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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 Abroad: The Economic Argument »

By Tony Foley

franchising, international, international franchising, overseas growth, overseas expansion, franchising abroad, united franchise group, tony foley

Franchising Abroad: The Economic Argument

By Tony Foley

The world is getting smaller. Customers come from and visit everywhere, and brand names are powerful. There are many reasons to take your brand away from your home soil and overseas. Among the most compelling are the economic ones. International expansion has the power to benefit both franchisor and franchisee, to establish important relationships across country borders, and to create brand name recognition far more powerful than anything you can cultivate purely domestically.

Franchises are particularly attractive for global expansion, thanks to the model and the blueprint they provide...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 2 - Concluding The Program Review »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Qualify the prospect, build rapport, and establish the process
Length of conversation: 45 to 60 minutes

This is the third part of an excerpt from my book that focuses on the program review step of the franchise sales process. Part 1 introduced the program review. Part 2 looked at pre-closing. This week, in part 3, we look at how to wrap up Step 2 of "The Six Steps to Selling Success" that I've detailed in my book, Grow to Greatness.

Now it's time to conclude the program review by preparing your prospect for the next stage of investigation. Reconfirm their interest by asking, "How would you like to proceed? Good, you say you want to continue. Then the next step is to send you our franchise documents, referred to as the Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD...

Feature Story:

All-Around High Achiever »

By Debbie Selinsky

Measuring success by how many people he helps reach their goals

In a time when many business executives are looking at what to cut because of rising payroll and healthcare costs, Michael Kulp, president and CEO of KBP Foods, a $250 million restaurant company with units in nine states, is taking an "inverse" approach.
"We're using our growth as a vehicle to handle costs rather than shrinking the business down," says the 38-year-old Colorado native. "We're making sure that our growth and cash flow outpace the costs of healthcare and payroll." This approach illustrates what Kulp finds most rewarding about his job, he says. "Our mission is to develop our people personally, professionally, and financially."
With that goal in mind, KBP Foods, which includes nearly 300 KFCs, Taco Bells, and Long John Silver's, took another major step...

Feature Story:

Stressed Out?: It Could Be Time To Reassess Your Direct Reports »

By Bill Wagner

How many direct reports do you have? Consider these four scenarios.

Feature Story:

Extreme Mentoring: Don't Hesitate To Give The Gift To Someone Else »

By Steve Farber

What if you could give someone a really special gift that would cost you no money at all? And what if that no-cost gift could significantly change another's life? Well, you could and it will.
You can give yourself as a "gift" to someone you love, believe in, or admire by taking that person on as your Greater Than Yourself (GTY) Project. Think of the Greater Than Yourself approach as Extreme Mentoring, if you will.
I'd highly encourage you extend yourself in this deeply meaningful way. I think you'll notice all kinds of payoff. And to help you make this relationship official (whether or not you already have a GTY Project), we've created this gift certificate for you to use.
Please read the following text from the certificate...

Feature Story:

Preparing For Departure: Experts Share 3 Crucial Planning Steps For Leaving The Business You Built »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

More and more small business owners are selling their companies, with sales hitting a four-year high in early 2013 in the United States, and Canada predicting its largest small business turnover ever in the next five years.
"Many of our CEOs are baby boomers approaching retirement age," says Kathleen Richardson-Mauro, co-author with Jane M. Johnson of a practical new guide, "Cashing Out of Your Business," (
"We're about to see a tsunami of ownership transitions and Kathleen and I worry that too many of these small business owners are not taking steps early enough to plan for it," adds Johnson.
Richardson-Mauro, a Certified Financial Planner, and Johnson, a Certified Public Accountant, specialize in helping business owners successfully transition out of companies and achieve their goals...

Feature Story:

Marketing To Diverse Customers »

By Annica Kreider

We asked Annica Kreider, vice president of brand development at Mellow Mushroom to discuss the role of diversity in the company's marketing department and in its marketing strategies. Here's what she had to say.

Marketing to a diverse consumer base is something we not only discuss often among our team, but something we also embrace internally from a talent management standpoint. From a leadership perspective, I'm a huge believer in having a very diverse team in terms of demographics, psychographics, and lifestyle. If everyone on a team looks alike, dresses alike, and does the same things on the weekend, I think you're missing the boat in terms of creativity and brand advancement.

With most elements of our creative we like to push the envelope and be as provocative, interesting, and engaging as we can...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Returns This June »

By Franchise Update Media

The Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC), now in its fourth year, is gearing up to surpass attendance records once again. Following the inaugural conference in San Francisco, the conference has expanded each year, in both the number of franchisors attending and the number of suppliers exhibiting their marketing services and products. This year's conference will be held June 24-25 in Atlanta at the InterContinental Buckhead.

Focused on the intersection of franchising and consumer marketing, and of marketing with technology, the annual conference attracts CMOs, brand managers, and marketing professionals, franchise CEOs and presidents, and franchise operations and technology marketing pros - bringing them together with one other and with leading suppliers of franchise services, social media marketing technologies, and more...

Feature Story:

17 SEO Myths Debunked: Rejiggering Your SEO Mindset For 2014 »

By Eddy Goldberg

What do you believe about SEO? And how do you know it's true?

Perhaps it's time to read "17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2014," a report from inbound marketing software platform provider Hubspot. The report, written by Rebecca Churt, SEO marketing manager at Hubspot, aims to dispel those myths and help online marketers improve their performance. From the introduction:

"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:

Social Media Roundup: Feb 25, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Reputation Management: "You can't opt out..."
It's bound to happen: one of your customers will have a problem with your business - if not at one of your stores, then at one of your brand's, even if it's across the country. Some will take their beefs to the Internet, whether on social media sites or on a social reviewing platform such as Yelp. How do you deal with it? Here are 10 tips from Chris Silver Smith, president of search marketing agency Argent Media, posted on Search Engine Land, to help you manage the inevitable and lessen the damage - and, ideally, turn things around and create a loyal customer.

Time for a New Look at Google+?
Google+ is the second most-populated social media platform (540 million users in December 2013), yet few seem to know quite what to do with it, says Corey Smock, community manager at Likeable Media...

Feature Story:

Protecting Customer Data: Identify And Remediate Online Vulnerabilities Now! »

By Luke Engelhardt

Do you know there's an easy way to identify and predict how cybercriminals might get into your organization? Fortunately for already-busy franchisees, the process isn't as complicated as you may think. Vulnerability management is the simplest way for franchisees to locate and patch security holes before would-be data thieves find and exploit them.
Vulnerability management is the process, implementation, and controls that identify the location of weaknesses in an infrastructure that could act as secret tunnels into your network. Ultimately, it's a critical foundation on which to build your business's network security.
While there is no such thing as being hack-proof, data thieves and cybercriminals are notoriously lazy. They would much rather go after low-hanging fruit than invest the time and trouble to break into a secured network or website...

Feature Story:

Alternative Payments Are Expanding: New Developments Are Changing How Customers Pay »

By Tom Epstein

There has never been a time where the nature of commerce is changing as rapidly as it is today. Technology been moving at blazing speed, not only around mobile payments and tablet-based POS systems, but also in the very payment types now available. No longer is it just cash, check, or charge. A quick look at our data and projections about those payment types points to a 10-year trend showing major shifts since 2006 (all numbers are in billions of transactions):

Feature Story:

Save The Date: June 24-25, 2014 4th Annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference »

Katy Geller

San Jose, CA, February 20, 2014: More than 300 franchise marketing executives and suppliers packed the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta in June 2013 for the 3rd annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. What began almost three years ago as a small convergence of franchise marketing executives has tripled in size and scope and shows no signs of slowing.
Approaching its 4th year, the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference is gearing up to surpass expectations once again, in both the number of franchisors attending as well as premier suppliers of franchise marketing products and services.
Franchise Update Media is pleased to announce Heather Neary as the Chairperson of the 2014 event. "This event is a unique one" emphasizes Neary, "and in a world of more responsibility and more demands, this conference is one of a kind...

Feature Story:

The Fundamental Approach: Charles Smithgall Grows His Aaron's Empire By Keeping It Simple »

By Kerry Pipes

Charles Smithgall has a system. He operates with a simple business plan and model that focuses on executing fundamentals and getting results. He's refined the process over the past 18 years he has been an Aaron's franchisee. "This is my fifth career, but my first in franchising," says the 71-year-old. "It's a fantastic business model because it allows me to focus on operations and execute. Everything else has already been worked out."
And working out it is for Smithgall. Back in 2008 his SEI/Aaron's company had 61 locations in 7 states. Today, he has 105 locations in 10 states. And though he's preparing to hand over the reins to his son, Chas, in January 2015, Smithgall is not slowing down--in fact, he's stepping on the accelerator.
"We're right in the middle of a 10-year goal to grow to 200 stores, $250 million in net revenue annually, $20 million in net profit annually, and to create 25 millionaires within our system," he says...

Feature Story:

Technology Backlash: Good Old-Fashioned Personal Touch Can Bring Business Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Hello? Is anybody there?
One of the biggest problems sales people face with social media and technology is the lack of real, meaningful contact and communication.  Sure, it's quick and easy. But when it comes to closing deals, does it really produce the results you need? These lessons can also apply to franchisees and their employees.
Joanne S. Black, author of the new book Pick Up the Damn Phone! How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal, is on a mission to help people learn the importance of personal contact.  Her manifesto is simple - to make a real connection and achieve true, meaningful communication, you have to make a personal and even in-person contact. Her goal is to get people to tweet less and talk more to the customers and contacts who really matter...

Feature Story:

Use Brand Storytelling To Boost Leads »

By Joe Mathews and Thomas Scott

Stories are the basis of human communication and decision-making. We use stories to relate to one another and make sense of the world around us. At the root of the massive changes to Google's search algorithms in the past three years has been a push to help people find the stories they are searching for when they type in a search query.

When prospects begin to do online research, they type in questions or key phrases to get at the stories that help them understand the franchise brand and how the model works. They want to understand the history of the company, how the brand came to be, where the brand is going and who is leading the charge. They want to hear stories about who the customer is, and why customers choose this brand...

Feature Story:

Looking For That Competitive Edge? Check Out These 25 Books! »

By Eddy Goldberg

Everyone knows the names of the most popular business books and the gurus who wrote them: Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard, Jim Collins... you know the list. Now someone's created a list of books from off the beaten path. His name is Gregory Ciotti, and the list appeared in his blog on Help Scout, where he works. He also has a site called Sparring Mind, where you can check out some of his other posts.

Writes Ciotti: "The problem is that many business books are just plain awful; bloated to meet book length quotas, overly self-promotional, or a regurgitation of common sense, many are disappointments." Ever had that feeling? You're not alone.

So if you're looking for an edge in business (and who isn't?), perhaps you'll find something in the list, which Ciotti calls "25 Unconventional Business Books that You Won't See on Most Bookshelves (But Should)...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 2 - Program Review (Part 2) »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Qualify the prospect, build rapport, and establish the process
Length of conversation: 45 to 60 minutes

Now's the time to start pre-closing your prospect. As franchise pros stress, "The best close starts with the opening!" This is the most opportune time to set expectations and take control through leadership. Use this process to "establish the ground rules" and you will identify better candidates, build more credibility and confidence, and increase closing success.

1. Define your role in the process."My role is to educate you about our franchise, and to explore this opportunity with you to see if we're the right fit for each other. This is a franchise partnership, and we're interested in candidates who can be successful, satisfied owners...

Feature Story:

Franchising All-Pro: Former NFL Tackle Parlays His Winning Ways In Franchising »

By Debbie Selinsky

If you ask retired NFL defensive tackle Don Davey to list the qualities needed to succeed in the NFL or in franchising, his list is the same: competitiveness, tenacity, discipline, coachability, and focus.
Those same qualities worked well for him in the NFL, where he played defensive tackle for 10 years, starting with the Green Bay Packers and then moving to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he led the young team to a berth in the AFC Championship Game in just its second year of existence.
The same qualities he displayed in the NFL have contributed to his success today as the operator of Firehouse Subs restaurants in Florida and as the brand's area developer for Wisconsin. And that success has not gone unnoticed: the IFA named Davey its 2013 Franchisee of the Year...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Measuring Performance In Sales And Development Departments »

Franchise Update

"How do you set standards and measure performance in your brand's sales and development department?"

Taylor Wiederhorn
VP, Franchise Marketing & Development
FatburgerFatburger sets development standards based on a variety of different types of target markets and development standards designed specifically for those markets. In domestic markets where Fatburger already has a footprint, the criteria are based on a calculation of factors including the existing number of units and how much room there is in that arena for new restaurants to develop.

In existing domestic markets, Fatburger allows single-store and multi-unit operators to develop new units after determining that market's ability to handle additional units...

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