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The Economy

Minimum wage increases are threatening to erode profit margins and shake up the business model for many brands, but finding a sustainable solution is not easy. Michael Seid examines the situation from his seat on Connecticut's Low Wage Employer Advisory Board.
  • By Michael Seid
  • 1,632    58
Franchise finance is bursting – not busting – out all over, with a flurry of activity in financing, M&A activity, and IPOs.
  • By Eddy Goldberg
  • 6,211    81
A look at today's franchise candidates will reveal they are more sophisticated, better educated, and more technologically advanced than ever before. In addition, and even more so because of the economic downturn over the past few years and subsequent slow recovery, they are extremely cautious.
  • By Paul Segreto
  • 3,635    124
All franchisors are considering how to maintain or increase market share in the new normal. Nobody can deny that the Great Recession has created more and better real estate opportunities for those who can afford to exploit them, as well as a surplus of qualified operators, composed increasingly of women and minorities, without assets to operate. The number of opportunities appears to grossly overshadow any one franchisor's resources in terms of cash, personnel, and credit.
  • By Lane Fisher and F. Joseph Dunn
  • 4,269    134
Two years of tight credit and reduced consumer spending not only have left many franchisees reeling, they've also put a serious crimp in their franchisors' royalty streams. We asked workout professionals and bankruptcy attorneys experienced in franchising what franchisors can do to help turn around their distressed franchisees--without spending precious funds or getting themselves into legal hot water.
  • By Eddy Goldberg
  • 13,243    3,786
Franchisors seeking to grow in a tight credit environment and slow economy are turning to private equity to counter a slowdown in financing and cash flow. For struggling systems, capital "infusions" or outright acquisition by private equity firms can replace diminished royalties and franchise fees; for successful brands, this source of additional capital can be used to accelerate growth and provide a competitive advantage.
  • By Eddy Goldberg
  • 3,187    58
Access to capital is the number-one issue facing franchising in 2010. This isn't just an issue for new unit development--it is every bit as much of an issue for transfers. In both situations, franchisors have a large vested interest in ensuring that capital is there when a franchisee needs it.
  • By Darrell Johnson
  • 1,658    1
There are three essential areas of focus in a successful business: operations, sales, and financials. For the purpose of this discussion, let's assume you have a well-run operation and are doing as good a job as possible to maintain or increase sales. For most businesses, the easiest and most fun parts of the business are running it and having lots of happy and repeat customers.
  • By Jeff Newcorn
  • 3,680    33
Tracking unit economic performance effectively can take some doing. Generally, it involves 1) defining what constitutes comparable data across individual units, and 2) finding the right technology for recording and reporting it. Making it work requires not only strategizing and goal-setting at corporate, but also involvement and buy-in from franchisees - all in the name of improving system-wide profitability, one unit at a time.
  • Franchise Update
  • 3,637    62
Franchise development teams are trying to defy the seemingly insurmountable odds of today's economy by creatively ramping up their sales efforts. Tactics such as discounted franchise fees, reduced royalties, buy-back guarantees, and other incentives have been pouring onto the franchise marketplace in recent months. The innovative techniques seem to be getting results.
  • By Kerry Pipes
  • 4,811    204
Working to restart the economy's engine of job creation, President Obama announced Monday that the Treasury Department would invest as much as $15 billion to boost lending to credit-hungry small businesses.
  • Los Angeles Times
  • 1,774    0
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The daily flurry of bad economic and financial news recently has made it difficult to focus on time periods beyond weeks, days, or even hours. However, I'll try to put things in perspective for the franchise community and offer both a forecast and some suggestions on how we can make the best of 2009.
  • Darrell Johnson
  • 2,672    0
No matter what the economic environment, franchisors still must sell franchises if they are to grow and thrive. To do that, the majority of franchisees must be able to borrow. But with credit and lending frozen, nobody can borrow. So what's a franchisor to do?
  • By Eddy Goldberg
  • 3,547    5
The news reports that franchise lender GE Capital was halting new lending to potential restaurant franchisees was just another bit of bad news for operators feeling the fallout from the Wall Street meltdown.
  • Fast Casual
  • 2,042    3
Franchise companies, facing what many say is the toughest economic environment they've seen, are offering two-for-one deals, reduced fees and financing help to woo new buyers. They are also paying existing franchisees to help spread the word.
  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
  • 1,562    3
As I write this, uncertainty crashes all around us like a violent hurricane. Now is the time to bolster your sales and marketing plans and get ready for disaster business planning. Lehman Brothers went under, Merrill Lynch was picked up in a fire sale by Bank of America and AIG needed government assistance to stay afloat.
  • Entrepreneur.com
  • 1,966    4
As the economy slows, companies are being forced to make tough decisions such as cutting costs and even staff. These decisions can undermine your brand if you don't take steps to protect it.
  • SmartCompany.com.au
  • 1,493    1
As the credit crisis and the economic downturn begin to bite on Main Street America, restaurant row is in for a shake-up. For the first time in nearly two decades, the $550 billion restaurant industry has suffered stagnant sales this year, creating painful cash-flow problems for restaurateurs who can't get credit lines to cover investment and operating costs even as food and labor costs have risen sharply. That's made it harder for chains and independent eateries alike to upgrade equipment, hire new staff and renovate facilities. "The credit crisis is having a devastating effect on nearly every segment of the industry," says Aaron Allen, CEO of the Quantified Marketing Group, an international restaurant-consulting firm. "This is the death knell for a number of restaurant chains."
  • Time Magazine
  • 1,841    26
Franchisors say they are preparing for the inevitable economic downturn by cutting costs and reviewing spending, but argue they are better suited to survive than other small businesses.
  • SmartCompany.com.au
  • 1,530    10
While the federal government's Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008--better known as the "bailout"--has drawn a lot of controversy, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) lauds at least one measure included in the law as a "major victory" for the industry.
  • QSR MAGAZINE
  • 1,632    5
Franchise companies, facing what many say is the toughest economic environment they've seen, are offering two-for-one deals, reduced fees and financing help to woo new buyers. They are also paying existing franchisees to help spread the word.
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 1,579    0
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