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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...

Feature Story:

Safeguard Your Customers From Hackers: 3 Failures To Avoid »

By David Ellis

Every day there seems to be a new "security breach" making the news. We hear a lot more that don't make the news. Businesses from all over the world call us in a panic, trying to figure out what went wrong with their online security. Unfortunately, for many franchise systems, these miscues are common. My hope in sharing some details from three actual security failures is that you will discover actions you can take to enhance your own IT security practices.

1) Please pass the pepperoni - and the passwords. Several small pizza chains used the same restaurant management software and POS system. Sadly, hundreds of those restaurants were hacked.

Once each restaurant's POS system was configured, the local restaurant owners did not change the default password set by the payment application vendor...

Feature Story:

Using Social Media Inside Your Organization »

By Eddy Goldberg

"Businesses that successfully transition to social organizations will have a competitive advantage over those that do not."

That's from a white paper called "Using Social Media to Improve Organizational Communication & Efficiency," authored by Amy M. Young and Mary D. Hinesly from the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

For the past several years, we've been hammering away here at Franchise Update about the importance of "breaking down the silos" in your corporate organization. Also for the past several years, we've all been hearing ad nauseam about how we need to embrace social media to reach and engage customers.

But what about using social media tools within the organization to have different departments - sales, marketing, operations, field support, real estate, etc...

Learn More

Unveiling the 2016 Annual Franchise Development Report    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue IV, 2015

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