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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:

Employees Show Customers They Care »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Caring about customers is one of the best ways to differentiate your business and gain long-term consumer loyalty. But how can employers operationalize such a "soft" skill?
"Your best strategy is to teach your employees what caring about customers looks like in action," says Jon Gordon, best-selling author and speaker. "Suggest specific tactics they can employ. When they see how good it feels to care--and how good caring is for business--you'll receive your team's buy-in and continued participation."
Gordon notes that most of the tips he shares can also apply internally.
"Employees can apply these principles to their interactions with each other, too," he says. "How you treat your coworkers is how you'll treat customers--you can't separate the two!"
Here, Gordon shares 11 strategies employees can use to show customers (and each other) that they care:

Be present...

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is A Disaster, Part 3 »

By Joe Mathews

Feature Story:

6 Takeaways For Stay-at-Home Business Operators »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Being young and inexperienced can be intimidating for stay-at-home entrepreneurs, but it doesn't mean you're making mistakes, says veteran businesswoman Renae Christine.
Fresh out of college at 23, she thought she'd done something wrong when the wholesaler for her stationery company assigned her a personal representative.
"In reality I was doing so much business with them that they wanted to ensure my satisfaction," says Christine, a serial entrepreneur who has created dozens of successful home-based businesses for herself and others. She shares practical how-to advice in her new book, Home Business Startup Bible, (http://richmombusiness.com/).
She was the busy mother of a 2-year-old and she'd just returned home - to the mess left in the wake of last-minute packing -- when the rep showed up, she says...

Feature Story:

Doing Well By Doing Good: Meeting Community Needs Pays Off In Houston  »

By Debbie Selinsky

Chris Moore, a multi-unit Watermill Express franchisee, is in the enviable position of knowing exactly who his customers are, what they want, and why—and where—they want it. This has allowed him not only to become a successful franchisee with 92 water purification vending kiosks across the Houston area, but also to contribute to the community in an unusual way.
“Our freestanding structures, often in the middle of a parking lot at a shopping center, allow people to get purified water gallons at a time and 24 hours a day. This works especially well in Sun Belt states, like Texas, Florida, and California,” he says.
“Our primary customer is a person from another country who didn’t trust the water system where they grew up and so always had to drink purified water...

Feature Story:

5 Tips For Improving Franchise Marketing System-Wide »

By Corey O'Donnel

Franchises are different. They are not like the monolithic enterprise businesses with centralized decision-making and abundant resources, nor are they a series of related small businesses. In a franchise business, the decisions, financing, and implementation of business decisions are shared or distributed between the members of the network. To function effectively, franchisors and franchisees must collaborate, but facilitating this communication between franchisors and franchisees presents a major challenge. It's the space between the franchisor and franchisees - the communication, data, and decision-making gap - that must be overcome for a franchise to succeed.

When it comes to marketing, this is further complicated by the addition of dozens of new channels, technologies, and tactics...

Feature Story:

Recruiting New Franchisees: 3 Key Selling Skills, Part 3 »

By Steve Olson

Key #3: Effective Closing Skills
In the two previous newsletters, I discussed Selling Skill #1 ("Follow a successful sales process") and Selling Skill #2 ("Strong relationship-building skills").

This time I go into the third key selling skill: Effective closing skills. These three skills, essential for making new franchise sales, are part of my book, Grow to Greatness: How to build a world class franchise system faster - and are appropriate for both new and emerging franchisors, as well as experienced sales pros seeking to brush up on their skills and/or improve the performance of their sales staff.

Effective closing skills
In working with a quality candidate, your franchise recruitment builds to a crescendo signaling the final step in the process -- when the buyer must make the life-changing move, cash out bank accounts, and leap into your franchise world placing total faith and trust in your hands...

Feature Story:

End Of The Bond Bull?: How To Manage The Nearing Possibility »

By Carol M. Schleif

For the past 30 years, the U.S. has experienced the longest bull market on record for fixed-income securities. As interest rates declined, investors in bonds benefited. Fixed-income returns have been far above historical norms, even outperforming stocks during crucial periods, and investors have poured billions into them. The seemingly inevitable end of this run has many investors uncertain about the future.
There has been a great deal of debate recently regarding the notion that interest rates, which are hovering near all-time lows, may be set to increase, particularly as a result of the massive amounts of stimulus provided by central banks worldwide in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. What about the Fed's balance sheet? What will the impact be if quantitative easing continues? What are the ripple effects that may be caused if investors create a disorderly exit? Given the complexity of the issues, we can touch only on a few points here...

Feature Story:

5 Things A CMO Should Know (But Often Doesn't) »

By Bob Scaglione

You've put in your time, worked hard and you're now a CMO. Good for you, now get to work. No, seriously, get to work! Your plate is already full.

Back in the day, a CMO was responsible for things like brand identity, brand awareness, and corporate marketing, but today's CMO is responsible for a great deal more. Things like growth, top-line revenue, CRM, and profit are now your responsibilities as well, and experts say your responsibilities will only increase. So get to it, and while you're doing all this new stuff, make sure you stay up to date on all of the ways consumer marketing is changing. Make sure you're an expert on all things digital, have a deep understanding of social media, and know exactly how each of your consumers wants to be spoken to...

Feature Story:

Report: Small Businesses Avoid Digital, Social Marketing »

By Brandmuscle

Social media and digital marketing are receiving considerable attention and visibility as highly effective, must-have marketing tactics, particularly for larger enterprises. However, a report from Brandmuscle reveals that many smaller local affiliates are slow to adopt social and digital media because of concerns about complexity. Instead, they are favoring some (but not all) of the more established marketing tactics (e.g., local events, direct mail, and coupons).

The report surveyed hundreds of local dealers, agents, and franchisees across a wide range of industries and asked them to share insights on their local marketing experiences. Brandmuscle, a local marketing automation platform provider, compared the results to those identified by tracking more than $2 billion in co-op and channel investments made by Brandmuscle clients over the past 3 years...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Master Franchisee Bill Sole »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Bill Sole has been an Anago Cleaning Systems master franchisee for nine years. He opened his first franchise in 2005 in the Bay Area of Northern California, and today his commercial cleaning operation consists of 70 unit franchisees servicing more than 350 facilities in the Bay Area. The Anago Cleaning Systems is a commercial cleaning franchise brand that supports more than 35 master franchises and 2,400 unit franchisees throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Sole has just become the master franchisee for the Inland Empire area where he will service the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario. His blend of strong business acumen and years of running successful Anago Master Franchises in San Jose and Greater Oakland in the Bay Area have created the foundation to drive new business ventures in this market...

Feature Story:

Financial Advisors Should Work In Harmony »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Individuals and families with large estates have enough to worry about - they shouldn't have to wonder whether the advisors they depend upon have their best interests at heart, says financial advisor Matthew T. Shafer.
"Many don't realize that wealthy people are targets for criminals and opportunistic people; that's why an estate should have a good team of professionals who work well with each other," says Shafer, author of The Future of Your Wealth, (http://mattshafer.us/).
"Wealthy families - and many middle-class families - have multiple advisors who specialize in different disciplines, including attorneys, tax specialists, insurance agents and the like. A family could find the best specialist in each field, but if these experts do not work in harmony, the results can be dreadful...

Feature Story:

5 Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Content Marketing »

By Ellen Gomes

Today, marketers create, launch, and leverage content faster than ever. But to stay at the top of their game they juggle many moving pieces, while working to avoid the common pitfalls that plague content creation. We've identified five common issues that sabotage a content marketer's efforts to create content that delivers value and supports the reader in their buying lifecycle. Avoid the following to secure your content's success.

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: October 28, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Marketers: You Think You're Funny? Use It!
Is comedy right for your brand? This piece by Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, makes a case for humor in marketing. While he reminds aspiring comedy creators they need to be careful, as it's easy to cross the line, he comes down on the side of adding some laughs to your marketing. Marketers with not-very-sexy products can benefit from lightening up their pitch a bit... or a lot. The results can be dramatic: nobody ever thought insurance was cute before a certain gecko arrived on the scene.

10 Tips for Optimizing Mobile Websites
We all know the importance of mobile for today's marketing. This blog by Rocco Baldassarre on Search Engine Journal rounds up 10 must-have practices for optimizing your mobile website...

Feature Story:

He Likes To Teach: U.S. Army Vet Prefers A Hands-On Approach »

By Debbie Selinsky

Jim Lager doesn't talk about himself a lot, but will allow that he's "pretty good at taking lousy businesses and turning them into something." Also, he says, "I'm not a 'maintain' kind of guy--I hire people to maintain. But helping people succeed is something I want to be remembered for."
Lager, a U.S. Army veteran and natural entrepreneur, knew he wanted to start his own business and work in a hands-on environment after his military stint in Germany. Back home, he earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota through the GI Bill, then signed on as Snap-On Tools franchisee in Plano, Tex.
As he grew his Snap-On business, Lager noticed the similarities between Snap-On and Pirtek USA, a mobile hydraulic and pneumatic hose repair brand...

Feature Story:

MU Domination Grows: And What It Means For Franchising »

By Darrell Johnson

MU Domination Grows: And What It Means for Franchising

By Darrell Johnson

Ten years ago, when FRANdata began tracking the concentration of units controlled by multi-unit franchisees, it totaled 45 percent. Today, multi-unit operators control 55 percent of all franchise units. The pace of change has been consistent and rather predictable, with a current rate of about 1 percent each year. Whether this growth rate continues, speed ups, or plateaus has important implications to the franchise business model on many levels, including development, training, and support.
This trend has two big drivers. The first is that we raised a generation of franchisees with growth on their minds. They pushed through the older "buy a job" mentality with business plans aimed at multi-unit expansion from the time they started...

Feature Story:

6 Ways To Live Like A Boss »

By Jen Lawrence

So, do you want to live your life like a boss, calling the shots and living on top? Consider living life like a boss. We've taken six top tips from the business world that can improve your personal life too.

Feature Story:

Lead Gen 2015: Sport Clips Moving To Geo-Targeting »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Pete Lindsey, Vice President of Franchising at Sport Clips, what changes he's planning for the brand's lead generation practices in 2015. Here's what he had to say.

Lead generation is an area of constant change, and identifying new opportunities remains the most critical challenge in franchise development. As Sport Clips has been successful in our development efforts, we are migrating from a national lead generation strategy to a geo-targeted approach. In many cases, this can be more expensive and complicated.
As a consequence, we are significantly adjusting how we test going into 2015.

Our objective is very specific: we need to know that we have done everything we can to maximize the opportunity of a lead source before determining whether a test was a success...

Feature Story:

Techniques To Hook Customers Online »

By Eric Groves

Before picking a date for a promotion or event it's important to understand how the various online resources at your disposal can work for your business. Since you want to attract and catch the attention of new customers, it's important to understand how they find information and -- more importantly -- how to ensure information shows up when and where they are looking.
When individuals look for information about events and promotions that might be of interest, they typically look in one of two places: online search engines (ponds of information) and social media (rivers of information).

Search Engines - Fishing in a Pond
Google and other search engines are constantly crawling websites for relevant content for their users...

Feature Story:

5 Tips For Small Business Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Ambit Energy, a national retail energy provider, released a blog post earlier this year in which it provided leadership tips for successfully building a small business. The company followed that up last summer by hosting their annual "Ambition" event in Dallas, where thousands of its consultants gathered to share their personal success stories, attend training sessions, network, and have fun.
In the blog post, the company provided five simple and highly effective tips for leading a small business to success. These tips include:

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is A Disaster, Part 2 »

By Joe Mathews



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