TGCI 108: Want to own a Franchise? How do you know if it’s for you?

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Episode 108: Want to own a Franchise? How do you know if it's for you?


In today’s show, Pancham interviews Lance Graulich – founder and CEO of ION Franchising.

Lance believes that franchises are for everyone – that there’s a business out there that matches with your goals. Wanting to help entrepreneurs find their perfect franchise, he founded ION Franchising and is now the largest franchise broker in the U.S. which currently represents more than 650 brands!

Been thinking of owning a franchise? Today’s episode is perfect for W-2 employees who are thinking of generating another stream of income as Lance will discuss all about starting a franchise!

From how it works to its benefits and beauty of franchising, this episode is jampacked with insights into the franchising industry so don’t miss it!



Pancham Gupta
Lance Graulich

Tune in to this show and enjoy!

Timestamped Shownotes:

  • 2:52 – Pancham introduces Lance to the show
  • 3:48 – How his entrepreneurial background got him into franchising
  • 8:07 – How franchising can lead you to more opportunities
  • 21:22 – What it takes to open a franchise (and why franchising may just be for you!)
  • 24:55 – Recession resilient franchises that came out from 2020
  • 36:21 – How his morning habits helped him to be more productive
  • 39:37 – Taking the Leap Round
  • 39:37 – His first franchise investment
  • 39:55 – Why having very little fear is not always a good thing
  • 40:29 – His franchise investment that didn’t go as expected
  • 42:24 – Why you should reach out to Lance for franchising advice
  • 44:02 – Lance’s contact information

3 Key Points:

  1. When organizing a business plan for your franchise, align your investment level, the type of owner you’ll be, and your goals and expectations for this franchise.
  2. Franchising is a good idea for business starters as it could help you have a general idea of the industry.
  3. Franchising can be for anyone but it would start with you taking the first step of wanting to be an entrepreneur.

Get in Touch:


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor podcast with your host Pancham Gupta. This podcast is dedicated to helping the high-paid professionals to break out of the Wall Street investments and create multiple income streams. Here’s your host, Pancham Gupta.

Hi there, I’m Robert Helms host of The Real Estate Guys radio program and if you want to have better results in your life you gotta put better ideas in your mind. You’re in the right place. You’re at The Gold Collar Investor podcast.

Pancham Gupta: Let them get The Gold Collar Investor Podcast, this is your host, Pancham.  Really appreciate you for tuning in today. If you are a high paid professional, you know how the tax season feels like.   When you look at your taxes and you see how much you made versus how much you actually keep, there is a big difference. Now, if you change your mindset and look at your taxes as one of your expenses, just how you look at your car expense or your mortgage or your food expense or you’re vacationing, you will suddenly feel a sinking feeling in your stomach. If you are a high paid professional, chances are that taxes are your biggest expense. I am going to invite back CPA Brandon Hall to discuss the changes to the taxes that are coming down in a year or two. The news is generally bad for high in high income earners, taxes are going to go up. Who do you think is going to get hit the hardest? Yes, people who are earning high income will get hit but it depends on how you make that money. Business owners and investors, those who are on the right side of Kiyosaki cashflow quadrant will not see much impact. It is the highest paid W2 earners who will be hit the hardest with the new tax laws. For all the tax increases, we will see there will be just as many opportunities for tax mitigations through investments into the things that the government wants people to do. The tax code is after all, just a series of incentives for investors to take advantage of. Now when I was a W2 earner I always used to think of owning businesses so that I can create second stream of income and also reduce my tax liability. Owning a franchise used to fascinate me but I did not know anything about owning a franchise. If you have been thinking of owning a franchise, then this show is for you. You will find out everything you need to know about how to get started towards your goal of owning a franchise. I have the perfect guest for the show today. Lance Graulich is the Founder and CEO of Eon Franchising, an industry leading franchise consulting and development group that represents over 650 franchise brands and business opportunities within 90 categories. Lance helps prospective and entrepreneurs find their perfect franchisee for free. He also assist independent business owners in creating a franchisee system. Lance, welcome to the show.


Lance: Well, thank you very much Pancham.


Pancham Gupta: Well, you know, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show. I have been you know, looking for a person who can enlighten me and my listener on how to go about buying a franchise or in the first place, does it  even make sense? So, are you ready to fire up my listener start a franchising business?


Lance: I’m ready!


Pancham Gupta: All right, I see the passion there. So, Lance, like tell our listeners about your background and more importantly, the person behind that background.


Lance: Well, you talk a lot about Wall Street on your show and guess what, that’s where I came from. My father’s company was the largest over the counter trading house on Wall Street and I was groomed at a young age to work on Wall Street with economics degree. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Long Island, spent my summers working on Wall Street and just out a college, I realized, you know, although this is, this is easy for me, this is something that I’m good at. I didn’t really want to spend my whole life doing that sitting in an office in the concrete jungle of New York City. And then I had a very successful uncle that made, kind of an uncle, he was my uncle’s best friend that I called an uncle. He made his money in tech before anybody did. Now you might ask yourself, well what was in tech before there was tech that we know of? Today we know of Google and Apple and Microsoft and Oracle and a million other tech companies. But what if I told you he was the guy that took analog phones and made them digital? 


Pancham Gupta: Wow, that’s awesome. 


Lance: He had a hand in the first wireless, wireless modem for laptops if you remember those days. So, I followed him to Scottsdale Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona.  He had purchased four TGI-Fridays restaurants, a franchise  and I helped him with that over the course of five years through acquisitions, a new store development as well, we ended up having 64 locations, doing about 225 million a year, pretty substantial accomplishment at the end of the five years. And, and he I think he went back to Korea at that point to go build another company even though the company continued to exist and was a publicly traded franchise, I got bored and left and did my own thing. I owned several franchises myself, which we can get into and eventually if you fast forward till today, I want to help people so they can avoid some of the mistakes I made in the earlier days. And now I’m the largest franchise broker in the US, they represent more than 650 brands. So, I’m sure some of your listeners are looking at exploring franchise opportunities. And I have some amazing opportunities that every investment level and my services are free. I get paid by the brands. So that’s it.


Pancham Gupta: Awesome. So, would you say for your entrepreneurial franchise journey was started because you went to Scottsdale Arizona and help your friend you know, get like TGIF?


Lance: Well, that’s a great question and the answer is no, my entrepreneurial journey started when I was a little kid because both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs. One of my grandfathers who was from Poland, I barely can understand anything he said, he had a very heavy accent, but he was a carpenter in the old country. And when he came over to the States, he loved the food business, and he created a grocery chain throughout New York in the early 50s. And had it until he sold in the late 70s, early 80s. And my other grandfather was a big real estate attorney and own buildings and what have you. So, I learned at a young age that I wanted to be like them. And then my father wasn’t really as much of a risk taker and he was a CPA that eventually gravitated towards Wall Street, because that’s what his older brother did. And, and he was he was still an entrepreneur, that he was a partner and he got to help shape companies, but not in the truest sense where he invested you know, he didn’t invest in a franchise or anything like that. It didn’t technically start his own company ,but he was a little more cautious, let’s just say. He always thought I was crazy, but he knew. He told me at a young age, he said, Lance, I think you’re going to need to be your own boss, because I’m not sure that you’re going to be employable. So, you know, by the time I went to work with TGI Fridays, I think I realized at that point, I love franchising. I love that aspect of the business. And I think I need to do this on my own, which is what I then did.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. So that’s a great segue into my next question and number one boiling question that anyone who has never owned a franchise would, you know,  ask like, what are your top reasons to buy a franchise?


Lance: Well, the way I always answer that is, is this way, if you have a burning desire to start a company, like Mark Zuckerberg did, and he had an idea, and you have an idea that you think or you know, is going to be successful, go for it, do it. Surround yourself with the best resources or a partner that knows more than you in some other areas and go for it. However, most people don’t have that burning desire to create a company. So, what franchising does, it’s in a way like dating, you know, you can go to a bar, or an online dating service, and you have an opportunity to look at what’s out there. So that’s what I am, I am that franchise broker that can present to you opportunities and Pancham. As you can imagine, I have people that come to me and say, I want to own a restaurant, or I have people that come to me and say, I don’t want to own a restaurant, I can own anything else. I do not want a restaurant. So, there are people that come to me that have ideas of what they’re interested in and I have other people that that don’t like, I have people that come to me and say, I really want a home based brand if possible. I don’t want to really invest a lot of money in equipment , but what do you have in home based. As an example, I have a home based franchise that’s $62,000 that is B2B, you know, business to business. And there are people that net over a million dollars a year in a home based business, which is incredible, not everybody does that. But with franchising, what is amazing I always tell people, and I know you’ve probably asked me about advice, and this is a piece of advice I give everybody, before you start exploring business opportunities and then there’s a lot of emotion that jumps into this decision making process because what’s the first thing people do when they start exploring business opportunities or franchises? They start to tell their spouse, they start to tell their brother, mother ,sister, depending on how old they are, and what do they say to them? What are you crazy? 


Pancham Gupta: Yeah,exactly.


Lance: I had a doctor recently, I had a very successful doctor recently, tell me, he never owned his own business. He was a doctor that had big contracts with hospitals, but never had his own sort of private practice. He always relied on, you know, working for a hospital, per se. And I said, well, why do you want to be an entrepreneur? He goes, well, I’m tired of dealing with hospitals and this and that, I want to just have my own business. And his wife actually told him that he would never be successful as an entrepreneur. And the answer really to that is everybody can be successful as an entrepreneur if they follow the right playbook. And the reality is a lot of people talk about being an entrepreneur, and due to life, life gets in the way, right? You know, and sometimes, they just can’t complete that plan. So, and that, and that’s okay. But what I tell people is plan your business with no emotion attached to it. So, step one, what is your investment level? In some cases, that’s pretty finite? Is it 50,000? I had a gentleman earlier today, tell me I have $100,000 cash, I definitely would like a loan. So, if you show me a $300,000 franchise, I’ll put $100,000 down. This is the city I’m gonna operate. And I can do a territory check to make sure it’s available, whatever that is. And are you going to be operating? It is the next biggest question. Are you going to be the owner and operator of this business? For example, Fastsigns, Fastsigns is a good franchise? Very good, good, well known sort of gold star franchise,


Pancham Gupta: We’ve used them multiple times for – inaudible – 


Lance: Well, there you go. Fastsigns, you cannot be a franchisee of Fastsigns unless you are planning to be the owner operator. If you’re not planning on being the owner-operator, you can bring in a partner, but they have to have equity in the business. And they could run it. But are you going to be the owner-operator? Are you going to be a semi absentee owner or an absentee owner? So, I have all brands that fit in every bucket depending on who the investor is? Oftentimes, I think the most successful thing is, is once people with no emotion, they tell me the investment level. They tell me they’re able to be the owner-operator, or they have to be an absentee owner, and what city they want to operate. And also, what are their goals? What are their expectations? You know, and in some cases, the goals or expectations could be maybe false, or the perceptions could be off versus the realities. So, I’ll help people sort of recalibrate. Some people want to get their money back in a restaurant within a year. Well, that’s not realistic in a restaurant, and some home based brands, I have a home based brand that involves real estate, they’ll tell you, you get your franchise fee back within 120 days, on an average, other brands up to eight months, you get your entire investment back. So those are very quick ROI. So, with all of that information, I will then start a search and present opportunities. I have a funny story for you ready for a funny story?


Pancham Gupta: Sure, sure. Before we get into the story, I just want to summarize this point. So, I guess what you’re saying on the top reasons is like, you know, it’s like franchising is like dating, where if people think that they want to become an entrepreneur, but they don’t know where they are, and they want to get into something which is already laid out for them and them kind of get the taste of you know how being an entrepreneur is, that is one of the great ways to get started. I actually read a book, you know, Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, author. So, he often talks about like owning a franchise as a very great way to get started to create a second stream of income so that because you already have the systems set up for you, and you’re just get all set up. Yeah, you’re just getting plugged into that. So that’s one great reason and then second, you mentioned that given your level of commitment, given your goals, and your investment level and when you’re clear on where you want to operate and owner-operator versus non owner, you have something for everyone.


Lance: Absolutely. Pancham, I should clarify a little bit, I apologize when it comes to, you know, why a franchise, yes, it’s because of the support, it’s because of the brand awareness. It’s because of the system. It’s because of the marketing, all of those things are done for you. There is a lot of work.  I have been very successful with franchise brands as an owner myself.  Although I have made mistakes, but I’ve also created and sold my own brands. And there are advantages to that to creating your own brand. But there’s a lot more work and a lot more energy. And a lot of people I suppose your listeners as well. It’s too much time for most people to create their own brand, unless, like I mentioned earlier, it’s a passion project. But here’s the most important thing about franchising that some people might overlook, you have an opportunity, as you go down this path to becoming a franchisee there’s an obvious path. And as you’re dating, if you will, and you’re talking to different prospective franchise ORS, you know, in the beginning, you’re having a conversation with me, you’re having your first call with a prospective franchise brand, then you’re having a call with maybe the executive team of the brand. You’re reviewing the Franchise Disclosure documents, you’re asking questions.  At some point, you’re going to validate, you’re going to have a validation stage where you know, Fastsigns as an example, they’re going to give you a list of their franchisees and say, Pancham, call any of these franchisees and ask them whatever you’d like? And do you really feel comfortable that you fit within the culture of the company? Are these franchisees like you? Do they, you know, these people you want to hang out with at the convention that’s going to be annually? And are these people that you’re going to rely on to support you and you’ll support each other. So, the validation stage becomes very, very important. And, and you know, some people think there’s such a mystery to franchising. Maybe in the beginning, there’s mystery, but it becomes pretty evident of which brand you’re most aligned with based on your particular plan. Some people don’t, I’m talking to a Navy veteran that has done incredibly well and he said,” money’s not the most important thing to me. I want to spend the next 20 years doing something I enjoy. I want to make a little money, but I don’t need to make a lot of money”.  That’s not what a lot of people want. Everybody’s a little different.


Pancham Gupta: That’s true. So yeah, I do want to get into your story, you were saying that you have a great story for us.


Lance: I have, I have plenty of funny stories. I have a friend, I didn’t help him find his franchise, but I have a friend who, when he was looking at franchising, he did find the franchise consultant like me. And consultants are great because we’ll tell you the truth. We’re not going to tell you always what you want to hear, but we’re going to tell you the truth. And my friend said I want to spend about $150,000-$200,000, including a loan.  I want something that I can grow and scale, preferably multi-unit. And then,  I don’t really care what industry, I have to be able to get my money back, I have to get my money back within two and a half, three years. And those I think we’re pretty much his parameters. That was it. So, he was presented with a hair salon franchise. And he almost fell out of his chair. Remember when I mentioned, take the emotion out of it beforehand when you decide what your parameters are  because when you get hit in the face with an opportunity that you don’t like initially, he was offended. He was like, why would I do a hair salon? First of all, he has no hair. He’s completely bald. He hasn’t needed a haircut and 25-30 years. He doesn’t know how to cut hair but that’s the beauty of franchising. This was an incredible franchise opportunity. So, what did he do? Well, he was a retired corporate executive, he had a little money. He opened one, he got an SBA loan 25% down, only about 150,000 open his first location with 25% down payment. He got his money back in about two and a half years. And halfway through the process, he said, you know, I’m gonna do another one of these, and then eventually, fast forward now 13 years later, I met him like probably about seven years ago, but fast forward 13 years, he now owns, he just opened location number 20. Now, and he nets about 75,000 per location, gets his money back in two years to two and a half years depending on the location. So, he nets what,  do the math $75,000/location, 20 locations, you know, a million and a half dollars a year. Now the beauty about franchising too, that your listeners should be happy to hear is the exit strategy. If you want to build generational wealth, keep it in the family.


Pancham Gupta: That was one of my questions, like how do you exit?


Lance: Yeah, if you want to build generational wealth, keep it.  If you don’t, hold on to it. A lot of McDonald’s franchisees are multi generation, they’re on five generations already. So, what you can do if you’re looking to exit, there is a whole secondary market where you can sell your franchise brand. People love franchises, private equity groups love franchises. So, the beauty of franchising as a franchisee is you could sell for four times cash flow, typically three to five times your EBITDA number, your earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation amortization. So, you know, like my friend, a million and a half cash flow, you know, it’s true EBITDA number, you know, you’re talking easily worth $6 million people will pay a premium. So, a lot of people forget what’s called the equity component, as you build your equity in your own franchise brand.


Pancham Gupta : Got it? Oh, that’s awesome. That’s that story was amazing. Thank you for sharing that. So, let’s say you know, the listener who’s listening right now, right, and has a great career and wants to create a second stream of income through a franchise where he listens to you and really gets excited and wants to do this. So, what are some of the actual steps that he has to go through to own a franchise? Imagine that he has no idea. This is the first time he’s hearing about what it takes to open a franchise?


Lance: Well, I’ll answer any question anybody wants to throw at me? So that’s the answer is call me. There’s a lot of people I have multiple calls with before we even start a search. But that’s the easiest thing, my website, I have all kinds of resources and industry information. But I’ll walk people through all the basics, the legal aspects, you know, from the Franchise Disclosure Document, which is required by the federal government, and each state to be presented to a prospective franchisee at the time that they show interest to the actual franchise agreement that you’re going to be signing for your specific territory or area. You know, so I walk people through all aspects of the process. Now, to answer your question specifically, I do work with a lot of investor types, I’m working with a private equity, a few private equity guys now that are pretty much retired and want to put some capital to work. And you know, sometimes I find people a true absentee owned business, and they don’t do necessarily with a partner. However, some people like one private equity gentlemen, he’s bringing family and friends involved into the process. They’ll have a tight, you know, operating agreement through their LLC, but he’s busy doing other projects. And he would like somebody else to, you know, be put within this franchise system where he doesn’t have to necessarily be absentee owned, he is going to be a semi absentee owner. So, step one would be get an operating partner and you could pretty much handle like Fastsigns, get an operating partner, give somebody equity. And you know, 1% of something is better than 0% of nothing. So, if you’ve already exhausted your equity or your investments in Wall Street and your investments in real estate, I tell people next you got to buy a franchise. I have multiple friends that own two or three different franchise brands at the same time, that operate all over the country.


Pancham Gupta: Got it? Got it. So, the actual steps really don’t sound that intimidating. But usually, like, I know, this is very different for different franchise and franchises and different industries. Typically, how long on average, a contract is, let’s say, you know, we have to sign a contract, is it five years? 10 years? What’s the length?


Lance: A typical franchise agreements going to be 10 years. And so, you’re committing to be a franchisee for 10 years.  I would  probably tell you about 95% of the franchise brands that I’ve ever seen are 10 year agreement. They want a commitment. And if you’re interested in doing this, and typically it’s an automatic renewal type situation. Again, like McDonald’s, you see same families that own these brands as an example, unless of course somebody is done some things they shouldn’t be doing and they’re in default. That does happen. Sometimes people think they know how to do things better. But the majority of the times it’s just automatically renewed after 10 years.


Pancham Gupta: Got it, got it. Okay, so I want to switch gears I want to ask you this that 2020 has been very tough year for many, many people. We were in the middle of pandemic, all these likes of restaurants and many other franchises got hit and businesses including franchises, right? They all got hit. So, given 2020s, behind us, what are the hottest franchises like franchise brands that came out of 2020?


Lance: Yeah. And in franchising, there are quite a few franchise brands that have not even been impacted by the pandemic. So, where you don’t want to be is a big restaurant franchise, you know, because as we all know, if you’re not able to seat at full capacity, or for that matter, you can’t even have dined in like New York where you are. That’s terrible. So, you don’t want to have that type of franchise at the moment. So, to answer your question, Home Improvement type franchises, whether it was an air conditioning, refrigeration company, closets by design, anything to do with the home, flooring companies, I already mentioned, window coverings, plumbers, so many people were stuck at home when the pandemic started. And as you remember, there was this initial month where it seemed like the world stood still, because none of us really knew what was going on. Well, wait a second, is this going to last a long time is this going to end soon and then the reality set in and as people spend more times in their home than ever, home improvement projects started. I have Five Star Bath Solutions is a home remodeling company that does an amazing job on bathrooms.  They do it quickly and efficiently. And, you know, so the Home Improvement genre of brands, fantastic. Small restaurants, typical with what’s called fast casual restaurants, or quick serve fast food type restaurants. Not only was there zero effect on them, but they’re also actually doing better than 2019. I have friends that own their own restaurant franchises that are up 10 to 30% over last year, so the pandemic actually helped them even more. So, you know, again, you don’t want to be in the personal care brands like salons or massage or things like that, that are normally very popular because of the access, it couldn’t happen. I have B2B type brands that were home based that help companies reduce expenses or cost reduction solution type businesses. Funny enough, I have a few of those all doing incredibly well because when businesses get in trouble, what is it? What kind of business do?  They either increase revenue, or they cut expenses so these businesses will help on a contingency basis cut expenses, so a lot of good b2b home based options, restoration brands. I have quite a few brands that deal again with the home but they’re specialists. God forbid, there’s a fire or a flood look what’s going on in Texas right now.


Pancham Gupta: Yeah, oh, yeah.


Lance: You know, with pipes bursting because you know, of the freeze and everything. So, restoration brands that deal with mold remediation, or hurricane damage or tornadoes or, you know, what have you. Those brands, a lot of those franchise brands do incredibly well. But look, automotive brands, all the essential business, automotive brands, you know, I have oil change business and you know, Meineke and Maiko, if you want to get your car painted again. Home health care, home care brands, home care, let’s talk about home care. It’s really companion care. This is the largest segment of the companion care section for hospice care what have you. I probably have 29 franchise brands; I think all but two of them are owned by private equity groups because it’s that good of a business. These brands are forecasted to grow. The segment is forecasted to grow for the next 30-35 years. Straight up one of the best industries is home care to get into.  Some of them you have to be an owner, an owner-operator.


Pancham Gupta: What kind of home care are we talking about, like?


Lance: We’re talking about, in most cases, it’s really companion care. So sadly, my father passed away last year about a year ago. And my mother, my mother. She’s in her 70s, she can’t help him. 24/7 so you have to hire somebody to help maybe make him a sandwich or maybe my mom’s going grocery shopping and companion care everything it makes sure dad’s taking his prescription drugs, making sure they’re fluffing his pillow or helping him at the restroom or cleaning him or whatever, all those things. So that companion sort of care. In the old days it was called more like, you know, medical home care, they don’t have to be a nurse. These are people that are only skilled to the level of to help as a companion in these circumstances. Now there’s also companies that I have that also do besides the medical type of companion care they do, you know, the medical side where they need a nurse in somebody’s house to help with certain things as well. But these brands, you know, Pancham, the reason restaurants are such a popular segment of franchising is because they’re sexy and exciting. People love to talk about restaurants, people have a fantasy about owning a restaurant, because they can feed their family, they can employ their family, it’s a very visual process, you can walk into a McDonald’s, you can walk into a Five Guys Burgers, and you could say, I would like to own that. Well, a lot of these other brands that we’re talking about, people don’t have any context, they don’t have any idea. If they’ve had no experience in their lifetime with home care, or home health care, they don’t know what I’m talking about. So that’s why I tell people don’t attach emotion to it. Come up with your checklist with me in advance. And then I’ll show you brands where you can make money. And in some cases, you don’t even realize how much money you can make. And money is not the end all be all. But if that’s what you’re looking for, I could find you I have a brand called Smash My Trash. You make a lot of money doing that. And what it is, is it helps with compacting dumpsters. So, it helps commercial businesses that with dumpster compaction and factory sold out in many areas, tremendous business, no major competition. But people wouldn’t have thought of that, you know, there’s a lot of ways to make money.  Great. Those are some great food for thought. And you’ve got me thinking, you know, my wife has always thought about this topic, we’d never really pursued anything. All right, so my next question, my two more questions in this round, and we’ll move on to move on to the second round of the show. My next question is to the listener who’s listening, he is super excited with all he heard from you so far. And he’s thinking in his he or she is they’re thinking in their head? How do I know that owning a franchise is for me? Like, you know, is there a way,  do I have to jump into really find out or can I? Well, you know, first, the easy answer there is once again, my consultations, even if it takes multiple phone calls is free. I just want to work with great people. And on my website at just i o n, there’s a free assessment and that assessment take you 10 or 15 minutes, that assessment will be emailed to you, I’ll get a little bit more information on my end on a report on you. And based on your mindset, your skill set your comfort zone, I’m going to get a good idea and it’s a good starting point. And then once I layer in some additional questions, I’ll have a very good idea of what makes sense for you. Initially, it may take some warming up, there are some people that get plenty scared and have this fear. Once you get into the process of talking to brands, it becomes sort of clear, it starts to become pretty clear. Again, I equate everything to dating. If everybody that’s listening that’s married or has ever dated, the first date, there’s so much anxiety and apprehension maybe some people are very relaxed, right? But some people are not. And then as you get into it, you go on the second date, you start to think differently. Is this gonna work? Do I want a third date? And it’s the same thing in franchising, so I encourage a lot of people I work with a lot of smart people, some are attorneys, some are doctors, some are CPAs. Some are worth $300 million or more. And some people just have $50,000 and some equity in their house or maybe they’re even renting. I can find a franchise for anybody. But it starts with you. It starts with you taking the first step to say, I want to be an entrepreneur. And then I will match up your goals and desires to my brands. Now in the Franchise Disclosure Document. There are 23 items that’s required by the federal government, the 19th item, they call it item 19 is what’s called the financial representations or really the earnings claim. Brands get to put whatever they want there that’s true, It’s not a pro forma, it’s actually history. So, for example, I have a very well-known staffing brand that only costs about $150,000 and in that section, it’ll tell you that they do an average franchisee, a mature franchisee does 6 million in revenue after about five years. 


Pancham Gupta: And what’s the percentage for that particular franchisee just as an example, like the percentage,


Lance: The profit?


Pancham Gupta: Profit for the owner.


Lance : It doesn’t show profit, because it’s gonna depend on what area of the country and how much you’re paying your people and how active you are. Some owners might work 20 hours a week, and some owners might work 80 hours a week. 


Pancham Gupta: Got it. 


Lance: But that’s a great question. Through the discovery process, if you’re exploring that particular brand, you will have an opportunity to build your own business plan for that particular brand in your area, by speaking to existing franchisees to understand the model as best you can. But what I always say is, even if you can squeak out, 8-10% in the staffing world today, and you really did 6 million a year on $150,000 investment, It’s a pretty incredible bottom line though, right?


Pancham Gupta: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. So, my last question is, which has nothing to do with franchisee, nothing to do with any of the business stuff, it’s has to do with you. My question is, do you have a morning routine that you follow, if so, what is it? And do you think that attributes to your success?


Lance: Yeah, the morning routine for me, first of all starts the night before. I check my calendar, I double check. So, I’m very prepared for the next day. Kind of like my last minute checklist. And then when I get up in the morning, my morning routine starts with getting up early, typically six o’clock could be earlier, but typically around six o’clock, because I think everybody is most productive in the morning. And if you’re not if for some reason you’re not, you have to really engage in those, you know, first five hours, and just really focus. And then for me, it’s always about working on three, well, two major tasks each day, and then you know, probably three less important ones. And then if for some reason I don’t get them done, they go to the top of the list for the next day to knock off as my priorities. But it is about habits and rituals, I really think to being successful. And it’s the same thing that falls right into goal setting and planning. There’s a lot of people that talk about getting into business for themselves. And the reason they don’t ever do it is it’s never part of their daily routine. They don’t reach out, you know.


Pancham Gupta: Cool. Thank you for sharing that. We’ll be back after this message.  . . If you are an accredited investor and have been thinking about putting your money to work for you, then I have good news for you. I have created an investor club which I call The Gold Collar Investor Club.  I will be putting together investing opportunities exclusively for the group. These are the opportunities where I have done the due diligence for you and will be investing my own money long side you. if you are interested, please sign up on I repeat, I will reach out to schedule a 30 minute phone conversation to discuss your investing goals. Once you sign up, this can be a good opportunity to diversify and take some chips off the hands of Wall Street to produce some passive income. And in case you are wondering, what is an accredited investor, accredited investor is someone who has earned more than $200,000 as filing single or more than $300,000 filing jointly for last two years. Another way to qualify as an accredited investor is if your total net worth is more than $1 million, excluding your personal home, it includes your stocks, 401K’s, IRAs, cars, etc. Just not the equity in your personal home. If this is you, I would highly encourage you to sign up. . .  So, Lance, this is the second part of the show. I call this taking the leap round and as these questions to every guest on my show, I tweak these questions for you a bit and my first question is when was the first time you invested in a franchise? Was it the TGIF or


Lance: Well no. My first official investment where my capital went into it was Wingstop. I was a multi-unit Wingstop throughout Southern Nevada. 


Pancham Gupta : Got it. Got it. Okay,


Lance: That was 2003.


Pancham Gupta: 2003, Got it. So, what fears did you have to overcome when you did that?


Lance: It’s gonna sound strange but I had very little fear and that isn’t always a good thing. Fear is a good way to have you sort of check both mirrors like when you’re driving. And,  I had my share of partnership problems and, and maybe fear would have helped me, because I didn’t realize how bad those partnership problems could become.


Pancham Gupta: Yeah, I have had my fair share. So, my third question for you, can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected?


Lance: Well, I might as well be consistent and continue with Wingstop. Wingstop, my stores did incredibly well. But as with many new franchise owners, that was my first major investment. And financially, the way the partnership was set up was didn’t work effectively. And I ended up selling way prematurely while I still had a lot of debt, and I owed one major partner quite a bit of money that put in a bridge loan to get this thing started. And it was, it was honestly it didn’t work out like it should have, because I could have had a franchise and should have had a franchise brand worth, you know, $15 million. And I saw before that with too much debt because it was too difficult to work with those partners any longer.  They weren’t active but on paper, they were there. And, you know, Pancham, I learned years later, after talking to another attorney, that would have advised me differently, to sue the pants off them and get them out at all costs. And but you know, in the game of business, it’s whoever has the most money typically wins,


Pancham Gupta: I hear you. And you know, these are some of the lessons that you cannot learn without really walking through and experiencing and your experience is very different from my experience but we both have had fair share of bad partnerships. So


Lance: But you know, on a lighter note, I was the president of the Franchise Advisory Council for Wingstop because I ran great, great stores. And I was well thought of within the community of franchisees. It’s just the partnership was just garbage. 


Pancham Gupta: Got it.  Thank you for sharing that.  My last question for you is what is one piece of advice would you give to people who are thinking of investing in a franchise?  I know you gave talked about it already, but any parting words.


Lance: I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s just it’s just reaching out. My services are free. So, because I’m free, use me as a resource. You know, any incredibly successful entrepreneur will tell you the exact same thing. If you want to be in business for yourself, resource up the old expression, resource up, find yourself a resource. I am the franchising resource for you because I am free. I have owned franchisees, franchises, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in several states. I was the managing partner and had a piece of that action and we did very well with that. we were doing about 25 million a year in two states selling donuts. And, you know, but reach out to me, that’s the answer. That’s the advice. Or if you’re scared to reach out to me and you have that fear or apprehension, do some creative Google searches, you know, I’ll be writing a few books coming up very soon. I’ll put it all there. I’ll also be creating an online course, for people that want to jump into the course to learn as much as they can first but again, I’m free. I’m happy to spend the first hour with you. And then a second hour, whatever it takes. There are people that I have that don’t buy a franchise right away because they’re just not ready. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And I’m happy that people call me back years later, we stay in touch and they’re now ready to do it. There’s nothing wrong with it.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. So how can listeners connect with you, Lance? If they want to reach out find out more about I know you talked about ionfranchising, 


Lance: is the website i o n I’m all over social media, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn as well.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. Well, Thank you, Lance, for your time.


Lance: Thank you, Pancham, very much.


Pancham Gupta: I hope you learn something from Lance. If you always thought of owning a business, actually, franchising is a great way to get into it, you actually plug into the existing system. Robert Kiyosaki talks about it, you can taste the world of entrepreneurship. Again, I actually have no idea how to go about it before I actually got Lance on the show. And I really, you know, think that it’s a great way to create a second stream of income if you really, if you’re thinking about it, as Lance said, don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate you. if you have questions, email me at  That’s p as in Paul at  This is Pancham signing off. Until next time, take care. 

Thank you for listening to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast. If you love what you’ve heard and you want more of Pancham Gupta, visit us at www.thegoldcollar and follow us on Facebook@thegoldcollarinvestor. The information on this podcast are opinions as always, please consult your own financial team before investing.

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