Bender will Manage Franchise Sales for the Corporate Franchisor’s Home Services Brands
Threshold Brands has promoted Ron Bender to senior director of franchise development. A franchisor of home services franchises, Threshold Brands includes Men In Kilts, MaidPro, Patio Patrol, Granite Garage Floors, and more.
With this new role, Bender will help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams through educating them about franchise ownership opportunities. He also helps veterans and their spouses learn about the benefits available to them. Bender is an experienced franchise professional who has mentored and built relationships throughout the franchise community. This promotion allows Bender to manage franchise sales for five of the corporate franchisor’s brands. He was previously Threshold’s franchise relations director.
“I love the opportunity to help people learn about franchising, take control of their lifestyle and their income, and perhaps build a legacy through franchise ownership! I love that Threshold Brands and Riverside give me the opportunity to help people and be active in the industry,” Bender said in a statement.
Bender has been fascinated by umbrella corporations for some time, and a good friend who recently joined Threshold recruited him. “I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to work for a private equity-owned organization, but I did lots of research and spoke to many people I respect a great deal, and they counseled me that The Riverside Company, the capital parent of Threshold, was a great ‘business builder,’ not just a ‘flipper,’ and that franchisees and employees would be well taken care of. Certainly, this has proven out already in just my first year,” Bender said.
Bender believes that Threshold will see continuing aggregation of complementary concepts in food, fitness, health care, home services and more. “The ability to standardize back office, training and field support, marketing and other business aspects across many disparate business units helps increase and improve the level of support, attract and afford superior support staff and learn from a wider variety of operators and team members.”
He adds that “franchisees are also seeing benefits from cross-marketing with sister companies, greatly magnified buying power, and the ability to diversify their investments with other concepts, often in the same operating areas and with the same client base.”
Threshold’s leadership team believes Bender is a good fit for the position. “Ron has been a terrific asset to Threshold over the past year, and we see great opportunity for him to be even more impactful and valuable to us and to the entire franchise community in the future!” said Jim Nichols, vice president of franchise development of Threshold Brands. Bender adds that there has been “such marked improvement in many of our brands that Jim and others felt that we should create a new senior director position to include liasioning with the brand presidents and mentoring and managing the lead qualifiers for each brand.” Bender brings decades of experience to this role.
A Franchise Professional’s Journey
Bender’s journey in franchising goes back almost 25 years. Wireless Zone, a New England-based wireless phone retail franchise, gave him the opportunity to handle franchise sales, as well as training and operational support, which allowed him to help people take control of their income and lifestyle and pursue their dreams. “I was there for 12 years, and that was an amazing learning experience,” Bender said.
While Bender hasn’t served in the U.S. Armed Forces, he has tremendous respect and admiration for those who did. “I’ve been closely associated with many terrific still-serving and retired military members, and I really want to thank them by giving back where I can. I joined the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran Committee about eight years ago, and was recently elected 2nd Vice Chair,” Bender said. The IFA’s VetFran Program looks to educate veterans and franchisors about how well military personnel do in franchising. The program also looks to make the transition into franchise ownership as seamless as possible for veterans and their families.
Bender adds that the position in the VetFran Committee “enables me to help franchisors, suppliers, franchisees and outside organizations by promoting franchising to veterans and veterans to the franchise industry.” Bender is very involved in the IFA and has made virtual and in-person presentations for veterans through the IFA Foundation, MFV Expositions, the Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and more. Through these presentations, Bender educates veterans “about opportunities in franchising, whether as owners or as employees. I’ve also become active in the IFA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, educating women and members of all types of diverse communities in the same areas.”
Advice from a Certified Franchise Executive
As a Certified Franchise Executive, Bender suggests that franchisors offer a great candidate experience to attract, inform and excite new franchisees. “This experience starts with the franchise website or whatever marketing message they see first, and critical aspects should include lots of information and total transparency, without sugarcoating! You can’t let candidates think that starting and building the business will be easy or that the franchisor will do the work for them, but you should ensure that they understand the resources and support provided, where their responsibilities lie and what skillsets are necessary.”
Bender also urges franchisees to follow the proven system. “I try to illustrate the importance of following the franchise system using an image of the guardrails on a winding road through the mountains. These guardrails represent the business model trained and supported by the franchisor, and they are designed to keep franchisees on their road to success.” In Bender’s view, “some concepts have very narrow guardrails, such as QSRs, and some might have much wider guardrails, giving franchisees a lot more opportunity to use their own ideas to adjust and improve their business.”