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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:

Man Of Many Hats: Former NFL Pro Thrives With Lots Of Balls In The Air »

By Debbie Selinsky

When you look at the life and career of multi-unit franchisee Don Davey, you'll notice a pattern. From professional football (he was an NFL defensive tackle for 10 years) to his 20-unit ownership of Firehouse Subs franchises to the six Ironman competitions he's completed, everything requires discipline, tenacity, focus, and a competitive nature.
Sound tough? Not to Davey, who was named the 2013 IFA's Franchisee of the Year. In fact, he eats it up. "As an entrepreneur, I love being completely responsible for both our successes and our failures. It's stressful, but extremely rewarding," he says.
"Some people look at my life as hectic and chaotic," says Davey, who earned bachelor and master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: If You'Re Not Green And Growing, You'Re Ripe And Rotting »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Consumer marketing changes constantly--no news there. Keeping up is another story. Tactics and thinking that were progressive and results-oriented yesterday are passé and ineffective today. To make matters worse, franchisors are also battling an increasing glut of media channels, confusing new technologies, and competition from all sides. No one understands these challenges better than the franchise CMOs and marketing executives on the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference's advisory board, who deal with them every day.
The board took all these challenges--and more--into account when they developed the theme of this year's conference: "Change: The New Marketing Currency." The fourth annual conference, held in June at Atlanta's InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, attracted top franchise marketing executives for two days of jam-packed education, sharing, and networking, all seeking to gain an edge on their competition and learn about the latest strategies and techniques in the world of consumer marketing...

Feature Story:

It's Time For Global Standards: International Expansion Demands Better Information »

By Darrell Johnson and Eric Simon

Over the past seven years, some economies have prospered while the U.S. has been on a roller-coaster ride. With franchising's ability to respond relatively quickly to change, it comes as no surprise that we are seeing more focus on international expansion by U.S. brands. We have seen an increase in international research projects ourselves and addressed this trend by starting a research company in Australia.
In the U.S., we are accustomed to being able to obtain, from both public and private sources, a considerable amount of reliable franchise information. The amount and quality of international information on franchising pales in comparison. Brands typically are left to rely on consultants and their own experience. International franchise information, when available at all, is scattered among government agencies, franchise associations, and within individual brands, all with varying degrees of reliability...

Feature Story:

Mobile Apps: Help Your Customers Spend More! »

By Tom Epstein

According to the National Restaurant Association,

Feature Story:

17 SEO Myths It's Time To Leave Behind »

By Eddy Goldberg

SEO has gone through many changes since marketers first discovered the value of being listed on the first page of search engine results. That was nearly 20 years ago, and during that time many beliefs arose about the best ways marketers could outfox the algorithms. Many of those beliefs are just that: beliefs, according to Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales platform company. In "17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2014," the company attempts to put them to rest. From the introduction of the 24-page guide:

"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. This guide is going 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 2014...

Feature Story:

Added Value: Is Your Leadership Personality Helping Or Hurting Your Business? »

By Sally Hogshead

As an entrepreneur, you're often the face of your company, and your ability to capture attention, to fascinate others--clients, employees, strategic partners, influencers--can make or break a business. Every time you communicate, you're doing one of two things:

Feature Story:

Retirement Planning: Knowing When It's OK To Play It Safe And When It's Not »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

As people get closer to the age when they hope to retire, traditional wisdom calls for moving into more conservative - safer - investments, such as Treasury bonds and many fixed-income mutual funds.
"The problem is, what is 'safe' for one person may not be 'safe' for another, given the amount of money in their portfolios, how their investments are allocated, and what their retirement lifestyle goals are," says financial advisor Haitham "Hutch" Ashoo, co-founder with advisor Chris Snyder of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC.
"Some investors believe Certificates of Deposit and U.S. Treasury bonds are safe investments because of their backing, but the income they generate is so low, they may not be safe in terms of producing the income you need for 30 years of retirement...

Feature Story:

5 Ways To Ensure Your Marketing Video Will Suck »

By Jennifer Santoro

Online video marketing has become a staple, with 81 percent of companies producing video content for their websites and 69 percent producing it for social media, according to the 2014 Online Video Production Trends Report.

There are loads of marketing videos on the web now, some extremely effective, but there are plenty that just don't work. I've noticed common themes among the latter group. Based on those, here are five ways to ensure your marketing video will suck.

1. The video takes too long to get to the point.In the age of the tweet, marketers have only a few seconds to capture a viewer's attention. To get the viewer to engage, a marketer must put serious thought into what the main point of the video is, and then clearly communicate that message as quickly as possible...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: September 23, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Local Search: Tips on Increasing Your Online Presence...
Customers are turning more and more to mobile search, making high visibility in local search results a critical ingredient in a business's marketing mix. The toolkit for businesses that want to rule local search results is already rich, and continues to deepen. Citations in sites such as Yelp, Superpages, Angie's List, and others are invaluable. Use of Google+ Local Page Optimization gives businesses higher ranking in Local Pack Results, inclusion in the Local Carousel, and having a Pin in the Local Pack Map. Encouraging reviews on a Google Local Page is another powerful way to get better local search results. Writing on Search Engine Journal, Kelsey Jones provides helpful infographics detailing do's, don'ts, and tips in 5 areas: Google+ local page optimization; citations; reviews; on-site optimization; and inbound link profile...

Feature Story:

7 Tips For Managing Your Banker »

By Steve LeFever

Banking basics for tough times
In these challenging times, it pays to be as prepared as possible. Here are some suggestions from the banker's side of the desk that will help increase your chances of success when it comes time to renew or renegotiate your current loan structure.
First, it's no secret that the banking industry has taken a hit over the past 48 months. Bank performance (or lack thereof) has been front-page news for some time. Here's an overview of what's happened, where we are, and what it means to you.
A generally robust economy since 2003 lulled banks into more of a "sales" mentality and less of a "credit analysis" mentality. As a result, credit standards were lowered, documentation pared down, and the loan decision process watered down...

Feature Story:

Claiming Your Share: Popeyes' Turnaround In A No-Growth World »

By Jack Mackey

Growing franchisee profitability usually requires growing the top line, as well as controlling costs. With no rising economic tide to lift all boats, the way to grow sales is to take share from the competition.
This makes sense because most people you think of as "your" customers are also customers of your competitors. If you are franchising restaurants, "your" customers' total spend on eating out is much more than their total spend on eating out with your franchisees. You just get a very small sliver of the customer pie.
But you can increase your share by being different, better, and more desirable to customers. To put a finer point on that growth formula, it looks like this:
Unique offerings + marketing and design that distinguish the brand + guest-focused operations = a growing brand that creates legions of loyalists and generates great wealth...

Feature Story:

Any Meal, Any Time: Keeping Core Values Intact During A Brand Refresh »

Franchise Update

Change in a franchise system is inevitable. All franchise brands across all segments--food, home services, health and wellness, B2B, and others--eventually come to a point in their growth where the choice is clear: either change and continue to grow, or remain stale and gradually fade away as more progressive competitors pass you by.
Having been in the restaurant industry since age 14, I've seen my fair share of "change gone good" and "change gone bad" situations. Some of the most expensive events are when change isn't handled correctly. I've learned that whether it's small tweaks to a menu or entire system-wide rebranding programs, in a primarily franchised system the deciding factor of the success or failure of change and of enlisting the support of the franchise partners has been, and always will be, trust...

Feature Story:

Workplace Communication: Where Has All The Candor Gone? »

By Gregory Ciotti

Candor among talented teams is no small feat, but executives across industries will tell you that it is the universal gold standard.

Feature Story:

Franchise Ownership By Hispanic Americans Will Continue To Grow »

By Sebastian Aroca

U.S. Census numbers show that Latinos are the nation's largest minority: the Hispanic American population in 2012 had reached 53 million and is expected to grow to 128 million by 2060. By sheer numbers alone, this group is set to influence the way companies do business in the U.S. for years to come - which is why companies that expand through franchising are seeking creative ways to attract Latino entrepreneurs.

Today, Hispanic Americans own only 5.2 percent of American franchise businesses, according to a report published by the IFA. Here are some key explanations for low Hispanic American entrance into franchise businesses; reasons that diversity in franchise businesses is desirable; and examples of franchise companies that actively court Hispanic American entrepreneurs...

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...



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