As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this October, it’s important to honor the contributions of Hispanics to the U.S. economy and culture – contributions that are especially significant in franchising.
Following the franchise business model is a great option for entrepreneurs, especially for immigrants that are new to the U.S. Uprooting their families and leaving behind their home country is a difficult challenge many take on for a chance at achieving the American Dream. This belief that no matter where you come from you can build a successful life in the U.S. is what encourages immigrants to embrace the big move.
Today, the U.S. is more diverse than ever and according to recent studies, immigrants are more likely to launch a business than native-born Americans. Furthermore, the number of Hispanic business owners has continued to increase after the pandemic and Hispanic-owned franchises are generating 1.6 times more sales and employing 1.5 times more people per location than their independent counterparts, according to an International Franchise Association (IFA) and Oxford Economics study.
In 2022, the International Franchise Association (IFA) and the IFA Foundation launched the Hispanic Latino Franchise Leadership Council, a network dedicated to Hispanic franchise leaders from across the U.S. This new council, along with other efforts made across the industry, are set in place to support current Hispanic franchise owners and attract new talent to franchising.
At Authority Brands, we have a diverse group of franchise owners that have contributed to the growth we’ve achieved – with Hispanic immigrants playing a big role in our development. Gabriel Petasny, a franchise owner of Color World Painting in Orlando, has been able to grow his business substantially, generating brand awareness and sales with residents and commercial businesses through Central Florida in his first year in business. Frustrated with the economic uncertainty in his native country of Argentina, Gabriel was eager to find a solution that would allow him to provide for his family and live a more stress-free lifestyle while operating a business. After brainstorming ideas with his business partner and longtime friend Emanuel Lombardo, Gabriel sold his companies and migrated to the U.S. in search for a better life. Together with Emanuel, Gabriel runs Color World Painting in Orlando and is growing his business portfolio to franchise with Color World Painting along the Gulf Coast of Florida in Tampa.
Like Gabriel, when Simon Rozenburg, franchise owner of The Junkluggers in Aventura, Florida, moved to the U.S from Venezuela, he faced challenges that are common for many immigrants. Navigating unfamiliar business and labor regulations is one of them. That’s why the franchising business model is an attractive option for many entrepreneurs that are new to this country.
Proven Business Model in Place
Starting your own business is risky and many will tell you that the survival rate during the first year is low. However, choosing to franchise versus launching a startup can reduce the likelihood of failing as there’s an existing and proven business model ready for you to replicate. Immigrants like Gabriel and Simon have a safety net that other enterprises don’t offer in the beginning stages of owning a company.
No matter if you start a franchise business or choose the startup route as you come to this country, there’s a learning curve. The biggest difference is that most franchisors offer the necessary training that can better prepare franchisees for what’s next. All of the home service brands under Authority Brands’ franchise network have extensive classroom and on-the-job training requirements that each franchisee and staff member must complete prior to opening. The courses are set up to be practical, engaging and rewarding – setting up franchise owners for success no matter what part of the country they’re franchising in.
While testimonials from franchise business owners may vary, what’s consistent is their admiration for the level of support that’s provided to them throughout the entire partnership. There are many unknowns when you migrate to a new country and similarly, when you start a business. Franchisors have the capabilities to provide an unmatched support system that you would otherwise not have access to as a startup. The wealth of knowledge this team has will help guide the franchisee during the beginning stages and onward. Finding the right real estate to operate the business from, obtaining loans and building a team to support the company are a few examples of how the franchisor’s in-house staff will help newcomers.
Additionally, building a profitable business isn’t just about what you do in the first year. It’s also about what you are consistently doing to promote your brand, its services and why customers should choose you over competitors. The marketing team franchisors have on hand can do this and more. In recent years, we have been investing in the marketing resources and tools we provide to franchisees to keep the momentum going for years to come. While the owner focuses on the operations of the business, our marketing team will be sure their social channels are active and providing the marketing solutions that franchise location needs to be top-of-mind with key audiences.
What may be a popular and well-known brand in one country, may not be the case in the U.S. Starting your new life with a company that has already established awareness with customers positions new business owners ahead of others. Customers know what your brand represents, the services it offers and what to expect.
Above all, the franchise industry is a family that looks out for each other, supports franchisees’ endeavors and is working towards one goal – being the best at what we do to be successful for ourselves and our families no matter where we come from.
Heather McLeod, Chief Growth Officer at Authority Brands
Heather first joined The Cleaning Authority in 2015 and has been an integral part of the formation of Authority Brands and its success, bringing her passion for collaboration, customer experience, and process to everything she does. She served as Chief Marketing Officer for Authority Brands from its formation in 2017 until 2022, when she assumed the new role of Chief Growth Officer. Heather is personally involved in Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore as a volunteer since 2019. In 2022, Heather officially joined the Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. Heather also serves at the University of Louisville College of Business YUM! CGFE Board of Advisors.