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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:

Franchisees Get New Source Of Funding »

By Eddy Goldberg

There's a new franchise funding alternative in town: ApplePie Capital, which announced its presence as a franchise lender and unveiled its website in mid-November. The idea behind the company is to provide a franchise loan marketplace that connects franchisees in need of capital with investors seeking fixed-income returns, in this case by investing in operators of proven franchise brands. The marketplace will launch in Q1 2015 and offer loans ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
ApplePie will work exclusively with franchises, says co-founder and CEO Denise Thomas. The company's founding brands are Marco's Pizza, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs, Nothing Bundt Cakes, AdvantaClean, Sola Salon Studios, and RNR Custom Wheels and Tire Express...

Feature Story:

The Future Of Digital Marketing: 15 Predictions For 2015 »

By Eddy Goldberg

A new e-book from automated digital marketing firm Acquisio gathers the thoughts and predictions from 15 digital marketing and PPC experts for what's ahead in the coming year. What follows are brief excerpts of those predictions, which focus mainly on PPC and the changes ahead for digital marketing in general. Click here for a free download of the e-book, "The Future of Digital Marketing: 15 Expert Predictions for 2015."

1. More mobile clicks
David Szetela, Owner and CEO, FMB Media
In 2014, many advertisers saw huge increases in impressions and clicks from smartphones. This trend will continue through 2015. Mobile clicks will often represent the majority of clicks available to advertisers.

2. Mobile PPC goes mainstream
Founder and SEM/PPC Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co...

Feature Story:

First... And Still The Best: Don Smith Dominates The Oil Change Business »

By Helen Bond

Don Smith is an eternal optimist. And for Smith, the first and largest Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee, this positive outlook has paid off. Smith is CEO and co-founder of Boston area-based Henley Enterprises, which operates 197 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations coast-to-coast, with 20 more of the quick lube stores in the pipeline.
In 2012, he orchestrated the purchase and successful rebranding of 72 EZ Lube oil change service centers in Southern California, the largest single acquisition in industry history. The deal, which included many distressed properties and just as many naysayers (including within Valvoline) was a "big piece to bite off," says Smith.
"We went in a little bit blind, but we knew we could do it," he says...

Feature Story:

Chief Executive Engager: 5 Ways To Spark Greater Employee Engagement »

By Nate DaPore

Engagement means a lot of different things to different people. To some it means happy, satisfied team members. To others, it means working with people who are dedicated and care about the future of the company. And to others, engagement means having people who go the extra mile every time and are enthusiastic and passionate about everything they do. Truth be told, it's all of those things. This kind of full-on engagement is far greater than the sum of its parts.
There's a reason there are nearly 300 million more Google search results for "engagement at work" than "engagement rings." If employee engagement were so easy, we wouldn't all be writing and reading about it. Think about all your team members. How many would you say are actively engaged? If you're like most folks I hear from, that number is nowhere near where you'd like it to be...

Feature Story:

Improve Your Franchise Marketing System-Wide: 5 Tips »

By Corey O'Donnell

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:

Social Media Roundup: December 9, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

social media, franchising, social media marketing, online marketing, consumer marketing, digital marketing, social media tools, holiday marketing, Experian, video marketing, social video, online pricing, Twitter for Business, Pinterest, marketing to men,
Daniel Lieberman, Daniel Lieberman Digital

TEASE: Social media marketing news you can use. This week: holiday marketing trends and predictions, leveraging social video, online price variations, Twitter for Business, and guys on Pinterest.


Social Media Roundup: December 9, 2014

By Daniel Lieberman

2014 Holiday Marketing Trends and Predictions
A study by Experian Marketing Services examines some of the marketing trends for the 2014 holiday shopping season...

Feature Story:

Building A Billion-Dollar Brand: Wingstop's Global Growth Appears To Be Unstoppable »

By Kerry Pipes

Charlie Morrison wasn't looking for a new opportunity. He was already at the helm of Pizza Inn and was the driving force behind the brand's innovative Pie Five concept. But in June 2012, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the reins at Dallas-based Wingstop, which he says offered him the chance to run a larger, growing company in an expanding market space.
Wingstop now has more than 650 restaurants worldwide and signed commitments for more than 500 more, the most in the brand's history. In 2013, the company notched its 10th consecutive year of same-store sales increases (9.9 percent), and domestic AUV rose to $974,000.
"In fact, over the past 2 years, our same-store sales have grown 23.6 percent," says Morrison. "That is almost unheard of in the fast-casual segment and certainly for chains our size, and we expect the strong momentum to carry forward this year...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Using Technology In Its Marketing Effort »

Franchise Update

"How is your brand using technology in its marketing efforts to target and reach customers more effectively?"


Whitney Samuelson,Maid Brigade
Director of Marketing

Over the past several years, we have seen traditional marketing methods decline in effectiveness and increase the cost of acquiring new customers. In the past we were able to send out a direct mail piece or run an ad in the Yellow Pages and customers would come calling. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.

Feature Story:

Lead Gen 2015: Colors On Parade Builds Connections »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Jeff Cox, president and CEO of Colors on Parade, what changes he’s planning for the brand’s lead generation practices in 2015. Here’s what he had to say.

In 2015, we plan to continue to shift more resources toward PR and social media. The quality of the leads we have seen from these sources over the past year have reinforced our commitment to move toward lead generation techniques that allow us to share our story and to attract candidates that are a great fit for us. Our franchise is unique in several ways, so finding the right franchisee is critical to our success. Leads coming from sources that educate the candidate on our brand and business before first contact tend to be better qualified, which allows us to spend time with the best candidates...

Feature Story:

PuroClean Franchisee Thomas Maguire »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Thomas Maguire is a PuroClean franchisee in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His business has experienced success every year since he opened up 5 years ago. His business approach is to go above and beyond the call of duty by doing more - such as teaching his own continuing education classes, offering incentives to his employees, and helping other franchise owners. He's been recognized by the brand for his performance and growth.
He says, "I enjoy the satisfaction of putting someone's home or business back together for them and getting them back to the way that it was before the disaster."
Here's more about Thomas Maguire.

No. of units you own: 1
Age: 38
Family: Wife, Rosa, two daughters
Years in franchising: 5
Years in current position: 5

Personal:

Formative influences/events: My main influences consist of my education at the Citadel in South Carolina, serving our country through the U...

Feature Story:

Analysis Paralysis? 80% Is Often Good Enough! »

By Mark Abbott

More often than not, we have to make decisions with less-than-perfect information or insight. That's just life, especially as a leader. The biggest common denominator of great leaders and great leadership teams is the ability to make good decisions with less-than-perfect information. But how do we make a decision when there are "gaps" in our information?

One of my favorite decision-making guidelines is the 80% Rule. The essence of the rule is that 80% solutions are usually good enough - especially in business, since we typically make dozens of material decisions every week as we deal with the myriad of issues afflicting every company.

Shooting for "good enough" might seem counter-intuitive or even lazy since, for many of us, the idea that it is unacceptable to aim for anything less than perfection has been deeply embedded in the psyche...

Feature Story:

Making Headlines: How To Use The Media To Get The Word Out About Your Business »

By Ginny Grimsley

Reporters love sources who understand their needs. Getting a call from a reporter who wants to quote you as an expert for his story, review your products or services, or invite you to write an exclusive article for a publication, is a major coup. It means that your marketing efforts are paying off.  Who would blow such an opportunity?
Unfortunately, a lot of people do. Those who don't understand journalists' deadlines and needs are liable to be quickly passed over in favor of sources who do. That lack of knowledge can also rack up lots of wasted time and money for those who take a shotgun approach to blasting their message or products to any and all journalists. If you don't consider their individual needs, you're likely making a futile effort...

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is A Disaster, Part 5 »

By Joe Mathews

Editor's note: This is the fifth and final part of a serialized version of a recent e-book from Franchise Performance Group called Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is a Disaster: What a breakthrough franchise sales process looks like. Click here for part 1, here for part 2, here for part 3, and here for part 4.

Deal pacing and managing emotional engagement
Franchise sales is a marathon, not a sprint. Highly successful franchise sales people understand the art of deal pacing and know how to leave the franchise buyer in the right mental state for each phase of the franchise buying process.

Franchise sales masters pace the buyer along the following model:

In Phase 1, the franchisor uses a specific content strategy through articles, blogs, and their franchise opportunity research to manage the franchise buyer's understanding of the franchise business model and its long-term sustainability in the marketplace...

Feature Story:

Caring Couple: Longtime BrightStar Care Franchisees Flourish »

By Helen Bond

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather were married for just a year when they entered a new venture as franchisees in the home care field. The pair, who met on a Multiple Sclerosis charity cycling ride, make quite a team. Together they own five BrightStar Care locations through their Madison, Wisc.-based company, which consistently performs at the top of the brand's franchise chain.
"We knew we had great communication, but we sure didn't want to mess anything up," says Rather. "We went in with eyes wide open. The advice we got from other couples was to clearly define who is going to do what. Over the years, we have melded that a bit."
Tews, after 33 years in the banking and telecom industries, was seeking a change of pace from the corporate world...

Feature Story:

Here Comes 2015!: What Do You Still Not Know About Your Business? »

By Steve Lefever

Now that we're nearing November, it's time to refocus on the business with an eye toward planning for 2015. I'd like to suggest that you look a little farther ahead and reflect on the issues I've outlined below.
Over the years, I've encountered far too many business owners who spend weeks planning their vacation (if they take one at all!) and virtually no time planning for the business that makes those vacations possible.
Watch cable news, scan a few TV commercials, or flip through any newspaper these days and it would seem there are no mysteries any more. Let's face it, we know far too much about far too many people's habits, problems, and proclivities. We have more factoids, tidbits, inklings, stats, blogs, and so-called expert opinions (legal and otherwise) than we can use in a lifetime...

Feature Story:

Keeping It Fresh: How Compelling Is Your Concept Today? »

By Steve Olson

Franchisors should continually ask themselves, “How attractive is my franchise opportunity now? Does it still deliver what it takes? In what ways do I stand out among competitive opportunities?”

As a reality check, review your franchise program every year to ensure it remains strong and provides the sizzle and power of an attractive, viable business concept. Does it continue to satisfy the goals and interests of your existing owners? Does your concept capture the attention of new buyers? Or is your opportunity growing stale, losing a little bit of steam? And then you must grab your mirror and ask yourself, “Is yesterday’s buyer still the owner I want today?”

Look at our roller-coaster marketplace. What works today may not work as well tomorrow...

Feature Story:

10 Must-Read Books For Leaders, Part 2 »

By Paul Jun

In the previous issue, we ran the first five of these "must-read" business books. Here are the next five, whose authors include Cyrus the Great (2500 years ago) on leadership and war, a present-day neuroscientist on lying, and business contrarian Stanley Fish on writing a sentence - and reading one.

6. Lying by Sam Harris
The moment teammates feel compelled to lie, however small or large, it's a sign that the very foundation that builds morale, understanding, empathy, and belonging are in danger. Trust is fragile but immensely powerful, and one small lie after another can sabotage the foundation that creates thriving organizations.

"To lie is to intentionally mislead others when they expect honest communication...

Feature Story:

4 Top Leadership Myths »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Leadership author, speaker, and consultant Roxi Hewertson has compiled a list of 4 leadership myths that when fully understood can change the way you do business and your bottom line. Here they are:

1. If you are a star performer in your field or discipline, you will surely be a star leader of others. From the day we were born, all the applause has been about "what I have done well," not "what we have done well." The exception is teamwork within or outside your family. The skills, attributes, and even motivations required to lead people successfully are entirely opposite from those required to be a successful individual contributor. Consider this: if the roles and skills weren't so opposite, it would be a walk in the park for someone to move seamlessly from being a great violin player to being a great conductor...

Feature Story:

The 6 Essential Skills For The New Digital Marketer »

By Eddy Goldberg

More than 90% of marketers suffer from a digital skills gap that directly affects their ability to market in an environment of rapid and accelerating change, according to a white paper from Grovo. To move forward, the report concludes, "companies need to develop their existing talent into digital marketers."

"The Future-Proof Marketer in 2015: Digital marketing's skills gap crisis and the new breed of marketer to solve it" highlights the six essential areas of digital competency for today's - and tomorrow's - digital marketers. Below are excerpts from the white paper.

1) Data gathering
Good analysis requires good data, so being able to obtain it is extremely valuable - especially if the data needs to be integrated from different silos...

Feature Story:

Word Of Mouth Power »

By John Tschohl

Just having a satisfied customer and giving them service that is simply good enough will not get anyone talking. You've got to go above and beyond the call of duty if you want your customers to talk about you.
Word of mouth is instrumental in driving your company's success. Verbal buzz about your business or product passed from one reliable person to the next is still the most cost-effective way to build a loyal following, expand your business, and reach new customers. How does it start? Give them an amazing customer experience and encourage your customers to think of themselves as partners in your business. Like I've said before, the organization chart at your business should show the customer at the top.
How your customers feel about you and what they are prepared to tell others about you can influence your revenues and profits...



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