As the President and Co-Founder of Rhino7 along with his partner, Chief Executive Officer Doug Schadle, John Cohen brings a wealth of knowledge about entrepreneurship and the franchise sector to this unique business. Rhino7 was founded 1999 to help clients by providing full-service training, system integration, and excellent customer service for both franchisees and franchisors. Today, the company works with four very diverse brands (All About People, Storm Guard Restoration, Scout & Molly’s and Diesel Barbershops) and are constantly looking for new opportunities.
The Right Place at the Right Time
Cohen and Schadle had been working in hotel franchise sales for years when an opportunity dropped into their laps to help a major franchise.
“It was actually just the right place and the right time,” Cohen remembers. “An opportunity presented itself for us to help out an area developer in the DC/Pennsylvania area with Great Clips. Before we knew it, we were making more money moonlighting than we were working in the hotel industry. It got to the point that we left our day jobs and started Rhino7.”
A Business In and Of Itself
“Most people that start a business, regardless of the product or service, have gotten pretty good at the skills necessary to execute that service or deliver that widget,” Cohen says. “What they don’t realize is that they can take that recipe and replicate it. But it takes a whole separate business model and skill set to systematize it and create methods to teach others to achieve the same result. Franchising is the business of teaching people how to execute someone else’s vision. But reproducing and systematizing a business is just the start. Then you have to be able to successfully execute that vision or recruit individuals and teach them how to successfully execute that model.”
The Secret Formula
Asked what he loves about a business he’s managed for nearly 20 years, Cohen is both philosophical and authentic in his response.
“I love to see a young, emerging business or franchise be able to execute that franchise side of the business,” he says. “That’s the trick. It’s the secret formula for longevity, but it’s a pretty complicated equation to work out. A lot of my job is helping franchisors come up with methods to create systems and training processes and business plans and accountability programs so we can start getting the types of predictable results that we needed in order to sell the franchises in the first place. That’s the part that I’ve enjoyed doing the most.”
No Typical Days
Cohen works out of his home near the picturesque coast of North Carolina and deeply enjoys the diversity of his role at Rhino7.
“No days are typical, because you just never know what you’re going to be dealing with,” he says. “It’s pretty easy for me to blow off steam because it’s as easy as jumping in the car and taking a walk on the beach. I’m also a passionate offshore fisherman and my Yorkie keeps me company, so those are pretty good outlets.”
About Rhino7’s opportunities for clients on both sides of the franchise business, Cohen remains unflaggingly optimistic.
“If someone has the financial means, the drive, and the tenacity, the likelihood is high that the sky’s the limit,” he says. “If you’re willing to listen, to learn, and to follow the system, there’s really no better opportunity than franchising.”