Corporate Journeyman Finds New Life with Interface Financial Group (IFG) Franchise

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Helps Philadelphia-area Small Businesses Solve Cash Flow Problems

Bob Clark - Interface Financial Group

I liked the concept of the franchise where you have a road map that you can follow and a track record. IFG has been in business for over 40 years and that appealed to me. It was a slow process, but intentionally slow, to make sure we made the right choice.

Bob Clark’s travels have guided his working life, and continue to do so with his latest venture – the Interface Financial Group (IFG). Clark has spent time working in the United Kingdom, the American south and even a jail in New Jersey, working in the chemical business, the medical device industry and the food service business, among others. Now with IFG, Clark finds himself hitting the road in support of his new franchise, covering ground in New Jersey and his home state of Pennsylvania.

With such a diverse resume, Clark’s involvement in IFG came as no surprise – he’s always looking to try new things. Instead of heading up corporate sales and marketing departments, he is now providing small businesses on-demand financial assistance with IFG’s invoice discounting services.

“I’ve done a bunch of different things, it’s been fun. The changes weren’t always planned. A lot of them were a result of a corporate reorganization, but I always ended up with something new and exciting,” Clark explains.

After leaving his last corporate position, Clark consulted a former colleague who was also a franchise broker. They researched companies together, looking for the perfect fit and narrowing down the options.

“We realized that we were looking for a flexible franchise that did not involve a large investment but had a lot of opportunity. So we ruled out the big brick and mortar franchises, and the ones with giant staff, and were looking for something that I could do on my own,” Clark said.

With a strong business background, Clark found himself looking to capitalize on those skills. After talking with some franchise owners and corporate personnel, he found that IFG fit the bill, offering the support he needed and a business model he could work with.

“I liked the concept of the franchise where you have a road map that you can follow and a track record. IFG has been in business for over 40 years and that appealed to me. It was a slow process, but intentionally slow, to make sure we made the right choice,” he said.

Financing his investment didn’t slow Clark down. With his wife’s support, he drew from savings to make the purchase, knowing the initial cash didn’t guarantee an easy road to profit.

“IFG told us that it could be as much as six to nine months before you even do a single transaction. I was able to complete three or four by the six month point. From that perspective, it’s been good,” Clark said.

Clark’s goal with his IFG franchise is to find business owners who need his help. Working with referrals from bankers, lenders and financial brokers, Clark is able to provide financing for new business owners and owners who need a faster source of cash flow. Clark even knows what it’s like to be on the other end of his business, giving him a unique perspective into what small businesses need.

“… when I was with a startup company, I wish we had known about IFG. We could have used that service. We had a lot of cash flow problems back then, and we actually went bankrupt because of it. IFG really fits a niche that is needed,” he said.

The transition from corporate to a franchise business has been a relatively smooth ride for Clark, but not without its challenges.

“Working in a corporate office most of my career to transitioning to working for myself, and at home, was a culture shock at first. I got away from the corporate bureaucracy, the useless meetings and lengthy decision time periods. My time is used a lot more efficiently, and I’m obviously having a lot more fun with it too. The transition has been good,” Clark said.

Clark is enthusiastic about others who are looking to take the plunge and dive into franchising with IFG.

“It’s a scary transition at first, but I think you’ll find that you will like it. My goal is not just to make some money myself, but to help small business owners grow their businesses,” he said. “You make your own hours; you’re out visiting people all the time -- small business owners, bankers and others. I really like that aspect of it, getting out, visiting people and helping.”

About The Interface Financial Group
The Interface Financial Group (IFG) is North America’s largest alternative funding source for small business. IFG provides short-term working capital funding in the form of a unique Invoice Discounting service. The company serves clients in the manufacturing, service, and construction sectors. Interface operates from a base of 140+ franchise offices in the United States, Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. IFG’s innovative Invoice Discounting service is a fast and easy way to turn receivables into cash. For more information, visit http://www.interfacefinancial.com.

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Brian Hugins
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