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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:

Franchising Without Walls: Closets By Design Franchisee Leaves Fortune 500 World For Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A couple of months back we began occasionally profiling franchisees who have chosen to operate in brands that don't require a "brick and mortar" location. These service-oriented brands typically allow individuals to be a part of franchising without needing to build, purchase, or operate from a retail location. It's a franchise business model that is becoming more and more popular.
This time we caught up with Charles Waterman, a Closets by Design franchisee in Southeast Pennsylvania. He's been with the brand about 10 years now and as we found out this is not his first foray into franchising. Here's more of what we discovered about Waterman.

Name: Charles Waterman
Title: President
Company: Closets by Design of Southeast Pennsylvania

Feature Story:

Franchisees In The Crosshairs: Seattle Passes $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Ordinance »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchisees in Seattle have been saddled with a new $15 dollar per hour minimum wage ordinance passed by the city’s mayor, Ed Murray. The new measure was just passed on June 2 by a unanimous vote of support from the city council. The ordinance, which begins on April 1, 2015, will be implemented over several years based on the size of the employer and the benefits offered.
The IFA and franchise groups are uniting against the ordinance. The IFA’s president and CEO Steve Caldeira said in a statement, “The Seattle City Council and Mayor Murray’s plan would force the 600 franchisees in Seattle, which own 1,700 franchise locations employing 19,000 workers, to adopt the full $15 minimum wage in 3 years, while most other small business owners would have seven years to adopt the $15 wage...

Feature Story:

What's Trending In Social Media This Summer »

By Margaret Murphy

In her blog on, Margaret Murphy, social media coordinator at the digital marketing firm, takes a look at 10 social media trends she expects to continue growing this summer. Here's an abbreviated version of her list. For the full version, click here.

1. Vine
Vine has slowly but surely crept its way into the social media world. When Instagram introduced video, it looked like Vine wasn't going to last very long. Instead, the wittiness of the 6-second videos brought users back to the app again and again. Brands such as Dunkin' Donuts caught on and started to produce quick, entertaining video ads using the app.

2. Emerging technology
Inventions like Google Glass, Oculus Rift, the Samsung Smart Watch, and the Nod Bluetooth Ring seem like Jetson-esque products unlikely to be consumed in our lifetimes...

Feature Story:

Is Beer The Missing Ingredient For Engaging With Millennial Men? »

By Jeff Fromm

Brands have a new love affair with Millennial men. Who is the Millennial Man, you might ask? He is a hard worker who is typically happier with his current career and making more money than his female counterparts. He also values social media and loves staying up to date with his favorite sports team and entertainment news. Millennial men are also considered to be gadget gurus and are constantly connected through their multiple devices, including their smartphone, laptop, and video streaming software.

Aside from his various devices, there are a few things a Millennial Man cannot live without. One of those things is his favorite beer chilling in the fridge for a night out with the guys or to drink while watching the game on Sunday night...

Feature Story:

User-Generated Social Content Can Build Your Brand - And Boost Sales »

By Laurens Bianchi

Writing on, Laurens Bianchi explains the benefits of integrating user-generated content into your marketing mix - as well as how to do it.

Today's consumers are constantly creating, sharing, and consuming social content. The big question is: how can brands benefit from it? Many brands will understand that this social content is popular, but they don't always realize how influential it also is.

More and more, consumers turn to social content when making buying decisions. Before clicking "add to cart," they seek a stamp of approval from peers and friends.

This trend creates a huge opportunity for brands to drive revenue. But the path from selfie to sale doesn't always seem straightforward...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 10, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

European Union: Google Ordered To Remove Personal Online Data If Asked
The European Court of Justice dealt a defeat to Google and a victory for privacy advocates when it ruled that people in the EU have the right to have data about them deleted from online databases. A Spanish man brought the case, arguing that Google impinged on his privacy. Google called the decision "disappointing." EU officials say it's a victory for the protection of Europeans' personal data. Money quote: interference with personal rights "cannot... be justified by merely the economic interest which the operator of the engine has in the data processing."

Content Marketing Works Says New Survey
It's time to get that company blog into shape and working for you! Almost half (46%) of U...

Feature Story:

Holding Court: Food Court Pioneer Makes All His Brands Work Together »

By Debbie Selinsky

Jack Hough has never been limited by space. Back in 1996, he was trying to figure out which restaurants to place where in a somewhat limited space at the North Georgia Premium Outlets mall.
"It was our first outlet, and space for everything was an issue," says the Alabama native. "So I said, 'Why can't we run nine separate concepts out of the same kitchen with one GM?' A few of my franchise friends had a fit because it had never been done before, but after I explained that it would not interfere with their menus and concepts, we were able to get it done."
Over the years, Hough has extended that consolidated food court model into 14 airports, outlet malls, universities, and other "non-traditional" settings across 12 states. Today his company, MSE Branded Foods, represents more than a dozen national franchise brands, including Arby's, Sbarro, Subway, Steak 'n Shake, and signature concepts such as JJ's Sports Bar & Grill and the Buckhead Grill...

Feature Story:

Emotional Investing: Keeping Your Emotions From Dictating Your Financial Future »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

You've probably heard of emotional eating, but financial advisor Matthew T. Shafer says emotional investing is a problem that needs to be recognized society-wide, especially since the economy has been in such sharp focus this past half decade.
"The words of an experienced mentor have proven to be spot on throughout my career; he said that no matter how smart they are, most people don't know what to do with their money," says Shafer, named one of the top 1,000 financial advisors in the U.S. by Barron's Magazine.
"It wasn't that people were ignorant, and it wasn't that they were incapable of analyzing investment opportunities. The challenge occurred when emotion clouded their judgment."
People become too optimistic and enthusiastic when their investments are on the rise, and too fearful and skeptical when they see a decline, he says...

Feature Story:

Why Franchisors Fail - And How To Help Them Succeed »

By Joe Mathews and Thomas Scott

This is Part 1 of a series on why new and emerging franchise brands fail. In the first two parts, we discuss 8 points on why they fail. The following installments will cover what they can do to succeed.

Speak with any number of franchise brands with fewer than 100 franchisees or locations, and a troubling theme will emerge: An alarming number of them have not been able to grow as they expected. Some have stopped growing altogether; others have declined from peak numbers of franchisees or locations. Even more troubling are the large number that have ceased to exist.

Compared with other business models, we find franchisors to be far more transparent with information, more open to giving advice, and more likely to take a personal interest in the success of others...

Feature Story:

Huddle House: Trust Keeps Core Values Intact During Brand Refresh »

By Michael Abt, CEO

Change in a franchise system is inevitable. All franchise brands across all segments -food, home services, health and wellness, B2B, and others--eventually come to a point in their growth where the choice is clear: either change and continue to grow, or remain stale and gradually fade away as more progressive competitors pass you by.

Having been in the restaurant industry since age 14, I've seen my fair share of "change gone good" and "change gone bad" situations. Some of the most expensive events are when change isn't handled correctly. I've learned that whether it's small tweaks to a menu or entire system-wide rebranding programs, in a primarily franchised system the deciding factor of the success or failure of change and of enlisting the support of the franchise partners has been, and always will be, trust...

Feature Story:

How Popeyes Turned Itself Around During The Great Recession »

By Jack Mackey

Growing franchisee profitability usually requires growing the top line, as well as controlling costs. With no rising economic tide to lift all boats, the way to grow sales is to take share from the competition.

This makes sense because most people you think of as "your" customers are also customers of your competitors. If you are franchising restaurants, "your" customers' total spend on eating out is much more than their total spend on eating out with your franchisees. You just get a very small sliver of the customer pie.

But you can increase your share by being different, better, and more desirable to customers. To put a finer point on that growth formula, it looks like this:

Unique offerings + marketing and design that distinguish the brand + guest-focused operations = a growing brand that creates legions of loyalists and generates great wealth...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 5, Discovery Day: Additional Tips »

By Steve Olson

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

This is the final installment in 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.

Here are some additional practices franchisors have found that increase the success of their Discovery Day presentations:

Feature Story:

Peak Performers: Steve And Joanne Reitz Aim For Perfect Every Time »

By Kerry Pipes

Steve and Joanne Reitz are partners in life and in franchising. Since we last checked in with him (2009, Q4) the two also have been partners in exploring. In 2010, with their teenaged son Matthew, they climbed Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet). "It was an amazing trip," he says. In fact, Joanne has been bitten by the exploration bug and has climbed several other mountains since, including Everest Base Camp in Nepal. But back at home, it's still business as usual for the husband-and-wife team.
When we last chatted with Reitz, he had 7 Supercuts salons in the Jacksonville, Fla., area and had just opened his first Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant in his territory of Western Oakland County, Mich. (Reitz, who now lives in Florida, grew up in Detroit...

Feature Story:

Women At The Top: Catherine Monson »

Franchise Update

Feature Story:

A Perfect Match: Nurse Makes Transition To Interim HealthCare Franchisee »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Lynette Helling spent her first three years as a nurse working in a burn center. She worked 12-hour shifts and supplemented her time and income with staffing shifts from a local staffing company. Then one day she spotted a classified add for Interim Healthcare in her local paper.
So she applied with Interim for additional supplemental income and ultimately found her interest in the company growing. She began working for Interim as the director of HealthCare Services. A decade later the Lincoln, Nebraska franchise territory became available and Lynette and her husband, Mark, became franchisees.
Here's more of what we learned about Helling.

Name:  Lynette Helling, RN
Title: President
Company: Interim HealthCare
Location/Territory: Lincoln, NE

Feature Story:

Overcoming Excuses: 6 Ways To Gain The Edge And Meet Your Goals »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals, says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt.
"Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage," says Waldschmidt, author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success, (
"Ideas, brilliance, genius - they all mean nothing without the guts, passion, and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals...

Feature Story:

The Profit Mastery Road Map: Improve Your Profitability And Cash Flow »

By Steve LeFever

Mysteries are solved when we use clues to find the culprits behind the crime. Financially speaking, when the crime results in the untimely demise of a business, we often see three usual suspects: low cash, low gross margin, and low net margin.
But low cash and low margins are caused by something. The diagram presents a big picture overview, but also can lead us through a clue-by-clue, cause-and-effect deductive analysis designed to pinpoint potential financial culprits. When combined with industry benchmarks, this diagram can become your personal roadmap to success.
First, how to read it. Between any two boxes, in the direction of the arrows, insert the word "causes." In other words, "low cash" causes "high borrowing." Now, if you work against the arrows, include the words "is caused by" between the two boxes...

Feature Story:

CMO Profile: Mark Mears, Schlotzsky's »

By Kerry Pipes

As CMO at Austin-based Schlotzsky's, Mark Mears oversees the direction of the brand's marketing division, including the strategic management of its marketing and creative services departments, along with directing brand promotions, advertising, creative design, menu tests, and other initiatives.

Mears came on board as CMO in January 2014. With nearly three decades of experience in QSR, fast casual, casual, and premium casual, he is a visionary business leader with a track record of building system value and driving innovation at high-profile brands.

He came to Schlotzsky's from Mimi's Cafe where, as president and chief concept officer, he led the brand through a repositioning strategy, related menu optimization, and new concept development...

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...

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