Nick Lopez features a special guest on the show in Red Boswell, who not only helps bring franchisors into the IFPG but brings over 25 years of experience. Red and Nick dive into Red’s background, which is rich in entrepreneurship. Red shares his days as a franchisor and the lessons learned from his days of scaling a franchise organization to nearly 150 units. Red also dives into his days as a consultant and how he has helped level up many organizations, from marketing to executive leadership development. Red is also very actively involved in the IFA as a certified franchise executive, of which, Red elaborates on the benefits of franchising as a whole and how the world of franchising has transformed his life. Today, Red’s children are integrated into his love of franchising. He shares how he is able to balance and include his family in his franchise family as well. This conversation is jam-packed with action, which is no surprise being that it features Red, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most charismatic and creative minds in franchising.
My guest is an experienced entrepreneur, franchisor, CEO, Certified Franchise Executive and overall thought leader in franchising. He’s known in franchising for his creative mindset and charisma. Red Boswell, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Nick. I was wondering, “Who is he talking about there?” Good times. I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing with the world the beauty of franchising.
There is no better guest to have than Red Boswell when it comes to helping others level up in terms of franchising. I figured there’s no better way to start than shedding some light on the organization that you work with, IFPG. What does IFPG do? What does IFPG stand for?
International Franchise Professionals Group, IFPG. We are best known as a franchise consulting, referral, and consultant group, but we do a lot more than that. Our real purpose is to connect franchise professionals. Whether you’re a franchisor, you join IFPG because you want a bunch of qualified, awesome candidates or leads.
If you’re a consultant or looking to have a job in franchising or own your own consulting practice, we have over 600 of them that we’ve trained, taught, and supported in every way imaginable. They find wonderful buyers. They find people interested in owning a franchise and they change their life through franchising and education, matching them with lenders, and perhaps matching them with LIME Painting or another perfect franchise opportunity for that individual.
Lastly, our vendor members are selling products and services to franchisors or franchisees or maybe franchise consultants. Because we are a membership organization, they join us to get connected with us or the consultant or the member as well. Probably about 1,400 members of IFPG all together connect to make money and change lives in franchising.
What an amazing organization. Being a franchisor myself and knowing all the different options out there in terms of consulting, I have personally experienced that matchmaking process myself. It has been awesome. We’ve definitely onboarded some amazing franchise partners through IFPG, so thank you for that. What do you think is some of the magic behind that matchmaking process? You mentioned that it was 600 consultants with IFPG.
We’re 650 now.
I assume there’s some magic in there or some training. How does that come together?
There are a lot of different pieces and ingredients to that perfect recipe. My internal mantra is if IFPG has the best consultants, we win. We built our business model around attracting and keeping the best franchise consultants. Franchisors join us because we have the best consultants. We’re doing a lot of deals and changing a lot of lives. We get the best consultants with great training and great support. We have an inventory of wonderful franchises and the best technology out there. We have lots of events and online training, support, tools, and resources.
We have built our business model around attracting and keeping the best franchise consultants.
Sometimes they call us brokers, matchmakers, or advisors. We have everything you need to be super successful, whether it’s part-time or full-time successful. That’s our secret ingredient. Get the best consultants, and we win. The franchisors join us because they want to do deals and they want the lowest financial risk.
A lot of franchisors are out there spending $10,000, $20,000, and $50,000 in marketing in hopes to get one great new franchisee. With us, they spend a micro fraction of that in membership fees and perhaps some marketing to get the message of their brand to the consultants. The referral consultants that work with us, are out there finding great buyers and candidates, and matching them with the right opportunities.
After the deal is done and after the financial risk is gone, that franchisor pays a nice commission and success fee to the consultant. It’s like buying a house. Why would someone ever spend a ton of money on a house without getting the expertise of a guy that knows that community? It’s the same with franchising and then some. It’s a bigger decision than buying a house. Buying a franchise is investing your life savings and how you make a living. There are nearly 4,000 franchise opportunities. Why not get an expert to help guide you, help you, match you, and make sure you ask the right questions? That’s our business in a nutshell. We’re changing lives in franchising by matching folks and connecting folks with what they’re looking to achieve.
What an important responsibility there. If they’re looking to take their destiny into their own hands. what better way to do that? There is no better way than entrepreneurship and franchise ownership. Clearly, IFPG is leading the charge when it comes to that matchmaking process and I’ve seen that lived out. Red, would you mind sharing with us what it looks like from a career standpoint? I’m sure this amazing organization was very thoughtful about who they would place in the president role. I’m curious if you would share a little bit about how you got to the position that you’re in as a president of IFPG.
The short answer would be back 40-something years ago, I got that entrepreneur bug. I always had ideas. Some 30 years ago, I got introduced to network marketing. Although I’m not in network marketing and I haven’t been in it for over 20 years, I fell in love with the idea of helping others achieve their dreams through business ownership, and always reinvesting what you know into others.
About 20 years ago, I had a very successful home service business. It’s not in the painting world but in-home services. I realized, “This franchising thing is everything I want. I want to help other people do what I did.” I became a franchisor and in just three and a half years, I launched 148 franchises in 28 states, much like what I’m doing. I was able to exit and then reinvest my focus into helping other franchisors do what I did.
I then became a chief development officer globally for some pretty big brands. At that point, I fell in love with the broker world and the franchise consultant world. I thought I’m a great marketer. I have a Marketing degree. I know how to sell and communicate a concept. I don’t need the consultants, but then I took over a brand and realized, “These are good leads. They’re saving me so much time and hassle dealing with all these garbage leads that I was getting.”
I had a 180 and realized I love the broker consultant world. Ultimately, I was in between opportunities and I was approached by a couple of the franchise consultant groups about being the president. I have never been happier. IFPG was an answered prayer and is the sweet spot of where I hope I am forever. I love it.
Being a partner there as a franchisor, you’re doing a tremendous job from my standpoint. Congratulations.
You are too. We have about ten awesome concepts. I’m pretty certain about this number. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m quite certain that nobody has done more deals and changed more lives in painting franchising than LIME in the last year and a half or two years with us. You guys are on fire.
We’re so grateful for the partnership. Thank you for that, Red. I have a lot of values. LIME stands for love, integrity, mission, and excellence. Some of my personal values, I call my four Fs. They’re probably shared by many throughout franchising, but it’s faith, family, friends, and franchising. When I looked at you and your career, I think that you can relate to those four Fs. I was curious, what comes to mind when you think about faith, family, friends, and franchising?
Nick, you are making me smile. We’re like brothers from another mother here. I’ve started a Bible fellowship class or a Sunday school class at my church. The name of that Sunday school class, also called the Life Group, is Faith and Family. How cool is that? That’s the name of the class. We have similar priorities. In fact, about 15 or 20 years ago, I started a priority list. I started going through, “What are my top priorities in life?” I was like, “Faith and family.” I started seeing a theme here. It’s F and I have what I call my F9. You got F4, faith, family, friends, and franchising. Those are in the nine. Let’s see if I can do it without cheating.
I’m not very fit, but fitness is one of them. Also fun, food, and finances. You got to be on your finances. This one is a funny joke but it’s fusic. I love music but I couldn’t find a word for music that starts with an F, so I changed it to fusic. F9, eight of which start with an F. I thought about getting a tattoo of the F9 right here. I’m with you. Those are knowing yourself. I’m passionate about know thy self. Know what your priorities, weaknesses, and strengths are. What moves you? What gives you passion and fulfillment? There’s an F in fulfillment. I’m right there with you. F4 or F9, what matters to you is what matters to me.
I’m going to steal some of those. My four Fs may expand. I love the fusic. You definitely mentioned the Bible study group, faith and family. How do you incorporate your family in franchising? Those are probably two of the most important things in your life that you spend the most time with. Let me give some context to it. You’re a family man. How do those two things intertwine? How do you do that so well?
A lot of people say you want to have work-life balance and amen. You don’t want to get too extreme on either or you get into trouble. To me, you hear the word work-life integration. What I love is work-life harmony. To me, it’s not a separation of work and life. It’s integrating it all day long. If you love what you do, it’s not even work. Don’t get me wrong. I work my tail off a ton. Even if you don’t necessarily love what you do, it’s a matter of let’s integrate it. Make it part of who you are. I find myself working at home all the time, but I’m playing at work all the time. I got three kids, 19, 18, and 16-year-olds. I have a wife, twenty-two and a half years.
Work-life balance is not separation of work and life. It is having work-life harmony and integration.
My kids and wife will go to conferences with me. When we travel in the car, I’m on calls a ton with franchisor consultants and they hear me. They hear the fun I’m having and the joy that hopefully exudes from what I do and that is contagious. My sons, when they were both seventeen, both got into franchising. They actually got jobs working at entry level for some franchise sales organization. They were calling new leads, qualifying new leads, and scheduling leads for actual calls. Both are still working for franchisors.
My oldest became the youngest certified franchise consultant to my knowledge in the world. He’s going to make $100,000 before he’s 20. He is full-time in college and he is in a fraternity. He’s got a job on the side working for a franchisor. He’s a busy dude. I love him. He’s out there trying to change lives and do good in franchisees. The passion spreads. I guess the answer is integrating what I do with them, not hiding it, not shielding it from them, and taking them to conferences. How many industries can you take your kids to?
I want to introduce my kids to people like you. I’m not ashamed of who I work with. I love it. The pride gets in them and they feel and see it. They’re like, “Dad, is this a job? You’re having fun with it. You’re making a difference.” They feel it, see it, and absorb it. I don’t know about my 16-year-old. Hopefully, she’ll get that same passion and we’ll have a whole family in franchising.
I share a lot of those wants. My children are much younger. I sure hope that they catch the franchising bug. It’s been a blessing for me and a space that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. It’s met every expectation and then some. It’s truly amazing to be in business with other business owners. Thanks for that wisdom, Red. The key word there is integration. Something that I picked up there is loving what you do makes it easy to set an example through you doing life.
Loving what you do makes it easy to set an example through you doing life.
That example is rooted in values and so much of parenting is setting an example. You can say that they’re going to pick up on what you’re doing. Kudos, Red. That’s truly special and I definitely admire you for your integration. I did not expect nine Fs. We’re talking a lot about franchising. At the end of the day, it’s entrepreneurship. You mentioned the fact that you grew the franchise business to over 148 locations in a few years. I did not know that about you. That is so incredible. I admire you even more. Clearly, you are somebody that eats, breathes, and sleeps entrepreneurship. Why is entrepreneurship so important to you?
It’s not for everyone, but I have this passion for being more and doing more. Also, not every day is the same. It’s who I am. As I go back to know thy self, I realize that’s who I am. I like variety and adventure. In my life, I want to be in adventure. I think there are a whole lot more people out there like that. They’re living a life of quiet desperation, as Thoreau once said. They are looking and praying for the opportunity, and seeking and hoping they’ll find it.
It’s part of our calling, and it’s my calling certainly to help more people discover their true calling. Oftentimes that entrepreneurial or that business isn’t their calling, but it allows them to fulfill their calling. Whether that is the calling or it’s fulfilling their calling by giving them the time, money, and resources to be able to serve, give, and impact, it is making a difference in lives in a very big way all over in communities and all over the world.
Going back to your question, entrepreneurship doesn’t have a glass ceiling. It doesn’t have limits on gender, race, or any of the other things that oftentimes we can encounter limits on. If you’re looking for limitless opportunities and something that can be very fulfilling and that’s not boring, look into entrepreneurship. If you like, “I don’t want the risk,” then now let’s talk franchising.
If you want to do it with others with the support, leadership, guidance, tools, resources, and all the things that a franchisor can provide you, which to me is the best of both worlds, then a franchisee might be the right fit for folks out there. I own it and it’s my baby, but I got all the support, training, and everything I need to make sure that I’m not reinventing the wheel and taking me ten years to get there. I know it’s a long answer but entrepreneurship is a cool world.
You mentioned something that was interesting. You said, “It may not be your passion but it can allow you to partake in your passions.” What do you mean by that?
With all due respect, there aren’t many people passionate about painting houses. For example, owning a LIME Painting franchise where you have all this incredible support, tools, resources, intellectual property, technology, and all the things that a franchise or lifeline provides, then okay. You’re telling me you’ve given me all this training, support, and everything I need. All I have to do is get out there and market it using your tools, resources, and guidance, and then hire a team to do the work.
After I get it going and rocking, I’ve got more time with my kids, more time with my wife, and more time to travel. I’m making four times what I ever thought I could make. In 5 or 10 years, I can then sell it, and do it all over again times five. If that calling is to start a church or to start a dog daycare or one of those dog adoption services or give twenty hours back to seniors in the community that need help, it gives you flexibility, freedom, and fulfillment opportunities. It’s not necessarily in painting, but painting allowed you to do that.
You get all of the benefits of entrepreneurship, independence, freedom, time back on your terms, and financial opportunity without as much risk. You had mentioned, “All that sounds great, but there’s risk there with a franchise.” Clearly, you’re getting the support, the playbook, the technology, the support team, and everything that goes into that proprietary business plan and that process without having to create it from scratch. That’s where the risk is. Consumers don’t care if you’re just starting. Their money is going to go where they’re going to get the best service and best product.
If you’re a startup figuring it out from scratch and you’re bringing that winning formula, that comes with trial and error, and many arrows in the back. All of which is bypassed with the franchise. That’s the beauty of franchising at the core. That allows this process of the American dream to come to life. That is the beauty that I’ve heard you speak about time and time again for having the opportunity to change people’s lives. Clearly, we’re talking all about how, but I wanted to hear from you a little bit about doing that. How are you changing people’s lives through franchising?
I’ll add one more to that. It isn’t easy. It’s hard work, but it’s much easier than trying to do it on your own. Anybody that’s looking for an easy way to do something, I don’t know where it is, but it’s a whole lot easier, safer, less risky, and less money usually to go into franchising than trying to do it on your own. How am I impacting it? It’s back to what we’ve been talking about. When I was a franchisor, it was wonderful. I was impacting 100-plus lives and families. That’s great.
To go another step forward, I was the global chief development officer for eight brands. Now I’m doing it through eight brands through master licensees in other countries, area developers, and franchisees. I had over 1,000 of them. Now I’m able to do that 100-fold through these 600 franchisors we work with, these 650 franchise consultants, and the approximately 150 suppliers in the industry. Here we are back at that 1,000-plus individuals and entities, which is hundreds of thousands of people, that we’re able to change lives and impact communities in franchising through entrepreneurship, system support, and structure. It’s a cool and so fulfilling way to be living my life. I’ve never been happier and thank you for allowing me to share that with the world.
It’s clearly a show helping others to level up and I wouldn’t want anybody else on the show, especially when it comes to consulting. Clearly, if you’re tuning in to this, you are understanding the depth of experience that Red Boswell has. I’ve already taken some nuggets that I’m going to start applying. I genuinely hope that you are doing the same. Red, I appreciate you sharing some things that you live in and the things that you have integrated into your life. I’m curious, from your standpoint, why you are so passionate about franchising.
We’ve covered a lot of it. Hopefully, you’ve sensed why that passion and where it comes from. Nick, one thing that I think you were also alluding to is how we are changing lives. One of the ways we’re changing lives is by training new consultants. We are not franchisors ourselves, but we act like that because we give so much support and so much training to our consultants.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share with your audience that if someone has an interest in learning more about becoming a franchise consultant, we would be honored to talk to you about that and share more of the resources and information. You can certainly start at IFPG.org or IFPG.com. We own both. It goes to our website and you’ll learn a whole lot there. Let’s connect on LinkedIn, Red Boswell.
You’ll see in the featured section of my LinkedIn a nice little 22-minute video that goes into more detail about things to consider and understand if you are curious about franchise consulting. It can be super rewarding. To Nick’s question, you’re working from anywhere, home, RV, Germany, beach, wherever you want to work from.
Work with anyone. There are no geographic boundaries. Work with any franchisors, have all the support, all the legal protection, all the training, all the fun, and all the potential income possibilities. As long as you can build rapport, work with integrity and discipline, manage yourself and introduce people, and have some tough love conversations sometimes with folks as you guide them through the process of purchasing a franchise.
It’s not a complicated world, but it can be very fulfilling. With the right training, support, and inventory you can do very well for the right person. I’ll help you and my team will help you figure out if you’re the right person and we’re the right company. It can be very fulfilling. Nick, thank you for asking me about that.
Franchising doesn’t have limits, so if you’re looking for endless opportunities and something that can be very fulfilling, and isn’t really boring, look into franchising! It’s not a complicated world, but it can be very fulfilling.
As you were talking, Red, I thought about something that I think would be helpful for our audience to learn a little bit more about. I don’t think it’s something that everyone quite understands or knows is an option. You’ve mentioned all of the benefits of a franchisor company, but would you mind sharing a little bit about your elite membership program? I think that’s been something that we have personally benefited so if you could share a little bit about It.
If you’re a franchisor or supplier to the franchise industry and are considering being one, IFPG is a membership organization. We don’t get a penny of commission. We’re very Switzerland if you will. We don’t take a penny out of it. The commissions or success fees from franchisors and from suppliers are paid directly to the consultant. It’s a level playing filled with us. We simply help you market your products and services to the consultants or if you’re a supplier, perhaps market to the franchisor.
To Nick’s question, we have various levels of membership. We have some that are $195 a month or some that are $2,000 or $3,000 a month. The only difference between the couple hundred to a couple thousand a month is marketing. In LIME Paintings’ case, they are an elite member with us. They’re one of the top membership levels and they’re getting a whole lot of marketing. What is marketing? Marketing is exposure to the consultants in any of about 100 ways, from regional events to our magazine that goes out each month, to franchisors talking to consultants and suppliers, to audio podcasts or video podcasts, our discovery days, sponsorship, and emails.
We’ve got dozens and dozens of ways to get the franchisor’s message in front of the consultant. If you think about it, a consultant or an advisor showing people opportunities is not going to show an opportunity typically that they don’t know, like, and trust. You want to build trust with the consultant and the franchisor so then that consultant knows when I introduce one of my candidates that I’ve invested so much time, sweat, effort, and money into acquiring, that franchisor is going to take care of my baby.
That franchisor is going to help them see the opportunity, be successful, and keep me as the consultant in the loop so we can tag team and help that couple over the finish line. Everyone wins when that’s the case. A lot of times, that franchise consultant isn’t interested in introducing their baby or their candidate to a brand that they do not know and trust. Knowing and trusting come through marketing, exposure, and time spent together.
Red, I’ve learned so much during this time. I’d like to thank you again for allowing our audience to learn from you. You mentioned some ways that people could get in touch with you if they’re interested. Would you mind sharing again what are some ways? If I’m interested in getting in touch with you or learning more, how can I do that?
Membership at IFPG.org is one simple way that will hit me, but more importantly, hit our membership team. They will reach out to you. Also, Red Boswell on LinkedIn. We can connect there. Direct message me there if you want. Check out IFPG.org. Check out the video on my profile in the featured section on top reasons why professionals are attracted to IFPG. There is a lot of info.
We got a great YouTube channel. If you find IFPG on YouTube, there are hundreds of videos there. I might have even interviewed Nick on it. Lots of resources and things to learn about IFPG in franchise consulting and working with franchise consultants. Maybe we’ll introduce you to LIME Painting if you’re interested in buying a franchise. We’ve got about 600 of the top vetted franchises that we will help you figure out what’s a right fit for you.
Franchising, what an amazing space and an option to take your destiny into your own hands. As Red said, it doesn’t come without hard work, commitment, and focus. I hope that you learned some ways to integrate and incorporate the American dream into your life. If you’ve benefited from this show, please drop a comment. Contribute to the conversation. Maybe you have a few Fs of your own. We would appreciate any comments that you have. Also, this show is strictly intended to contribute information and help you level up. Subscribe. We appreciate the love. Thank you for your time and as always, level up.
Thanks, Nick. I appreciate you.
Red brings more than 25 years of executive leadership in many areas of franchising, marketing, and entrepreneurship. In his role as President of IFPG, Red is responsible for growing membership as well as developing and overseeing new and exciting programs to support IFPG members. In addition to serving as President, Red also heads up IFPG’s Plano, Texas office.
In 1998, Red founded and built PetButler, a nationwide chain of 148 pet-service franchises. After selling the franchise system, Red launched Integriserv, a franchise and marketing consulting firm. Red also fueled his business-building passions in his roles as Chief Growth Officer of Expense Reduction Analysts and as Global CDO and North American CEO for ActionCOACH and Leverage Global.
A seasoned entrepreneur, franchisor, CEO, Certified Franchise Executive, speaker, consultant and passionate business builder focused on wisely scaling organizations, Red is helping take IFPG to a new level. Red is well-known throughout franchising for his innate charisma and creative mindset.“
Integrity above everything. That belief is at the foundation of IFPG and it’s the top reason I accepted the role as President in 2018. My position at IFPG has been the most fulfilling in my 30+ years in small business and entrepreneurship. Changing lives via personal business ownership is a calling that all IFPG members take very seriously.
My entire adult life has been focused on helping people escape the pains, frustrations, and limits of an unfulfilling job via entrepreneurship and franchising. I could not be prouder of the significant, positive impact IFPG members are having on countless lives, families, and communities across our nation and the globe. IFPG’s Franchise Consultants are such a blessing to individuals desiring to start and build a local business with the guidance of proven systems, marketing, training, and support.
We proudly and consistently support our friends at the International Franchise Association (IFA). From serving local communities via “Franchising Gives Back” to donating our time and resources to other beneficial events and initiatives across North America, IFPG values our partnership with the IFA.”