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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:

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...

Feature Story:

Subway: How Fred DeLuca Hit A Grand Slam »

By Steve Olson

In 1984, I met Fred DeLuca, co-founder of Subway, then a 19-year-old retail chain with approximately 300 stores. Many of us would be happy with such development success. But not Fred. He had envisioned thousands of his Subway stores operating throughout the world. At the company’s expansion rate, however, he would never see his dream come to fruition.

Fred was determined to turn his vision to reality and needed to find the formula for explosive growth. Impressed by the success of the Century 21 model, he decided to develop a franchise expansion concept to accelerate his growth. As I recall, he handpicked his best store owners and awarded them development rights within their markets. This move was revolutionary. It contradicted the basic franchising model, which required healthy fees to obtain area development rights...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: A Look Back, Part 1 »

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:

Slow Service? Diners Using Cell Phones Keep Waiters Waiting - 2014 Vs. 2004 »

By Maia McCann

A busy NYC restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, so they hired a firm to investigate. When they compared footage from 2004 to footage from 2014, they made some pretty startling discoveries. So shocking, in fact, that they ranted about it on Craigslist! (Editor's note: The original posting is no longer on Craigslist. The following is a transcript posted on distractify.com by Maia McCann. The post has been shared more than 800,000 times so far, and has received nearly 3,000 comments.)

We are a popular restaurant for both locals and tourists alike. Having been in business for many years, we noticed that although the number of customers we serve on a daily basis is almost the same today as it was 10 years ago, the service just seems super slow even though we added more staff and cut back on the menu items...

Feature Story:

Partners In Arms: IFA Teams Up With Job Creations Network To Defend Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising is fighting back.
Organized labor and activist groups have been hammering away at the franchise business way of life. But now the International Franchise Association (IFA) and Job Creations Network, an advocacy organization dedicated to educating employees about government policies that negatively impact their business, have formed a dynamic duo to help defend franchising.
The new partnership will provide IFA and its membership non-partisan education tools about how existing and prospective government policies affect their workplace, now and in the future.
"Millions of jobs and small businesses are now at risk due to the unprecedented nature of the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that franchisors and franchisees can be designated as joint-employers," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE...

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

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...



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