In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn about the Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) franchise from its CEO, Michael Nicholas.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is your professional background, and how did you get involved in ERA?
Michael Nicholas (MN): I am originally from Australia, where I served in executive positions at McDonald’s corporation to help drive dramatic growth and market dominance throughout the country. After my time at McDonald’s, I became a franchisee with The Coffee Club, where I started with just one franchise that grew to 5 units in a year.
In 2007, I joined ERA where I was able to combine my executive experience at a large corporation with my insight as a franchisee to successfully manage the entire Australian and Asian franchise organization. In 2013, I was presented with the opportunity to spearhead the growth of the North American division of ERA as the new CEO and decided to move my family and I to the United States to take on the challenge.
FC: What is ERA and what makes it unique?
MN: Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) is a global cost management consultancy franchise that provides purchasing and supply management expertise to businesses across all industry sectors. ERA helps organizations put additional cash flow to work by further lowering costs, without any compromise to quality and service.
ERA has completed tens of thousands of cost-saving projects worldwide with thousands of organizations.
FC: Can you describe the ERA franchise concept, and how it differs from other professional service firms?
MN: ERA is a knowledge- and relationship-based business where our franchisees are seen as trusted advisors by our clients. Franchisees help companies recover extra cash flow from their supplier base, without compromise to quality and service levels, allowing them to put that extra cash flow back to work in their business.
Companies have a limitless need for additional cash flow, making ERA’s proposition highly desirable and the business model sustainable.
FC: Is there a high risk to opening a consultancy franchise? What are the franchise fees?
MN: ERA upholds a low-risk proposition to our clients, and they don’t need pre-assigned consulting budgets to do business with us. As we are delivering additional cash flow that our clients cannot find on their own, sharing in the proceeds means our services are self-funding. Generally, the cash flow we recover for our clients is significant, and as a result, our consultants are well-rewarded. The earnings potential for all ERA franchisees is exceptional.
Franchise fees are $59,900 with an investment range of $66,000 to $85,900.
FC: What is the ideal candidate profile for an ERA franchisee?
MN: ERA looks for successful executives with an interest in high-level business development who can speak comfortably and confidently to c-suite decision makers. Candidates should be highly motivated and ambitious individuals with a strong desire to join a trusted and proven professional services consultancy franchise.
ERA looks for business professionals skilled in B2B client acquisition and relationship management at the C-Level, and leaders across all industries who want to be a part of a national and global team of professionals.
No analytical, in-depth sales or accounting experience is needed. Most top performing franchisees at ERA were middle managers, executive-level professionals, or owners of successful businesses.
ERA is seeking franchisees who have the passion to help companies by working on diverse projects with a team of dedicated professionals. ERA is looking for franchisees who are long-term focused and have a strong desire to succeed.
FC: Do you think consulting is a male-dominated industry?
MN: We have actually seen an increase of women in the industry. In fact, some of our most successful franchisees are women — our top earning franchisee is a woman in Los Angeles and many of our top 10 performers globally are women.
As a consultant working from home, you have a much better work-life balance and working mothers can really take advantage of that.
FC: How can franchisees develop multiple streams of income?
MN: ERA franchisees can earn their income through multiple different specialties, including client acquisition, analysts projects, client and project management, and referring deals across our network.