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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 Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 3 - Disclosure Review »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Determine franchisability of candidate and pre-sell Discovery Day

Begin by asking the candidate what they thought of the FDD, and whether the information it contains was helpful. Review the material, answering the candidate's specific questions. It is important that you provide accurate answers. When in doubt, get the right facts to your candidate later rather than winging an answer. The legal consequences are too risky to play it by ear. Wrap up this discussion with, "Now that you understand what our FDD is all about, do you feel comfortable with how our franchise program works?"

Franchising isn't right for everyone, so make sure your prospect understands and buys into the franchise way of doing business...

Feature Story:

Family Success Story: David And Joye Griffin And Their 3 Sons Prosper In Hard Times »

By Kerry Pipes

When we profiled David Griffin in 2010, he had just purchased 25 Jiffy Lube stores in Colorado. The stores were underperforming, some were dilapidated, and the U.S. economy still at one of its all-time lows. Those factors created a perfect storm for Griffin to expand--but it wasn't a walk in the park.
"We've spent the last three years reviving those units, and it has been a monumental task," says the 56-year-old today. Griffin says it took millions of dollars to turn around those 25 struggling locations--and the process tested both the company and his family, which is deeply involved in the business. "I'm still working right alongside my wife Joye and my three sons," he says. "We are today's family farm."
The effort paid off, says Griffin...

Feature Story:

The Song Remains The Same: Franchise Brands Are Still Failing To Respond To Prospects »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to franchise sales, it seems the more things change, the more the development practices of many franchisors remain the same.
This was a key finding of Franchise Update Media Group's annual Mystery Shopping survey, unveiled at the 15th annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference in Atlanta in October. Across the board, our expert team of mystery shoppers found that, despite technological advances that make it easier than ever to connect with qualified prospects, franchise sales and development teams don't always pursue promising prospects with the fervor, immediacy, and persistence they would in a world of best practices.
"The constant frustration in the mystery shopping results is the failure of franchisors to respond to qualified inquiries," says Steve Olson, president of Franchise Update...

Feature Story:

Retiring To Grow: Benetrends CEO On How Franchisees Can Finance Growth »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Retiring To Grow: Benetrends CEO on How Franchisees can Finance Growth

It's not uncommon for entrepreneurs and business operators today to tap into their 401k or other retirement accounts to seed growth and expansion. This holds true in franchising as well. If you're a multi-unit franchisee considering how you might use your 401(k) to expand your operation you probably have questions.
We asked Rocco Fiorentino, CEO of Benetrends, to explain how the process works, the pros and cons, and legal implications. Benetrends has more than 25 years of franchise industry experience helping more than 10,000 entrepreneurs to fund their business over the last 30 years. Fiorentino shares the most common questions franchisees have asked about financing growth...

Feature Story:

Wasted Time: 12 Reasons Why Employee Training Fails »

By John Tschohl

Most of the money and time companies spend on training is wasted. That's because the majority of companies use outdated training ideas and boring training methods.
Training that is poorly presented goes in one ear and out the other. It's no wonder employees don't change their attitudes or behaviors after they attend a badly presented training session.
After working in the training field for more than 40 years on six continents, I've seen 12 reasons why group training fails:

Feature Story:

Lease Negotiation 101: Zeroing In On The Right Site And The Right Deal »

By Helen Bond

After 34 years of negotiating leases for 150 hair salons in California and the New York Metro area, Gary Grace appreciates the advantages of being part of a franchise system with a well-known name.
"You get more respect from the landlord because you have the power and success story of the brand behind you. It really makes a difference," says Grace, CEO of California-based GG Enterprises, which today owns 36 Supercuts salons and one Cost Cutters. "The bigger the name signing the lease, the more secure the landlord feels, and the more leverage you have in negotiating."
These days, nearly all prime real estate is rented, not sold: an estimated 98 percent of retail and commercial space is available only for lease. And while a familiar name might get a franchisee in the door, landing a lease that leads to long-term success takes not only due diligence and attention to the fine print, but also the ability to balance the dual roles of franchisee and tenant, says attorney Amy Cheng, a partner with Cheng Cohen in Chicago...

Feature Story:

Going "Glocal": The Importance Of Local Marketing Worldwide »

By Stacy Anderson

We asked Stacy Anderson, chief marketing officer at Anytime Fitness and Waxing the City to discuss the role of diversity in the company's marketing department and in its marketing strategies. Here's what she had to say.

As a global franchisor operating in more than 15 countries, embracing diversity in the marketplace isn't a choice for Anytime Fitness, it's a must. Simply put, developing offerings sought after by more people, both domestically and abroad, equals more opportunity to grow. With 20 percent of our clubs located outside North America and the greater part of our growth coming internationally over the next 5 years, developing marketing strategies that are relevant and compelling to a wide array of cultures and communities is critical to our long-term success...

Feature Story:

Customer Service: How To Complain More Effectively »

By John Tschohl

Over the years we have learned to accept that no longer will a customer's problem be resolved quickly. With the invention of IVR (automated phone systems), companies have found a way to make customers "go away" when they have an issue. Very few have the patience to go through an entire complaint process.

Companies have gotten clever and begin their IVR dialogue with "Please listen carefully as our menus have changed." After several frustrating, time-consuming attempts we have all tried to "one up" the system so we cleverly choose "Press 1 for sales" figuring a real, live person would probably answer more quickly if they felt we wanted to buy something.

Once answered, it is most common to be talking to someone overseas...

Feature Story:

Location Analytics Can Boost 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 their 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:

Social Media Roundup: March 11, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

How To Create a Mobile Marketing Campaign
Designing and executing a successful mobile marketing campaign is complex, and the competition's getting better at it. So should you. This blog by Jennifer Wong, director of marketing at HasOffers, posted on Jay Baer's Convince & Convert website, provides a step-by-step guide on how to do it. As more and more local business searches migrate to smartphones and tablets, marketers must embrace mobile marketing to stay relevant and keep in front of their customers. The post takes you through the basics and shows you what you need to do to make your mobile campaigns into winners.

Global Data Snapshot 2014 - with "Actionable Insights"
This set of 183 slides from social media marketing firm We Are Social captures the state of the global Internet in January 2014...

Feature Story:

10 Rules For Managing Franchisee Innovation »

By Jacob Grosshandler

Develop a System-Wide Vetting Process

Who is responsible for innovation? For many franchise concepts, innovation is the sole domain of the franchisor as it safeguards the brand's equity: "Do only things that I say, and do them exactly as the operations manual specifies."
Franchisor-led product innovation is most prominently seen in food-related brands in the form of the centralized test kitchen. However, franchisor-led product innovation often leaves an invaluable resource untapped: the franchisee. Think McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, invented in 1962 by franchisee Lou Groen to make up for slow Friday burger sales.
Also, despite the positives provided by franchisor-led product innovation, a brand runs the risk of becoming entrenched in its own singular manner of thinking--a competitive threat in the face of ever-changing consumer tastes...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Measuring The Effectiveness Of Your Brand's Consumer Marketing Efforts »

Franchise Update

What are some of the ways you measure the effectiveness of your brand's consumer marketing efforts?

Jason Smylie
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

One of the most widely influential business thinkers, Peter Drucker, once said, "What gets measured, gets managed."
This sage advice applies to every field, but often is tricky for marketers. Many people are under the assumption that marketing is an intangible field where results are esoteric and unidentifiable. With so many variables affecting customer traffic, how are we to know whether it is a marketing campaign that is making a difference or something as simple as a sunny day? Operators too often analyze a marketing campaign's success by how it felt, rather than looking at data...

Feature Story:

Enjoying Success: Working Hard - And Enjoying It - Spells Success For Mike Treadwell »

By Debbie Selinsky

Growing up on a farm in the Texas panhandle, Mike Treadwell was looking for a way to stretch his entrepreneurial wings. He thought of opening a restaurant. His first was Alfie's Fish 'n Chips in Amarillo, next came Mike's Fried Chicken & Fish.
But an eye-opening moment came one day when 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:

Customer Differentiator: The Key To A Successful Customer-Focused Culture »

By Lisa Ford

Customers want a consistent service experience. It seems like that would be easy to deliver yet it is not the norm. Since it is not the norm, consistency becomes a customer differentiator. Check how well you deliver consistency with these strategies.

1. Be reliable. Get it right the first time. Whatever the customer needs, they want you to be reliable and accurate. Customers don't want to deal with an organization multiple times due to your shortcomings. Deliver what you promise.

2. No surprises - unless they are positive ones. Most surprises are ones where the company does not deliver as promised. Surprises can include interactions with challenging employees, lack of follow-up, and slow responses to social media communication...

Feature Story:

Franchise Sales Is A Team Effort »

By Marc Kiekenapp

Building a strong franchise system through unit growth is a team effort requiring participation from the entire organization. To succeed more often in attracting and capturing the best possible candidates for your system, it is essential for all departments to contribute.

Most franchisors don't take the time to educate and involve all their key department heads in the development process. But without this interaction, conflicts can arise about the capabilities of new franchisees, with blame for any failures placed on the franchise development department - even though operations didn't want to be involved in the selection process. These conflicts usually occur when a new franchisee is struggling after a few months and the discussions start focusing on whether the franchise was granted to the right person...

Feature Story:

Field Support: Reduce Unit Closures And Increase Revenue »

By Jacob Grosshandler

Franchising has proven itself to be a bellwether business model, surviving the financial crisis and adding units since the early days of the current economic recovery. Between 2008 and 2013, the franchise community netted more than 25,000 units, a CAGR of 1 percent. This is impressive, given the economic environment. Praise should be given to the hard work of development staffs across all of franchising for executing in a tough environment.

Given these successes and the emphasis franchising places on growth, it is easy to continue to push for market share and to allocate additional dollars to development efforts. However, before finalizing your budget, answer this question: How many of your units, regardless of the reason, closed their doors in the last 3 years? If the answer is more than zero your brand is likely leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table...

Feature Story:

Franchising Abroad: The Economic Argument »

By Tony Foley

franchising, international, international franchising, overseas growth, overseas expansion, franchising abroad, united franchise group, tony foley

Franchising Abroad: The Economic Argument

By Tony Foley

The world is getting smaller. Customers come from and visit everywhere, and brand names are powerful. There are many reasons to take your brand away from your home soil and overseas. Among the most compelling are the economic ones. International expansion has the power to benefit both franchisor and franchisee, to establish important relationships across country borders, and to create brand name recognition far more powerful than anything you can cultivate purely domestically.

Franchises are particularly attractive for global expansion, thanks to the model and the blueprint they provide...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 2 - Concluding The Program Review »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Qualify the prospect, build rapport, and establish the process
Length of conversation: 45 to 60 minutes

This is the third part of an excerpt from my book that focuses on the program review step of the franchise sales process. Part 1 introduced the program review. Part 2 looked at pre-closing. This week, in part 3, we look at how to wrap up Step 2 of "The Six Steps to Selling Success" that I've detailed in my book, Grow to Greatness.

Now it's time to conclude the program review by preparing your prospect for the next stage of investigation. Reconfirm their interest by asking, "How would you like to proceed? Good, you say you want to continue. Then the next step is to send you our franchise documents, referred to as the Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD...

Feature Story:

All-Around High Achiever »

By Debbie Selinsky

Measuring success by how many people he helps reach their goals

In a time when many business executives are looking at what to cut because of rising payroll and healthcare costs, Michael Kulp, president and CEO of KBP Foods, a $250 million restaurant company with units in nine states, is taking an "inverse" approach.
"We're using our growth as a vehicle to handle costs rather than shrinking the business down," says the 38-year-old Colorado native. "We're making sure that our growth and cash flow outpace the costs of healthcare and payroll." This approach illustrates what Kulp finds most rewarding about his job, he says. "Our mission is to develop our people personally, professionally, and financially."
With that goal in mind, KBP Foods, which includes nearly 300 KFCs, Taco Bells, and Long John Silver's, took another major step...

Feature Story:

Stressed Out?: It Could Be Time To Reassess Your Direct Reports »

By Bill Wagner

How many direct reports do you have? Consider these four scenarios.

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