Unleashed Brands Taps Vice President of Franchise Finance

HW - Eric Schechterman, Unleashed Brands

The Funding Expert will Assist Franchisees in Securing Capital

Unleashed Brands, a corporate umbrella of youth enrichment brands, tapped Eric Schechterman as vice president of franchise finance. With this newly-created role, Schechterman will help franchisees acquire funding. He brings experience with assisting thousands of entrepreneurs secure hundreds of SBA-backed loans to start businesses.

Franchises under the Unleashed Brands umbrella include Premier Martial Arts (PMA), The Little Gym, Snapology, Class 101, Urban Air Adventure Park, and XP League. Other recent additions to Unleashed’s leadership team include Diane Sanford and Scott Thompson

As vice president of franchise finance, Schechterman looks forward to doing what he loves while helping franchisees grow. He enjoys finding new ways to support funding for Unleashed’s system, better utilizing “old” methods, combining ideas and more.

As a self-described people and brand watcher, Schechterman sensed that Unleashed Brands was special after meeting founder Michael Browning Jr. and Chief Growth Officer Josh Wall. “The way they spoke about it was different, and the energy they exuded when talking about it was different. In a business like franchising, that has a lot of similarities across different companies …. that IT factor is many times what makes the difference,” Schechterman said. 

Eric Schechterman, Unleashed Brands
Eric Schechterman is the new vice president of franchise finance for Unleashed Brands. 

Schechterman stayed connected with the team, followed their progress, spent time with them at franchising events, and monitored Unleashed’s online presence. In this new age of “platform” brands, Schechterman sees the need to cultivate, procure and deploy multiple funding strategies for franchisees. “They need to service hundreds of entrepreneurs and focus on lending that serves their largest needs. They have different brands, different investments, different build-out schedules, and the ability to assist franchisees with funding that may allow them to open sooner, open more locations, add brands, etc., create tremendous value for the franchisee and the franchisor.”

Unleashed’s leadership team is excited to have him on board. “We made this investment in our franchise system to support our current and future franchisees by establishing key relationships in the lending industry,” said Scott Perry, Chief Financial Officer of Unleashed Brands. “Schechterman will be working on the finance team and with the franchise development team to help our franchisees acquire this funding to open as quickly as possible.”

A Seasoned Pro

Schechterman is a seasoned franchise and financial professional. He spent more than a decade with Benetrends Financial, where he was exposed to all areas of franchising He served as national sales director and eventually chief development officer. His favorite aspect of franchising is that there’s always something new to learn. He enjoys the ability to surprise people in positive, life-changing ways.  

For Franchisee Candidates

Schechterman advises prospective franchise buyers to focus on what they do and not always what the business does. A top franchisee he has worked with owns a swim education franchise and doesn’t know how to swim — but it’s not their job to teach the classes. “Most franchisees see success when they focus on working on the business, not in it.” Another piece of advice he offers is to avoid being undercapitalized. “I have heard entrepreneurs complain about starting a business with too much capital.”

Funding Strategies for Small Businesses 

Schechterman believes that focusing on the wrong way is almost as important as finding the right way. “There may be multiple right ways that can be chosen or even combined. Many people would say they never knew you could use retirement funds for a business, for example.” He urges small business owners to look at the SBA, equipment leasing, HELOC, retirement funds, portfolio lending, and conventional sources of financing with the help of a professional.

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Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and writer for IFPG. In her role as content and marketing specialist, she creates original articles for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine. Her specialties include educational articles about buying a franchise and franchise consulting. She also reports on franchise professionals who were recently promoted or hired through FranchiseWire’s popular HireWire series.

Haley has contributed to a variety of regional publications, including Quo Vadis, New Brunswick Today, and the Trenton Monitor. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Rutgers University.
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