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Feature Story:

2016 AFDR: How Are You Doing? »

By Eddy Goldberg

Benchmarking the good, the bad, and the best practices
Results from the 2016 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) were unveiled in October at the 17th annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference. The 2016 AFDR is based on responses from 134 franchisors representing 51,004 units (48,431 franchised and 2,573 company-owned).
Participants in the survey consisted of franchisors who pre-registered for the conference and completed an online questionnaire. Responses were aggregated and analyzed to produce a detailed look into the recruitment and development practices, budgets, and strategies of a wide cross-section of franchisors. The data, with accompanying commentary, provide the basis of the 2016 AFDR.
Highlights from the report were presented in a 90-minute general session...

Feature Story:

Good News - January 2016 »

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've brought back our "Good News" roundup of selected news items on 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

Feature Story:

New Year Message: Live An Extraordinary Life »

By John DiJulius

This may sound mean or unsympathetic, but one of my least favorite sayings is, "I gave my best." To me, this is an unacceptable crutch. I don't want to hear it.

My personal feeling is this: when the goal is to accomplish greatness, go where no one or no team has gone before. I wasn't asking for your best effort; your best is what you were capable of in the past. I was expecting you to figure it out, to try a thousand ways (and, if need be, another thousand ways), expecting you to innovate, lose sleep, get around it, find loopholes, research, and sweat like you never have before. Every extraordinary accomplishment, invention, or revolution was not a result of someone giving their best. Somehow that person or group found a way to do what no one else could do...

Feature Story:

5 Tips To Attract Millennials To Your Franchise Sales Team »

By Eliot Burdett

Millennials live in a world that is increasingly virtual. They text, Snapchat, and tweet instead picking up the phone and calling one another, and they Skype instead of going out for coffee. That is part of the reason companies are having a hard time filling a growing number of open sales positions: sales is a profession that requires a great deal of personal, face-to-face connections.

A recent study from Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness Project found that employers spend an average of 41 days trying to fill technical sales jobs, versus 33 days for jobs in other professions. The same study cited a cloud-based software company that would have had $2 million more in revenue if it had met its hiring goals for sales reps...

Feature Story:

Overseas Training Tips: International Staffing Can Be Very Different »

By William Edwards

One of the largest challenges in franchise development is finding and keeping the right people in the right places, from the top of the franchisor office to the front-line employees at each franchised location.
A franchise provides a systematic way to conduct business that, if followed properly, produces a reproducible margin. This is true no matter whether the franchise is located in the U.S. or another country. What does a good, profitable, proven franchise bring to a country? A proven business system, a brand, manuals with job descriptions, technology, marketing programs, sometimes a "magic sauce," and training--lots of training, for all levels of employees.
However, one common aspect of franchising, no matter what the country, is the people required to make the business operate...

Feature Story:

My Top 10 Tips For Growing Your Franchise »

By Jason Helfrich

Editor's note: Whether you're an aspiring, emerging, or established franchisor, these basic tips on how to build and grow your concept still apply (always will). And for you development pros who know it all, reviewing the fundamentals every once-a-while is always a good idea.

Franchising your company is a great way to earn more revenue, grow your brand, and take on new and exciting opportunities. While many people assume their franchise's growth will just come naturally, businesses do not just magically start spreading and growing. You must be willing to put in the work to make sure that your franchise grows. Here are 10 of the top tips to consider when you are trying to grow your franchise and expand your business.

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
Pie Five To Open 30 New Locations in North Carolina
Caribou Coffee, Einstein Bros...

Feature Story:

Marketing Tips For Finishing 2015 Strong! »

By: Aseem Badshah

Note: This article appeared on the Marketo blog.

We're three-quarters through 2015. (It snuck up on us, too!) Right now, many marketers (you?) may already start looking toward the future by brainstorming ideas to execute in 2016.

A word of advice: Wait! There are still 3 months remaining in 2015, so don't waste them. It's time for you to turn up the heat!

We've seen some big changes and trends in the marketing space since the beginning of the year: mobile took off, social media restrictions were lifted, and SEO... well SEO stayed pretty confusing for many. Most of these changes probably had you rethinking your marketing efforts. With this in mind, let's analyze how we can leverage the first 75% of 2015 to close the year out strong...

Feature Story:

7 Tips To Spot A Sales Superstar During Interviews »

By Eliot Burdett

Interviewing sales candidates can be extremely difficult since even a subpar seller is trained to tell people what they want to hear. Many candidates look great on paper, only later to turn in lackluster performances.

Since the cost of bad hires is enormous for a company's bottom line, it is critical for those in charge of hiring to "get it right." The key is to look beyond the resume and test for certain personality traits. Here are the 7 most common personality traits found in top sales performers, and tips to find out if the candidate across the table truly possesses them.

1) Success-driven. While skills can be learned, a desire to succeed and a pattern of behavior often cannot. Since no sales candidate will assess themselves as unambitious, the interviewer must delve deeper...

Feature Story:

Workplace Communication: Where Has All The Candor Gone?, Part 2 »

By Gregory Ciotti

Editor's note: Part 1 appeared in the previous issue of this newsletter. The original article appeared on the Help Scout blog.

Hudl, a sports video software company based in Lincoln, Neb., has a system for feedback they refer to as #RealTalk. Playing off the slang phrase "real talk" (curt honesty), the team uses the phrase to denote when a conversation has taken a serious turn. It's a half-joking phrase used to inspire genuine candor among the team:

RealTalk, one of six values read off at the start of each Hudl retreat, plays an important role in the company, from use in hiring to performance reviews to product updates. It's written in emails, said out loud before feedback is given ("All right, give me the real talk...

Feature Story:

Q&A: The ACA Rollout - What Franchisees Need To Know »

By Benjamin Geyerhahn

The Affordable Care Act has introduced widespread changes to the healthcare landscape. It has increased the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance for the general population, regardless of age, gender, or pre-existing medical conditions. The ACA has also altered the guidelines for employer-sponsored insurance, which has thrown many small- and mid-sized businesses for a loop.

In 2015, the ACA employer mandate will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees (defined as an average of 30+ hours per week) to offer a minimum coverage health plan at affordable rates (less than 9.5 percent of an employee's household income). Additionally, companies with 200 or more employees are required to automatically enroll employees in employer-sponsored insurance with a waiting period of no more than 90 days...

Feature Story:

Customer Service: Empower Employees To Go Beyond The Rules »

By John Tschohl

There are rules for a reason: they work for most people most of the time. Often, scientific evidence backs them up. But as with almost any other endeavor in society that doesn't involve criminal activity, rules can sometime be broken - or at least bent - without the world coming to an end.

This is especially true in business. Company owners and top executives give a lot of thought to winning and keeping customers, and they spend a lot of time and money on things like PR, leadership training, social media campaigns etc. But the real front lines of building a business are in the daily interactions employees have with customers.

One of the major roadblocks to customer service excellence are the policies and procedures most companies have in place to make sure that 1 percent of their customers don't take advantage of them...

Feature Story:

Store Analytics: Franchise Networks Should Act More Like Chains »

By Mark Ryski

The benefits of tracking traffic and measuring conversion rates in retail stores have long been established and are now widely considered fundamental in retailing. Not only have retailers been doing it for decades, but the retailers who leverage the insights effectively have an "insight edge," and consequently a competitive advantage over retailers who do not.

Over the course of the last 10 years, I have worked with a multitude of franchise and dealer networks including those in wireless, general merchandise, electronics, home improvement, and automotive segments. Regardless of the type of franchise network, I see a consistent disconnect between franchisors and franchisees when it comes to analytics, especially store traffic and conversion analytics...

Feature Story:

SEO: "If You're Not On Page One Of Search Results, You Don't Exist" »

By Eddy Goldberg

How's your SEO effort going? You're measuring everything, have a clear idea of the ROI, and your company always comes up near the top of page one, right? Right.

However, if you're like many of the 442 marketing and sales decision-makers and practitioners worldwide who responded to a recent survey, you still have plenty of room for improvement. The "SEO Marketing Benchmark Summary Report" from Ascend2 and its research partners (April 2014), asked 9 questions about the most challenging obstacles to SEO success in the year ahead and how those marketers plan to overcome them.

According to the report, here's one important reason to take SEO seriously: "If you're not on page one of search results, you don't exist." Since most purchase decisions - whether by consumers or franchisee candidates - begin with an online search, the report continues, this is why the C-suite is paying so much attention to their organization's natural search rankings...

Feature Story:

Minimize Risks From Franchisee Email And Social Media »

By Cheng Cohen

Email is dominating business communications, and social media is replacing much of what previously was done through print advertising. By all appearances, these and other electronic communication tools will increase in both usage and importance.

As a result, franchisors should consider if, to what extent, and how they should control the use of these mediums by those associated with the brand. It is not uncommon, for instance, for franchisors to assign email addresses to their franchisees and require that those email accounts be used in the operation of the franchised unit. Franchisors may also permit or encourage franchisees to use social media in connection with the promotion and operation of their businesses.

But control or oversight over franchisees' assigned email accounts and social media communications can expose franchisors to liability...

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Fabulous Female Franchise Founders    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue I, 2016

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