SHAWNEE MISSION, KAN.—While just about every buying group claims its members are among the industry’s elite, some are more heavily weighted. Take Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet of America. Despite having less than three-dozen members, many are also owners of some of the industry’s largest, most respected full-service operations.
While they already take an active role in the cash-and-carry franchise, Scott Perron, Big Bob’s president, wants to take it to the next level by tapping into their entrepreneurial spirits and, at the same time, reward them for their efforts.
Being called the Fraternal Resource Development (FRD) program, the idea is to enter into “a true partnership with members,” he said, “which in turn, will benefit the group.
“We are always working toward the creation of new programs, systems and supportive efforts to better serve all our members,” Perron explained. “We also recognize the extreme level of talent our members posses. FRD combines these into a win-win process that allows Big Bob’s to partner with members to bring cutting edge ideas and programs to the organization.”
The concept, he explained, is based off members often having ideas that can make a business more efficient, more profitable and so on. Usually, though, it is just an idea and needs to be researched and experimented. The problem is these cost both money and time that an individual member typically does not have at his disposal.
Enter Big Bob’s. As a franchisor, Perron said, researching and experimenting with new concepts and tinkering with existing ones is something Big Bob’s is doing all the time. “That’s our job. We are here so our members can not only concentrate on running their day-to-day business but to bring them innovative tools that help them grow their businesses.”
And, as much as the company wants to keep bringing out new tools, he added, like the individual member, the cost to develop such things can become prohibitive to fully execute.
This is where FRD comes in. The concept is a simple one, Perron explained. At its root, Big Bob’s will work with a franchisee to develop an idea that will be eventually rolled out to the group.
“Under FRD” he stressed, “Big Bob’s will not profit on any program, service or system created through this program.”
For instance, a member brings an idea to Big Bob’s. If worth pursuing, the concept will be presented to the group for consideration. If deemed worthy, Big Bob’s will contribute 50% of the cost of development. The member(s) who have committed to development will equally split the remaining financial costs.
Once the concept is developed into a program that can be implemented in stores, it will be made available to the rest of the membership for purchase—just like any other franchise program/tool offered to members.
Money collected will be distributed through a three-step process: The initial money will be equally distributed to those members who put up the other 50%. Big Bob’s will then recoup its 50%. Then, any money above the development cost will be divided equally among the financially participating members.
For example, the cost to develop a program is $18,000 and besides the person who had the idea two other members feel it is worthy to pursue. Therefore, Big Bob’s will put up $9,000, and the three members each contribute $3,000.
Following development, it is agreed the program should be sold for $2,000 and 15 members choose to buy it.
From the $30,000, the original three members will each get back their $3,000 investment followed by Big Bob’s getting back its $9,000. The remaining $12,000 will then be split among the original three members, giving them each a $4,000 profit.
“So,” Perron said, “not only does a member get the idea produced for zero cost he has the chance to create a profit center.
“This concept is at the very core of our fraternity,” he concluded, “members helping members by pooling resources for the betterment of the entire Big Bob’s family.”
For more, call 860.250.1733.