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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:

People Really Do Matter: Invest In Your People For Better Results »

By Nate DaPore

On a personal level, I bet 100 percent of you agree with me that people really do matter, but are you living it every day in your businesses? Based on a recent PeopleMatter Institute survey, 40 percent of businesses do not think they do a good job engaging their hourly workforce.
While managing the stress and logistical operations of a multiple location business, it can be easy to analyze and focus on productivity, efficiency, and sales to increase profits and remain successful. Streamlining processes, reducing overhead, and creating new marketing campaigns all can help you increase profits, but only to a degree. What truly separates the "good" from the "great" businesses is their people.

Your best untapped resource
Believing that your people really do matter in the workplace--and taking steps to show them how important they are to you and your business every day--will be a game changer for your company's success...

Feature Story:

Franchise Marketing Funds: Frequently Asked Questions »

By Janet Muhleman

Franchisors often ask us when they should activate their franchise marketing fund. They may have a requirement for marketing spending in their FDD, but may not be collecting or spending the money centrally. They may also have older agreements with different spending requirements in their system and have concerns about how to structure a fund that is equitable.

We recently helped a 300-unit franchise system activate their national marketing fund. They took a very thoughtful, inclusive approach and successfully launched their program with nearly 100% compliance. We thought it would be helpful to recap that approach, but realized that we needed to back up and explain a few things about ad funds first. The result is a series of articles that will cover a lot of related topics...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: October 14, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Promoted Pins: Pinterest Analytics Offers New Tracking Features
Pinterest business users will want to explore the updated Pinterest Analytics tool. The new version adds information about your top pins and boards in the Pinterest Profile section. The Audience area gives you a look at what Pinterest users are choosing to look at and pin. It can be filtered to look at all audiences, or focused on just your followers. "The new Pinterest Analytics tool gives you access to a variety of data, including how potential customers interact with your pins beyond your website," says Kim Vij, writing on Social Media Examiner. More information can be found on the Pinterest website.

Beating the Facebook Algorithm
Over the past year, Facebook has been making life much harder for owners of its Business pages...

Feature Story:

Workplace Communication: Where Has All The Candor Gone?, Part 2 »

By Gregory Ciotti

Editor's note: Part 1 appeared in the previous issue of this newsletter. The original article appeared on the Help Scout blog.

Hudl, a sports video software company based in Lincoln, Neb., has a system for feedback they refer to as #RealTalk. Playing off the slang phrase "real talk" (curt honesty), the team uses the phrase to denote when a conversation has taken a serious turn. It's a half-joking phrase used to inspire genuine candor among the team:

RealTalk, one of six values read off at the start of each Hudl retreat, plays an important role in the company, from use in hiring to performance reviews to product updates. It's written in emails, said out loud before feedback is given ("All right, give me the real talk...

Feature Story:

Declaration Of Extreme Leadership: Create A Written Proclamation Of Who You Are And What You Believe  »

By Steve Farber

A declaration is a powerful thing.
By making a declaration, you not only announce something, you proclaim it to be a true and accurate representation of who you are and what you believe in. You make a vow to anyone who reads or listens that you will abide by and live up to the words. And they can count on you for it.
Here in the US, we celebrate Independence Day, which was codified for posterity (that's us) in the Declaration of Independence.
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever tradition or history you come from, I invite you to read another declaration-a Declaration of Extreme Leadership-which you can find below.
I don't mean to suggest that this declaration rivals the other, but you may find that these words resonate with you, inspire you, and compel you to change your piece of the world for the better...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Offerings & FDDs: New Guidelines Aim For Clarification »

By Tom Pitegoff

A new set of regulatory guidelines for franchisors provides clarity on how to present franchise opportunities to prospective buyers.

On Sept. 16, state regulators with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issued guidance clarifying the distinctions between single-unit, area representative, and area development offerings and calling for uniform terminology when describing these arrangements in the FDD.

The FDD explains to prospective franchise buyers in plain English their obligations, fees, start-up costs, and the like. It also provides information about the franchisor and the assistance it will provide, in a uniform format that meets the requirements of both federal and state laws. NASAA wants to ensure that the disclosures in the FDD that deal with multi-unit franchise offerings are clear to prospective franchisees...

Feature Story:

Funding Growth: Deciding Whether To Use Debt Or Equity To Fund Your Growing Enterprise »

By Jenny Q. Ta

Loan financing and equity investment are two common methods of funding a new business start-up, assuming you do not have the capital on your own. Each strategy has advantages. The right choice depends on your short-term and long-term financial goals and personal preferences.
Debt financing is the better choice when you prefer to retain control of your operation, and you do not mind the tradeoff of greater risk for higher earning potential. However, if you would rather share the risk, mitigate debt obligations and bring in top-level experts, invite equity investors.
Ultimately, it will be up to you depending on your own situation.  As a seasoned entrepreneur, author, and CEO of Sqeeqee.com, the first-of-its-kind social "networthing" site, I have identified the following things to consider when making your decision...

Feature Story:

Second Time Around: Husband-and-Wife Team Join Forces As Sport Clips Franchisees »

By Debbie Selinsky

Bobby and Lori Forrest came well-prepared for their second careers as multi-unit franchisees for Sport Clips. The couple grew up in Texas and met at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a degree in engineering technology and she earned her master's in land economics and real estate.
As they approached 50 and decided to begin building their own business, they looked no further than the place where he gets his haircuts. "I was a customer and I liked the concept," he says. "We also liked their conservative approach of having franchisees continue to work their regular jobs until the shop was up and running. It took the pressure off the first couple of years while we were learning."
So after 27 years in sales and management with electronic components distributor, Bobby retired and joined forces with Lori, a commercial real estate appraiser, to buy two corporate Sport Clips salons and open a third...

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is A Disaster, Part 1 »

By Joe Mathews

Editor's note: This is part 1 of a serialized version of a recent e-book from Franchise Performance Group called Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is a Disaster: What a breakthrough franchise sales process looks like.

For more than 10 years, I had the distinct good fortune to live and work in the rural and pristine Berkshire foothills of Litchfield, Conn. "The Northwest Corner," as the locals call it, explodes into life in the spring. That's when the weather gives way to warm, comfortable and shady summers, and then fall bursts forth with vibrant and colorful glory. (Winters are not so pleasant, which is why I hightailed it to Nashville, but that's another story.)

To take advantage of the gorgeous three seasons, and to overcompensate for the winters, I decided to purchase a large sunroom to use as a seasonal home office...

Feature Story:

Recruiting New Franchisees: 3 Key Selling Skills, Part 1 »

By Steve Olson

You'll recruit new franchisees much faster if you initially understand, prepare, and learn the best methods for selling franchises. Working smarter shortens the race to the finish line! Here are some triggers that will help accelerate your pace.

Effectively selling new franchises demands learning the three key selling skills. (These apply in good economies and bad!):

Feature Story:

Training Your Trainers: Coach Your Support Staff For Improved Franchisee Performance »

By Keith Gerson

In one of our most recent franchise surveys, 62 percent of CEOs and operations VPs and directors responded that they do not have a formal training program for their operations consultants and field staff. For those who do, 83 percent indicated that their training lasts from only hours to two training days at most. Not much of an investment given what's at stake.
The support staff has the responsibility to: 1) drive franchisee performance; 2) drive franchisee satisfaction; 3) ensure franchise compliance; and 4) create engagement and alignment.
What follows are some general thoughts on how to increase and improve franchisee performance through improved coaching and development of your support staff.
• Coach the coaches...

Feature Story:

Franchise Development: Larry Lee Grows His McAlister's Restaurants From Texas Into New Mexico »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Larry Lee knows a great location when he sees one. After all, he was in real estate and shopping center development before he became a franchisee.
"Great locations will offset everything else," says the Texan, who has 16 McAlister's deli locations open, with plans to add two dozen more by 2015 as he expands beyond his base in Texas and New Mexico. Lee first ate in a McAlister's at one of his San Antonio shopping centers. "No matter how great your marketing is, you can't market your way out of a bad location," he says.
Lee says his learning curve as he entered franchising was relatively easy. "Franchising was a little new, but I knew about the real estate, of course, and the financing requirements. Dealing with a franchisor was a little different but that's gone well, too," he says...

Feature Story:

Mid-sized And Growing: A Stellar Leadership Team Can Take Your Operation To The Next Level »

By Robert Sher

Successfully operating a multi-unit franchise--typically generating millions of dollars in revenue from many locations--requires a keen awareness that leading multiple units is fundamentally different than leading a small operation. Unfortunately, too many multi-unit franchisees rely on the leadership approach they used when they were a small business, running the business themselves or promoting from within without the proper training. The result? Derailed profitability, stunted growth, and high management turnover.
The only way for mid-sized multi-unit franchisees to grow and prosper is to plan for and invest in a trustworthy and competent leadership team. As proven time and again, the bigger the investment in leadership, the bigger the potential return...

Feature Story:

Man Of Many Hats: Former NFL Pro Thrives With Lots Of Balls In The Air »

By Debbie Selinsky

When you look at the life and career of multi-unit franchisee Don Davey, you'll notice a pattern. From professional football (he was an NFL defensive tackle for 10 years) to his 20-unit ownership of Firehouse Subs franchises to the six Ironman competitions he's completed, everything requires discipline, tenacity, focus, and a competitive nature.
Sound tough? Not to Davey, who was named the 2013 IFA's Franchisee of the Year. In fact, he eats it up. "As an entrepreneur, I love being completely responsible for both our successes and our failures. It's stressful, but extremely rewarding," he says.
"Some people look at my life as hectic and chaotic," says Davey, who earned bachelor and master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference: If You'Re Not Green And Growing, You'Re Ripe And Rotting »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Consumer marketing changes constantly--no news there. Keeping up is another story. Tactics and thinking that were progressive and results-oriented yesterday are passé and ineffective today. To make matters worse, franchisors are also battling an increasing glut of media channels, confusing new technologies, and competition from all sides. No one understands these challenges better than the franchise CMOs and marketing executives on the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference's advisory board, who deal with them every day.
The board took all these challenges--and more--into account when they developed the theme of this year's conference: "Change: The New Marketing Currency." The fourth annual conference, held in June at Atlanta's InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, attracted top franchise marketing executives for two days of jam-packed education, sharing, and networking, all seeking to gain an edge on their competition and learn about the latest strategies and techniques in the world of consumer marketing...

Feature Story:

It's Time For Global Standards: International Expansion Demands Better Information »

By Darrell Johnson and Eric Simon

Over the past seven years, some economies have prospered while the U.S. has been on a roller-coaster ride. With franchising's ability to respond relatively quickly to change, it comes as no surprise that we are seeing more focus on international expansion by U.S. brands. We have seen an increase in international research projects ourselves and addressed this trend by starting a research company in Australia.
In the U.S., we are accustomed to being able to obtain, from both public and private sources, a considerable amount of reliable franchise information. The amount and quality of international information on franchising pales in comparison. Brands typically are left to rely on consultants and their own experience. International franchise information, when available at all, is scattered among government agencies, franchise associations, and within individual brands, all with varying degrees of reliability...

Feature Story:

Mobile Apps: Help Your Customers Spend More! »

By Tom Epstein

According to the National Restaurant Association,

Feature Story:

17 SEO Myths It's Time To Leave Behind »

By Eddy Goldberg

SEO has gone through many changes since marketers first discovered the value of being listed on the first page of search engine results. That was nearly 20 years ago, and during that time many beliefs arose about the best ways marketers could outfox the algorithms. Many of those beliefs are just that: beliefs, according to Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales platform company. In "17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2014," the company attempts to put them to rest. From the introduction of the 24-page guide:

"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:

Added Value: Is Your Leadership Personality Helping Or Hurting Your Business? »

By Sally Hogshead

As an entrepreneur, you're often the face of your company, and your ability to capture attention, to fascinate others--clients, employees, strategic partners, influencers--can make or break a business. Every time you communicate, you're doing one of two things:

Feature Story:

Retirement Planning: Knowing When It's OK To Play It Safe And When It's Not »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

As people get closer to the age when they hope to retire, traditional wisdom calls for moving into more conservative - safer - investments, such as Treasury bonds and many fixed-income mutual funds.
"The problem is, what is 'safe' for one person may not be 'safe' for another, given the amount of money in their portfolios, how their investments are allocated, and what their retirement lifestyle goals are," says financial advisor Haitham "Hutch" Ashoo, co-founder with advisor Chris Snyder of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC.
"Some investors believe Certificates of Deposit and U.S. Treasury bonds are safe investments because of their backing, but the income they generate is so low, they may not be safe in terms of producing the income you need for 30 years of retirement...



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