For a man in the hospitality business who's traveled widely, Ted Torres didn't fall far from the tree, nor did he want to. "My father, a first-generation hotelier, was my mentor, teacher, coach, and partner," says Torres, who at 43 has been in the business for 20 years. His most far-flung project, building hotels for Hilton across Russia, never came to fruition--through no lack of willingness on his part--but it was a fabulous month-long adventure just the same.
I have a suggestion that will raise your odds of winning--and it won't cost you any money. To clarify what I mean by improving your probability of winning, let me contrast that with an example of winning by chance.
It's hard to ignore the negative press about the economy, and it's almost impossible not to cringe at the mention of credit rates and loans. But (and there's always a but) the glass remains half full--or possibly even overflowing--for those lucky enough to be tenants in today's real estate market.
When Jeff Innocenti was a teenager in the Bronx, he and his brother James pretty much lived at the Gold's Gym in nearby Yonkers. "Our mother bought us our first membership and we became gym rats," says Innocenti, now 40. "Working out with weights was pretty much all we did at the time. We may as well have lived there."
About 20 years ago, Greg Cutchall learned a crucial lesson. An investor group he worked with forced him out of a chain of KFC restaurants in Omaha, units he had operated and helped to build. That fired him up to make things happen for himself.
Greg Hamer, Sr. grew up working in his father's Louisiana oilfield service business. But in 1982, he began to put time and money into growing a franchise business that has since grown to 50 locations.
First, let's set the record straight on what's going on. This isn't just a credit crunch crisis. It may have been triggered by credit issues, but it is much bigger than that now and won't be solved by governments throwing money at it, although that is a necessary first step. This crisis will get solved when consumer income and debt levels can support a stable level of demand, not just in the U.S., but worldwide.
As you may recall, in my last column I asked if the hiring managers in your organization know the answers to the 15 questions that make all the difference between success and failure in recruiting, selecting, and retaining the best employees. Here now are the answers.
Economic Stimulators: Sheer Will And Smarts Help These Multi-Unit Franchisees Move Ahead In Challenging Times
It was like a gut punch for Charlie Marshall. In less than a year's time, the Spring-Green Lawn Care multi-unit franchisee went from paying $12 per bag for lawn fertilizer to more than $25 per bag. "That will make you look for ways to streamline and cut costs," says Marshall. To add insult to injury, gasoline prices were skyrocketing, making it even more expensive to fire up his seven trucks and dispatch crews to care for his customers' lawns each day.
As a student at Florida State University, the entrepreneurial spirit in Sam Osborne led him to own and operate a small personal training business. One of his clients was David Walker, who was soon to be a co-founder of Tropical Smoothie Café. Things have "worked out" well for both.
When franchise sellers seek exit strategies, they most often look to strategic buyers, other franchisees, their franchisor, or financial investors such as private equity as potential buyers for their businesses.
With 324 Subways in Oklahoma and Kansas, Don Rottinghaus knows his brand and his market. Must be time for something new. "I work those areas constantly," he says. He has to. Over the past 20 years, the multi-unit franchisee has built a huge chain of Subway locations in the region. And now he's taking on a new challenge, bringing a taste of Southern California sunshine to the Midwest. Over the next 5 years, Rottinghaus will develop 12 new LA Sunset Tan locations in Oklahoma and 25 in Kansas.