Image One Facility Solutions
Published November 22, 2021

Why Image One Shares Survey Data with Candidates

Highlighting top-rated areas by franchisees gives candidates powerful third-party validation 

Tim Conn, president of Image One Facility Solutions, sat down with FBR’s Director of Client Relations, Nicole Dudley, to talk about why they continue to survey their franchisees year after year, which question means the most to him, and how Image One summarizes the data highlights to help candidates understand the strengths of their system through FBR’s independent lens.

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Getting Good, Honest Feedback

Nicole Dudley: I am here today with Tim Conn, Image One. Thank you for joining me today, Tim.

Tim Conn: No problem. I’m glad to be here.

Nicole: I was looking back through things, and we’ve been working with you guys consistently for the last six years. During that time we’ve been able to name Image One a top franchise for that same amount of time. That’s awesome.

We also can include you on the additional features like our Top Low‑Cost Franchises, Top Home‑Based, and then the most recent, Top Recession‑Proof Franchises. You have great feedback from your owners, and the satisfaction is always something that lands you on those special lists.

When you chose to work with us that first time, six years ago, what was that reason? Was it operationally? Was it more focused on the development side of what we can help you with?

Tim: No, it was exactly what you just said. Getting feedback from the franchise owners. They may say one thing to us, but when it’s a third party conducting a survey, like FBR, they may give a different answer. It may be difficult for them to talk to us because we are the franchisor.

We wanted to make sure we were getting good, honest feedback so we knew they were happy, or if there were areas where we could improve, what those would be. We felt that the Franchise Business Review survey would help us achieve that goal.

We wanted to make sure we were getting good, honest feedback so we knew they were happy, or if there were areas where we could improve, what those would be. We felt that the Franchise Business Review survey would help us achieve that goal.

Nicole: Gathering that feedback and getting that third‑party feel, has that changed the way you conduct your business?

Tim: I don’t think it has changed it because our results have all always been very positive. We’ve had great positive feedback from the very beginning. Like you said, we’ve made the list of Top Franchises every year since we started, and that’s because we get great feedback.

There’s been some minor things, and we’ve seen things, and we’ve gone back and done internal studies with our franchise owners. If we see anything where it seems like there’s a trend in responses, we’ll bring that to the franchise owners and say, ”Hey, what is it that we can do better to accommodate your needs whatever issue we see?”

Nicole: That’s great. That’s definitely what we want to do — help you identify those challenge areas that you might not necessarily be aware of and be able to address that before it gets out of hand.

Being an award winner and having that recognition as a part of your system for the last six years, what does it mean to you to be able to celebrate that?

Tim: Speaking of celebrating, this is our 10-year anniversary. It’s a huge thing for us this year, and the fact that we’ve been doing the surveys with you for the last six years, and that we’ve made so many of the different lists, it’s been great.

It’s fantastic to get that feedback and know that our franchise owners are in a good place and that they are happy. One of the key things I always look at that makes me happiest is one of the final questions: If you had the opportunity to do it all over again, would you? The answer is resoundingly yes.

One of the key things I always look at that makes me happiest is one of the final questions: If you had the opportunity to do it all over again, would you? The answer is resoundingly yes.

That’s awesome because even though the franchise owners might be happy, for them to say, ”Yes, they would do it again,” knowing everything they know now — that says a lot about the system and that they truly are happy with the progress they’ve made. The fact that they are reaching their goals and they are able to accomplish what they are looking to accomplish through their franchise.

 

Helping Candidates Make Sense of the Data

Nicole: How do you take that feedback and use it on the development side because it’s so great? It’s good information to know that somebody would do this all over again, even if there were some challenges. Do you share that with candidates? How do you integrate that into some of those processes?

Tim: Yes. Typically, we’ll take the survey after we get the results. [laughs] There are so many PDFs that you guys send us because the data’s so vast, sometimes it’s hard to find what the right things are to highlight.

We’ll usually highlight five or six things on a one‑page sheet and share those answers with prospects. We print it out on a PDF so they can see what the results of the surveys are.

We’ll share the entire survey with them if they’d like to see it, but it’s a lot of data. Most people would look at it and say, ”What am I going to do with all of this?” [laughs] when they are looking at franchises.

By narrowing it down to four or five things that are really important to our franchise owners, like the questions, ”Would you do it again? Are you satisfied with the results that you’re getting? What’s the culture like?” Different things that I think have good positive feedback, and then the overall rating.

I would never want to share things where we only have four‑and‑a‑half or five stars, and then have people say, ”Well, what aren’t they sharing?” We always share what the overall rating is — I don’t remember exactly what ours was, but I want to say it was within just a half a star at the top, which again is very good. By sharing that data, then people realize it doesn’t matter what we say about our franchise, but it does matter what our franchisees say about the franchise. Sharing that information with candidates is very powerful.

By sharing that data, then people realize it doesn’t matter what we say about our franchise, but it does matter what our franchisees say about the franchise. Sharing that information with candidates is very powerful.

 

Weathering the Pandemic as a Family

Nicole: You had mentioned culture a little bit. How would you describe your franchise culture? How do you foster that amongst your group — not only your employees at the corporate level but also the franchisees and even your leadership team?

Tim: You can’t just create culture. It has to grow organically. In 10 years it’s been a challenge up and down. It’s hard to get some franchise owners to participate in group events when we’re trying to get people together. Other ones are all in and they want to jump in and be a part of everything that they can be.

Our culture as a whole is a very family‑based culture, which is great. Some businesses say, ”No, you don’t want it to be a family culture because it’s the opposite of what you want. You want it to be more structured.” I don’t believe that. I think family is important.

I’m not saying you should treat everyone as if they are a brother or a sister by any means, but treat them good like they are family, because that’s important. Our corporate culture has done that very well. Everyone works together, and it’s a very good culture where everyone supports each other when they need it.

The franchise owners, that’s still growing. It’s still building, but it’s great to see them when they have an issue and they call another franchise owner to get feedback and say, ”Hey, this is what I’m experiencing,” and they say, ”Yeah, I’ve been through that. I was in that exact same situation a couple of years ago.”

That’s all based on the culture. The culture of sharing and the culture of openness and transparency and honesty and integrity — those are all great things that are core values that lead into that culture.

The culture of sharing and the culture of openness and transparency and honesty and integrity — those are all great things that are core values that lead into that culture.

Nicole: That probably helped you guys through the last year as well, to have that setting of a family where if they needed anything they could come to you and ask. It was a difficult year for many people throughout 2020. Do you have a success story that you could share from your group?

Tim: We do because we’re in the cleaning industry, and obviously cleaning was so important. Initially, when things started to happen we did the same thing everyone else did. We pulled back a lot of advertising because we didn’t know if we should be spending money on those things because maybe people aren’t going to be buying franchises or even looking at franchising.

Once we started changing gears a little bit, we immediately got electrostatic sprayers. We got them into the hands of our franchise owners, and they started turning the corner and offering an additional service that they didn’t offer before. That helped a lot of the franchise owners grow their business in 2020.

There were some that didn’t. There were some that struggled because of the types of clients that they serviced. We had a couple of franchise owners who only serviced movie theaters and bowling alleys. Those closed. There were no ands, ifs or buts about it. They were not open.

Those franchises where they focused solely on that one niche market, they suffered, but we helped them. We worked with them to help them get their PPP loans and do things like that, so they weren’t completely out of business and at least they were still able to operate and manage their employees and not lose good people.

Again, that goes back to culture. It’s supporting those franchise owners in good times and in bad and doing what needed to be done to help them to make sure they were able to survive.

It’s supporting those franchise owners in good times and in bad and doing what needed to be done to help them to make sure they were able to survive.

Now that movie theaters and bowling alleys are reopened, even those franchise owners that were focused on doing things in the hospitality side of things, they are back open. They are back to where they were before. This month one of the franchise owners that focuses on that stuff, they just crossed their $50,000 a month threshold, which was huge for them. That’s great because that’s the first time that they crossed that number.

It’s exciting that their business bounced back, and they accomplished a new goal because they continued to grow in other areas while all those businesses were closed. When all those came back, it was just on top of that, so that was exciting for them. It’s really great.

Nicole: Before we wrap it up, I just wanted to ask one more question. If someone were to ask you why they should do business with us at FBR, what would you tell them?

Tim: For us, Franchise Business Review has been great. It validates that our franchise owners are happy with what we’re doing for them. That becomes a tool we can use to promote our franchise to the candidates that come to us and there’s great value in that.

Franchise Business Review has been great. It validates that our franchise owners are happy with what we’re doing for them. That becomes a tool we can use to promote our franchise to the candidates that come to us and there’s great value in that.

There’s no way for me to say that our franchise is something that it is, because it’s just me telling someone, but when I have a third party such as FBR that’s done the survey, that says it all. Again, that’s our franchise owners telling someone what their honest opinion is. I don’t think there’s anything else we could do that would compare to doing that type of survey.

Nicole: Well, thank you. I appreciate working with you through the last few years and look forward to doing more down the line. 


   

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About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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