REP’M Group Weighs in on Scaling a Franchise the Right Way
With a mission to help franchise brands grow sustainably and responsibly, REP’M group strives to push the envelope on the traditional franchise sales organization. Originally named RPM, the company was launched in 2017 and initially focused on the franchise real estate process. Entrepreneur Rob Cambruzzi noticed an industry-wide problem: Franchise licenses were being sold, but units were not opening as they should. His solution was RPM, a service designed to help brands and their franchisees open locations the right way.
Cambruzzi started the business with a team of five, but has grown his staff as well as his offerings. Shortly after launching RPM, Cambruzzi partnered with Jason Ryan, and embarked on the company’s first franchise sales contract with fitness franchisor ISI. In January 2020, Nick Sheehan joined as a partner and added several brands to the client roster. At that point, the three partners decided to rebrand the company to REP’M Group. They created four pillars of the business (BRAND’M, GROW’M, SCALE’M and BUILD’M) to cover all phases of the franchise development process, including branding, sales, real estate and operations.
Today REP’M Group has more than 60 employees facilitating top-shelf franchise consulting services to over 20 brands nationwide. The company plans to keep expanding by adding brands and building emerging franchisors across the globe. Here, Cambruzzi, Sheehan and Ryan share their best practices for sustainable franchise growth.
Best Practices for Sustainable Franchise Growth
What are the most important elements for sustainable growth in a franchise system?
NICK SHEEHAN: Financial capital and human capital are key to growth. However, financial capital only gets you things. People get you results. Most important, the people you hire should have experience and an understanding of franchisee support. This will allow for a much more successful working relationship between the two and likely get better results for the franchisee since there’s a clear path to success.
How do you help franchisees scale effectively?
JASON RYAN: Long-term sustainable growth in a franchise system requires the franchisees and the franchisor to have mutually aligned success. Success is defined by the bottom line of the franchisee, not the top line of the franchisor. Most importantly, franchisee profitability is the outcome of a good business system, a differentiated model and very good franchisor support. If these things exist and franchisees experience good unit economics, they will both validate the concept and will likely grow within the system over time.
The best franchisors will have a laser focus — almost an obsession — on franchisee profitability.
So the short answer is validation, but really validation is not only tied to enjoying the industry and the people you work with. Good validation comes when franchise owners have both emotional and financial success for themselves and their families. This wealth creation is the key to growing rapidly and most important, for achieving long-term sustainable growth.
The best franchisors will have a laser focus — almost an obsession — on franchisee profitability. Franchisors who do will have franchisees who recognize, appreciate and validate the model long term.
What have you learned from building your operation and how will REP’M continue to grow?
ROB CAMBRUZZI: In building REP’M, we focused on bringing in the best talent available and creating a premium service. Our priority is validation and that is the core of any good business model. If you have validation from your clients, then you are winning.
If you have validation from your clients, then you are winning.
REP’M plans on adding seven to 10 brands over the next 12 months. We will grow with brands in several different spaces including health and wellness, early childhood education and services. We will also concentrate on having a mix of concepts that have already been franchised along with brands that only have a corporate model, Ellie Mental Health is an example. We will focus on doing things the right way so we can provide exceptional results.
What is the secret to REP’M’s success?
NICK SHEEHAN: Three things come to mind: 1. Our team is flat-out awesome! Our culture is one-of-a-kind and people want to work with us. 2. We offer more solutions for emerging brands than any other group. 3. We have great systems.
We are a mix of focused and fun, which makes us flexible but also super-effective. When you combine those three qualities, you have a system that people want to use.