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Rob Hoedemakers: Rely on Your Network to Succeed

 Rob Hoedemakers started as a Brand Ambassador with Geninc in 2019 while looking for a job that would really drive him. He quickly found the motivation he needed with Geninc and started to put in the efforts to become the best at sales and help other Brand Ambassadors achieve the same thing. Since 2021, he runs his own Geninc franchise in Ghent, Belgium.


Tell us about your experience before becoming a Brand Ambassador. How did you come to become a Brand Ambassador?

Before starting with Geninc in 2019, I was a factory worker. I first worked in a silicon factory and then in a candy factory, but I got laid off from both because I wasn’t committed and really didnt give it my all. I was paid the same whether I worked hard or not so I didn’t have the motivation.


I stumbled upon a Geninc advert on Indeed and it looked different from other jobs I could do at the time. I thought “why not try it out?” and joined the Antwerp co-working hub as an independent Brand Ambassador.


The main reason I stayed is the connection I had with Jorik (Jorik Van Rossum, Geninc Franchisee in Antwerp, ed.) from the start. I felt we were basically the same person and since he was so successful, I thought “if he can do it, I can do it too”.


Lots of people see the Brand Ambassador experience as a way to become a Geninc Franchisee but it’s also such an enjoyable time.


How was your experience as a Brand Ambassador? What did you like the most about being a Brand Ambassador at the time?

I loved my experience as a Brand Ambassador and I think that is because I did it exactly like you are supposed to: going door-to-door in the field, getting great results, coaching people and having fun. Lots of people see the Brand Ambassador experience as a way to become a Geninc Franchisee but it’s also such an enjoyable time. I know I truly enjoyed it. 


The mentality I had when I was working in factories totally changed when I became a Brand Ambassador. I always thought I was just lazy, but now knowing that the harder I would work, the more money I would earn, it really motivates me. 

For the first few months, I focused on becoming the best as possible in direct sales. My goal was to make more than €2,000 a month because at the time, my mom was making around €2,100 a month, and I wanted to show her that school wasn’t everything and that hard work could pay off. After three months, I had become quite good at selling door-to-door and reached my financial goal — that was a really good milestone. 


When I started gaining more experience and earning more money as a Brand Ambassador, I soon decided I wanted to pass on the sales skills and knowledge I had acquired, so I started coaching other Brand Ambassadors. To be honest, coaching was quite easy because I understood the business quickly and I knew that the seasoned franchisees like Jorik or Hamse (Hamse Abdullahi, Geninc Franchisee in Brussels, ed.) genuinely wanted me to improve. I believe that the free coaching that is available to you is one of the best sides of Geninc, you get free advice from people who have already become successful Franchisees. 

What was your biggest challenge while you were a Brand Ambassador? 


The lockdown happened while I was preparing my Business Case to become a Franchisee. Since we couldn’t go selling door-to-door, we had the option to attend conference calls with senior Franchisees to continue our development. So, I was getting all this education and working on my Business Case at the same time. At the time, I found it very difficult, but looking back it was a great opportunity to educate myself and figure out what I really wanted to do. 


Tell us about your journey as a franchisee — is it fulfilling? Are there any achievements or challenges you think defined your experience? 


As a new business owner and Franchisee, I decided to open my office in a brand-new city and as all new entrepreneurs will know, this brought with it lots of challenges and I had to put in the work, but we have been open for over two years now and are thriving. Every day brings something different as I meet new Brand Ambassadors and see the ones who have worked with me since the beginning grow and develop into the budding Geninc Franchisees of the future. 


Every day you face new challenges and hurdles and it’s about learning how to face them head on, overcome them and keep going. 


There isn't one stand out challenge that defined me or my experience. Every day you face new challenges and hurdles and it’s about learning how to face them head on, overcome them and keep going — ensuring that I’m providing a good atmosphere and opportunity for the Brand Ambassadors who come to work alongside me. 


Do you have another business or side hustle besides being a Geninc Franchisee? How do you manage to do both? 


In 2023, I opened an agency hosting car and motorbike events. All the events are on the weekends, so it is quite easy for me to manage in addition to my Geninc franchise. During the week, I find some time to answer calls and emails and manage social media. I’ve been active in the car and motorbike scene since I was 18 so I know the community quite well. I can rely on others and get some help when needed. 


This summer I plan on opening a tattoo parlor as well. I will be working with a friend who will help me manage it. I am well supported so it helps a lot. 


When you are a Brand Ambassador, you need to manage to do many things. You learn sales, coaching, recruitment, finance and administration all at the same time. I believe this makes it easier to manage several businesses, as long as you keep it within reason.

I'm not chasing anything, but I will keep working hard and doing the basics right, which will no doubt lead to even further improvement and growth.  


What’s next for you? What are your plans with your Geninc franchise? 


I’m hoping to open a new Geninc co-working hub in Belgium in 2024. I also plan on coaching and helping develop the Brand Ambassadors working with me in Ghent as some of them want to become Franchisees. 


About my own development, I'm not chasing anything, but I will keep working hard and doing the basics right, which will no doubt lead to even further improvement and growth. 


Finally, regarding my personal goals, I plan on buying my first house, probably by the end of this year. I need space to store my cars and motorbikes... Speaking of, I would love to have a Lamborghini! I'm not there yet, but one can dream, right?! 


What do you think are the best qualities for being a Brand Ambassador? 


I would say honesty, maturity, proactiveness and the will to learn. 


You need honesty to own up to your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s okay. All the Senior Franchisees made the same mistakes as you. If you’re open and honest, they will know how to help. 


I think you also need maturity to make the right choices. I missed some family holidays and parties during the first three years of being a Franchisee. Some people will call it a sacrifice, I think it’s just trading extra family time with time to build your business, and it’s a choice you need to make sometimes to reach your goal. 


You need proactiveness as well to improve constantly, try things out and find solutions even before issues arise. 


I think everybody can learn how to sell, but you must want to. 

And, finally, you need to have the will to learn. I think everybody can learn how to sell, but you must want to. During my first week in the field, I was terrible at sales. I’m not that social, I like spending time alone, but I had a willingness to learn. If I managed to do it, everybody can. 


These are four qualities that I really look for in Brand Ambassadors. If they have these, then I believe they have a good work ethic. 


What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Franchisee? 


Firstly, understand the demands and expectations of the direct sales industry. Networking with current Geninc Franchisees can provide valuable insights into their experiences and the potential challenges you may face. Given the nature of direct sales, honing your communication and sales skills will be crucial for success. Finally, be prepared for hard work and dedication, as building a successful direct sales business takes time and effort. 


What are the benefits of being independent? 


The best benefit would be freedom, I think. I can manage my time however I want, if I need to skip a day or leave the co-working hub for a couple of hours, I can. And what’s funny is that even though I can do that, I actually never miss a day.  


I’m building my own future. It’s a big motivation.   


I think that’s also because now all my work directly benefits me. I’m building my own future. It’s a big motivation. 


What can people expect from working with your franchise? 


When you choose to work with my franchise, expect a dynamic blend of productivity and enjoyment that sets the stage for success. Our coworking space is designed to inspire creativity and foster collaboration, but it's not all about the work; I believe in infusing fun into the daily grind. Above all, expect a supportive environment where hard work is celebrated, ideas are encouraged, and connections are made.  

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