure it’s turning in that particular town.”
Prepare to work. Hard. No business will be successful without a lot of hard work. “As an owner, you will do what no one else wants to do,” Tillman says. “It’s a big commitment to open a franchise, and success doesn’t happen overnight.”
These experts can help you increase your company's growth game.
Pros to Know
When you’re ready to expand your business, Wendy Swope is ready to help you. With her company, Lakeland Marketing, Swope helps clients price merchandise and products, develop menu items, create custom products and more. Swope’s experience includes work with Bass Pro Shops, Big Cedar Lodge, Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar and Bair’s Sports Grill.
Contact: Wendy Swope, 417-425-7294, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Foster and his associates—two trusty part-time staffers and multiple on-demand sources—work together to help make big things happen for businesses that want to make it big. Foster & Associates helps clients with a variety of needs, including sales and profitability improvement, menu overhauls, process development, staff training and more. There are many local companies in Foster’s portfolio, including Andy’s Frozen Custard, Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Café and Hilton Garden Inn.
Contact: David Foster, 417-849-1903, email@example.com
Newk’s Eatery. TCBY. Quiznos. Mrs. Fields. Old Chicago. These big-name companies all have one thing in common: They’ve worked with Franchise Dynamics to help their strategic franchise development. The company is headquartered in the Chicago suburbs, but Franchise Dynamics has an operations center in Springfield. Company President and Chief Development Officer Charles Dobyns says it helps brands that specialize in 25 or more franchise locations.
Contact: Charles Dobyns, 417-425-7350, firstname.lastname@example.org