Murphy Business

Q&A with Murphy Business & Financial Corp. CEO Roger J. Murphy

How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?

We developed our company over a period of 12 years, from 1994 2006. We had developed a branch office system of approximately 30 offices across Florida doing Business Brokerage. We had many inquiries from people who wanted to join us from outside of Florida but declined them until 2006 when we decided to formally become a franchise company. We formed a new corporation for our franchise, Murphy Business & Financial Corporation, and the predecessor company, Murphy Business and Financial Services Inc. became our 1st Regional Developer Franchise and the model for our company. Approximately 26 of our existing offices were converted to franchisees.

What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?

Our vision was to provide high level professional services to our clients. Our industry is made up of mostly small independent firms and lacks formal training for new people entering the business. Our system was designed to provide intensive initial training as well as ongoing support. We believe that our people function more effectively because we provide them with most of their back office support. This allows our Business Brokers to spend more time with their clients. Over time our vision has stayed the same with the exception of us trying to provide even more support and training than the original program anticipated.

What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?

It must make you happy every day that you go to work. A franchisee needs to be doing something that they enjoy while earning the money that they need to maintain their lifestyle.

Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?

We believe that our system of training and support is the best in our industry. Our system includes Regional Developer Franchises who must be experienced business transaction specialists with at least 5 years of experience in our industry. This is critical in our program of providing support on a local level to our franchisees. We believe that it would be extremely difficult to provide the same level of support and knowledge of local customs and laws from a corporate office. Our Regional Developers are in the field and have knowledge of the local markets and are available for ongoing training and support.

What makes your industry attractive?

Within the next ten years approximately 50% of the businesses in the U.S. will change hands. At any given time, approximately 20% of businesses in the U.S. are for sale. (From International Business Brokers Association) In addition to having many more sellers, the market will continue to see an influx of buyers from unemployed managers and executives. With the extremely high unemployment rates and the chances of displaced corporate workers finding new employment extremely low, many of them will be left with no choice but to purchase their own business or franchise.

What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?

We like people who have experience in business, whether it is as a corporate executive or as a previous business owner. The ability to work with other people and be a problem solver is a must. Good marketing skills, financial skills are a plus.

Why has your franchise model been successful?

We believe that our strength lies with the infrastructure that we have in place at the corporate office as well as the talented Regional Developers that we have in place. Our model was in place for many years and we operated over two dozen units using our system before we ever decided to franchise our business. The strength of our program lies with training and support that our franchisees receive.

Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?

We see our franchise system having approximately 45 Regional Developer Franchises and 400 to 500 individual unit franchisees within the next 5 years. In addition we should have approximately 50 franchisees in Canada and many more international franchise units. Within our 10 year growth plan is to expand to over 750 domestic franchises and over 250 to 300 international units.

What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?

Follow the system and don't be afraid to ask for help. We will surround you with people who are very experienced in all phases of our business and you need to rely on them to provide you with help and guidance.

What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?

When you begin a new business you are going to need to expect to invest in yourself without an immediate return. While it will take some time for you to develop your franchise into a profitable business, the ultimate return will be well worth it. Owning your own business will provide you with the lifestyle that you desire and allow you to earn a good living.

Can you explain your financial assistance?

Yes, we have third party financing available through Advantage Leasing. They know our system and provide a very nice package for interested parties. Please contact me for more details as each application may have different results based on the underwriter.

On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?

After initial training, your first mail campaign will go out followed by your first tele-leads calls. Once you get the lead flow generated you will be following up on listing appointments. Once you get the listing you will get them listed and will be looking for buyers, this whole process can take up to several months. You keep repeating the process and the buyers will start seeking you out. Realistically you should plan on a 6-9 month period before your first closing according to industry averages

What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?

We have been in the business brokerage business since 1994. See information in #1. In addition to our background another important factor in our success is that the owners of the franchise company continue to own and operate the Florida Regional Developer Franchise and the local unit franchise for Tampa Bay. This allows us to stay involved in the business on a day to day basis. We believe that in order to run a successful franchise company one must "walk the walk" and "talk the talk" on a daily basis. Our involvement at this level keeps us informed as to the current happenings in the industry.

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