From Pizza Delivery Guy To Franchise Owner

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If you want to be a franchisee, you can’t just buy the store. You have to successfully manage the place for at least one year and then meet the criteria required for this purchase.

Robert Raymond Riopel is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author, app designer, and business trainer who spent over 18 years traveling around the world sharing his passion for self-growth and business. At first, Robert had little on his hands, at twenty-one he started delivering pizzas for Domino’s in his hometown to support his family. After a lot of hard work, he became the Manager of the Domino’s franchise he worked at. His wife joined the business as an Assistant Manager. After a year and a half working about seven days a week, they qualified to be franchisors. At thirty-two, he had already conquered financial freedom. In this episode, he tells us about the lessons he learned through his franchising deals. 

Important Notes About Franchising

If you want to be a franchisee, you can’t just buy a store. You have to successfully manage a location of the franchise for at least one year. Then, meet the financial criteria required for the purchase. If approved, you have to have the money to buy or build the store. Sometimes, there’s a fee that has to be paid to the old franchise owner too.

Back in 1992, Robert and his wife needed $90,000 to be able to buy the two Domino’s franchises in their sights. That was the problem for Robert. He didn’t have that kind of money. The solution was to ask the bank for help. In five months, they got all of their funding.

Lessons Learned From Franchise Negotiation

Acquiring two franchises at a very young age, Robert learned many things through trial and error. Some of the biggest lessons are:

1 - Build a good relationship with your bank. He only got the financing he needed because he already had an excellent reputation with the bankers. Robert had enough assets to secure all of his investment. The entire acquisition of Domino’s didn’t cost any of his personal money.

2 - Do not confuse 'buy a business' with 'buy the assets'. Early in his career, Robert used the wrong term saying he wanted to buy a company, when in reality he wanted to acquire assets, without buying the business itself. There's a BIG difference between these two paths. Know which one you're taking. Ask for it correctly. 

3 - It’s important to have an abundance mindset. People can smell when you’re desperate. Robert shares that at one point in his life, he was getting deep in debt and then sold one of the Domino’s stores. In the moment of desperation, a person took advantage of him during the negotiation.

4 - For problem solving, use the two words ‘what’s next?’. That way, you don’t get stuck on the problem. You focus on the solution. Be careful. Once you have decided how to solve it, doubts may arise. The other words you should use right after that are ‘all in’ to make sure you go all the way in your decision. Don't give your doubt room to keep you playing small.

The Journey To Becoming Financially Free

After Robert acquired the two Domino’s franchises, all was looking good. Until, a very common small business mistake snuck up on him. Over time, he realized he was spending more than he owned. At the eight-year mark of running Domino’s, Robert was over $150,000 in debt.

When your business is in debt, or when it has repeated frustration in the way it operates, the question you should ask is ‘what fully implemented system do I not have in place?’ This approach helps you to really solve your problem.

He went from being over $150,000 in debt, to actually selling the stores and retiring nine months later, at thirty-two years old. This says a lot about knowing when to leave a deal. It was easier to create a passive income when Robert decided to sell Domino's, as he would no longer have the expense.

Where in your business do you need to cut a tie, move on, or lighten the expense to make room for something more profitable or fulfilling? 

Listen to the full episode here.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.


Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, and business consultant with more than 35 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur and attorney.


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