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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:

Survey Finds Government Proposal Would Impact Middle Management »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The Obama administration is proposing to expand overtime and redefine what it means to be a retail or restaurant manager. The move could affect the career paths of many employees and undermine the quality of customer service they are able to provide, according to a new survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.
"The administration is singling out the service economy, specifically restaurants and retailers, with these new overtime regulations," says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French. "The proposed Labor Department regulations will hinder the career paths of millions of American workers, restrict the duties a manager can perform while working, impact the customer experience, and add lots of paperwork and bureaucracy to the job description...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Measuring Cost Per Lead And Cost Per Sale »

By Eddy Goldberg

This newsletter is presenting an ongoing series of highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The 2015 AFDR is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned). This week: measuring recruitment costs.

Tracking cost per lead and cost per sale have both been an inexplicably weak point for franchisors for years now. Also inexplicable in this high-tech, big data era, in 2014 the percentage of franchisors who track these two critical development metrics fell in comparison with previous years.

Feature Story:

Creating A Culture Of Accountability »

By Keith Gerson

Do you know what your goals are?
As president of a leading franchise technology company, I'm afforded a unique vantage point as I get to study the trends, patterns, habits, and behaviors of hundreds of franchisors. Of all of the trends I'm seeing that can have the greatest impact on a franchise organization's success, it would have to be creating accountability.
Increasing your franchise sales output, improving unit-level economics, out-marketing your competition, or any of the other dozens of items that dominate franchise conference keynote addresses, panels, or training sessions tend to be lagging indicators. Substandard performance in these and most areas can most often be tracked back to an absence of franchisee and employee accountability...

Feature Story:

Insight-Full: Corner Bakery's CMO Loves Neighborhoods »

By Kerry Pipes

Diana Hovey says she came to know and love Corner Bakery Cafe over a cup of coffee at a unit in her neighborhood. In October 2006, when the opportunity to be a part of the corporate team came along, she jumped at the chance. She's been chief marketing officer for the Dallas-based brand for 8 years now, at the forefront of shaping the branding and messaging strategy for the bakery-cafe pioneer that she says is the "ultimate neighborhood gathering spot."
Hovey says connecting with guests and giving back to the community are paramount to what the brand believes in and stands for. In fact, understanding the hearts and minds of the consumer has always been the focus of her career, first in public relations and marketing with TGI Fridays and later with Brinker International as vice president of marketing for its Mexican Concepts Division and Romano's Macaroni Grill...

Feature Story:

Melting Pot Launches New Recruiting Incentive Program »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The Melting Pot is looking to reopen some franchise locations and it has created a new incentive to help recruit qualified restaurant operators. The new program will provide financing to those who sign a franchise agreement to purchase an existing Melting Pot location in select markets across the country, starting with Chattanooga and Memphis.
Under the guidelines of its new "Path to Grow" program, approved restaurant operators can inject as little as 5 percent liquidity into the purchase of the restaurant to partner with the franchisor, who would provide the financing. In exchange, the franchisor would initially assume 51 percent ownership of the restaurant under the conditions that the operating franchisee agrees to pay back the initial loan within three years of signing the franchise agreement...

Feature Story:

Fresh CREAM Deal Coming To Florida »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The cold rush is coming to Florida. The Sunshine State will be the location of more than 30 new shops of the San Francisco-based dessert franchise CREAM over the next 7 years. The franchise specializes in premium ice cream sandwiches and other frosty treats.
The new agreement marks CREAM's largest and most significant franchising announcement since launching its franchise opportunity in 2012, and will develop stores starting in South Florida before moving towards West Florida and beyond.
"There's definitely a lot of excitement around the brand," says CREAM president and COO Jim Ryan. "We are very excited to have over 30 units available to entrepreneurs in Florida and to make our East Coast debut."
The initial deal was inked with Armando Martinez Stone, who discovered the brand while participating in his High School DECA program in which participants were given the challenge to outline a plan to improve a company's national and international success...

Feature Story:

Cultural Competence: To Succeed Abroad, Learn - And Respect - Differences »

By Bill Edwards & Robert Shaw

An survey this year of the IFA's U.S.-based franchisor members showed that 82 percent are either already "going global" or are planning to take their franchise international soon. However, many U.S.-based franchisors new to international are unfamiliar with cultural differences between countries. In our experience in almost 70 countries, to successfully do business abroad you must be aware of the local culture and how it affects your franchise sales, operations, and revenues.
Businessculture.org says, "Culture illustrates the accepted norms and values and traditional behavior of a group... the way we do things around here.' The culture of each country has its own beliefs, values, and activities. In other words, culture can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values, and attitudes...

Feature Story:

It's Mega 99 Time!: These Multi-Unit Operators Know How To Go Big »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

We've rounded up another "Mega 99" issue--and that means some big numbers. In the following pages you'll find our annual list of the biggest players in franchising--the ones with dozens, even hundreds, of units--and plans for many more. When it comes to brands, units, and territories, these franchisees think big... and they think long.
Numbers offer insights, but our readers tell us that the personal stories of the individuals we profile, with their tales of success, failure, and lessons learned, are the most powerful. And it's in these details that the true character--and grit--of these successful multi-unit operators are revealed.
Each year, we look for franchisees with the drive, determination, and that pinch of good fortune who have expanded and reaped the rewards...

Feature Story:

Up For The Challenge: Jackson Hewitt's New CEO Prepares For Takeoff »

By Kerry Pipes

David Prokupek is not short on experience at the highest level. What's more, he loves a challenge. He has spent more than two decades as a CEO, investor, and board member helping build, finance, and advise high-growth businesses in the consumer, retailing, financial services, marketing services, and communications industries. He hasn't just done these things, he's done them well.
Today he is president and CEO of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, a full-service tax preparation and related financial services company. He previously served as CEO of Smashburger, and was managing partner and chief investment officer of Consumer Capital Partners, which provided Smashburger with its initial $20 million-plus of funding.
Prokupek is an innovative and strategic thinker who can manage the business today while keeping his finger on the pulse of trends that will help him be successful tomorrow...

Feature Story:

IFA Appeals To Stop Seattle's Discrimination Against Franchise Business Owners »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchisees in Seattle have the International Franchise Association (IFA) on their side. The group is appealing a recent decision in federal court that allows the city of Seattle to discriminate against small franchised businesses as part of the city's 2014 minimum wage law. The IFA sought a preliminary injunction, which was denied by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones court in mid-March.
The IFA and five Seattle franchisees have given notice that they will appeal Judge Jones' decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The original lawsuit filed in June 2014 requested fair treatment for franchises under the law, which treats them as large, national companies, rather than the small, locally-owned businesses...

Feature Story:

Richard Paek Promotes Communication From The Top Down...and Gets Results »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Longtime Jiffy Lube franchisee Richard Paek has discovered that seeing is believing. Paek, who opened his first Jiffy Lube in 1992, has built a multi-unit system that emphasizes transparency inside and out. If there is a sales, customer service, or employee performance stat to be had, Paek will use it to rank, reward, and motivate his team.
"'No sugarcoating' is one of our favorite quotes," says Paek, CEO of Newport, Calif.-based Allied Lube Inc., which operates 75 Jiffy Lube service centers in California and Texas.
This focus on sharing the facts with his 800 employees is paying off. With estimated annual revenue of more than $60 million, Allied Lube's growth outpaced the 2,000-unit Jiffy Lube chain by 9 percent in 2012, 7 percent in 2013, and is on track to three-peat growth in 2014...

Feature Story:

We're All In The Customer Service Business! »

By John Tschohl

After 40 years focused solely on customer service I continue to devote my time and energy to helping businesses create a service culture. The point I try to get across to everyone is: you are in the service business. Most companies think they're in manufacturing or retail. It's a paradigm switch.

Amazon is successful because it understands it's a customer service company that just happens to be the largest Internet-based retailer in the world. Does it pay off to be focused solely on customer service? Amazon's net sales increased 20% in 2014 to $88.99 billion, compared with $74.45 billion in 2013. Answer: Yes, it does... they celebrate excellent customer experiences.

Here are the six steps to creating a service culture...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: March 24, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

How To Use Pinterest Guided Search
Pinterest beefed up its search capabilities for mobile devices with the launch of Pinterest Guided Search a year ago in April. "Essentially, 'guides' are filters. When you click on a guide it will narrow your search results in an effort to give you more of what you are looking for," writes Vanessa Williams on Ignite Social Media. According to Pinterest, she writes, guided search has been effective. "Pinterest says that, on average, a Pinner clicks on 3.6 guides per day when searching. The more a user searches, the better the results are. Pinterest adapts your search preferences for future personalization." Here's how to use it to your brand's best advantage, says Williams:

Feature Story:

Fastsigns Franchisee Advocates For Industry At U.S. Chamber Event »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Fastsigns franchisee Clint Ehlers is taking a stand in support of the franchise industry at this week's U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, "The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Joint-Employer Standard: New Interpretations, New Liabilities and the Impact on Other Statutes."
Ehlers owns and operates Fastsigns locations in Lancaster and Willow Grove, PA. This isn't his first time to speak up about the issue. He previously took a stance against the ruling in an appearance on September 9, 2014, testifying before Congress against the "joint employer" decision, with Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsigns International.
As a pervasively critical issue within the franchise industry--among franchisors, franchisees, and employees alike--the NLRB's ruling on the Joint-Employment Standard will be addressed by Ehlers at the March 20th event, including the threat to locally-owned and operated franchise businesses across the nation that provide incredible value to communities by providing jobs, products/services, and sales tax revenue...

Feature Story:

Georgia Franchisees Are Back To Fazoli's »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Allen Peake and Mike Chumbley are the powers behind C&P Restaurant Company, a Macon, Georgia-based company that operates Captain D's and Cheddar's locations. The duo has just inked a deal for six Fazoli's restaurants in Georgia and South Carolina.
The new deal brings Peake and Chumbley back to Fazoli's. As executives and minority owners of RMS Family Restaurants - where they worked together for 15 years - they previously operated 12 Fazoli's in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. RMS sold its Fazoli's restaurants in 2000; they eventually were closed.
Under the new agreement, C&P Restaurant Company plans to open Fazoli's restaurants in Macon, Warner Robins, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, and Savannah.
"We always knew that we wanted to again be part of Fazoli's, and now the timing is right," says Peake...

Feature Story:

Selling Franchises To Millennials »

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 in the coming years.

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:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Mobile Prospects Continue To Expand »

By Eddy Goldberg

This newsletter is presenting an ongoing series of highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The 2015 AFDR is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned). This week: The Growth of Mobile Prospects Has Exploded.

The percentage of prospects making contact using their phones almost doubled from August 2013 to August 2014 (23 percent to 42 percent), according to research conducted by Landmark Interactive. Contact made using desktop computers fell from two-thirds (65 percent) in August 2013 to less than half (46 percent), mirroring the ongoing shift to the use of smartphones in everyday life. Tablet use held steady at 1 in 10 (12 percent). In August 2012, those numbers were 10 percent for phones, 8 percent for tablets, and 83 percent for desktops...

Feature Story:

Cybersecurity Tips For Small Business Operators »

By Darren Guccione

From Target and Home Depot, to Apple's iCloud, Sony, and Anthem, it seems there's a new security breach announced every other week. Polls indicate that 50 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses believe they are immune to targeted cyber-attacks because criminals are more focused on large corporations. The reality is these companies are easy targets because they don't invest in new tools to defend against today's new breed of cyber attacks.  All companies, regardless of their size, are at risk.
Older, traditional security solutions are based on technologies that rely on knowing something about the attack, such as the vulnerability targeted, the malware used, or the reputation of the email sender. These tools may block basic known malware, but they are incapable of identifying today's dynamic, multi-vector, multi-stage attacks...

Feature Story:

Auntie Anne's CMO Heather Neary »

By Philip St. Jacques

Leading and innovating the marketing strategy for a 1,300-location franchise concept in a highly competitive industry and retail environment is a monumental challenge. For almost 10 years, Auntie Anne's CMO Heather Neary and her team continue to lead the brand to new levels of growth year over year. As part of Focus Brands International, owned by Roark Capital, how does a simple product concept evolve into a ubiquitous brand that becomes a category leader and, more important, what are the keys to her success?

In the following interview with CMO Outlook (CMOO), Neary shares insights into her unique perspective on her marketing approach, and the relationship between national marketing strategies and how thousands of franchisees unify to execute locally against a single goal...

Feature Story:

6 Tips For Taking Leaps Of Faith »

By Scott Petinga

As a former Marine, cancer survivor, and highly successful serial entrepreneur, I've learned a thing or two about risk. If you're happy languishing in a gelatinous pool of indifference and stagnation then, by all means, keep doing what you're doing. If you're ready to take a leap and change things for the better, here's some wisdom to get you started:

1. Realize you take risks every day. Getting up, answering the phone, and heading out the door are all risks, albeit minor ones. However, every time you do those things you're putting yourself out there--you're even risking rejection daily in your professional and personal life. You do these things every day and survive. Trust me, it won't kill you. You are very capable of risk taking...



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