Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Turp Ricketts

August 09, 2023 00:22:45
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Turp Ricketts
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Turp Ricketts

Aug 09 2023 | 00:22:45


Show Notes

Turp Ricketts, Vice President of Development for Horsepower Brands, joins Scott Milas on this episode of All Things Considered Franchising podcast to discuss the exciting lighting franchise, Blingle!

Turp shares his journey into the franchising industry and highlights the unique opportunities that
Blingle offers. Blingle focuses on holiday lighting, commercial and residential landscape lighting, and event lighting. Turp emphasizes the importance of having an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to
execute in order to succeed in franchising. Turp says, “Nobody brings in a premier lighting
company like Blingle, where you have your holiday lighting, both commercial, and residential, you
have commercial residential landscape and permanent lighting, and then event lighting as

He also discusses the supportive and connected culture at Horsepower Brands, where
franchisees receive ongoing guidance and training. Turp concludes by encouraging listeners to
take action and explore franchising as a path to business ownership!

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

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:04 Hello, everybody. Scotty Milas, another episode of All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott Milas franchise All Things Considered Franchising is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur, focusing on people who are interested in exploring business ownership through franchising. And also, uh, occasionally we have guests on that are, uh, entrepreneurs on the independent side, some fascinating stories. Scott Milless, franchise Coach is a, uh, company that I founded that, uh, helps people research and explore business ownership franchises. The services, education and guidance that we, uh, provide are absolutely at no cost to our clients. We are compensated by the brands that we represent. Over 600 of them now in the, uh, I F P G portfolio. And today's guest is just one of those guys that if you ever met 'em at a, uh, poker table, uh, belly up to the bar and just wanted to have a great conversation. Somebody I've known for years, uh, believe it or not. Uh, another one of those younger generation guys, uh, that I have a lot of respect for. Uh, vice President of Horsepower Brands, ter Ricketts Terp. Welcome to the show, Speaker 2 00:01:15 Scotty, my friend. I'll, uh, I'll have that check in the mail for gassing me up <laugh> right after we get off here. Speaker 1 00:01:23 I appreciate that. Yeah. You know, you and I have rubbed elbows on a number of occasions, a number of conferences, um, you know, you just bring some light to the room, I guess, uh, you know, in regards to, uh, franchising, uh, helping people kind of make that right decision. Uh, you're focused on, uh, development VP of Development for Horsepower Brands, which is an FSO franchise sales organization, multiple brands. But your, what you've been focusing on is this exciting brand that you brought into the portfolio, uh, blingo. Yeah. Uh, you know, and I definitely want to get into that, but I wanna talk about your experience within the franchising industry, how you kind of got into this, because I mean, you know, I, it just amazes me that, you know, and, and, and you and I were talking before the show started, um, you know, I'm 63 and I'm kind of gearing back and I look at people like yourself, kind of that young generation, younger generation, I'm not gonna say absolutely young. Um, and it fascinates me to see the energy that's coming into the industry and organizations FSOs like yourself. So tell me a little bit about, maybe tell our audience a little bit about yourself, infra, uh, about franchising, you know, what attracts you to it, and then we'll get into Blingo and some of the other horsepower brands. Speaker 2 00:02:39 No, absolutely. I appreciate that. And, uh, I know my parents have told me at times that I act like I'm 18 still <laugh>, uh, but, but I'm a little Speaker 1 00:02:46 Older than That's a good thing, Speaker 2 00:02:47 <laugh>. Yeah, exactly. You gotta have that flavor, man, or, or it all gets boring for you. Um, but no, really excited to be on, I kind of just fell into franchising. Um, right outta college. I'm a big mama's boy. I had an opportunity to work for the P G A, but I had to go overseas for like a 10 year contract. It's like not doing that. Worked my way up in various organizations and then had an awesome opportunity to run the franchise finance vertical for a national lender. And I met the c e I had worked with the c e O through the process, said, Hey, you want to come start this, this vertical? I'd love to have somebody young with energy like you that knows franchising. I said, heck yeah. Even though I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I'd never managed anyone <laugh> and, uh, seas get degrees, Scotty. So I did have a little bit of a finance background. Speaker 2 00:03:32 I'm not a genius. Um, built that up like crazy, was awesome, scaled it really well, but, you know, banks have portfolios, things like that. And I built it up almost too quickly and I was like, that's really not gonna work for me. I wanna keep growing. But I met Josh Konick and Zach Butler cuz I built out customized finance programs for Monster and Redbox called them. I knew they were doing something. They're dudes that have vision, they have capital, and they can execute. You put those three things together, I'm all about it. Next thing I know, I'm on plane and, uh, I'm here and I've been here. I was a first employee at at Horsepower and, uh, built out Mighty Dog and now with Blingo and, and really overseeing all the brands. It's been, it's been an awesome ride, man. Speaker 1 00:04:12 Yeah, I mean, I'm sure you're not playing a lot of golf out in Nebraska in October, November, December and January. So it's a short season out there, but, you know. Yeah. Um, there's a lot of excitement with Lingle. Yeah. And, uh, I'm gonna let you kind of share that excitement with our audience because it, it, it opens the door for a lot of people to get into entrepreneurship that's not in what I call a category that has a lot of competition. You know, I've always, as a coach and, and somebody who's been in this space for, you know, what seems to be like a lifetime now. Um, you know, people always say to me, you know, I don't wanna get into this because it's saturated, but I always tell people that one of the reasons that markets are saturated is because it pleases the masses. Speaker 1 00:04:55 There are a lot of people that utilize that service or product, uh, or eat that food. And that's why the market's saturated. Cuz there are a lot of people, you just gotta be better than everybody else. Yeah. But Blingo brings in something that's foc you know, kind of leans towards a need. Yep. Not so much a want, it's a need. Uh, but um, it, it, it, it focuses in on an industry that really isn't saturated. So there's a lot of potential and reoccurring revenue. So share some thoughts about Blingo. Tell the audience a little bit about it, cuz I think it's a great little brand. Speaker 2 00:05:28 Yeah, no, it's, it's been really fun. And we launched, uh, franchising in January of 22. We have over 50 franchise owners, 190 plus territories awarded, and a hundred thirty five hundred forty of those open. Um, so it, it's been amazing. And when we look at it, I, I go look at like creditors' reports. We look at the market itself, cuz we wanna make sure too, if it's saturated, is there, is it fragmented still? Is there a big dog there? Right. If there's a, uh, if there's a Proctor and Gamble at the lunch table with you, when you get to the lunch table with the big dogs and they want to eat your lunch, you're not eating today my friend Speaker 1 00:06:03 <laugh>. That's right. That's right. You know, Speaker 2 00:06:05 So we go Speaker 1 00:06:06 There and we, you gotta bring your doggy bag, you gotta have some leftovers. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:06:09 Better, you better. Yeah. Or maybe a power bar, because they're Speaker 1 00:06:13 Right. Speaker 2 00:06:13 They're gonna get the sandwich at the end of the day. So we wanna make sure, hey, where, where is that? What's it look like, the landscape? And when we're looking at it, there's onesie twosies that specialize in, in direct kind of either holiday lighting or outdoor lighting, et cetera. But nobody brings in a premier lighting company like Lingle, where you have your holiday lighting, both commercial, residential, you have commercial residential landscape and permanent lighting, and then event lighting as well. And like you said, this business marries together really well. There's the residual revenue, nature of event and holiday lighting as well as then high ticket, high margin with landscape lighting and permanent lighting where you can also sell a contract to upkeep. And it, it marries those two together and it's very blue ocean when you look at it, man. And it, it's been a slam dunk so far. And we've had a lot of learnings along the way too. When you grow, as you know, as a franchisor, you're gonna hit bumps in the road and it's about, as a franchisor, how do you react and do you have the right owners there to just get better and tighten up the sword. And like I said, we have a lot of capital and we know what we're doing. So when we do need to make a pivot, we do. And coming into the second year, we're just beyond excited for, for what Blingo is gonna do. Speaker 1 00:07:28 So Blingo focuses on lighting. I mean, let, let's face it, lighting is, I mean, it, it it's everywhere. I mean, it's, yeah. And, and, and not only are you focusing on the holiday side of it, which is seasonal. Yeah. Um, look, nobody likes getting up, especially up here in the northeast. Nobody wants to get on a ladder when it's cold out and starts stringing lights. So I mean that, that, that's a service. Yep. But you also are dealing on the commercial side as far as landscaping, uh, event lighting. Um, tell us a little bit more about the product services that you're offering and then let's touch on who are your franchisees? Where are we, where are we seeing them come in from? Who's, who's generating the interest? Um mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and, and, and we'll kind of go from there. Speaker 2 00:08:15 Yeah. So I'd say when you look at the products on the landscape, permanent and then event lighting side, I mean it's really anything, anything you can think of. And we have wholesale great pricing with all the largest vendors in the country. And I'll just give you an example of this is what a franchise owner would do if they were going after, let's say a custom home builder. Custom home builders are gonna always have landscape lighting in all of their builds, right? So we would, was use our national permit database that spits this into your crm and you, oh, there's an, uh, a home builder here that's custom home builder. They pulled five permits, what are they doing? They're building five homes. What am I gonna do? I'm going to call them and then I'm going to mail them things and then I'm going, going to visit them to make sure that they know you're going to use me for your landscape and permanent lighting. Speaker 2 00:09:01 What I'm gonna do for you is do your first model home at cost, and then you build in X, Y, z, three different packages for that consumer and they have to pick one. And then, you know, bam, I'm in, I'm in there. And you continue to build that and, and, and nurture that relationship. And you also go straight to consumer as well if someone's doing a reno or whatever it is or wants to just add some spice to it. Same thing with weddings, et cetera. My dad's still losing his hair from paying for my, my sister <laugh>. So, you know, they, they spend there <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:09:33 That's right. I know that feeling. I got one more to go. So Speaker 2 00:09:37 <laugh> Yeah, buddy. Yeah buddy. It's nice having it off the payroll and then, and then all married out. So, um, but then I, I'd say from a, who we're looking for thing, like, you know, I I, I think it's, it's a difficult question because we have people that have sales, marketing backgrounds, engineers, et cetera, and it's looking at something, and it sounds flippant to say, well, if you have business acumen and then you meet a net worth and liquidity requirement, I think that we can do this. But really it's, do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you see it, the glass is half full as opposed to half empty. Right. And there's no specific skillset. Cuz if I say to you, uh, well you have to have, uh, uh, a pharmaceutical background for like a nursing home or something like that, or this, that, the other, I think it's because the franchisor is smart and they know they don't have the training platform to be able to instill that knowledge upon the franchisor. Right. So they have to come in the door with it. With us, you just gotta be able to execute and have some business acumen. We'll teach you everything you need to know about the lighting industry, about roofing, about spray foam painting. It's all service-based businesses. It's not rocket science. See some of your competition out there and you'll know it's not rocket science. Speaker 1 00:10:45 Right, right, right. Absolutely. But, you know, you talk about business acronyms. I I think it's safe to say turf. And again, we don't wanna mislead people that there is a general, uh, ability here, or a need for an ability to be comfortable in that sales aptitude role. I mean, you've gotta be comfortable being able to go speak with somebody. We're not talking about, you know, being a Willie Lohman where, you know, the death of a salesman where you're knocking on doors and cold calling 150 people a day. It's networking, it's getting out and being able to say, Hey, I'd like you to, you know, talk to you about the services or making a presentation. Yeah. Am I correct in that aspect? I mean Oh, yeah. You know, if you don't have that skillset or, or that comfort, these businesses may not be for you. Speaker 2 00:11:29 Oh, a hundred, 110%. Like you, you need to be able to go out and present your business to a group of realtors or some, you know, real estate agents because you wanna get in and hey, if you need some landscape lighting to do X, Y, Z or, you know, commercial brokers with, Hey, your security in your system is gonna, and the the lighting package is gonna make it so that it's eco-friendly, et cetera. You wanna be able to go out and be passionate about it and be able to speak to it. But I tell people, even if you're, you don't like that, uh, guess what you will because it's your baby. And if you can't speak to your business in a confident way, in an excited, passionate way, it doesn't have to be a passion business. I don't even necessarily in like, I don't believe in that. Right. It's just no matter what you have this investment in, and it is your baby, it is your business, and you gotta be able to speak to it. If you don't, if you wanna sit at a computer all day and you know, you better have an awesome sales team and be able to manage them. And if that's your personality, <laugh>, I don't know if you'd be great at managing a good sale. Speaker 1 00:12:27 Right. Exactly. Exactly. No, you know, you know, and one of the things that you just mentioned, and, and, and, and maybe our audience didn't pick up on it, is that in that horsepower, uh, family, the, the service-based brands, the Mighty Dog roofings, the blinging holes and the other brands that you have, you don't necessarily have to have industry experience the beauty of, uh, investing in a franchise and becoming an entrepreneur versus doing it yourself. I mean, there are advantages. I mean, look, I got nothing against people who are independents. I think independents are great, but the beauty of a franchise, I guess it was put to me, uh, the best way to describe it is, is that you're really starting on third base. I mean, to put it into a, you know, and, and to put it into golfing terms, you know, you're, you're starting, uh, with a 10 foot putt. I mean, you're not Yeah, you're not back on the tee box. So you have all the help, the assistants, the guidance. And I think one of the things about horsepower brands is that you bring that level of expertise and support, but, uh, some of the FSOs don't, you know, a lot of FSOs, not a lot, but some of them are, Hey, thanks for signing the agreement. Thanks very much. Talk to you later. Yeah. Whereas you're handholding and getting people training and getting them open, so to speak, to be successful. Speaker 2 00:13:45 Yeah. Because I mean, we're connected to the brand. Uh, we run, uh, EEO s which is based on the book Traction by Gina Wickman. So we have L 10 meetings. I'm on all of the brand L 10 meetings for Blingo specifically right now. Um, all of our directors and other VPs are on the brands. L 10 s like we're very connected where we're actually part of the same organization. We just operate as this is our silo and development. And then you have this, but I see everybody every day. I talk to them every day, and we're extremely connected and understand where we need to pivot, what are updates within the industry itself, within the brand itself. And it's really cool being able to have that comradery and I think culture that then the franchise owners feel too. Speaker 1 00:14:29 Right, right. Um, you know, uh, we're talking to, uh, Terp Ricketts, who's vice president of development over at Horsepower Brands and focusing on Blingo, uh, a lighting franchise. I mean, a lot of people probably just, you know, it's just amazing the different types of businesses that get franchised, but you know, when people think lighting, people automatically think holiday lighting. But this goes a lot further than, uh, uh, holiday lighting. Um, you know, we're talking about outdoor lighting, uh, you know, landscaping and things like that. Um, so terp, um, what's coming next for horsepower? I mean, we're, you know, the industry, I I have found over the last 18 months, 24 months, um, that the amount of companies that are looking to franchise is, has grown. It's twofold. I mean, the growth is just enormous. Anything new and exciting coming, uh, down the pike? I mean, not that you can't let the cat outta the bag, but what, what should we look for? Because I know Josh and I know Zach, I mean, exciting guys, very successful in the franchising space. Uh, that whole story with, uh, you know, Josh and, and the brand that he built, uh, what's, what's coming next for, uh, horsepower? Anything exciting? Speaker 2 00:15:41 So specifically, I cannot tell you, uh, I do know, but I've got, we'll have two more brands that were launching franchise business brands that were gonna be launching in 2023. So what we have done though, is the first quarter of 23, like we realized our plan was every quarter. And we were like, you know what? And it's, this is crazy because, you know, Josh's back, right? We actually, somebody was able to take their foot off the gas pedal a little bit, not because hey, anything was, was in, in danger of whatever, but it was like, Hey, let's make sure the house is really cleaned up, that our supporting verticals are just humming and rolling, and then let's go back into these next two brands. So it's okay if we don't launch one this quarter, because it really just helped us from an organizational perspective and ops perspective. And that's really cool because a lot of times these, these founders, they have, you have a big ego, big on this, I'm that, and I'm gonna do how I wanna do it. And they're listening to their team and the intellectual capital that they've, that they've put into place where they're very highly paid individuals, so I may as well listen to them. And that's the sign of a, of an awesome leader. So it's, it's fun. We've got two more brands coming and our goal Speaker 1 00:16:53 Exciting. Speaker 2 00:16:53 Yeah. Our goal is 25 by 25, so, uh, that's about 15 service-based franchise businesses and then supporting verticals, 10 supporting verticals. Uh, right now we have seven where it's, uh, we have a recruiting service actually, and what we wanna do is be able to make it more effective, more efficient for the franchise owner and more cost effective. If you hire somebody that's $80,000 employee, a good head headhunter firm is gonna charge you 16, $20,000 for that. Speaker 1 00:17:22 There's not more. Yeah. 20, 30%. Absolutely. Yep. Speaker 2 00:17:26 Yeah. Ours 15, 1500, 2 grand, boom, done. Because that, what's that gonna do for a franchisor? Well, it's gonna increase an owner's bottom line, top line, and then we're able to collect more royalty revenue, which is our lifeblood. And there's no reason to lie about it. It's a franchisor is a for-profit business too. Yeah. But everyone's interests are very aligned, and that's one of the reasons I love franchising so much is, is it's aligned. Speaker 1 00:17:50 Right. Well, it goes back to what I just said. I mean, uh, at, at horsepower, your, your, your influence on trying to help people, franchisees that are coming into your system to be successful is a leg up and you really care about them being successful. I mean, you know, uh, it, it, it's, you know, I mean, look, I mean, franchisors, like you said, are for-profit businesses, but their profit comes from royalties. And if you can help people build sales and collect more royalties, it's a win-win for everybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, uh, Josh, uh, Terp, um, one quick question for you. If somebody wanted to get in touch with you, um, regarding blingo or some of the other horsepower brands, obviously they can reach out to me, but what is the best way, I mean, connect with you on LinkedIn? Is there an email address that you want to use? Or, you know, should they just reach out to you on, uh, LinkedIn? Speaker 2 00:18:46 You reach out to me on LinkedIn, terp rickets, or, uh, just go to the blingo website, fill out a contact form, and you'll be talking to me in no time. Uh, so it's just Speaker 1 00:18:57 Okay, great. Terp, any last closing statements? I can't believe we're almost out of time here, but anything else about franchising you wanna share with the audience? I mean, I always tell people that, you know, put yourself in a position to wanna learn. Uh, you know, it, it's okay just to ask questions. I mean, you know. Yeah. I always tell people that, you know, investigating and researching business ownership, looking at franchises is not, uh, investing in a timeshare. Uh, the price doesn't go down every 10 minutes, you're talking to someone. So it's, yeah. It's a time consuming process, but it's, is there anything, anything you want to share? I mean, anything to get somebody off that rocking chair, so to speak, to, you know, inquire? Speaker 2 00:19:37 Yeah, I mean, I think I, you can always think that something will change and, and wanna talk about it and think about it, but you won't ever take action. And a lot of people don't. And it's all about taking action and then figuring out if something's for you. I always tell you there's three things. Does this franchisor have the best systems, processes, et cetera? Are they gonna continue to invest as well? Are they in a place exactly. Can you execute, look at yourself in the mirror, and literally, it's not daisies and rainbows and butterflies regardless of the support. Owning a business is difficult. So can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, you can execute, and then, are these cats the right culture fit for me? At the end of the day, whatever franchise or that might be, if it's blingo, hopefully it is, Hey, let's talk and we're the right culture fit. When you find those three things, then you gotta make that jump, and you'll only ever get 80% of the way there, right. Jump to the 20 and, and let's, let's go out there and, and create a, you know, a differentiation within your life at the end of the day. Right? Speaker 1 00:20:33 But put yourself in a position to wanna learn and, and, and wanna know. I mean, look, it's okay if you say no. I mean, if it's not for you, it's, you know, but at least no is a decision, not knowing or not making a decision, that that's the confusing part. Yeah. Anyway, Speaker 2 00:20:50 I've had girls telling me no for dates my whole life, <laugh>. I tell people, I tell people, I'm like, Hey, you get a hard no is great, and a hard yes is great. The minutiae and middle ground, that's where we don't win. So go ahead and say, no, that's fine. Speaker 1 00:21:04 Yes or no is a decision. No. Uh, not making a decision is not a decision. That's the way, the best way. It's, uh, you know, it's like I tell people, you know, when somebody says no to me, no, I don't wanna do this. The first thing I say to them is, congratulations. And they're like, well, what are you talking about? Congratulations. They go, well, congratulations. The hard part is coming through a decision. Yeah. So now that you made no as your decision, let's backtrack and find out how we got to know and find something where you can potentially say yes. I mean, it's, or maybe the timing's not right, and all those things are okay. Yeah. In people researching business ownership, uh, you know, a hundred percent. It's not for everybody. Uh, but it can be very rewarding. Anyway, we've been talking to, uh, Terp Ricketts. Speaker 1 00:21:47 This is Scotty Milas, uh, your host of All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott Milas franchise Uh, we'll have your LinkedIn profile, uh, link, uh, up so people can reach out in the blingo website. If you wanna reach out to, uh, Terp directly, uh, to find out some more information about, uh, blingo. Uh, but again, this is Scotty Milas, your host of All Things Considered Franchising. You can reach out to me at Scott at scott milas franchise, or call me at (860) 751-9126. Believe it or not, I still utilize the phone and talk to people, <laugh>. But anyway, Terp, it's always great catching up with you. We hope to have you back. Um, you know, I, I'm sure we'll be bumping into each other. We're coming up into what's called conference season, so I think we're gonna be seeing a lot about each bumping into each other. But thanks for sharing some time with us. Speaker 2 00:22:37 Absolutely. Appreciate you, man. Speaker 1 00:22:39 All right. Talk to you soon. Speaker 2 00:22:40 Thanks.

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