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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:

Using Technology To Reach Customers At Valvoline »

By Rob Stravitz

We asked Rob Stravitz, vice president of marketing at Valvoline Instant Oil change, to discuss how the brand uses technology in its marketing efforts to target and reach customers more effectively. Here's what he had to say.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change relies on two principles in developing our marketing programs: 1) leverage our extensive customer database to gain insights and target our activities; and 2) can we clearly measure the impact so we are confident that we are delivering long-term value to the business?

The reality is that we operate a business that handles a chore consumers have to do, but don't want to do (a lot like the dentist, my apologies to the dental profession). As such, there is a very limited window when a consumer will be in the market for an oil change...

Feature Story:

Breaking Through The Clutter: Reach Local Customers More Effectively »

By William Rodriguez

There's a lot of competition out there. And, as the economy continues to show signs of improvement, new franchises are entering the marketplace while existing brands open new stores or add new service providers.

While this growth is certainly positive, many of us are noting an almost opposite trend in our customers. We may be giving them more options, but their waning attention spans and "get-it-now" mentalities make it even more challenging for us to actually get their business.

How to break through the competitive clutter with your advertising message? Reach your customers where they are - and inspire them to move to where you'd like them to be.

Location, location, location
Successful businesses use geotargeting to deliver promotional messages that resonate with their unique demographic niches...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 27, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Google Adds Filters to Restaurant Search on the Desktop and Android
Google will now allow desktop and Android mobile users to filter restaurant searches by price, ratings, cuisine, and whether they're open. The new feature positions Google to compete directly with services such as Yelp and Urbanspoon. Tip for restaurant owners: make sure your Google Places for Business profile is as complete as you can make it. There are things that you can do on your website to organize information in a way optimizes it for Google's crawlers, too.

What Social Media Tells Us About World Events
Researchers at Dalhousie University's Social Media Lab in Canada are applying social media analytics to recent events in the Ukraine. The focus has been on how people interact online and use the Internet to communicate, including how they talk about current events and politics...

Feature Story:

Egg-ceptional Operators!: She Once Wanted Nothing To Do With Restaurants »

By Debbie Selinsky

Rose Colarossi, a high-energy multi-unit franchisee from Frisco, Texas, likes to open remarks about her franchising career with this question: "Which came first: the mama or the egg?"
In this case, the egg--as in The Egg & I--came first with Colarossi and her husband, Rob, who today own three in the North Dallas area. Recently, along with partners, they signed on as area developers for Mama Fu's Asian House. They opened their first unit last October and have committed to opening 13 more in Dallas and Collin counties in Texas.
Colarossi admits that she was a reluctant restaurateur at first. "When my son tried to tell me about his work at The Egg & I during college, I told him running restaurants is the hardest job there is and one that I, personally, wanted nothing to do with," recalls the New York native and former Curves franchisee, whose past includes working as a behavior modification therapist for autistic children and a marketing research coordinator...

Feature Story:

2013 Annual Payments Review: Digging Into Trends And Looking Ahead »

By Tom Epstein

For the third consecutive year, FPN is reviewing the previous year's sales trends in the franchise space. While not encompassing all of franchising, FPN does have real data on the 150-plus franchise systems that endorse us for our various products and services, which gives us a good snapshot of trends in franchising and the economy in general.
In a year when the economy has been sputtering along with sales fairly flat, the holiday sales period was critical, as always, to merchants looking to end the year strong. November saw same-store sales growth of 4.5 percent over 2012, but in December that gain dropped to 2.9 percent over 2012.
Black Friday got things moving on a positive note, with most analysts reporting in the +3.4 percent area over 2012...

Feature Story:

What's Going Online?: Multiple Studies Outline How Millennials Use Social Media And The Web »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

More and more Millennials are leveraging their social media platforms and the Internet for nearly everything. From news to updates on their friends' whereabouts, Millennials are more active with their social networks and communities than any other generation. Their activity on social media shows their true digital native capabilities.
A study by eMarketer shows the time Millennials and Millennial mothers spend with applications on their smartphones and mobile sites. With an average of 1,850 minutes spent using smartphone applications per month, Millennials ages 18 to 32 are the most active users. Specifically, mothers with young children, in 2013, the highest percentage of smartphone users are actively using their weather, social, and maps/GPS applications...

Feature Story:

Simon Says: Grant Simon Keeps It Moving With Three Brands In Three States »

By Kerry Pipes

Grant Simon entered the world of franchising with Great Clips. That's where he had found success when we first interviewed him back in 2008.
He was operating 18 Great Clips salons in the Atlanta area. He was doing well but had an itch for more, and had just teamed up with fellow area Great Clips franchisee Greg Thomas to purchase a car wash business.
"It looked like a good opportunity, so we did it," says Simon. "We turned it around and quickly sold it for a healthy profit." It was an omen of good things to come. The two entrepreneurs invested their proceeds in Great Clips salons outside their Atlanta market and the growing began. Since the end of 2008, Simon has purchased 10 more Great Clips salons in Florida and Alabama through new builds and acquisitions, bringing his total to 28 units...

Feature Story:

Re-Brand, Re-Model, Or Re-Train?: Improve Hiring And Training To Increase Sales »

By Nate DaPore

Over time, every brand evolves to stay relevant to its customers. You may not go through a corporate "rebranding" exercise to the extent that Wendy's, Burger King, or Arby's recently did, adopting a new logo, new store design, and/or new products. If you operate restaurants, think about it: at some point, did you add new items to your menu, redecorate your dining areas, or buy updated employee uniforms? All of these areas, along with your logo and name, combine into your unique brand. Changing just a few of these is a smaller version of rebranding.
Rebranding your franchise is expensive. The costs associated with designing, building, and rolling out a new logo, store design, signage, uniforms, packaging, and advertising (just to name a few) can cost large franchises millions of dollars and countless hours...

Feature Story:

CEO Profile: Rich Wilson Leads A Turnaround At CertaPro Painters »

By Kerry Pipes

Rich Wilson needed to earn money for his college education. The way he saw it, he had two choices. "I could either spend a summer crab fishing in Alaska or start my own business," recalls Wilson, president and CEO of CertaPro Painters for the past 4 years. "I decided to stay dry."

So in 1987 he became a franchisee of College Pro Painters, a painting company that targets business-minded students. It worked out: he made enough money to pay off his tuition bills and enjoyed running a business so much that, rather than following his plan to attend law school after graduation, he joined College Pro's corporate team, becoming a division vice president by 1992. He spent the next 5 years with the organization before a couple of career turns at Aamco and Maaco before settling in at CertaPro Painters in 2003...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Coming June 24-25! »

By Franchise Update Media

The 4th annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC) is nearly upon us. This year's conference is June 24-25 in Atlanta at the InterContinental Buckhead. The theme is "Change: The New Marketing Currency."

"This event is unique," says Heather Neary, CMO of Auntie Anne's and this year's Conference Chair. "In a world of more responsibility and more demands, this conference is one of a kind. It fills a niche no others do: connecting franchise marketing executives with each other to address the specialized challenges of marketing to consumers in a franchise environment."

The conference also brings marketing pros together with leading suppliers of franchise services, social media marketing technologies, mobile and online ordering, CRM systems, and more...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 5, Discovery Day: Guidelines For Success »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Attend Discovery Day at your headquarters for executive approval of the franchise

This is part of an ongoing series about making the most of your Discovery Day presentations. Previous articles on Discovery Day, as well as other excerpts from my book on building a world-class franchise system, are available online in past issues of this newsletter.

This week I offer some guidelines for cross-checking your Discovery Day program. In the next issue I'll provide additional tips.

1) Get financing pre-approved
Before investing time and money in a home office visit, Discovery Day attendees should get their funding in order through a third party or direct financing program. Clearing this obstacle paves the way for a more productive Discovery Day...

Feature Story:

How Taco John's Uses Technology To Find And Track Prospects »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Van J. Ingram, Vice President for Franchise Development at Taco John's International, how his company is using technology to identify, reach, and track prospects. Here's what he had to say.

At Taco John's we are capitalizing on technology in a few areas. Selling a franchise is a systematic process. From solicitation to prospect management to executing an agreement, and then providing support through the term of the agreement, we use technology to provide structure and maintain system compliance.

Today's franchise prospect is tech-savvy. By using technology in our solicitation process we are ensuring that our brand matches up with how they prefer to conduct their research. Prospects want to engage in initial due diligence on their own time and are using smartphones, tablets, etc...

Feature Story:

Three Industry Leaders Host First-Ever Regional Multi-Unit Franchisee Summit »


MFV Expositions, the International Franchise Association and Franchise Update Media Join Forces for an All-Day, Educational Event in New York City on June 18, Exclusive to Multi-Unit Franchise Owners

May 20, 2014 - While the benefits of multi-unit franchise ownership is plenty, the path to success is riddled with many challenges that franchisees of one or few units don't typically face.

To help multi-unit franchisees navigate the treacherous waters, MFV Expositions, the International Franchise Association (IFA) and Franchise Update Media are teaming up to produce the first-ever Regional Multi-Unit Franchisee Summit on June 18, 2014 at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Held the day prior to the popular International Franchise Expo (IFE), which takes place June 19-21, the goal of the Regional Multi-Unit Franchisee Summit is to provide a platform for growth-oriented multi-unit franchisees to network, learn and become inspired...

Feature Story:

Banking On Success: Retired Banker Opens 3-Brand Car Care Center »

By Debbie Selinsky

John Mulherin, a former investment bank CEO, likes to say he flunked retirement. "I believe that as people age, they have a decision to make," he says. "That decision is: Am I going to allow myself to be put on the shelf, or am I going to put myself in a position to stay engaged and challenged?"
After 35 years in financial services, banking, and money management, Mulherin, a Chicago native, retired in his 50s and moved south to South Carolina's Charleston area. Three years ago, he decided, "I'd like to learn a new industry," he says.
"I looked at consumer trends and observed that one of the most pervasive trends is how disappointed and challenged most consumers feel about the simple act of getting basic car service and maintenance...

Feature Story:

Support Your Local Franchisees: Strong Field Support Boosts Continuity, Profitability »

By Jacob Grosshandler

Franchising has proven itself to be a bellwether business model, surviving the financial crisis and adding units since the early days of the current economic recovery. Between 2008 and 2013, the franchise community netted more than 25,000 units, a CAGR of 1 percent. This is impressive, given the economic environment. Praise should be given to the hard work of development staffs across all of franchising for executing in a tough environment.
Given these successes and the emphasis franchising places on growth, it is easy to continue to push for market share and to allocate additional dollars to development efforts. However, before finalizing your budget, answer this question: How many of your units, regardless of the reason, closed their doors in the last 3 years? If the answer is more than zero your brand is likely leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table...

Feature Story:

Bankable Leadership: Great Leaders Develop Happy People And Bottom-Line Results »

By Dr. Tasha Eurich

Why won't my employees just do what I tell them? Why am I struggling to motivate my team? Why aren't they giving me the performance I need? If any of these questions sound familiar to you, you're not alone.
You've probably been promoted at some point because you're a competent technical professional. You know how to build a bridge, negotiate a deal, or justify a capital expenditure. But your technical skills usually won't help you be a better leader.
Effective leadership has an undeniable business value. In one study, Jack Zenger and colleagues ("How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits") examined the best (top 10%) and worst (bottom 10%) leaders at a large commercial bank. On average, the worst leaders' departments experienced net losses of $1...

Feature Story:

Home Delivery: New Report Documents Rise Of Home Healthcare Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The home care industry has rapidly become one of the most popular in franchising--with some of the most satisfied and successful franchisees, according to a new report just released by Franchise Business Review.
The report--Senior Care Franchises--looks at the fast-growing, multi-billion dollar home care industry to assess the franchise investment opportunity. Franchise Business Review took its first close look at senior care in 2010 when the industry was just emerging as a promising franchise sector. Since then, the industry has only grown in popularity and in stability.
"Senior care is a natural fit for franchising. It's a business that's highly regulated and systems- oriented, while, at the same time, highly personal," writes Franchise Business Review...

Feature Story:

Time For Common-ism?: Managing Uncertainty Through Cooperation »

By Darrell Johnson

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, potential minimum wage increases, and likely overtime rule changes add to the ongoing challenges of managing the expense side of any business. For multi-unit operators, the implications are increased costs. However, there are a few efficiencies to be gained from the scale multi-unit operators enjoy that can lessen the impact.
The ACA represents one opportunity for efficiency for larger multi-unit operators not shared with smaller franchised and most non-franchised SMEs subject to the 50-employee trigger. Managing a larger pool of hourly labor employees allows greater flexibility. It also comes with additional costs in the form of management time; but therein resides the efficiency, in that incremental additions to labor, in theory, should not have similar incremental additions to management time if management is operating efficiently...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Coming In June »

By Franchise Update Media

The 4th annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC) is nearly upon us. This year's conference is June 24-25 in Atlanta at the InterContinental Buckhead. The theme is "Change: The New Marketing Currency."

"This event is unique," says Heather Neary, CMO of Auntie Anne's and this year's Conference Chair. "In a world of more responsibility and more demands, this conference is one of a kind. It fills a niche no others do: connecting franchise marketing executives with each other to address the specialized challenges of marketing to consumers in a franchise environment."

The conference also brings marketing pros together with leading suppliers of franchise services, social media marketing technologies, mobile and online ordering, CRM systems, and more...

Feature Story:

Local Digital Marketing: Franchisor Or Franchisee Responsibility? »

By Gary Ritkes

For franchisors that want to rapidly expand their franchise systems, the local digital marketing imperative is clear. A recent survey of 437 service industry franchisees found that 58% view online marketing as "very important" or "important" to the success of their business. Nine out of 10 (89%) respondents also said that corporate online marketing is an important factor in choosing a franchisor.

It is clear that franchisees recognize the double imperative of corporate-level online marketing and their own local online marketing. So how are franchisors addressing this double imperative?

The survey also found that two out of three respondents (64%) are "somewhat disappointed" with the level and quality of support they actually receive from franchisors...

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