Interview with Mark Siebert - CEO, iFranchise Group

Date

Jan 12, 2016

CEO of iFranchise Group, Mark C. Siebert has been consulting to franchisors since 1985, and has worked with some of the most successful franchisors in the world, including Ace Hardware, Bridgestone/Firestone, Chem-Dry, Chevron, HoneyBaked Ham, McDonald’s, Tribune Companies, and many others.  For nearly three decades, Siebert acted as consultant to over 30 Fortune 2000 companies and well over 500 start-up franchisors.  In 2002, Siebert was named to the prestigious “20 to Watch” issue of Franchise Times. He is a former board member of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, and is active in the International Franchise Association and its Franchise Relations Committee. Siebert has received three major awards for his franchise related activities, is widely quoted in the business press. Siebert is the author of dozens of articles on franchising, as well as the book, Franchise Your Business, The Guide to Employing the Greatest Growth Strategy Ever

Franchise Expo:  Tell us about the iFranchise Group concept?

Mark C. Siebert: iFranchise Group is a leading franchise consulting firm that offers  the skills of the nation’s top professionals in franchise strategic planning, operations training and documentation, franchise marketing and sales,  advertising fund management, and  development of digital  applications for emerging and established franchise companies worldwide.

FE:  How and when did you become involved with  iFranchise Group?

MS: I founded the iFranchise Group in 1998.

FE: What was your background prior to founding iFranchise Group?

MS: I have been in franchise consulting for over 30 years.

FE:  Tell us a little about the franchise consulting industry?

MS: Franchising in the Information Age enables business owners to grow innovative concepts into viable businesses, introduce new products and services with lightning speed, and transform dynamic, growth-oriented companies into regional, national and international powerhouses.

Franchise consulting services run the gamut, and can be tailored to three markets: companies seeking to franchise a business, companies who are already franchising, and manufacturers selling through dealers or distributors.

Services that iFranchise Group offers to these various franchisor or business profiles include:

  • Franchise Feasibility Assessment & Market Studies
  • Franchise Development for New Franchise Programs
  • Strategic Planning for Franchise Growth
  • Franchise Operations & Training Documentation
  • Franchisee Recruitment Marketing Strategies
  • Franchise Sales Brochures
  • Franchise Sales Training
  • Franchise Implementation & Compliance Training
  • Website Content & Optimization
  • Franchise Sales and Training Videos
  • Implementation Consulting & Assistance
  • Franchise Organizational or Sales & Marketing Audits
  • Franchise System Best Practices and Benchmarking
  • Advertising Fund Consulting and Administration
  • Improved Franchisee Relations and Communications
  • Refinement of Franchisee Support Systems
  • Franchisee Relations and Franchisee Council Development
  • International Expansion Planning & Market Analysis
  • Dealer Conversion Assistance 
  • Franchise Implementation Plans
  • Non-Franchising Expansion Strategies
  • Business Plans for Fundraising
  • Prototype Development Consulting
  • Name Selection & Logo Design
  • Expert Witness Consulting & Testimony
  • Due Diligence Assistance for Mergers & Acquisitions

FE: What advice do you have for someone looking to franchise a business?

MS: An appropriate first step in the decision to franchise is an examination of the question of whether or not a business concept is actually “franchisable.” Any organization seriously considering franchising should undertake this analysis before implementing a franchise strategy. While it is impossible to determine the franchisability of a business concept without a significant amount of analysis, the iFranchise Group has identified a  serious of predictive criteria that assess the readiness of a company for franchising and the likelihood that it will achieve success as a franchisor, including: company credibility, differentiation, adaptability, documented systems, an established prototype, adequate ROI, and more.

FE: In your opinion, why do you think that franchising  would be a great opportunity for a business owner?

MS: While franchising provides franchisees with a proven system and the support of a much larger organization, the  advantages of the franchisor are even more significant, including:
  • Use of Others’ Capital & Higher Return on Investment
  • Risk Reduction
  • Limited Contingent Liability & Reduced Vicarious Liability
  • Increased Speed of Growth
  • Reduced Role in Day-to-Day Operations
  • Highly Motivated, Longer-Term Management
  • Better Unit Performance & Quality Control
  • Leaner Structure
  • Effective Brand Building & Advertising
  • International Expansion Potential


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