For those of us in franchising, it seems that we all have interesting stories on how we got here. Did we seek out the industry or did the opportunity just happen to fall into our laps? For Thomas Gibbs, it was a little more complex than that.
Thomas’ franchising journey started seven years ago when he took a golf coaching position for a company called GOLFTECH. Though Thomas was already feeling content and fulfilled as a golf instructor, an unexpected opportunity arose that interested him a great deal: his boss, who was the Franchise Owner of the GOLFTECH location where he worked, decided to sell his business. Not one to shy away from opportunity, Thomas decided to purchase the existing franchise.
As Thomas settled into the groove of owning his own GOLFTECH, he saw that the area would benefit from another location and scaled the business accordingly by adding another territory to his portfolio. Ultimately, after a few years, he sold the businesses and began looking for his next adventure. That search led him to franchise consulting and specifically the network, Business Alliance Inc. also known as BAI. Now, with three years of franchise consulting under his belt, Thomas discusses his favorite parts of his job and his personal recipe for success.
Ultimately, Thomas sees himself as an educator who has the privilege of walking individuals through franchising and business ownership. Thomas has found that most people don’t know what they want when it comes to owning a business and that talking them through different industries and opportunities helps people to sort their own thoughts and have a clearer direction. “A lot of people feel fearful about taking the leap or drastically changing their lives and the lives of their family, but I feel lucky that I am able to walk them through different options and help them navigate the best fit,” he says. “I’m not afraid to tell my clients the good, the bad, and the ugly of business ownership or different brands, and that’s why they come to me, for an expert opinion.”
Thomas believes that loving what he does every day is the key to his success. He believes being a franchise consultant aligns well with his personal values of helping others and positively impacting the community. He says, “I’ve found success as a franchise consultant because I love what I do! I could make no money and I would be just as happy. I like the idea of adding value to others and having an impact on the community.”
Because of this stance, Thomas is less focused on earning commission and more on finding the best franchising fit for his clients, saying, “I will advertise brands when I know I won’t make a ton in commission, but if I like the brand and think it could be a good fit for the individual I am working with, that’s the main priority.” His first step is usually helping his clients find the right industry. From there, they investigate different brands together based on their financial situation and personal goals.
As it happens, a number of Thomas’ favorite concepts to present are Raintree Franchise Sales brands! Thomas mentioned how our vibrant culture and sharp focus on building and fostering strong relationships with our partner brands has made him stand up and take notice of our franchise development company. “Everyone at Raintree is great!” he says. “Culture is a big deal to me and I can see how Raintree chooses to represent brands that match their culture. I’ve worked with a lot of development companies and Raintree seems to be the most focused on creating and building relationships rather than focusing only on the business aspect of awarding franchises. Honestly, there is no franchise development company I think of more highly than Raintree.”
When asked for tips to pass along to other franchise consultants Thomas sincerely feels that relationships with the development team are key. “Consultants need to work closely with the sales team to learn the brand, how to present it, who they are looking for, who will be successful in the system, and make sure that all aligns with your client.” He continues, “By working with multiple brands and development people you will start to realize who you work best with and who is best at their role, these are the brands you want to continue to show.”
Congratulations, Thomas, for being Raintree’s June Consultant of the Month. We truly appreciate your partnership and are excited to continue changing lives together!