96 97 same values that we have as the founders, and as the franchise owners; to serve people and think of others behind the sale and appreciate the event directors, and athletes and their families.” Average growth for Fine Designs is about 17per- cent, annually. Going forward, Kostroub describes how that will continue to increase.“My vision was to have each new franchise owner start with five states that they personally oversee,”he explains.“When Mike and Mark took over our Great Plains region, gross sales for that area were $1 million for all five states.Their job was to take that to the next level -$5 million–with each state generating up to $1 million.The growth they achieved was very organic, it was through hard work, delegating responsibilities and hiring people they could trust.This is howwe grew from 23 fran- chise owners to 50.” As for new innovations that are impacting opera- tions,Director of Communications Abby Rinzel re- lates,“Two years ago,we made a big investment and implemented Salesforce as our main CRM.We plan our events and communicate with each of our offic- es around the world on this one system. It ensures that our level of service is sustained everywhere, and brings together managers, account executives, and people who sell apparel on-site. Switching to a new LOVE YOUR BRAND? Use QCA Accredited companies for your branded merchandise to ensure your brand is safe. Check out www.qcalliance.org for more information. FINE DESIGNS PREFERRED VENDOR n Quality Certification Alliance www.qcalliance.org operating system was difficult in the beginning but worth it because of the difference it’s made in each of our offices, from Texas to Germany, everyone of our staff has benefitted.” Looking ahead, Kostroub forecasts, “Our company will be almost twice the size, but the vision will be the same.We want to empower our clients and customers to achieve the extraordinary.We do this by adding a personal touch in everything we do.You can see it in the artwork we produce, in the relationships built by our account executives, and the servant lead- ership you see from each of our franchise owners.We think of the clubs we work with as partners. I heard a saying once that said,‘It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you and what they say when you’re not around. That’s your brand.’This is truly what I believe and what I want our company to embody, acting with uncom- promising honesty and integrity in everything we do.” Long-term partnerships create valuable continuity for the company. Janssen reports,“We’ve been partners with the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) for almost a decade.We do all their National Championship events throughout the U.S., every year. We also do a lot of day-to-day work with large whole- salers where we buy our merchandise, one being Alphabroder, the other is SanMar.We purchase a huge number of T-shirts annually and it’s super important to our business model to keep our margins.Any kind of fluctuation in prices makes a big difference.” Rinzel adds: “We enjoy being involved with the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and other large organiza- tions, but we also exist to work with smaller local clubs. A significant percentage of what we make on- site at events goes back to the club that hosts the event. It boosts their fundraising efforts by helping the club to stay afloat financially and this conse- quently helps keep local children and teenagers in sports and extracurricular activities.We believe that keeping children involved in sports can change their lives by building character through discipline and teaching them how to overcome adversity.” According to Janssen, “There’s not another company in America that can serve the grassroots, small-level competitions nationwide, simultaneously, on the same weekend, and then three weeks later go and do a national championship event that does over $100,000 in sales.We support the events in the local communities, but we’re also the best at maximizing revenue generation at the big events, too.” Says Kostroub, “This is what truly makes our com- pany so attractive.”