In the late 1970s, David Griffin set out to build an auto detailing business. Some years later, he found himself at the helm of a large, scattered operation. He'd opened five separate locations in Utah, including a large central complex, along with an independent chemical business and distribution center that provided the materials he needed to clean vehicles for local retail consumers, car dealers, and the large, national Manheim auto auction company.
Mike Pietrzyk's 37 years in the food business began auspiciously in 1972, when, as a newly promoted manager of a Burger Chef in Virginia, he was put in a store scheduled to close in 7 months. "The restaurant wasn't doing well, and they'd decided to close it," he recalls. "They just asked me to keep it together for a few more months." Pietrzyk worked seven days a week and did his own marketing, passing out local coupons and getting acquainted with the community.
Multi-Unit Leadership: A Conversation with Jim Sullivan on Multi-Unit Leadership for the 21st Century
Jim Sullivan is the CEO and founder of Sullivision.com, a company that designs and delivers operations and leadership training programs for companies and franchisees worldwide. Clients include The Walt Disney Company, McDonald's, Panera Bread, Regis Corp., Jiffy Lube, Wal-Mart, American Express, Applebee's, Domino's, Dunkin' Brands, and Coca-Cola. Three years ago Sullivan's company began researching the best practices of high-performing multi-unit leaders.
In 1998, a young Canadian attorney named Fiorenzo Bresolin traveled to Florida to work on a large real estate transaction. It wasn't long before he fell in love with the state--and its booming real estate business. The outgoing corporate lawyer went on to develop, along with partners, a 500-acre corporate park in South Florida owned by the late Mel Simon of the Simon Property Group; today he's knocking on doors to place his restaurants in some of those malls.
With all the emphasis on providing customers with "value," I asked about 100 attendees at the IFA Convention in February to describe what value meant. The top five answers on the board:
Before signing on as a multi-unit franchisee, Rob Parsons already had an insider's view of franchising, having spent time at Denny's and Popeyes working with franchisees on the real estate side. At Popeyes, Parsons worked with Jim Lyons, an industry veteran who is now chief development officer for Del Taco and Captain D's. Lyons played a key role in mentoring the young Parsons. During a five-year stretch at Popeyes, Parsons played a key role in pushing the brand's New York market from 58 to 101 locations.
Historically, franchising has accepted EBITDA as the benchmark for establishing valuation. However, as seen over the past several years, valuations can vary widely across franchisors, franchisees, and company-owned concepts. Franchising has seen transaction multiples ranging from the low single digits up to lofty double digits. So what is the justification for this wide range in transaction multiples? What makes a buyer willing to pay 8x for one deal, but only 4x for another?
In the previous issue, I outlined a seven-step process guaranteed to improve performance. We call this process Profit Mastery. My goal going forward is to give you more detail on each of the steps, a specific action plan for how to apply each to your own business, and how to incorporate the results into your strategic thinking
The other night I told one of my daughters, who is in college, that I was going to the IFA convention and would be gone about a week. She asked me why even have conferences, and why business people travel anymore, because with all the technology out there people can communicate almost like it was in person (we Skyped with her for the last five months when she was in Argentina).
When Cheryl Robinson went to work as a bookkeeper at a Southern California Supercuts salon in 1980, she knew nothing about franchising. Worse than that, she had "the world's worst hair. My idea of a good 'do' was a bikini scarf and hair tape on my bangs," she jokes. "I had curly, unruly hair and was using terrible products. I quickly learned that Prell--since it could hold up a pearl--was drying the holy hell out of my hair."
A couple of weeks before any speaking engagement, I distribute a 10-question survey to the meeting participants so I am well prepared to cover their most pressing concerns. One of the questions I ask is: "What is your best source for new employees?" Some of the possible answers are: "billboards, internal promotion, the Internet, job fairs, newspapers, referrals, schools, signage, and walk-ins."
Businesses spend an average of $28.87 per hour for each employee, according to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure includes salary plus benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and workers' compensation. Overall, 69.7 percent ($20.13) goes toward salary and 30.3 percent ($8.74) to benefits, with 1.6 percent ($0.47) of that benefit percentage going to workers' comp.
You've cut back on as many napkins and ketchup packets as you can, reduced your maintenance costs, renegotiated with suppliers, and maximized employee efficiency (see page 68)--and margins are still razor-thin. Interested in a way to add some zeroes (000's) to those savings, without spending a dime up front? It's time to take a new look at wage-based tax credits.