Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Jamie Krasnov - CEO Apex Leadership Co.

April 22, 2024 00:21:37
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Jamie Krasnov - CEO Apex Leadership Co.
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Jamie Krasnov - CEO Apex Leadership Co.

Apr 22 2024 | 00:21:37

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Show Notes

In this episode of the All Things Considered Franchising podcast, host Scotty Milas interviews Jamie Krasnov. Jamie is the CEO of Apex Leadership Company, a franchise that specializes in fundraising for elementary and middle schools. With a background in private equity, Jamie recognized the need for a more effective and impactful fundraising solution for schools. He is passionate about giving back to the community and helping schools raise the necessary funds to provide quality education and resources for students. Jamie's leadership has helped Apex raise an average of $60 million per year nationally, making a significant difference in schools across the country.

Jamie shares his journey from private equity to becoming the CEO of a franchise that focuses on fundraising for schools. He tells Scotty, "We have franchisees in LA that have raised $30 million over the course of the last couple of years for several elementary schools in their community. I mean, that kind of money builds new buildings. It changes the experience inside the community." He then explains how Apex's unique program helps schools raise significantly more funds than traditional methods, such as selling cookies and candy.

In addition, Jamie emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community and how franchising allows entrepreneurs to make a positive impact while also building a profitable business. He explains to Scotty, "Franchising is this wonderful model for our industry that allows us to deliver both the human capital, rally the community, and also the technology that comes from scale and solves a big, big problem in our country."

Finally, Jamie highlights to Scotty the key characteristics of successful franchisees and the value of working with a consultant during the franchise evaluation process.

Key Takeaways:

Scotty Milas can be reached at [email protected] and at (860)751-9126.

Jamie Krasnov can be reached at www.apexleadershipco.com/

#allthingsconsideredfranchising #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunities #jamiekrasnov #apexleadershipcompany #STEM #givingback #fundraisingforschools

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Hey, everybody, and welcome to another episode of All Things considered franchising. Powered by scottmilasfranchisecoach.com. All Things considered franchising podcast is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur, people seeking career transition, looking for information on business ownership. It's educational guests in and out of different industries relevant to the franchising and non franchising space in the entrepreneurial space. Scottmylasfranchisecoach.com is an organization consulting organization that I started many, many years ago, which helps people research and explore business ownership, helping you develop that roadmap, and then, of course, introducing you to potential businesses that would be a fit. The services, guidance, and education that I provide is absolutely at no cost to you. We're compensated by the brands, businesses that we represent. I have. And for those of you who have been following me, you know, I'm a storyteller. I love stories. I think stories really connect. And when I had the opportunity to have our next guest on the show, I immediately jumped, because it's a fascinating story. There's a passion side to this. There's a. There's a. It just connects emotionally. And I want to introduce the CEO of Apex leadership company, Jamie Krasnov. Jamie, welcome to the show. [00:01:30] Speaker B: Thank you, Scotty. I'm happy to be on. Thanks for having me. [00:01:33] Speaker A: Yeah, you know, you and I were chitchatting a little bit before we started hitting the record button here, but you have a fascinating story. As I just said, you were in private equity for ten years, and there was something missing on the corporate side, being a corporate refugee, an employee, whatever it is. And that side, based on my understanding, was that the ability to be able to give back to whether it's a community, a certain category in a community, and that led you to becoming the CEO of Apex Leadership company, because the franchise is a organization that's tailored to helping people on fundraising for elementary and middle schools. Correct. And you're raising. [00:02:20] Speaker B: That's exactly right. [00:02:21] Speaker A: $60 million a year on average nationally, going back into schools. I mean, tell us a little bit about Apex, and then we'll jump right into your kind of your journey. But give the audience a little background of Apex and what it does and how it operates as a franchise. [00:02:38] Speaker B: Sure. Awesome. Well, thank you for the intro, Scotty. Like I said, excited to be here. Apex is a franchise. It's an awesome franchise. What we do for our entrepreneurs who join us as prospective franchisees is really, really attractive. And in part, that's because what they do for their communities, with our help, is super super fulfilling for the community, both financially and just for the general sense of well being in the community. What Apex does is we have our franchisees will take our program, and they'll go into elementary schools where fundraising is on the shoulders in this country for PTA's, typically not the government, but really the community and the PTA and the solutions for that customer are really weak. They typically go door to door selling cookies and candy with the kids, which maybe you remember you've seen, but that's what the majority of schools do today. And we come in with a character and leadership program that's two weeks long. Super awesome. The kids love it, which culminates in a fun run. And that program will, on average, raise each school $50,000. It's a huge increase from conventional fundraising tactics, like going door to door selling cookies and candy, which will raise about five to $6,000. And with such a large pot of money for the school, where they can do all sorts of crazy stuff they could never do before, like buy STEM education programs or engineering programs or whatever, there's enough money for a prospective franchisee to get paid a fee and support his family and grow his or her business, and so on and so forth. So this unbelievable win win win model with the franchisee winning, the school winning, and the kids winning. And anyways, that's why we're growing so fast, taking so much share and expect to be in the majority of schools, elementary schools specifically, in the next couple years. [00:04:44] Speaker A: So somebody who's listening to, listening to us now and have this dialogue, conversation about apex leadership, there are people out there who are seriously considering or thinking about leaving corporate America, career transition. Maybe they've been displaced, but they want to get into a business that actually gives back or can give back to a community. It isn't always about the dollars in the cents. I mean, everybody wants to make a living. I get it. But beyond the financial side, the income, your franchisees are playing an integral part in their community. Giving back to, allowing children to get things that they may not have been able to get, equipment for STEM computers, whatever it may be, putting these programs together to give back to the community, is that correct? [00:05:40] Speaker B: Yeah, that's a big part of it. I've never seen a franchise that, and I've met a lot of them because I'm a big fan of franchising. But I've never seen a franchise that has such a big community impact as ours. So, you know, you see like, burger restaurants, taco shops, all sorts of businesses that do have community impact. But community impact is sort of central to our value prop. We have franchisees in LA that have raised $30 million over the course of the last couple of years for several elementary schools in their community. I mean, that kind of money builds new buildings. It changes the experience inside the community. But because we deliver so much value to the community, it's a very financially rewarding experience for our franchisees, too. They can make a really good living. We have this thing called item 19, which maybe some of your people, listeners have kind of heard of, which show the profitability of our franchise or any franchise. And we're very proud to show that our franchisees can make a super attractive business income for their family and grow their business. So it's really both. We deliver a ton of value. Our franchisees are able to do that with our support, and they are rewarded. And our clients are so happy, they come back 85% of the time. Our recurring revenue is 85%. I've never seen that in franchising before. It shows how happy our clients are, and it allows our franchisees to build one year on top of another, deliver a ton of support, but build a nice, profitable, highly recurring, manageable business. So it's really a good combination of both. [00:07:29] Speaker A: You know, the misnomer here in the model that for Apex is, and I can see people now kind of scratching their head a little bit, hey, what do I need a company? Why do I need a franchise? I can start my own fundraising company and bake cookies or sell candy or, you know, and go door to door and all of those processes that for fundraising. And typically, as you mentioned earlier in our conversation when you were chitchatting before we hit the record button, a lot of those types of fundraising are brought up and managed by the PTA. But you're coming in and really taking this to the next level. And it has to do with kids having fun. And that caught my attention. Maybe go into a little bit about, you know, again, I don't want you to give away your secret sauce yet. [00:08:18] Speaker B: But happy to do it, Scotty. Happy to do it. [00:08:22] Speaker A: Well, great. I mean, tell us a little bit about one or two of the types of programs that is different than the mothers or fathers getting together families, baking some cookies and brownies, selling them at the school play. Tell us a little bit about some of the programs that you're doing that are generating these larger dollars per se. [00:08:42] Speaker B: Yeah, great question. So, for our business, or honestly, any business in fundraising, you need to be super successful at it. You need a healthy combination of a a rallied community, that's super important, and b, a piece of technology that allows that community to distribute that message all over the country and all over the world. A lot of people in any type of fundraising channel try to solve it with one or the other, right? On the one hand, whether it's a bake sale or an auction or for a political fundraiser, it might be a dinner. You might get, let's say 1000 people in a room that are really excited about a certain initiative. Great. That's a good start. On the other side, you might make a GoFundme link, you know, a very, very easy to do thing that allows you to distribute a message to millions of people, but no one is rallied. And really what you want is a combination of the two. You want a protocol. And for us, it's our program that teaches kids fitness and leadership and is extremely rewarding and awesome, but really rallies the kids in the community around supporting their school. And you want a piece of technology, which we own, proprietary piece of technology that we built from scratch, which allows the school to take that energy and distribute it all over the country with the majority of our funds being raised outside of the state where the school is. So that could be from grandma and grandpa and the uncle and the friend and so on and so forth. And it allows us to raise an extraordinary amount of. Of money for each of these schools. Sort of unheard of, to be honest. Right. It is. It's unique and it really solves a major, major. It begins to solve a major problem in this country, which we've had for a really long time around a lack of resources at schools. And so that's how we're approaching that problem. It is very hard for people to replicate that at a small scale. If someone were to try to this without our support, there are huge benefits to scale associated with our technology and our purchasing power and our theme development, which is our program and so on and so forth. It's very hard to replicate that at scale, but it's also very hard to replicate our, in the community franchise model, where our franchisees are inside the community, their teams are in the community, their kid may have gone to a local elementary school or a school nearby and is able to rally the community as such. And so franchising is this wonderful model for our industry that allows us to deliver both the human capital, rally the community, and also the technology that comes from scale and solves a big, big problem in our country. [00:11:40] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, that's. I mean, it goes to show you that if you're creative in a way that something that you think is simple as baking cookies or selling raffle tickets, that if you really put your mind together and that's what Apex has done, is you put your minds together and come up with these unique programs and you've just kind of like blown it up. [00:12:07] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. [00:12:08] Speaker A: You've just kind of connected the dots. I mean, you've, you kind of draw, got a straight line now than trying to weave yourself around trying to raise money. So that's interesting. I want to jump back to your story for a second because it's kind of unique. And I mentioned we're talking to Jamie Krasnov, who is the CEO of Apex leadership. I'm your host, Scotty Miles. Your story is unique in the sense that it's almost like you woke up one morning and said, you know what, I'm doing really well where I am. But there's a missing piece. It's kind of like finding that one piece to the jigsaw puzzle and you can't find it and there's kind of a hole in the puzzle now. You really became creative. You went out and you called 4000 franchises, if I heard that correctly, and you wanted to be an investor. So you put some money together with investors and you wanted to build something because of the passion to be able to, want to give back in a meaningful way. [00:13:15] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:13:15] Speaker A: Can you share a little bit about that journey? Because a lot of people struggle with that, that they're doing what they don't like to do and they see a road, but they don't know how to get to the, to that new road. They, you know, the seven turns, whether I go right, left. Share a little bit about that story, if you could. [00:13:34] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate the invitation into that. I have the same similar conversation with a lot of our new franchisees. Because when you're choosing to franchise, you know, it's a great model because if you just look at the numbers, it's much more successful typically, than starting from scratch. Right. You have the help of somebody for what is typically, usually a very hard thing to do, an entrepreneurial journey. And so I feel like I was in the seat of a lot of prospective franchisees that end up on our doorstep or that we end up talking to. And I don't think my story is all that different. I had a great job, a great job in an industry that I found very interesting. But when, even since I was a kid. And for some people, it happens when they're young. Maybe they got let go recently and this thought since gets inspired. Maybe it was five years ago, they felt like fully capable, professional, but I wanted to run my own show, and that was always missing. I wanted to become an entrepreneur and build something, and I wasn't going to do it unless I was doing something that I felt passionate about. So I just needed. I wanted a, to be my own business person and to build my own business, give myself the freedom and the opportunity that that allows. And I was not going to do it in an industry unless I was really passionate about what that was. So, yeah, I fell in love with franchising, which I had participated in franchising about ten years ago and modestly over the last couple of years. And when I decided to make that leap, it was the right time for that. I chose franchising because I think it delivers, when done right, an excellent opportunity to prospective franchisees. When done wrong, I don't think it does, but when done right, it's a beautiful marriage of two organizations, the franchisee and the franchisor, working together to make that franchisee successful, because the franchisor gets rewarded when that happens. [00:15:37] Speaker A: And it works both ways on the franchisee franchisor side, when the franchisor is successful and providing that support needed, the franchisees becoming successful. And again, that's an important statement that you just made, because that's why there's this process to get to know everybody. It isn't. Do you want to talk to me on Tuesday? Do you want yellow or blue? And I'll drop it off on Wednesday. There's a process here to understand what the business model is about, but also the support mechanisms and the franchisee and the franchisor. I always have to remind people, franchises are awarded, they're not, you know, they're not based on financial means. [00:16:20] Speaker B: Yes, 100%. I mean, there's a partnership that's going to take place. A lot of franchise agreements are ten years. And the way we think about it is like, we're going to be in a relationship with this new franchisee, whoever it is, him or her, for ten years. Do we want to work with this person? And the same evaluation should be happening on the other side. And if those two things are a yes, it's hopefully and typically going to be a pretty successful financial outcome, you know, for both sides. So it is a courtship process on both sides, for sure. One of the things that we were. [00:16:54] Speaker A: Discussing prior to, like I said, hitting the record button, we were talking about characteristics that make up successful franchisees within Apex. Yeah, every brand is different. There are certain qualifications or skill sets. One of the things that we talked about is the sales aptitude, the ability to be able to network and get out and make a presentation. This isn't a business where people are going to walk through your door and I kind of joke with you and said, they're not going to order a hamburger with ketchup. [00:17:22] Speaker B: This is strategic thinking. [00:17:24] Speaker A: So maybe go into a little bit about what you're seeing as a background or kind of the character of some of your franchisees that are successful. You know, somebody's listening to this saying, wow, this is interesting. I'd like to learn more, but I don't know what are some of the characteristics of your successful franchise backgrounds? Franchisees backgrounds? Yeah, just real briefly. [00:17:49] Speaker B: So let me just jump on that real quick. Background is super important. What they do is super important. But more than that, we care about character and values and who they are as a person. Because sometimes somebody in sales might not even be that good at sales, and somebody in Ops might be amazing at sales or so on and so forth. A teacher. We have folks that are teachers who come become franchisees. They're incredible franchisees. Sometimes, sometimes not as much. But the three things we look for in addition to our values is one, do they have the ability and desire to build relationships? Because that's what they're doing in our business. They're telling their community about who we are and what we do. Two, do they resonate with what we do so they can share our story emotionally? And three, which is super hard to prove, are they gritty? Because building a business is not always the easiest thing in the world or for any brand. So do they have the drive to build their own business? And so we evaluate our franchisees on those. Hopefully we get three concentric bubbles. [00:19:00] Speaker A: Interesting. Interesting. Well, that's good. Well, we've been talking to Jamie Krasnow, who's the CEO of Apex leadership company. Jamie, any closing thoughts? Anything you'd like to share with the audience? Maybe tell them best way for someone to find out more information. Obviously they can reach out to me, but any other ways to find out more information about Apex leadership? [00:19:19] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. Go onto our website at franchise dot apexleadershipcompany.com or apexleadershipco.com. Either one that'll arrive on our doorstep. And I would just throw a shout out to working with an advisor as you evaluate what the right franchise is for you. And Scotty would be a great one to reach out to because, you know, you want to evaluate a few brands and it's a very important decision, and it can be a large investment for you. And I think working with a consultant can be very helpful. And so, yeah, that might be the first step to just getting your foot in the door to see if this is the right place for you to be as you kind of think about the next steps of your life. [00:20:04] Speaker A: Great, great. Well, we appreciate, I appreciate the kind thoughts and interesting brand unique story. You know, there's this passion side, as I said, giving back to the community, and you get to do it with kids, getting kids involved. There's obviously, you know, there are strengths in getting kids involved in the community and giving back at an early age, it transitions into adult life. So, I mean, it's a great thing that Apex is doing. Jamie, we hope to get you back again in the next six months just to get an update, but we appreciate all the things that you've shared with us about Apex. And again, audience, if you're interested, reach out to those sites that Jamie mentioned. I am your host, Scott Scotty Miles, all things considered, franchising. You can view all of our podcasts. 75 plus podcasts now ranked one of the top 15 podcasts in the franchising industry by several organizations. Feel free to reach out to allthingsconsideredfranchising.com or visit all the podcast channels. We're on Apple and all the standard. You can also reach [email protected]. If you are interested in exploring or just have some questions about business ownership, investing in a franchise, you can email [email protected]. Or visit my website, scottmylessfranchisecoach.com as well. This is Scotty Milos saying so long until next time, Jamie. Thanks again, and we will catch you on the rebound. Thanks. [00:21:29] Speaker B: Thank you, Scotty.

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