Franchisee Success Story – Fairfield, NJ

Mark Foldy – Metal Supermarkets Fairfield

Franchisee Success Story - Fairfield
Fairfield franchisee Mark Foldy with Metal Supermarkets President & CEO Stephen Schober

At the 2016 “Driving to the Future” franchisee conference, Mark Foldy was named the Rookie of the Year for successfully implementing the Metal Supermarkets business system and demonstrating strong sales and business development. Since opening in June 2015, Mark’s Fairfield location has achieved consistent sales growth, and Mark has now expanded his team and prepared for further growth and success.

After 15 years in operations and marketing roles for a medical device company, Mark began to pursue a Metal Supermarkets franchise to get away from corporate America. When opening his Fairfield store, Mark placed a heavy focus on sales, targeting the industrial businesses closest to his store. “I went to Google Maps…and eventually we came up with a list with about 1,500 to 2,000 places that I thought would be good targets,” Foldy explained, “And we actually merged it with the list that corporate produced and that’s what we used for our mailings.”

“Whenever it was slow I would go out and knock door-to-door.” – Mark Foldy

But Mark didn’t rely solely on direct mail to reach these businesses. In the early months of operation he frequently visited local companies to personally introduce himself to prospects or even to just leave a brochure. “I would start knocking on doors or even just leave brochures whenever I could…and people have called back.” This dedication to sales and business development help Fairfield exceed the new store average sales by 34% in the first 12 full months of operation, and by 87% in the first 24 full months.

Mark has also relied on the corporate managed marketing programs to drive leads to his store, but has not given up on direct mail to help generate brand awareness in his local market. Targeting specific business types, Mark will send out inexpensive mailers and monitor the results for each market segment. “One day I would search ‘truck repair companies’ and the people I knew had never been here, I would send them a trifold in the mail.”

“You always have to have more people and more inventory than you need,” – Mark Foldy

Investing in his business has also helped Mark grow his sales. The Fairfield store is properly staffed and has the inventory necessary to fulfill the need in the market, though Mark admits that it can be difficult for newer stores to make investments in the business in the early years. “It sucks when you’re small; you got to spend a little extra money on inventory and a little bit extra money on people if you want to grow.” In February 2017, Mark grew his team with an additional CSR to ensure they could handle additional volume and still respond to quote requests quickly enough. “We were getting busier and we weren’t getting back to people,” Mark recalled. “The quicker you get back to somebody the more likely it is you are going to get the order.”

For Mark, the additional team member made sense, and the investment will help to maintain Fairfield’s high standards of customer service, which includes quoting on every request. While some RFQs may require ordering rare materials or fabrication, Mark and the Fairfield team do their best to quote every job to help to establish relationships, something that is crucial in the early years to keep customers coming back. “They know at least we’re going to try,” Mark explained.

For new Metal Supermarkets franchisees, Mark’s advice is to not let the bad days — or even good days — take the focus off your goals for the business. “Sometimes you’re going to have a bad day,” Mark explained. “And the same thing if you do a big order day… the extremes are always the extremes. They’re not what you should plan your business on or lose sleep over.” Mark advises newer franchisees to think about where they want to be and always have a plan. “If you don’t think or plan for that you’re never going to get there. If you’re at $50,000 (sales per month), run the business like you’re at $100,000.”

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