In this exclusive Q&A, we learn more about Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More from its Director of Business Development Ken Karcher.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Tell us more about your previous experience before joining the Big Frog team.
Ken Karcher (KK): I have an extensive 25+ years of service time in the FDM (Food Drug & Mass) business development space, spending many of these years with a sports and entertainment vendor handling retail sales development in the big box retail channel. I headed the business development and field service portion of the space as the Director of Field Sales, driving sales beyond $100 million annually.
In addition to this valuable experience, I also held the position of VP of Sales for an upstart energy drink company as well as Director of Sales for a Consumer-Packaged Goods development company specializing in retail-ready consumer packaged goods.
FC: What responsibilities are associated with your new role?
KK: As the Director of Business Development, I will be responsible for sourcing complementary products and services and developing strategic initiatives to increase sales at all Big Frog T-Shirts & More franchise locations. I will also assist in working with franchise candidates to award more terrific franchises, as well as continually improving the valuable relationships with our vendor partners. I plan to cross-train to become a more valued team member at the Big Frog Franchise Group.
FC: What are Big Frog’s development goals over the next year or so?
KK: Our development goals here at Big Frog Franchise Group are to build on the outstanding growth that we have experienced over the past few years, with a target of 25-30 new franchises awarded in 2018. Of course, we will maintain the world class training and support we provide to all Big Frog franchisees.
As our nationwide expansion continues, I will be working with franchise companies and other large organizations to create a national accounts program, generating additional store revenue for all Big Frog T-Shirts & More stores, and cultivating strategic partnerships with our vendors.
FC: What strategies are in place to help you get there?
KK: Our franchise awarding process focuses on educating our candidates so they can make the best decision on a new business for their families, and we try to make sure that each new franchisee is a great match with our culture and vision. Big Frog has an extremely comprehensive training and coaching program to help all new and existing franchisees build a successful local business that will attain their goals, whatever those are.
FC: To what do you attribute Big Frog’s current success?
KK: In the short time I have been here at the Big Frog Franchise Group, I am most impressed with the training and coaching programs that we have in place for our franchisees. This is key to the success that we have experienced thus far, and to our continued success going forward.
FC: What advice can you share with other brands looking to “make the leap” toward 100 units?
KK: Keeping the focus on franchisee profitability is critical for brands looking to make the leap towards 100 units, as well as continually improving the overall business model! Also, ensuring that each and every new, existing, and future franchisee feels like they have a voice that will be heard. This synergistic process will advance the relationship between franchisor and franchisee beyond just the pride of ownership. A cohesive, positive relationship fosters great communication and true partnership!