The Franchise Veteran Brings Decades of Experience to the Role
Propelled Brands, a corporate franchisor of service franchises, named Andrea Hohermuth president of FASTSIGNS. With this position, Hohermuth will grow the custom signage brand. She brings more than two decades of franchising, leadership, and operations experience to the role. In addition to FASTSIGNS, the Propelled Brands’ umbrella includes NerdsToGo, Salon Plaza, and My Salon Suite.
Hohermuth has made it a career priority “to ensure the culture aligns with how I want to spend every day. A key element in a great culture is ‘People First.’ In addition, a strong business vision and plan for success have always been a must. FASTSIGNS embodies the ‘people first’ culture, has a very successful track record, and has tremendous opportunity to achieve new levels of success through innovation.”
Hohermuth looks forward to leveraging her experience and knowledge of franchise best practices with her passion for operations and innovation through technology.
Catherine Monson, CEO of Propelled Brands and former FASTSIGNS CEO and president, believed that it was time for a president solely dedicated to driving innovation and growth for franchisees and saw Hohermuth as a good fit.
FASTSIGNS and the IFA
Hohermuth believes that “FASTSIGNS will continue to make a positive impact on the future of franchising as we are heavily involved with the International Franchise Association (IFA). Monson was the former chair of the IFA, and FASTSIGNS is actively involved, from attending events to one franchisee serving on the board, and even educating our employees through the CFE program.”
“In conjunction with the IFA, we continue to educate franchisees, legislators and others on the importance of positive laws for franchising and the economic impact of franchising as it relates to jobs both nationwide and in local communities where our centers serve. Through enhanced franchise legislation, FASTSIGNS takes an active role in creating a more positive opportunity for more franchisees,” she added.
Hohermuth and Franchising
Hohermuth began her career working in start-up software companies. She has spent time working in different industries including software, ecommerce, financial services, payment processing and payment technology, insurance and healthcare technology. “Working in small to medium-sized companies, I was laser-focused on transforming their business, while at the same time transforming both customers’ businesses and consumer lives.”
Her introduction to franchising came when she worked at a software company founded by a franchise founder/owner of MaidPro. “The software was essentially a full-service management system (POS) designed for any business in field services, but many of our customers were franchisors including MaidPro itself. During that time, I got a front row seat to franchising and franchise operations, both from the franchisor and franchisee perspectives. I was later recruited to MaidPro to lead its technology department and traversed into leading broader franchise operations along with the technology departments and strategy.”
After MaidPro was acquired and Threshold Brands was formed, Hohermuth led key franchise operations and technology across nine brands as COO.
Hohermuth is passionate about helping people, and her favorite aspect of franchising is “the role that we as franchisors get to play, as we provide the support for entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams and be successful in business ownership. With the right support structure, business model and proven products, franchisors can empower franchisees to more quickly reach greater levels of success, with less risk. Business owners don’t have to go it alone.”
Hohermuth subscribes to a philosophy of “We are all in franchise support.” She says, “It doesn’t matter what a person’s title or job description is; at the end of the day, we are ALL here to help our franchise partners achieve success.”
For Prospective Franchise Owners
Hohermuth believes that entrepreneurs should thoroughly research franchise brands before investing to ensure that the following are present: a successful track record, financial opportunity, growth rates of the specific franchise brand, support and tools provided, and franchisee satisfaction.
To Hohermuth, franchisors play a key role in operational efficiency. “In order to produce seamless operations, franchisors must have subject matter expertise on staff, frequent collaboration with their franchisee network, a feedback-rich environment, and of course, strong field support. We must stay in touch with the evolution of what is taking place on the front lines while staying on the forefront of innovation in the industry.”
All roads lead back to technology, she added. “Technology is absolutely essential to improving operational efficiency and allowing franchisees and their teams to focus on tasks that drive value vs. repetitive tasks that can be automated. As franchisors, we must be able to develop educational material and ensure clear, effective communications on best practices. In addition, proper training on best practices must be given at all stages of business maturity, and training methods must be engaging and evolve with the learners.”