Ken Greene has a secret. When he gets ready to open a new Honest-1 Auto Care franchise unit in New York (34 now and counting), he knows how to save up to 60 percent on the cost of his equipment.
Have you recently stayed at a branded hotel, or eaten at a franchised restaurant where the property was tired-looking and in need of an update? Was the overall experience less than expected because of the worn-out facility? On your next trip did you make a point to book a room or eat a meal at a competing brand, where the facilities and amenities were up to date? Worse yet, was the property yours?
Multi-unit franchisees have tremendous potential to increase their current revenue and future growth simply by reducing customer service breakdowns and improving service recovery. I call this "found money" because these dollars come from existing customers.
New Jersey native and veteran franchisee Frank Bonanno says he learned early in life that he wanted to do something "easier" than mixing cement and carrying bricks and blocks like his contractor father
As we work our way out of the current recession, we are already starting to see early signs of life in the merger and acquisition market.
When Columbus, Ohio, native Jeff Rigsby was a 16-year-old frying chicken for KFC, he couldn't have foreseen that one day he'd own 21 Bojangles' restaurants.
When 19-year-old Atour Eyvazian fled from his native Iran in the early 1980s to escape persecution for being a Christian, he embarked on an odyssey that led through Turkey all the way to Los Angeles.
Restaurant work was just supposed to help Aziz Hashim pay his way as he pursued his life's dream of becoming an electrical engineer. But by the time he landed the "big job" at Rockwell, he discovered that he had been living the dream all along.
Opening franchise units in nontraditional locations has been the domain of specialists--but not anymore. With the economy still slumping, lending still tight, and suburban expansion at a standstill, many multi-unit franchisees are exploring the viability of sites such as airports, hotels, colleges, senior centers, highway rest stops, hospitals, and military bases.
Two people have figured prominently in Jerry Heath's career. The first is his father, who helped bankroll him when he started out in franchising. The second is Steve Jackson, the president of Hungry Howie's Pizza, who began mentoring Heath at an impressionable age (12).
Franchising has flourished over the past two decades, adding tens of thousands of units and rising on a compound basis faster than most of the industries it operates in. Much of this growth was achieved by franchisee operators who began when they were in their thirties and forties. Today many of them are in their fifties and sixties and looking toward retirement.
For many businesses, growth often means a physical expansion of an existing store or the opening of additional stores. Is it worth the cost? There are two parts to the answer: finance and marketing. The financial analysis answers the question, "What do we need?" The marketing analysis answers the question, "What will we get?" To get our arms around the analysis requires an extension of my "break-even" discussion in the previous issue.
As noted in the last issue, investing is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and an ability to integrate an expansive range of information--as well as a steady head and a strong stomach. This combination often means that seeking outside help makes the most sense. But how do you go about finding an investment manager that's the right "fit" for you?
First impressions are lasting. Front-line hourly employees are not. Before they've been on the job just six months, more than 50 percent are gone. Some were probably not a good fit for the job in the first place, but some productive, dependable, hard-to-replace employees bolt, too.