Q&A with Thomas Scott, CEO of Home Run Franchises
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Q&A with Thomas Scott, CEO of Home Run Franchises

Q&A with Thomas Scott, CEO of Home Run Franchises

With 25 years of experience in the franchising industry, including working for franchise systems, owning several brands, running a franchise marketing agency, and now taking on the growth of an emerging franchise system, Thomas Scott is no stranger to franchising. Today he is the founder and CEO of Home Run Franchises, which include emerging franchise brands UpClosets and Dryer Vent Superheroes. In just two years, Home Run Franchises has reached more than 50 franchise units between the two brands. This is Scott’s story of how it happened and where they are going next.

What is the story behind Home Run Franchises?

Scott: The problem I saw in this industry after 25 years in franchise marketing and ownership was private equity brands buying out franchise brands and not putting the goal of franchisee satisfaction first. They would work to boost the value of their company, without putting the franchisee first. I saw the need for a franchise system driven towards first time owners in the home service industry.

With Home Run Franchises, our corporate goal is to make people happy. We look to do everything we can to be transparent and help people make money. This resonates in our flat rate royalty system, as well as our flat rate service pricing. Happy franchisees drive overall business growth. Happy business owners make money and stay in business longer.

How do you differentiate your franchise brands from competitors in the same industry?

Scott: I think it’s really important to understand that as a franchisor, the goal is not to be disruptive. The goal is to differentiate your brand in your market. We looked at every brand in the space, and we learned their whole workflow, system, and marketing by mystery shopping. We found what they did well and what they did not do so well. We created our franchise business models based on the holes in the markets created by their competitors. We also learned about the customer and what they want.

We also utilize technology in a very advanced way. From our sales process to our local marketing, we are very ahead with securing leads in nontraditional ways. For example, a lot of customers under 35 don’t want to talk on the phone anymore, so we have many different ways for a lead to convert without someone having to pick up the phone, and that has been very well received.

How is your strategy different in finding the right franchise owners?

Scott: The first thing I look for in a potential franchise owner is an engaged, enthusiastic, and passionate attitude. We look for people with very open and positive mindsets that can be coachable. Computer skills are definitely going to go far, as well as consulting, sales, business management, and marketing skills. People with these backgrounds do very well.

Another difference I saw in franchising was the age gap. Most young entrepreneurs are often overlooked when it comes to owning a franchise because of funding. But they have the most drive, the most energy, and the most time compared to older franchise owners. In general, potential franchise owners under 40 are also more coachable as well. Thirty percent of our owners are Gen Z (27 and under), but that group makes 60% of my top performers.

What has been your growth strategy so far, and what are you changing to continue growing?

Scott: We have three areas of development. One third are broker deals, another one third comes through organic advertising, and the final third comes from creative recruiting.

The challenge with broker deals is that you don’t always get the best leads. A lot of buyers that work with brokers may not ever become a franchise owner with any brand, but the candidates that do become franchise owners are great at doing their research.

When it comes to organic digital advertising, we are heavy on short form video, or personal branding. We have a lot of success on social media, and have even sold a franchise from a TikTok video.

Creative recruiting is like talent scouting. Finding the right person who would do very well in the business model, such as someone with related experience, and helping them get to where they need to be to become a productive franchise owner.

What marketing strategies are in place to help franchisees get off the ground?

Scott: Our goal as a franchisor is to build momentum for our franchisees. We build job trackers and a marketing plan that we go over with the franchise owner once a month. We use a three-legged attack plan to grand opening marketing, including referral business, like making relationships with complementary businesses. This can lead to word of mouth business, assertive marketing, such as business cards, rack cards, yard signs, and van wraps, and digital inbound lead generation, which is an area in which we really excel. We have trusted vendors for Google marketing, we have some really great support in the Meta universe, and we try additional platforms such as Nextdoor and Angi.

What are the biggest challenges Home Run Franchises has faced so far, and did you overcome them?

Scott: Our earliest challenge was securing financing options. It can be very difficult for franchisors to qualify for financing with major banks initially. We wanted to solve this problem early on, and we are able to work with better qualified franchise owners because of our financing.

What is your best advice to your franchisors looking to grow their brand?

Scott: First, figure out your goals. Is your goal to build a happy and healthy company, or just to make money and move on? Get clear on what you want to accomplish as a franchisor. Think more about how you can make your franchise system less about you and more about the franchise owner. Pay attention to your franchise culture and where it is going. Healthy franchise systems are pro-franchisee or franchisee-centric.

What are Home Run Franchises’ plans for future growth?

Scott: Happy franchisees are always the goal. Happy franchisees fuel growth in a system, so focusing on our franchise owners and helping them grow, helping them make more money, is our main goal. We’re at 65 franchise units today, and we want to sign 100 before the end of the year. I think we will get there.

Published: May 8th, 2024

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