March 4, 2016

At Pop-A-Lock, major changes in the business sparked a big growth — adding more than 130 units to its 500-unit system in two years. Since the brand began franchising in 1994, it has evolved from a locksmithing service specializing in opening car doors to a security firm that works on electronic access for buildings, CCTV, rekeying smart keys, commercial automotive security and other services. That has drawn a very different kind of franchisee. “In the beginning we used to get local entrepreneurs who might go out and unlock doors with their teams,” says CEO Don Marks. “Now we tend to get more ‘empire builders,’ who want to be CEO of a medium- to large-size entity. They are growing our system quickly.”


And like other franchisors whose brands are able to sustain rapid growth, Marks says it’s critical to offer support to franchisees. He provides a 24/7 hotline for any tech who runs into problems. An in-house marketing team keeps the company in the public eye. In twice-a-month calls — sometimes more — he coaches franchisees on how to build their business. And soon enough, Pop-A-Lock hopes, it’ll be one of those crazy-booming companies: A Pop-A-Lock on every corner, seemingly having sprung from nothing, but actually the product of a lot of work when the masses weren’t yet watching.


Full article appears here:
The Work Behind Fast-Growing Franchises