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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:

STAR Power: Top Performers In Franchise Recruitment Honored »

By Debbie Selinsky

Franchise Update mystery shoppers, posing as qualified prospects, surveyed attendees at the 2014 Leadership & Development Conference for best practices in lead generation, follow-up, and recruitment. Mystery shoppers scored 146 franchisors on their telephone responses, 147 on their recruitment websites and responses to website inquiries, and 147 on social media implementation, judging how well--and how quickly--franchise sales and development staff replied to qualified inquiries.
The resulting STAR Awards (Speaking To And Responding) were presented at a special awards dinner at the conference, held Oct. 15-17 in Atlanta. Multiple award winners were CertaPro Painters, PostNet, and Wild Birds Unlimited.

Best Overall Performance
1st Place: CertaPro Painters
The winner of three STAR Awards this year, CertaPro Painters celebrated for about 10 minutes before getting back to work, says Peter Barkman, vice president of franchise development for the Philadelphia-based brand...

Feature Story:

Partners Bring Sports Image To North Carolina »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tim Clougherty and Keith Fogleman have both officiated NCAA Division I basketball for more than 15 years. They both love sports and as the new Raleigh, North Carolina-based franchisees for Sports Image, they will help schools and organizations increase their revenue streams and get new equipment as the struggle for funding their athletic departments continues.
"Having played and officiated high school sports in North Carolina and having three children that are also involved in youth sports I realize how much sports builds character and how important it is for these organizations to not only exist but thrive," says Clougherty. "Both Keith and I have officiated NCAA division 1 basketball for over 15 years and you see some of the inventive ways that college institutions raise money through corporate and individual sponsorships...

Feature Story:

Avoiding Litigation Over System Changes »

By Cheng Cohen

Franchised brands are increasingly focused on implementing significant system changes. This trend is largely driven by maturing brands whose "makeovers" are necessary to keep the brand attractive and relevant, and by technological advances that are essential to operating efficiencies.
The biggest hurdle to system change often is franchisees who balk at the cost and time involved in making the change. Several recent lawsuits illustrate that when this happens there is a real risk of becoming embroiled in resource-draining litigation.

For example, Wendy's recently brought suit against its fourth-largest franchisee, who had challenged Wendy's right to require extensive remodeling to its restaurants and upgrades to the POS system...

Feature Story:

IFA Claims Labor Department Conducting Franchise "Witch Hunt" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Last week, the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asking for the rationale behind questions OSHA inspectors are asking franchise owners, which appear specifically designed to presume a joint employer relationship between brand companies and local franchise small business owners. The group also wants to see correspondence between DOL and OSHA officials and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is engaged in a three year, $50 million corporate campaign to destroy the legal separation between franchise businesses and grow union membership.
"The Labor Department is conducting a witch hunt that, at a minimum, exceeds the statutory authority afforded to the OSHA by Congress...

Feature Story:

Does Your Sales Process Fulfill The Real Needs Of Your Candidates? »

By Jim Bender

In a previous issue, we discussed the power of selling your brand's marketing expertise during the franchise recruitment process. This is a subject most franchise development people at best gloss over. Yet it is a compelling reason for candidates to select your brand over another. After all, if your ability to put "butts in the seats" is proven superior to that of other brands in the category, you have a distinct advantage when justifying differences in investments or franchise fees.

When you consider your overall franchise sales strategy, selling your marketing expertise is on par with selling your training, grand opening, business consultation, or technical support. It is one of a multitude of topics we in the development business must master...

Feature Story:

Homage To Heritage: Pollo Campero Rebrands For The 21st Century »

By Tim Pulido

Rebranding a major chain is never easy, but when your brand's historic roots run deep, there is even more on the line. It's great to have an established fan base, but a serious group of longtime devotees can be a double-edged sword. When a brand's look and feel starts to tire, how does a franchise draw in new audiences without alienating supporters who feel like family?
Pollo Campero, the world's largest Latin chicken restaurant brand, started as a small family restaurant more than 40 years ago. The restaurant's flavors were so special that Guatemalans and Salvadorans would bring chicken back in their suitcases to give family members living out of the country the unparalleled taste of home. Today, that devotion has helped Pollo Campero grow to more than 350 restaurants in 12 countries across the globe...

Feature Story:

The Power Of More: Multi-unit Operators Branch Out, Brand Up »

By Kerry Pipes and Eddy Goldberg

Franchising is easy: all it takes is a lot of blood, sweat, and overcoming fears to open and successfully operate a franchise unit--not to mention multiple units of a single brand. But for a certain breed of entrepreneurs, one brand is not enough. Usually, they're seeking to minimize risk. But sometimes it's the challenge of managing several brands, providing a variety of products and services, and learning best practices from different systems. Or maybe they're just gluttons for punishment (ask any multi-brand operator).
Multi-brand franchising offers not only a diversified portfolio that reduces organizational risks, but also the economies of scale that make a big difference to the bottom line. But as with any successful business, it takes talent, hard work, capital, and a healthy, functioning infrastructure...

Feature Story:

Franchise Lending Outlook »

By Darrell Johnson

SBA lending will continue to be important
The banking industry is increasing its conventional business lending activity. Since the recession, banks have focused on lower-risk businesses, which translates into larger businesses with good track records. Recently, banks have been expanding their focus to smaller businesses with less experience. At the same time, we have seen the rapid expansion of alternative lenders (led by Internet-based lenders) into the smaller business/less experience category.
Therefore, it is relevant to ask whether a publicly funded lending program for businesses is still needed. Government programs launched during a time of need often stay around well past their useful lives, or at least their original purpose...

Feature Story:

Newk's Eatery Focuses On Cancer Awareness »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

With one in 70 women facing ovarian cancer, Newk's Eatery is shining a spotlight on this relatively silent killer by turning up the volume on its growing "Newk's Cares" initiative, which includes permanent changes within the brand to further support the cause. Following a tremendous community response last year, the ongoing ovarian cancer awareness campaign will be re-surging across Newk's more than 80 restaurants throughout the months of August and September to spark awareness and raise needed support for cure research, along with a second-annual Ovarian Cycle Jackson fundraising event.
In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September, Newk's is going teal--the color adopted by the global ovarian cancer awareness movement-- switching out Newk's signature black cups for teal ones, as well as permanently replacing the brand's traditional red straws with teal straws...

Feature Story:

Capital Infusion Will Help Brightway Insurance Grow »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Brightway Insurance has a new deal for $20 million in bank financing through SunTrust Bank in a strategic move to help fund its national expansion. Brightway is a national property/casualty insurance agency selling through a network of franchised locations. The company was started in 2008 and has grown to 117 locations in 10 states.
"We are thrilled to have entered into this relationship with SunTrust," says Brightway founder and chairman, David Miller. "Owning your own business is the American dream, and we want to bring that opportunity to people everywhere. In turn, Brightway agents will bring expert counsel and more choice in insurance companies to consumers everywhere, ensuring they have the coverage they need at prices they want...

Feature Story:

Facebook Content Marketing In 4 Steps »

By Jack Monson

What's an effective way for a franchise brand to market to consumers? That's easy: social media. But getting started and then executing is not easy for some franchise systems.

Many franchisors get stuck in the swamp of social media trends, get buried in unproven digital marketing advice, and drown in a constant flow of new marketing "experts."

Here's a simple, effective way to not only catch up in social media, but also to grow your business, starting with Facebook. Facebook is the most important social platform for your brand's marketing if the consumers you're trying to drive to your franchisees' locations are in the 25- to 54-year-old target demo (or older!).

There are four steps to effectively telling your story to potential customers on Facebook...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Aug 25, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Snapchat: Should Your Brand Be On It?
Millennials love Snapchat. While just 8% of U.S. Internet users are on Snapchat, an amazing 34% of 16- to 19-year-olds are. Snapchat is completely visual: users send video and photos to their networks that stick around only for a few seconds (1-10) before they disappear from the stream. Many celebrities and brands have been successful with Snapchat, including McDonald's, the NBA, and even General Electric. Should you try it? If your demographic is between 13 and 25 years old, and your brand is a good fit for Snapchat, go for it! Snapchat users value fun, personal connections, and authenticity. Cookie-cutter messages and a lot of selling don't cut it on Snapchat. Also, you need to be quick to get new content up and to respond to comments...

Feature Story:

Now Hiring!: Recruiting And Retaining The Best Millennials »

By Adam Pierno

So, you're hiring again. You have positions open and want to make sure the employees you bring in will meet your goals--or exceed them. No matter what position you're trying to fill, your hiring pool probably consists of those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials. As the Millennial group matures, we have seen that they have a unique outlook on work and corporate life, but can be great employees when properly motivated and understood, based on a few key insights.

1) Transparency
The job market has not exactly been great for Millennials as they graduated college and joined the workforce. This has had a few different effects on their perspective on jobs and careers. One is that they have become less trustful of corporations, meaning they're less likely to take things at face value...

Feature Story:

Massage, Tan, Joints, And Lashes »

By Kerry Pipes

"Significant growth is imminent"

Randy Merrill feels good about the health, wellness, and fitness space he operates in. He says the business models work for him, the client base works for him, and the ROI works for him. It's tough to beat that combination.
When we last visited with Merrill (Q2 2011), he was busy operating a single Massage Heights spa and 14 Solar Dimensions Tanning salons (non-franchised) with his partner, Alex Royter. He also had one Cartridge World store, which he sold because, he says, "It was a lot of work and the margins were just too small." Meanwhile, he's opened a second Massage Heights and has added four The Joint chiropractic clinics--all since 2014. An Atlanta native, he has kept his operations close to home, all in the Greater Atlanta area...

Feature Story:

Hotdogging It: Wienerschnitzel's New CMO Comes Well-Prepared »

By Kerry Pipes

Doug Koegeboehn is a great example of the connection between ad agencies and franchise brands. Named CMO of Wienerschnitzel earlier this year, Koegeboehn already had decades of experience with the brand when he came on board: the former account director at DGWB Advertising had been working on the Wienerschnitzel account since 1995. Along the way he developed a marketing toolbox that includes experience developing annual ad plans and promotions, menu strategies, and even helped create new products. At DGWB, he also worked accounts that included the California Avocado Commission, Yogurtland, Dole, and El Pollo Loco.
"I love the enjoyment of eating food," says Koegeboehn. "I know everybody else gets enjoyment from eating too, and that's why I have relished spending much of my entire career working on food-related business...

Feature Story:

Two For Two: And Now John Hewitt Wants To Be #1 »

By Kerry Pipes

You might say John Hewitt has had a taxing career. In fact, over 45 years he's founded, developed, and managed two of the top three tax companies in the country. Now he has his sights set on making Liberty Tax Service the number-one tax company in the world by 2020.
Hewitt began his career working for H&R Block in 1969 as a tax preparer before quickly advancing to assistant manager and regional director. He was the company's youngest regional director, managing more than 2,000 tax preparers in 250 offices in one of H&R Block's largest districts.
In the early 1980s, he and his father invented the first tax software for the fledgling Apple Computer company. But his "eureka moment" was still to come.
In 1982, Hewitt and a team of investors founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Hampton Roads, Va...

Feature Story:

Making A Sub For A Good Cause »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

It was a $100,000 sub sandwich for a good cause.
Last week, Jersey Mike's Subs Founder and CEO Peter Cancro fresh sliced a $100,000 sub for No Kid Hungry, an organization committed to ending childhood hunger. It was just another chapter in a brand that believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same.
Cancro was fulfilling a pledge he made in March while speaking at an industry conference. There, Cancro unexpectedly announced on stage in front of thousands of attendees that he would donate $100,000 to the charity if Tom Nelson, president of No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength and David Jobe, president of Winsight Events, joined him at the company's Jersey Shore home to make subs.
Following the sub-making lesson, Cancro presented the check...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Becomes "Part Of The Solution" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Patrick Risko knew his aging parents were going to need help. But like thousands of families encounter every year, he discovered that help can be hard to find.
"I soon realized that senior care was a common challenge that many families faced," says Risko. "As part of researching the best way to help, I realized that I wanted to be part of the solution not just for my parents but for New Haven families faced with similar challenges."
So after nearly two decades working in the banking industry, he left that life behind to pursue his new passion of helping other seniors and their families.  His research led him to FirstLight HomeCare, which has more than 130 locations in 30 states. The brand provides quality, affordable, non-medical in-home care for adults...

Feature Story:

Batteries Plus Bulbs CEO Russ Reynolds Thinks Outside The Battery, Part 2 »

By Kerry Pipes

Batteries Plus Bulbs CEO Russ Reynolds is thinking beyond the battery as he takes the brand in a newly expanded direction and chases $1 billion in annual sales, part 2: management style, personal, and bottom line. (Click for part 1.)

Describe your management style: I would say high on energy and engagement while being pretty low on detail and organization. I let our functional leaders run their areas. I do expect to hear about problems early and often, and I expect them to play nice with others.

What does your management team look like? We are fortunate to have a group that has grown the business and grown with the business together. We trust each other and push each other to get better. Also, most of our team is made up of Cheeseheads (Packers fans), so Vikings and Bears fans are generally disliked...

Feature Story:

Good News Is Back! »

By Eddy Goldberg

The good news: franchising is experiencing a remarkable growth phase - not only in unit count and system-wide revenue, but also in the number of new and emerging brands. The bad news: it's harder to keep up with all the good news! That's a nice problem to have - and why we're bringing back our "Good News" roundup of selected news items about unit growth, investment and financial developments, international expansion news, refranchising, and milestones attained by franchisors large, medium, and small. Here's your chance to follow the leaders, every third Tuesday of the month.
So if you're not doing it already, send us your good news here.

New Units/Growth/Expansion
Sun Holdings Acquires 84 Burger Kings in Texas; 20 more under contract
GPS Hospitality Buys 60 Burger Kings in Michigan
HomeVestors Adds 90 New Franchisees in the First 6 Months of 2015
Rita's Ice To Enter 60 C-Stores with 2 New Area Development Deals
Pie Five Pizza Inks Deal for 25 Restaurants in 3 States
Dog Haus Signs 20-Unit Deal in DFW Area
Tijuana Flats Lands PE Investment from AUA Private Equity Partners
Jack in the Box & Qdoba Report SSS Up 7%+ in Most Recent Quarter
Jamba's Refranchising Effort Gathers Steam; Expects 90% Franchisees by Year-End
Pure Barre To Open 1st Canadian Studio
Zaxby's Reaches 700 Units with Charlotte Opening

Learn More

2015 MVPs! And the winners are...    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2015

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
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