Interview with Ray Margiano - Founder & CEO of Foot Solutions
In the early 80’s Ray started his first venture, Heel Quik. Heel Quik grew to a 700 plus international chain in 34 countries. Ray started Foot Solutions at the end of 2000. From ground zero and 3 employees, Foot Solutions has grown to 200 plus franchise retail sites and a corporate staff of over 50 people and contracts in 16 countries.
Ray has taken his company from ground zero to $100 million in sales. Foot Solutions has helped millions eliminate pain in their feet, knees, hips and back; a health and wellness concept focusing on the 50+ market and helping people to lead a healthier more active life.
Foot Solutions provides many reach-out programs donating time and money related to children’s obesity, diabetics, retirement community programs, international programs such as the Blue Planet Run for pure drinking water. Ray’s philosophy for the company and all its associates is to always give something back and to be part of positive change and energy.
BeTheBoss - What is the Foot Solutions franchise opportunity all about?
Ray Margiano - Foot Solutions is the leading multinational retailer of proper-fitting, comfort and high-performance shoes, customs and over the counter inserts, technology-driven health and wellness products and shoes to consumers across the globe. With more than 200 stores in 13 countries, Foot Solutions is the world’s largest health and wellness franchise dedicated to better health through your feet!
BTB - Who is your ideal candidate for a Foot Solutions franchise?
RM - 90% of our franchisees come to us from the corporate world, educated and successful. Our best franchisees are accomplishers and influencers. Good communication skills are a must. Successful franchisees possess people skills and a desire to present a professional image for themselves and their store.
BTB - What type of training and support do you offer at Foot Solutions?
RM - Foot Solutions provides an intensive 2 and ½ week training program for its franchisees, managers and technicians at Foot Solutions Corporate Certified Training Facility; in addition we spend one week in the field with you on store set up and opening for an additional week of training.
BTB - What are some of the advantages in being a Foot Solutions franchisee?
RM - A unique concept at the beginning of its business life cycle, focusing on the fastest growing market niche, the Baby Boomer. Reasonable hours, high margins, high customer retention, and satisfaction of helping others. Group purchasing and branding/marketing power.
BTB - Are you a member of any Associations?
RM – Yes, we are proud members of:
- CFA (Canadian Franchise Association)
- PAC (Pedorthic Association of Canada)
- The Arthritis Society
- ICAA (International Council on Active Aging)
BTB - Tell us a little about your Market?
RM - Our focus is on the 50 and older person, however, we also work with younger people that have foot issues and body alignment problems.
BTB - How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?
RM - We have successfully been in business now for 10 years. We plan on company wide growth of 50 units per year, 10 of these units should be in Canada.
BTB - What are your franchisees saying about the business?
RM - They love the concept, the hours and the margins but mostly like helping people.
BTB - What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
RM - Meet the key players, understand the concept, is this a business model you can see yourself in? Can you be passionate about this job? If it meets your objectives and you do your homework so you feel comfortable, and then base your decision on facts.
BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that Foot Solutions would be a great opportunity for someone?
RM - It is a business opportunity early in its life cycle and focuses on the fastest growing market niche, health and wellness.
Foot Solutions has no major competitors and dominates the footwear health and wellness niche. In addition, Foot Solutions is the recognized leader in this market niche by Footwear News, the National Shoe Retailing Association (NSRA) and the Pedorthic Footwear Association (PFA).