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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:

For Sale!: Ensuring A Successful Business Or Property Sale »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Corporations are holding record levels of cash, interest rates are low and the housing market is rebounding. The result? Merger and acquisitions professionals are buying more businesses and high-end homes are selling faster - Silicon Valley had a 26 percent increase in sales of $1.5 million-and-up houses in the first half of last year.
If you're considering selling a business or property in 2014 - while business is good and before mortgage rates climb - keep in mind: Focusing only on the price can short-change you in the long run. "A lot of sellers are rushing to close the deal because they're worried about what may be around the corner," says attorney John Hartog of Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law. "My first rule: Sell smart, not fast...

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Marketo's Top 10 Social Marketing Blogs »

By Maggie Jones

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared on Marketo's website on Aug. 21. For additional suggestions on social marketing, see the responses in the Comments section.

There are a lot of blogs about marketing out there, and many of them are worth reading - well-written, original, full of valuable information and fresh perspectives. But the sad, sad truth is that there are a limited number of hours in the day (only 24, last time we checked).

To help our friends in marketing sort through the blogosphere in record time, we're compiling a list of our most bookmark-worthy marketing blogs, narrowing down the list to 10 in each category. Last month, we posted our 10 favorite content marketing blogs; this month, we're covering off on another subject dear to our hearts: social marketing...

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Social Media Roundup: Aug 26, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Free Tool Analyzes Effectiveness of Facebook Pages
Inspire, a free tool from ActionSprout, analyzes Facebook Pages to see what recent content on their walls has been most successful, and provides a "Fan Engagement Score" for any page submitted to it. Writing on Social Media Today, Alan Rosenblatt, director of digital strategy at turner4D, says, "Inspire not only provides data on likes, comments, and shares for each post displayed in the results, but includes data on how the interaction on that post compares to the average post for that Page. This is important data for anyone trying to optimize the performance of posts on their own Page(s)." This is a great way to learn what works for your community, and to focus your content precisely on the people you want to attract and keep engaged with your brand...

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Del Taco Man: Franchisee, Franchisor, Family Man, Innovator »

By Debbie Selinsky

If Del Taco were a sports team, Paul Hitzelberger would not only be its MVP, he'd also be the GM and coach. For the past three decades, he's been on both sides of the business, as franchisor and franchisee, playing a leading role in helping the brand grow to more than 540 restaurants in 17 states.
After serving 15 years as chief marketing officer for Del Taco, he retired, but it didn't stick. In 2001, the Chicago-born entrepreneur started a new career as a franchisee, buying eight Del Taco locations in Utah. "The only partner I have now is my wife," he says, adding that he has an "outstanding" relationship with Del Taco and loves the product.
A former senior officer with General Mills and franchisor at Coast to Coast stores, Hitzelberger has earned franchisee accolades over the years, regularly posting the highest average volume within the Del Taco system...

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4 Tips For Attracting More Multi-Unit Franchisees »

By Molly Rowe

Every franchisor wants to attract a "certain type" of franchisee. Lately, the type of franchisee every franchisor seems to want is a multi-unit franchisee.

Okay, maybe not every brand wants to sell more units to fewer franchisees, but it's something I'm hearing about more and more: franchisors looking to attract deep-pocketed investors rather than hands-on moms and pops. And it makes sense. In theory, multi-unit franchisees are easier to manage, bring in more money, and in some cases, are more satisfied with the brand overall. What's common practice in food franchising - requiring franchisees to commit to opening multiple units as part of their franchise agreement - is now becoming common outside of food. But attracting multi-unit franchisees and keeping them happy isn't as easy as just changing your franchise agreement...

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Q&A: The ACA Rollout - What Franchisees Need To Know »

By Benjamin Geyerhahn

The Affordable Care Act 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+ 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...

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Against The Odds: ServiceMaster Franchisee Sets Records And Sails To Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Dan Fry entered the world of franchising knowing very little about the business. He was warned of the odds of succeeding in a new business but he didn't let that stop him or hold him back in anyway. He excelled first as a ServiceMaster franchisee and became one of the brand's top 200 franchisees after only one year in business. He's maintained that growth rate over the last 12 years and has earned numerous franchise growth and excellence awards. His newest business venture is as a Furniture Medic franchisee and he's excelling again. He has already set a record for the highest first year revenue of any new franchisee and been recognized with the brand's Rookie of the Year Award.


Name: Dan Fry
Title: Owner/Partner
Company: ServiceMaster Advanced Restorations, LP
(Also: Furniture Medic by Wood Restore, LLC)
Location/Territory: Dallas/Fort Worth
No...

Feature Story:

Positional Power: 5 Ways To Find Common Ground With Your Business Partners »

By Dan Schneider

If you happen to be an active majority partner in a business, you may sometimes find yourself struggling for alignment with your minority partner or partners, especially if the minority partners are also involved in the business. They assume because they have some percentage of ownership that they may have the positional power to make unilateral decisions that move the business in a direction that suits their liking. In short, they throw their "weight" around; and they pay little attention to the unintended consequences of doing so.
If you currently find yourself in this position, here are some approaches that many have used successfully to get everyone moving in the same direction again. Your success with them will depend largely on how strongly you believe and how well you remember that the deceptive or coercive use of these principles can further complicate the situation...

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Why Franchisors Fail – And How To Help Them Succeed, Part 6 »

By Joe Mathews and Thomas Scott

This is the final installment in a 6-part series about why new and emerging franchise brands fail. In the first two parts, we discussed 8 reasons they fail. Part 3 began our discussion on how franchisors can get it right. This week we look at the financial rewards of “doing it right.”

If you were to contact a business broker to value your franchise, if your EBITDA is under $500,000 you would hear your business valued at about 3 to 4 times EBITDA. However, if your EBITDA started cracking $1 million a year, that valuation would bump up to 6 to 8 times EBITDA.

Most franchisors don’t have 100 franchisees or units and never crack $500,000 in EBITDA. Often the difference between a 3–4X EBITDA valuation and a 6–8X EBITDA valuation is the next 100 franchisees or units...

Feature Story:

Phishing - Don't Get Hooked!: The Basics On Avoiding This Old-School Scam »

By David Ellis

Phishing may be old news, but it still works. Ongoing education about phishing scams is essential for anyone who uses your system. It doesn't matter if you have the most secure security system in the world. It only takes one untrained employee to be fooled by a phishing attack and give away the data you've worked so hard to protect.
As part of your security awareness program (PCI requirement 12.6.1), your personnel should be trained at least annually on phishing. I recommend sending monthly memos, or displaying a poster outlining the telltale signs of a phishing attempt. (You can also hang this article in your break room!)
Phishing continues to remain a lucrative criminal profession in our email-packed world. Hackers send out more than 150 million fraudulent emails daily, hoping just a few will click on attached links, documents, or pictures (80,000 people fall victim to these scams each day)...

Feature Story:

How To Buy Print Advertising For Maximum Results »

By Steve Olson

Magazines, newspapers, direct mail, billboards, and other print media have been the backbone of business-to-business and consumer marketing for centuries. Kicking back and reading a magazine in the comfort of our home, office, or a coffeehouse or on the beach, airplane, train, or bus is a personal experience that can never be replaced. We aren't interested in skipping about on a computer, or we just don't have one at our fingertips. Print is portable, tangible, and easy on the eyes. The convenience of print and a more captive mindset provide strong advertising opportunities to reach franchise prospects, opportunities that should never be abandoned for the flash of electronic media.

Here are some quick tips that will help you make better decisions when purchasing print advertising:

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From Summer Job To CEO: Rich Wilson Leads A Turnaround At CertaPro Painters »

By Kerry Pipes

Rich Wilson needed to earn money for his college education. The way he saw it he had two choices. "I could either spend a summer crab fishing in Alaska or start my own business," recalls Wilson, president and CEO of CertaPro Painters. "I decided to stay dry."
So in 1987 he became franchisee of College Pro Painters, a painting company that targets business-minded students. It worked out: he made enough money to pay off his tuition bills and enjoyed running a business so much that, rather than following his plan to attend law school after graduation, he joined College Pro's corporate team, becoming a division vice president by 1992. He spent the next 5 years with the organization before a couple of career turns at Aamco and Maaco before settling in at CertaPro Painters in 2003...

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Old Chicago: Repositioning A 37-Year-Old Brand Takes Planning And Patience »

By Mike Mrlik

Before rebranding to Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom in 2013, Old Chicago Pizza & Pasta had a successful 37-year history that served three generations of guests. The neighborhood restaurant, founded by a few buddies in Boulder, grew steadily to 96 restaurants in 22 states.

The brand made a lot of loyal friends along the way, but though longtime pizza lovers enjoyed the familiar comfort of the traditional beer-and-pizza combo, the U.S. food scene was quickly evolving. Diners were becoming more knowledgeable about food and drink and were hungry for more upscale options with an emphasis on artistry and a passion for all things craft.

In November 2010, Old Chicago evolved into part of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, the nation's largest brewery restaurant...

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Anger Management: Handling Irate Customers And Difficult Situations  »

By John Tschohl

It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.
Facing off with a screaming, unreasonable, irrational customer represents the ultimate test of any employee's service skills. It can take you to your breaking point if you are not aware and careful. Staying grounded and above the fray requires you to find inner strength, and persevere beyond the initial difficulties.
With many employees a screaming irate customer will ruin their day. It's hard to keep motivated when 20 minutes into your shift a customer lets you have it. The bad news is most employees have never been trained to successfully handle these customers. Their ego gets in the way. They call management for support. In some call centers the employee just hangs up thinking no one will know...

Feature Story:

Tapping The Power Of Word Of Mouth »

By John Tschohl

1) Give 'em something to talk about. 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. 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...

Feature Story:

Recruiting And Hiring: Experts Offer 6 Ways To Use "Inboarding" To Improve Employee Productivity »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Four out of five companies can testify that onboarding new hires leads to such positives as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater commitment to the organization, and stress reduction. According to the author of a new book on business trends, many companies are now doing the same for existing employees, a process called "inboarding."
"Inboarding is really just an extension of the idea of onboarding. There is no reason to think that it is too late for the rest of the roster who arrived after onboarding began or have already gone through onboarding," says Dana Borowka, co-editor along with Ellen Borowka of the new anthology Cracking the Business Code.
According to Larry Cassidy, a contributor to the new book, the purpose of inboarding is to set existing, rather than new, employees up for greater success...

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Customer Insights: The Power Of Fact-Based Marketing »

By Jack Mackey

"Insight is a new configuration of knowledge that breaks the existing pattern of thinking in an unexpected way." This definition of insight comes from Luke Williams, professor of marketing and innovation at the NYU Stern School of Business. In short, insights drive intelligent marketing decisions that, when executed well, drive growth. Williams spoke at the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in Atlanta in June.

There it was also my pleasure to host part of a wide-ranging panel discussion on marketing strategy, planning, execution, results, and measurement. Executives contributed their insights obtained in diverse industries from child education to senior services. Retailers, personal service providers, and restaurant operators all shared surprising lessons...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 12, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Email Marketing Is Still Effective - When Done Right
Email marketing is still one of the most successful ways to reach people on the Internet. Almost everyone who is online has is an email account, and their inbox is the first and last place most people check every day. To get the most bang for the buck with their campaigns, smart email marketers follow these three rules:

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Talent Management: Hiring, Training, And Retaining Great Employees »

By Eddy Goldberg

The benefits of having employees who are better trained, more engaged, and who stay longer are clear. You might even call it the Holy Grail of HR. What's not so clear is exactly how to achieve that cherished goal. Some multi-unit operators rely on their franchisor-provided training, but that primarily teaches new hires about the brand and how to perform their job. Others supplement this with their own programs, adding training and education in customer service skills, teamwork, coaching, and their organization's values and culture. But not everyone has the resources--or the know-how--to do that.
One basic choice in how to hire, train, and retain top-performing employees is whether to do it in-house, or to outsource parts (or all) of their employee and management training...

Feature Story:

Dickey's Barbecue Pit: New Chief Brand Officer Talks Development »

By Kerry Pipes

Christie Finley, chief brand officer at Dickey's Barbecue Pit, brings vision, drive, and creativity to the nation's largest barbecue brand, with more than 400 locations in 42 states. Finley says she's focused on "the basics done right," and on promoting the brand's core values of heritage, innovation, and craftmasnship. She previously led the strategic development and implementation of advertising and marketing campaigns at a diverse range of consumer and B2B brands, in both corporate and agency roles. Her experience will come in handy as the Dallas-based brand begins aggressively expanding to the West: Dickey's recently signed a 100-unit deal in California and has its sights set on Washington and Oregon.

Describe your role as CBO...



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