Interested in working with Rhino7 and need some questions answered? Get the information straight from the source with this exclusive interview with Rhino7’s co-founder, Doug Schadle.
Q: How did you get involved with franchising?
A: I am actually an industrial engineer by schooling. But I was very fortunate when I got out of college not to land a job right away. That sounds terrible, but I made some wonderful connections and then not long after, I got a shot into marketing hotel franchises and food franchises. I really stumbled into it. So I’ve been in this business about 23 years. It’s wonderful for me because I get to see businesses grow from something you dream of, and they’re successful. It’s fun. It really is.
Q: How did Rhino7 come to be and what expertise do you offer your clients?
A: In 1999, my partner John Cohen and I decided that we would launch Rhino7 Franchise Development Corporation. Now it has become Rhino7 Franchising and so we do a variety of different things. When we first started, we helped franchisors primarily grow their businesses. In other words, we helped them to find and vet franchisees. As we developed more and more, we got into the operational support side where we would help them to be stronger in servicing their franchisees by helping them with systems and policies. We’re still known for growing franchises, but today we’re partners with franchisors and franchisees, and we have Rhino7 franchising. So we are really on all sides: development and operations.
Q: What do you feel is one of the biggest problems that franchises run into?
A: Well, most of the time they come to us because they need to grow and they’re not growing. Very few franchisors would tell you that they are growing at the pace that they would like to. Everybody wants to grow faster. They want to get larger, have more franchisees, have more penetration in the market, and then they can affect more people with their dream and also make more money. For us, we evaluate what the brand is and what we need to do to get it to a point where it would really be a heavy-duty franchisor. It’s an interesting world, franchising.
Q: What is one major hurdle a franchisor should expect to face?
A: It’s probably getting visibility. There’s a quick classification: it’s either a sexy concept, or a non-sexy concept. And basically what I mean by that is people get up in the morning thinking about getting into that (concept’s) arena or industry or they don’t. If people don’t wake up thinking about it, then you have to go educate them that you exist.
Q: How can franchisors attract franchisees?
A: The best way for a franchisor to attract franchisees is to take the franchisees they already have and help make them successful by delivering a very good product or service. Then, customers are believers, and that spreads organically. This is good for validation and franchisees will speak highly of it. For example, let’s say that you’re a franchisor that has a location in Charleston, South Carolina, and somebody comes into your store. They love it, but they’re from Chicago. However, because they had a good experience at that franchisee in Charleston, they want to open one too. Those are always the best type of individuals to work with as franchisees because they already know what you do and what product you offer.