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Feature Story:

Minimum Wage Protesters Miss The Point »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Protests coordinated earlier this month by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) were merely "political theater that does not help close the income inequality gap," according to a statement released by the International Franchise Association (IFA).
IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti said, "The franchise industry is an American success story and an economic growth engine creating jobs and spawning vibrant new small businesses in local communities across the country." He went on to point out that the franchise business model is a "valuable playbook that provides a pathway to personal and professional success and business ownership for aspiring entrepreneurs. The protests put the future of these jobs and businesses in jeopardy...

Feature Story:

Building Success Through Culture »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Culture is something that can't be measured by Google analytics. But it has inherent value and it makes a tangible difference. Creating, implementing, and maintaining a strong culture that reflects your values and beliefs can pay off in employee and customer satisfaction - not to mention the bottom line at your franchise locations. Creating a culture is just what Brent Collier has done.
He operates 14 restaurants from 6 different franchise brands along a 25-mile stretch in the tourist mecca of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and faces a nice kind of problem: his restaurants compete for the same customers. But that's not really a problem, since the area draws more than 11 million tourists a year.
The way he figures it, most visit for an average of three days, which he translates into "nine meal opportunities...

Feature Story:

What's Your Service Aptitude? »

By John DiJulius

It's your job to teach employees how to treat customers

Companies don't engage emotionally with their customers--their employees do. If you want to create a memorable company, you must fill your company with memorable people. The level and quality of your organization's customer service comes down to one thing and one thing only: the Service Aptitude of every employee. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, corporate office support team, to every front-line employee--the most critical component in building a world-class customer experience culture is the Service Aptitude of every individual in your company.

What is Service Aptitude?
Service Aptitude is a person's ability to recognize opportunities to exceed customers' expectations, regardless of the circumstances...

Feature Story:

Industry Groups Join To Oppose Overtime Regulations »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A united front of 15 franchisee associations and the International Franchise Association (IFA) are working together to fight the government's proposed changes to overtime regulations. Together, the groups submitted comments last week declaring the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed changes to overtime regulations are "fundamentally flawed and bad for employers and employees," according to a statement issued. The IFA also accused the DOL of "failing to extend the comment period on the radical changes that will severely hamper job growth in the small business sector."
"The proposed change to the overtime rule is another action by the Obama Administration that dramatically alters how small businesses operate," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE...

Feature Story:

IFA Claims Labor Department Conducting Franchise "Witch Hunt" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Last week, the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asking for the rationale behind questions OSHA inspectors are asking franchise owners, which appear specifically designed to presume a joint employer relationship between brand companies and local franchise small business owners. The group also wants to see correspondence between DOL and OSHA officials and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is engaged in a three year, $50 million corporate campaign to destroy the legal separation between franchise businesses and grow union membership.
"The Labor Department is conducting a witch hunt that, at a minimum, exceeds the statutory authority afforded to the OSHA by Congress...

Feature Story:

Now Hiring!: Recruiting And Retaining The Best Millennials »

By Adam Pierno

So, you're hiring again. You have positions open and want to make sure the employees you bring in will meet your goals--or exceed them. No matter what position you're trying to fill, your hiring pool probably consists of those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials. As the Millennial group matures, we have seen that they have a unique outlook on work and corporate life, but can be great employees when properly motivated and understood, based on a few key insights.

1) Transparency
The job market has not exactly been great for Millennials as they graduated college and joined the workforce. This has had a few different effects on their perspective on jobs and careers. One is that they have become less trustful of corporations, meaning they're less likely to take things at face value...

Feature Story:

New Franchise Legislation Would Hamper Franchisee Rights »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

New legislation that seeks to enhance the rights of franchisees would in fact hurt them and their businesses, says the IFA. The franchise group has come out against the legislation purporting to be pro-franchisee as anti-opportunity and unnecessary considering the many franchisee protections already in place. The legislation was introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
"For five years running, franchising continues to outpace growth of the overall U.S. economy," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. "Representative Ellison's new legislation is a misguided attempt to 'protect' franchisees by burdening them with new regulations and restrictions on how they run their businesses. Franchising creates millions of jobs and small business ownership opportunities for Americans, including tens of thousands of veterans, minorities, and women...

Feature Story:

IFA Criticizes Department Of Labor's "Administrative Guidance" On Contractors »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The International Franchise Association (IFA) is speaking up for franchisees and small businesses everywhere in response to new "administrative guidance" from the Department of Labor (DOL). The guidance applies an "economic realities" test to decide whether a worker can be an independent contractor or must instead be classified as an employee. The IFA says the guidance is unnecessarily intrusive and called it yet another in a long list of Obama Administration directives that will make it harder for millions of small businesses to operate and grow.
"Franchise business owners are simply exhausted and frustrated by the Obama Administration's death by a thousand cuts' attempt to transform the workforce and ignore the concerns of the small business community...

Feature Story:

Arizona Says No To Wage Discrimination »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The state of Arizona stands with the IFA and has filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of IFA's effort to halt discrimination against franchisees by the city of Seattle. Last year, Seattle approved an increase in the minimum wage that classifies franchisees as large corporations rather than the small, locally owned businesses that they are. The IFA says this artificial distinction that will force franchise businesses to boost their workers' wages faster than other small businesses.
In his brief, Arizona Solicitor General John R. Lopez, IV says that the Seattle ordinance is discriminatory and directly burdens 13 franchisors based in Arizona and their 54 franchise units operating in Seattle. The brief also asserts that the ordinance violates the U...

Feature Story:

IFA Says New Overtime Regulation "Unnecessarily Meddling" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The International Franchise Association (IFA) is condemning a proposed overtime regulation rule from the Department of Labor that it says would dramatically increase the threshold for overtime pay and ultimately force thousands of employers to shift the pay status of their workers from salaried to hourly.

"This change is likely to have the opposite of its intended effect and will clearly harm more workers than it helps," said IFA Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy Robert Cresanti. "Millions of salaried workers will now become hourly and lose out on key benefits such as workplace flexibility and long term advancement opportunities. This is just the latest example of the Obama Administration unnecessarily meddling in the everyday management of small businesses...

Feature Story:

Groups Unite To Battle Discriminatory Wage Hike Efforts In New York »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The Coalition to Save New York Restaurants is a brand new organization that joins the International Franchise Association (IFA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA), and the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) in a concerted effort to fight discriminatory and mandated wage hikes throughout the state. A statement issued during the recent IFE Convention in New York says the Coalition was established to combat discrimination against the quick-service food industry in New York State, which is considering mandating a minimum wage increase for quick-serve food restaurants only.

"The Coalition to Save New York Restaurants will aggressively fight Governor Cuomo's politically-motivated decision to discriminate against local franchise small business owners for a wage hike, simply to satisfy the request of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE...

Feature Story:

Franchise Businesses Set The Pace »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising businesses continue to outpace the rest of the economy, according to the mid-year forecast update of The Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2015. The report released last week by the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation and IHS Economics, finds franchising remains on track to outperform the U.S. economy for the fifth consecutive year.
While the forecast of U.S. GDP has been revised downward and now shows growth of only 3.4 percent increase in nominal dollars in 2015 for the overall economy, IHS expects the Gross Domestic Product of the franchise sector in nominal dollars to increase by 5.2 percent to $521 billion in 2015.
"Local franchise small businesses continue to grow at a faster pace, creating more jobs for Americans and producing higher sales growth than other businesses," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira...

Feature Story:

Report Says Overtime Rules Would Hurt Businesses »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Retailers like franchisees could be saddled with millions of dollars in added costs if federal overtime regulations are revised, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation (NRF). What's more, the rules could also adversely affect working Americans.
The report, Rethinking Overtime, finds the Obama Administration's plan to revise federal overtime regulations would likely "hollow out" low- and mid-level management positions in the restaurant and retail industries and result in a shift toward more hourly and part-time workers. The report says that the proposal could cost retailers millions of dollars in added costs and would disproportionally impact retailers operating in rural states.
"This is a workplace regulation with massive hidden costs," says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French...

Feature Story:

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...

Feature Story:

Successor Prep For The New Generation »

By Champ Rawls

Picture a 50-something year-old multi-unit franchisee who has been in business for more than 20 years and has tirelessly worked to grow and build a diverse business. His kids are in their mid- to late-20's and have been getting more involved in day-to-day operations. They are ecstatic to be entering the family enterprise and proudly fly the family name. The company has a fantastic reputation in the community and the family name holds weight and notoriety in the industry. It is well-established with sound business practices and a formula for success that has produced generous profits and provided a great place of employment for many families. Sound familiar?
Now picture the next generation, a generation that has been to trainings and workshops, developed an "understanding" of business operations from watching their mom and dad avidly stay on top of franchisor procedures and directives, and has an opinionated and vocal vision of how they see the business changing for the future...

Feature Story:

IFA And Franchisees Oppose California Franchise Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A California franchise bill is threatening the livelihood of the state's franchisees who would face additional and unnecessary regulations if Assembly Bill 525 is passed. The IFA and franchisees in the state are urging lawmakers to oppose the bill.
"The unintended consequences of this bill would dramatically change the franchise relationship between franchisors and franchisees and we have serious concerns about some of the provisions included in the bill, particularly those that introduce vague and ambiguous language into the enforceability of franchise contracts which will ultimately lead to increased, unnecessary and costly litigation," says IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. "The last thing we need is further government intervention into an industry that has proven itself as a steady job creator and bastion of small business ownership throughout the state...

Feature Story:

The Secret To Getting Things Done »

By Rowdy McLean

What's the difference between those that do and those that don't?
After decades of asking myself and thousands of others that same question, I have come to the conclusion that your success comes down to just one thing.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, save money, climb mountains, win a grand final, run a marathon, get a promotion, pretty much anything! One thing sets the winners apart from the losers, the achievers from the underachievers, the successful from the unsuccessful.
I have watched thousands of documentaries, read thousands of stories, and interviewed thousands of people and in every single case it's the same.
It's not having a positive mindset (although that helps), it's not having a secret formula (although having a plan helps), it's not where you were born or where you went to school, and it's not who your friends are or how much money you have...

Feature Story:

4 Top Leadership Myths »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Leadership author, speaker, and consultant Roxi Hewertson has compiled a list of 4 leadership myths that when fully understood can change the way you do business and your bottom line. Here they are:

1. If you are a star performer in your field or discipline, you will surely be a star leader of others. From the day we were born, all the applause has been about "what I have done well," not "what we have done well." The exception is teamwork within or outside your family. The skills, attributes, and even motivations required to lead people successfully are entirely opposite from those required to be a successful individual contributor. Consider this: if the roles and skills weren't so opposite, it would be a walk in the park for someone to move seamlessly from being a great violin player to being a great conductor...

Feature Story:

The Difference Between Leadership And Management »

By John Tschohl

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become
a leader it's all about growing others."-- Jack Welch.

Everyone who has a job has a boss or manager, but does everyone have a leader? You never hear people complain about leaders, but every day someone somewhere complains about their boss or manager. Firstly, leadership is action, not position. Just because someone is in a role of control does not mean the person is a leader. According to John Tschohl, best-selling author and customer service strategist, "the best leaders are typically poor managers and the best managers are typically poor leaders. All managers have to do some leading and all leaders have to do some managing. Finding the right balance for the job is what is really important...

Feature Story:

Coping With Difficult Coworkers »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Coworkers must work together to be as productive as possible. It can be difficult at times. Here, Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know, outlines 10 different types of coworkers and explains how they can keep the peace and work better together "It's not difficult once you've spotted the behaviors," he explains.
Here are 10 of the most difficult coworkers and how to deal with them:


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