Our original engagement with New Balance is a perfect example of how an existing company with an excellent license program, and a top-notch team already in place, can still benefit from our expertise. Mark’s relationship started with New Balance as a partner in 3 licensed New Balance stores. After the parent company recognized his expertise, he was asked to assist in upgrading the New Balance Licensed Store Program, a 140-store chain.
Mark worked closely with the New Balance team and developed a strategy for incorporating best industry practices, including revising the License Agreement, developing prospecting materials and protocols, refining the service package, revising existing and creating new manuals, and negotiating with outside vendors for value-added programs that benefited both the company and licensees. Mark's original engagement was to be for six months, but the company extended his involvement for an additional two and a half years.
Additionally, Mark was asked to serve as chairman of the New Balance Licensed Store Advisory Board, which he did for three years
"Mark, thank you for your contributions. You have really helped me understand the demands and requirements to lead in a 'franchise model,' and I appreciate it." - Rob De Martini, CEO - New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
As our first consulting client, and recommended by a franchisee of The Athlete’s Foot, Mark started consulting for Candyland Inc., a small group of self-service candy stores located in St.Louis. Within several months he was asked to take over as President.
Inheriting fewer than 5 stores, Mark grew the company to over 40 stores and then negotiated for a merger with Sweets from Heaven, a public South African company looking for a presence in the United States. Mark was asked to oversee , as President, operations in the North America and the Pacific Rim. When transfer of funds from South Africa became a legal quagmire, Mark negotiated with a Canadian investment banking group to finance, and eventually acquire (with Mark’s participation) the United States subsidiary.
"As our President, we found Mark to be extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of franchising and specialty retailing. His strong work ethic, combined with a network of contacts, with both landlords and other franchise organizations, was also a major asset to our business. These positive traits were also clearly evident to the franchise owners of Sweets from Heaven, which enabled us to avoid many of the problems that can be typical in franchise networks." - Elliott W. Knox, Managing Director - Bedford Capital Limited (Investment Bank Group that purchased majority holdings in Sweets from Heaven USA, Inc.)
ChampTires is an-online and brick and mortar operation that specializes in pre-owned, premium brand tires. With over 30,000 tires in stock, in nearly every size and tread level, ChampTires offers tremendous savings compared to new tires. Customers can purchase tires on line or in one of 3 retail/installation centers .The company only sells the highest quality used tires and every tire that enters the warehouse is air-tested, quality-checked and guaranteed.
It is an excellent business model that work. However, the owners needed advise as to how to improve the operation and better position it to take advantage of its growth potential. Mark was introduced to the President by their financial consultant first to conduct a SWOT analysis, and then to recommend ways to improve and grow the business. Mark was then asked to become the company's Business Manager and took the lead with the financial administration end of the business and future business development. The existing operation was tweaked and additional locations secured.
"We have a growing business that has tremendous potential. But, I never realized how much else could be done to achieve maximum profitability until we worked with Mark and saw his SWOT analysis. His identifying those things and assisting in doing much of the “improvement” work, has proven to be invaluable." - Brad Rea, President - ChampTires
Mark was introduced to this doggie day care and boarding operation by a local attorney who thought they could benefit from a review of all aspects of their program. After several months of Mark serving as a consultant, the company asked him to join as COO, which he did on an interim basis. The concept was great, but the franchise program needed tweaking, which was mostly the responsibility of Lando Consults. Of course, enhancements were also made to the stores owned by the company. Now positioned for controlled growth and franchise support, the company is exceeding its growth plans and is setting the standard for the rest of the industry. His work done, Mark moved on but remains in close touch and has also brought franchisees into the system as a result of his previous contacts.
"We thought that we were ready to start franchising but were then introduced to Mark to help us evaluate our offering. After our first meeting with him, we realized how much still needed to be done. After his doing several projects for us and seeing the quality and thoroughness of his work, we asked him to join our team as COO." - Jesse Coslov, Owner & CEO - The Dog Stop Franchising, LLC
Lando Consults undertook a short-term engagement with Good Feet Worldwide, a 120-store chain of arch-support stores. Mark evaluated the company’s needs by performing extensive SWOT analysis and made recommendations for numerous changes, most of which the ownership is still implementing. At the request of the owner of the company, Mark also worked one-on-one with some of the Good Feet franchisees to help them refine their operations and to develop a program that helped better position them for a more competitive and economically challenging environment.Mark was offered the opportunity to relocate and get further involved with the company, but family relationships prohibited him from doing so.
"Mark, I would like to keep you involved either as a consultant or in an advisory position. I still believe you would be a great fit for the Good Feet executive team. Hopefully, our moons will line up, and we will work together in the future." - Matt Coleman, President - Good Feet Worldwide
Pioneer Sign Supply was a wholesale distributor to the sign industry with sales of less than 2 million dollars and fewer than 2,500 customers when Mark was asked to join them. After his initial SWOT analysis and recommendations, significant changes were made, Mark was asked to join the company as Vice President. The first thing Mark did was coordinate a sale of the existing building, purchase of a new facility, add delivery trucks, expand the product offering, expand into other markets, and revise inventory and budgeting procedures. By the time Mark assisted in negotiating the sale of the company, Pioneer had sales in excess of 12 million dollars and more than 5,000 customers.
Sweet Factory - Keystone Plumbing - AAA - Auntie Anne's - Red Mango - Aauto Motor Exchange
Sunburst School of Music - G.I.HAUL - Juice Ranch - Vocelli Pizza - Let's Make Music - Qdoba
RTR Transmissions - Candy Headquarters - U.S. Athletics - Pro-Quest - Tangerine Foot
Second Sole - Pet Pads - Patriot Solutions - Circle Camps - Sunburst School of Music