SELF MADE STRATEGIES EPISODE 055 WITH PATRICK FINDARO
VISA FRANCHISE – THE LEADING ADVISOR FOR IDENTIFYING AND ANALYZING U.S. BUSINESSES FOR THE E2 INVESTOR VISA
(For U.S. Businesses) Visa Franchise simplifies the process for entrepreneurs to reside legally in the U.S. They help their clients find the business that might be the best fit for their clients considering E-2 Visas. Franchises time after time prove to be the best option for most clients, who prioritize business longevity and consistency over short-term profits.
Visa Franchise understands each entrepreneur’s investment goals, desired location, and industries of interest, among a variety of important factors, in order to find the best U.S. business opportunities for the E2 Visa Investor and their family. Additionally, Visa Franchise coordinates with their client’s immigration and corporate attorneys to ensure their U.S. immigration and investment objectives are met. Remember that even though most of Visa Franchise’s clients apply for the E2 visa, a licensed U.S. immigration lawyer should be consulted to understand the best investor or employment visa for each individual.
Visa Franchise has advised 300+ entrepreneurs from over 50 countries around the world achieve their dream of owning a business and moving to the U.S. Testimonials can be found on their website (www.visafranchise.com).
ABOUT PATRICK FINDARO
As Business Development Director, Patrick Findaro oversees sales, marketing, and strategic relationships for Visa Franchise. Patrick’s experience with franchises and investor visas adds significant value to foreign nationals seeking investments in the United States. Patrick and his team manage an otherwise onerous process of immigrating through investment by partnering with trusted advisors and established franchisors. Moreover, his experience in advising high-net worth individuals on an array of investments enables Patrick to provide informative market & financial analysis for prospective franchisees.
- On today’s episode we will:
- Get to know Patrick and hear about how Visa Franchise helps foreign entrepreneurs invest in US businesses
- We will discuss Patrick’s strategies for entering new markets
- Discuss the benefits of collaborating with foreign investors
What you will hear on this episode:
- What an E2 Visa is and the benefits for both foreign investors and US based organizations
- The considerations that you (in general) should think about before investing in a franchise
- The benefits, for franchisors, of bringing on E2 investors/entrepreneurs? Are there any financial incentives?
- Patrick’s 3 best practices, that he has used, to engage with his target audience and to grow Visa Franchise
- Hear how Patrick has consistently continued to grow his businesses into markets where he was an outsider
- Hear about how you could use strategic partnerships to help grow your organization
- Get insight on planning for continued growth and expansion
- And so much more!
This Self Made Strategies Podcast is a SoftStix Productions LLC jawn. This episode was produced, edited, and hosted by Tony Lopes, on location in Miami Beach at the Visa Franchise headquarters. The Self Made Strategies Podcast is sponsored by Lopes Law LLC (www.LopesLawLLC.com).
After you’ve listened to the episode, make sure you visit Visa Franchise (www.visafranchise.com) to read more about their work with franchisees.
HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE 055 OF THE SELF MADE STRATEGIES PODCAST:
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:00:22] Welcome to a brand new episode of the self-made strategies podcast. On today’s episode, we’ll be discussing developing your niche in a crowded space, and why visas might be the best option for foreign entrepreneurs looking to invest in a US business. Today’s guest on the Self Made Strategies Podcast is Patrick Findaro, Business Development Director of Visa Franchise (www.visafranchise.com). Hey, Patrick, how’s it going?
Patrick Findaro: [00:00:47] Hey, great, Tony, thanks a lot for having me on.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:00:50] Yeah, well thanks for hosting. We’re here in Miami on location at Visa Franchise. Beautiful space. I dunno how you’d do it
Patrick Findaro: [00:00:58] with the great weather. It’s good. I mean, it’s almost like every weekend it’s like a mini vacation, recharge your batteries, and then.
We’re all, we’re all on for, for the week of work. Um, man, that’s awesome.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:01:09] It’s awesome. It’s so gorgeous down here. It’s, uh, it’s beautiful weather and a great opportunity to sit down with you. Talk about all things, um, visas, foreign entrepreneurs, what they should be thinking about, what they can do to invest in a business in the U S
Patrick Findaro: [00:01:26] how they can leverage that
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:01:27] to then potentially get.
And opportunity to come move to the U S right. And I’m all of those things. And why it’s also beneficial to franchisors or other businesses that are thinking about bringing on a foreign investor, why it could be a good opportunity for them. And then toward the end of the episode, we’ll get to hear some of the strategies you’ve applied to grow Visa Franchise so rapidly.
Uh, you founded it in 2015, right?
Patrick Findaro: [00:01:52] Exactly. 2015 and then really got the start in 2016 when my brother, Jack Findaro the co-founder of Visa Franchise joined, full time.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:02:03] So tell us about that. What made you think about starting Visa Franchise? How did you get started and then how did you find your niche in such a crowded marketplace?
Patrick Findaro: [00:02:13] Sure. So. I graduated college when I was 21 and I worked at a big company, a big bank, JP Morgan, part of a big organization. I just, I didn’t really enjoy being part of such a large organization. I felt like I couldn’t make as big of an impact as being part of a smaller company.
I moved on to two other companies. Um, one being an emerging markets consulting firm, and then one being a startup private equity fund. And then we started Visa Franchise when I was at that startup. We were doing some work with the EB-5 visa, with investments in real estate and franchising.
And what happened was we were doing events in Latin America, principally in Brazil, and there were a lot of dual nationals Brazilians. I had second passports, could be Spain, Argentina, Italy, and these perspective clients informed me that there was something called the E2 visa and that investing, say 100,000, $150,000 in a U S business, they could obtain a visa.
So it was these prospective clients telling you about this opportunity and asking for support. Uh, we didn’t offer that type of support. And in Miami, I started talking to friends and learned that there were some realtors or business brokers that worked with businesses. And I started investigating more, and most of the businesses didn’t make financial sense and they weren’t a good fit.
For these perspective investors that needed more ongoing support. Right. Um, so my brother came from the franchising world. He worked for the parent company of burger King, um, which now owns Popeye’s and Tim Horton’s. And we thought that franchising made the most sense for someone that didn’t have us, especially at, didn’t have us business experience and needed to satisfy a job requirement where if you just create a consulting business, it might just be you.
And the government’s really looking for hiring Americans, uh, with Trump’s executive order, uh, buy American hire American. Um, these franchise investments really fit that
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:04:21] for entrepreneurs coming from other countries, foreign investors looking to invest in a business in the U S you mentioned the EB-5 visa option, which is a good option, say for citizens from China, Vietnam or India.
But those have caps, and now recently, the minimal investment has jumped up to a catastrophic minimum of $900,000.
Patrick Findaro: [00:04:44] It shot up to $900,000 in November of last year, November, 2019. Right? It’s still is great option for many people. If you have the time to wait and you’re, you want to have a U S green card, um, and you have the money to invest, it’s a true, terrific option.
However, many of our clients, they want to move, and in a month they suffered a security instance in Latin America and there they might’ve been robbed at gunpoint and they want to, they want to leave, right? They want to move their families or, um, there’s a lot of other cases where it’s more time sensitive.
So the E2 is a great bridge where many of our clients later on will, we’ll have an EB-5 or another. Employment-based green card, potentially through the spouse, but the E2 visa and it’s always recommended to talk to an immigration attorney and consult with a licensed immigration attorney.
Right. Tends to be the best option for most foreign entrepreneurs. If they have, um, a passport of a country that has a treaty and the brick stone, Brazil, Russia, India, China, they don’t have the two investor treaty. But there’s about 80 different countries across the world, um, including all of Western Europe except Portugal.
But Portugal might, hopefully we’ll get it.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:06:00] Yeah, I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Patrick Findaro: [00:06:03] So it’s right now in the U S Senate, and then it would need to be approved by the Portuguese government, but the Congress already passed the Amigos Act last year.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:06:12] Great. Yeah, and you and I have actually worked on some of these cases together on that is, and can be a really good option for those who are either in a treaty country or can go and obtain a secondary citizenship from one of those countries.
Patrick Findaro: [00:06:28] exactly. And we started our practice with clients that. We’re from Brazil or another country in Latin America like Venezuela, and they had European ancestry like us too. And they use that Italian passport, Spanish passport, uh, to apply for the E2 visa. So whether it’s through ancestry and acquiring a second nationality that way through marriage or through citizenship by investment, um, there’s different ways that you can obtain a, a second nationality.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:06:58] Right? And so for those entrepreneurs who are. Considering investing. Now in a franchise, let’s say you have, you know, you’re from any E2 treaty country. You’re thinking about coming to the U S or you’re looking to do an investment. The minimum investment with an E2 is significantly lower with any big five, but the government doesn’t really tell you what to invest in because it’s kind of industry specific, right?
Patrick Findaro: [00:07:23] Sure. It’s 10% right? The amount of an E2 I’ve had clients approved for as little as $80k, $90k, that being said, you know, getting. Convincing an officer that you, your business, that you’ve only invested $80,000 is a substantial investment and it’s going to be marginal and it’s going to have a great impact, uh, for hiring Americans is a little harder than investing $250,000, where, uh, it would tend to be a more robust business plan and outlook and a little easier with the consulate officer when you’re in the interview.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:07:55] Right? Exactly. So. Now, shifting back to that question, I was starting to ask about franchising. So franchising can be a really good option because it’s going to hit those minimal investment numbers pretty easily. And it’s also a structured business. So if you’re a foreign investor, a foreign entrepreneur looking to move to the U S it’s kind of an easy way to, work your way into a business.
Patrick Findaro: [00:08:20] Sure. Yeah. Most of the franchisors that we worked with, they, before they decided to start franchising, they ran a business for five, or 15 plus years, and they went through a lot of issues, grind and creating the second location, the third location, the fourth location, fifth location.
Um, there’s a lot of ups and downs, I think with any entrepreneur. And when you’re replicating a business, uh. Especially a franchise where it has a physical outlet, uh, that you might be relying on people walking by or driving by and you have the real estate component. You have the management component.
Replicating that is extremely difficult. And, um. The franchise or generally through corporate locations and increasing from one to five takes a big leap, refines it, and then looking at a lot of different characteristics that it might be ready for franchises. It might be ready to start franchising. It might not be, there’s a lot of characteristics to look at
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:09:18] right.
So what’s typically, let’s say, on average, the minimum investment for a franchise in your experience for an
Patrick Findaro: [00:09:28] entrepreneur, if their English level is very high, fluent English. Um, and. They, you know, commit, say a hundred, $150,000 of capital they spend on the business. Uh, that might include the real estate deposit, that might include professional fees for the architect to build out the permit.
Uh, then the, and then the businesses about to open or near opening, they have, they should have a very high likelihood of being approved for the E2 Visa. Um, we see that when our clients invest more than 200 K, there’s no number, but generally when it’s above 200 K, it’s just a lot. Uh, it seems like a lot easier, uh, interview and process.
And the consulate officer asks for a lot less information if there’s back and forth. Um. So I think the more the client is willing to invest, it makes the process smoother. But every case is different. And if it’s going to be a commercial cleaning business, property management, afterschool tutoring, it might be difficult to invest 200,000 and you know, there’s some also times where you could say maybe start a franchise for a hundred K.
And then work with the or, and go buy, uh, contracts. And you could buy 100,000 $200,000 worth of commercial cleaning contracts from an existing, a commercial cleaning company or an existing property management company. So from day one you have some revenue. Um. But you know, it’s not going to be a hundred K 120 K and now you’re, you’re looking at a 200 or $300,000 investment.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:11:05] And for those, for in general, you have to have the investment upfront locked in pretty much to be able to qualify for an E2 visa.
Patrick Findaro: [00:11:14] So what we’ve seen and, and um, there are other immigration attorneys. We’re not an immigration law firm. We’re just consultants, advisors. Um, but what we’ve seen is the more committed and the money that’s been spent, um, the easier it is and the business should be as close to operational, if not operation as possible.
That being said, you know, we’ve had clients that. I’m invested in property management franchises, and you can’t get the license until you have the social, the social security number in many States. So it’s like the chicken or the egg. Um, so the government understands that and it you, you should demonstrate that you’ve done every single.
Sync everything possible to open up the business and getting this visa and getting that and passing that real estate exams. The last thing holding you back from opening it. And there’s other industries, um, and it really depends state by state. Uh, and that’s where the franchisor really comes in cause they know the regulations and working with, um.
Tony or another attorney, you can understand, okay. For this type of industry, whether it be a regulated industry like healthcare or real estate, property management, uh, you might need a different corporation, and maybe it’s an LLC where some States require you to have a C Corp. So there’s a lot of. Local knowledge that the franchise or together with a corporate attorney is going to kind of provide.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:12:39] And so flipping that, now that you’ve mentioned the franchisor is great segue, what are the benefits for franchisor Wars for bringing on to foreign investors or entrepreneurs to be a part of their.
Patrick Findaro: [00:12:51] Sure. So for the large franchise groups, it’s not, uh, you know, if you look at McDonald’s or burger King, this isn’t a good fit for them, cause they’re looking for someone that has us rests, restaurant experience, and at times might sign a contract to open up 10 plus locations and invest $5 million.
And that’s genuinely not the case with our clients. Right. Um, for those that are looking for single operator. Owner operator that’s going to work hard in the business, um, and has the cash to invest is a very good program for them. Um, most U S franchisees, uh, use the small business administration loan program and the, the process to get that funding, it takes more time and then it’s an extra burden on the franchisee that they have debt servicing.
our clients are better or worse. It’s quite difficult for them to get debt servicing that to, to get a loan, to start the business. So they generally come in with cash and enough cash reserves to last, whether it’s three months to 24 months, uh, until the business breaks even. And some,
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:13:56] but franchises aren’t the only type of business
Patrick Findaro: [00:13:59] that foreign
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:14:00] entrepreneurs can invest in to get any too.
Patrick Findaro: [00:14:05] Definitely. It’s not. Um, we’ve seen, uh, also, uh, investors, uh, set up their own business. So maybe that’s in the tech space. Um, bring a concept from abroad to the United States or buying existing business. Um, we, for better or worse, have to come in after that, that existing business failed or the startup failed.
And then the E2 visa, uh, entrepreneurs starting from scratch with us and we’ll have to reapply under this new franchise business.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:14:36] Interesting. So you predominantly work with franchises exclusively?
Patrick Findaro: [00:14:40] For the most part, yeah. Franchises or licensed type businesses. We want to see stability. Our, our clients time over time prefer a stable business that’s going to be around for five to 10 years than short term profit or having a high exit selling the business.
And. A franchise or a licensed business usually gives that stability. Um, and then if they want to open up a second location, third location, it’s easy to replicate.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:15:07] And it also
Patrick Findaro: [00:15:08] is beneficial
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:15:09] for them to have that stability. Because you’re a foreign entrepreneur, you’re coming into the U S it’s already, there’s a lot of apprehension, a lot of emotional baggage that’s coming with that automatically, right?
You’re moving into that country
Patrick Findaro: [00:15:21] mean you have a culture, you have a support network of franchisees, right? I know one of our, one of our earlier clients, his first claim came from a fellow franchisee that was in the same area and they’ve already, they met there. They were happy with the number of clients they have, and it was a referral from a fellow franchisee.
So, um, the franchisees, depending on the system, will also give each other a lot of support. And there’s all sorts of kind of groups on Facebook or LinkedIn that. They’re sharing information on how to run that business all over the United States.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:15:56] Right, right. That’s a great point. Okay, so now let’s focus on Visa Franchise itself.
So shifting back to you as an entrepreneur, what are your three best
Patrick Findaro: [00:16:06] practices that you’ve used to
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:16:07] engage with your target audience and to grow your business?
Patrick Findaro: [00:16:11] Um, we like to provide a lot of information, whether that’s through, through articles that we write videos. Um, we’ve done seminars and then also educating, uh, our clients advisors, whether those are immigration attorneys or wealth managers on, uh, what’s out there.
And I don’t think there’s another from the U S that. Has so many resources dedicated to analyzing small businesses. So we like to provide a lot of information on whether it’s a specific franchise industry or just what you know, what to look out for when you’re, when you’re, uh, forecasting, uh, the potential profits for a franchise, giving you the tools and how you go about getting that information from the franchise or from the franchisee.
Um, it, it has to be done in a, in a special way,
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:17:03] right? And Visa Franchise. You guys pride yourselves on branding yourselves as the leading advisor for identifying and analyzing U S businesses for investor visas,
Patrick Findaro: [00:17:14] which is amazing.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:17:15] You’ve created this niche space in a very crowded marketplace otherwise. So how did you come up with that concept?
What was sort of the inception point
Patrick Findaro: [00:17:22] of that. Definitely. I mean, it really started with these 50 or so perspective clients that, um, didn’t have enough money for the and want to do the or wanted to move sooner to the U S and the end of the two and do the in parallel. And, um. Seeing it where the existing businesses in the space really acted as like a real estate broker, where you had the same person doing the sales, doing the research, doing the marketing.
They might be part of a larger, a franchise association, but they might be a franchise consultant, part of a larger group. But it was one person kind of doing everything where I worked at a consulting firm where you had, it was, um. Basically selling, uh, emerging markets analytics, um, to senior executives throughout the world.
And you had segmented roles. You had people that just did sales. You had people that just said client service. You had people that just did research. And then you had the back office functions of the business. So we kind of molded the Visa Franchise model over that, uh, past consulting firm that I worked at where members of our team are very specialized.
And you have, um, some members of our team that just do research on concepts from. Eighty thousand two hundred thousand for people that are willing to work 40 50 hours a week. And they’ve specialized that space where you also have a research on our team that focuses on businesses with a higher investment amount where the franchisor can provide more operational support.
So we’ve really segmented our team to really focus on, um, specific functions and for them to be the expert in that.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:19:00] Interesting. And when you segment teams like that, how do you ensure that they’re all communicating together and sort of speaking the same language? Right, because people become so hyper-focused in their ,
Patrick Findaro: [00:19:12] so to speak.
Yeah. So I think what helps is every Tuesday morning we go through every current client that we have. And discuss any, any issues, any opportunities for their case and how it’s moved along. How happy are they with us? How happy are they with other advisors such as the immigration attorney, the corporate attorney, the business plan writer, and collectively we.
Create next steps and do what’s best for the client. And, uh, if we w if we came up, we just finalized the due diligence on this new franchise and, um, that could be a good fit based on their criteria. We say, okay, you’re the client service manager. Maybe we introduce these two new concepts that just came on board.
Um, so I find that essential and then we have a very open a dialogue. Um. And email chains and then WhatsApp groups as well.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:20:04] When you’re finding out that maybe clients are struggling in a particular area, how do you pivot, especially when you’re working with strategic partners like other attorneys, and I know we’ve worked together, so maybe I’m
Patrick Findaro: [00:20:15] doing a little bit of self interested digging here,
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:20:19] but how do you adjust when you find out that.
The strategic partnership maybe isn’t the right fit. Do you go back to that strategic partner and have a similar meeting, or do you just say, Hey, maybe we need to look for a new
Patrick Findaro: [00:20:30] option? So it’s delicate. I mean, I think most of the lawyers that, especially in most of the lawyers that we work with, we can have a very direct and sincere relationship, um, where maybe three years ago we couldn’t.
And, um, you know, back in time it was more common sometimes where there’d be a less experienced attorney processing you two cases and they weren’t reachable by the client and the clients. We’ve had the awkward situations where the client was referred by an attorney and the client’s not asking for, uh, another attorney right.
And that puts us in a tough situation when we have to say, Hey, look, sorry. They made the introduction. We can’t, we’re not going to introduce you someone else, and we suggest that you’ve voiced your concern directly with the attorney. And if there’s something that we can help with, uh, let us know. Um, and you have some attorneys that would.
Really appreciate that feedback as maybe a paralegal or a more junior attorney was monitoring the case. And the, uh, the message from the end client is not going up the chain of command. And then you get other attorneys that get on the defensive, um, and really start blaming the client. And I see it as.
It’s tough. There’s few attorneys or few of professionals that master the client service aspect and the product. So you could have the best legal work in the world, but if you don’t have empathy and you don’t understand that this family’s uprooting their base and they’re investing a large portion of their net.
Worth and do a franchise and they don’t know the city well, and you can’t be responsive or have someone from your team be responsive and, and, um. And calm their concerns. You know, you, you, you could get the visa approved, but they’re not going to be referring their friends to you. Right? And then on the other side, you could be an advisor who is always available for the client.
And we always talking, but, you know, producing the results in the product, uh, that, that is, that’s going to pass muster, right? So it’s tough, but we, it’s, it’s hard, I think in any profession, but especially this where the stakes are so high, a family is moving. Uh, they’re investing, they’re investing their money.
And, uh, you know, having the client service aspect together with delivering a top product is huge. Right?
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:22:50] And you, you hit the nail on the head there. A lot of it just comes down to open communication and empathy, right? Because
Patrick Findaro: [00:22:55] these people are completely
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:22:57] giving up. Everything essentially to move to the U S for this American dream, which by the way, I think is fascinating too.
I don’t know what you would call us. I
Patrick Findaro: [00:23:05] guess a generational Americans from
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:23:08] foreign, uh, I guess entrepreneurs that moved here as well. Both of us, both my parents and your grandparents,
Patrick Findaro: [00:23:15] guess. Great grandparents in Ireland.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:23:17] So it’s really interesting because growing up I always had that. At home, that concept of the American dream, right?
You come to this country because it’s the land of opportunity and that’s how the U S is marching.
Patrick Findaro: [00:23:28] That’s another interesting thing. Yeah. Um, but the advantage of our clients compared to like a typical American franchisee, some American franchisees are kind of forced into being a business owner. They were a corporate executive, or you know, they Rose up the chain.
There was a merger or something with their company and then they got laid off and they got, they’re getting pressured into being an entrepreneur. Where they had the luxury is they had two assistants, they had all these means, and now they have to roll up their sleeves and get back to work and start from zero.
And that’s hard. That’s really tough. And we see ’em. Franchises resales where that’s oftentimes the case where our clients generally are business owners. Uh, they know how to take assessed risk. Uh, they don’t have a problem rolling up their sleeves and really working hard. Um. We’re, um, probably the percentage is much higher for our clients in terms of those, those true entrepreneurs
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:24:26] in the stakes are much higher too.
For that same reason.
Patrick Findaro: [00:24:29] The business fails. You go home. Yeah, exactly. You just moved here. You told all your friends, family. You told your father and mother in law business on Facebook. Exactly. You have just a new status. You gotta you gotta succeed. So you know you’re going to find a way how to do it and you know, lean on the franchise or lean on your, your attorney accountant to get you through it.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:24:52] Yeah. And if something’s not working, these E two foreign entrepreneurs are probably going to be a lot noisier about it. Right. Because they’re going to go back to that franchise or like you said, and say,
Patrick Findaro: [00:25:02] Hey. My livelihood’s on the line.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:25:04] This business fails. I got to go back home. This is no joke. We need to make it work.
Patrick Findaro: [00:25:09] So,
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:25:10] so yeah, ultimately that’s going to be a huge value add to franchisees who are bringing them on. Earlier, offline, we were talking about a model that sometimes works where you can have the franchise or be a part of the investment. Of the two investor. Right. Can you tell us a little bit about how that’s
Patrick Findaro: [00:25:25] split?
Usually set up for this morning, I talked to a franchise or that we’re evaluating and they have a, a number of, uh, food concepts, um, and then in the Northeast and they are looking to open up more and they have the operational capacity, but they, they will let some support on the strategy side and then also on, on the investment and financial.
Um, so we do have clients that, um, generally they have a net worth above 2 million. Uh, they’ve already been very successful entrepreneurs in their home country and they need some more flexibility. You know, they’re going, they haven’t made, have a business and in Italy or the UK, and they’re going to be going back and forth and they need it an ongoing, uh, they need ongoing support in the U S above and beyond what the franchise org typically, uh, provides.
Um, so what might happen, there could be a consulting agreement where they provide operational support or they could. Take the franchise or could, could have support, um, in running it, such as a, a corporate location where they take up a minority non-controlling a stake in the business where the FISA investor has control.
Over the decisions, decisions, uh, and this minority partner, generally the franchise or running as a corporate location, uh, might provide the personal guarantee, a corporate guarantee. So they’re on the hook to make sure that this business goes as well, goes well, uh, to, um, and we found that has worked for the, the right type of client.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:26:53] Yeah. A lot more skin in the game from the franchisee. There was more incentive for both businesses
Patrick Findaro: [00:26:59] to succeed. You know what happened? We had some wealthy individuals that they had. Assets and income coming from abroad. They opened up a franchise. They didn’t care about the franchise. It wasn’t worth their time to run, and it didn’t go well.
Um, and we learned a lesson that, you know, the, if you’re going to be an owner operator, you’ve got to really dedicate 12 to 18 months full time in the business. And it can be exceptions that you hire a general manager. But. We, we prefer that. And if not, you gotta be up upfront with us and up front with the franchisor.
And, and jointly we can come up with the solution. And generally they’re a select few franchise or is that can really support on the operation side. And other ones just want to keep fine, fine tuning their business model and support with marketing and they’re not going to provide as much operational support.
So that’s also kind of a niche that we’ve, um. We’ve entered where we, we vet these operators and look for a lot of different competencies and look at their income statements, balance sheets, and we, uh, run background checks. So that’s really important as well. Interesting.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:28:04] Shifting back to Visa Franchise, thank you for that information though, on the consulting agreement where the franchisor can stay in the mix, but shifting back to Visa Franchise, how have you consistently continued to grow.
Visa Franchise into markets where you yourself are an outsider because you’re an American. You know, you happen to speak Spanish, Portuguese, French. And any other
Patrick Findaro: [00:28:27] languages? Oh, yeah. She has picked up bass and then been Spanish and then my learning French. Yeah. In terms of growing, um, yeah. I mean, you guys are huge.
yeah. A lot of local knowledge. And we work very closely with some of the leading, uh, immigration law firms. And, um. That goes a long way in terms of learning the different cultures and supporting their clients. And at the end of the day, what we do is identify and analyze businesses, and it doesn’t matter the language or right.
Place where you’re coming from. We do that where we were much very much focused on Latin America, and then people started seeking us out from Europe, from Asia. We generally don’t just go into a market. It generally, we receive referrals and we see that there’s an opportunity and then we might further support their, their growth initiatives, but we’re in a fortunate enough space where we’ve really dominated the marketplace.
Um, for finding and analyzing these small businesses. So, um, we share a lot of information on online and people usually see C seek us out.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:29:37] Essentially, the lesson learned from that, I think for anyone that’s listening is you, if you’re looking to go into a new market where maybe you’re not the familiar face or you need to kind of break down those barriers to entry, a good way to do it is to look early on for those referral partners who they are.
Connect with them first.
Patrick Findaro: [00:29:55] Exactly. Sort of a
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:29:57] value add or a collaborative
Patrick Findaro: [00:29:59] strategic client case or two, right. There might be a nationality that doesn’t really value your services and they’re more used to doing things themselves and they want to look online for everything. And then. You know, they want to do, they want to do more things themselves and that’s fine.
And we’d rather, uh, work on a few cases from that country first before allocating a lot of time and resources or further develop it. That’s a great point.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:30:26] So how do you plan for continued growth and expansion for Visa Franchise? And I know you have another business that we can talk about
Patrick Findaro: [00:30:33] that as well.
Um. So doubling down on the , you saw, uh, we have worked with other visa types in the past, uh, for the right client, uh, working with the right immigration law firm. We’re open to look at working with some of these other visa categories like the , but time and time again, I mean, generally the is a better fit for our clients and the franchises that we work with.
Um, that being said, can just continuing getting the word out there that we are a dominant player for finding, analyzing these businesses for the two. And then also that we know how to find, analyze small businesses the best, um, and that segments into, um, our portal that we just launched, fed biz.com, which it’s not just for foreign nationals, it’s for Americans.
And we are. Adding a ton of data that’s not available online, and we’re putting that online and we’re analyzing a lot of franchise information. Um, so seeing how units open up, close up a total unit count, royalty franchise fee, all these data, all this, all the data associated with the franchise through this franchise, through their, their franchise disclosure document.
And compare that to . Other franchises in that industry as well as other franchises in general.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:31:55] You were disrupting the game big time?
Patrick Findaro: [00:31:57] Um, I think so. I think there’s just, there’s just a lot of information that isn’t available yet online. And, um, we’re gonna put it out there and there will be some franchises that look right.
Really good, and there’s going to be a lot of franchises don’t look very good. And, uh, franchise ores, we truly leave, should make money in the right ways and they shouldn’t make most of their money selling franchises. They should be making money off the royalties and providing ongoing support and growing with their clients as if the sales of the franchisees are growing.
Then their, their income’s going to grow as well through royalties. So that’s a big part that we look at and I’m going through these disclosure documents that can be anywhere from 200 to 500 page documents. Uh, you can, you, you can draw a lot of red flags or a lot of things that are also good, um, that you, you are genuinely surprised and happy about.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:32:55] Right? But a lot of people, I mean, you and I have both worked in franchising now for a little while.
Patrick Findaro: [00:33:00] A lot of people.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:33:02] You have been trying to do that. What you’re doing with vetted,
Patrick Findaro: [00:33:05] vetted biz.com dot com
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:33:08] when you’re looking to do something like that, you’re looking to aggregate all this data from 4,040 505,000 franchise disclosure documents from different franchises around the world, and you’re looking to take those data points, break it down into into this analytical framework, but.
Again, people who have been trying to do it and just failing miserably, right. Nobody has done it right to your point yet, because the information’s not really out there. How do you go about something like that when you’re looking at your, your kind of, you know, looking at this, Hey, this is uncharted terrain.
Many people have tried to climb this mountain, for lack of a better analogy and failed.
Patrick Findaro: [00:33:47] How do you come up with a strategy? Myself and the partner, personally, I’ve gone through a lot of these documents and so before we set up processes for. Um, our data entry and, and, and, uh, analysis. Uh, folks. It’s really important that we understand the nuances of the FDD and what parts are variable and what parts are not variable.
And how do you document those variable. Uh, factors. So it means it makes meaningful information. And then there’s also other data that we’re reviewing. Like the small business, the small business administration publishes, uh, their outstanding loan information and they tie a teach franchise, but that data needs to be cleaned up, right?
Generally the same franchise, or has three or four names. We got to go through that, clean up that information, uh, before we started analyzing the data. So there’s a lot of data cleanup and. You know, when you come across nuances, noting that, that, Hey, this is, this is a, it put it this way for that specific region.
And um, and then just having multiple people on our team and then outside of a Visa Franchise embedded is also soliciting their feedback.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:34:56] Interesting. Very, very interesting.
Patrick Findaro: [00:34:58] So, okay, we’ve got
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:34:59] vetted biz.com we’ve got visa, franchise.com those are two good places to look for you. What are the other ways that people who want to get more information, either about an E2 visa, if they’re looking to invest in the U S business or a franchisor who’s looking to connect with you or any entrepreneur who’s looking to sell their business through vetted biz.com?
Patrick Findaro: [00:35:17] What’s the best way to reach out? I think just go through our contact page and then the appropriate member of our team will reach out to you and, um. Always happy to have a free initial consultation and see if we can be of support and if we can’t, hopefully steer you in the right direction.
Tony Lopes, Esq. – Self Made Strategies & Lopes Law LLC: [00:35:32] Awesome.
Patrick, thank you so much for being on the show and thanks for hosting me in Miami.
Patrick Findaro: [00:35:36] Yeah, anytime. Yeah, thanks.