A company led by a former Schlotzsky’s franchisee last week officially launched a new website that it hopes will revolutionize the entire franchising industry.

FranchiseProfs.com, the brainchild of Chris Nolan and his Cincinnati-based company, Franchise Professionals Inc., launched as a social media network for franchisees and franchisors alike.

“I know the pains of franchisees. I know the pains of the franchisors, who have suffered dealing with franchisees,” says Chris Nolan, who was once one of the biggest area developers in the country for Schlotzsky’s and is now president of Franchise Professionals.

“I just realized there are a lot of services that franchisors don’t have the resources or access to provide their franchisees. So I’m putting together a forum of various services and experts who can supplement what the franchisors are doing for their franchisees today.”

FranchiseProfs.com provides members—franchisees, prospective franchisees, or franchisors—with beneficial resources and access to experts across the industry that can help with all aspects of the franchising world.

The website even helps franchisees with their financing woes.

“One of the services that we’re doing is we’re aggregating tremendous amounts of … financing pools for either expansion of existing franchisors if they need it for their company, or funding for franchisees who can’t get it through large banks or places they would traditionally have gone to for funding,” Nolan says.

Later this month, Nolan says FranchiseProfs.com will roll out a job board of prescreened individuals available for hire.

“Franchisees normally go into a big panic when it gets down to opening time because they’re worried about equipment installation, food orders … [and] getting the inspections finalized,” he says.

“One of the things that they often miss is hiring enough help. Hiring takes interviewing, and interviewing takes a tremendous amount of time. They often hurry through it and they end up hiring the wrong people.”

Franchisees and franchisors can establish profile pages on FranchiseProfs.com, similar to profiles on other social media networks. Franchisors can use their pages to connect with existing or potential franchisees.

On the pages of franchisees, meanwhile, franchisors can post advertisement boxes that support that franchise’s vendors and suppliers.

“It helps support [franchisors’] position, and at the same time it makes it easier for the franchisees to access their supplier or vendor base that is working with them by the franchisor’s request,” he says.

Nolan says Franchise Professionals is actively seeking franchisors in all industries to sponsor FranchiseProfs.com. CiCi’s Pizza and Papa Murphy’s are two quick-serve brands listed as sponsors on the website.

“It will be an evolving site, I’m sure, over the next couple of years, where there’s going to be constant, additional value for the franchisors and franchisees,” Nolan says.

“We’re partnering with a lot of very successful, large companies who are working with us to make sure that happens properly.”

By Sam Oches

News, CiCi's Pizza, Papa Murphy's