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Franchise Articles

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:

Franchising Future Looks Good »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising should continue to outpace the rest of the economy, according to the Franchise Business Outlook third quarter update report released by the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation and IHS Economics.
"Franchising is a growth engine for small businesses. Not only are franchises creating new businesses faster than other businesses, the outlook report signals steady growth in all franchise sectors over the last three months despite the struggles of the broader economy," said IFA's Educational Foundation President John Reynolds, CFE.
Key findings from the Economic Outlook Report include:

Feature Story:

Field Support: The Key To Franchisee Communication And System Growth »

By Kyle Zagrodzky

When people dream of turning a successful business into a franchise, they never dream small. A budding franchise has to be huge to justify the gargantuan effort and investment involved in building it from the ground up. However, as franchise founders-to-be plan the massive scale of their Next Big Thing, one vital element on the road to achievement is too often overlooked.

Clear, regular communication is the linchpin of success. It has the power to make or break companies - and compared with legal fees, the cost of communication is a pittance. So if communication with franchisees is that significant, why do many companies fall short when it comes to picking up the phone and checking in with them?

When a new franchise is starting out, people know each other and it's easy to stay in touch because the group is small...

Feature Story:

Integrating Technology Into Franchise Development At Chem-Dry »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Doug Smith, vice president of franchise development at Chem-Dry, "What are you doing to integrate technologies for both your overall development strategies and into how you create a profile of your best prospects?" Here's what he had to say.

Chem-Dry uses inbound marketing strategies to help us connect with potential franchisees. Our online marketing strategy is designed to make significant information available to people researching franchise opportunities.

The foundation for Chem-Dry's recruitment strategy comes from our relationships with existing franchisees. We stay in contact with them throughout the year as we help them identify ways they can grow and improve their businesses. We then use what we learn to build an inbound marketing strategy designed to attract people who are likely to have success in our brand...

Feature Story:

What's Your Service Aptitude? »

By John DiJulius

It's your job to teach employees how to treat customers

Companies don't engage emotionally with their customers--their employees do. If you want to create a memorable company, you must fill your company with memorable people. The level and quality of your organization's customer service comes down to one thing and one thing only: the Service Aptitude of every employee. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, corporate office support team, to every front-line employee--the most critical component in building a world-class customer experience culture is the Service Aptitude of every individual in your company.

What is Service Aptitude?
Service Aptitude is a person's ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers' expectations, regardless of the circumstances...

Feature Story:

Failed Units: Not Just A Franchisee Issue »

By Darrell Johnson

Throughout my career I have observed that a strong alignment of interests between two business parties usually leads to good outcomes for both. All franchisors with any marketing savvy will say they are strongly aligned with their franchisees. What is the evidence that a brand walks the talk?
There are many ways a franchisor can help its franchisees, starting with a full and high-quality support program, and including a disciplined prospect screening program, training that measures results, site selection and opening assistance based on proven criteria, and field operations and compliance that are effective.
Then there's transparency. Brands that have a meaningful Item 19, that have system dashboards that compare unit performance in real time, that support capital access through SBA eligibility and Bank Credit Reports (BCRs), and that seek system feedback through independent third parties are further examples...

Feature Story:

Raising The Red Roof: CMO Marina MacDonald Does It All »

By Kerry Pipes

Marina MacDonald has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly three decades. Since November 2007, she's been with Red Roof Inn, the past year and a half as CMO. Red Roof, a player in the economy lodging sector, has more than 400 properties across the U.S., split among franchised, corporate-managed, and corporate-owned units.
As CMO, MacDonald is responsible for helping the brand achieve its annual goals and objectives by leading and directing its sales and marketing programs. In this role, she develops targeted marketing initiatives that build the brand, increase customer loyalty, and support an integrated sales program. She also interacts with the franchise community and the brand's stakeholders, maintains relationships with Red Roof's top customers, and plays an active role in field sales...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros:The Role Of Your Brand Culture In Recruitment And Development »

Franchise Update

What role does your brand's culture play in your recruitment and development process?
Gary Matusiak
VP of Franchise Development
Pancheros Mexican Grill
At Pancheros, interviewing prospective franchisees who fit within our brand's culture is a lot like dating. During the process, we conduct multiple calls with a potential franchisee to ask questions, gauge whether they would be a fit for our brand, answer any questions they have, and build a rapport with them. We listen for the prospective franchisee's key priorities and principles, which are indicative of whether they would be a good fit within our culture.
After we get to know the prospective operator, we invite them to attend a discovery day to meet our team and learn more about the Pancheros brand and culture...

Feature Story:

Texas-based Franchisee Reaches 10-Unit Milestone »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Ron Ram already had 7 Pizza Patrón locations in Houston and 2 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But in September he opened his third DFW area location. That makes 10 units and growing for the franchisee's Bravo Pizzas Houston, LLC, company.
The Pizza Patrón brand is known for its "Pizza Por Pesos" program (where it accepts Mexican Pesos as payment), "fresh-dough" pizza, low prices, and its trademark "friendly, bicultural service." The brand is doing well in the Texas market thanks to a dedicated fan base and franchisees like Ram.
He says his newest location has great demographics. "We love this location. It is a densely populated Hispanic neighborhood, and we are excited to serve and become an integral part of this vibrant community," said Ram...

Feature Story:

Franchisees Rally For Their Cause On Capitol Hill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchisees from across the country gathered this week in Washington D.C. to rally around the franchise business model and meet with members of Congress to emphasize the industry's importance. It's the 2015 International Franchise Association's (IFA) Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting, an event that helps get attendees excited and ready for meeting with elected officials on Capitol Hill.
"Not everyone understands the franchise business model and how legislative and regulatory decisions can greatly impact small franchised businesses," said Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsings and a speaker during the event. "It is critical for all of us in the franchising industry to proactively develop relationships with our Congressional Representatives and Senators in order to preserve and protect the future of our businesses...

Feature Story:

Power Up!: Batteries Plus Bulbs Chases $1 Billion In Sales »

By Kerry Pipes

Russ Reynolds' leadership has helped Batteries Plus Bulbs push boundaries and create enhancements that not only are keeping the brand relevant, but also are expanding its product and service offerings and creating sustainable growth. Under Reynolds' direction, the brand has seen system revenue more than double in the past five years. It has also maintained double-digit system sales growth and store opening rates during this period. Today Batteries Plus Bulbs is the country's largest battery and light bulb franchise and is looking to expand the $30 billion battery and $17 billion light bulb industries.
Following retail management experience at Target and GNB Technology, a consumer and industrial battery manufacturer, Reynolds arrived at Batteries Plus in 2000, serving as president and COO for two years until he became CEO and put the brand on the fast track...

Feature Story:

In Search Of Millennials: Tailor Your Opportunity To Their Values »

By Dan Santy

As a franchise organization, there is no doubt your marketing department is focused on the Millennial audience as a potential customer base. You've read scores of articles describing the size of this generation, as well as their potential spending power in the coming years. They have outgrown the Baby Boomers in numbers, and they will outspend them as well.
But Millennials are also an emerging target for your franchise sales efforts. A recent independent research study uncovered insights that illuminate how attractive this group is as potential franchisees. For instance, the Great Recession stunted the opportunities and financial growth of Millennials in traditional career tracks. With companies downsizing and closing doors, hiring and upward mobility slowed or ceased...

Feature Story:

Staying The Course: The Future Looks Bright For Ken Leese »

By Kerry Pipes

The past five years have been tough for those in the tax business, but things are looking up and Ken Leese's positive attitude has never waned.
"With the state of the economy, you look at how fewer people working translates into fewer tax returns that need preparing," says the 47-year-old Jackson Hewitt franchisee. "Our business has struggled somewhat to remain status quo, and one of the realities we discovered is that the tax business is not so recession-proof." Regardless, Leese has remained steadfast and has made calculated and strategic moves since we profiled him in 2010.
He's divested all of his Delaware territories and replaced them with Jackson Hewitt units in Southern New Jersey, his home base. He still has a few locations in Pennsylvania but the core of his operation is now in New Jersey...

Feature Story:

Boosting Unit Profitability »

By Steve LeFever and Rod Bristol

We're often asked, "I've been in this system four years. When should I start making a profit?" This is a disturbing question at best--as if profits were somehow time-sensitive: just wait long enough and, Presto!, profits. If only it were that easy. Here are some thoughts on improving your bottom line.

Feature Story:

In-House Or Out?: 5 Ways To Build Your Sales Team »

By Steve Olson

Fifteen years ago, mainstream franchisors wouldn't think of contracting their recruitment selling to outside companies. Today's mindset has dramatically changed, fueled by the advent of better technology, communication, intelligence, and tracking systems. Development offices are now more commonplace for many brands, allowing franchisors to attract a larger pool of selling talent, whether as their own employees or independent sales teams.
If you are a young franchise company or in the midst of a turnaround effort, you have choices for developing a high-performance franchise sales program. I don't promote one avenue over the other, because there simply is no single "best way" for all concepts. The type of business, franchise program, corporate resources, leadership philosophies, and other extenuating circumstances will influence which road to take...

Feature Story:

Chief Vibe Officer: Which Wich's Jeff Sinelli Brings A Unique Approach To Leadership »

By Kerry Pipes

Jeff Sinelli likes to be called CVO--as in chief vibe officer. It may seem slightly irreverent, but the founder and CEO of Which Wich is not your ordinary leader. You won't catch him wearing a suit at headquarters or visiting the stores, but instead donning the brand's black-and-yellow colors.
His leadership and unique approach allowed him to enter a busy sandwich sector and differentiate his way straight to success. "We took on a crowded market," says Sinelli. "We took ordinary sandwiches and made them extraordinary. We did it in two ways: with the unique and interactive ordering system, and with the product itself. We also stepped it up with superior service. We elevated the sandwich, the experience, and the environment."
Success is not new to Sinelli...

Feature Story:

Area Developer Brings Smoke's Poutinerie To Golden State »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Alan Goldstein opened his first Smoke's Poutinerie with a bang in Hollywood, California earlier this year. He has a deal to open 20 locations over the next five years and the next one is weeks away from launching in San Diego.
The 45-year-old Goldstein is relatively new to franchising but has jumped in headfirst. He says he loves the concept of Smoke's Poutinerie, the wildly entertaining poutine concept from Canada, and is excited to be a part of its rapid expansion in the United States. His Hollywood location is just the second store in the U.S.
Goldstein says he's currently smack in the middle of operations and working "about 100 hours a week" alongside his crew. But his goal is to get to the point where he can focus more on strategic growth, development, and openings...

Feature Story:

6 Principles Of Customer Service »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

John Tschohl is a best-selling author, an internationally recognized service strategist, and president of Service Quality Institute - a leading customer service organization. He offers a concise and practical list of six essential customer service principles.
These "Personal Steps of Excellence" would go well in a frame on your office wall and those of your general managers.

1. Feel Good About Yourself. Employees do not go to work dreaming about how they can work exceptionally hard to make the company and the owner more money. Be realistic. Many employees have personal problems. The more we can uplift the self worth and self-image of employees, they become more productive and feel like there is a win-win relationship. In return they will deliver a higher level of excellence...

Feature Story:

Learning Service Excellence (Again!) From Southwest Airlines »

By John Tschohl

Customer experience management (CEM) has been recognized as the future of customer service and sales. Companies are using this approach to anticipate customer needs and adopt the mindset of the customer. It's a strategy well worth pursuing, and an opportunity for any business to turn customer experience into growth - and profit.

In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (LUV, on the NYSE) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary customer service, delivered by more than 47,000 employees to more than 100 million customers annually. Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights per day, serving 95 destinations across the United States and six additional countries. The company's net income of $691 million in the second quarter of 2015 is an all-time quarterly high, and its 9th consecutive quarterly record...

Feature Story:

10 Insights Marketers Can Get Only From Phone Calls »

By Amber Tiffany

Marketers are trained masters in the art of digital analytics. We can follow the digital customer journey in our sleep. Email open rates, content downloads, social shares - easy! What could we possibly be missing?

It turns out phone calls hold a ton of valuable (even essential) marketing insights. I know this flies in the face of your digital sensibilities, but the truth is that a simple phone call has customer and marketing insights you just can't find anywhere else. Here are 10 marketing insights you can gain only from phone calls.

1. True campaign performance
It's no secret digital marketing drives phone calls. In fact, according to Invoca's 2015 Call Intelligence Index, 54% of customer-initiated phone calls come from mobile marketing campaigns and 30% come from traditional online channels and campaigns...

Feature Story:

Outstanding In The Field: Getting What You Need, When You Need It »

By Debbie Selinsky

What franchisees want from corporate field support is pretty straightforward. Basic expectations include great products, marketing and brand support, ongoing training, site selection, purchasing power for goods and services, and participation in product and program testing. While those are the table stakes, what makes systems really successful and builds strong relationships between franchisor and franchisees is communication, consistency, and listening,
"For our organization, what's most important is for our field consultants to communicate the same message," says Spencer Smith, CEO of the Smith Group in Cortez, Colo., which operates nearly 50 Aaron's stores and 3 Rent A Wheel units across 8 western states. "We have 46 Aaron's locations, so we have 5 different field consultants from Canada to Mexico...

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Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue IV, 2015

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
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