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Feature Story:

5 Tips For Small Business Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Ambit Energy, a national retail energy provider, released a blog post earlier this year in which it provided leadership tips for successfully building a small business. The company followed that up last summer by hosting their annual "Ambition" event in Dallas, where thousands of its consultants gathered to share their personal success stories, attend training sessions, network, and have fun.
In the blog post, the company provided five simple and highly effective tips for leading a small business to success. These tips include:

Feature Story:

Goals And Visions: Survey Says Business Owners Should Take Risks, Earn Respect, And Inspire Action »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Accomplishing goals is the most essential function of running a company, according to 46 percent of entrepreneurs polled by The Alternative Board (TAB). By comparison, 38 percent place more importance on providing a vision for their business. Despite acknowledging how crucial that vision is to the company's success, most leaders need help communicating it: participants averaged just 7.1 out of 10 when grading themselves on how effectively they expressed their vision to their team.
"It's important that the leader establishes and communicates a vision. But it's even more important that they accomplish goals," says David Scarola, vice president of TAB. "One without the other has little value."
After surveying 336 small business owners and CEOs worldwide (roughly 70 percent of whom have companies earning over $1 million a year), a common profile of the modern business leader emerged from TAB's study...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Excuses: 6 Ways To Gain The Edge And Meet Your Goals »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals, says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt.
"Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage," says Waldschmidt, author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success, (
"Ideas, brilliance, genius - they all mean nothing without the guts, passion, and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals...

Feature Story:

Growing A Franchise: Lessons Learned Along The Way »

By D'onn Genovese

As many in the beauty industry have likely noticed, Massage Envy has experienced explosive franchise growth in the last several years. A provider of therapeutic massage, facials, and other spa services in the United States, Massage Envy has expanded to nearly 840 locations in 46 states. While this growth is exciting, increasing demand for a franchise can pose challenges for individual franchise owners to manage, especially when it comes to quickly hiring, onboarding, and managing staff.
I started our first Massage Envy franchise with my husband, son, and daughter-in-law, because the idea of running a business with family appealed to me. Furthermore, I was supportive of the spa industry's overall mission - I think we can all get behind the idea that there is too much stress in this world, and the long-term health repercussions from this are huge...

Feature Story:

To Grow, Reinvest In Infrastructure, Technology, And People »

By Richard S. Weissman

Many franchise leaders are slow to embrace the idea that the best time to grow is in uncertain times. Even those who may reluctantly agree are often constrained by the demands of stakeholders for bottom-line performance, and use the excuse of the "bad economic storm" to cut expenses to meet those bottom-line expectations. Historically, however, the fact remains that the strongest companies are those that create working systems to grow during all economies, and that see the opportunity in bad times for accelerated growth.

In my experience as the CEO of a national early childhood education franchise, while the majority of others in the field experienced difficulty securing new franchisees to continue growth, our reinvestment and leadership speaks well of the brand, and has allowed us to see exceptional growth during recent economic tumult: more than 410% growth since the 2008 recession...

Feature Story:

Lead Generation Checklist: Time To Review Your Process? »

By Steve Olson

The following is a review of the lead generation principles and best practices outlined in my book, "Grow To Greatness: How to build a world class franchise faster." For a more in-depth examination of successful lead-generation practices, ordering information is available at the end of this checklist.

✓ Embrace the four successful lead generation principles that high-growth franchisors use to expand their brands:

Feature Story:

A Clear Value Proposition Can Boost Franchise Recruitment And Sales »

By Joe Mathews

Zig Ziglar once said, "People don't buy drills, they buy holes."

Carrying his logic into franchising, franchisees don't really invest in franchise opportunities; they invest in the future they are designing for themselves and their families. They buy the next chapter of their lives. Whether you are selling multi-million-dollar hotel investments or home-based businesses with low entry costs, franchise candidates are investing in a perceived solution to a personal problem.

Most franchise candidates invest in franchises for reasons that have nothing to do with business. They only appear business-oriented to the mediocre or underperforming franchise recruiter who is not skilled enough or doesn't care enough to ask the necessary probing questions to uncover what is really driving the candidate...

Feature Story:

The Four Steps To Lead Generation Success: Steps 1 And 2 »

By Steve Olson

Step 1: Define your market of qualified prospects

Who is your ideal franchise buyer?
Let's begin with knowing your market. Producing quality prospects starts with understanding who your franchise candidate is. Marketing efforts will be disastrous if you don't! It's like being in a boxing match blindfolded with the lights out, with no clear target to punch. You'll be working with the wrong prospects and wasting a bundle of money and time. Worse yet, you'll award franchises to unqualified owners, a painful mistake not easy to resolve.

For superior marketing, craft your franchisee success profile first, before you even think about how to promote your franchise opportunity. If you ever lose sight of your buyer, you can no longer grow to the greatness you aspire...

Feature Story:

Distinguishing Marks: How To Differentiate Your Own "Shiny Object" From Your Competitor's »

By David LaBonte

It would be fantastic to have a franchise that is so far and away superior to anything else on the market that there is simply no comparison. In the real world, most of us have competitors that have products and services (shiny objects) that perform reasonably well compared to ours.

So, once you have figured out how to make your own product shine, you need to figure out how to get your customer to take notice of your product instead of the other guy's.

I have assembled nine tactics that I have successfully used over the years with a variety of franchise organizations. Not every tactic works for every product or service. You need to carefully consider both the short term strategy and long term objectives in choosing which tactic to use...

Feature Story:

Both Sides Now: Former Franchise Execs Turn To Franchising »

By Kerry Pipes

On the surface, franchise corporate executive appears to enjoy a comfortable, prestigious, and satisfying life. They often work in or head up a department brimming with resources and personnel, and the corporate perks aren't bad either. It's a life that can be seen in stark contrast to the often hardscrabble existence of the multi-unit franchisee who has borrowed money to open, invests sweat equity, and works long hours just to keep the business running and the cash flowing. Yet, despite this perceived contrast, some franchise executives chuck the corporate "good life" and set out into the franchisee frontier with their own set of hopes and dreams.

Take for example, David Ostrowe, who spent years working his way up the corporate ladder of franchise brands including Church's and Taco Bell...

Feature Story:

Super-Sized!: Mega 99 Franchisees Grow Bigger In 2011 »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

There are some big franchisees out there, mega franchisees, in fact! We know because each year we rank them by number of units and brands in our "Mega 99" list.

Beyond these black-and-white numbers--which are especially impressive since many began working part-time in low-level positions, or started with a single unit--are their stories of passion, creativity, long hours, and sheer will and determination to succeed. Multi-unit franchisees have many stories to tell, and their journeys to where they are today are filled with ups and downs.

Multi-unit franchising is not for everyone. It takes a certain set of skills, drive, and initiative to build these large organizations. The risks and rewards to the ever-growing multi-unit franchisee base hinge on savvy decision-making, dedicated managers, and hard-working employees...

Feature Story:

Dominant, Dedicated, Driven: These 7 Multi-Unit Operators Show How It's Done! »

By Kerry Pipes and Eddy Goldberg

Dominators step forward!

Spread across the following pages of our annual Dominators issue are the rough-hewn tales of seven multi-unit franchisees who have worked smart and played hardball to create large, successful franchise organizations.

These operators are not afraid to take risks if the payoff means a bigger slice of the market pie. We interviewed these seven savvy operators and asked them to share their strategies, philosophies, and personal approaches to running their organizations.

Four of these high-powered individuals were honored in March at our Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas, and rewarded with Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine's first annual Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award...

Feature Story:

A Commitment To Grow An Organization »

By Michael Pearce

Making the jump from two units to five or 10

Growth, it's everyone's goal: the premise for my first article regarding growing from one unit to two. Now that you are a multi-unit franchisee, you must either commit to staying where you are or make a substantial commitment to further grow your business.

I say commitment because that is certainly what it is. Once you step out and grow past two units, things begin to change that require a substantial commitment. Once you open your third store you have to begin the process of forming an organization that supports your individual store operations. Human resource issues such as hiring, firing, benefits, training and growing people become a serious time commitment for which you will need help...

Feature Story:

Special Operations: Franchising In A Strange Land »

By Eddy Goldberg

Opening franchise units in nontraditional locations has been the domain of specialists--but not anymore. With the economy still slumping, lending still tight, and suburban expansion at a standstill, many multi-unit franchisees are exploring the viability of sites such as airports, hotels, colleges, senior centers, highway rest stops, hospitals, and military bases.

One of the great attractions of a nontraditional environment is the captive audience, a predictable level of built-in customers, making ROI calculations one step less uncertain. At an airport, for example, the number of flights at a gate should guarantee a minimum number of travelers looking for anything from a quick snack or leisurely sit-down meal to a book or batteries for their electronic devices...

Feature Story:

Leadership Skills Lead To Growth: Building Your Franchise Operation From One Unit To Two »

By Michael Pearce

(Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of guest columns that will explore what's required to successfully grow from one to many franchise units)

Growth. It's everyone's goal, from the large publicly-traded franchise company whose value depends on its growth rate to the new single-unit franchisee excited about replicating his success. Growth is a universal desire. It creates a challenge, which in turn, keeps our lives interesting and vibrant.

For the past 20 years, I have helped franchisees grow their businesses and have experienced several of the unique challenges when working toward growth. First and foremost, no matter what type of business you are in, executive leadership will ultimately determine success...

Feature Story:

Capital Access: Florida Multi-Unit Operator On Strategic Growth »

By Kerry Pipes

Pizza franchising is a tough market. The competition is stiff and the recent economic recession really put the squeeze on many franchise operators. But despite pizza price wars and price-sensitive consumers, operators like Glenn Ajmo have discovered a few silver linings that are helping him sustain growth.

"As an owner, it (the economy) has allowed me to secure leases at very favorable prices with landlord contributions towards construction," says Ajmo, who operates three Marco's Pizza locations in Florida and has just signed a lease on another site. Furthermore, he says the tough market has reduced employee turnover at his stores. "Our employees are appreciating the opportunity to work in a very tough job market."

But Ajmo shoots straight when discussing the far-reaching effects of the recent economic turmoil...

Feature Story:

Big-Time Operator: Relying On Major League Experience For Ground Floor Opportunity »

By Kerry Pipes

Bashir Shams spent 28 years with one of franchising's giants. He built a successful company and a prosperous career with his multi-unit Burger King operation in Mississippi. So why would he walk away from that to team up with a relative newcomer to franchising? That's just what we asked him about his latest plans to ultimately open two dozen locations of ZIPS Dry Cleaners on the East Coast.

"Through my many years with Burger King, I have gained a great wealth of experience and knowledge on how a franchise system works," says Shams. "The dry cleaning industry was foreign to me, but I saw a great franchise system and the opportunity for incredible growth and success." He says he's confident that his franchise background will lead to success with ZIPS...

Feature Story:

Build Your Winning Team - Registration Now Open For 2010 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference »


Keynote Speaker Mike Ditka Will Share His "Playbook for Success"

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 29, 2010 - Franchise Update Media Group (FUMG), the leading industry resource for franchise development, today announced that registration is now open for the 2010 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, where keynote speaker and former Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka will share his "Playbook for Success." The conference will be held March 24-26 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

"This is the only conference in the country with an exclusive focus on multi-unit franchising, the fastest-growing sector in the industry, giving franchisors and suppliers the unique opportunity to meet and network with successful multi-unit operators," said Therese Thilgen, president of FUMG...

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