Bedros Keuilian is the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, one of the nation’s fastest-growing franchises and an investor in over a dozen companies ranging from subscription software platforms, digital ad agencies as well as mastermind and coaching services.
In 2008, Bedros launched his earliest version of his boot camp and by 2010 was selling franchise locations. It was a painful process and mistakes were made, but he learned from them and continued to build his empire. Now, his franchise is closing in on 800 locations, has hit the Inc 5000 list, and was named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 500 fastest growing franchises.
Our Co-founder and CEO Brian Holmes and Erik Van Horn talk with Bedros about the key factors you need to embrace as an entrepreneur and a businessperson in The Franchise Story Podcast Episode #46.
“Be relentless, be obsessed, be a control freak,” Bedros reminds podcast listeners. “Control freak” has negative connotations, sure, but what Bedros is referring to is his ability to overcome objections proactively. Solution-based thinking, both practically and with the future in mind, is a driving factor of his success. Here are Bedros Keuilian’s top 3 solutions that emerging entrepreneurs and veterans of the business can equally benefit from.
In his book Man UP, Bedros Keuilian talks about his very first mentor, Jim Franco. Back in his personal training days, Jim Franco started off as a client, soon to become a friend and trusted mentor. Bedros attributes his mentor’s steadfast support and business savvy to help him navigate his business out of massive debt and into profit. How? Jim showed him how to use a subscription model with his clients, something entirely novel to the industry back in the early 2000s.
Bedros jokingly said, “I’m pretty sure that he was disgusted with my entrepreneurial ways at the time and so he started offering me advice, and I took it.”
Then, once he entered the franchising world, he found another mentor. With issues with compliance and regulations looming over his head, Bedros Keuilian hired consultants to mentor him. With the help of these mentors, he was able to time collapse his understanding of franchising in just 3 months, not 3 years.
When it comes to business prowess, financial freedom, and success, Bedros believes you should buy the best knowledge you can, not from school or academia, but from people who are proven, from those who have hustled in the trenches and have achieved the outcome that you’re looking to achieve. There’s no better way to time collapse your success.
Many great business owners were mentored, coached, or part of mastermind groups. They surround themselves with high achievers. So what do you do if you can’t afford to pay for a coach? Start small, and follow people you want to learn from on social media. Sign up for their email lists. Purchase one of their books.
There have been moments when Bedros Keuilian didn’t have mentors to take him to a higher level of success. In an era when he didn’t have a mentor, Bedros learned to be scrappy.
In the early days of franchising, Bedros learned a valuable lesson about selling in franchising:
“You learn that selling a franchise is a whole different animal than selling a coaching program or DVD resources because you can’t just go out and claim that if a successful franchisee is making x amount of money… I had to create objections for processes, webinars, and education system so that you can overcome objections before your prospective franchisee ever has those cold feet.”
Building a strong foundation of your business with a clear understanding of your ideal target customer’s fears and dreams is crucial. In this way, he’s successfully able to leverage brand awareness to lower his Facebook advertising costs and continue to attract the right franchises. It’s a virtuous cycle.
What about dealing with dead-weight team members? Early on, Bedros had gotten to a place in business where he didn’t share the same vision as his co-owner. “We had different work ethics, and our priorities were completely misaligned.” Learning to end a business partnership in due time was painful, but a valuable lesson.
Be a control freak of your time. Success loves speed. The longer you procrastinate the more you ensure fear and failure. Life is dynamic, things that Bedros can control he is relentless about. This way, there’s no room for distractions, or worse, negativity.
There are only 4 people who are allowed to add to or edit Bedros’ schedule and he refers to them as his ‘Navy Seal Team’. They take control of maximizing every part of his schedule—back to back meetings, phone calls, etc. He even has them assign work that he can do while he is on a flight. You became more aware of how much time you waste in a day when you begin to take back control and take advantage of every minute.