When we had the chance to interview Business Alliance Inc (BAI) consultant, Jim Olson, we were extremely surprised to find out he has only been a franchise consultant for four years. With all the success Raintree has had with him and the professionalism he brings to the industry, we thought he had been in this role for much longer! During our interview, Jim explained why the transition into franchise consulting was such an easy one for him as well as why he enjoys this profession so much.
My background prior to franchise consulting was in the financial industry. I previously worked at JP Morgan, Chase, and American Express. In 2016, there was a corporate setback at American Express and my entire division was laid off. I wasn’t interested in retiring so I looked at other options that were available to me.
During my time in the financial sector, I worked with many Franchisees and Franchisors. In that role, I was drilling down and learning about my customer’s businesses and evaluating solutions to their problems. It was a bit different than consulting because it was financial products vs franchises but the skill sets needed were very similar. I ended up finding BAI and joined the network in early 2017.
What I enjoy most is being able to engage with people who are truly interested in improving their situation. I enjoy trying to help people and helping individuals find solutions that solve their problems.
I especially love hearing that through a placement I make, I have improved someone’s life. My favorite placement thus far was with a man who owned a 7-Eleven that ended up being robbed, causing the Night Manager to quit. As the Franchise Owner, he ended up working 16- hour days while not making a liveable wage. I introduced him to a different concept and he ended up selling his 7-Eleven and now lives a much more fulfilled life. That’s truly why I love my role!
I tend to work with home-based businesses because they are easier for people to start. They typically have a lower investment and are more simple to run. Of course, these kinds of businesses aren’t for everyone but I do love placing someone in a home-based concept that has strong validation.
The brands Raintree partners with are great franchises that are always on the uptick and fill a real need in the market. I have found great success with Footprints Floors (5 placements!), and previous Raintree brands Screenmobile and Rush Bowls.
I think it is always extremely important to be genuine and empathetic to your clients. Always try to meet them where they are and understand exactly what is going on in their life that is driving them towards owning a franchise. I also think that it is important to know the brands you are presenting and to have a solid relationship with the development person.
Thank you, Jim, for taking the time to sit down with us, and thank you for your support of the Raintree Brands! We look forward to continuing our partnership!