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Franchise Articles

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:

Read Any Good Books Lately? 25 "Unconventional" Business Books »

By Eddy Goldberg

We're all familiar with the classics in the world of business books: Ken Blanchard, Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, Peter Drucker... you know the names. Well, someone's put together a list of books from off the beaten path. His name is Gregory Ciotti, and the list appeared in his blog on Help Scout, where he works. He also has a site called Sparring Mind, where you can check out some of his other posts.

Writes Ciotti: "The problem is that many business books are just plain awful; bloated to meet book length quotas, overly self-promotional, or a regurgitation of common sense, many are disappointments." Ever had that feeling? You're not alone.

If you're looking for that edge in business (and who isn't?), perhaps you'll find something in the list, which Ciotti calls "25 Unconventional Business Books that You Won't See on Most Bookshelves (But Should)...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup - Feb 11, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Instagram: 11 Likes or You'll Never See Me Again!
When an Instagram photo earns 11 likes, instead of showing a list of the handles of the people who have liked it, Instagram shows the number of likes. This is widely considered to be a mark of social validation, and some users will remove photos that fail to reach the all-important 11 mark, says Ian Chee, chief strategy officer at digital agency MRY, in a blog on the website ClickZ. He wrote: "In a study MRY conducted on Millennials' technology behavior, one young woman noted passionately the need to reach this number. 'If I don't hit 11 likes, I take down the post after a day - it's just too embarrassing to leave up there. Nobody likes it.' The embarrassment of not being validated trumps the need to share the image...

Feature Story:

Mega Movers: Six Multi-Unit Operators Who Exemplify Franchisee Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Not all entrepreneurs have the drive, initiative, and persistence to make it to the top. It takes a savvy operator who can evaluate risk and is not afraid to take it. It also means choosing great brands, assembling a talented team, and attracting raving fan customers to make it all work. Only a handful of operators can pull it off. We found six who did.
For our annual Mega 99 edition, we search out operators with unique stories who have achieved “mega” status. Each has a personal tale to tell, full of hopes and dreams, wins and losses, painful setbacks and triumphant successes. They are textbook examples of all that is good in the world of franchising.

Don Daveyspent a decade in the NFL as a defensive tackle before turning to franchising as a second career...

Feature Story:

Where's Your Focus? »

By Keith Gerson

And Does Anybody Else Know About It?
Keith Gerson has spent more than 35 years in franchising in many different sales, development, and leadership positions. Now at FranConnect as president of global operations, he has agreed to combine his personal experience with FranConnect's franchising database to write about franchisor/franchisee relations, growth, culture, technology, and more in an ongoing column.

As we approach the new year, many of us are finalizing our strategic plans and budgets. We've spent countless hours ensuring that every ounce of discipline, creativity, and resources has gone into the effort. Yet, despite an ever-improving economy, too many CEOs will not have achieved the top-line revenue growth they budgeted for 2013...

Feature Story:

Franchise Update Media And MFV Expositions Partner Up For New Multi-Unit Franchisee Regional Summit »

Katy Geller

San Jose, CA, February 6th, 2014: Franchise Update Media and MFV Expositions are joining forces this June to produce the first-ever Regional Multi-Unit Franchisee Summit, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. This one-day event is designed to be a condensed, more localized version of Franchise Update Media's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas, which has quickly developed into a must-attend event in the franchising industry.

This regional summit will provide a more workshop-oriented environment for multi-unit franchisees in the eastern region. According Therese Thilgen, co-founder and CEO of Franchise Update Media, "we are excited to collaborate with MFV Expositions and introduce the Eastern Regional Multi-Unit Franchisee Summit...

Feature Story:

True Perspective: Adversity Brought Focus And Balance To Charles Loflin »

By Kerry Pipes

Cancer was a wakeup call for Charles Loflin. He was a successful businessman in 2009 going from one accomplishment to the next. Then his wife discovered she had cancer and it quickly brought life into perspective.
"That was a real sobering wake-up call for me," says the 45-year-old multi-unit franchisee today, who quickly realized there was more to life than operating a successful business.
Together the Loflins faced the cancer, beat it, and his wife is now a cancer-free survivor. But that wasn't the only outcome of this life-changing event. Loflin had just opened two very successful Einstein Bros. stores and had five more to go in his agreement. He sold those stores back to the company, refocused exclusively on Wingstop, and began spending more time and energy enjoying his wife and two children...

Feature Story:

Aim High: Achieving A Great Reputation Requires High Standards »

By Jim Cathcart

When you drive up to Disneyland the message is clear: "The Happiest Place On Earth."
That not only announces their intention, it also defines their performance standards. If what you are doing as a Disney employee (correction: "Cast Member") doesn't produce happiness, then you need to reconsider how you are doing it. They hire people who will keep the place happy, manage to the measures that have been shown to produce happiness, and discharge people who do not fit their culture. Consequently, they are the happiest place on earth.
FedEx tells us up front that we should choose them when "it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." So timely delivery is built into their policy manual, their training, their hiring practices, and the metrics they track each hour of each day...

Feature Story:

Franchise Development In 2014: Show Candidates You "Get" Online »

By Tim Johnson

Online reviews, smartphones, and social media are not passing fads. Can they be useful to your franchise recruiting and development efforts? Or are these things just distractions from the true work of sales and recruiting, and best left to the marketing department?

We believe that effective management of your online presence, including social media, is a critical component of your franchise development strategy. Why? Because there is no better way to illustrate that your organization knows how to get found and manage customers at the local level, where it really counts.

Gathering customer insight has traditionally been a marketing function, but your franchise development team cannot afford to be out of the loop in regard to socially driven customer intelligence...

Feature Story:

Enterprise Franchising: Giving Franchisees More Flexibility »

By Jennifer Tucker

The face of America's franchise owners is changing. In the traditional franchise model, the franchisee purchases a brand and follows an operator's manual. They stick to the proven methods of success - regardless of their local market or individual background.

While this model works for many, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are seeking a more individualized approach. Today's franchisees not only want to run a business with the backing of an established franchisor, they also value the prospect of investment and expansion, the ability to capitalize on a brand with their own business savvy. Instead of entering the franchising business with the intention of owning a small shop, today's franchisees are interested in managing a growing and expanding business...

Feature Story:

Franchising Abroad: The Two Most Common International Franchise Deals »

By Martin Hancock

If the first step in bringing your franchise overseas is to determine which international market is best for your brand, the second step is to decide what kind of deal you want to sign.

While there are many different kinds of agreements a company can sign, the two most common models are the master franchise agreement and the area developer agreement. Either agreement can be multi-country, single country, or regional; and in either case, a brand from outside the target country grants rights in the target county. In return, the franchisor receives a master franchise fee and royalties and/or the rights to supply product to the franchisee. While these two models share similarities, it is important to understand the differences.

Master franchise agreement
A master franchise agreement includes the franchisee's right to sub-franchise...

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 2 - Program Review (Part 1) »

By Steve Olson

Objective: Qualify the prospect, build rapport, and establish the process
Length of conversation: 45 to 60 minutes

This meeting with your prospective candidate is the most important step in the recruitment process. It's your first real "date," the one that determines whether you two have what it takes for a serious relationship. Your prospect certainly is interested in your franchise. They responded to your franchise offer; were previously interviewed by you or your qualifier; reviewed your initial franchise package and website; and submitted their RFC, providing their personal information, work history, and financial statement.

This 30- to 45-minute session presents the opportunity for you to speak more openly with these motivated respondents...

Feature Story:

Keeping It Simple--Big Time! »

By Kerry Pipes

Charles Smithgall sets ambitious goals for his Aaron's empire
Keeping the business model simple has paid off handsomely for Charles Smithgall over the past 18 years he has been an Aaron's franchisee. "This is my fifth career, but my first in franchising," says the 71-year-old. "It's a fantastic business model because it allows me to focus on operations and execute. Everything else has already been worked out."
And working out it is for Smithgall. When we last spoke with him (MUF 2008, Q4), his SEI/Aaron's company had 61 locations in 7 states. Today, he has 105 locations in 10 states. And though he's preparing to hand over the reins to his son, Chas, in January 2015, Smithgall is not slowing down--in fact, he's stepping on the accelerator...

Feature Story:

Profile: Jayson Pearl, Chief Brand Officer At BrightStar Care »

By Kerry Pipes

As chief brand officer at BrightStar Care, Jayson Pearl leads cross-functional teams responsible for marketing, clinical operations, training, and national account management for 275 locations. Pearl, who has served in this role for the past 18 months, has been with BrightStar since 2009 when he became vice president of marketing and franchisee onboarding. In that role, he led the implementation of a system-wide rebranding effort, the development of the BrightStart franchisee launch program, and the pilot program leading to Joint Commission accreditation of all U.S. BrightStar Care locations. He also served as senior vice president of the brand development group before assuming his present role.

With more than 25 years of franchising experience under his belt, Pearl is also familiar with franchise marketing and product development...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup - January 28, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Is Your Social Media Activity Working? (How Can You Tell?)
Validating and analyzing the effectiveness of social media activity can be challenging. There's a tendency to believe that the whole subject is black magic, subject to the whims of consumers and rapid changes in the technology, and that it's too hard to figure out how to measure the impact of your activities. Mike Bal, writing on Social Media Examiner, offers some easy ways to get started with social media analytics and find out what's working for you on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The key to successful social media marketing is to always be testing.

Considering Pinterest for Marketing? Tips from the Power Users!
Pinterest drives more traffic than Reddit, LinkedIn, and Twitter combined: referral traffic grew more than 65 percent year over year in 2013...

Feature Story:

Wood Words: How Do You Measure Development Performance? »

By Eddy Goldberg

Tom Wood, president and CEO of Floor Coverings International (FCI), served as Conference Chair of the 2014 Franchise Leadership & Development Conference in October. Based in Atlanta, FCI has been franchising since 1989. We asked Wood for his own opinions on many of the topics that came up at the conference.

What are the most important factors and characteristics you look for in assembling a successful sales team?
Sales people who understand what they are doing in the role: "selling." While we are only looking for the best franchisee candidates, the right people will still need a sales professional to guide them through the process and keep the process on track. Characteristics include goal orientation; a realistic outlook on the business and a strong communication style to communicate it; and an ability to manage by the numbers...

Feature Story:

Franchising For Veterans »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Four questions military veterans should consider asking
More than 5,000 veterans and military spouses have become franchise business owners in the past two years, according to the International Franchise Association. In addition, the IFA reports that about one million veterans will be returning from Iraq and Afghanistan over the next three to four years and returning to the workforce.
One brand, Maid Simple House Cleaning - the home-based cleaning franchise from Maid Brigade - asked its veteran franchisees to reveal what makes them successful franchise owners. And the four questions veterans should answer before making the move to franchising.
1. Am I a natural leader?
Running a successful business requires hard work, dedication, and superior leadership skills...

Feature Story:

Franchise Update Media Welcomes Diane Phibbs To The Team »

Press Release

San Jose, CA, January 29, 2014: Franchise Update Media is pleased to announce a new addition to the company. Diane Phibbs will be taking on a new role as Executive Vice President. This change was initiated after Steve Olson, President of Franchise Update, announced his retirement late last year. Diane will be taking on a great deal of Steve's roles during this transitional period.

"I am honored to be asked to join one of the most respected organizations in the franchise industry and am excited to be working with this great team," says Diane. Known as a dynamic, strategic thinker, Diane thrives on finding ways to drive revenue and profit. She builds solid program foundations, specializing in tactical planning, program development and implementation that generate sales and profit...

Feature Story:

Social Marketing Continues To Rise »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Nearly 20 percent of small businesses expected to make greater use of email blasts
While many small and medium-sized businesses have been quick to embrace free postings on social media networks, one-fourth of those active on social networks expect to spend more money to advertise on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in 2014, according to the recently released Small Business Marketing Forecast by Ad-ology Research.
Nearly 80 percent of social small and medium-sized businesses plan to spend the same or more advertising on social media networks. While nearly 41 percent do not currently use promoted posts or sponsored tweets, 13.8 percent of small business owners plan to spend more on these platforms in 2014.
"The larger the business, the greater the use of advertising and targeted marketing tactics like email blasts," says C...

Feature Story:

Case Study: Hungry Howie's Marketing And Branding Strategy At 40 »

By Jack Mackey

Last year there was an inspiring celebration of the American Dream - and a tinge of sadness, too - as Hungry Howie's Pizza marked its 40th anniversary. The company was founded by Jim Hearn (aka Howie, but I'll get to that at the end of this column) in 1973 in Taylor, Mich.

Steve Jackson, who delivered pizza for that very first location, joined forces with Hearn to open the second location in 1976, and the pair began franchising Hungry Howie's Pizza in 1982. Today, there are 575 units open in 22 states, and Jackson is president of the company. The business is focused on carry-out and delivery and is known as the home of "Flavored Crust Pizza."

Since Hungry Howie's has 20-, 30- and 40-year-old locations, it's safe to say the product is a proven winner...

Feature Story:

Social Media Marketing: 11 Experts Predict 2014 »

By Eddy Goldberg

If you want to know what 2014 will look like in the world of social media marketing, ask the experts! That's exactly what blogger Cindy King did, tracking down 11 well-known SMM pros and gathering their responses in her blog on Social Media Examiner.

Here's a list of their ideas, with excerpts, to whet your marketing appetite. Like what you see? Track them yourself (links provided below), see how their predictions pan out, and get a jump on the competition! The blog also includes a link to their 2013 predictions, so you can judge for yourself how they did predicting last year.

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