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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:

6 Things That Make A Brand Indispensable »

By John DiJulius

We all have a company or two that we can't fathom life without. If I told you, "You can no longer do business with these companies ever again?" what are the few companies you would become extremely upset about losing? When I ask my audiences this question, the same brands always get mentioned: Apple, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Amazon, along with numerous local mom-and-pop shops.

Now the important part is to think about what they have done and what they consistently do to make you so loyal, to make you feel that you cannot live without them. That is power. That is brand loyalty. The more people you can make feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.

The key deciding factors to being a business people cannot live without are: 1) great service/product; 2) consistency; 3) ease of doing business; 4) employee evangelists; 5) educate versus sell; and 6) personalized experience...

Feature Story:

Growing To 10 (and Beyond): Advice For The Expansion-Minded »

By Eddy Goldberg

Growing to 10 units is a cherished milestone for franchisees. Different obstacles and opportunities crop up along the way, some expected, others not. A while back, we spoke with multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee Sean Falk about his own journey to 10 units, which at the time included four brands: Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker, Mrs. Fields Cookies, and Salsarita's Fresh Cantina. Since then, he's had a few more journeys: serving as chair of the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, testifying before Congress on the Affordable Care Act, and vice president of franchising at Safeway Driving School. Today, in addition to his franchise business, he's franchise development leader and client executive at Hylant Insurance.
Looking to grow to 10 units or more?Here's some advice you can take to the bank...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug. 23, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Getting Verified Accounts on Twitter Just Got Easier
Twitter has made it easier for more users to attain verified status on the service. Verified accounts on Twitter allow users to be sure that the people and organizations they follow are really who they say they are. Up to now, verified account status has been awarded strictly at Twitter's discretion, based on the company's judgment that the account is of genuine public interest. Verified accounts have tended to belong to public figures and organizations in media, government, politics, sports, and business, among other areas. Now Twitter offers an online application process anyone may use to request account verification.

Snapchat Geofilters for Local Businesses Now Available
A Snapchat geofilter is a transparent overlay that sits on top of snaps...

Feature Story:

Rushing Ahead: Former NFL Running Back Scores With Bojangles' »

By Kerry Pipes

Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka, born in Kinshasa, Republic of Zaire in 1974, came to the U.S. with his family when he was just 6 years old. The family settled in Canada, in the Montreal area. Adapting to a new country and culture meant a lot of adjustments for him and his family, but they made the transition and built a new life for themselves. And, it turned out, the young boy had a hidden natural gift that was just a few years from being revealed.
Biakabutuka never played football until he was in high school. That's when he discovered he could run with a football and was good enough to earn the nickname "Touchdown Tim." His on-field abilities landed him a scholarship at the University of Michigan where he was a running back from 1993 until 1995...

Feature Story:

It Starts At The Top: Leadership Sets The Tone For Service Aptitude »

By John DiJulius

Any big initiative, project, or revolution must have the support of the senior leadership team; otherwise it will be considered "flavor of the month" or "management by bestseller."
Customer service must be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It must be discussed at board meetings and strategic planning sessions with leaders and everyone else in the company, including front-line employees. To create long-lasting change, the senior leadership team must provide the necessary resources. That doesn't mean just increasing the budget for customer service. It is having someone in charge of the project--that is, a chief experience officer (CXO)--who is dedicated and loses sleep over the customer experience program and the results...

Feature Story:

Whatever Works: Bring 'Em In, Keep 'Em In, Reward Them! »

By Eddy Goldberg

Attracting customers in 2016 takes many forms--and platforms--sometimes all at the same time. Here are a few tactics franchise brands are using to drive customers into their stores, keep them there, and reward them.

Feature Story:

Strategic Planning Creates Exciting Future »

By Dan Schneider

Some things in life are actually fun to plan - weddings, vacations, and special celebratory events. The planning that goes into the event usually leads to a happy outcome, even when there are bumps along the way.
Business Planning, however, usually gets a bad rap. Mention business planning to a multi-unit franchisee entrepreneur or a fast moving, high-energy executive and watch their eyes begin to gloss over. So how do we make business planning fun, exciting, and worthwhile for those involved?

Step 1: Dream Big
Franchise concepts, approaches to attracting and developing talent and unique customer acquisition/service initiatives all begin in the greatest nation known to the human race: the imagination.
Here's an interesting fact about "vision": You cannot not have one...

Feature Story:

Former Marine Turns To Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Serving two decades in the Marines taught Fred Bowen a key lesson. "You are only as strong as your team is," says the 60-year-old multi-unit franchisee. He's applied that understanding to operating his 4 Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care franchise locations. The result has been a team-oriented culture that focuses on customer satisfaction.
Following 22 years in the Marines and nearly 6 more with the Oklahoma City Police Department, Bowen turned to a career in real estate. That's when he ran across an ad in the local newspaper for an auto repair shop that was looking for franchise investors. He began doing research and discovered he liked what the Cottman brand had to offer.
Bowen is always focused on his team. He looks to hire the best, train them well, and support them in as many ways as he can...

Feature Story:

Lead Generation: Can Big Data Identify Your Ideal Franchise Candidates? »

By Jim Bender

What's not to love about big data? To paraphrase Sandy Pentland, the big data guru at MIT: The power of big data is that it is information about what people do, not what they say. It's the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you move through life. Those breadcrumbs tell the story of your life. Who you actually are is determined by where you spend your time and which things you buy. And from that behavior, analysts can tell an enormous amount about you.

We all look forward to the day when big data will identify candidates who exhibit the same behaviors as our best-performing franchise owners. Fill up my inbox, please!

Today we can only imagine the impact that lead generation techniques enhanced with big data intelligence will have on the franchise development sales process...

Feature Story:

Good News! - August 2016 »

By Eddy Goldberg

The good news: Franchising is experiencing a remarkable growth phase - not only in unit count and system-wide revenue, but also in the number of new and emerging brands. The bad news: It's harder to keep up with all the good news! That's a nice problem to have - and why we've brought back our "Good News!" roundup of selected news items on unit growth, investment and financial developments, international expansion news, refranchising, and milestones attained by franchisors large, medium, and emerging. Here's your chance to follow the leaders, every third Tuesday of the month.
So if you’re not doing it already, send us your good news here.

New Units/Growth/Expansion

Jimmy’s Egg Announces AD Deals for 52 Units in 6 States
Toppers Pizza Signs 22-Unit Deal for Virginia and Maryland
Costa Vida Reports 14 Deals in First Half; Projects 20 Openings by Year-End
Fazoli’s Signs 9 Deals for 22 Units in July; Reports 13 Quarters of SSS Growth
Bojangles’ Signs Multi-Unit Agreement for Alabama & Mississippi
The Chickery Inks 15-Unit Deal for Northern California
Cicis Signs 32 Agreements for 70-Plus Restaurants by End of 2017
Dunkin’ Donuts: 3 Deals for 13 New Units + 4 Baskin-Robbins Co-Branded
First Watch Restaurants To Open 7 Units at DFW by Year-End
Dippin’ Dots Now Available at All Chuck E...

Feature Story:

2016 MVP Winners: Honoring Outstanding Multi-Unit Franchisees »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Franchisees work hard, provide jobs, help their communities, and inspire countless others to follow in the footsteps of their well-earned success. That's why we recognize the best of them each year with our Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards. Ten qualifying franchisees were chosen from a worthy group of their peers and honored at this year's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Choosing MVPs is a lengthy, arduous process--also incredibly rewarding as we learn more about the lives and achievements of the many candidates. To qualify, franchisees must have at least five operating units and have been in a franchise system for a minimum of two years. This year's winners are power players, innovators, and creative thinkers with big hearts who genuinely care for both their employees and their communities and are working to make the world a better place...

Feature Story:

Family Business Perspective Matters »

By Kendall Rawls

An owner's perspective about the purpose and who the business serves directly impacts culture, ability to recruit and retain good people, and drive performance - all of which influences customer perceptions, revenue, and profits. In the franchise industry, often times, multi-unit franchisees do not intuitively view themselves as a family business owner. This misperception can and does have an impact on overall business success, sustainability, and value.
Is the purpose of your business to serve you and your ambitions? Or is the purpose of the business to serve and provide opportunity to your community? Is it a mix of both? If the mission and vision of your business includes serving those around you, then it is important to begin thinking like a family business owner...

Feature Story:

TruFusion: How Data Is Changing Our Strategic Marketing Plans And Tactics »

By Steve Rockman

We asked Steve Rockman, Chief Marketing Officer at TruFusion, a Las Vegas-based workout studio: “As the role of big data in strategic market planning grows, how does it affect your long-term marketing plans, forecasting, efficiency/ROI of your media spend, or other parts of your marketing?” Here’s what he had to say.

At TruFusion, we market primarily to the Millennial, specifically females. Because of this, we are talking to the most highly connected generation yet, with their access to instant information. Millennials speak in data, and if we can collect, analyze, and react to this data in a timely and accurate manner, we will greatly increase our chances to develop a long-term relationship with these consumers.

Our entire business model is predicated on technology, from our POS system, which tracks member sign-up and class check-ins, to every purchase members make in one of our studios...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Franchise Marketing Constraints »

By Alex Vaccaro

Owning a franchise business has its pros and cons. On one hand, you benefit from your franchise having a strong, trusted identity. Local customers may choose to visit your business based on what they know about the national organization, and you have a vast network that can support your business with ideas and resources.
On the other hand, you may feel constrained in marketing your business within your franchise's standards. It's a delicate balance: you want to get word out about your business, but you don't want to violate the overarching organization's specifications.
Here are some suggested solutions and tips for dealing with three top concerns related to branding your franchise.

Concern #1: I'm Worried About Breaking Franchise Rules
You've got a great marketing idea for your business, but it breaks several different franchise rules...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug. 9, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Instagram: Getting Started with Business Profiles
Switching to an Instagram Business Profile gives marketers tools to get the most out of their presence on the popular photo and video sharing platform. You'll need to be sure you have the latest version of Instagram and a Facebook Page to connect to. Once you've set up your Business Profile, you have access to some valuable new features, spelled out with examples by Kristi Hines, a contributing editor for Social Media Examiner:

Feature Story:

Why Financing And Site Selection Matter »

By John T. Hewitt

Multi-unit ownership is a franchising trend that's likely to keep growing. It picked up during the recession, when capital was hard to come by and franchisors saw how their single-unit owners struggled. Now, multi-unit operators own more than half of the franchise units in the U.S., and the upward trajectory is expected to continue. Single-unit ownership has its benefits, but multi-unit owners tend to have more experience, more business relationships, and the ability to move quickly when expansion opportunities present themselves.
So when considering a franchise opportunity, it makes good business sense to consider a multi-unit plan from the start. And in considering a multi-unit strategy, take a careful look at financing and site selection...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Hiring And Taking Care Of Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Michael Geiger
Brands: 7 Moe's Southwest Grill locations in Pennsylvania

How do you hire, retain, and take care of your employees? We've always looked at internal development as the first option. The average tenure of our upper management team is about eight years. The pace at which we have grown over the past three to four years has made exclusively promoting and moving internal candidates increasingly difficult, so we have been going outside the organization more recently.
Our average hourly wage is right about $10 an hour, about 40 percent higher than the state minimum wage. This, coupled with aggressive management bonus structures, has always been a focus for us. We expect premium performance and are willing to pay a premium wage for it...

Feature Story:

Bottle & Bottega CEO Nancy Bigley On Building And Leading A Brand »

By Eddy Goldberg

When Nancy Bigley arrived at Bottle & Bottega in 2011, it was called Bottles & Brushes and was doing all right as a small, mobile pop-up business. The name wasn't particularly memorable though, says Bigley, whose mission was to transform the business into a national franchised brand. After some brainstorming, she awoke one morning and knew "bottega" was the word she was looking for.

For you non-artists out there, Merriam-Webster says a bottega is "the studio or workshop of a major artist in which other artists may participate in the execution of the projects or commissions of the major artist." For customers, it means a place they can go to spend an enjoyable few hours sipping wine and being instructed in painting by local artists in a safe, comfortable setting...

Feature Story:

7 Tips For Franchise Sales Mastery »

By Steve Olson

It's been more than two years since I re-entered franchise sales consulting full-time, and here's the good news! Seasoned recruitment executives are capitalizing on the resurgence of qualified franchise buyers. These "Franchise Sales Masters" continue to capture quality candidates during this higher-growth period. These top performers are artisans of franchise development, applying a well-defined sales process, while establishing credibility, confidence, and trust with their buyers.

(For a free copy of a research summary of 41 recruitment pros conducted by Olson & Associates and Zoracle Profiles, email me at

The unfortunate news

Too many good brands are losing qualified franchise candidates, specifically because their sales people don't carry the characteristics, traits, selling skills, and values needed to bring new franchisees aboard...

Feature Story:

Expertise On Call: Making Multi-Unit Knowledge More Available »

By Darrell Johnson

A couple of years ago we worked with a really big search engine client to help them better understand and approach the franchise community. Their epiphany (which we in franchising all know) is that franchising is a business model, not an industry.
Until then they had been frustrated in both their vertical industry sales efforts and in the efforts of their regional sales partners to crack the franchise code. They knew success would lead to hundreds of millions in sales. They now are realizing it. I mention this because multi-unit operators (MUOs) have a similar set of characteristics: like franchise brands, they frequently span industries with the same basic attributes.
Sometimes stating the obvious provides new perspectives. Here the obvious perspective is to consider MUOs their own community, something Franchise Update has been instrumental in creating over the past couple of decades...

Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

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