Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Red Boswell, President of IFPG

December 31, 2023 00:29:56
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Red Boswell, President of IFPG
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Red Boswell, President of IFPG

Dec 31 2023 | 00:29:56


Show Notes

All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Red Boswell, President of IFPG

On today’s episode, host Scotty Milas speaks with Red Boswell.

Red is the President of IFPG (International Franchise Professionals Group), a membership and training organization that supports franchise consultants, franchise owners, and suppliers in the franchising industry. He is widely known for his expertise in franchising and his commitment to connecting franchise professionals and helping them succeed.

Scotty and Red begin by discussing the state of franchising and the importance of supporting franchise professionals. Boswell highlights the success of the recent IFPG retreat and the importance of connecting franchise professionals on a personal level. As Red states, “Our purpose at IPG is to connect franchise professionals, not just have them read an email or see a page on our website, but connect eye to eye, human to human."

He also discusses the current trends in franchising, including the interest in low-investment opportunities and the growth of the health space. Boswell emphasizes the importance of ethics and integrity in the
consulting industry and the need for consultants to provide value and support to their clients.
Red explains it to Scotty like this. He says, "More people have 100,000 than have a million, right? So those low investments are always going to be moving at a big pace."

He also addresses the challenges facing the franchising industry, such as government regulations and
the California ruling, and the role of organizations like IFPG in advocating for small businesses
and protecting the rights of franchise owners.

Key Takeaways:

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

#allthingsconsidered #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunities #redboswell
#IFPG #franchiseconsultants #support #lowinvestmentopportunities #protectingtherights

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Hey, hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of All Things considered franchising, powered by Scott Milos Happy New Year. Happy 2024. We are kicking off the 2024 podcast season with a guest that we had on almost a year ago to kick off the All Things considered franchising podcast, Red Boswell, who is president of IFPG International Franchise Professionals Group. And if you're in the franchising space and you don't know who Red Boswell is, or never met him or never ran into him, you have been sleeping in a soundproof room and under a rock. So, red, welcome to the show. Happy New Year. [00:00:51] Speaker B: Thanks, Scott. Honored to be here. Some people say I'm famous in franchising. It's probably more infamous, but honored to be here, brother. You always do first class interviews and excited to just get the word out about franchising through you, brother. Thank you. [00:01:07] Speaker A: We're coming off the IFPG retreat, the main retreat in October of 2023, and a big hit. The turnout, the attendance was overwhelming. As a consultant attending the education, rubbing elbows with people within the industry, outstanding. Being around and being in different networks before second to none as far as conferencing. Just your thoughts before we take a little bit of a deeper dive into the industry and what we're seeing. But what were your thoughts about the conference? I mean, again, great turnout. Any surprises for you, brother? [00:01:51] Speaker B: Thanks for supporting the hat there, supporting the IPG retreat hat. Looking solid going into it. It's my favorite three days of the year, see so many of the franchise family. Our theme was we are family. It was better than even my optimistic self expected, really well. And I'm certainly proud of the fact that it's the largest gathering of consultants and franchiseors and suppliers in the world, and it gets bigger every year. But none of that matters without the intimacy. Our purpose at IPG is to connect franchise professionals, not just have them read an email or see a page on our website, but really connect eye to eye, human to human, to understand who they are and what they are representing. Because who that individual is is more important than even their opportunity. And so I'm most proud of whether it's IPT retreat summit, or any of the many events we do across the nation each year and across the world, is, are the attendees, the franchiseors, consultants and vendors, are they really connecting to understand opportunities because then they're changing lives, impacting communities? Yeah. So we went very proud of what we're accomplishing at IPG. [00:03:00] Speaker A: The industry going into this year, 2024, is coming off some banner years and as a consultant and talking to people within the industry, and you were kind of chitchatting before we hit the record button here. There's still a lot of activity, but that pandemic wave has slowly subsided a little bit. I almost look like tailor it to surfing. You got to paddle out to the wave you surf in, but you eventually hit the beach and you got to surf back out again. From the IFPG side of the consulting business and lead generation, what are you seeing as an organization as far as the interest in people investing in a franchise? Becoming business owners for the first time, and also franchise owners, current franchise owners that are looking to diversify, because that's where I'm also starting to see the uptick is people who already own a brand that are looking to diversify. [00:04:08] Speaker B: Yeah. Wow. A lot of good topics there, Scott. So at IPG, we're averaging over 13,500 territory checks a week. That's a big metric. I look at consultants checking to see if a territory is available that's sky high. It's the highest it's ever been. So maybe some categories might be a little slower than others. But franchising is so blessed in that when the economy dips, franchising picks up. When the economy is great, franchising picks up. When people are getting laid off, more people are looking for opportunities. When the job market is saturated, there's people that can't find a job. Franchising wins. When interest rates are low, it's cheaper to buy a franchise. When interest rates are higher, more people are struggling, and they're looking to buy a franchise. I mean, it's like the answer seems to always be, let's get a franchise. Let's take control of my world, my future, my income, my family's success, financially and lifestyle wise, and really own something. And so I know maybe I'm a little jaded, maybe I sound like an excited sales guy, but we at IPG, and as a broader answer, franchising in general, it's never been better. So very pleased with what we're seeing. [00:05:20] Speaker A: You kind of started into, my next question is that industries and tracking territory checks and tracking what consultants are asking, are you seeing an uptick in any specific category? Let's face it, a large percentage of consultants try to stay away from food for whatever reason, because there's this stereotype about food. But have you seen any uptick in any specific type of industry? A few years ago, during COVID it was the pandemic. It was service based brands. Is there a new upcoming of retail. Now I mean anything that you can. [00:06:03] Speaker B: Share insights on that. That's a big question brother. Home services and let's expand it to low investment related opportunities are always going to be hot. More people have 100,000 than have a million, right? So those low investments are always going to be moving at a big pace. A general trend, not fad, but trend is we're all getting older. The average age of Americans and first world countries is getting older. We're living longer. Hallelujah. And so anything related to that tends to be doing better than the average. The senior care, the in home services related to senior care. Heck, I looked at, I get asked often what's the hottest opportunity. Well, we only have 650. So I mean how do I know what the hottest one is? It really depends on the individual. But I was looking at these last three years and as best I can tell, perhaps the biggest movers this year, last year and the year before were all in the health space. If you think QC Kinetics, you think Ellie mental health, you think of game day. To give three examples of a category that's not that huge, but a brand that has their act together and is moving some serious volume. So that's been fascinating to see. And then to your point, Scott, around know with IFPG especially our consultants are matchmakers. They're not showing their favorite brand. They're showing the brand that's best for that buyer, that candidate. And a lot of times candidates love the restaurant space. And if they do, and they truly understand it, have clarity around it, we're going to show them a restaurant all day long and introduce them to the best restaurants. Even if perhaps we're not a big fan of a restaurant, if it's right for them, we're going to show it to them. So some spaces or categories are not as hot as others, but it's ultimately what's best for that know. [00:07:58] Speaker A: Switching subjects to IFPG as a consulting organization. Obviously the back end of the organization is very strong for supporting consultants. There has been a rise in the number of consultants that have gotten into the franchising space, coaching, consulting, brokers, whatever you want to define us at everybody, the polite way right now, or the professional way is consultants, coaches, helping people through the process so they can get to a validated decision versus an emotional decision. At IFPG, one of the focuses is that you have paid a lot of attention to training people the right way, but also in a way that is ethical and moral and doing it the right way. Where is the industry going with the amount of consultants. Is this something that we should be concerned about veterans like myself or is the industry going to kind of weed out the ones that are not doing it the way it shouldn't be done? [00:09:05] Speaker B: Sure. Well, long live capitalism. The best will always rise to the top. I've always say at all our conferences that the I in international franchise professionals group stands for integrity. If you're not running your business with integrity, we don't want you. And ultimately you will be weeded out of our system as well. But the consumer is going to see through that. If you've got commission breath, if you only care about yourself, if you're showing the same brands every time, you ultimately will not succeed to the level that folks like you who care about their ultimately matchmaking, care about their candidate will succeed. I think franchise consulting, I don't think. I know franchise consulting is still in its infancy. I mean if you look at Fran Connect, you look at the stats from Fran data or IFA, 18% of deals in North America were done through a consultant. Well yeah, there's more consultants than ever and we are on fire and we're growing like crazy. It's still less than one fifth of all deals are done through consultants. Look, back 80 years ago, I think we're probably where realtors, the real estate or residential realty industry was 80 or 100 years ago. People probably said back then, is it saturated? Well, 20% of deals back then were done through realtors. Today it's 98% or something crazy like that are done through realtors because it's a massive decision. I don't know enough about markets and houses and what's hot and what's not and where I should live and buy, et cetera. But a realtor does. And same even more so in the bigger decision of owning a franchise. It's not just where you live, it's what you do all day long in owning a franchise. And so this is a big life decision that a husband and wife, if they're married, make together. And so why in the world would anybody make such an enormous life decision without using an expert trained in the industry that vets opportunities and matches appropriately guides you to the right, well, the right opportunities for you and your family. So, yeah, I think although we're big and we're growing like crazy, I don't think if we scratch the surface of where we're going to be down the. [00:11:05] Speaker A: Road, we're talking to Red Boswell, who is president of IFPG. I'm Scotty Miles, your host of all things considered. You know, speaking of becoming a know IFPG offers an in road for individuals that want to become a consultant or would want to consider becoming consultant, doing what I do, and kind of building your own business within a model. I always refer this to more of a license agreement. When people say, do you own a franchise? I say, well, no, I own a license agreement. I'm part of a family. I'm part of organizations. But IFPG is my license, the validation of brands, the backup that I need to running a business, and any business owner needs backup. So if someone wanted to consider becoming a franchise consultant, franchise coach, like what I'm doing, and so many other successful consultants are in the IFP Jeep family. Tell us a little bit about some of the credentials or personalities that you're seeing that you're having conversations with that somebody can pick up the phone and, hey, this is something I should look at. [00:12:21] Speaker B: You bet, Scott. Thanks. Great question. So IFG is a membership and training organization. First, we're going to train you. We're going to help you become a certified franchise consultant through online training. There's no travel required. Still one on one personalization in the training. And then once you've graduated, become certified. We're going to train you forever for free. So, very simple model that way. So training and then membership. You're a member of IFG. You operate your business, your firm, your practice, your advisory. Underneath the umbrella of IFG, our services, our support, our technology, our agreements with franchiseors. So we're going to support you in every way needed so you can succeed to the level you want to succeed at whatever definition of success you have. So, yes, our consulting training program is bringing on a new consultant at least every week, and we're very proud of that. We see extremely low attrition because it's such a simple model, and the government stays out of our way. And fingers crossed that capitalistic, entrepreneurial, freedom minded mindset is going to continue because franchising, in so many ways, is the engine of our economy, trillion dollar industry with a very significant number of Americans and first world country people in franchising. So without franchising, the economy would certainly crater and have serious issues. So we're very proud of how we're impacting lives through the consultants we bring on. And Scott, as you hear, every time we have a conference, whether it's our summit or a retreat, I'm saying if we have the best consultants, we is everything follows the consultant. So my number one priority, we have franchise wire, the leading news source in franchising. We have career transition leads. We have a lot of entities underneath the IPG umbrella. But as president of all those organizations, the number one thing we focus on, I focus on a daily basis, attracting, training and retaining the best consultants we got that the franchiseors follow the opportunities follow the suppliers, vendors to the industry follow, deals are done, lives are changed and communities are impacted. So very proud of what we're doing as bringing on new consultants and attracting a whole lot of seasoned veterans who have had success elsewhere and realize the inventory, the technology, the support, the culture and the business model that we provide is pretty attractive to them as well. [00:14:41] Speaker A: Interesting. So if you were going to flash forward two years, five years, ten years from now and again, we have to be careful guys our age, because we don't want to flash forward too far. But when you look at IFPG, the model and how it's grown since you've become president, I mean, you've opened a lot of doors. There's been a lot of significant, positive, influential change to the organization. What's next for IFPG? Where does IFPG as it continues to be the bigger blimp on the radar in the franchising world industry, where does the leadership group want to take IFPG? I understand you want to be and continue to be the number one consulting organization. [00:15:30] Speaker B: Sure. [00:15:31] Speaker A: And it's going to be hard pressed for anybody to substitute that model that you guys are. I mean, it's a unique model there you where as an influencer in the industry, where does, I mean, what things do you want to do or see to better the industry? [00:15:50] Speaker B: Five years ago, when I was brought on to be president, Don said, we want to continue to, what was the word? Provide additional value and services to our members. And so a year and a half ago, when we got acquired by Princeton Equity, they had that same philosophy. Red, we're not here to suck profits out of IPG. We're here to invest into IFG, to quadruple it in every way. And that's first through investing into better technology, better support systems. Heck, in the last year and a half, we've almost doubled our support team, and we already had the biggest support team in the industry. We've got 20 folks at corporate supporting our members. But in addition to investing in technology, more support, more people, we also want to invest into additional services to support our members. Now, that might be investing into additional technologies and services that we build in house organically, but it also means adding, acquiring additional ancillary services, services that you or other consultants or perhaps other Zors or vendors are already investing in today. And why not allow them, help them invest less money, get more value through their IFPG membership? Because we also own that product or service. So I don't have any specifics to give you right now. We're constantly in talks with wonderful companies that are respected in the industry that we could roll in underneath the IFPG umbrella to further support and give more value to our members. I know it's kind of a broad statement, but yes, we're going to continue to grow. We're going to grow not only through adding consultants, franchiseors and suppliers, and more events, more ways to connect, but also more services added to the umbrella of what IFPG provides. Well, you just fill in the blank. What are you spending money on, or your candidates spending money on today to get their franchises opened? Any of those are opportunities for us to bring it in underneath our know. [00:17:51] Speaker A: One of the things that has always caught my attention about IFPG as an organization is that the organization is not just focused on the consulting side, the relationships or the partnerships that you have with franchiseors, and to educate our audience. Franchiseors being the brands that are in our inventory and also the suppliers are as important. If not, maybe in certain circumstances tend to be a little bit more important. But the uniqueness of keeping everybody kind of on the pedestal, so to speak, is important to IFPG, is that correct? [00:18:29] Speaker B: It is. Because a foundation. Now, when I was a franchise development rep and a franchiseor prior to my role here starting five years ago, I didn't realize how impactful and how important this was. But a very big differentiator for IFPG is that everyone's equal. And what does that mean? Every consultant pays us the same amount of membership. Whether you make zero or make $10 million, you are equal in our eyes. We treat you equal. There's no favoritism on the franchiseor side. That's unheard of in the consulting and broker world. They typically have some favorites. They push deals to them, and it's not really a transparent process. While at IPG, it truly is, because no one, we're not getting a penny of commission. The consultants get it all, the franchiseors pay them directly. And so foundational to our model is equality, libertarian philosophy, freedom, but ultimate maximum support in achieving your goals and dreams in your business. [00:19:21] Speaker A: That's interesting. One last quick topic here, red, and you and I had touched on this a year ago when we had you on the show, and that was what's going on in California with the know and IFA, the International Franchise association, obviously supporting franchising in general, there have been some rulings that have come down. Some of those rulings are being challenged. It's been going back and forth and you touched on this and you kind of set it under the radar a little bit that a good strong entrepreneur, whether you as a business owner, doesn't want big brother in our back pockets. It's one thing for Big Brother to be involved in maybe regulations on ethics and morals and things like that. But when it comes to being in our back pockets, we don't want big Brother. We want that flexibility, that freedom, kind of that let us run it the way we want to run it. And as long as we're paying our taxes in fair know, leave me alone. So do you think that because of what's going on in California it's going to trickle out? It seems to be a never ending battle here. So where does the line get drawn, do you think? [00:20:42] Speaker B: Yeah, so fascinating topic. Consumer protection oriented rulings are important. The US and Canada have more consumer protection oriented laws related to franchising than the entire rest of the world combined. I mean most other countries outside of the US and Canada see franchising with a very different definition, much more related to the MLM or multi level kind of concepts of the world. And yet it's not even related to that at all. In the US and Canada, very consumer protection oriented culture. But depending on the leadership in Washington who try to have their hand in every piece of the puzzle and influence way more than they should, they don't necessarily believe in the invisible hand of the marketplace. [00:21:32] Speaker A: Right. [00:21:32] Speaker B: And we do. And we see that freedom in some states like California, who don't understand freedom, entrepreneurship in many ways overstepping their bounds. Fortunately, the IFA has our back big time. And so if you are a franchise or any professional in franchising, we encourage you to join the IFA because they do fight for our freedoms and fight for what's right and stand up to protect the individual sole proprietor. They educate the world oftentimes on what franchising is and that it is a local mom and pop and it is not some big business corporation that so many people incorrectly think it might be. So to your question, Scotty, with California, they're going to continue states like that, or perhaps Illinois or Maryland that tend to be much more anti entrepreneurship, anti freedom, anti small business. Who would ever thought the liberal progressives would be anti small business? The mom and pops of our economy that fuel the engine of our economy, and yet they're trying to crush us in so many ways. Fortunately they're not going to win. They've not won. They will continue to fail, but through the. Oh, man, I always forget the term here. Scotty, help me out. What do the automakers, the, all the employees that work for the automakers are. [00:22:59] Speaker A: Part of a union, labor union. [00:23:02] Speaker B: I think of the simplest words. Tell you what, I don't have to be a rocket scientist to do what I do. Rocket surgeon. Yet the unions are big money, man. They've got huge billions behind them. And so oftentimes they'll convince certain politicians that to bunch franchise entities in with the union rules and regulations, which is very incorrect in almost every situation. And so once we get that word out, and the IFA is helping us do that, many of IPG's members are helping us to get that word out. Ultimately, truth prevails. The truth will set you free. And so we see once the voters and the politicians realize that individual mom and pops own these franchises, you can't bunch us in with the union labor. We're going to win. And we do see that winning and the ignorant things that do get passed get overturned pretty quickly once truth prevails. [00:23:58] Speaker A: Yeah, it's interesting because it's funny because even as the consultant running my consultant company, the perception people have of franchising, it's a very large industry, but it's small. But when people think of franchising, they think of McDonald's, subway, we think of days, of Tom Carvell. But there is so much more outside of that in that small business box. And you use the term mom and pop shops, small business, know, whether it's retail or. [00:24:35] Speaker B: Scott, speaking with the IFA legal counsel recently, she said, they're encouraging us, the franchise professionals out there and the consultants that are dealing with the public at a mass level, to use the term small business interchangeably, much more often with the word franchise, because a lot of people don't understand what franchise is. But when you two thirds of the time, call it small business and then weave in franchise into it, they start realizing, oh, wow, franchises are small businesses. They're not part of a huge international conglomerate owned by three people. It makes it much more real and hits home a lot better. So small business, that's interesting. [00:25:15] Speaker A: And it's really funny because when you look at the franchise or, and their model, the internal model of their support structure, in most cases, they would be considered a small business as well. [00:25:28] Speaker B: I mean, who would have thought you can have 100 units, 100 franchises, and you are still a small business with a dozen employees working in one small office. [00:25:38] Speaker A: Right. It's kind of like the teacher with 25 kids in the classroom. I mean, they're a teacher still. They're not a different type of teacher because they have 25 or ten. They're a teacher. They're an educator. Red, any closing remarks? Anything you want to share? I mean, this has been great. I mean, I think you and I could probably go on for hours over a couple of cocktails talking about the industry. It's a remarkable industry. Small business franchising is just, there's a lot of fear and anxiety to get into it. But I think once you start learning, fear and anxiety creates questions. It gets to your answers, as long as it's not your decision driver. But any closing statements, anything you'd like to share? [00:26:23] Speaker B: Well, two things come to mind, Scotty. One is anybody looking at franchising should work with the awesome consultant. You being at the top of that list, as a leader, as a veteran, as a trusted advisor, you're second to none. I will throw out a passion of mine. As of this last year, we acquired two years ago, and it is the leading news source in franchising. Got a great staff writing editorial pieces every day about what's happening in franchise, including a lot of the legal issues we're incurring. And so anyone interested in franchise news, check out And we're helping a lot of franchiseors get word out about their opportunities to the world in a different way than consultants. Get the word out. We work hand in hand with the consultants. But franchise wire can be a nice piece of your marketing strategy, especially around content marketing. So thanks for letting me throw that little plug in there. But franchise wire is really killing it, and I'm excited to see where it's going to go over the next year as well. [00:27:19] Speaker A: That's exciting. That's exciting. It's great to hear. Well, Rev, thank you so much for being a guest and kicking off 2024. My wife and I were, she headed back north yesterday, and I'm still down in Florida getting ready to go back. But we were kidding each other, saying how 2023 flew by. And the industry offers a lot of exciting opportunities and the challenges. And every time I say to myself, maybe it's time to retire, I just say to myself, you know what? There's just too much fun in the industry. [00:27:58] Speaker B: It is. [00:27:59] Speaker A: It's helping people, it's educating people, it's getting people to make that right decision and what people don't realize, and I'll close with this, and you probably will chime in on this and agree that working with a consultant saying no is okay. It's all part of our education and our model that we accept. No, it's not this arm twisting, vending, or go borrow $100,000 from your father in law because you didn't get a loan. It's all part that the timing is not right. [00:28:31] Speaker B: My son, 21 year old in college, I tell him, you got to learn to say no, brother. You're saying yes to everything. And so, yeah, no is a discipline, and it's frankly the second best thing we can hear. It's, I don't know, or maybe later or let me keep thinking about it and pray about it for the next two decades. Life goes on. Time is ticking, and so opportunity will not wait for you. And yes, there are lots of great ones out there, and great advisors like you are going to help people find them. [00:28:57] Speaker A: Great. Well, if you want some more information on red, check them out on LinkedIn. Red Boswell, B-O-S-W-E-L-L. Go to the IFPG website. You can definitely get more information. You mentioned franchise wire. Great educational piece. If you need some more information or like to reach out to me about IFPG or possibly becoming a consultant or a member, a vendor franchise, or feel free to reach out to me. I'm Scotty Milas, the host of All Things Considered. Franchising, powered by is an organization consulting organization we started about eight years ago, almost now nine years. Whatever it is can keep track that helps people manage and navigate the world of business ownership, investing in a franchise. Until next time, have a great 2020 for you all, and we'll catch you on the next episode. [00:29:49] Speaker B: Thanks, Scott.

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