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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:

Family Business Perspective Matters »

By Kendall Rawls

An owner's perspective about the purpose and who the business serves directly impacts culture, ability to recruit and retain good people, and drive performance - all of which influences customer perceptions, revenue, and profits. In the franchise industry, often times, multi-unit franchisees do not intuitively view themselves as a family business owner. This misperception can and does have an impact on overall business success, sustainability, and value.
Is the purpose of your business to serve you and your ambitions? Or is the purpose of the business to serve and provide opportunity to your community? Is it a mix of both? If the mission and vision of your business includes serving those around you, then it is important to begin thinking like a family business owner...

Feature Story:

TruFusion: How Data Is Changing Our Strategic Marketing Plans And Tactics »

By Steve Rockman

We asked Steve Rockman, Chief Marketing Officer at TruFusion, a Las Vegas-based workout studio: “As the role of big data in strategic market planning grows, how does it affect your long-term marketing plans, forecasting, efficiency/ROI of your media spend, or other parts of your marketing?” Here’s what he had to say.

At TruFusion, we market primarily to the Millennial, specifically females. Because of this, we are talking to the most highly connected generation yet, with their access to instant information. Millennials speak in data, and if we can collect, analyze, and react to this data in a timely and accurate manner, we will greatly increase our chances to develop a long-term relationship with these consumers.

Our entire business model is predicated on technology, from our POS system, which tracks member sign-up and class check-ins, to every purchase members make in one of our studios...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Franchise Marketing Constraints »

By Alex Vaccaro

Owning a franchise business has its pros and cons. On one hand, you benefit from your franchise having a strong, trusted identity. Local customers may choose to visit your business based on what they know about the national organization, and you have a vast network that can support your business with ideas and resources.
On the other hand, you may feel constrained in marketing your business within your franchise's standards. It's a delicate balance: you want to get word out about your business, but you don't want to violate the overarching organization's specifications.
Here are some suggested solutions and tips for dealing with three top concerns related to branding your franchise.

Concern #1: I'm Worried About Breaking Franchise Rules
You've got a great marketing idea for your business, but it breaks several different franchise rules...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug. 9, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Instagram: Getting Started with Business Profiles
Switching to an Instagram Business Profile gives marketers tools to get the most out of their presence on the popular photo and video sharing platform. You'll need to be sure you have the latest version of Instagram and a Facebook Page to connect to. Once you've set up your Business Profile, you have access to some valuable new features, spelled out with examples by Kristi Hines, a contributing editor for Social Media Examiner:

Feature Story:

Why Financing And Site Selection Matter »

By John T. Hewitt

Multi-unit ownership is a franchising trend that's likely to keep growing. It picked up during the recession, when capital was hard to come by and franchisors saw how their single-unit owners struggled. Now, multi-unit operators own more than half of the franchise units in the U.S., and the upward trajectory is expected to continue. Single-unit ownership has its benefits, but multi-unit owners tend to have more experience, more business relationships, and the ability to move quickly when expansion opportunities present themselves.
So when considering a franchise opportunity, it makes good business sense to consider a multi-unit plan from the start. And in considering a multi-unit strategy, take a careful look at financing and site selection...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Hiring And Taking Care Of Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Michael Geiger
Brands: 7 Moe's Southwest Grill locations in Pennsylvania

How do you hire, retain, and take care of your employees? We've always looked at internal development as the first option. The average tenure of our upper management team is about eight years. The pace at which we have grown over the past three to four years has made exclusively promoting and moving internal candidates increasingly difficult, so we have been going outside the organization more recently.
Our average hourly wage is right about $10 an hour, about 40 percent higher than the state minimum wage. This, coupled with aggressive management bonus structures, has always been a focus for us. We expect premium performance and are willing to pay a premium wage for it...

Feature Story:

Bottle & Bottega CEO Nancy Bigley On Building And Leading A Brand »

By Eddy Goldberg

When Nancy Bigley arrived at Bottle & Bottega in 2011, it was called Bottles & Brushes and was doing all right as a small, mobile pop-up business. The name wasn't particularly memorable though, says Bigley, whose mission was to transform the business into a national franchised brand. After some brainstorming, she awoke one morning and knew "bottega" was the word she was looking for.

For you non-artists out there, Merriam-Webster says a bottega is "the studio or workshop of a major artist in which other artists may participate in the execution of the projects or commissions of the major artist." For customers, it means a place they can go to spend an enjoyable few hours sipping wine and being instructed in painting by local artists in a safe, comfortable setting...

Feature Story:

7 Tips For Franchise Sales Mastery »

By Steve Olson

It's been more than two years since I re-entered franchise sales consulting full-time, and here's the good news! Seasoned recruitment executives are capitalizing on the resurgence of qualified franchise buyers. These "Franchise Sales Masters" continue to capture quality candidates during this higher-growth period. These top performers are artisans of franchise development, applying a well-defined sales process, while establishing credibility, confidence, and trust with their buyers.

(For a free copy of a research summary of 41 recruitment pros conducted by Olson & Associates and Zoracle Profiles, email me at

The unfortunate news

Too many good brands are losing qualified franchise candidates, specifically because their sales people don't carry the characteristics, traits, selling skills, and values needed to bring new franchisees aboard...

Feature Story:

Expertise On Call: Making Multi-Unit Knowledge More Available »

By Darrell Johnson

A couple of years ago we worked with a really big search engine client to help them better understand and approach the franchise community. Their epiphany (which we in franchising all know) is that franchising is a business model, not an industry.
Until then they had been frustrated in both their vertical industry sales efforts and in the efforts of their regional sales partners to crack the franchise code. They knew success would lead to hundreds of millions in sales. They now are realizing it. I mention this because multi-unit operators (MUOs) have a similar set of characteristics: like franchise brands, they frequently span industries with the same basic attributes.
Sometimes stating the obvious provides new perspectives. Here the obvious perspective is to consider MUOs their own community, something Franchise Update has been instrumental in creating over the past couple of decades...

Feature Story:

True Business Success Requires Liquidity »

By Champ Rawls

Everyone feels the liquidity pinch some time or another. Growth, acquisitions, internal investments, taxes, and bonuses take capital and drain liquidity. Business liquidity is the measure of the extent to which the organization has cash or assets to meet the short-term obligations. When you are looking to grow or need cash for improvements, short-term obligations are not that important.
However, as a multi-unit franchisee business owner, you know the internal struggle associated with wanting to grow or improve, while being cognizant of cash flow and capital requirements on a day-to-day basis. Success is defined differently depending on the reasons you started your franchisee business. For some it is about the "lifestyle" and wanting the flexibility to do what you want when you want, and for others it is the monetary and material gains that are more important...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Recruiting & Hiring »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Davis
Brands: 333 Arby's, 6 Taco Bueno in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming

How do you hire, fire, train, and retain? Recruiting and hiring the best talent we can find has been our number-one goal. We're always on the lookout for outstanding candidates. Given our growth, it's important for us to promote from within first and foremost. Our district managers and directors are the key to hiring and recruiting talent in the restaurants. We have processes in place to select the best candidate for the job, but at the end of the day it comes down to the candidates who can truly meet and support our company values and standards. Progressive discipline has always been our preferred method of trying to afford all employees the opportunity to improve...

Feature Story:

Improved Customer Loyalty Starts With Analytics »

By Charles Hogan

Customer loyalty is a competitive game - and it goes beyond traditional programs. Consumers belong to more loyalty programs now than ever before, but the number of programs they actively use is in decline. That's because, according to research cited by the New York Times, plain-vanilla discount and freebie programs are no longer enough to keep customers interested.
Merchants need to think about getting all customers to increase frequency of purchasing and to spend more per visit. To create successful programs and offers that target both new customer conversion and long-term retention of loyalty members, franchises need to make smarter use of their analytics to develop offers that will engage their target markets.

Create customer experiences that build loyalty

Simply having products in stock, competing on price, and offering industry-standard service isn't enough anymore...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 26, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Twitter Raises the Limit on Videos to 140 Seconds
“Video is becoming increasingly central to the real-time conversations happening on Twitter – video Tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50% since the beginning of 2016,” writes Jeremy Rishel, Twitter’s head of product development for creators. (Marketers take note!) As a result, the #3 social media platform has increased allowable video length, which can now be 140 seconds, up significantly from 30 seconds. In addition, Twitter’s Vine video-loop platform is experimenting with a “watch more” button on its 6-second shots that will allow for posting 140-second videos there as well. Twitter also announced improvements to how it “surfaces” related videos to make it more attractive to video tweeters...

Feature Story:

The New Competition: Customer Experience Trumps Customer Service »

By Adam Pierno

As a franchise organization you've recognized by now that your competition is more diverse and complex than it has been in the past. Once you were in a single business, selling a product like sub sandwiches or sporting goods to consumers. You were competing against other businesses selling similar sandwiches or sporting goods.
Consumers today have embraced the multitude of options popping up all around them. Many have learned to comparison shop Amazon or other e-tailers while standing in the aisle of the sporting goods store to see if they can find it cheaper, or maybe somehow better. And, in addition to the thousands of new digital storefronts available for their mobile devices, new types of physical competition are appearing as well...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Using Social Media To Attract Prospects »

Franchise Update

How do you use social media to attract prospects and validate candidates?

Alex Samios
Director of Franchising
Social media is a regular function of our franchise development team. We use it to generate leads, nurture existing prospects, and validate that the franchise candidate is right for our brand.
Today's prospective franchisees want a self-directed approach; they don't want to feel as if a franchisor is trying to sell them on the concept. With this in mind, you need to adopt a softer, more subtle social media strategy for franchise sales--especially when posting franchise development-focused messaging on your brand's consumer social media accounts.
At Dogtopia, we keep our corporate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages separate from those of our franchise owners, who all have their own individual accounts that are updated regularly...

Feature Story:

Leading By Example: How To Avoid Common Mistakes Even Smart Leaders Make »

By Dan Schneider

Admit it, you sometimes find yourself in a situation where you say to yourself, "Doh! I cannot believe I just did that!" Often it's something simple or small, but the fact that we showed some chink in our leadership armor shows we are not perfect, and we hate it. What we don't realize is that when we work so hard to be perfect and drive to exceed even our own expectations, we are constantly making some very common mistakes.

As leaders, we strive for everyone to see us as masters in our roles, the Obi-Wan Kenobi's of our universe. But the reality is that we actually get caught up in complacency and habitual routines. We also work in environments where it is rare for someone, especially a subordinate, to speak up and tell you that you are doing something that makes you look like a fool...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Finding And Keeping Talent »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Dan Ponder
Brands: 36 Hardee's in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia

How do you hire and fire, train and retain? We focus on hiring people with the right attitude. We can train anyone the technical skills, but we can't teach them to smile. I often ask when an employee is terminated if we did all that we could do as a company to help them succeed. We are putting more and more resources into training while at the same time developing tools that identify and reward good behavior. Given the high cost of replacing employees in today's market, we try to provide the best benefits we can at an affordable price. This will be the eighth year in a row that we have provided a 100 percent match for all employees that choose to participate in our 401(k) plan...

Feature Story:

Three Converging Trends To Shape The Future Of Franchising »

By Darrell Johnson

Since the turn of the century, I would highlight three fundamental trends within the franchise business model. The first is adaptability,> which has a wonderful positive attribute but a dark side as well. The second is unit concentration, which is another way of describing the rise of the multi-unit operator. The third is the pendulum swing of franchise agreements toward franchisor interests. These three trends are having a converging impact on the 2016 version of the business model and suggest some things about further changes to come.

1) Adaptability. There are about 3,200 active franchise brands across more than 200 industry sectors. More than 300 brands dip their toes in the franchising water for the first time each year (some have good success, some stay a few years and decide it's not for them, and some never get off the ground)...

Feature Story:

Good News! - July 2016 »

By Eddy Goldberg

The good news: Franchising is experiencing a remarkable growth phase - not only in unit count and system-wide revenue, but also in the number of new and emerging brands. The bad news: It's harder to keep up with all the good news! That's a nice problem to have - and why we've brought back our "Good News!" roundup of selected news items on unit growth, investment and financial developments, international expansion news, refranchising, and milestones attained by franchisors large, medium, and emerging. Here's your chance to follow the leaders, every third Tuesday of the month.

So if you’re not doing it already, send us your good news here.

New Units/Growth/Expansion
Dunkin’ Donuts Announces Kiosks Coming to BJ’s Wholesale Clubs
Marco’s Pizza Reports First Half Growth, Opens 700th, Eyes 1,000 in 2017
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Franchisees Eye 6 to 10 New Units in South Florida
Billy Sims Barbecue Opens 3rd of 5+ Kansas Units Planned for 2016
Newk’s Eatery Signs 6-Unit Deal for Atlanta with C2 Investment Partners
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit To Bring 3 New Stores to Amarillo Area
Big O Tires Opens 21st Nevada Store, 12th Unit for Franchisee

Yum! Brands Q2 Profit Buoyed by China; Spinoff Set for October 31
800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria Gets PE Infusion, Hires New CEO
Fired Pie Lands Funding from Former Patina Restaurant, Real Mex Exec
Juice It Up!’s Q2 Same Store Sales Rise 10%; 100 Units Eyed by Year-End

Big Plans, Big Dreams
NRD Capital Revamps Frisch’s Big Boy Following $175 Million Acquisition
Salata Re-Starts Franchising Program; Seeks Multi-Unit Operators
Ziebart International Announces Chicago Expansion Plans

Hilton Worldwide Teams with Icelandair Hotels, Opens Canopy in Reykjavik
Papa John’s Opens First of 100 Stores Planned for the Netherlands

New And Emerging Brands
Nature’s Table Opens 32nd Florida Unit, Franchisee’s 7th
uBreakiFix Opens 27 Stores in Q2, Passes 200 Total
Eggs Up Grill Opens in North Carolina, Bringing Total to 16

People &Amp; Awards
Chili’s Grill & Bar Names Kelli Valade President
Quiznos Promotes Global CMO Susan Lintonsmith to President, CEO
Tilted Kilt Names Eddie Goitia CEO, Logan Reves COO
GPS Hospitality Named Georgia Fast 40 Company for 2nd Year in a Row
Ballard Brands Names Peter Boylan New President, David Mesa CDO

Feature Story:

Growing Gross Margin: Small Steps Taken Over Time Boost Profits »

By Rod Bristol

Do you know the seven drivers of gross margin? More important, do you know how to actually manage them in your business? Let’s look at each one in turn—and they are remarkably similar in virtually any kind of operation.

Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
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