Small business entrepreneurs create jobs and power our local economy – and FranNet of The Heartland is one of their biggest champions.

“At our core, we are community connectors, dedicating ourselves to growing local businesses through enduring relationships,” said Blake Martin, owner and president, FranNet of The Heartland.

A franchise consultant in Nebraska and western Iowa, FranNet of The Heartland provides local entrepreneurs with education about the franchise world, assistance determining if franchise ownership is the right fit, and guidance in identifying the best opportunities for franchise business success – all at no cost to the local entrepreneur.

“Our two decades of experience in the franchising field provide us with the passion and perspective to help clients assess their real opportunities, risks, and timing to make sound decisions,” Martin said. “Most importantly, we are here for the entire life-cycle of the new business owners we work with – not just helping them with start-up.”

Blake Martin

Winning Insights from Our Winner:

Providing an Excellent Customer Experience

“Everything about our process is tailored specifically to the individual needs of each of our clients,” Martin said. “We also share business ownership educational tools and resources with our clients on a weekly basis, reinforcing our commitment to helping them beyond the opening of doors and into the future. … As a local small business franchise owner myself, I am able to provide brutally honest advice about the good and bad of business ownership in general, and franchise business ownership in particular.”

Empowering Employees and Creating a Culture in which They Can Grow and Succeed

“Employees watch what you do, not what you say you’re going to do,” Martin said. “We lead by example, knowing that our imperfections will be exposed in the process. We’re comfortable knowing that ownership of those imperfections is an important lesson that all dedicated leaders must illustrate. We hold ourselves accountable and provide everyone in the organization the space and tools they need to hold themselves accountable.”

Best Practice Tip

Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” – Thomas Monson

“This is particularly true in this uniquely challenging COVID-era business environment,” Martin said.

The Value of Chamber Involvement

 “The Chamber has provided us with a leadership platform (through the Entrepreneurs Education Collaborative), resources and tools to identify those in need of our core services, and introductions to key community influencers. David Brown, Winsley Durand, Bob Drake and many others have personally taken the time to speak at our events, which has been priceless in building our company’s credibility.”

Impacting the Community

FranNet of The Heartland has been a part of the Entrepreneurs Education Collaborative’s COVID-19 Small Business Recovery / Re-Opening Series, and the business routinely donates more than 100 volunteer man-hours to SCORE of Omaha. Martin, in addition, serves as a trustee with The Business Ethics Alliance.

“In 2020, FranNet donated to the Omaha Food Bank in the name of more than 30 local banks that worked their tails off to help Nebraska be #1 in PPP. … Perhaps our proudest moment was participating – financially and personally – in the Vitality Bowls Smoothie Donations for First Responders in May of 2020, donating nearly 400 smoothies to local healthcare emergency workers at local healthcare facilities.”

Learn more about FranNet of the Heartland at

Many thanks to our generous sponsor!

Premier Bank is the sponsor of the Small Business of the Month award. View more information or nominate a small business online.

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