A really hard job for any franchise company's tech department is coordinating all the different systems in franchisee locations. As everyone gets more and more dependent on standardized machines and programs, it's easy to think that the basics are taken care of.
When was the last time you made an honest assessment of who you have in the most important "chairs" of your operation? Your front-line staff single-handedly sets the tone of your customer service and "packages" your performance day to day. Is your packaging attracting or distracting? Does it gather customers, or chase them away?
The year's fourth quarter marks the anniversary of my start in the investment management business many, many years ago. It also happens to coincide with the time of year my three kids go back to school.
Unfortunately, few multiple-unit franchisees or managers fully understand working capital, how important it is for every business, how it is measured, or how to obtain needed working capital.
Mark E. Battersby
A great customer experience matters. A lot. More than ever. Why? For one thing, because there are a lot of coffee chains in the world. Comedian Dennis Miller has a rant about how Starbucks has started opening Starbucks stores inside existing Starbucks stores. Well, it's funnier when he says it.
Even experienced area developers can get emotional about locations, says Jeremy Behar, president and CEO of Cirrus Tenant Services, a Toronto-based company specializing in real estate negotiations for various businesses, including franchises. As a consequence, he says, "They will do what it takes to sign the deal and get it done."
When native San Franciscan Ellen Hui left a career in banking in 1989 to take on her first Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits restaurant, she experienced a big culture shock.
Until he hit 40, Rick Guerra ran hotels and restaurants "making a lot of money for other people," he says.
Ed Doherty has been pushing the envelope on growing a business packed with different franchises - lots of them. To date, they include Applebee's (51), Panera Breads (15), Chevys Fresh Mex (3), and an original concept, the Shannon Rose Irish Pub (1), in New Jersey. And ahead on the menu are the 20 El Pollo Loco locations he's developing in New Jersey.
Today's business environment is filled with incentives to move toward a paperless office, especially considering the ease and low cost involved in storing and sharing electronic data when compared with paper.