Franchise Development

By Vince Ortiz, Transblue

How Transblue, a Seattle-based premier outdoor project management company, opened 13 new franchises during the pandemic and is continuing to grow nationwide.

If you are just starting to franchise your business, there are many things to consider — how do I begin, how can I best support our franchise partners, what’s our competitive edge in the marketplace?

As someone who has over 20 years of experience owning and managing businesses, these questions ignite inspiration. I pride myself in being able to counsel people who are considering a franchise model and have had the unique opportunity to help grow a brand through franchising.

For emerging franchisors that are searching for the best growth strategies, here are three foundational pieces of advice to consider:

1. Lay Down a Strong Foundation

Some franchisors may think that establishing your business as a franchise is the first step. However, it’s my personal belief that building a solid foundation for franchisees — before you even promote the franchise opportunity — is key to attracting qualified candidates, maximizing growth and achieving the success that you truly want to see with your business. The best thing you can do for both franchisees and your brand is to invest in your processes and systems early on and build on that momentum from there.

What makes the Transblue franchise unique is the fact that we took time to develop our system with 120+ years of combined industry experience in the making and solidified our inner processes and technology about a year and a half in advance before launching our franchise opportunity. So those first steps that you take as you’re starting out are crucial, and have the power to make all the difference when presenting the franchise opportunity to potential leads and begin expanding.

By being hands-on and having a passion for developing effective franchisor-franchisee relationships, you are bound to result in teams that consistently exceed metrics and will help your brand grow at a tremendous pace.

2. Place Emphasis on Support, Then Add More Support 

One of the most helpful things you can do to grow your business further is to simply listen to the needs of your franchisees and adjust your systems and processes based on what will help them develop into the owner they want to be. Doing so will significantly benefit their professional growth while setting them up for success.

Throughout the pandemic, we awarded and trained only four franchises, paused our advertising and lead generation efforts and focused solely on support. It’s all about learning to roll with the punches and always trying to learn and improve. We also have weekly touch-base calls with our leadership team, founder Dave Wescott and all of our franchisees, which provides a time for us to connect and see how we can provide assistance or advice when it’s needed.

With 100 percent franchisee satisfaction at the core of our franchise model, we prioritize innovative operations and added resources such as call and appointment centers, design and drafting teams, estimating review guidance and additional vendor partners to the mix as well so that our franchisees can focus on what’s most important — managing their business.

3. Make the Switch to 100 Percent Franchise-Owned

I know it is common to sell franchises, but taking the approach of awarding them is a great way to do business. In fact, it’s where I think the future of franchising should be heading. It is in your franchisees’ best interest, which will in turn make it in yours as well. Put yourself in their place and try to understand everything they are doing and what all goes into investing in a franchise, and reward them for taking the step by giving them the full ownership that they rightfully deserve.

After three years of being in franchising, I’m proud to say that Transblue has achieved 100 percent franchise-owned locations, which I believe is one of the leading components that has allowed Transblue to achieve such rapid growth both at the national scale and in our headquartered state of Washington.

By being hands-on and having a passion for developing effective franchisor-franchisee relationships, you are bound to result in teams that consistently exceed metrics and will help your brand grow at a tremendous pace.

Sometimes life is about stepping out of your comfort zone to do and build something incredible while helping others in the process. I have been fortunate enough to be able to do just that and more than I could have imagined since Transblue began franchising in 2019, and I look forward to what’s to come.

Vince Ortiz is the director of franchise development for Transblue, developing an awareness and passion for how franchising can change individuals’ lives and how it plays a crucial role in the U.S. business environment. For more information and franchise opportunities for International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member Transblue, visit franchise-opportunities/transblue-franchise-company.