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Feature Story:

Brain Power: Five Ways Brain Science Can Help To Build A Better Business »

By Michael Vaughan

Business owners and managers today face a myriad of challenges--a tight market with strong competition, workforce issues, slimming margins, and the need to keep pace with technological advancements to name a few. Add to these a rapidly changing environment and a barrage of noise generated from the Internet, smartphones, television, and other media.
How do owners and managers stay in step with daily competing priorities and deadlines, filter out the noise, and keep their businesses on the fast track to productivity and profitability? The answers can be found in neural leadership.
Neural leadership is part of brain science, which studies how the brain works and how business leaders can leverage brain function in themselves and their teams to create a more robust work environment...

Feature Story:

This Is How He Sonics: Louisiana's Largest Sonic Franchisee Has Overcome Adversity »

By Debbie Selinsky

Ted Kergan has been a student in the school of hard knocks. He's got the diploma to prove it. But along the way he's become Louisiana's largest Sonic Drive-In franchisee.
While his buddies were planning for careers on the auto assembly lines in Detroit, Kergan, who always had an entrepreneurial bent, hired on with a motivational company after high school, hoping for a different kind of life. He says his three years there helped him conquer his shyness.
Toady he laughs when he talks about one get-rich-quick scheme he and his older brother, Gary, cooked up as young guys. "My brother and I had this idea that if we could sell a million of anything for a dollar, we'd make a million dollars," he says. They found a New York company willing to make a million beer coasters on credit...

Feature Story:

Prevent Hacking Horror Stories: 3 Online Security Failures To Learn From »

By David Ellis

We hear hacking horror stories every day. Businesses around the world call us in a panic, needing to decipher what went wrong with their security. Unfortunately, for many franchisees and franchisors, 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) Pass the pepperoni and passwords, please. 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. A hacker easily deduced the password, infiltrated each POS system, and installed a memory scraper (malware designed to "scrape" sensitive information from system memory)...

Feature Story:

Let's Bring Back Emotional Advertising »

By Barry Klein

This winter, many of us were confined to the house by bad weather, and it's likely that you were exposed to some outrageously expensive TV commercials in the Super Bowl and the Olympics, or in the network programming that helped pass the time, even entertained at times. But unlike some of us (curmudgeons like me), you probably haven't noticed that the commercials to which you paid attention and liked the most were softly emotional and told a heartwarming story... even if they had little to do with selling the product advertised.
Did the friendship between a puppy and a Clydesdale make you want to buy a Budweiser? How many boxes of Cheerios were sold by the dad agreeing to get the little girl a puppy when her sibling was born? Did lots of people switch to Visa after Morgan Freeman's unique voice told the stories about the athletes?
So, why did those marketers spend so much money to produce and buy the time for those commercials? They will tell you that it's all about building the brand with the large audience to which those ads were exposed...

Feature Story:

2014 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Coming Up Fast! »

By Franchise Update Media

Winter is doing its best to hang on in the northern parts of the country, but it's not all that far to June and the fourth annual Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference (FCMC). This year's conference is June 24-25 in Atlanta at the InterContinental Buckhead. The theme is "Change: The New Marketing Currency."

Focused on the intersection of franchising, consumer marketing, and technology, the annual conference is geared to the needs of franchise CMOs, brand managers, and marketing professionals, as well as CEOs, presidents, and franchise operations and technology marketing professionals.

"This event is unique," says Heather Neary, CMO of Auntie Anne's and this year's Conference Chair. "In a world of more responsibility and more demands, this conference is one of a kind...

Feature Story:

Using Technology To Reach Customers »

By Whitney Samuelson

We asked Whitney Samuelson, director of marketing at Maid Brigade, to discuss how the brand uses technology in its marketing efforts to target and reach customers more effectively. Here's what she had to say.

Over the past several years, we have seen traditional marketing methods decline in effectiveness and increase the cost of acquiring new customers. In the past we were able to send out a direct mail piece or run an ad in the Yellow Pages and customers would come calling. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.
Because of this trend, Maid Brigade has made the shift toward using technology-based marketing to reach prospects in the market for maid service. Most notably, we use SEO and SEM to drive customers to our website to request service...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 22, 2014 »

By Daniel Lieberman

The World's Worst Website - and Nine Other Monstrosities
Looking at excellent designs and great user experiences on the Internet and learning from the best is smart, but it's also a good idea to see what you should avoid like the plague. Horrible colors, clashing fonts, hyperactive animations, and loud music are some of the sins you'll find in these examples from Albert Costill, writing on Search Engine Journal. Besides, it's fun to look at badly designed, ridiculous websites. Warning: several of these websites will give you a headache if you look at them too long.

New Facebook Business Page Redesign
As of April 4, the new Facebook business page design became mandatory for all users. It's a significant change to the way pages have looked for the last few years...

Feature Story:

Multi-Brand Mavens: One Brand Won't Do For These Operators! »

By Kerry Pipes

For many multi-unit franchisees one brand just isn't enough. They prefer to spread their risk across different brands, seeking diversity and economies of scale. And while the payoff can be substantial, it can be tough to succeed in this niche: they needed faith, persistence, and a solid infrastructure to make it happen.
We looked far and wide to assemble a talented group of multi-brand franchisees who are dynamic, engaging, and who offer great stories. These six hard-working operators represent different-sized franchisee organizations, and all have at least two concepts. Their stories are different, yet share common threads: a passion for great products and concepts, a customer-driven focus, an eagerness to provide jobs and career opportunities for their employees, and a burning passion to grow their business and serve their communities...

Feature Story:

The Power Of Where: Location Analytics Boosts Customer Visits »

By Jack Mackey

Do you know how often consumers pass by your competitors' locations to visit you? Wouldn't it be great to know where and when consumers bypass your stores or restaurants to visit a competitor? Think about how much it would help to also know the why behind this consumer behavior. In 2014, you can gain this new knowledge about your customers to get a competitive edge.
Three converging trends enable you to better understand your current customers, and even to connect with non-customers you want to attract. First, a huge and ever-growing number of consumers carry smartphones with built-in global positioning systems (GPS). Second, many of them are willing to share their GPS data in exchange for a reward from retail or restaurant operators...

Feature Story:

Service Recovery: '5 Golden Rules Of Customer Retention' »

By John Tschohl

Every company makes mistakes that could make them lose customers. I don't care what business you are in, something will go wrong. But the smart companies know how to recover a customer and turn them into loyal customers for life.
However, less than 2 percent of companies use service recovery techniques. That's really bad. All companies make mistakes. All companies have things go wrong. Many companies and most employees run for cover instead of solving the problem.
The problems are only getting worse thanks to social media. If customers aren't happy, they'll post the problem on Twitter and Facebook. They'll do it fast. Then you'll have a massive public relations problem that will take time, effort, and money to fix.
Instead of handling problems quickly and efficiently, most employees pass the buck or even lie! That's because people don't like confrontation...

Feature Story:

Retirement Advice: Expert And Software Creator Shares Tips For Calculating Retirement Withdrawal »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

"Who has my back in retirement?" That's the question pre-retirees and retirees want answered when it's all said and done, says veteran financial planner David Zolt.
Baby boomers have been retiring in droves in recent years, and will continue to do so throughout the next decade - 10,000 of them a day, the Pew Research Center estimates. Unfortunately, the average boomer is about $500,000 short on their savings, according to a recent survey by TD Ameritrade.
We have already entered an unprecedented moment in retirement history; never have so many people, with such variability in financial wealth, retired at once, says Zolt.
"Clients want to know when they can retire, how much they can withdraw from their savings, and how confident they can be that they won't outlive their money," says Zolt, who created retirement income planning software for financial advisors...

Feature Story:

M&A Valuations To Fall?: New Rules Likely To Curtail Bank Lending »

By Dean Zuccarello

In March 2013, U.S. banking regulators issued new guidance designed to curb increasingly aggressive lending by both banks and finance companies. The new guidance is intended to provide a "safer" financial landscape and reduce the risk of a financial crisis like the one that occurred in 2008.
Background. Regulators have been under fire from Congress and the current administration for failing to address what is believed to be overly aggressive lending preceding the financial crisis. Historically, the Fed could use its open market policy to raise interest rates as a mechanism to manage lending risk. Theoretically, weaker credits and riskier transactions would be unable to support the higher interest costs, and thereby reduced lending risk...

Feature Story:

Executive Profile: Goddard Systems CEO Joseph Schumacher »

By Kerry Pipes

Joseph Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems and its 410 locations, traces his franchising career back to 1977 at Maaco. Founded by his brother-in-law Tony Martino (recently inducted into the IFA’s Hall of Fame), Maaco was a good fit for Schumacher, who was making a good living and enjoying the work. A few years into it, Schumacher noticed that certain legal ramifications could determine system and franchisee success or failure, and he made a career-changing decision: while still working at Maaco corporate, he began attending law school at night.

“My last few years at Maaco I was director of legal administration,” says the 59-year-old. “It was a great role and I enjoyed it so much that I left the brand to go into private law practice, where I provided outside counsel to Maaco and other franchise brands...

Feature Story:

Thinking Of Going Global? Read This First! »

By William Edwards

If you have decided to "Go Global" with your franchise, the next question is, "Now what?"

Recent reports by both McKinsey and the Economist indicate that global executives in many regions of the world are more bullish about new investments than in recent years. More countries are expected to see more investment in new projects in 2014. This is good news for U.S. franchisors seeking international licensees.

What qualities does your franchise need to succeed globally? Experience across more than 50 franchisors shows the following to be critical to success:

Feature Story:

The Six Steps To Selling Success: Step 5 - Discovery Day, Part 1 »

By Steve Olsen

Objective: Attend Discovery Day at your headquarters for executive approval of the franchise

Discovery Day is show time! Whether you have one franchise or a thousand, this special event propels your sales process to a crescendo. It's "Confirmation Day," where serious buyers come to you ready to join your franchise with the blessing of your approval committee. It's always my favorite stage of the process, when everything becomes real for your candidate and you. The journey of rigorous courtship has led both candidate and franchisor to your altar of consummation.

To ensure success, your Discovery Day must always meet or exceed the buyer's expectations. Anything less, and you must clean up your act quickly. Invest whatever it takes to make this event work...

Feature Story:

Maximizing Technology To Find And Track Franchise Prospects »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked James R. Walker, Chief Development Officer at The Johnny Rockets Group, how his company is using technology to identify, reach, and track prospects. Here's what he had to say.

At Johnny Rockets we use technology not only to drive leads for prospective franchise candidates, but also to ensure that we are spending our franchise recruitment dollars in the most efficacious way possible.

We have found that online franchise lead portals are one of our most effective methods for securing new candidates. We also like the traceability these sites provide us. We use as many as six different online lead portals to drive leads to our sales management system, which immediately segments the lead by a number of qualifiers including liquid capital available, as well as the candidate's targeted geography...

Feature Story:

Not One For The Money »

By Debbie Selinsky

"I do it for the fun," says Mike Treadwell

When he was a young man fresh off the farm in Dalhart, Texas, Mike Treadwell wanted to stretch his entrepreneurial wings by opening a restaurant. First, he opened an Alfie's Fish 'n Chips in Amarillo, then a Mike's Fried Chicken & Fish.
One day, a friend who operated a nearby taco stand came over and asked Treadwell about his food and labor costs. "I said, 'Heck, I don't know. I've got money in the bank so I guess I'm doing okay.' He said, 'Oh Mike, you've got to know your food and labor costs if you're going to be in this long term,'" Treadwell recalls. "I thought at the time that I wasn't smart enough to do this."
Deciding he need to educate himself about the food and franchising business, he sold both of his restaurants and moved to Little Rock to manage a KFC restaurant for a franchisee...

Feature Story:

Women At The Top: Barbara Moran-Goodrich »

Franchise Update

Barbara Moran-Goodrich
CEO and President, Moran Family of Brands

System revenue: $60 million
No. of units: 138
Public or private: Private
Founded: 1990
Began franchising: 1990
Years with company: 23
Years in franchising: 23
International locations: 0

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? I believe the saying, "You are the sum of all your experiences" is pretty accurate. I've experienced a lot of challenges throughout my life, both personal and professional, and those challenges have definitely helped guide me in leadership roles. As a young adult, I had a severe head injury that changed the direction of my life: I realized that you have to move on and not dwell on your situation...

Feature Story:

Franchising Without Walls: Oxi Fresh Franchisee Enjoys Freedom And Additional Income »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising is a diverse world comprised of all kinds of brands, products, services, and opportunities. Many require brick and mortar offices and locations, but a number of brands have emerged in recent years that allow individuals to be a part of franchising without needing to build, purchase, or operate from a "brick and mortar" location. Some brands even allow people to continue working in other careers at the same time. One great example of the diversity in franchising these days is Alex Lee. The 45-year-old firefighter lives in the Bay Area of Northern California where he purchased and began operating an Oxi Fresh carpet cleaning franchise about a year ago.
The brand's "green," oxygen-powered carpet cleaning system has grown to include more than 250 territories in 45 states...

Feature Story:

Corporate Culture: 4 Cultural Values And Behaviors Of Successful Companies »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Whether you're launching a new business or wondering why your existing company isn't performing as well as predicted, longtime corporate executive Larry Katzen suggests taking a careful look at your business plan.
Did you include a section describing the workplace culture and the steps you'll take to foster that culture?
"When you look at why businesses fail, it almost always has something to do with the culture," says Katzen, author of, And You Thought Accountants Were Boring - My Life Inside Arthur Andersen, "For nearly half of the startups that fail, incompetence is cited as the major cause, according to Statistic Brain. Tolerating - or not tolerating - incompetence is part of corporate culture."
Katzen, a former managing partner at one of the world's top five accounting firms, says his experience taught him a great deal about what kind of culture results in successful businesses...

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