Lance Graulich is the Founder and CEO of ION Franchising, an industry-leading franchise, consulting, and development group. They represent over 650 franchise brands and business opportunities within 90 different categories.

Lance helps prospective entrepreneurs find their perfect franchise free of charge and he also helps independent business owners create a franchise system. He started in a family business on Wall Street after receiving his economics degree. He joined TGI Friday’s franchise in Arizona as a key executive and was vital in the rapid growth of the over $225 million organization.

Lance was a multi-unit, multi-state franchisee of Wingstop and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. He has created countless startup brands and is one of the industry-leading donut experts. He is the Founder of the doughnut chain Pinkbox Doughnut in Las Vegas.

As a business start-up expert with more than 25 years of experience, Lance has served as President of various franchise advisory councils and boards advising emerging franchise brands. He has also helped a multitude of companies grow efficiently and effectively, and he routinely provides advisory services to private equity firms covering the restaurant industry


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Why Lance Graulich started Pinkbox Doughnuts and how differentiated the company and made it into a sticky brand
  • Lance talks about some franchises he represents and what makes them stand out
  • The metrics and safeguards that entrepreneurs need to be able to run a successful franchise
  • The importance of recognizing the repeated mistakes that are happening in your franchise in order to improve your system
  • How Lance became a franchisee of Krispy Kreme
  • Lessons from Krispy Kreme and Starbucks every franchisor should learn from
  • What are the qualities of an ideal prospective franchisee?
  • Common misconceptions about franchising
  • What types of people that should consider becoming a franchisee?

In this episode…

Are you interested in starting a new business but have no idea on how to begin? Are you looking to expand your brand to other areas but don’t want the associated cost? If these are questions that you want answered ASAP, you should consider resourcing up and hiring two people who can help you get those questions answered: an attorney and an accountant.

The only caveat is that there are many misconceptions about franchising especially if you’re asking for advice from the wrong people. But connecting with experts such as Lance Graulich, who is a serial franchisee and a certified business startup expert, helps you avoid three very possible scenarios: ruining your brand, missing out on a great business opportunity, or getting hit with the double whammy in one fell swoop.

Make sure to tune in to this episode of Inspired Insider as Dr. Jeremy Weisz as he chats with Lance Graulich, the Founder and CEO of ION Franchising, about the challenges and opportunities that come with franchising. They’ll discuss how to leverage franchising to expand your brand, how Lance became a successful franchisee, the work he does with some remarkable brands that he represents, and how he can help you become a franchise owner even with a $50,000 budget.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here Founder of InspiredInsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders check out past episodes Lance, I’ve had some cool episodes. And you know, I try and think for this interview what ones I should mention, you know, ones that are the most popular aren’t always the ones that are most known. You know, the P90x Founder, Tony Horton I had does talk about his journey, but was interesting. Lance, I like hearing the low points sometimes like, you know, great, you sold a billion dollars worth of CDs like you, you almost want to love to hate that person. But, you know, he actually started off as a street mind he was he drove cross country and did street miming to make food and rent money when he first started out. So he put his hat on the street, he would do street miming even made him do some street mind moves on the interview since it was video. So check it out. I had Julie Clark, founder of Baby Einstein, and she grew it from you know, $20 million with five employees and upselling to Disney. But she talked about beating cancer twice, you know, and it’s the real stuff behind building a company because you and I both know Lance saying there’s people working on our house or making noises then we’re in virtual schooling with our young kids. There’s so much stuff that goes on, you know, behind the scenes that these are real human beings and have real other issues besides their business. So check out that other episodes on smart insider.com and I’m really excited about this conversation today. Pinkbox Doughnuts and many, much more. I mean, I was looking at this Lance, I’m gonna, I’m gonna properly introduce you, but I’m a healthy person. I like kombucha. I do intermittent fasting. I almost hate your website, you make the product looks so good that I would ditch especially now we’re talking January, but I would ditch everything all my health for that delicious cinnamon roll dipped in Maple frosting, it looks amazing. But before I introduce you properly, Lance, this episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co-founded with John Corcoran Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships by helping you run your podcast and Lance as you know, you know the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my relationships in podcasts over the past, since 2008 has been a way that I the people I admire the people I want to give to I have them on my podcast, I learn more about them and share their message with the world. So if you have thought about starting a podcast, if you’re a business, I think hands down. Like I don’t care if you go with us or anyone. I would have been saying this for a decade. If you have a business you should have a podcast just like you have a website like you have a what you wouldn’t have not have a website. So, you know, we’re obviously still on the forefront in the in the beginning of podcasting, but that’s what I believe. And that’s I love that. So go to rise 20 five.com if you have questions and you’ve been a guest, Lance on so many podcasts, but if you don’t know Lance, you should know Lance and you will known Lance right now but Lance Graulich is the Founder and CEO of ION Franchising. He’s an industry leading franchise, consulting and development group and they represent over 500 franchise brands I think, is over 650. Now franchise brands and business opportunities within 90 different categories. He helps prospective entrepreneurs find their perfect franchise for free, actually, for free, doesn’t even charge but he gets a success fee. It’s not like he’s working for free or anything like that. So don’t worry, he’s not you know, he’s still gonna feed his family. He also assists independent business owners and creating a franchise system. So if you have a business you’re like, Listen, I need to create a franchise system around it, you can contact Lance, and you’ll see why he’s got the chops to help you but he started out in a family business on Wall Street after receiving his economics degree. He joined TGI Fridays in Arizona and as a key executive, he was vital in the rapid growth of rapid growth, over $225 million dollar organization and he was a multi unit multi state franchisee of wingstop and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. You just love those donuts and he’s become an industry leader and donut expert really and as I mentioned before, the founder of the doughnut chain called Pinkbox in Las Vegas. So if you want to throw all of your health goes out the window, go to their website and check out them watch it making one of their doughnuts because I am a sucker for cinnamon rolls and then you couple that with doughnuts Got so much experience. Check them out, Lance. Thanks for joining me.

Lance Graulich

Dr. Jeremy, thanks for having me on. I’m, I’m excited to be here.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, I’m, I’m almost go a little bit in reverse. Okay, so let’s talk about Pinkbox for a second and why you decided to start that?

Lance Graulich

Yeah, you know, so first of all, I am a consummate serial entrepreneur. And I think the definition for me on that is besides always wanting to start businesses, I get bored very, very easily. I had plenty of OCD. As a kid. My mom couldn’t keep me entertained on a regular basis. I was always involved in a lot of sports. In fact, these days, it seems like my kids are not doing as much as me. I don’t know if it’s generational thing. So, you know, I I had already been with Krispy Kreme I had already created a very successful burger and frozen custard concept in Las Vegas that was outrageously successful and won all kinds of awards that I ended up selling. And, and a gentleman that I knew from the restaurants called me, and he said, Hey, can you create me a donut shop? I said, Sure. what’s what’s what’s the interest in a donut shop because well buy my house. There’s no, there’s no donut shops, but something really special and something really good. I’m so lucky me. I knew the broker that owned the large shopping center closest to his house that already had a Starbucks and an Einstein Bagels, a perfect place to put a donut shop to get that morning traffic. And it turned out we I created a gourmet donut shop. He admittedly had one thing in mind and is the thing that he had in mind was the name. And I said, Well, what do you got so far? And he goes, Well, the name and he got all excited. He giggled and he said, Pinkbox Doughnuts. I said, it’s a great name. So I ended up trademarking the name. And