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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:

Overcoming Your Human-ness - To Succeed And Lead In 2015 »

By Edward D. Hess

A new book contends that to be competitive in today's fast-paced, technology-laden world, leaders and organizations must overcome their "human-ness." "Ironically, being human helps us and hurts us," says Edward D. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. To stay relevant, he says, people must "de-humanize" themselves by overcoming qualities that hold them back from becoming the best thinkers and learners they can be.

Hess says that research in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics has provided an unflattering picture of the way people think and learn. While humans have the capacity to be highly efficient, fast, reflexive thinkers, our "autopilot" thinking isn't very critical or innovative...

Feature Story:

Keep It Simple: Customer Service And The Simple Stuff »

By Lisa Ford

Every organization has a chance to deliver a positive customer experience. That experience has many starting points and touch points along the customer interaction. Each touch point will affect the customer's perception of your business and even their loyalty.
To remain competitive, take a look at the simplest of interactions and decide how those interactions represent your company. The simple stuff came to my attention with some recent experiences. As I was checking out at a national retail chain, the employee at the register answered the phone. Here is what she said, "It's a great day at the Dunwoody Large Chain Store, this is Corrine, how can I help you?" Whew! Do you think the customer wanted to hear all of that? And do you think the employee wants to say it multiple times a day? The customer is poised and ready with their question but instead have to wait out this long greeting...

Feature Story:

To Protect And To Serve: Sam Anabi Has A Track Record Of Helping Others »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Sam Anabi has always gained satisfaction from helping others. The former La Verne, Calif. police officer found great fulfillment in law enforcement before an injury changed his career-path. He had actually purchased his first gas station back in 1991 while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. 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:

Naranga Debuts Integrated Software For Franchises »

By Eddy Goldberg

Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements, has taken a page from his IT background to develop a software solution that he says will help franchise companies and small businesses take advantage of emerging technologies to integrate their sales, operations, and marketing activities.

The new company, announced Dec. 9, follows his acquisition of eMaximation this past spring. Renamed Naranga, the new company is based on his experience as a franchisor seeking a more efficient way to manage his own global business functions.

"Naranga's products will allow franchise chains to take control of their brand with simple, flexible tools that drive sales, improve operational efficiency, and allow them to easily connect with their franchisees," said Farid...

Feature Story:

Winning Hearts: Keeping It Simple At Golden Corral »

By Helen Bond

When David Gronewoller was asked to be part of this "Dominators" issue, the Golden Corral franchisee expressed sincere surprise. "There are a whole lot of people more deserving of this," he replied.
President of GC Partners, a Winston-Salem-based company that owns and operates 12 Golden Corral locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, Gronewoller is an employees' employer. With more than 20 years of franchise experience, he believes "more in the man than the method" in overseeing his family-style restaurants. This people-centered formula success has spilled over into the neighborhoods his restaurants serve.
Gronewoller's commitment to the community is far-reaching: in 2013, his restaurants served and delivered 1...

Feature Story:

Ten Years After: Reflection On A Decade Of Change »

By Jack Mackey

In 2004, the first words I ever wrote for Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine (then called Area Developer) were:
"Vast amounts of energy and treasure have been invested to understand why customers do--or don't--come back. Few questions are more important, since same-store sales growth is built on the backs of loyal customers." That connection between customer loyalty and sales growth remains true to this day.
What's different now is that franchisees better understand the value of customer loyalty and, for the best operators, how to improve the customer experience and gain market share by winning customers away from not-so-smart competitors. From my perspective as a 10-year columnist here, here is a brief history of how we far we've come...

Feature Story:

Good Turnover, Bad Turnover: Letting Go To Gain Traction »

By Gino Wickman

Wow! 2014 is already wrapping up. It's been an amazing year of growth. My clients are averaging almost 20% growth, we have over 10,000 companies using the EOS tools, and we now have almost 100 professional and certified EOS Implementers. We're helping a lot of companies do great things, and we greatly appreciate the reason - your support and belief in EOS. With so many companies implementing EOS, that leads to the topic of this Clarity Break. Its purpose is to help you head off a psychological barrier that might be holding you back as you implement tools to help your company grow to the next level.

In a survey of our graduated clients, we asked what was the #1 reason they engaged in the process: 82% said "I wasn't getting enough out of my people...

Feature Story:

2015: Time To Cleanse Your System? »

By Steve Olson

So what do you do with franchisees who "aren't making it happen?" The ones who don't fit your formula and, realistically, will never turn things around? How do you make the best of a bad situation? The solution is logical.

Be responsive and take the lead. Clean house where necessary by providing exit strategies for unsuccessful operators. Struggling or problem franchisees are simply a drain on themselves and their franchise systems. They are not happy and are often resentful, worried, and have lost their motivation. They face growing financial difficulties, and have stressed-out families who share the burdens of their failing business.

Unfortunately, some franchisors tend to sweep these owners under the rug, hoping they will somehow go away by themselves...

Feature Story:

Avoiding 7 Common Negotiating Mistakes »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

While even the word "negotiation" can evoke fear, stress, and anxiety for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal. The negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme--one thoughtfully considered move at a time.
"Even when faced with the most daunting of deals, regarding the act of negotiation as a 'game' may alleviate the apprehension and give you the confidence to make power plays that will ultimately facilitate your desired result," says veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of Think Like a Negotiator (www.ThinkLikeANegotiator.com). "Unlike strategy games like chess, however, the most effective deals are a win-win proposition for all parties rather than a winner-loser result...

Feature Story:

5 Mistakes Brands Make In Local Marketing - And How To Fix Them »

By Lori Alba

If your local marketing efforts have fallen flat, chances are that your franchisees aren't happy, and neither are you. It's not uncommon for brands to run into problems engaging with their franchisees and directing them toward a common marketing vision. The good news is that there are solutions to these challenges. Understanding some of the common mistakes brands make in local marketing can help revitalize a sagging program and re-engage disconnected franchisees. Here are some of the most common local marketing mistakes brands make - and tips on how to fix them.

1) Providing marketing funds to franchisees with too many or too few restrictions
Investing in the local marketing efforts of your franchisees can go a long way in strengthening your relationship and encouraging winning behavior...

Feature Story:

Franchisees Get New Source Of Funding »

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 in mid-November. 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:

The Future Of Digital Marketing: 15 Predictions For 2015 »

By Eddy Goldberg

A new e-book from automated digital marketing firm Acquisio gathers the thoughts and predictions from 15 digital marketing and PPC experts for what's ahead in the coming year. What follows are brief excerpts of those predictions, which focus mainly on PPC and the changes ahead for digital marketing in general. Click here for a free download of the e-book, "The Future of Digital Marketing: 15 Expert Predictions for 2015."

1. More mobile clicks
David Szetela, Owner and CEO, FMB Media
In 2014, many advertisers saw huge increases in impressions and clicks from smartphones. This trend will continue through 2015. Mobile clicks will often represent the majority of clicks available to advertisers.

2. Mobile PPC goes mainstream
Founder and SEM/PPC Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co...

Feature Story:

First... And Still The Best: Don Smith Dominates The Oil Change Business »

By Helen Bond

Don Smith is an eternal optimist. And for Smith, the first and largest Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee, this positive outlook has paid off. Smith is CEO and co-founder of Boston area-based Henley Enterprises, which operates 197 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations coast-to-coast, with 20 more of the quick lube stores in the pipeline.
In 2012, he orchestrated the purchase and successful rebranding of 72 EZ Lube oil change service centers in Southern California, the largest single acquisition in industry history. The deal, which included many distressed properties and just as many naysayers (including within Valvoline) was a "big piece to bite off," says Smith.
"We went in a little bit blind, but we knew we could do it," he says...

Feature Story:

Chief Executive Engager: 5 Ways To Spark Greater Employee Engagement »

By Nate DaPore

Engagement means a lot of different things to different people. To some it means happy, satisfied team members. To others, it means working with people who are dedicated and care about the future of the company. And to others, engagement means having people who go the extra mile every time and are enthusiastic and passionate about everything they do. Truth be told, it's all of those things. This kind of full-on engagement is far greater than the sum of its parts.
There's a reason there are nearly 300 million more Google search results for "engagement at work" than "engagement rings." If employee engagement were so easy, we wouldn't all be writing and reading about it. Think about all your team members. How many would you say are actively engaged? If you're like most folks I hear from, that number is nowhere near where you'd like it to be...

Feature Story:

Improve Your Franchise Marketing System-Wide: 5 Tips »

By Corey O'Donnell

Franchises are different. They are not like the monolithic enterprise businesses with centralized decision-making and abundant resources, nor are they a series of related small businesses. In a franchise business, the decisions, financing, and implementation of business decisions are shared or distributed between the members of the network. To function effectively, franchisors and franchisees must collaborate, but facilitating this communication between franchisors and franchisees presents a major challenge. It's the space between the franchisor and franchisees - the communication, data, and decision-making gap - that must be overcome for a franchise to succeed.

When it comes to marketing, this is further complicated by the addition of dozens of new channels, technologies, and tactics...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: December 9, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

social media, franchising, social media marketing, online marketing, consumer marketing, digital marketing, social media tools, holiday marketing, Experian, video marketing, social video, online pricing, Twitter for Business, Pinterest, marketing to men,
Daniel Lieberman, Daniel Lieberman Digital

TEASE: Social media marketing news you can use. This week: holiday marketing trends and predictions, leveraging social video, online price variations, Twitter for Business, and guys on Pinterest.


Social Media Roundup: December 9, 2014

By Daniel Lieberman

2014 Holiday Marketing Trends and Predictions
A study by Experian Marketing Services examines some of the marketing trends for the 2014 holiday shopping season...

Feature Story:

Building A Billion-Dollar Brand: Wingstop's Global Growth Appears To Be Unstoppable »

By Kerry Pipes

Charlie Morrison wasn't looking for a new opportunity. He was already at the helm of Pizza Inn and was the driving force behind the brand's innovative Pie Five concept. But in June 2012, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the reins at Dallas-based Wingstop, which he says offered him the chance to run a larger, growing company in an expanding market space.
Wingstop now has more than 650 restaurants worldwide and signed commitments for more than 500 more, the most in the brand's history. In 2013, the company notched its 10th consecutive year of same-store sales increases (9.9 percent), and domestic AUV rose to $974,000.
"In fact, over the past 2 years, our same-store sales have grown 23.6 percent," says Morrison. "That is almost unheard of in the fast-casual segment and certainly for chains our size, and we expect the strong momentum to carry forward this year...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Using Technology In Its Marketing Effort »

Franchise Update

"How is your brand using technology in its marketing efforts to target and reach customers more effectively?"


Whitney Samuelson,Maid Brigade
Director of Marketing

Over the past several years, we have seen traditional marketing methods decline in effectiveness and increase the cost of acquiring new customers. In the past we were able to send out a direct mail piece or run an ad in the Yellow Pages and customers would come calling. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.

Feature Story:

Lead Gen 2015: Colors On Parade Builds Connections »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Jeff Cox, president and CEO of Colors on Parade, what changes he’s planning for the brand’s lead generation practices in 2015. Here’s what he had to say.

In 2015, we plan to continue to shift more resources toward PR and social media. The quality of the leads we have seen from these sources over the past year have reinforced our commitment to move toward lead generation techniques that allow us to share our story and to attract candidates that are a great fit for us. Our franchise is unique in several ways, so finding the right franchisee is critical to our success. Leads coming from sources that educate the candidate on our brand and business before first contact tend to be better qualified, which allows us to spend time with the best candidates...

Feature Story:

PuroClean Franchisee Thomas Maguire »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Thomas Maguire is a PuroClean franchisee in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His business has experienced success every year since he opened up 5 years ago. His business approach is to go above and beyond the call of duty by doing more - such as teaching his own continuing education classes, offering incentives to his employees, and helping other franchise owners. He's been recognized by the brand for his performance and growth.
He says, "I enjoy the satisfaction of putting someone's home or business back together for them and getting them back to the way that it was before the disaster."
Here's more about Thomas Maguire.

No. of units you own: 1
Age: 38
Family: Wife, Rosa, two daughters
Years in franchising: 5
Years in current position: 5

Personal:

Formative influences/events: My main influences consist of my education at the Citadel in South Carolina, serving our country through the U...



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