New ‘Franchise Book of Mentors’ Benefits VetFran
When picking up a new subject of study or profession, a book chock-full of advice from mentors is something few people would turn down. Franchising is an intimidating venture for any franchisor, regardless of the brand, and asking for help can be difficult when you don’t know whom to turn to.
“When it comes to franchising there is a wealth of knowledge shared, but not all knowledge is created equal,” said Keith Gerson, president of operations at FranConnect. And it’s because of that reason Gerson took the time and brought a slew of industry leaders together to create and write the book, “The Franchise Book of Mentors.” This is the first volume in a series where all of the proceeds will be donated to VetFran.
VetFran was created by the International Franchise Association as a strategic initiative and is the primary beneficiary of Gerson’s book. Fourteen percent of franchisees are veterans, and veterans are more likely to hire other veterans as employees. Another statistic Gerson brought up is that 65 percent of franchisors indicate that their rate of hiring veterans over the past few years has gone up.
“I think that they’re few causes that resonate as this one does with me personally and within the franchise community,” said Gerson. “The program is designed to give veterans the step up they deserve, whether that be through incentive, job placements, and discounts. Plus, they do a lot to help veterans’ transition back into the life we know, that they have done on our behalf.”
Mentoring others is something Gerson has always enjoyed doing, and this book depicts how much others share the same outlook. “It became clear to me that we had to make it easier and easier for people to find good mentors and how to know who to ask when they have questions,” said Gerson.
Gerson, who has walked the walk of both franchisor and franchisee, has been involved in the business for more than 40 years and is also known for his franchise management technology system used through FranConnect, wants to help others who are starting their ventures into franchising.
The idea for “The Franchise Book of Mentors” came "from the belief and understanding that not many of us that entered the world of franchising would’ve been able to achieve the successes we achieved without good mentors,” said Gerson. His study of best practices in franchising and data allowed him to do something meaningful with it and help people increase their execution and help their franchisee succeed.
Each chapter consists of a series of questions, developed by Gerson and answered by industry leaders, questions that aren’t usually asked but that most franchisees would want to know. There are notable names that Gerson leveraged from his vast network who contributed to the book, such as Tim Davis, the CEO of the UPS Store, Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs, Brian Scudamore, CEO and founder of 1-800 Got Junk, and many more.
“I told people what it would mean to others and franchising if they had the willingness to answer some of the questions I put forth,” said Gerson. “Everyone I reached out to didn’t hesitate, and while some had other things going on, they asked to be involved with the next go around.”
The concept of the book is something that Gerson wants to carry on for the next five years because he had so many people willing to contribute to the book and the cause that all of its proceeds are going to.
“This book exists for no other purpose other than to create a wealth of knowledge and information for franchisors and franchisees,” said Gerson. The book has a recommended donation of $25 as there is no set price. “We all have our stories and perspectives on why we do the things we do. I think this one is really easy for people to get and understand,” said Gerson.