The secrets to a successful franchise



Franchising is part of a multi-billion dollar industry and for many entrepreneurs’s the chance to open their own business is a dream.  Mary Caraccioli, host of Mary Talks Money, a syndicated program, recently spoke with two franchise owners of Buffalo Wild Wings and IFA Board member and franchise attorney Lane Fisher about the secrets to the franchise business model. 

Bobby Pancake and Steve Wheat began at the corporate level of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, but soon realized their dream of becoming their own boss and owning their own stores.  They put together a business plan and with the support of Buffalo Wild Wings opened their first store in Delaware. 

With plans to open five stores in five years, the partners turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration to help finance their first three locations.  “If you’re just starting out as a start-up you are probably going to need the back of an SBA or another institution”, explains Pancake.  In charge of 500 employees now and exceeding their original goal with recently opening their 6th store, the partners were invited to speak with President Obama in Washington to discuss small business issues.  “We talked about raising the loan limits of the SBA, which would be beneficial to us as well as others in the industry,” Wheat states. 

Lane Fisher, Partner at FisherZucker, agrees the franchise model is a a thriving industry, given the growth the industry experienced in the last decade, outpacing growth of non-franchised businesses.  “Franchisees have access not only to a business model that works, but a recognized trade mark of the brand,” Fisher says. “The franchisor offers skills, education and marketing to help the franchisee succeed.” 

Fisher points out that “you should find a business that is going to compliment your own skill set” and IFA’s website ( has a variety of self tests that can help determine if franchising is the right choice for you.   

For more information about franchising visit IFA’s website by clicking here. 

To view the full clip from the episode click here.