Otto Beatty is pretty-well known in the Columbus, Ohio small business community.
I didn’t really know that until we got to know each other, but, I know that now.
The reason we got to know each other had to do with Otto contacting me one day, via email.
“Read your outstanding book. I took the franchise personality test you provided. Would love to talk to you about your services.”
I followed up with him by phone, and he told me he was starting to get serious about a couple of franchise opportunities he was looking at, and wanted my help.
That phone conversation went real well. We’re both very focused and are “get to the point” types of guys…in a nice way, so we understood each other immediately. Otto knew what he wanted from me, and I knew in my head…and in my heart, that I could deliver.
Otto signed up for one of my franchise ownership advisory packages, and we were off and running.
New Franchise Opens In Columbus
He had questions about the franchises he was looking at, and I shared some tips, and coached him along his research process. Otto was a great listener. His ego (I’m assuming he had one) didn’t get in the way. Otto may know small business-but he didn’t know franchising. And, he wanted to make sure he did a lot of things right as he investigated the franchises he was interested in.
Otto ended up buying a franchise. We worked closely during the entire process. We talked by phone. We did a lot of emailing back and forth. I walked him through some of the more frustrating parts of his decision, and helped him stay even during the finding and building out of his franchise location.
I’ll just bet you’d like to check out the franchise business my client just opened.
I’ll disclose his franchise in a few minutes. But first, an interview.
My interview of Otto Beatty, new franchise owner.
Me: Have you owned other businesses before? Which one or ones?
Otto: Yes. Since 2001, I have owned a moving and storage company, which has been affiliated with three different national van lines. We are currently a part of the North American Van Lines agency network, which is very different from a franchise system. I have also been a passive investor in a Hilton branded hotel for seven years. I started my career as business lawyer in a large law firm and worked in the legal field for over 12 years. My goal was to have ownership in multiple operating businesses and develop a long term source of passive income for the future.
Me: Why did you decide to go with a franchise business?
Otto: The three things I liked about the franchise model: 1.) a good start-up and launch plan; 2.) a proven business method and operating procedures; and 3.) a network of other business owners whom can serve as a resource in operating my business. On the other hand, I slightly underestimated the rigid nature of the franchise business system, which is something that I am adjusting to…successfully.
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Me: Did you look at other franchises?
Otto: I mostly looked a purchasing or starting other independent businesses. I did look at one other franchise opportunity in the same industry and one other opportunity in another service industry?
Me: What was your attraction to Intelligent Office?
Otto: Throughout my business and legal career, I have always been passionate helping and giving advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and professionals. At Intelligent Office, we show these types of business customers a new way to work which provides the benefits of cost savings, greater productivity, and greater connectivity to their customers. Virtual offices, outsourcing, and working remotely are business trends that are expanding rapidly in the United States and I wanted to be a part of that. The Intelligent Office franchise provided me with the vehicle to quickly and correctly enter this field.
Let’s take a short break. Here’s some information about Otto’s franchise.
Intelligent Office is the leading virtual, professionally staffed office space for mobile executives and small businesses in North America. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and has over 50 offices across the United States and Canada. Intelligent Office helps clients grow their businesses and work smarter by combining professional staffing with the physical and technological infrastructure of a virtual office. Website
Back to the interview
Me: Why did you end up focusing your time and energy towards the Intelligent Office opportunity?
Otto: Based on the advice in Joel’s book and counselling sessions, I engaged in a great deal of due diligence and research of the franchise, the industry, the marketplace and myself. I came to the conclusion that this franchise met my personal criterion for a business that I was willing to spend time and capital on. Most importantly, I truly believed I could be successful in this business and enjoy myself in the process.
Me: Any suggestions for would-be franchise owners concerning choosing and/or researching a franchise?
Otto: Do a substantial examination of yourself and your personal/ family situation, especially if, you have never owned a business before. Even if you have what it takes, is it really want you want to do? How much are you willing to put at risk financially? What are your real strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes? Look at things from the worst case scenario. Being your own boss and business ownership can very alluring and attractive on the surface, but the reality can be very different. People in the franchise industry are good at selling the “dream.” It is critical that you gain a good understanding of the challenges and work required to own a small business…franchise or non-franchise.
Franchise Tip: If you’re in the process of buying a franchise…or may be in the future, pay attention to what Otto is sharing here.
Otto: Seek out counsel and professional help to evaluate any opportunity. My franchise lawyer, James Meaney, was extremely valuable from a business and legal standpoint. Joel is right when he says, “Only work with a franchise attorney.”
Otto: Research, Research and Research. Joel’s book, “Become a Franchise Owner!” provides a great blueprint of what you must do. DO NOT RELY solely on the franchisor for your information in making a decision…not because they’re being untruthful…it’s just good business to get everyone’s take on things. Talk to and visit as many current franchisees as you can when you’re evaluating any franchise opportunity. Talk to owners of other franchises about franchising. The investment of time and money to thoroughly research can end up saving you money and headache in the long run. Take your time and look at multiple opportunities inside and outside of the franchise world.
Me: If I was a potential client of yours . . . of your new franchise business, how would you describe your business and why should consider using your services?
Otto: Whether your business needs a professional image, personalized customer service, greater connectivity to your potential customers, or streamlined processes, Intelligent Office gives you the flexibility to succeed. Through our on-demand staffing and office solutions, you gain an indispensable team of professionals, boutique office and meeting space, and essential infrastructure that are yours – when and how you want them.
Me: Anything else you’d like to add about your franchise purchasing experience? Anything you wish you would have done differently?
Otto: I am very happy with my current choice.
Adjusting to a tight business system, one that I didn’t set-up, is somewhat challenging for me, since I’ve owned businesses in the past, where I helped set the system up. But, I’m getting used to it, and their system is working. I did my research, and heard good things about Intelligent Office from franchisees. They’ve been successfully using the Intelligent Office business system for years.
That’s what I plan on doing, too, so my franchise can be a huge success.
Me: Best of luck with your new business, Otto!
From A Press Release:
“The opening of our new office means that downtown Columbus’ entrepreneurial and professional community now has access to invaluable resources and a greater variety of working options,” said Otto Beatty, Managing Director of Intelligent Office Columbus. “Wherever you are in your business lifecycle – whether just starting out or expanding – our comprehensive suite of virtual office solutions and easily accessible downtown location gives businesses and independent workers what they need – the ability to work anywhere professionally.”
Check out Otto’s Columbus Intelligent Office business website.
Below are a couple pictures of his franchise business.