Big Sky Franchise Team

Big Sky

Big Sky Franchise Team guides its clients through the franchising process.

By Alan Dorich

Franchising your business is not a simple process. There are many important decisions to be made, including the creation and development of a business plan, operations manual, a marketing campaign, along with finding good franchise advisors and consultants along the way. But that’s where Big Sky Franchise Team can come in and help, CEO Tom DuFore says.

Based in Alpharetta, Ga., Big Sky Franchise Team helps companies of all shapes and sizes turn their business into a franchise, including the preparation and development of their franchise business plan, operations manual, marketing plan, franchise collateral and a myriad of other consulting services. DuFore, who has been in the franchising business since 2003, founded the company in 2016 after working for several franchise consulting companies and The Rabine Group in Schaumburg, Ill., as its vice president of national business and franchise development.

“I helped expand every company I had previously worked at to reach record revenue and growth at the time I was there. In fact, I helped a couple of them become recognized multiple years in a row as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States,,” he recalls, adding that he later founded Big Sky Franchise Team to follow his own passion for helping people and growing businesses. “We have a company mission focused on helping make people’s lives better.”Big Sky Fact Box

Today, Big Sky Franchise Team serves a broad range of businesses. “We work with companies of all sizes ranging from small to medium sized businesses to large multi-national brands. Franchising has been a growth vehicle for more than 70 industries,” DuFore says. “Our clients are very diverse including: food, hospitality, home services, retail, professional services, manufacturing, distribution companies, personal services and many more.”

DuFore’s clients include Massage Envy, The Mad Science Group, Gateway Newstands, Sweet Charlie’s, The Lost Cajun, Blue Moon Estate Sales, Squeeze In, Card Smart, Real Life Ninja Academy, Modani Furniture, The CEO Institute and many others.

DuFore further differentiates his company’s experiences because of his role as a franchisee, “I am also a franchisee of Restoration 1,” DuFore adds. “Not only am I working as a franchise consultant, but I’ve put my shoe on the other foot. This really helps to act as an additional buffer or filter as we guide our clients through the franchising process.”

Serving Others First

Big Sky Franchise Team has a high focus on its company mission which currently states, “To help make people’s lives better.”  DuFore says, “We are focused on serving people first. If we can serve others and help them with the opportunities they see and their current challenges, then we will all benefit in the long run.”

By choosing to serve its clients, staff, consultants and various strategic partners first, Big Sky Franchise Team has been able to attract and retain ideal team members and clients. “By having the right team and the right clients working together magical things can happen,” DuFore states excitedly.

This approach helps Big Sky Franchise Team develop relationships that last. “It’s more of a long-term view instead of six or 12 months,” DuFore says. “We might be looking at a two- to five-year client relationship.”

In addition to trying to serve its clients and customers Big Sky Franchise Team has chosen to make an active effort in giving back financially.  “Corporate social responsibility is important to us,” DuFore says. The company now donates a percentage of its gross revenue to a variety of organizations including North Point Ministries and Elmhurst College.

Testing the Waters

Big Sky Franchise Team’s services include its “Franchise Blueprint,” which gives customers an idea of what developing a franchise system might look like before actually taking the full leap. “It’s really a new offering we’ve launched,” DuFore says.

The Franchise Blueprint helps clients determine the viability of franchising by looking at what the new franchise company’s fee structures might look like including determining the franchise fee, royalty, marketing fees, and other support costs. The Franchise Blueprint also includes recommendations on territory, training, support, a detailed five-year cash flow projections and a comprehensive competitive benchmark analysis. This is then all summarized in a 35- to 50-page “Franchise Blueprint to outline the franchise strategy,” he says.

“[Clients] want a substantive deliverable that will help them make the decision in franchising but does not require them to commit all the way,” DuFore says. “It’s kind of like dipping your toe in the water before jumping in.”

When To Franchise

For a business that thinks it might be interested in franchising, now is a good time to be looking into it. “The market is very hot for franchising in general,” DuFore says. “With a strong economy, strong consumer confidence, and lending becoming more available, this is creating a perfect storm to be expanding through franchising.

“We offer a free franchise consultation and evaluation to any business considering franchising,” DuFore says.  “If you have ever thought about franchising your business call us at 855-8-BIG-SKY or visit our website to arrange for your no cost no obligation assessment.”

What’s Next

Big Sky Franchise Team is moving into the next phase of its growth. This will include international expansion and a new book on franchising. “We intend to be serving and helping our customers grow for many years to come,” proclaims DuFore. “By developing win-win-win solutions for our clients it is going to be a lot of fun to be a part of our company’s and clients’ expansion.” 


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