The Franchise King®

Jerry’s Page

My late father, Jerry Libava, was an early franchise consulting pioneer, and this page is dedicated to him….


(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).


After being downsized from Physician’s Weight Loss Centers in 1989, and helping over 300 franchises open, Dad decided enough was enough.{Of corporate America} He had been in corporate America for 25+ years, and decided to use his business and franchise expertise by starting his own business. Dad took a drive in the country with my Mom, Judith, and it was on that ride that they decided to go forward with a business start-up, and came up with a name-International Franchise Development. He opened it in 1990. He found a couple of franchise consulting projects that lasted 6 months at a time, and really enjoyed them.

In 1991 he found a gentleman by the name of Howard {Howie} Bassuk, who had recently started to put together a group of franchise and small business professionals interested in helping others find franchises to buy. Frannet was formed. My Dad was joined by folks like Gordon Dupries, Rick Eggleton, Joan Young, and a couple of others from Southern California.

My Dad brought Frannet into Northeast Ohio, and ended up helping a sizeable number of local area residents find dynamic and appropriate opportunities in the world of franchise ownership. He showed these folks how to do the research required to make an informed decision, and introduced them to local resources in banking, law, and accounting to help them lower their risk even further. My Dad ‘s reputation was always stellar. He refused to “sell.” He guided, and gently coached others, who were pretty full of fear, with the thought of investing their own money into a business of their own.

After being downsized {fired} myself, from a franchise industry management position in 2001, my Dad offered to let me be a partner in his consulting business, and an opportunity to take it over, one day. Well I did take it over, renaming it Franchise Selection Specialists Inc. I became a member of Frannet, and here is where it gets interesting….

Frannet was good at one thing, and that was training. Howie was a master trainer, and taught me well.

But My Dad taught me the important stuff that I used when I was getting paid commissions as a broker- (I don’t anymore. I’m an advisor, and my clients are the people looking to buy franchises. The franchisors used to be my clients.)

1. Never “sell” franchises…let the candidates you are working with control most of the process
2. It does not matter if I like the franchise concept. Is it right for my candidate?
3. Don’t present one opportunity over another because the finder’s fee is more. Present the right concepts to the right people…it all comes out in the wash!
4. Do NOT brand yourself as Joel Libava-Frannet. Brand yourself, and your company, first.You just happen to be a member of a group.
5. Don’t worry what others in Frannet say. Stand up for what you believe in.

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Before my Dad succumbed to Lung Cancer in June of 2007, we discussed my future plans. I told him that they probably would not include staying with Frannet. He agreed that I should think about going out on my own. {He always said I was alone anyway} Ok. He didn’t just agree. He cheered me on!

In 2006, Howie wanted to sell Frannet, and for a brief period, a Venture Consulting Group looked at purchasing it. That deal fell through, and interestingly enough two of the guys from Frannet, that were supposedly representing our group did an “end around” play, and bought Howie out, themselves. It got pretty ugly, and most of the members were not happy about the way this transpired. By this time the group was in a state of flux anyway, because there really had been no leadership, or direction, for a while. I was at the point {as were many others} to where I couldn’t convince myself that membership in a group like this made sense financially. Then the “new” ownership wanted to convert Frannet into a franchise.
{My Dad told me Frannet had been a franchise all along anyway}

Well, a competitor of Frannet’s had been a franchise for years, and in that company, there were numerous class action lawsuits and angry franchisees, for things like lack of support, and unauthorized income claims. So this certainly did not feel right.

After some very minor soul searching, and with the support of my Dad, I left Frannet in July of 2007, and have not regretted it at all. I can now put my energy towards my business, as opposed to trying to fix an organization that had served it’s member’s well for a time, but, sadly, had deteriorated in my opinion way too much for me to make a difference. Since my departure, other members have left, and there will probably be more.

My Dad really enjoyed going to a Cleveland non-profit facility called The Gathering Place, in Beachwood, Ohio. Here is what their mission is:

“The Gathering Place is a nonprofit, community-based cancer support center, serving the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of individuals with cancer and their support network.”

If you or anyone you know anywhere in the US would like to work with me, and get some guidance on finding, choosing, and researching franchises… Go here


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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel is Highly Principled
There are many people in the franchise business who claim to to be experts in the field. Unfortunately many of them lack both knowledge and integrity. Joel, however, is without question one of the most qualified and principled people I know, in or out of his industry."
- Greg Reynolds, Retired Outplacement Counselor
"Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it."
- Harper Lee

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