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Feature Story:

Call To Reverse NLRB Ruling »

Danny Farrar, CEO and founder of SoldierFit Fitness Company, testified last week on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. He asked the committee to take action to reverse the NLRB's decision to alter the "joint employer" standard for all small businesses.
In his testimony, Farrar--who served eight years in the military, including a combat tour in Iraq, 700 missions, and tasked with leading the first Army team into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, stated that small business owners around the country are being forced to try to grow under great uncertainty because of this new standard.
"When the National Labor Relations Board decided to change the joint employer liability standard last fall, it was a scary moment for local business owners like me," said Farrar...

Feature Story:

Letting Go Without Giving Up Control »

By Dan Schneider

What happens to your blood pressure when someone asks you about your "exit strategy"? Oftentimes, the term "exit strategy" stirs up emotions and fears tied to giving up control and "what's next." As a result, the question and necessary discussion are often ignored, leaving you as the business owner in the exact place you are hoping to avoid - vulnerable. As uncomfortable and overwhelming as it may seem to be, strategically discussing an exit strategy along with business vision and growth goals actually puts you in the driver's seat. Sort of like athletes retiring at the top of their game - you are now in control by choice rather than by chance. Just as the building of your multi-unit franchise business happened over many years, the most effective exit strategy is deployed over time and is unique to your personal and business interests such as:

Feature Story:

Never And Always: Creating A Customer-First Organization »

By John DiJulius

You want customer loyalty? Be brilliant at the basics.
World-class service companies have what I like to call a "customer bill of rights" that every person in that organization clearly knows and follows 100 percent of the time. Would you ever expect to see a Disney cast member on break, in full uniform, chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground near the front entrance where guests are walking? Doubtful. Would you ever think a Ritz-Carlton employee, when asked for directions to the ballroom, would respond, "I don't know. I work in housekeeping."? Highly unlikely! One of the most effective ways to elevate your company's customer service level is by instituting your own customer bill of rights.
If anyone is going to wear your uniform or name tag or represent your brand, you need only a small set (6 to 10 actions or standards) for your employees to live by...

Feature Story:

Utah Takes On NLRB Ruling »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Utah is joining the growing statewide bandwagon to create a bill that defines and separates franchisors from franchisees and their employees. House Bill 116 clearly establishes franchisees as the sole employer of their workers. The bill now awaits the governor's signature, which is expected soon.
State legislatures across the country have been taking up the mantle of franchise business owners and their rights. Utah's HB 116 comes in the wake of a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent. The law clarifies that neither a franchisee nor a franchisee's employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisor for any purpose.
"It has become clear that bipartisan agreement in states all over this country have coalesced around the issue that franchisors and franchisee s are separate entities," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Cicis Redefines Its 30-Year-Old Brand For Future Growth »

By Darin Harris

For 30 years, Cicis has been delivering unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert to every guest who enters its restaurants. But over the course of three decades, customers evolved. They wanted something better, more innovation, more contemporary restaurant designs... something beyond where Cicis had been.

So, with the introduction of the company's new leadership team, the Cicis brand underwent a comprehensive review to pull itself out of the past and into the future. We started from the ground up to evolve every facet of the business, including product, price, place, promotion, and the meaning behind our name.

First, we listened
The first step to understanding where we needed to go was to listen in on what guests enjoyed about Cicis today...

Feature Story:

Wisconsin Passes Pro Franchisee Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Wisconsin is the latest state to push back against the overreaching National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by passing a new law that affirms franchisor and franchisee employees are separate entities. Senate Bill 422 was just signed last week by Governor Scott Walker and applies to state enforcement agencies.
SB 422, which excludes a franchisor as the employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee for purposes of certain laws relating to employment, was signed in the wake of a decision by the NLRB to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent.
Wisconsin is the latest state to enact legislation that provides clarity to the small business community. Nearly a dozen states have passed or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Common Terminology: Franchisors Should Speak The Same Language »

By Paul Wilbur

Franchising is full of creative entrepreneurs and marketers. With creativity, however, comes the desire to explain franchising in terminology that differentiates a brand from its peers.
Take for example a model FRANdata has defined for years as the Area Representative Growth Model. This model uses intermediaries (area reps) to sell and support franchisees in a territory, but those intermediaries do not contract directly with franchisees. We've come across at least 10 different names for this model, including regional director, regional developer, regional manager, regional services, master franchisee, master franchisor, area franchisee, area director, area developer, and area representative. This is a terribly confusing situation for prospective franchisees, lenders, suppliers, and the industry overall...

Feature Story:

Trust And Teamwork Build Success »

By Loyd Rawls

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. Team can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort.
Teamwork can be fair, good, or great, but there really is no such thing as bad teamwork. If you think about it, bad-teamwork is actually an oxymoron. To further this point, the English language doesn't have one single word to describe the opposite of teamwork. We generally associate "the opposite of teamwork" with uncooperativeness, inter-organizational competition, backbiting, and under productivity.
Partners or families endeavoring to develop, manage, or grow a multi-unit franchisee organization often struggle with building strong collaborative teams...

Feature Story:

What State Is Your Employee Handbook In? »

By Daniel Mormino

One size does not fit all in today's environment
This column looks into the use of employee handbooks by multi-unit franchisees, particularly those originally drafted by the franchisor or by a third party operating in a different state from the franchisee's territory.
I begin by exploring the definition of "employer of record"--and how it can help shape expectations for a multi-unit franchisee, specifically relating to employer liability in an evolving regulatory landscape. Second, I summarize the rationale for why employee handbooks should come directly from the employer of record. Third, I offer a recommendation that could help mitigate potential vicarious employer liability and minimize the risks of future claims that parties acted as joint employers...

Feature Story:

Restaurants Contribute To Fighting Child Hunger »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

16 million kids in America don't know where their next meal is coming from. That's 1 in 5 children who face hunger in this country. The food service industry, including franchise brands, and research firm Technomic are trying to make a difference in helping to end this societal blight. One way is through participation in the annual Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign.
This past September during No Kid Hungry month, consumers helped over 9,700 restaurants across the country raise money simply by dining out at participating restaurants, purchasing select items, or making a small donation.
Technomic put their foodservice knowledge and expertise to use by conducting qualitative and quantitative consumer and operator research to help No Kid Hungry better understand and communicate the benefits of participation...

Feature Story:

The 5 E's: Customer Engagement Is A Contact Sport »

By John DiJulius

Don't just tell your employees to be present or to provide genuine hospitality without telling them Make it black-and-white, and make it measurable. One of my favorite hospitality systems for making a customer connection is the "5 E's": 1) eye contact; 2) ear-to-ear smile; 3) enthusiastic greeting; 4) engage; and 5) educate.

Feature Story:

FY2016 Omnibus Bill Misses The Mark »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The IFA issued a statement applauding Congress last week on its efforts to enact the FY2016 omnibus spending package, which contains many provisions beneficial to small business owners. But the IFA said it excluded a bipartisan provision that would have temporarily halted the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) enforcement of its joint employer standard.
"The omnibus bill includes a delay of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT), which would have increased health plan premiums on individuals and employers, and it includes a two- year delay of the 40 percent excise tax on high-value health plans," IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti stated in a letter to Members of Congress. "This, coupled with the passage of the tax extenders package, will have a salutary effect on small business growth and job creation...

Feature Story:

Building Bench Strength In Your Organization »

By Dan Schneider

Key managers are the bedrock for any size business. They shape the culture and provide the leadership to drive results in line with the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the organization. Due to the operational and leadership weight they carry, if a key manager leaves the business without a plan for a speedy replacement, the organization can be left incapacitated. As a result, the development of leadership and management bench strength is critical to providing for the continued success of the franchise business.
The process of bench building is relatively simple, however, discipline to implementation is where many organizations struggle. Adopting the following philosophies in your process will ensure your program is on the right path...

Feature Story:

What's It Worth?: Business Valuation - Tips For A Faster Sale »

By Rod Bristol

There are many misconceptions about how to go about valuing your business. In general, most business owners have a value in their mind that is usually several times more than the actual value a sophisticated, competent buyer ultimately pays. The process of getting from perceived value to sale price can be very, very challenging. Here is some helpful information to get you to a successful valuation and faster sale of your business.

Business valuation

Feature Story:

Preparing To Perform In 2016 »

By Sherry B. Jordan

A new calendar year is just around the corner. For the majority of small business owners, that means it is time to examine performance for the year that is past and adjust the vision and action plans for the year ahead.
Success does not happen by accident. If you want to reach your full potential you can't just "wing it." You have to have a clear and concise plan and be ready to take action on the first day of the new year. Anything less and you have missed an opportunity to be all you can be, have all you can have, and accomplish all that is possible for you and your business. Don't worry, it does not have to be complicated. Set aside a little time and simply:

Feature Story:

Talent Management System Pays Off »

By Steve Adams

Your people deliver the brand experience

For many years, our organization struggled to create a solid, stable team. We were guilty of hiring to fill spots rather than thinking of our people as guardians of our brand. We stepped back and decided to create a system. We started from scratch and asked, "What does the ideal employee look like?" Then we found a tool that profiles the work style of the employee.
The tool is not a personality test per se; it is an assessment of work style. We applied it to all our employees and found a consistent profile of our best employees. We were able to determine that when we were outside that profile, in general we had employees who did not fit well for us. In a sense, we were asking people who were "off profile" to work in a way that was inconsistent with who they were...

Feature Story:

It's Essential To Have A Strong Social Presence »

By Zach Wilson

Socialmediatoday.com claims, "there are over 2.206 billion active users, a global penetration of 30%." With nearly a third of the world's population interacting on social media platforms, you'll be hard pressed to find a brand that isn't active on social media. Some key reasons a brand would be wise to commit to a strong social presence are:

Brand Recognition
Social media puts you right in front of the consumer's eyes at a fraction of the price of a paid advertisement. Creating social content that speaks in a brand's unique tone and voice goes a long way.

Inbound Traffic
Having a large social following means more consumers are engaging with your promotions. More people seeing these promotions means more people actually visiting your site to get a better feel for your product or service...

Feature Story:

How To Choose A Brand & Culture You Can Trust »

By Eric Stites

The difference between a weak and a strong franchise is often the alignment between franchisor and franchisees. Franchise Business Review's franchisee satisfaction research shows that franchise brands with strong cultures: 1) have extremely high satisfaction and engagement among their franchisees, and 2) outperform their competitors by a factor of 300 to 400 percent.
Great company cultures don't just happen. They are always the direct result of inspiring leadership and constant efforts to grow, learn, and improve. Trust also plays a crucial role: its absence creates a barrier to performance, while its presence, which promotes creativity and teamwork, accelerates it.
While many franchise brands pay lip service to building trust with franchisees, few actually do...

Feature Story:

Building Success Through Culture »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Culture is something that can't be measured by Google analytics. But it has inherent value and it makes a tangible difference. Creating, implementing, and maintaining a strong culture that reflects your values and beliefs can pay off in employee and customer satisfaction - not to mention the bottom line at your franchise locations. Creating a culture is just what Brent Collier has done.
He operates 14 restaurants from 6 different franchise brands along a 25-mile stretch in the tourist mecca of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and faces a nice kind of problem: his restaurants compete for the same customers. But that's not really a problem, since the area draws more than 11 million tourists a year.
The way he figures it, most visit for an average of three days, which he translates into "nine meal opportunities...

Feature Story:

Selling An Experience »

By John DiJulius

What business are you really in?

Was I wrong when I said you should offer a price match guarantee?
This question was inspired by reading Jeff Shore's article on Entrepreneur.com, "Don't Wage a Price War. Win Sales by Eliminating Your Competition." A paradigm shift is needed from selling a commodity someone can get anywhere to selling an experience customers can enjoy only with your company.
Everyone in your organization needs to have this mindset: We are the ultimate experience provider. We will not be oversold. In fact, if you can find it more expensive somewhere else, we will raise our prices and match it.


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Multi-Brand 50    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue II, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

Top Opportunities »

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