Martin and His Team are Responsible for Growing the Umbrella Franchisor’s Brands
Eric Martin has been promoted to senior vice president of franchise development of Happinest Brands, an umbrella franchisor of three home service brands: Mosquito Hunters, ecomaids, and Lawn Doctor. Martin oversees the umbrella franchisor’s brand strategy and development and works with his team to attract quality and qualified candidates. Martin joined Happinest Brands and Lawn Doctor as vice president of franchise development in 2017.
“Having the opportunity to work with aspiring entrepreneurs as they navigate through the franchise research and due diligence process is something I take great pride in. I feel incredibly fortunate that I get to do what I love with Happinest Brands, a franchisor with a culture of excellence that is dedicated to delivering a fabulous support system to our owners,” Martin said.
In Martin’s view, Happinest has “some of the brightest and most forward-thinking minds in franchising on this team. That said, there are no egos getting in the way of our vision to become a nationwide leader in the home services space. Everyone has a voice, and everyone’s opinion is valued. Our organization is super passionate about the success of our franchise owners. We care about them, and we care about each other. It’s a truly special place.”
Along with Martin’s elevation, Happinest made changes within its leadership team by promoting Sharon Cupach to vice president of franchise development. Martin is excited to see Happinest grow, especially as they are in the process of bringing on their next brand. “Over the years to come, there will be several others that become a part of our system. I know where we want to go and can see the top of the mountain out in the distance. What I’m most excited about is the climb. One step up, one day at a time. I’m also looking forward to bringing on others to the team as we grow and having them become a part of the Happinest journey. Something I truly enjoy is helping others around me become successful, grow in their role, and enjoy being a part of something special,” Martin said.
Happinest’s leadership team is excited to have Martin on board. “Eric is a steadfast leader and has accepted the challenge of growing and scaling Happinest operations with ease. Under his leadership, the Franchise Development team has excelled and continues to attract dedicated and successful franchisees. Eric and his team continue to meet the strategic goals that position our organization to scale with current and future brands,” said Scott Frith, chairman of Happinest Brands.
Behind Happinest’s Success
To Martin, Happinest’s model allows for sound unit level economics and strong relationships, which sets it apart. “We also understand how big the decision is to bet on yourself and start a company. There are so many moving parts, and a new owner can only handle so much, especially early in their tenure. Our approach is to take certain aspects of the business off of our franchisees plate,” Martin said.
He adds, “By centralizing media and having a national sales center for example, we free up our owner to focus on the customer relationships and retention, which is the most important factor in business. As we further build out the Happinest strategy, there will be opportunities for shared referrals, which will drive down the cost of customer acquisition.” Martin believes that this approach will create opportunities for Happinest’s franchisees in the future.
He suggests that candidates have realistic expectations before joining a franchise system. “We are not in the business of selling; we are in the business of qualifying, educating, and ensuring there is a good mutual fit. If expectations are not set correctly and there is no synergy, it will undoubtedly put a strain on the franchisor and franchisee relationship,” Martin said. The more information and education franchisors can provide, the better, he adds. “Great franchisors take the time to build relationships with prospective owners and avoid rushing candidates through a research process.”
Martin’s Franchising Background
Martin got his start in franchising while working in the medical recruitment industry, where he learned about managing long-term relationships. “I did not know at the time much about franchising, but a good friend of mine was in the space with a great company that happened to be looking for a development person. I was given an opportunity to break into this incredible world and blessed to have some incredible mentors along the way,” Martin said. He loves that the franchising industry is filled with “many smart, innovative, passionate, and caring people within it that are more than willing to share their wisdom, thoughts, and ideas. It’s unlike any other industry out there.” Martin’s prior experience also includes being the director of franchise development at Right at Home, a senior care franchise.
For entrepreneurs with the franchising bug, Martin urges defining the reason why they want to open a business. “Owners experience highs and they experience lows, no different than those we experience in relationships, or jobs. The key to persevering and having a healthy, sustainable business is being patient, persistent and staying positive, no matter what is thrown at you,” Martin said.
The Nebraska-native has a B.S. in Communications from Indiana State University and a M.S. in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. Martin lives in Omaha with his wife, Sara, their four daughters, and Shih Tzu, Finny.