One of the biggest trends in franchising is the type of support franchise owners expect from franchisors. Today’s franchisees are coming in with more confidence than in the past, and they’re looking for more than just to run a business.
That’s according to Rick Ascolese, CEO of Coverall North America, Inc. a leading franchisor of commercial cleaning businesses.
“Our owners are in the people business as well as the commercial cleaning business, so it’s all about relationships and trust,” said
Rick. “Franchise relationships need to be collaborative.”
Rick has seen his fair share of trends after 3 years with Coverall and decades at other service franchise companies. We interviewed Rick recently at the company’s headquarters in Deerfield Beach, FL. For more details of this interview, visit www.coverall.com.
Rick, congratulations to Coverall on its 30th year in business. You’ve said that franchisees today are looking for different types of support than in the past. What’s changed?
Owners today have professional aspirations—they want to grow the businesses they own—and they want to develop professional relationships to do that. But, they also want personal relationships. This is their day-to-day business, and they get a greater sense of fulfillment when they are able to develop strong personal relationships and a sense that they are part of something bigger – a community of independent business owners operating under the Coverall brand. And sure, it’s Coverall’s brand and processes, but in each case it’s the franchise owner’s business, and their goals and their lives that are important.
How has Coverall adapted to their changing business needs?
As the franchisor we have to be there in their local market, supporting them and being present to respond to their business needs. Local support is important. You can’t build personal relationships from a distance. We have Coverall Support Centers in every market that exist for one reason: to support the owners of local Coverall branded franchised businesses—the franchisees. That’s something we’re dedicated to do for our franchisees.
Local training, customer support, business and technical consultants, and sales reps who are constantly bringing on new customers that are offered to franchisees. It’s a local community made up of franchise owners and the Coverall people who support them.
Did you say Coverall sales reps find new customers for franchisees?
Yes. Not every business owner is comfortable selling their own accounts, so if they want, we can help them. That’s a big advantage to our owners. Across the country we have more than 200 salespeople to help drive and support customer sales – customers that can then be offered to our franchisees.
What are some traits you see in your top franchisees?
People become Coverall Franchised Business Owners because they want a business they can be proud of, and provide a much-needed service that impacts their customers in a positive way, every day. They start from all different walks of life. Some are making a change in life or transitioning from the military or another industry. Some are just starting out in their first career. Some are hard-charging entrepreneurs looking to build a large business with lots of employees. They have differing levels of education, and different goals for their businesses. But what they all have in common is a desire to take control of their lives and their futures, and they want to make a difference in the world, all through the operation of their own business.
Tell me about your Franchised Businesses of the Year.
Each year we honor the top Franchised Business from across the entire Coverall System in 3 categories: Small, Medium and Large Business. I encourage you to read about them on our website. The owners of these Franchised Businesses are entrepreneurs who have taken the Coverall brand and processes and built a business that proudly and professionally serves its community and customers. They are role models for the entire System. And, they are real people with real life stories. I’m constantly inspired by them. They are following their dreams.
What’s unique about the Coverall franchised business opportunity?
It comes down to this – you bring the drive, and we can help you with the rest. You can find your own customers, or we can help. You can arrange your own financing, or we can help with that, too. Coverall will handle billing and collecting payments from your customers – that’s just one of the many business support services the Coverall System offers. We’ll train you, support you locally and nationally, and do everything possible to help you reach your business goals.