Plan Tomorrow Today!: Multi-Unit Franchise Conference Chairman Speaks From Experience
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Plan Tomorrow Today!: Multi-Unit Franchise Conference Chairman Speaks From Experience

Charles Smithgall is the incoming Chair of Franchise Update Media Group's 10th Annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, April 27-29, 2011 at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. This is the only national conference focused exclusively on multi-unit franchisees. The theme this year is "Plan Tomorrow Today."

November 29, 1995 we opened our first Aaron's Sales and Lease ownership store, in Louisville, Kentucky. We currently operate 86 stores in 9 states with annual revenue of approximately $125 million. As the largest of 130 Aaron's franchise companies, we quickly grew to a size that was uncharted water for an Aaron's franchisee.

We stumbled upon the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference 7 years ago, and we can't wait for the next one each year. The similarities of the challenges faced by multi-unit franchisees are incredible. The key to the success of each of our businesses is the unit operator, "the Quarterback," who is out on the field with his team; and the key to identifying, motivating, mentoring, and retaining the unit operators is the multi-unit manager, "the Coach."

Believe me, there is no better place to learn more valuable information about how to operate high-volume, more-profitable units than the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference. The quality of the keynote speakers, the session leaders, and the subject matter has improved at every conference I've attended, and this is no accident. The final product is the result of extensive planning by the wonderful Franchise Update Media Group staff, coupled with direct input from a number of top-performing multi-unit franchisees who serve on their Conference Advisory Board. The word keeps spreading, and every year a new attendance record is set. Not only is the number of attendees impressive, but the quality and expertise of the multi-unit franchisees has increased dramatically over the years as well.

Whether you are an existing franchisee looking to diversify into a new brand, a franchisor marketing to attract new franchisees, or just a guy like me trying to learn how to improve his growing number of units, you don't want to miss this conference. This is simply the best group of franchisees meeting anywhere in the country. Period!

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." This is my fifth career, and my first in franchising. I'm continually amazed how in operating a franchise so much of the planning is already completed for us. But we do have to plan for growth, financing, adding brands, adding people, and more.

I've also heard it said, "Never waste a good recession," and we are in a good one right now. All the more reason to learn everything we can to give us a competitive edge to gain market share.

I have a tall order as Conference Chair in following such successful franchisees and franchisors as Rocco Fiorentino, Stan Novack, Bill Hall, Gary Grace, and Lyndon Johnson, but fortunately the amazing staff at Franchise Update Media Group does all of the "heavy lifting."

Read my lips! Don't miss this conference! You can't afford to miss it. See you there!

Published: March 8th, 2011

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