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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:

5 Ways To Ensure Family Business Success? »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Non-family businesses can learn a lot from family businesses, says Henry Hutcheson, a certified Family Business Advisor and founder of Family Business USA consultancy.
"Family businesses outperformed non-family businesses during the boom years leading up to the 2008 recession, and during the 2001 and 2008 recession years," he says, citing a recent Harvard Business Review study.
Hutcheson, author of "Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business," (http://dirtylittlesecretsoffamilybusiness.com), says family businesses were less likely to lay off workers during the lean times, and more likely to maintain their emphasis on socially responsible programs.?But that's just the businesses that survived.
"Many closed their doors," he notes...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Telephone Mystery Shopping »

By Eddy Goldberg

In the following months, FUSR will present highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The report is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned). This week: telephone mystery shopping results. Ordering information can be found below.

This year's telephone mystery shopping, conducted by Marc Kiekenapp & Associates, contacted 146 brands to gauge the quality and timeliness of their response to a phone call from a mystery shopper posing as a qualified prospect.

Kiekenapp found some improvement, but many of the basics were still lacking at too many franchise brands. One in 12 brands (8 percent) somehow managed to have either no phone number or a wrong number on their website...

Feature Story:

The Secret To Getting Things Done »

By Rowdy McLean

What's the difference between those that do and those that don't?
After decades of asking myself and thousands of others that same question, I have come to the conclusion that your success comes down to just one thing.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, save money, climb mountains, win a grand final, run a marathon, get a promotion, pretty much anything! One thing sets the winners apart from the losers, the achievers from the underachievers, the successful from the unsuccessful.
I have watched thousands of documentaries, read thousands of stories, and interviewed thousands of people and in every single case it's the same.
It's not having a positive mindset (although that helps), it's not having a secret formula (although having a plan helps), it's not where you were born or where you went to school, and it's not who your friends are or how much money you have...

Feature Story:

3 Keys To A Successful Restaurant Sale »

By Kevin Burke

It wasn't too long ago, in the midst of recession, the idea of selling a restaurant would have been fleeting at best.
Today, the idea makes sense for a variety of reasons, especially because there are plenty of investors available who are aggressively looking for places to spend their money. And many of them have their eyes on the restaurant industry.
Why? There are several reasons restaurants are attractive to investors:

Feature Story:

21 Going On 70: Taking A Deep Dive With Jersey Mike's Subs »

By Helen Bond

Alvaro Garcia epitomizes the proverbial American dream. With 21 Jersey Mike's Subs locations in Southern California already under his belt, Garcia is in the midst of an aggressive 70-store development plan that matches an equally fierce work ethic.
The youngest of 10 children, Garcia was a teenager when he came to the United States from Managua, Nicaragua. He watched his single mother work ceaselessly at three jobs, seven days a week, including 12-hour shifts at a hospital on the weekend.
"She taught me to be honest, work hard, and not to depend on others," says Garcia, who got his start in the restaurant business (and his first job) at age 18 as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver in Alhambra, Calif. Within a year, he was managing that store and moved up the ranks quickly, first to supervisor and then to district manager...

Feature Story:

Building (or Acquiring) Success: Key Growth Factors Franchisees Should Know »

By Kerry Pipes

No one ever said franchise growth was easy. Operating one or two locations is hard enough, but growing to 10, 20, or more is challenging for even the most seasoned operators--especially if any of their new builds or acquisitions turns out to be a poor performer. We tracked down five successful multi-unit franchisees who have been there and done it--and who bear the scars and trophies to prove it. Among the key factors in multi-unit success, they say, are timing, funding, cash flow, people, infrastructure, and identifying the right opportunities. Their insights into what to look for and how to proceed once you decide it's time to grow may contain just the missing ingredient you need.

Right time
Deciding when to grow--and if you're ready--differs for each franchisee...

Feature Story:

CMO Q&A: Diana Hovey, Corner Bakery Cafe, Part 1 »

By Kerry Pipes

Diana Hovey says she came to know and love Corner Bakery Cafe over a cup of coffee at a unit in her neighborhood. In October 2006, when the opportunity to be a part of the corporate team came along, she jumped at the chance. She's been chief marketing officer for the Dallas-based brand for 8 years now, at the forefront of shaping the branding and messaging strategy for the bakery-cafe pioneer that she says is the "ultimate neighborhood gathering spot."

Hovey says connecting with guests and giving back to the community are paramount to what the brand believes in and stands for. In fact, understanding the hearts and minds of the consumer has always been the focus of her career, first in public relations and marketing with TGI Fridays and later with Brinker International as vice president of marketing for its Mexican Concepts Division and Romano's Macaroni Grill...

Feature Story:

Reminder...Customers Still Use The Phone »

By Lisa Ford

There is a lot of talk about customers and their use of social media. Data tells us customers are using it more and companies must be responsive and innovative with their use of it. However, I would like to remind organizations that customer still pick up a phone and call. In many cases, they've already tried social media or your website. A 2012 Sitel Study reveals when customers have a problem with a product, 57 percent of customers search for a solution online first. So when calling, their expectations are high and their frustration could be also.

Let's review a few fundamentals of a great phone experience.

Feature Story:

Happy Holidays From Franchising.com »

By: Benjamin Foley

From all of us at Franchising.com, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season.
Thank you for using Franchising.com in 2014. This year we have seen rapid growth in many of our content sections. Along with this growth we've seen a huge rise in content many of you have shared with friends and colleagues. In 2014 alone we saw more than 2.5 million shares, making this year the most social yet.
In addition to our regular articles, news, and opportunities, we've also expanded our franchise resources and also launched our all-new local franchise sites for each state. Additionally, we have launched an all-new learning portal for entrepreneurs, franchisees, and franchisors called the Franchise Learning Academy...

Feature Story:

17 SEO Myths You Should Abandon In 2015 »

By Eddy Goldberg

"SEO has changed so much in the past several years that many marketers aren't sure what's outdated, what's important, what will actually move the needle, and what's simply wasted effort."

That's from the introduction to "17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2015," a guide from Hubspot, and a follow-up to their similar report looking ahead 2014.

Sound familiar? Does it hit close to home? You're not alone.

The purpose of the guide, says author Rebecca Churt, is to "to point out all of the most common myths and assumptions about how SEO works and debunk them for you, so you're not wasting a single moment on things that simply don't matter for SEO in 2015."

The report consists of 17 mistaken SEO beliefs, sourced from SEO experts both within and outside Hubspot's team...

Feature Story:

3 Tips For Inheritance Planning »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The odds are good that you will inherit money or assets in the coming years. And, if you're like most people, you'll save only half.
The largest transfer of wealth in history is underway, with beneficiaries expected to receive $59 trillion over the next four decades, according to a Boston College study. But those heirs will lose, spend, or donate half of their inheritances, if a 2012 study by Ohio University holds true.
"People need to plan for inheriting wealth to avoid the pitfalls that result in so many heirs making emotional or ill-informed decisions they later regret," says Michael Abbott, a veteran financial consultant and CFO of The Abbott Bennett Group, (www.theabbottbennettgroup.com).
It's never wise to make important financial decisions based on emotion, and inheritance often starts with grief -- one of the most profound emotions we ever experience, says Chris Bennett, co-founding partner of the firm...

Feature Story:

IFA's Franchise Action Network: Building Industry Strength »

By Erica Farage

The franchise business model is under unprecedented attack by anti-business activists launching a coordinated campaign in cities, states, and at the federal level. From discriminatory wage increases in Seattle and potentially Chicago, to federal regulations that would recast franchisors as employers of their franchisees' employees, these attacks are like nothing we have ever experienced. Franchise businesses must unite under a single, unswerving, strong, and collective voice to defend the franchise model against these increasing threats.
1) It's time to mobilize, now. This summer, the IFA board approved a new strategic initiative, the Franchise Action Network (FAN) to mobilize and unify the franchise community. Through FAN, franchisees, franchisors, and suppliers are working to educate lawmakers, regulators, key influencers, and the public about the crucial economic advantages provided by the franchise business model across the country...

Feature Story:

3 Customer Insights From Top Franchise Execs »

By Jack Mackey

Service Management Group (SMG) recently conducted interviews with top franchise executives. We asked them, "How do you go beyond platitudes about customer service to systems that engage customers and deliver marketing impact through a superior customer experience?" During these conversations, executives critiqued their customer experience management programs and shared what's next. Three key business insights emerged from our study.

1) How customer experience metrics predict financial results is not widely understood. Executives ask, "What's the impact of customer satisfaction on the bottom line?" and are looking to their customer experience measurement model to provide the answer. To senior leaders, it's not about measurement of satisfaction, it's about revenue-driven management of the customer experience...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: December 23, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Snapchat for Beginners (It's Time)
Snapchat users were sending 700 million photos and videos a day in May 2014, according to the company. Users take photos and videos, add text and drawings, and send them to their personal recipient list. The key feature is that the "Snaps" have a user-set time limit for how long their messages can be viewed by their friends, ranging from one to 10 seconds, after which they are no longer visible, and are deleted from Snapchat's servers (supposedly, but that's another story). Amanda Grinevich, blogging for PR agency Shift Communications writes, "Snapchat, the app we all love to hate, introduced us to the world of temporary sharing; it's no longer just a shiny toy that has yet to be figured out. Brands are diving in and taking advantage of the different experience that Snapchat offers...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Your Human-ness - To Succeed And Lead In 2015 »

By Edward D. Hess

A new book contends that to be competitive in today's fast-paced, technology-laden world, leaders and organizations must overcome their "human-ness." "Ironically, being human helps us and hurts us," says Edward D. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. To stay relevant, he says, people must "de-humanize" themselves by overcoming qualities that hold them back from becoming the best thinkers and learners they can be.

Hess says that research in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics has provided an unflattering picture of the way people think and learn. While humans have the capacity to be highly efficient, fast, reflexive thinkers, our "autopilot" thinking isn't very critical or innovative...

Feature Story:

Keep It Simple: Customer Service And The Simple Stuff »

By Lisa Ford

Every organization has a chance to deliver a positive customer experience. That experience has many starting points and touch points along the customer interaction. Each touch point will affect the customer's perception of your business and even their loyalty.
To remain competitive, take a look at the simplest of interactions and decide how those interactions represent your company. The simple stuff came to my attention with some recent experiences. As I was checking out at a national retail chain, the employee at the register answered the phone. Here is what she said, "It's a great day at the Dunwoody Large Chain Store, this is Corrine, how can I help you?" Whew! Do you think the customer wanted to hear all of that? And do you think the employee wants to say it multiple times a day? The customer is poised and ready with their question but instead have to wait out this long greeting...

Feature Story:

To Protect And To Serve: Sam Anabi Has A Track Record Of Helping Others »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Sam Anabi has always gained satisfaction from helping others. The former La Verne, Calif. police officer found great fulfillment in law enforcement before an injury changed his career-path. He had actually purchased his first gas station back in 1991 while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. In 2001, Anabi left the force to focus on his gasoline retailing business. Today he operates more than 200 Shell stations in California, along with 10 Del Tacos and 13 Subways.
Anabi says his experience as a police officer has greatly influenced how he operates his business. "Being a police officer for so many years allowed me to become very keen and intuitive toward different circumstances of people," he says. "I believe that it is our responsibility to reach out and help those around us in need...

Feature Story:

Naranga Debuts Integrated Software For Franchises »

By Eddy Goldberg

Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements, has taken a page from his IT background to develop a software solution that he says will help franchise companies and small businesses take advantage of emerging technologies to integrate their sales, operations, and marketing activities.

The new company, announced Dec. 9, follows his acquisition of eMaximation this past spring. Renamed Naranga, the new company is based on his experience as a franchisor seeking a more efficient way to manage his own global business functions.

"Naranga's products will allow franchise chains to take control of their brand with simple, flexible tools that drive sales, improve operational efficiency, and allow them to easily connect with their franchisees," said Farid...

Feature Story:

Winning Hearts: Keeping It Simple At Golden Corral »

By Helen Bond

When David Gronewoller was asked to be part of this "Dominators" issue, the Golden Corral franchisee expressed sincere surprise. "There are a whole lot of people more deserving of this," he replied.
President of GC Partners, a Winston-Salem-based company that owns and operates 12 Golden Corral locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, Gronewoller is an employees' employer. With more than 20 years of franchise experience, he believes "more in the man than the method" in overseeing his family-style restaurants. This people-centered formula success has spilled over into the neighborhoods his restaurants serve.
Gronewoller's commitment to the community is far-reaching: in 2013, his restaurants served and delivered 1...

Feature Story:

Ten Years After: Reflection On A Decade Of Change »

By Jack Mackey

In 2004, the first words I ever wrote for Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine (then called Area Developer) were:
"Vast amounts of energy and treasure have been invested to understand why customers do--or don't--come back. Few questions are more important, since same-store sales growth is built on the backs of loyal customers." That connection between customer loyalty and sales growth remains true to this day.
What's different now is that franchisees better understand the value of customer loyalty and, for the best operators, how to improve the customer experience and gain market share by winning customers away from not-so-smart competitors. From my perspective as a 10-year columnist here, here is a brief history of how we far we've come...



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