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Franchise Articles

Browse our selection of franchise articles and features to help further your knowledge in opening and operating a franchise business. Our exclusive features cover the , , , , , , and site of the franchise business. Written by the editorial team that produces Franchise Update Magazine and Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine, the franchise industries premier magazines.

Feature Story:

The Power Of Where: Location Analytics Boosts Customer Visits »

By Jack Mackey

Do you know how often consumers pass by your competitors' locations to visit you? Wouldn't it be great to know where and when consumers bypass your stores or restaurants to visit a competitor? Think about how much it would help to also know the why behind this consumer behavior. In 2014, you can gain this new knowledge about your customers to get a competitive edge.
Three converging trends enable you to better understand your current customers, and even to connect with non-customers you want to attract. First, a huge and ever-growing number of consumers carry smartphones with built-in global positioning systems (GPS). Second, many of them are willing to share their GPS data in exchange for a reward from retail or restaurant operators...

Feature Story:

Service Recovery: '5 Golden Rules Of Customer Retention' »

By John Tschohl

Every company makes mistakes that could make them lose customers. I don't care what business you are in, something will go wrong. But the smart companies know how to recover a customer and turn them into loyal customers for life.
However, less than 2 percent of companies use service recovery techniques. That's really bad. All companies make mistakes. All companies have things go wrong. Many companies and most employees run for cover instead of solving the problem.
The problems are only getting worse thanks to social media. If customers aren't happy, they'll post the problem on Twitter and Facebook. They'll do it fast. Then you'll have a massive public relations problem that will take time, effort, and money to fix.
Instead of handling problems quickly and efficiently, most employees pass the buck or even lie! That's because people don't like confrontation...

Feature Story:

Retirement Advice: Expert And Software Creator Shares Tips For Calculating Retirement Withdrawal »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

"Who has my back in retirement?" That's the question pre-retirees and retirees want answered when it's all said and done, says veteran financial planner David Zolt.
Baby boomers have been retiring in droves in recent years, and will continue to do so throughout the next decade - 10,000 of them a day, the Pew Research Center estimates. Unfortunately, the average boomer is about $500,000 short on their savings, according to a recent survey by TD Ameritrade.
We have already entered an unprecedented moment in retirement history; never have so many people, with such variability in financial wealth, retired at once, says Zolt.
"Clients want to know when they can retire, how much they can withdraw from their savings, and how confident they can be that they won't outlive their money," says Zolt, who created retirement income planning software for financial advisors...

Feature Story:

M&A Valuations To Fall?: New Rules Likely To Curtail Bank Lending »

By Dean Zuccarello

In March 2013, U.S. banking regulators issued new guidance designed to curb increasingly aggressive lending by both banks and finance companies. The new guidance is intended to provide a "safer" financial landscape and reduce the risk of a financial crisis like the one that occurred in 2008.
Background. Regulators have been under fire from Congress and the current administration for failing to address what is believed to be overly aggressive lending preceding the financial crisis. Historically, the Fed could use its open market policy to raise interest rates as a mechanism to manage lending risk. Theoretically, weaker credits and riskier transactions would be unable to support the higher interest costs, and thereby reduced lending risk...

Feature Story:

Executive Profile: Goddard Systems CEO Joseph Schumacher »

By Kerry Pipes

Joseph Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems and its 410 locations, traces his franchising career back to 1977 at Maaco. Founded by his brother-in-law Tony Martino (recently inducted into the IFA’s Hall of Fame), Maaco was a good fit for Schumacher, who was making a good living and enjoying the work. A few years into it, Schumacher noticed that certain legal ramifications could determine system and franchisee success or failure, and he made a career-changing decision: while still working at Maaco corporate, he began attending law school at night.

“My last few years at Maaco I was director of legal administration,” says the 59-year-old. “It was a great role and I enjoyed it so much that I left the brand to go into private law practice, where I provided outside counsel to Maaco and other franchise brands...

Feature Story:

Thinking Of Going Global? Read This First! »

By William Edwards

If you have decided to "Go Global" with your franchise, the next question is, "Now what?"

Recent reports by both McKinsey and the Economist indicate that global executives in many regions of the world are more bullish about new investments than in recent years. More countries are expected to see more investment in new projects in 2014. This is good news for U.S. franchisors seeking international licensees.

What qualities does your franchise need to succeed globally? Experience across more than 50 franchisors shows the following to be critical to success:

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 5 - Discovery Day, Part 1 »

By Steve Olsen

Objective: Attend Discovery Day at your headquarters for executive approval of the franchise

Discovery Day is show time! Whether you have one franchise or a thousand, this special event propels your sales process to a crescendo. It's "Confirmation Day," where serious buyers come to you ready to join your franchise with the blessing of your approval committee. It's always my favorite stage of the process, when everything becomes real for your candidate and you. The journey of rigorous courtship has led both candidate and franchisor to your altar of consummation.

To ensure success, your Discovery Day must always meet or exceed the buyer's expectations. Anything less, and you must clean up your act quickly. Invest whatever it takes to make this event work...

Feature Story:

Maximizing Technology To Find And Track Franchise Prospects »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked James R. Walker, Chief Development Officer at The Johnny Rockets Group, how his company is using technology to identify, reach, and track prospects. Here's what he had to say.

At Johnny Rockets we use technology not only to drive leads for prospective franchise candidates, but also to ensure that we are spending our franchise recruitment dollars in the most efficacious way possible.

We have found that online franchise lead portals are one of our most effective methods for securing new candidates. We also like the traceability these sites provide us. We use as many as six different online lead portals to drive leads to our sales management system, which immediately segments the lead by a number of qualifiers including liquid capital available, as well as the candidate's targeted geography...

Feature Story:

Not One For The Money »

By Debbie Selinsky

"I do it for the fun," says Mike Treadwell

When he was a young man fresh off the farm in Dalhart, Texas, Mike Treadwell wanted to stretch his entrepreneurial wings by opening a restaurant. First, he opened an Alfie's Fish 'n Chips in Amarillo, then a Mike's Fried Chicken & Fish.
One day, a friend who operated a nearby taco stand came over and asked Treadwell about his food and labor costs. "I said, 'Heck, I don't know. I've got money in the bank so I guess I'm doing okay.' He said, 'Oh Mike, you've got to know your food and labor costs if you're going to be in this long term,'" Treadwell recalls. "I thought at the time that I wasn't smart enough to do this."
Deciding he need to educate himself about the food and franchising business, he sold both of his restaurants and moved to Little Rock to manage a KFC restaurant for a franchisee...

Feature Story:

Women At The Top: Barbara Moran-Goodrich »

Franchise Update

Barbara Moran-Goodrich
CEO and President, Moran Family of Brands

System revenue: $60 million
No. of units: 138
Public or private: Private
Founded: 1990
Began franchising: 1990
Years with company: 23
Years in franchising: 23
International locations: 0

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? I believe the saying, "You are the sum of all your experiences" is pretty accurate. I've experienced a lot of challenges throughout my life, both personal and professional, and those challenges have definitely helped guide me in leadership roles. As a young adult, I had a severe head injury that changed the direction of my life: I realized that you have to move on and not dwell on your situation...

Feature Story:

Franchising Without Walls: Oxi Fresh Franchisee Enjoys Freedom And Additional Income »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising is a diverse world comprised of all kinds of brands, products, services, and opportunities. Many require brick and mortar offices and locations, but a number of brands have emerged in recent years that allow individuals to be a part of franchising without needing to build, purchase, or operate from a "brick and mortar" location. Some brands even allow people to continue working in other careers at the same time. One great example of the diversity in franchising these days is Alex Lee. The 45-year-old firefighter lives in the Bay Area of Northern California where he purchased and began operating an Oxi Fresh carpet cleaning franchise about a year ago.
The brand's "green," oxygen-powered carpet cleaning system has grown to include more than 250 territories in 45 states...

Feature Story:

Corporate Culture: 4 Cultural Values And Behaviors Of Successful Companies »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Whether you're launching a new business or wondering why your existing company isn't performing as well as predicted, longtime corporate executive Larry Katzen suggests taking a careful look at your business plan.
Did you include a section describing the workplace culture and the steps you'll take to foster that culture?
"When you look at why businesses fail, it almost always has something to do with the culture," says Katzen, author of, And You Thought Accountants Were Boring - My Life Inside Arthur Andersen, "For nearly half of the startups that fail, incompetence is cited as the major cause, according to Statistic Brain. Tolerating - or not tolerating - incompetence is part of corporate culture."
Katzen, a former managing partner at one of the world's top five accounting firms, says his experience taught him a great deal about what kind of culture results in successful businesses...

Feature Story:

Utterly Charmed And Captivated: What's The Secret To Profitable Same-Store Sales Growth? »

By Jack Mackey

At the 2013 Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators conference, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy explained how the company plans to grow in the future. For context, let me remind you that their average unit volume (AUV) has grown from $2.7 million in 2010 to $3.1 million in 2013, the highest of any QSR concept. Considering Chick-fil-A operates only six days a week, the profit and cash flow generated by these sales are stunning.
Cathy posed the question, "How does a high-end restaurant get a $35 check average for food when we have a $7 check average? They are not giving five times the food we are, so what is it? Is it fresh flowers in the dining room, tableside ground pepper offered on salads?" If you haven't dined there lately, these elements have become part of the Chick-fil-A experience...

Feature Story:

Dunkin' Donuts Notches 120% Conversion Using "Intent-Based Marketing" »

By Eddy Goldberg

Does a 120 percent conversion rate on a social media marketing campaign sound appealing? Yes, that's right: a conversion rate of more than 100 percent is exactly what First Cup LLC, a large Dunkin' Donuts franchisee in Arizona, realized from its "Free Medium Hot or Iced Coffee Campaign," which from March 26 to Nov. 10, 2013.

So how do you get a conversion rate of more than 100 percent? Chalk it up to the power of Twitter, mobile phones, and marketing automation software. During the 7-month promotion, First Cup responded to 1,827 relevant Twitter conversations, and 2,201 people took advantage of the free coffee offer.

When someone redeemed the free coffee offer, First Cup offered an additional incentive for sharing it (Dunkin' Donuts Cash)...

Feature Story:

Omni-Channel Marketing: What It Is, And 7 Tips For Using It Well »

By Mike Stocker

Note: This article originally appeared on the Marketo Marketing Blog.

Marketing is undergoing rapid and major changes. We're moving away from mass, "push"-based marketing, and toward more personalized, 1:1 communication with consumers, through the many channels and on the many devices they use. The effectiveness and ROAS (return on ad spend) of print media, television ads, and batch and blast email campaigns are on the decline.

Unfortunately, when it comes to omni-channel, multi-device marketing, consumers today are way ahead of most marketers.

First of all, what is omni-channel marketing? The term "omni-channel" may be a marketing buzzword, but it refers to a significant shift: marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device...

Feature Story:

7 Quick Tips For Writing Better PPC Ads »

By James Crater

As the resident copywriter at Local Search Masters, I review more online ads every day than is probably healthy. Luckily, spending all this time working with and thinking about these ads has helped me learn a few good habits I'd like to share here.

Now that Yahoo, Bing, and, of course, Google all have their own pay-per-click (PPC) ad platforms, the medium is more important than ever for digital advertisers. The next time you sit down to compose ad copy, check to see if you're doing the following to the best of your ability.

1) Make sure each ad alternative you write has a specific purpose.Most marketers will write a few experimental ads and let Google's programs figure out which one is the most relevant (and therefore should start to run more often)...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 8, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

iBeacon: The Next Big Thing? Zatarain's Gives It a Try
Apple's new iBeacon technology, an "indoor positioning system" that allows devices to notify iPhones and iPads when they're nearby, is being evaluated by a lot of mobile marketers. The much-anticipated technology allows merchants and brand managers to use low-power, embedded chips to communicate directly with customers and make special offers and provide customized content. Mark Walsh, writing on MediaPost, describes how Zatarain's, the New Orleans food and spice company, lets smartphone-equipped shoppers click to get recipes or receive reward points right in the store.

Remarketing Online: Turn Your Banner Ads into Bloodhounds
Remarketing is the personalized targeting of banner ads that follow you after you have visited a company's website...

Feature Story:

Loyalty Through Service: Front-Line Training Keeps Customers Coming Back »

By Eddy Goldberg

When a customer ordered a sandwich at one of Mike Knobelock's restaurants in North Carolina, it came with pickles on it. "They didn't like pickles," says JJ Villafranca, COO at Knobelock's company. "They were a little irritated about it, but commented on how friendly the employees were."
So how did the company respond? The manager contacted the customer and asked them to come back and be treated to a lunch or dinner with him. Sometimes the area supervisor will make the offer. Villafranca says they are working on implementing this policy in all their restaurants. Regardless, he says, "We answer all our complaints."
"We preach that there's always something we can do inside of our four walls to make the experience for the customer better," says CEO Knobelock, whose company, MSK Enterprises, operates 47 Church's, 20 Little Caesars, 3 Sears Appliance & Hardware stores, and 1 Dekker's Mesquite Grill (his own concept)...

Feature Story:

Going Global?: Better Read This First! »

By William Edwards

In previous articles we looked at the basics of taking your franchise global, how technology helps you succeed globally, and how U.S. franchises are growing around the world. So if you have decided to "Go Global" with your franchise, the next question is, "Now what?"
Recent reports by both McKinsey and the Economist indicate that global executives in many regions of the world are more bullish about new investments than in recent years. More countries are expected to see more investment in new projects in 2014. This is good news for U.S. franchisors seeking international licensees.
What qualities does your franchise need to succeed globally? Experience across more than 50 franchisors shows the following to be critical to success:

Feature Story:

Come Together: CEO Shares Tips For Encouraging Productive Collaboration In Meetings »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In survey after survey, company meetings get knocked by everyone from employees to senior executives as being among the biggest waste of work hours.
In one poll, by Office Team, 45 percent of senior executives said their firms would be more productive if they banned all meetings at least one day a week!
"The problem that often occurs - beyond the obvious, like lacking a clear agenda - is the underlying current of competition that each person brings to the table," says Berny Dohrmann, chairman and founder of CEO Space International, and author of Redemption: The Cooperation Revolution, ( 
"Competition pulls people apart; cooperation brings them together. Signs that competition is causing unproductive meetings include one or two people dominating the floor; individuals touting their achievements; people consistently failing to contribute their ideas because they fear being criticized or ridiculed," he says...

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