Don Daszkowski of IFPG
Don Daszkowski is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder/CEO of IFPG, the industry’s leading franchise broker network. Through IFPG’s membership-based network, Don helps connect franchise professionals with the ultimate goal of putting hopeful entrepreneurs into successful franchise ownership. Along with his innovative team at IFPG, Don has raised the bar industry-wide in the franchise sales process. Don’s work through IFPG has received many accolades, including being named the top franchise broker network by Entrepreneur Magazine several years in a row.
1. Tell us about IFPG.
The IFPG is a membership-based organization with more than 1,000 Franchisors, Franchise Consultants and Vendors. Together, our members guide aspiring business owners through the process of identifying and investing in franchise businesses. We pride ourself on having a fair and ethical culture that is based on integrity, virtue and collaboration.
2. How and when did you become involved with IFPG?
Before IFPG, I was a business broker and through that role, discovered franchising. I saw the need for more and better technology in the franchise sales process. I knew I could disrupt the industry and raise the bar by offering more value for less. Our competitors were taking a significant sum from Franchise Consultant’s earnings. To me, that was the wrong way to do business. In 2012, I launched IFPG with a goal to create a fair and ethical culture. As Consultants grow their businesses, they shouldn't be penalized, but incentivized. That’s exactly what we do.
3. What was your background prior to joining IFPG?
I started in franchising in 2006 when I founded Business Mart, Inc. It became one of the fastest-growing small business and franchise search engines and was later acquired by a publicly-traded company. Prior to founding Business Mart, I worked at many top marketing agencies in New York City servicing Fortune 500 Companies such as Sony, Dell and Procter & Gamble. I also worked as a licensed commercial real estate agent, a business broker, and a technology advisor.
4. What is the role of a Franchise Consultant?
Franchise Consultants are pivotal players in the industry. They are one-part counselors and one-part business brokers. They help people who are considering franchise ownership. With the candidate’s best interests in mind, IFPG Franchise Consultants guide candidates through the selection, evaluation, and the buying process. Once a candidate decides on a brand, Consultants work hand-in-hand with the franchisor to ensure a smooth transition.
5. What are some of the advantages to a career as a Franchise Consultant?
Where do I start? Franchise Consultants have the best of both worlds. A lucrative career with an ideal work-life balance. They can work from anywhere and set their own schedules. Franchise Consulting offers work with meaning. It is truly a feel-good business. Consultants get to help people take control of their lives through franchise ownership and literally change lives for the better.
6. Why do franchisors use brokers?
Franchise Consultants are in demand because they save franchisors time and money by presenting quality, qualified candidates. And franchisors are happy to pay generous commissions for the service. Good Consultants understand the franchises they represent in order to best serve candidates and franchisors.
7. What skills are needed to be a successful Franchise Consultant?
People skills and a desire to help people are the most important elements to being successful as a Franchise Consultant. General business acumen and organizational skills help too. The rest is taught through our intensive Certified Franchise Consultant (CFC) training program. Our training is a 4-6 week program that includes one-on-one training from our seasoned experts. From start to finish, we give Consultant candidates everything they need to run a successful business. After the training program is finished, IFPG Franchise Consultants can take advantage of ongoing educational and networking opportunities. Click Here to learn more about the Certified Franchise Consultant (CFC) training program.
8. What sets IFPG apart as a broker network?
Because we have a membership-based structure, we have created a fair and ethical culture for all of our members. Our Consultants keep 100 percent of their commissions, so we have no incentive to favor one franchise over another—which is the way it should be. Because of this, we attract the most reputable franchise companies and the industry’s best Franchise Consultants.
9. What is your company’s mission?
IFPG’s mission is to serve the franchise industry with innovation, growth and opportunity. We do that by constantly improving and adding to the value we bring to our members. Everyday, we strive to provide the best service and support in the industry. Our values have set us apart as the leading broker network.
10. How has COVID impacted IFPG and the industry?
As a company that thrives on face-to-face networking, COVID created challenges that ultimately improved our network. Because our in-person events came to a screeching halt, we postponed our annual conference and held a virtual one. It was unchartered territory for my team, but we pivoted and made it happen. The virtual event turned out to be a huge success, and many of our members have asked us to offer these events in addition to the face-to-face ones moving forward—and of course, we will.
The industry as a whole has become stronger and more collaborative than ever. With more and more people losing jobs, people are flocking to franchising for new opportunities. In a lot of ways, franchising offers more support and security than a job—especially these days. Franchisors did whatever it took to support franchisees through the pandemic and have proven the strength of the franchise model. In fact, many brands have seen record growth since the pandemic and continue to flourish. I am very optimistic for a boom in the industry.
11. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in your role?
Think positively, be grateful, and do the right thing. Those are words to live by. I have found that mindset is everything in entrepreneurship. If you think you can, you will. When you’re building a team, or an entire network, positivity and an attitude of gratitude goes a long way. It may sound simple, but as a leader, I always remember to say thank you to my team and clients.
Because we always offer more for less, we have been recognized for it and continue to grow with quality Franchisor, Consultant and Vendor Members. The ultimate testament to our efforts came when we were recognized as the number-one franchise broker network by Entrepreneur Magazine for a second year in a row. This nod from the franchise community proves that when you do the right thing, people notice.