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Finance

Access to capital is the lifeblood of franchise growth. Restricted lending policies of the past few years continue to be a challenge for franchisees, who need access to capital, whether to survive or expand. Lenders today are searching for solid franchisee organizations to do business with, but what exactly are they looking for? Learn what bankers, franchise lenders, private equity firms, and other capital sources want to see in a borrower - and make sure you are managing your organization in ways that make you attractive to lenders.

Learn more about the franchise finance and capital marketplace, and what factors are affecting your chances to borrow the capital you need to grow.

Feature Story:

Are You Seasonally Adjusted?: Keeping On Top Of Annual Cash Flow Fluctuations »

By Steve LeFever and Rod Bristol

As we enter summer each year, businesses with a seasonal sales cycle can change significantly. If you are lucky, this is your busy season with expanded revenue and, hopefully, expanded profits and cash flow. If you run a business that has diminished summer sales, you are in for the belt-tightening process of reduced revenues and cash flow.
Either way, it's critically important to understand patterns of cash flow--and how to best prepare for the seasonality of sales that most businesses experience during the course of a year. Our goal as owners is to determine the pattern of cash flow in our businesses and plan for adequate cash to cover expenses and repay debt. It is also important to clearly understand the difference between "seasonal" cash requirements and your long-term growth capital needs...

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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:

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

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Failed Units: Not Just A Franchisee Issue »

By Darrell Johnson

Throughout my career I have observed that a strong alignment of interests between two business parties usually leads to good outcomes for both. All franchisors with any marketing savvy will say they are strongly aligned with their franchisees. What is the evidence that a brand walks the talk?
There are many ways a franchisor can help its franchisees, starting with a full and high-quality support program, and including a disciplined prospect screening program, training that measures results, site selection and opening assistance based on proven criteria, and field operations and compliance that are effective.
Then there's transparency. Brands that have a meaningful Item 19, that have system dashboards that compare unit performance in real time, that support capital access through SBA eligibility and Bank Credit Reports (BCRs), and that seek system feedback through independent third parties are further examples...

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Boosting Unit Profitability »

By Steve LeFever and Rod Bristol

We're often asked, "I've been in this system four years. When should I start making a profit?" This is a disturbing question at best--as if profits were somehow time-sensitive: just wait long enough and, Presto!, profits. If only it were that easy. Here are some thoughts on improving your bottom line.

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Don't "Grow Broke": Overcoming The Dangers Of Poorly Managed Growth  »

By Rod Bristol


Good news! The economy is growing again. However, expanding businesses are often in greater peril than those that have suffered through a challenging economy and declining revenues. The often misunderstood truth is that it costs money to grow.
Business owners who don't understand this end up fulfilling their higher sales dreams, but often at the cost of bankrupting their company. How can you prevent this? A great place to start is understanding the concept of "Financial Gap," the difference between the money you have and the money you need to grow.

Why does growth cost money?
As your sales grow, your company needs new assets to support those increased sales. By using the Financial Gap tool and calculating the present efficiency of your operation, you can predict with great accuracy what you will need in new assets to support increased sales...

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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...

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Fund-Amental Change?: Is Aziz Hashim's New Fund For Franchisees A Game-Changer? »

By Eddy Goldberg

Tired of paying royalties? How would you like to get in on collecting them? That's one of the reasons--among many--behind an innovative fund created to allow multi-unit franchisees to own or invest in franchise brands.
"If you're in franchising as a multi-unit franchisee and have built your enterprise by paying royalties, it's a very natural hedge to have an investment in an entity that's in the business of collecting royalties," says Aziz Hashim, founder and general partner of the new fund, called NRD Partners.
Hashim, who has made a career operating restaurant franchises, says he has been preparing for this new role all his franchising life. "I've entered and exited 14 brands in my career. So in a way I've been practicing as a little mini-private equity or fund anyway...

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Executives Caution New York About Discriminatory Wage Increase »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Three pro-business group representatives have spoken out about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's push to raise minimum wage in the state. The governor has said that he will ask the state labor commissioner to convene a panel to decide whether fast-food workers' wages should be raised.
But Melissa Fleischut, president and chief executive of the New York State Restaurant Association, and Ken Pokalsky, vice president of the Business Council of New York State, told The New York Times the move was ill advised.
"Singling out a sector of one industry to have a higher minimum wage than all other occupations is unfair and arbitrary. The minimum wage is rightfully set by the Legislature and should affect all businesses equally," said Fleischut...

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Russo's Restaurants To Offer Credit Access To Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guidant Financial, BoeFly, and Russo's Restaurants have teamed up to provide more credit access for entrepreneurs interested in operating Russo's Restaurants franchises.
The new partnership between small business financing company Guidant Financial, BoeFly.com, the online marketplace for small business loans, and Russo's, the 42-location franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is part of Guidant's Funding Assurance program to help franchisors expand their brands. The partnership will offer existing and prospective Russo's franchisees exclusive access to financing services from Guidant Financial and BoeFly, starting with a customized prequalification tool on Russo's website called bQual...

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3 Tips For Inheritance Planning »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The odds are good that you will inherit money or assets in the coming years. And, if you're like most people, you'll save only half.
The largest transfer of wealth in history is underway, with beneficiaries expected to receive $59 trillion over the next four decades, according to a Boston College study. But those heirs will lose, spend, or donate half of their inheritances, if a 2012 study by Ohio University holds true.
"People need to plan for inheriting wealth to avoid the pitfalls that result in so many heirs making emotional or ill-informed decisions they later regret," says Michael Abbott, a veteran financial consultant and CFO of The Abbott Bennett Group, (www.theabbottbennettgroup.com).
It's never wise to make important financial decisions based on emotion, and inheritance often starts with grief -- one of the most profound emotions we ever experience, says Chris Bennett, co-founding partner of the firm...

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Franchisees Get New Source Of Funding »

By Eddy Goldberg

There's a new franchise funding alternative in town: ApplePie Capital, which announced its presence as a franchise lender and unveiled its website in mid-November. The idea behind the company is to provide a franchise loan marketplace that connects franchisees in need of capital with investors seeking fixed-income returns, in this case by investing in operators of proven franchise brands. The marketplace will launch in Q1 2015 and offer loans ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
ApplePie will work exclusively with franchises, says co-founder and CEO Denise Thomas. The company's founding brands are Marco's Pizza, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs, Nothing Bundt Cakes, AdvantaClean, Sola Salon Studios, and RNR Custom Wheels and Tire Express...

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Here Comes 2015!: What Do You Still Not Know About Your Business? »

By Steve Lefever

Now that we're nearing November, it's time to refocus on the business with an eye toward planning for 2015. I'd like to suggest that you look a little farther ahead and reflect on the issues I've outlined below.
Over the years, I've encountered far too many business owners who spend weeks planning their vacation (if they take one at all!) and virtually no time planning for the business that makes those vacations possible.
Watch cable news, scan a few TV commercials, or flip through any newspaper these days and it would seem there are no mysteries any more. Let's face it, we know far too much about far too many people's habits, problems, and proclivities. We have more factoids, tidbits, inklings, stats, blogs, and so-called expert opinions (legal and otherwise) than we can use in a lifetime...

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End Of The Bond Bull?: How To Manage The Nearing Possibility »

By Carol M. Schleif

For the past 30 years, the U.S. has experienced the longest bull market on record for fixed-income securities. As interest rates declined, investors in bonds benefited. Fixed-income returns have been far above historical norms, even outperforming stocks during crucial periods, and investors have poured billions into them. The seemingly inevitable end of this run has many investors uncertain about the future.
There has been a great deal of debate recently regarding the notion that interest rates, which are hovering near all-time lows, may be set to increase, particularly as a result of the massive amounts of stimulus provided by central banks worldwide in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. What about the Fed's balance sheet? What will the impact be if quantitative easing continues? What are the ripple effects that may be caused if investors create a disorderly exit? Given the complexity of the issues, we can touch only on a few points here...

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Financial Advisors Should Work In Harmony »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Individuals and families with large estates have enough to worry about - they shouldn't have to wonder whether the advisors they depend upon have their best interests at heart, says financial advisor Matthew T. Shafer.
"Many don't realize that wealthy people are targets for criminals and opportunistic people; that's why an estate should have a good team of professionals who work well with each other," says Shafer, author of The Future of Your Wealth, (http://mattshafer.us/).
"Wealthy families - and many middle-class families - have multiple advisors who specialize in different disciplines, including attorneys, tax specialists, insurance agents and the like. A family could find the best specialist in each field, but if these experts do not work in harmony, the results can be dreadful...

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Banking On Preparedness/Be Prepared: Banking Basics For Tough Times »

By Steve LeFever

In these challenging times, it pays to be as prepared as possible. Here are some suggestions from the banker's side of the desk that will help increase your chances of success when it comes time to renew or renegotiate your current loan structure.
First, it's no secret that the banking industry has taken a hit over the past 48 months. Bank performance (or lack thereof) has been front-page news for some time. Here's an overview of what's happened, where we are, and what it means to you.
A generally robust economy since 2003 lulled banks into more of a "sales" mentality and less of a "credit analysis" mentality. As a result, credit standards were lowered, documentation pared down, and the loan decision process watered down. Not by every bank, mind you, but by enough...

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Funding Growth: Deciding Whether To Use Debt Or Equity To Fund Your Growing Enterprise »

By Jenny Q. Ta

Loan financing and equity investment are two common methods of funding a new business start-up, assuming you do not have the capital on your own. Each strategy has advantages. The right choice depends on your short-term and long-term financial goals and personal preferences.
Debt financing is the better choice when you prefer to retain control of your operation, and you do not mind the tradeoff of greater risk for higher earning potential. However, if you would rather share the risk, mitigate debt obligations and bring in top-level experts, invite equity investors.
Ultimately, it will be up to you depending on your own situation.  As a seasoned entrepreneur, author, and CEO of Sqeeqee.com, the first-of-its-kind social "networthing" site, I have identified the following things to consider when making your decision...

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Retirement Planning: Knowing When It's OK To Play It Safe And When It's Not »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

As people get closer to the age when they hope to retire, traditional wisdom calls for moving into more conservative - safer - investments, such as Treasury bonds and many fixed-income mutual funds.
"The problem is, what is 'safe' for one person may not be 'safe' for another, given the amount of money in their portfolios, how their investments are allocated, and what their retirement lifestyle goals are," says financial advisor Haitham "Hutch" Ashoo, co-founder with advisor Chris Snyder of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC.
"Some investors believe Certificates of Deposit and U.S. Treasury bonds are safe investments because of their backing, but the income they generate is so low, they may not be safe in terms of producing the income you need for 30 years of retirement...

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7 Tips For Managing Your Banker »

By Steve LeFever

Banking basics for tough times
In these challenging times, it pays to be as prepared as possible. Here are some suggestions from the banker's side of the desk that will help increase your chances of success when it comes time to renew or renegotiate your current loan structure.
First, it's no secret that the banking industry has taken a hit over the past 48 months. Bank performance (or lack thereof) has been front-page news for some time. Here's an overview of what's happened, where we are, and what it means to you.
A generally robust economy since 2003 lulled banks into more of a "sales" mentality and less of a "credit analysis" mentality. As a result, credit standards were lowered, documentation pared down, and the loan decision process watered down...

Feature Story:

Implementing The Affordable Care Act »

By Benjamin Geyerhahn

What franchisees need to know about the ACA rollout

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) 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-plus 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...


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2016 Mega 99    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue I, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

Top Opportunities »

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