Our September pick for Franchise Consultant of the Month, Scott Diener, is a 30+ year veteran in franchising and franchise ownership. From building multiple brands from scratch beginning in 1989, when he helped launch the Unocal76 gas station brand into franchising, to starting a franchise concept, Scooter’s Jungle, with his family, Scott shares his unique point of view from the Franchisor’s needs to the multi-unit owner’s requirements and continues to run his franchise consulting business today.
Scott’s Journey of Franchise Ownership, Education, and Consulting
As Project Manager with Unocal76, Scott was instrumental in overseeing everything from strategy, design, ground-up real estate, and launch of franchise operations. During this time, Scott also received his MBA from USC in Entrepreneurial Studies, where he still volunteers as an advisor to students. After accomplishing the goal of 200 new open Unocal76 locations in two years, the company’s retail division was sold to Circle K. This was Scott’s first introduction to franchising and building brands. From there, he moved on to work in franchise business development for Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, and Quiznos, focusing on the corporate side of things and nurturing the people management skills that proved instrumental in building his current career as a franchise consultant.
While Scott enjoyed working with Franchise Owners, he found that his “corporate road warrior” role with each company came at a cost, keeping Scott away from his family. After years of helping others start a business, Scott got bitten by the entrepreneurship bug. Together with his wife, Sharon, Scott founded a private birthday party concept called Scooter’s Jungle in 2002. The business was a major success, opening three corporate locations. Even with all this activity, being an entrepreneur offered Scott the opportunity to transform his old business travel into longer trips abroad with his family.
After six years of building a replicable business model, Scott transformed the business into a franchise offering for the Southern California market. The insights he had gained by working with Franchise Owners were invaluable from his new perspective as a corporate owner.
After spending years mentoring MBA students and working with Scooter’s Jungle Franchise Owners, Scott wanted to get back into the business of helping others connect with their ideal business dreams. Scott further developed his “why,” and franchise coaching was the natural fit. He could use the experience in all aspects of franchising, business development, and ownership, and pair them with his desire to guide and mentor others toward achieving their goals. In 2014, he joined The You Network and International Franchise Professionals Group and has thoroughly enjoyed developing relationships and helping people ever since.
Scott’s Recipe for Success as a Franchise Consultant
Scott attributes his success in relating to his clients as someone who has walked in their shoes and speaks from both firsthand experiences and the heart. He is transparent with his clients and can talk knowledgeably about the hard work and dedication needed to be successful as a Franchise Owner, setting realistic expectations without sugar-coating anything. Transparency builds trust that is imperative for fostering the deep client relationships necessary to help them discover the perfect opportunity. He asks the tough questions and makes sure that they understand this will be a profound lifestyle change for them and their family.
Scott emphasizes getting to know his clients by allowing the client to share their journey, their background, and their “why” that prompted them to begin their search. By diving deep, Scott can help his clients accurately identify the pains they are experiencing and how they can be solved. As a franchise consultant, he understands it’s essential to be agile to adjust to clients’ changing needs.
Finally, Scott recommends joining peer groups with seasoned consultants who challenge each other to grow. At times, it’s easy to become complacent or even lazy, getting into a routine of doing the same thing every day. Surrounding yourself with inspirational consultants with varying opinions who are doing it right is incredibly beneficial. They are the best resources!
What Does Scott Look For in a Franchise Concept to Present?
First, it must be the right fit for the client! Scott also breaks it down into two main categories:
1. Development Team
“I am handing over my client whom I have just invested a significant amount of time building a relationship with over to a reputable development team that I must trust to take care of my client. Raintree is a great example where I have high confidence in the professionalism of the education process of any of the Raintree brands. I appreciate extra communication from the development team to ensure consistently updated on my client’s progress and honesty. If I send over someone who is not a great fit, tell me and why! We all learn and not waste an individual’s time.”
2. Leadership Team & Validation
“Having been a multi-unit owner, I understand the significance of a great leadership team and strong franchisee validation. Current franchise owner satisfaction build’s the brand’s story, the track record of success, and the ability to speak to the franchisee support received from corporate. The training program, launch, and ongoing support from leadership is vital to the long term success of the business as well.”
Congratulations, Scott Diener, on being recognized as Raintree’s September Franchise Consultant of the month! Thank you for letting us share your story.