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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:

Caring Couple: Longtime BrightStar Care Franchisees Flourish »

By Helen Bond

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather were married for just a year when they entered a new venture as franchisees in the home care field. The pair, who met on a Multiple Sclerosis charity cycling ride, make quite a team. Together they own five BrightStar Care locations through their Madison, Wisc.-based company, which consistently performs at the top of the brand's franchise chain.
"We knew we had great communication, but we sure didn't want to mess anything up," says Rather. "We went in with eyes wide open. The advice we got from other couples was to clearly define who is going to do what. Over the years, we have melded that a bit."
Tews, after 33 years in the banking and telecom industries, was seeking a change of pace from the corporate world...

Feature Story:

Here Comes 2015!: What Do You Still Not Know About Your Business? »

By Steve Lefever

Now that we're nearing November, it's time to refocus on the business with an eye toward planning for 2015. I'd like to suggest that you look a little farther ahead and reflect on the issues I've outlined below.
Over the years, I've encountered far too many business owners who spend weeks planning their vacation (if they take one at all!) and virtually no time planning for the business that makes those vacations possible.
Watch cable news, scan a few TV commercials, or flip through any newspaper these days and it would seem there are no mysteries any more. Let's face it, we know far too much about far too many people's habits, problems, and proclivities. We have more factoids, tidbits, inklings, stats, blogs, and so-called expert opinions (legal and otherwise) than we can use in a lifetime...

Feature Story:

Keeping It Fresh: How Compelling Is Your Concept Today? »

By Steve Olson

Franchisors should continually ask themselves, “How attractive is my franchise opportunity now? Does it still deliver what it takes? In what ways do I stand out among competitive opportunities?”

As a reality check, review your franchise program every year to ensure it remains strong and provides the sizzle and power of an attractive, viable business concept. Does it continue to satisfy the goals and interests of your existing owners? Does your concept capture the attention of new buyers? Or is your opportunity growing stale, losing a little bit of steam? And then you must grab your mirror and ask yourself, “Is yesterday’s buyer still the owner I want today?”

Look at our roller-coaster marketplace. What works today may not work as well tomorrow...

Feature Story:

10 Must-Read Books For Leaders, Part 2 »

By Paul Jun

In the previous issue, we ran the first five of these "must-read" business books. Here are the next five, whose authors include Cyrus the Great (2500 years ago) on leadership and war, a present-day neuroscientist on lying, and business contrarian Stanley Fish on writing a sentence - and reading one.

6. Lying by Sam Harris
The moment teammates feel compelled to lie, however small or large, it's a sign that the very foundation that builds morale, understanding, empathy, and belonging are in danger. Trust is fragile but immensely powerful, and one small lie after another can sabotage the foundation that creates thriving organizations.

"To lie is to intentionally mislead others when they expect honest communication...

Feature Story:

4 Top Leadership Myths »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Leadership author, speaker, and consultant Roxi Hewertson has compiled a list of 4 leadership myths that when fully understood can change the way you do business and your bottom line. Here they are:

1. If you are a star performer in your field or discipline, you will surely be a star leader of others. From the day we were born, all the applause has been about "what I have done well," not "what we have done well." The exception is teamwork within or outside your family. The skills, attributes, and even motivations required to lead people successfully are entirely opposite from those required to be a successful individual contributor. Consider this: if the roles and skills weren't so opposite, it would be a walk in the park for someone to move seamlessly from being a great violin player to being a great conductor...

Feature Story:

The 6 Essential Skills For The New Digital Marketer »

By Eddy Goldberg

More than 90% of marketers suffer from a digital skills gap that directly affects their ability to market in an environment of rapid and accelerating change, according to a white paper from Grovo. To move forward, the report concludes, "companies need to develop their existing talent into digital marketers."

"The Future-Proof Marketer in 2015: Digital marketing's skills gap crisis and the new breed of marketer to solve it" highlights the six essential areas of digital competency for today's - and tomorrow's - digital marketers. Below are excerpts from the white paper.

1) Data gathering
Good analysis requires good data, so being able to obtain it is extremely valuable - especially if the data needs to be integrated from different silos...

Feature Story:

Word Of Mouth Power »

By John Tschohl

Just having a satisfied customer and giving them service that is simply good enough will not get anyone talking. You've got to go above and beyond the call of duty if you want your customers to talk about you.
Word of mouth is instrumental in driving your company's success. Verbal buzz about your business or product passed from one reliable person to the next is still the most cost-effective way to build a loyal following, expand your business, and reach new customers. How does it start? Give them an amazing customer experience and encourage your customers to think of themselves as partners in your business. Like I've said before, the organization chart at your business should show the customer at the top.
How your customers feel about you and what they are prepared to tell others about you can influence your revenues and profits...

Feature Story:

5 Key Marketing Planning Insights For 2015 »

By Jason Knill

In addition to the anticipated release of FRANdata's State of Franchising Report, the Franchise Update Leadership & Development Conference marks the beginning of the 2015 brand, marketing, and lead generation planning season.

These 5 key franchise development marketing insights will help you plan more effectively, generate lower CPLs, increase lead-to-application ratios, and open new markets. And, in the end, you and your team will contribute to another growing year for our industry.

Prediction 1: Franchise prospects fall for YouTube
Next year, YouTube demographics will continue shifting as online viewership increases within more coveted and affluent age demographics.

Facts first. YouTube, as a viewing platform, isn't emerging...

Feature Story:

Brand Champion: Veteran Supercuts Franchisee Reflects On 35 Years »

By Eddy Goldberg

Brand Champion: Veteran Supercuts Franchisee Reflects on 35 Years

By Eddy Goldberg

Gary Grace's life in franchising has been marked by several major achievements and milestones, including the following:

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: November 25, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

How To Choose a Great Link Builder
Link building is one of the hard, useful parts of Internet marketing. Much of traditional SEO has lost its mojo since Google's various algorithm updates of the past couple of years. Poor quality links have gone from being marginally useful to downright dangerous, as they attract penalties from Google. To build a strong set of external links that builds your site's authority and brings useful traffic with them, it pays to find a good link builder. Writing on Search Engine Land, Jon Ball, vice president of business development at Page One Power, highlights some key traits to look for when searching for a high-quality contractor to build links for you.

Checking Up On the Competition
It's always good to know what your competitors are up to - especially if you can do it without tipping them off...

Feature Story:

Are You Ready?: New PCI Security Rules Will Require Changes »

By Giles Witherspoon-Boyd

Hopefully, you've heard that the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has changed... again. In November 2013, the PCI Council released PCI DSS version 3.0 and set the compliance deadline for January 2015. With only a few busy months remaining, many businesses (including franchisees) aren't even close to compliance with the new standard.
Why change the standard? Changing technologies often improve business efficiency, but aren't bulletproof to the weaknesses consistently found and exploited by hackers. New security regulations like PCI 3.0 are released to protect new technologies against recent hacking trends.
In my opinion, Requirement 4.1 is the biggest PCI 3.0 change for franchisees. Many franchises and chains use satellite communications to connect locations...

Feature Story:

ApplePie Capital: Franchise Funding Just Got Easier »

By Eddy Goldberg

There's a new franchise funding alternative in town: ApplePie Capital, which announced its presence as a franchise lender and unveiled its website last week. The idea behind the company is to provide a franchise loan marketplace that connects franchisees in need of capital with investors seeking fixed-income returns, in this case by investing in operators of proven franchise brands. The marketplace will launch in Q1 2015 and offer loans ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.

ApplePie will work exclusively with franchises, says co-founder and CEO Denise Thomas. The company's founding brands are Marco's Pizza, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs, Nothing Bundt Cakes, AdvantaClean, Sola Salon Studios, and RNR Custom Wheels and Tire Express...

Feature Story:

Community Come Together »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

There are two Checkers franchisees who believe that operating a business means being involved and giving back to the community. That's what partners Bruce Keehn and Andrew Lynn have been doing for years.
In 1996, when race riots ensued after a white police officer shot a 28-year-old black man in Paterson, N.J., news footage showed Checkers bags atop police cars, where Keehn and his people had placed them. In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey, their staff could be found everywhere giving away free Checkers food, even though one of their own restaurants had been hit hard.
"Everything that has happened in this area in the past 20 years, we've been there," says Keehn, who spent years at Burger King corporate before becoming a Checkers franchisee...

Feature Story:

Are You A Leader Or A Manager? »

By John Tschohl

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader it's all about growing others." --Jack Welch

Everyone who has a job has a boss or manager, but does everyone have a leader? You never hear people complain about leaders, but every day someone somewhere complains about their boss or manager. First, leadership is action, not position. Just because someone is in a role of control does not mean they are a leader.

All managers have to do some leading, and all leaders have to do some managing. The best leaders are typically poor managers, and the best managers are typically poor leaders. Finding the right balance for the job is what is really important. Every enterprise needs a mix of leaders and managers...

Feature Story:

The Difference Between Leadership And Management »

By John Tschohl

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become
a leader it's all about growing others."-- Jack Welch.

Everyone who has a job has a boss or manager, but does everyone have a leader? You never hear people complain about leaders, but every day someone somewhere complains about their boss or manager. Firstly, leadership is action, not position. Just because someone is in a role of control does not mean the person is a leader. According to John Tschohl, best-selling author and customer service strategist, "the best leaders are typically poor managers and the best managers are typically poor leaders. All managers have to do some leading and all leaders have to do some managing. Finding the right balance for the job is what is really important...

Feature Story:

Dominators Rule!: These Multi-Unit Operators Get It Done »

By Kerry Pipes

To celebrate and recognize the achievements of multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, we again turn our annual focus to multi-unit franchisees we like to call "Dominators." They are determined to succeed and know how to get it done. They take on markets, competition, and the economy and keep on growing. They are fiercely competitive, want to be the best at what they do, and want the same for their management team and employees.
We've identified some great, savvy operators and are excited to bring their stories to you. We asked what drives them, what makes them tick, and what ticks them off. Each shares a unique tale of how they've traveled the rocky road to success, but all are united by hard work, hard knocks, and ultimate triumph.
This year's behind-the-scenes look at a group of thriving franchise owners tells us how--and why--they've made their business choices, how they've adapted to growth, and where they see themselves headed...

Feature Story:

Why Your Franchise Sales Process Is A Disaster, Part 4 »

By Joe Mathews

Editor's note: This is part 4 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. Click here for part 1, here for part 2, and here for part 3.

Phase Five: FDD review
A franchise attorney once told me that their franchise sales people use the FDD as a sales tool, but I don't think the FDD adds any emotional engagement to the buyer's process. In 30 years I have never had a franchise buyer say: "I was on the fence, but then I got your FDD. Now I'm ready to move forward."

In this phase, the franchise salesperson needs to take the "one-sided sting" out of the FDD and ferret out and resolve potential deal-killers...

Feature Story:

Giving Back, Big-Time: Former Police Officer Still Assists Those In Need »

By Debbie Selinsky

Sam Anabi's time as a police officer in La Verne, Calif., laid the foundation for his business focus of helping those in need. He bought his first gas station in 1991, while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. Injured in the line of duty, in 2001 Anabi left the force to focus on his gasoline retailing business. Today he operates more than 200 Shell stations in California, along with 10 Del Tacos and 13 Subways.
Anabi says his experience as a police officer has greatly influenced how he operates his business. "Being a police officer for so many years allowed me to become very keen and intuitive toward different circumstances of people," he says. "I believe that it is our responsibility to reach out and help those around us in need...

Feature Story:

Recruiting New Franchisees: 3 Key Selling Skills, Part 4 »

By Steve Olson

Key #3: Effective Closing Skills, Part 2

In the three previous newsletters, I discussed the Three Key Selling Skills:
#1: Follow a successful sales process
#2: Strong relationship-building skills
#3: Effective closing skills

This time I complete the discussion of Selling Skill #3. These three skills, essential for making new franchise sales, are part of my book, "Grow to Greatness: How to build a world-class franchise system faster" - and are appropriate for both new and emerging franchisors, as well as experienced sales pros seeking to brush up on their skills and/or improve the performance of their sales staff.

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Using Technology To Identify, Reach, And Track Prospects »

Franchise Update

"How are you using technology to identify, reach, and track prospects?"

James R. Walker
Chief Development Officer
The Johnny Rockets Group

At Johnny Rockets we use technology not only to drive leads for prospective franchise candidates, but also to ensure that we are spending our franchise recruitment dollars in the most efficacious way possible.
We have found that online franchise lead portals are one of our most effective methods for securing new candidates. We also like the traceability these sites provide us. We use as many as six different online lead portals to drive leads to our sales management system, which immediately segments the lead by a number of qualifiers that include available liquid capital, as well as the candidate's targeted geography...

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