Enable and Protect: A Legal Team Empowering Business Leaders in Franchising

Running a business is a complex endeavor, and we understand its impact on one’s life. The legal team at Authority Brands goes beyond making sure the franchise documents look good on paper. They are motivated by your excitement as business owners.

Authority Brands is the parent company of several leading home service companies. They provide their franchise owners with training, operational support, marketing systems, and advanced technology so each owner can focus on customer service. Before any new franchise owner can be awarded a franchise, one of the first steps in the franchise buying process is having the legal department manage the franchise legal document process. At Authority Brands, the legal team is here to Enable and Protect: to enable the business to accomplish its goals while also protecting the brand.

Brian Balconi, Chief Legal Officer of Authority Brands, shares his experience in the franchise industry, what he has learned along the way, and offers important factors prospective business owners should consider before investing in a franchise.

Tell us about yourself, Brian.

I’ve been in the franchise industry since 1995. During that time, I’ve been blessed to be associated with and learned from some iconic brands and leaders in franchising, and now I am honored to oversee the legal department at Authority Brands.

On a personal level, during COVID, I found a passion for night-time mountain biking since the gyms closed. That is riding a bicycle in densely wooded forests in the dark (with lights, of course). This activity involves moving quickly down a partially illuminated path, changing gears, and doing my best to avoid obstacles. Perhaps similar to managing the legal department of a fast-paced and growing organization!

Who or what has been an influential part of your life?

I have had many talented mentors over the years and tend to read a lot of biographies and business books in general. Mentors and other leaders all have terrific strengths to learn from, as well as challenges that they’ve faced along the way. I’ve tried to emulate what has worked well from them. And I’ve also learned that it’s good to learn from your mistakes but even better to learn from someone else’s.

What type of support do you offer new and existing franchise owners?

The role of the Authority Brands legal department is to Enable and Protect: to enable the business to accomplish its goals while also protecting the brand. I oversee these issues and the Legal Department, and it’s challenging, fast-paced, and fun!

One of our jobs in the Legal Department is to manage the franchise legal document process. Prospective franchise owners are eager to join our brands, promptly open for business and service customers. In order to assist with this, we in the Legal Department strive to make the legal documentation process efficient and an overall positive experience for franchise prospects.

What do you enjoy most about working for Authority Brands?

We are fortunate to have terrific people across the organizations. I enjoy working with and learning something new about the business every day.

From your experience, what makes a successful franchisor? Franchise owner?

A successful franchisor is one with a good track record and strong leadership. Having great systems in place to support franchise owners is crucial as well.

A successful franchise owner is someone who follows the system that the franchisor has spent much time, effort, and resources to build. Accordingly, a successful franchise owner will focus efforts on building infrastructure, as well as hiring, motivating, and retaining good employees to implement the business.

What should a prospective business owner consider before investing in a franchise?

In private practice earlier in my legal career, I represented franchise owners and groups of franchise owners. Through them, I lived the excitement of being in business for yourself but not by yourself as part of a franchise system, as well as some of the challenges they faced as business owners. I also evaluated the legal documents as they considered opportunities to become a franchise owner of various franchise concepts.

Based on my experiences, there are many items for a prospective franchise owner to consider but here are my top four:

  1. The quality of the relationship between the franchise owner and the franchisor, and whether the franchisor is franchise owner focused.
  2. The leadership of the organization.
  3. The quality of the franchisor’s marketing.
  4. What training and support will the franchisor offer, particularly in the early stages of being a franchise owner.

The road to selecting a franchise can seem overwhelming, but right here and right now is an excellent place to start! The team at Authority Brands can provide you with the resources needed to make informed decisions, guide you through next steps, or be available just to talk about the service industry, our businesses, and the franchise owners who provide reliable, essential services people need.

Learn more about us and discover available franchise opportunities for any of our 12 brands. Let us help you find the perfect fit by contacting us here.