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Browse our selection of franchise blogs 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.

What Choice Do I Have? »

November 10, 2011 at 8:00AM PST | By: Jim Isenhour

Most people receive their monthly natural gas bill from their local utility, open it up, look at the total cost, get mad about it, and then write a check for the total amount. Since most of you have always relied upon your local utility to supply the natural gas for your business, you do not believe that you have a choice. WRONG! In most locations around the United States you do have a choice.

In the late 1980's, Public Utility Commissions and utilities around the United States began to deregulate the natural gas markets for "end-use" customers such as yourselves. Deregulation gives you the option to pick a supplier, other than your utility, for your natural gas supply. In some areas, you can even do this for your home. The parties that can supply the natural gas to you are called Third Party Suppliers or Energy Service Providers (ESP)...

Opinions, Insight And Perspectives On Franchising »

July 28, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | By Paul R Segreto

Social Media has certainly proven to be a fantastic medium to cross-reference opinions, insight and perspectives. I often utilize Social Media to gain varying thoughts from both within and outside the franchise community. From the personal side of Facebook, to the simplicity of messages on Twitter, to the business focus on LinkedIn, Social Media is truly a cornucopia of perspectives to tap.

Recently, I posted a question within various LinkedIn discussion groups and within its general Q&Q section that sought out the primary reasons to explore franchising. Below please find several of the responses from a cross-section of industry and non-industry professionals.

What is your opinion of franchising as a business model, business expansion strategy and as a career alternative?

An SAP Consultant with some franchising experience obviously has done his homework and offered valuable advice as well as sharing some real life experiences...

Debt Consolidation Franchise Businesses - Prospects In This Fragile Economic State »

June 28, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | By Steven Roberts

Because of the unnatural rise in the federal debt level in the U.S., an increasingly large number of people are turning to debt relief companies for help. While there are people looking for authentic debt consolidation firms for help, there are others who are pondering the prospects of opening a franchise debt consolidation business. While debt consolidation has helped billions of people overcome their high interest debt problems, opening up such a business can also be a lucrative idea. If you're new to this industry, you must be aware of some important things before taking the plunge and becoming a franchisee of a debt consolidation business.

Franchise Agreements - 6 Things To Do Before You Sign One »

June 23, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | Lesley D'Arcy

Before you become a franchise business owner, you need to do your homework. After all, starting a franchise is a lot of work. You need to make sure that you're making the most out of your time!

If you want to make an educated decision, there are 6 things you need to do before you sign a franchise agreement:

1. Make sure you're a good fit for the industry
It's a common fact - people work harder when they're genuinely interested in what they're doing. Before you start up a franchise, make sure that you're not going to be bored with the work. After all, starting a new franchise takes a whole lot more work than just 40 hours a week!

2. See what other people have to say about your potential franchisor
What kind of reputation does the company have? Other franchisees can tell you how the corporate office treats its co-workers...

Financing Options For Franchise Expansion »

June 13, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | By: Stephen J. Sheinbaum

As the economy starts to turn around, franchisees often find themselves in need of funds to expand. As consumer demand increases and expansion makes more sense, the challenge of how to finance growth can create new dilemmas.

Although there are many benefits when turning to a traditional banker, there are also many pitfalls and drawbacks such as personal guarantees, additional paperwork, and higher collateral requirements. As a result, many franchisees are realizing the benefits of receiving a merchant cash advance. A merchant cash advance is a quick and easy way to finance franchise expansion as funds are often available within days. Merchant cash advance companies provide franchisees with working and/or expansion capital in exchange for a small fixed percentage of future their credit card sales...

Exploring Franchise Opportunities: Get The Answers YOU Need! »

May 13, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | By Paul Segreto

Transitioning corporate executives and other individuals that may be exploring franchising as a career alternative often ask me to help them outline questions to ask franchisees and franchisors as they're doing their due diligence. Here's how I advise them...

Using the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as my guide, I would ask very specific questions. I would follow the FDD item by item and ask questions pertaining to each section. It's a can't-miss road map.

Exploring a franchise opportunity outside the United States? As most franchisors are either based in the United States, or, at the very least, offer franchises within the United States, they will already have developed a Franchise Disclosure Document to provide to franchise candidates before the franchisor can accept any money from the franchise candidate...

Startup Or Franchise: The Choice Is Yours! »

May 03, 2011 at 8:00AM PDT | By: Paul Segreto

Owning and operating a small business was once the exclusive domain of the risk takers of the business world. The true entrepreneur had a distinct flair for creativity, innovation and vision. He, and I emphasize "he", knew how to operate outside-the-box. He knew how to make things happen. Many times, this individual had little choice as he knew from an early age he would be responsible for shaping his future and for making it on his own. Formal education was usually limited and often just a far-fetched dream. Corporate life was not even an option. Besides, he couldn't be told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. No way. No how.

Well, times certainly have changed in the business world. More so recently as many companies are faced with economic uncertainty as layoffs become the norm rather than the exception...

Franchise Social Media - Beyond The Basics »

March 22, 2011 at 10:06AM PDT | By Paul R Segreto

What is Franchise Social Media? Basically, it's more than just social media. It's the application and utilization of social media within a franchise environment. Sure, many of the same principles apply. But, franchising is different than most small business models. It's unique in many ways beyond the typical B2B or B2C model. There are specific disclosure laws that are a major part of the franchise candidate recruitment process. Even from a consumer proposition standpoint, the integrity of the entire franchise organization must be considered. And, one cannot discuss social media in a franchise environment without touching upon guidelines, policies and procedures, and brand uniformity.
So, Franchise Social Media is how social media is tailored to not only fit within the various levels of franchising, it must also be integrated within processes and methods within franchise marketing and development...

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