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Master Franchising With Dru Carpenito Who Is A Franchise Consultant That Has Personally Scaled An Iconic National Franchise From Startup To Household Name

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

Nick Lopez and Dru Carpenito get together on this episode to discuss what makes Dru Carpenito's franchise discovery process so effective for individuals exploring franchise ownership. What Dru shares about his upbringing in franchising is impressive, to say the least, but is not surprising in many ways.

 

Dru Carpenito shares how he met Jeff Dudan, the Founder of AdvantaClean, and how Dru worked relentlessly to take AdvantaClean from local restoration company to a national powerhouse. He took that experience to a national franchise company in Tutor Doctor and helped them break ceilings by driving unprecedented growth. Dru’s experience in the trenches has most certainly helped him gain the insights needed to find the right fits for his franchise candidates.

 

Listen in on this episode to learn more about Dru’s journey from being in the arena to advocating for others to take their leap into entrepreneurship. 

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Master Franchising With Dru Carpenito Who Is A Franchise Consultant That Has Personally Scaled An Iconic National Franchise From Startup To Household Name

Expertise and first-hand experience are what give Dru’s candidates a unique advantage when exploring franchising opportunities

Welcome to the show, where we have the absolute pleasure of learning from thought leaders in business, franchising and high-performance personal development. In this episode, our guest most certainly goes without exception. He has been so instrumental in helping a couple of national franchise companies establish national footprints. He routinely hosts Franchise Masters, a franchise show. He's a tremendous matchmaker as he is a franchise consultant with what is widely considered the top franchise consulting firm in FranChoice. Dru Carpenito, welcome to the show.

I don't think anybody has ever introed me like that before. Thank you for that gracious introduction. I'm glad to be here. I look forward to it.

Thanks for being on and it's well-deserved. I was looking forward to diving into your journey and helping our audience level up through your experience in your career in franchising. Many people have these assumptions about franchising and frankly, don't even know what franchising is or what it's all about. No one necessarily raises their hand and says, "I'm getting into franchising."

Most people assume that franchising is strictly McDonald's or Burger King. Don't necessarily understand the value and the power behind what it truly is to be in business with other business owners. Through that partnership, deliver the value of some service or product to the marketplace on a national level. It's such an exciting industry. It's taken off and hit some incredible heights over the past decade and is showing no signs of slowing down. My point is, Dru, most people don't raise their hand and say, "I'm getting into franchising." I'm curious how did franchising find you?

It found me. I went to work for a company straight out of grad school called AdvantaClean, which is a disaster restoration company, water damage cleanup, mold remediation, air duct cleaning. It was a regional company at the time and had this amazing Founder, Jeff Dudan. A couple of months after I joined, Jeff pushed the button on franchise expansion.

 

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

I did not go to grad school for franchising. When he announced it, I had all the misconceptions and stereotypes that most people do. I was like, "What is this franchise thing?" He's like, "Dru, here's the deal. We're taking the company in a new direction. What you do is probably not going to be needed much longer. You can either stick around and we're going to figure out this franchise thing together or go get a job for the banks," which is what everybody does in Charlotte, North Carolina where I live.

I was 24 at the time. Had no kids. I had a dog. He's a cool dude. I was like, "I'll stick around. What's the plan?" He's like, "I don't know. We're going to figure it out." I was like, "That sounds cool." That was it. That was how I got into it. We franchised AdvantaClean with a team that had been with the company for a long time. We didn't bring any consultants in or anything like that.

We had some weird attorney help him draw up the documents and stuff like that. It took a couple of years. Jeff had a vision. The vision was to, at the time, leverage a lot of technology and create this value-add system for franchise owners through a centralized call center, an internet-based operating system. This was back in 2004 or 2005. This was before all this stuff became commonplace in a lot of franchises nowadays.

In the home service base, if you can answer the phone when the customer calls and show up on time, you're winning the game already. There were some cool angles to it. We were using Salesforce.com back then. We had a bunch of projects that we worked on for a couple of years to get the foundation in place and then started to franchise in 2006. It was a little bit of the right place and the right time and then the world changed in 2008. The recession hit.

We didn't know it. We were sitting there with one of the more recession-resilient business models out there with this disaster restoration business. It's not sexy cleaning up stuff that you don't want to clean up when bad things happen. That helped us catch the tailwind that we needed to take it national. Fast forward, we took a national. That was long for the ride. That's why I did everything with Jeff and the team, from recruiting franchisees to all kinds of stuff that we can talk about. That's how I got into this racket.

Talk about franchising finding you. It pulled you in. It sounds like an incredible opportunity that you didn't plan for. Here's this incredible individual. Jeff Dudan, Founder of AdvantaClean is taking a successful business in North Carolina, seeing the value that's been given to clients there and seeing the opportunity to do that in more markets.

I love what you said. He said, "Are you on board or go find a job with the banks?" What a change in events. I can only imagine what was going through your mind. Ultimately, you doubled down on doing just that, supporting his vision for franchising. It was rooted in doing it the right way. You took some time there to establish the foundation before scaling.

Let's dive into that. What did your role look like? From my experience being the Founder of LIME in a similar situation, taking some of our initial team, I can see how our success has directly been attributed to their skills and experience. We've been able to share some incredible experiences in growing nationally. We started as a local company based out of Denver.

Here we are the team from that founding location. Some rockstar sales folks that got the business are helping bring on new owners, getting them trained and learning those nuances of the business. What was that like in your position? From my standpoint, I couldn't do it without those individuals. To see them go on to own franchise locations of their own and so many different paths, ultimately, was all attributed to sharing what was our winning formula with other business owners and other markets. What was that like at AdvantaClean and for you in that position?

At the time, Jeff had the vision. We had no idea what we thought we knew how to achieve but we had to fail. We failed for a couple of years. We tried everything. One of the big things that Jeff did that was smart was he had this commercial services arm that was the cashflow that could fund the franchise investment because it took a while for us to put the pieces of the software and the call center in place.

Most importantly, what took the longest was figuring out how to recruit the right franchise owners whom we wanted to partner with. We weren't looking for folks in the restoration industry. We wanted to partner with business people who could build a team of people and leverage the systems that we had spent time building and putting together to scale the business.

I spent two years of my life talking to people who didn't buy a franchise. I've started in the whole franchise recruitment thing. We had the mentality, "We're going to figure this thing out." Looking back on it, there might have been an easier way to accelerate things but that experience ended up paying off in the long run.

I spent two years of my life on the phone grinding with no results and then, we got hooked up with the franchise broker world. We started dabbling in it with these networks that sent me a bunch of names and emails. They're not qualified candidates. They say they've talked to them. They haven't. They're advertising your brand on these franchise portals and hawking your leads.

We started to get into the inner circle of the franchise broker world. TES was the first one and FranNet. We're always like, "FranChoice. These guys are going to kick our ass if we're not ready for it." We were intimidated because back then it was a different ballgame. We spent a bunch of years working through the secondary networks. TES helped us a lot.

That's when I started to get into this whole franchise development game. Jeff Bean was at CertaPro and one from The Cleaning Authority. I asked him, "How do you sell these franchises? I cannot figure this thing out.” They told me and helped me. They coached and mentored me. I was like, "Do you have to have a process? Don't you just get on the phone and talk to people, be nice, and invite them to come to discovery day when they're not ready?" They have to figure out their funding. We’re getting connected with guys that have been doing it for a long time.

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

They were very open and humble about it when you're asking for help and not afraid about it. We started to piece it together. It snowballed from there. It worked. We figured it out. AdvantaClean was very broker-heavy. That was where we recruited most of our franchise owners. At the time, we had this attractive value proposition, this recession resistance because the world was going through this big change.

The credit markets had frozen up and we weren't a super expensive business at the time. A little bit was the right place and right time but we were able to capitalize on it by getting connected with the right people. That was it. Getting connected with the right people, asking the right questions, being willing to listen to what they said and then implementing what they said was the single thing that changed my trajectory for me.

 

Getting connected with the right people and asking the right questions and being willing to listen to what they actually said, and then implementing what they said, is the single thing that changed the trajectory for me.

 

Jeff gave me way too much responsibility at a young age. I don't think the textbooks would tell Jeff to do what he did. We worked together on it extensively and figured it out. I had a good run at AdvantaClean and then I got tapped on the shoulder by Frankie Milner over Tutor Doctor. I can't tell you how many deals we lost at Tutor Doctor back in 2008 through the 2012 runup. Tutor Doctor was the darling. They were the hottest franchise in the country.

I watched it from the trenches. I was always like, "How are they selling so many franchises?" They had an attractive deal. I run my gamut at AdvantaClean and was ready for the next challenge. Frank tapped me and was like, "Come over and do this." I had no idea what I was getting into with Tutor Doctor. I was like, "You're a hot franchise. I'm in. Let's do this."

I just had kids and it was probably not the most responsible decision I made but Frank's like, "We need your help to sell 120 franchises a year. We're going to hit the international market hard." I'm like, "I don't know anything about international stuff. I'm a honky from Delaware. 120 franchises a month when you've been selling 20 a year, once things cooled off is a big jump." He's like, "We're going to figure it out."

That is when I got deep into franchise lead generation and marketing. We were expanding into different countries. What would work in one country would not work in the other, in terms of getting in front of the right people. In the UK, the job boards and trade shows worked well. In the US, that stuff didn't work. They gave me an unlimited budget to do what I needed to do.

That was cool. I got to test a lot of things. That was our philosophy. We're willing to do anything but you got to test it and prove it. If it works, we'll scale it. We tried a lot of different things and I built a sales team over there, folks that were around the world. I had somebody in Costa Rica, the UK, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the US.

I never met any of these people in person. It was all through Skype. This is back in 2014 so this is before everybody transitioned to Zoom. We did it. We figured it out. We were cranking. We got that thing humming. We were selling 10 to 14 franchises. Not licenses but we met new franchise owners a month. Once we got the machine built, it was fun.

That was beyond just the US market. That was global franchise development. You said 10 to 14 owners coming on board per month.

Yeah, around the country. Tutor Doctor was this amazing business model. It's tutor matchmaking. It's a home-based low-investment business. We would work with parents to help them find the right tutor for their child. We worked with kids of all ages, all subjects and any need. It had some legs for folks that wanted to get into either a good lifestyle-friendly owner-operator business. Some franchise owners scaled it. When I joined, there were about 300 franchise owners around the world with Tutor Doctor. When I left, there were 600. In 2023, there's 700. It's a big organization.

You mentioned something that you eventually had to settle on what the right owner looks like versus figuring it out or talking to the wrong people. What are some of the nuances between AdvantaClean and Tutor Doctor? You came into Tutor Doctor. That was probably more so zeroed in on. Going back to that AdvantaClean experience, you were figuring that out. What did that look like? That's so important. Understanding whom exactly you are looking for and who is going to be successful within your franchise set system is as much an art as it is a science. What were some of your experiences? What was that like?

 

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

We didn't know at the beginning. We thought we knew. We thought we want to know our operators. Guys that wanted to be in the truck and do the work with a couple of technicians can make good money doing that but then we started to realize we had something more scalable there. We shifted a bit to more folks in the corporate world that had sales, marketing, business development experience and some experience building a team.

To scale that business, you had to get out there and develop relationships. It was like all B2B with insurance agents, adjusters, HVAC companies and property management companies. Anybody and everybody that isn't in and around buildings, that's typically where the transaction can happen. The plumber tells the homeowner to call AdvantaClean to come and clean up the water because the plumbers don't do it.

The homeowners don't know. They're like, "My house is flooded. I want to get back to life." When we started to hone in on that, that's when we started to target folks that weren't afraid to get out there, develop relationships and network and do continuing education presentations. The first couple of franchise owners we brought on board were more of the owner-operators.

We were always tweaking and paying attention to the business model because everything was so new and fresh to us. We were humble. We didn't have this egotistical perspective in terms of, "We've got this amazing franchise. You'll be lucky to get it." We had a culture where we worked together with the franchise owners to hear their feedback and make tweaks.

That part of the secret sauce that we had was this amazing culture. That was why people were coming on board. It was because of the culture at AdvantaClean. Everybody had been with the company for a long time. We had the depth. People trusted us. We took care of the franchise owners. We over-supported them. The one thing we couldn't do for them was to go out there and get the business.

They had to go develop those relationships. We were candid with people upfront about, "We have a plan. We'll help you implement the plan but you got to go do this." That was never the big objection. The big objection was, "How do I hire people?" That was the single biggest thing that would hold people back from moving forward.

I had gone to grad school for human resources and industrial organizational psychology. That's what I was doing with the company before. I had hired all these people in this company. I was selling the franchises and then one day, I was like, "You know what? Screw it. I'll help you hire your first person." I probably didn't say it like that. If I got brought before the National Labor Review Board, I would probably have crossed that line of whatever. I was like, "I'll help you. I've done this. It's not that complicated. We have a process."

I can tell pretty quickly if I think somebody is going to have the potential you want and then you make the final decision. That was the one thing that helped a lot of people get comfortable with coming on board. We would spend a lot of time helping them find the right key lead technician at the beginning. It’s simple stuff. When you say it, it's the simple things that you ask, "What's holding you back from moving forward?" They tell you. Figure out if you can help them overcome it or not sometimes.

For us, it was figuring out that building proposals in a timely manner was a bottleneck. We start doing proposal building and pricing in-house. From day one to where it's at, total department, technology built out and the systems around that. Every market's different from a pricing standpoint. A tremendous amount of support to help folks that are in the business growing it and delivering the brand experience, they can plug away from that and simply send a video.

Within 24 to 48 hours, it's there. Much like you, recruiting is a big deal. We do very intimate support around recruiting subcontractors. We run a subcontractor model and our field support folks are going right into the market and we're leveraging partnerships with our national suppliers. We're able to do that. From a recruiting standpoint, we're very much a high-performance sales organization.

Much like AdvantaClean, we have plenty of owner-operators but we also have these owners that are empire-minded, empire builders. They're more Corporate America. They join LIME to take advantage of the service and the playbook but are looking to scale. Building a sales team that establishes that business like, "How do I do that?"

A lot of our owners have had very successful careers in recruiting but they've never recruited for this entry-level sales role for a high-end paint company. What started as establishing the templates and correspondence is advanced to the point where we're doing the screening, trusting the ads and giving reports on those spends. Also, doing group national calls, ten-question questionnaires and personality tests.

Each one of those had been layers of due diligence as a franchise organization of understanding and tweaking or adjusting to the model and the needs of the owners with that feedback. It's more than just, "We need to grow. We need to award locations." No. We need staying power and sustainable owners that are here and understand the expectations for what's required.

It's not just 1 or 2 years but it's 10 years. We have a 10-year agreement. I'm sure AdvantaClean was along those same lines. It's more than awarding a territory and growing. It's sustainable growth. Every business model is different and unique. AdvantaClean and Home Service Restoration are painting two similar industries and are very recession-resistant. Many entrepreneurs want to get into business ownership but the timing's important.

 

It's more than just awarding a territory and growing, it's about sustainable growth. Every business model is unique.

 

You guys were growing in 2008. I started my career in 2008 back in college. We did a lot of our growth through the pandemic. Some of our most successful moments were when the world was shut down and at least started in those moments. It's interesting how all that comes together, Dru. I love that your intimate experience around what you do now is not what you did with AdvantaClean and Tutor Doctor.

I can see that with that experience, you're able to rely and lean on that in helping matchmake and find out what are great business opportunities to pair with your candidates. Your clients that you're working with are getting such top-notch consulting. Your pedigree speaks for itself. They're very fortunate to work with you. That's widely why FranChoice is considered the top firm in franchising because your peers are coming from similar backgrounds.

I've appreciated that about FranChoice and working with yourself and your peers. I want to dive into a little bit parlaying here from our conversation. What makes a successful franchise model from your experience being in brands from the trenches, starting from the founding start to jumping right into the middle of growth and taking it on a global level to helping matchmake and give people the American dream through franchise ownership? What is going through your head as you're evaluating 4,000 franchise companies? I'm sure you're not working with all 4,000. What are some of those themes? I'm sure you're not pairing up your ace candidates with subpar brands. What makes an ace brand?

As I sit on the side where I help people find and evaluate different businesses. It's a different perspective and position than when I was in the trenches helping to grow these brands. The beautiful thing about franchising is that you can sit back and see which brands are most successful. At the end of the day, there are two things that these single most successful franchise companies do. This is one of the biggest things that I look for in terms of which brands I recommend to any candidates. They have happy and profitable franchise owners.

It sounds simple but some companies do a lot better than others. At the end of the day, we were on the franchise side, like you too. You have a core focus on helping franchise owners be profitable and successful. They can control what they can control and then we can help remove obstacles that might be in their way that we can centrally or whatever it may be.

 

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

Like you do with the estimates, that's genius that you figure that out. It's a huge thing in a painting business, to scope things right and price things right. If you can put all that together, I don't care what the widget is. The best franchises are businesses that have widgets that most people overlook or underestimate but they have this network of happy and profitable franchise owners and it's powerful.

That's what reduces the risk in this whole thing, which is a big topic of conversation I have with candidates. It's like, "If we help you find the right franchise, your risk is going to be a lot less but your upside is going to be massive at the same time. You got to have an open mind if you want to do this the right way like painting." "I don't want to be a painter." You're not a painter. You're not painting houses.

That's not the business model. The business model is to build a sales and marketing machine and subcontract out the work. We don't just do a painting. We do all kinds of surface restoration. That enables additional revenue streams and stuff like that. It’s a long answer to your question but the guiding light is happy and profitable franchise owners.

There are a lot of different franchise companies that have varying degrees of success and can objectively be measured as profitability. Happy, profitable franchise owners. What do you feel are some of those universal themes amongst these franchise organizations that contribute to profitable, happy franchise owners?

I learned this from AdvantaClean a little bit because that was a very B2B-driven business. The franchise owners had to get out there and do the business development. We couldn't do it for them. The way that a business acquires customers and the way that a business has figured out to acquire customers can have a tremendous amount of value. Also, enable more options from a lifestyle standpoint for the owners. I've come to appreciate businesses where you can put money into an advertising campaign and it consistently generates leads, whatever that may be because that adds some scalability to the business model.

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

How the franchises have structured the ownership role is a very key thing. It’s like what you guys have done in giving the owners some options but also identifying the core fundamentals of the stuff that needs to happen for the business to thrive. If that means hiring a salesperson, then you're going to help them hire a salesperson. Ultimately, giving owners the ability to get into a role that can CEO this thing.

Maybe they don't start as a CEO but they can get it to a point where the business is big enough to afford to pay a staff of people and still make good money. That's what enables some of its lifestyle benefits to it. The best franchise companies have an amazing culture. They work hard on cultivating a culture and bringing people on board like home office staff to the franchise owner staff that aligns with the mission, vision and the values that company has set in stone around what they want their culture to be like.

If you can get the culture piece right and embrace the franchise owners, those franchise owners are going to figure out new ways to do stuff. It's like a free research and development department. You're embracing the feedback from the field and the trenches, listening to it and figuring out a way to harness it. We're going to react to every idea that a franchise owner has but we're going to create a process.

Maybe it's like a monthly or quarterly mastermind where we bring franchise owners together to share ideas and then we tell them, "We'll vote as a group on what ideas we think we can execute." Knowing that it might take 90 to 180 days to maybe execute on that stuff. It's not going to be overnight but there's a system to harness that feedback. That can be pretty powerful in the franchise system. Some franchise companies do that better than others. It's all the stuff under the hood behind the scenes. It's hard to measure. At the end of the day, candidates have to experience for themselves when they go through the research process. Those are some of the things that bubble into my mind.

It's an effective way of generating leads in a process for driving sales and revenue. Culture kick strategy's butt every day. If you have a crazy, awesome culture and top-notch strategy, that's the ultimate combo. Your final piece there are collaboration and innovation. You talked about some of the things back behind the hood.

A practical way to evaluate that is a franchise advisory council. Something that is structured in a committee format that's unanimously voted in by the owners of that committee. As the brand evolves and adjusts to the competitive landscape and the market, whether it's the economy or changes in the industry or the business evolving and getting better, there constantly needs to be innovation.

If that innovation is coming from the brand and not including the franchise owners, it's pretty silly because those franchise owners are day in, day out, living, breathing and delivering that brand experience. Some of that is behind the curtain. Something like a FAC is most certainly going to give you an indication of what makes for a successful company.

Including owners in that innovation is paramount. Generating leads, driving sales, crazy good culture and I for innovation that includes the franchise owners. Dru, that's gold. Those are just words but the reality of what those things mean is paramount. You've lived those things out. I appreciate your wisdom there in sharing that.

I want to transition a little bit. You're working with folks to step into business ownership and helping them evaluate this landscape of some of the things we mentioned. What are some tips that you would give to some of your clients about how to successfully go through the franchise discovery process?

That's where I spend most of my time. I tell people, "Me helping you find good brands to look at is the easy part. You doing the research is the hard part." It's more work than most people think. The first thing is there's a lot of benefit in comparing and contrasting different businesses like looking under the hood of different franchise models and checking some of the boxes that are important to people that I help them figure out and all that kind of stuff.

That's the science that goes into this thing. Figure out if there is one that's the right fit out there. Everybody says it's a mutual evaluation process and that's true but I call it a dance. The franchise company is trying to get information from the candidates. The candidates are trying to get information from franchise companies. You have to be nice both ways for that to work. It's a little bit of a dance to get the information. Most folks don't know what a franchise disclosure document is and have never seen one before. Working with the reps to get the 30,000-foot view information.

LUNL 5 | Franchising

 

The most important thing is people that don't work with franchise consultants, this is how they buy franchises and this is where they get in trouble. They don't spend time validating with existing franchise owners to hear what it's like and how successful the franchise owners are of certain franchises. That is where the great ones separate themselves. They have a strong foundation of franchise owners that are all around the country having success. They're happy, profitable and all kinds of stuff. There's consistency among that, which is what you want to hear from the candidate's perspective.

That's it. It's buckle in for an emotional rollercoaster of a 6 to 8-week ride. There'll be some sleepless nights and people calling you crazy. If you have something inside of you that is driving you and you are genuinely trying to make a change in your life by getting into your business, the possibilities are endless. If you follow that simple process and put the work in, you can reduce your risk and find some amazing businesses that most people overlook.

If someone's going through this discovery process, they're talking to different franchise companies. You called it a dance. Why do you say it's a dance?

Maybe because I've been doing this for many years and I'm tired of saying the same old stuff. At the end of the day, when I think of a franchise company and a franchise can't decide to do a deal or sign the agreements, it's like marriage. You're stuck with each other. For a long time, it's got to be a good fit. You got to get to know each other first.

Good franchise companies want to get to know the candidates. Candidates want to get to know the franchise companies. There's an exchange of information. That's what I refer to as the dance. If a candidate's crap and comes in with an entitled attitude, expecting this franchise company to bend over backward, that's not how you dance with somebody.

If a franchise rep is being arrogant and not treating the candidates with respect and respecting the level of decision that they're making, then that rep is going to reflect on what the candidate thinks about that franchise company and won't spend the time getting to the validation to hear what it's like. It's a two-way street. I'm a massive advocate for franchise owners. That's how I've always run from the times when I was on the corporate side to what I do now.

Franchise companies have a little bit of an advantage over franchise candidates because they have more information and experience. I try to help people figure out a way to level the playing field as much as they can to gather the information so that they can make the best decision for themselves and their families. Going through the process in a very specific way with a little bit of help from me to guide them through it, they can gather all the information they need to figure out if anything is the right fit.

It speaks to the point. It delivers the message, which is where I was getting at there. I'm sure you're not recommending your clients to those organizations that represent that demeanor. The way that they approach that discovery process, you talked about culture being a special part of a successful company.

Even going back to your AdvantaClean, you were saying, "We didn't even have a process. We were talking to people and trying to get them to discovery day when they weren't ready." This discovery process is about education. It's educationally driven. In an ideal scenario, the brand is just as invested as you are in understanding, "Is this going to be a happy marriage?"

It's not about selling a franchise. It's about awarding a franchise. You're somebody that's probably working with candidates, more times than not, you're helping them figure out, "This is not for you." That's a part of that process. Having an established process on the franchise side and your side helps candidates get educated.

That's what discovery is all about. Getting educated around, "Is this culture for me? Can I be married here for ten years to this organization? Do they have those winning formulas that I will be able to execute that align with my lifestyle needs?" I'm preaching to the choir here. This is where you live and breathe in what you do, the value you bring to your candidates but that dance is exactly that. You have to come to that discovery process with a humble heart.

I've heard you say humility so many times. I love the fact that you're saying that. I've been on this kick talking about humility. The most successful business people, in business in general, are humble because business is all relationships. Nobody wants to have a relationship with somebody that doesn't have a humble heart.

 

Most successful business people are humble because business is all about relationships. Who wants to have a relationship with somebody that doesn't have a humble heart?

 

Once you're in the driver's seat, it takes humility to look yourself in the mirror to level up. It takes humility to get coached and in great moments to be grateful and in hard moments to be graceful. You're in that relationship together, winning and learning. It's not always graceful but it can be if there's humility.

When we're evaluating folks coming through our discovery process, at the forefront of that is, "Is this somebody that we can dance with," in your words. Not just dance with now but dance with ongoing. For your clients, this is a process that for you comes to an end but for us, it's the beginning and from a brand standpoint, as you know. How they dance is normally going to be how they dance on the other side. Dru, I want to wrap up. I've been inspired by this conversation. I've most certainly leveled up but I'm curious. Why do you love franchising so much?

We're never taught about entrepreneurship but everybody wants to own their business. That's the American dream. We're never formally taught about it in school but we have it inside of us. We're groomed to go the corporate path a lot of times. Franchising is for folks that have that fire inside of them but don't have the idea.

The right franchise can help that person achieve everything that they have inside. They know it's inside of them, they know what's possible with a lot less risk and go off to achieve amazing things. Some of the businesses that I've seen people build in franchising are mind-blowing. Some of the money they've made is mind-blowing.

I know a guy who got in with Orangetheory in 2012. Before, Orangetheory was Orangetheory. He exited to a private equity company, came in, backed up the money truck and bought his multi-unit operation. It’s pretty cool. It was a fitness business. What does everybody say about fitness? "It's just a fad. This is going to go out of business. What's the next fad?"

Dwayne proves you wrong on that one. Franchising can open up so many possibilities for folks to have that fire inside of them and probably be miserable in the corporate world because they don't know if there are other options out there. That's my answer. It might change. My answers always change. Fundamentally, a good franchise system for the right people can also provide massive financial opportunities, not just from building a business that's spitting off cashflow and enabling a nice lifestyle.

You can't do anything else but also from an exit and a retirement standpoint. If you do build a successful business the right way, somebody's going to probably give you a big old premium for that. There's personal fulfillment and financial fulfillment. I'm blown away every day by the types of franchises I learn about that people are having success with. That's what keeps it fun and interesting.

It's easy to think about the lifestyle and the yearly revenue that you can earn. What's widely overlooked is that you're building an asset and that asset has value. In situations like Dwayne's, private equity or any buyer is going to put a value on that. That's a special thing about business ownership, specifically franchise ownership. Dru, thank you for getting on the show. I appreciate your precious time.

Nick, I'm honored. Thank you for having me. I enjoyed the discussion.

If anybody wants to get in touch with you, how can they do that?

The easiest way is to give me a google. My first name is Dru and my last name is Carpenito. I'm the only Dru Carpenito in the country that spells his name with DRU.

I'll validate that. I googled you and that's the case. I mentioned it. Franchise Masters Podcast. Check it out. Check him out on LinkedIn. Google him, Dru Carpenito, only one. I know it. Dru, I've learned so much. I've leveled up. I'm sure our audience has. Please subscribe. This is how we are able to continue to grow and do this.

Help people level up by speaking to thought leaders in the franchising business and high-performance personal development. This conversation covered all those things from Dru's time helping found what is one of the top franchise brands and AdvantaClean. Taking Tutor Doctor to the next level and the nuances of how he finds opportunities for his clients to live out their American dream. As always, level up.

 

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About Dru Carpenito

LUNL 5 | FranchisingLike many of his candidates, franchising found Dru. And once he experienced it, he was hooked as Dru’s entire career has been spent in the franchise industry. Prior to joining FranChoice, Dru held senior executive positions with two of the most successful franchise service brands in the world. Through his achievements, he has built a reputation as a highly respected and regarded professional within the industry.

Dru’s love for franchising is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for helping people achieve their goals and dreams through business ownership. With the experience that includes working with startup and mature franchise brands in a variety of leadership positions including franchise recruitment, field support and coaching, national accounts and general management, Dru has a true insider’s perspective of franchising.

Dru started his career with AdvantaClean, the nationwide leader in light environmental services. When he joined the company it wasn’t the leader and it wasn’t nationwide. Rather, AdvantaClean was on the precipice of franchising its business model which would mark the beginning of its rise. Dru pioneered the company’s franchise expansion. Under Dru’s leadership, AdvantaClean would open over 150 locations across North America in a few short years. Today, AdvantaClean is consistently ranked as one of the best franchises to own by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been featured on CBS’ Undercover Boss and the Wall Street Journal.

Following his successful startup experience, Dru joined another reputable franchise concept. In 2014, he began leading worldwide franchise expansion for Tutor Doctor, the worldwide leader in one-to-one, in-home tutoring. At the time, Tutor Doctor was a maturing franchise brand with hundreds of franchises across 14 countries but its growth had hit a plateau for a few years. In a very short time, however, Dru was able to quickly move the needle and lead a team that would drive unprecedented growth. The company’s growth under Dru broke every prior company record as new franchise owners joined the company faster than ever around the entire world.

Today, Dru has translated his vast franchise experience into a consulting service where he advises and helps people invest in a franchise that is the right fit for them. Dru guides his candidates through a detailed investigative process that enables him to understand their ideal business characteristics, goals and other important attributes. From there, he matches his candidates with a franchise business model that is aligned with their ideal traits and aspirations.
Dru lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two children. He can be reached at DCarpenito@FranChoice.com or 704-607-0508.

 

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