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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:

Flight Path: Air Force Couple Splits Time Between Flying And Operating Mosquito Joe Franchise »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Deiters, 50, is a Chicago-native who has been flying planes for as long as he can remember and spends a bulk of his time up in the sky. He and his wife, Annette, met at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and are both veterans. After 22 years of flying for the United States Air Force out of Andrews Air Force base in Maryland - including flying Air Force One and many senator and cabinet members - Jeff is now a corporate pilot, flying for brands such as Under Armour and Choice Hotels. Annette flies Boeing 767s internationally out of Washington-Dulles airport for United Airlines.
While the couple still flies extensively, they wanted to fill their time on the ground with a supplemental business opportunity and started exploring new ventures for ownership...

Feature Story:

Businesses Unite!: Three Ways To "Share Local" And Make Your Business Stronger »

By Eric Groves

Local businesses are stronger together than alone. Your competitive advantage is derived from the local and industry knowledge you possess along with the market power (resources that enable you to attract and retain customers) built. As you forge relationships with other local businesses, you all grow stronger by gaining access to the collective knowledge and power of each other.
One of the simplest ways to demonstrate support for local business, while encouraging other local businesses to lend support back to you, is to "Share Local."
Share Local is the simple act of sharing something another local business is doing with residents. Successful local businesses have resources (typically email lists or Facebook followings) for sharing interesting content with customers...

Feature Story:

Building A Great Franchise Sales Team: Fierce Brands »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Jason Mattes, chief development officer at Fierce Brands (franchisor of Retro Fitness and Let's Yo! Yogurt), what he looks for in a salesperson, and what the critical elements are in building a great sales and development team. Here's what he had to say.

David Sandler, who was one of the brightest and most gifted sales trainers of his time, once said, "Selling is a Broadway play performed by a psychiatrist." This novel, yet profound, idea formulated many moons ago, has helped shaped the way I defined my role when making my bones in franchise sales, and it still provides a GPS of sorts when comparing and contrasting the skill sets of folks I interview today.

Obviously, there are a handful of qualities that most successful sales professionals possess to some degree: integrity, accountability, high energy level, self-image of success, drive to excel, and persistently determined...

Feature Story:

The 10 Commandments Of Explosive Sales Growth »

By Steve Olson

1. Successful brands sell during boom and bust times. Whether it was the Gulf War, dot.com bomb, Katrina, or Great Recession, veteran brands know that change is constant, and that long-term growth is the ability to re-evaluate, adapt, and tackle economic storms. "Waiting for things to get better" is the road to brand erosion. You can't change the economy, but you can change yourself. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "The times they are always a-changin'."

2. Satisfied, profitable franchisees drive recruitment. More than 100 franchise brands confirmed that strong growth is the direct result of satisfied franchisees making money, according to Franchise Update's 2014 Annual Franchise Development Survey. The study further notes that franchise concepts without compelling FPRs in their FDDs are losing out...

Feature Story:

Raising The Service Ante: Location Analytics Validates A Wow Experience »

By Jack Mackey

Customer expectations today are dramatically higher, thanks to the likes of Amazon, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, and Chick-fil-A, to name just a few of today's customer experience leaders. Once your customers have exceptional experiences dealing with companies like these, their expectations are permanently raised. This means your business is evaluated in the customer's mind in comparison with the best businesses in the world. If you deliver just an ordinary customer experience, rather than a highly satisfying (wow) experience, your business is just average in the customer's mind. And your customer's repeat visit behavior will reflect that judgment.
SMG recently demonstrated how much more effective highly satisfying customer experiences are in driving return visits by using location analytics...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: A Look Back, Part 2 »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Last issue we reviewed the first two days of the 2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, held this past June in Atlanta. This issue covers Thursday and Friday.

Disruption and the economy
Wednesday began with breakfast in the Networking Gallery, followed by the day's keynote speaker, Luke Williams, who delivered a wide-ranging discussion on the importance of innovation in business success. Williams, professor of innovation at NYU's Stern School of Business, is the author of the best-selling book Disrupt. "If you're interested in growth, you must be interested in innovation," he said. "Ideas are the recipes for increasing returns."

His overall message was not to become complacent with success. "The pace of disruptive change is accelerating in every industry," he cautioned...

Feature Story:

Implementing The Affordable Care Act »

By Benjamin Geyerhahn

What franchisees need to know about the ACA rollout

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced widespread changes to the healthcare landscape. It has increased the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance for the general population, regardless of age, gender, or pre-existing medical conditions.
The ACA has also altered the guidelines for employer-sponsored insurance, which has thrown many small- and mid-sized businesses for a loop.
In 2015, the ACA employer mandate will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees (defined as an average of 30-plus hours per week) to offer a minimum coverage health plan at affordable rates (less than 9.5 percent of an employee's household income).
Additionally, companies with 200 or more employees are required to automatically enroll employees in employer-sponsored insurance with a waiting period of no more than 90 days...

Feature Story:

Guest Data - The Most Important Thing Your Restaurant Doesn't Have »

By Vikram Rao & Francesca's Restaurant Group

In this age of big data, the restaurant industry trails behind all other major industries in data collection and analysis. Most restaurants collect feedback and contact information from fewer than 2 percent of their guests, leaving them unable to understand their guests' preferences and ultimately leaving them unable to get back in touch with their guests. This striking data gap has resulted in the birth of a new restaurant technology industry called guest relationship management (GRM) technology. This industry aims to solve this data shortage by combining feedback, guest communications, and loyalty into one "smart" system. Restaurants across the country are starting to use these systems and, based on initial results, it appears these systems could soon take the restaurant industry by storm...

Feature Story:

Goals And Visions: Survey Says Business Owners Should Take Risks, Earn Respect, And Inspire Action »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Accomplishing goals is the most essential function of running a company, according to 46 percent of entrepreneurs polled by The Alternative Board (TAB). By comparison, 38 percent place more importance on providing a vision for their business. Despite acknowledging how crucial that vision is to the company's success, most leaders need help communicating it: participants averaged just 7.1 out of 10 when grading themselves on how effectively they expressed their vision to their team.
"It's important that the leader establishes and communicates a vision. But it's even more important that they accomplish goals," says David Scarola, vice president of TAB. "One without the other has little value."
After surveying 336 small business owners and CEOs worldwide (roughly 70 percent of whom have companies earning over $1 million a year), a common profile of the modern business leader emerged from TAB's study...

Feature Story:

Brand Builder: Big Expansion Plans Ahead For Multi-State Operator »

By Debbie Selinsky

Larry Lee had a built-in advantage when he leveraged his career in real estate and shopping center development to include franchising.
"Great locations will offset everything else," says the Texan, who has 16 McAlister's deli locations open, with plans to add two dozen more by 2015 as he expands beyond his base in Texas and New Mexico. Lee first ate in a McAlister's at one of his San Antonio shopping centers. "No matter how great your marketing is, you can't market your way out of a bad location," he says.
Lee says his learning curve as he entered franchising was relatively easy. "Franchising was a little new, but I knew about the real estate, of course, and the financing requirements. Dealing with a franchisor was a little different but that's gone well, too," he says...

Feature Story:

3 Keys For Effective Customer Loyalty And Reward Programs »

By Plante Moran

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation on "Understanding Customer Loyalty and Designing Effective Reward Programs," by Clay Voorhees, assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University. The informative session discussed how organizations can develop effective reward and loyalty programs to increase customer spending. Here are a few of the key takeaways and examples from that session.

1. When setting up a rewards program, the goal should be to convert "good" customers to "elite" ones. Most loyalty programs are some variation on the "buy x, get 1 free" method, but that isn't necessarily the best way to go. It may not take a good customer to that next level where they're truly loyal to your company. Additionally, these coupon-type rewards programs provide little useful data analytics and often cost more money than they actually bring in...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: September 9, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Yelp Trends: 132 Million Users Can Tell You What's Hot
Yelp, the social review platform, provides a searchable database of 57 million reviews. The Yelp Trends service allows users to track trends over time and break the results down by individual markets. For businesses wishing to develop new products or services, or learn more about local markets for their existing ones, the data Yelp offers will be invaluable, according to the editors at Restaurant Hospitality. Two caveats: the data is based on keywords in Yelp reviews, and has no context information about customer actions. Also, since many more people use Yelp than contribute reviews, the data may not accurately reflect the views and opinions of the majority of customers.

Pinterest Update: Category Pages Allow Mobile, Web Users To Follow Topics
Pinterest category pages bundle pins devoted to specific subject matter so users can easily discover and follow material relating to their interests while avoiding pins that don't engage them...

Feature Story:

Going Global - Socially: Social Media Use Varies By Country »

By William and Heather Edwards

Increasingly, U.S. franchisors are using social media sites to build brand awareness, attract new customers, focus marketing on their ideal customer demographic, and even to recruit new franchisees. In the U.S., the primary social media platforms used for these purposes are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Foursquare. Some of these sites are also important marketing opportunities in other countries. This is especially true in emerging markets with fast-growing numbers of middle-class consumers who we want to be customers at our franchise outlets in their countries.
This article examines social media use by the franchise sector in the U.S. and in other countries where U.S. franchises are growing. We will see some major differences in social media use outside the U...

Feature Story:

Going Mobile: Help Your Customers Spend With Mobile Apps »

By Tom Epstein

According to the National Restaurant Association:

Feature Story:

What The NLRB's Joint Employer Position Means For Franchisors »

By Marlén Cortez Morris

On July 29, 2014, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in a very brief statement that he was authorizing the issuance of formal unfair labor practice complaints against McDonald's and some of its franchisees in 43 cases involving employees of the franchisees. Without explanation, the General Counsel stated that the complaints alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) will proceed against both the franchisor and its franchisees as "joint employers" if a settlement is not reached. The General Counsel's statement has been labeled an "attack" on franchising and has led to uncertainty about what it means.

General Counsel's statement is not law
The General Counsel wants the NLRB to abandon a 30-year-old standard and adopt a new, broader standard for determining the existence of joint employment status for purposes of the NLRA...

Feature Story:

Cleaning Up: Joe Weiss Craves And Finds New Challenge In Chem-Dry Franchise »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Joe Weiss is another one of those successful people who got started in the corporate world and did well. But there was something different he was seeking. So he began exploring opportunities in franchising and after 5 years working in the corporate arena for Verizon Wireless, he took the plunge and bought his first Chem-Dry franchise. That was in 2005. He now has 11 territories in Michigan where he's excelling in business and enjoying life with his wife and two children.


Name: Joe Weiss
Title: Owner
Company: Chem-Dry of Washtenaw, Chem-Dry of Livingston, and Chem-Dry of Northwest Wayne County
No. of units by brand: 11
Age: 40 years old
Family: Married to Elizabeth Weiss with two children, 7 and 4...

Feature Story:

The 5 Parts Of Franchise Development Success »

By Marc Kiekenapp

Franchise development department success depends on five different pieces fitting together in an organized and precise manner: 1) the company website, 2) promotional materials, 3) the FDD, 4) franchisee validation, and 5) discovery day (the office visit). Let's discuss these five critical factors and make sure your system is tuned up to achieve the best results.

1) The company website is your most effective tool for conveying the culture and excitement of your franchise offering. The recruitment website should be updated quarterly or even monthly to reflect new information about your concept, good news about your franchisees, and any new public relations stories that highlight your brand. Current news and information will keep interested candidates coming back and watching the progress of your concept...

Feature Story:

Emotional Rescue: Understanding Relationship Dynamics In The Family Business »

By Jeff Faulkner

Recently one of my partners and I were facilitating a meeting between a father and his daughter to work through some mismatched expectations between them in the family business. We had already had several prep meetings laying the groundwork for aligning their expectations, which were all positive and headed in the right direction. They were both excited that we were going to be able to help them get some things out on the table, as they typically would avoid one another and leave issues unresolved.
However, once the meeting started, the dad took the opportunity to unleash on his daughter with unanswerable questions and acted like a prosecuting attorney trying to corner the defendant into a guilty plea. My partner and I were completely unprepared for this, and of course, the daughter was equally caught off guard...

Feature Story:

Pet Supplies Plus: Building The Best Franchise Sales Team »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Larry Flaherty, director of franchise development at Pet Supplies Plus, what he looks for in a salesperson, and what the critical elements are in building a great sales and development team. Here's what he had to say.

If you ask five different franchise development professionals this question, you'll get six different answers. When recruiting salespeople, I look first and foremost to their integrity. I want a team I can trust to do the right thing, make the right decision, and not simply make a sale. I expect our sales team to look at each candidate and anticipate how they may or may not fit within our pet-centric culture. I look to them to provide me with their honest recommendation based on their observations. Next, I look for someone who has all-around sales qualities, such as a strong sense of urgency and assertive personality, and who looks for solutions, not problems...

Feature Story:

Are You Ready To Sell?: Planning A Comprehensive Exit Strategy »

By Dean Zuccarello

Planning, planning, planning. We all participate in some form of planning: what to do with our weekend, scheduling all the kids' activities, forecasting next year's business plans, and maybe even "someday" plans. But how many of us have actually considered or created a plan that addresses not only how and when we will exit our businesses, but also whether and how family members and/or related parties will be a part of that plan?
In our 24 years in the restaurant and franchise M&A space, we have witnessed numerous occasions in which a potential seller decides it's time to sell their business--but has not adequately addressed such crucial items as timing, valuation, tax consequences, succession planning for family members, or the future of their management team...



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