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Marketing Veteran Offers Insight on Entrepreneurship and Franchises

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Gary Sanchez, Marketing Director at Good Feet Worldwide, has a long career with a firm foundation in small business ownership and entrepreneurial efforts. Hearpreneuer had the opportunity to speak with Gary and learn about his career, his successes in business, and his outlook on franchises.

What Is Your Background and Experience?

My career started as a commercial lender where I provided working capital and equipment loans to small businesses in the Long Beach California area.  That’s where I fell in love with small business ownership & entrepreneurship. I received my MBA from Stanford in 1994 and started a career in brand management and marketing.  I’ve worked in marketing roles on some popular brands such as Del Monte Foods, Kingsford Charcoal, Pine-Sol, Formula 409, QuickBooks and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.  I’ve also worked at small businesses such Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate, CocoaBella Chocolates, Cartridge World and currently, Good Feet.

Tell Us about Your Business?

Good Feet Worldwide is the manufacturer and franchisor for a chain of retail Good Feet stores where we sell arch supports/orthotics to help people feel better in their feet, legs, knees, hips and backs.  When you feel better, you can accomplish more.  Get Good Feet, Feel Better, Get Going!

What Success Have You Had with Your Business so Far?

Good Feet Worldwide has opened five new locations in 2014 and sales are up +25% versus year ago which is the result of existing franchisees wanting to open more stores in new markets and Good Feet reselling poor performing markets to strong franchisees. Tell us about your business model and what makes it unique – Good Feet franchisees have historically relied upon television infomercials and advertising to generate store traffic.  The franchisor, Good Feet Worldwide produces the ads and franchisees, working with their local media buyers, place the ads on local stations.

What Future Trends Do You See in the Franchise Model?

The classic marketing model of mass media “interruption” advertising is being disrupted.  For instance, television viewership is declining dramatically.  Consumers are seeking answers to their very specific questions through internet search.  All franchises (Good Feet in particular) will need to get smart about how to generate store traffic in ways its not using today, whether it’s digital marketing, mobile marketing or event based marketing.

Tell Us about Women Owned Franchises and What Tips You Would Give to Women Owned Franchises?

I don’t believe there are any gender specific differences to running a successful business.  My tips are the same for men as they are for women:  Get local with your marketing and don’t rely on placing a media buy to solve your traffic challenges. Don’t try to influence marketing decisions in which you don’t have experience or expertise.  Demand that your franchisor lead and help you manage change.

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