Last week, I had the enormous pleasure of introducing our organization for the first time as Empower Brands. This rebranding effectively takes the unification of what was once Lynx Franchising and Outdoor Living Brands to the next level. It has since been a whirlwind for myself and the rest of the Empower Brands team amid all of the excitement such a momentous change brings.
Now, as the dust begins to settle and we move forward as Empower Brands, I want to take a moment to reflect on how we got here. Although the transition from two partnering organizations to one truly unified company will set the stage for tremendous growth for us, it’s important now – as it is with any major change in business or in life – that we don’t get so wrapped up in the journey that we forget where we came from.
Where we’re coming from…
The journey to becoming Empower Brands began in September 2021 when Lynx Franchising, a leader in commercial services, acquired Outdoor Living Brands (“OLB”) to expand into the residential services sector. Since then, our network of franchises across our brands has seen record growth, surpassing a total of $1 billion in combined system sales and licensing more than 150 new territories over the last year.
After months of integration, we realized that we could grow even more if we doubled down on joining forces. After all, one of our mantras around the office is “we win together,” and what better way to live that mantra than by coming together like never before? And thus, the rebranding process was underway.
Merging these world-class organizations under one umbrella company will make us stronger and will be key in propelling our growth moving forward both for our current brands and for more brands to come. But ultimately, at the core of this business decision was our commitment to finding more ways to empower our franchise business owners.
I personally know all too well what a game-changer this rebranding will be for our franchisees.
Been there, done that.
While I may be on the franchisor side of the fence now, the origins of my career in franchising are at the franchisee level. When I was just 22 years old, a buddy and I decided to forego the normal path of an entry-level office job to instead open our own business. With a leap of faith and the gracious support of family, we opened two franchise locations with sub shop Mr. Goodcents in my hometown of St. Louis.
It was through owning and operating my own franchises that I fell in love with the franchise business model. I was fortunate in that first franchise ownership experience to have strong franchisor support, which shaped my view of how interdependent the franchisor/franchisee relationship should be.
We sold those franchises in 2001, and I went on to have a diverse and exciting career in franchising which eventually led me to where I am now as CEO of Empower Brands. Yet I’ve never lost sight of what it was like to be a franchise owner myself, and that’s why I believe what we’re doing now as Empower Brands is what my entire career has been preparing me for.
The best is yet to come.
Through Empower Brands, our owners will be able to share training, align ideals, and expand their resources like never before. As a franchisor, we will also be able to further support, train, and mentor our franchise owners and their teams.
Having been in the shoes of our franchise owners, I know this is going to be a game-changer for them now and for all the future owners we welcome to our network.
I share with my team that nothing gives us more satisfaction than helping people build businesses from the ground up, so that they may be able to provide more fulfilling lives for themselves and their families. As Empower Brands, we have a lot of that to look forward to.