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CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have come a long way in recent years, incorporating the latest technologies and social media strategies. Building an accurate, reliable customer database is an important part of marketing your franchise brands and increasing sales. Keeping customers engaged is the name of the game. And while the array of technological solutions for CRM today is dazzling, it makes finding the best one for your franchisee organization a real challenge.

Look here for articles on the best practices for finding and attracting new customers, nurturing and retaining existing loyal customers, and reducing your marketing costs and increasing your ROI.

Feature Story:

Local Store Marketing 101: A Great Clips Case Study »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

When things get quiet at Carla Fryar's Great Clips salons in Northfield and New Prague, Minn., she tells her employees to hit the road--dressed as the brand's mascot, Sudz, a life-sized blue shampoo bottle.
"Rather than sending home an employee when it's quiet, we go out on a street corner and hold a sign, sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours, depending on what we want to get across," she says. Participants include the managers, Fryar or her husband, or the employees or their children.
Fryar, a Great Clips franchisee since 1992, has two salons now, down from the 10 she once operated with different partners. "We do a lot of local things that would not necessarily in most peoples' minds be considered advertising," she says...

Feature Story:

Customer Loyalty Surprise »

By Lisa Ford

Many companies use a customer loyalty scheme whether it be miles, points, or other free stuff. All are based on dollars spent and frequency of usage.

None of that is big news.

I am a member of plenty of these programs. And many of us will admit, some of those companies we really do not like yet the attraction of the benefits keep us using the product or service. But I have to tell you about one that has my attention.

Last summer Panera Bread Company introduced  Enrollment requires a visit to the website to enter the needed information.  The card is presented to you at the store. Here is what I like about their approach - you can go to an in-store terminal and register immediately...

Feature Story:

Are You A Natural Negotiator?: Why Negotiation Strategy Matters When Selling A Franchise »

By Mike Handelsman

In today's tight market, negotiation strategy plays an important role in the sale of any franchise.
Even if you execute every other aspect of your business sale perfectly, the lack of a good negotiation strategy can still derail the deal. A good business broker can help, but ultimately the business owner will need to be an integral part of negotiations.
Some franchise owners are natural negotiators - others aren't.
Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert to successfully execute a negotiation for the sale of your franchise. Instead, you just need to put these ten simple strategies in place before you initiate in-depth negotiations.

Feature Story:

Getting The Numbers Right: Dallas Multi-Unit Operator Builds Growth Through Strong Unit Economics »

By Kerry Pipes

Cary Albert is sold on the value in unit economics. The Dallas, Texas-area multi-unit franchisee operates Schlotzsky's and Cinnabon locations and says there's no question his operation benefits from keeping an eye on unit performance numbers.

"Any restaurant concept or quick-serve restaurant, has to have compelling unit economics. Each unit needs to generate significant cash flow (unit-level EBITDA) showing a significant return on investment," explains Albert, who has been in franchising for 16 years and does $3.7 million annual revenue at his three stores. "My rule of thumb is looking at unit-level cash flow in the 15 percent or higher range. A reasonable level of cash flow is critical for a threshold investment. Hence, our company has no interest in owning restaurants that generate less that $1million in annualized revenues...

Feature Story:

Capital Access »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

When Cheryl Robinson took over the bookkeeping responsibilities at a Supercuts location in 1980, she had little idea that she would one day own and operate her own Supercuts. Today, she and husband Joe, oversee an empire of 31 Supercuts throughout southern California. She's learned a lot about the salon business and franchising over the past three decades. One thing she fully understands is that hard work and customer service at a business are more important than ever during tough economic times.

"People think of salons as being 'recession-proof.' But what happens is the time between services is lengthening. Regis has it down to a science as to how much the average customer has stretched out haircuts and services, so that is changing the business," she says...

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