Steve Beagelman thought that he knew the franchising industry inside and out. After working for years as the chief franchising officer for brands like Saladworks and Hollywood Tans before becoming the latter company’s CEO, he knew what turned potential leads into official sales. But it wasn’t until Beagelman decided to try something new that he fully gained insight into every side of the franchising business model.
As the CEO of Hollywood Tans, Beagelman reached a point in his career where he knew it was time for a change. However, he was unsure of what to do next. So after stepping down from his position, he decided to take some time for himself to figure out his next moves. During that time, a few brands outsourced their CEO work to him and came to him for advice. That’s when he realized he had the potential to create a consulting business—SMB Franchise Advisors.
“I almost started this company on accident. I never intended to launch my own business—I always thought I’d go back to work for another brand,” said Beagelman. “As a new consultant, the good news for me was that I was already familiar with the industry and had a strong network of contacts. But that’s not to say that launching SMB Franchise Advisors was easy—there’s a big adjustment when you go from a large office with a lot of support staff to something you created on your own.”
Beagelman soon found himself in a much different position in the franchising industry. No longer was he responsible for steering one specific brand in the right direction—he was helping multiple companies create their franchising opportunities and get them off the ground. That situation presented Beagelman with what he calls the biggest obstacle he’s faced in getting SMB Franchise Advisors to the successful position it’s in today.
“The biggest challenge for me was learning how to manage my time. As a CEO and chief franchising officer, I was used to spending all of my time and energy on one brand. But that’s not the case in the consulting business. We work with anywhere from 25 to 30 clients a month, which means that my focus needs to be pulled in a lot of different directions,” said Beagelman.
Since first opening his doors for business, Beagelman has learned to prioritize his work for different brands. But beyond that, he’s also leveraged his relationships in the industry to build a strong base of clients. Even though he now works on the other side of the franchising industry, the connections that Beagelman has made throughout his career as an executive continue to fuel SMB Franchise Advisors’ success.
Take Dawn Abbamondi, for example. She decided to transition from one of his clients to one of his employees after learning about the work that SMB Franchise Advisors is committed to doing for emerging franchise brands.
“When I first met Steve, he had two people on his team and I was a client. His core focus was to help us based on his professional expertise and network. That’s still essential to what SMB Franchise Advisors does today,” said Dawn Abbamondi, director of marketing and brand development at SMB Franchise Advisors. “From helping those first three or four clients in 2010 to now having successfully helped over 150 brands launch their franchise concepts, we’re still focused on doing what is right. We believe that the relationships we create are essential to our success as well as the success of our clients.”
Going forward, Beagelman plans to continue building on his established relationships and reputation to ensure SMB Franchise Advisors’ long term success. While building and growing the business hasn’t been an easy process, he says that it’s the best decision he ever made.
Beagelman said, “Everybody goes through times that they’re not expecting. And even though those times are often challenging, they often bring great rewards. You have to take the time to regroup and figure out what exactly it is that you want to do with your business and career. That’s when you’ll be able to ensure that you’re doing something that you’re passionate about on a daily basis.”