With more than 700,000 franchise establishments in the U.S. alone, the franchise industry has been experiencing explosive growth and it only continues to ﬂourish. At the center of this booming industry is the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG), a membership-based franchise broker network with more than 1,200 Franchisor, Franchise Consultant and Vendor members. Together, IFPG members guide aspiring business owners through the process of identifying and investing in franchise businesses. IFPG members change lives through franchise ownership; and they do it with one clear directive: with a candidate’s best interests as the top priority.
A disruptor in franchising, IFPG has received many accolades for its innovative approach and inclusive, family-like culture. For the last two years in a row, IFPG received the distinction as the industry’s top franchise broker network by Entrepreneur Magazine.
We interviewed Don Daszkowski, IFPG’s CEO and Founder who shared his insights on the industry and his idealistic vision for the broker network and the franchise industry.
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in the company.
I started in franchising in 2006 when I founded Business Mart, Inc. It became one of the fastest-growing small business and franchise search engines and was later acquired by a publiclytraded company. Now as founder and CEO of IFPG, I have built and continue to run the franchise broker network. We connect franchise professionals through events and education with the ultimate goal of ushering hopeful entrepreneurs into successful franchise ownership.
What led to the inception of IFPG?
Before IFPG, I was a business broker and through that role, discovered franchising. I saw the need for more and better technology in the franchise sales process. I knew I could disrupt the industry and raise the bar by oﬀering more value for less. Our competitors were taking a signiﬁcant sum from Consultant’s earnings. To me, that was the wrong way to do business. In 2012, I started building IFPG with a goal to create a fair and ethical culture. As Consultants grow their businesses, they shouldn’t be penalized, but incentivized. That’s exactly what we do.
What are the IFPG’s Franchise Consultant services which address all the needs of your customers?
Franchise Consultants are in demand because they save franchisors time and money by presenting quality, qualiﬁed candidates. And franchisors are happy to pay generous commissions for the service. Good Consultants understand the franchises they represent in order to best serve candidates and franchisors.
As a prominent Franchise Broker Network, what process are you using to make your services more productive and approachable for potential candidates?
Because we have a membership-based structure, we have created a fair and ethical culture for all of our members. Our Consultants keep 100 percent of their commissions, so we have no incentive to favor one franchise over another—which is the way it should be. Because of this, we attract the most reputable franchise companies and the industry’s best Franchise Consultants.
What kind of changes are on the horizon for IFPG? Marketing? Operations?
As we continue to grow, we plan to oﬀer more opportunities to educate our members to help them grow their businesses. For example, we recently launched FranchiseWire.com, a platform that shares franchise news and insights. FranchiseWire has quickly become the industry’s go-to resource for franchise news and information. We will continue to create more opportunities to ensure success for all IFPG members.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving IFPG to sustain operations and ensure the safety of your associates and employees at the same time?
As a company that thrives on face-to-face networking, COVID created challenges that ultimately improved our network. Because our inperson events came to a screeching halt, we postponed our annual conference and held a virtual one. It was unchartered territory for my team, but we pivoted and made it happen. The virtual event turned out to be a huge success, and many of our members have asked us to oﬀer these events in addition to the face-to-face ones moving forward.
The industry as a whole has become stronger and more collaborative than ever. With more and more people losing jobs, people are ﬂocking to franchising for new opportunities. In a lot of ways, franchising oﬀers more support and security than a job—especially these days. Franchisors did whatever it took to support franchisees through the pandemic and have proven the strength of the franchise model. In fact, many brands have seen record growth since the pandemic and continue to ﬂourish. I am very optimistic for a boom in the industry.
What are your company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals?
Our number one goal is to continually improve and oﬀer our members the most value. As our membership grows, we continue to bring in new talent and experts to our support team. For example, we are about to launch a new, improved website and integrated CRM system to provide our Consultant Members with the best technology to help franchise seekers.