An axe-cellent addition to the Premier family

Cheeky brand connects with PFS to reach U.S. franchisees

In franchising, the right fit is important. From the right business model to the right connection between franchisor and franchisee, finding the ingredients that combine to create the “secret sauce” is key to success.

And when a brand is brash and cheeky, the right fit is even more crucial.

Axe Monkeys opened in Canada as North America’s first franchised axe-throwing business. They introduce themselves to prospective franchisees as “an axe-citing business opportunity for those individuals that want to grab their financial future by the axe and take back control.”

Interested in breaking into the U.S. market, they needed to connect with franchisees who would embrace the company’s punny, in-your-face branding and marketing. Perhaps more importantly, Axe Monkeys needed help getting their compliance documents in line with American regulations. The owners reached out to PFS CEO Tom Parks for a U.S. connection.

Parks immediately thought of Lynne Shelton, a California-based attorney who specializes in franchise law. She’s also been both a franchisor and a franchisee.

“I’ve always enjoyed emerging markets and high profitability margins,” Shelton explained. “Axe Monkeys definitely fits that.”

Shelton and her team worked with Axe Monkeys for about nine months to get them compliant in the U.S.

“We also were putting together manuals for franchising, and we really hit it off,” Shelton continued.

The owners of Axe Monkeys asked Shelton if she’d like to be a part owner.

“I was thrilled to do so,” she said.

Shelton now serves as a director in the company as well as chief compliance officer. She also oversees the marketing and onboarding departments, working with entrepreneurs from when they’re a franchisee prospect all the way through their opening.

“Franchising is unlike any other sales anyone has done,” Shelton emphasized. It takes time to build relationships with people, making sure who you’re presenting to the franchisor will fit with our personality profile, fit with the culture. Axe Monkeys is in-your-face and fun, not a brand for a suit-and-tie executive.

“The work Tom does is like – he’s key in building that rapport.”

Shelton said the built-in support and institutional knowledge franchisees receive working with PFS is invaluable.

“What you’re paying for when you buy a franchise is skipping past all the mistakes business owners make,” she explained. “That’s your entry ticket. You’re getting a system that’s pre-approved, beta tested. The losses are taken at the corporate level.

“The old saying about franchising really is true – you’re going into business FOR yourself, not BY yourself.”

Key support from PFS:

  • Connected Axe Monkeys with legal expertise to bring the company’s compliance documents in line with U.S. regulations.
  • Paired the company with an experienced franchisor partner with a passion for emerging markets.

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