When Greg Muzzillo turned his $200 investment into sales of $250,000 in the first year after founding Proforma in 1978, it was a sign of good things to come.
The Cleveland-based provider of marketing and promotions materials, which serves clients through more than 600 franchise owners in the U.S. and Canada, has shown sales growth every year since its inception and now boasts annual revenue of $250 million.
Along with his wife, Vera, with whom he has shared the CEO title since 2001, Muzzillo has worked continuously to develop new resources to support franchise owners and assist them in providing the highest possible level of service to the organization’s approximately 30,000 clients. Proforma’s tech department helps create individually customized Web sites for all franchise owners, and each site is equipped with e-commerce capabilities that allow the franchisee’s customers to make personalized orders online.
In addition, Proforma’s marketing department helps franchise owners develop promotional materials for their own businesses and creates marketing campaigns that can be customized to fit an individual owner’s business. The business development department provides business coaches and other services to franchise owners and is also available for consulting during any mergers and acquisitions in which franchisees take part.
However, perhaps the most innovative of these resources is Proforma’s North American Major Accounts Program. Spearheaded by the company’s executive team, with Greg and Vera Muzzillo at the lead, the program is designed to identify prospective customers with revenue of more than $100,000 and match the prospect with an owner in the correct geographical location to support the account. Proforma representatives then help franchise owners develop a relationship with the prospect and guide them through the bidding process.
Far from the norm in the franchising industry, Proforma’s business-to-business model has the advantage of a lower initial investment and the opportunity to take advantage of a well-established brand and support system. Because many business functions normally handled by franchisees, such as accounts receivable, marketing and lead generation, are essentially outsourced to Proforma’s owner support center, franchisees can commit more resources to serving their customers.
HOW TO REACH: Proforma, www.proforma.com or (216) 520-8400