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Construction

Completing the construction and build-out of a new franchise location requires careful advance planning and dealing with landlords, local regulations, contractors and more, as does reimaging an existing location. Franchisors have specifications for each type of venue and footprint, from end-cap to malls to nontraditional sites such as airports or colleges. The permitting process can be lengthy but using a local expert can help.

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Red Mango
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Taking risks is a part of life for Greg Mooneyham. He is, after all, a former Air Force fighter pilot.
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  • 6,274 Reads 493 Shares
As a former Air Force fighter pilot, Greg Mooneyham is a natural risk-taker. But his decision to venture into the world of franchising in the fitness industry during an economic downturn was a calculated move to practice what he preached.
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After visiting with Guillermo Perales five years ago, perhaps the most pointed question to ask him today is, "What have you not been up to?"
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Michael Knobelock has always been in sales. As a 14-year-old growing up in Houston, he sold newspaper subscriptions and was a top salesman, earning between $400 and $500 a week in the 1970s.
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When we heard Frank Bonanno had been named 2012 Vetrepreneur of the Year by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association, we had to catch up with him to find out what else he's been up to since we last profiled him in this magazine 2 years ago (3rd quarter 2010).
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During the initial stages of an exit strategy engagement with our clients, we spend considerable time gaining a full understanding the client's business.
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Is anybody else as fed up as I am with hearing about how bad things are? Let's get on with it already and start focusing on what we can do to survive--and thrive--in the new reality.
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In 1996, Michael Ansley and his former college roommate asked their fathers for loans to buy their own franchise (Buffalo Wild Wings, then known as BW3) unit near Ann Arbor, Mich.
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Franchisors recognize the best performers in their system each year with a Franchisee of the Year award.
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When Greg Thomas decides whether to fix or ditch a financially troubled store, he typically thinks big
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Smart franchisees are always looking for ways to increase cash flow and reduce expenses.
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First Choice Business Brokers, Inc.
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When Michael Ansley was a teenager helping his father, a painter, with work at KFC and Wendy's restaurants in Springfield, Ohio, he soaked up both his father's entrepreneurial spirit and a basic knowledge of the food and franchising business.
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On the cusp of turning 30, Bryan Selden was looking to grow his business.
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Do your employees know what makes your company radically different from all of your competitors?
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For more than 20 years Rick Huffman and his two partners--Sam Catanese and Marc Williams--have been building things. They've developed shopping centers, hotels, apartment complexes, a large stock of affordable housing units, and Branson Landing, a $400 million mixed-use project in Branson, Mo.
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On the surface, franchise corporate executive appears to enjoy a comfortable, prestigious, and satisfying life. They often work in or head up a department brimming with resources and personnel, and the corporate perks aren't bad either. It's a life that can be seen in stark contrast to the often hardscrabble existence of the multi-unit franchisee who has borrowed money to open, invests sweat equity, and works long hours just to keep the business running and the cash flowing. Yet, despite this perceived contrast, some franchise executives chuck the corporate "good life" and set out into the franchisee frontier with their own set of hopes and dreams.
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When a franchise unit or organization runs into trouble, what does your franchisor do to help? Unfortunately, according to several multi-unit operators we spoke with, not much, not enough, nothing at all--and sometimes worse, demanding future royalty payments for closed units, or refusing to allow franchisees to shut or relocate distressed units.
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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.
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Cary Albert is sold on the value in unit economics. The Dallas, Texas-area multi-unit franchisee operates Schlotzsky's and Cinnabon locations and says there's no question his operation benefits from keeping an eye on unit performance numbers.
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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
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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.
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Executive Care
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So often, franchise tenants come to me stating that they are not profiting because their rent is too high. While this can be true, frequently the tenant has simply leased too many square feet.
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In the mid-1990s, when the stock market was on fire and Darrell Lamb spent most of his days on the phone in an unending quest for new investors, he had a chance to invest in an Express Oil Change franchise. Lamb had some great advisers to rely on. His uncle was president of the company and his dad, an Alabama optometrist with a keen interest in growing ventures, was an investor.
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As we examined last time, home-based franchising can be a great business model, but it's not for everyone. Working from home takes an organized self-starter who can get the job done despite what's going on around them. But for those who are self-motivated, can multi-task, and can balance working and living in their home, the benefits of a home-based franchise can add up to big success. The choices for home-based franchising are varied and wide - and seemingly growing more by the week. These days there are all kinds of home-based franchise opportunities. Just a few examples include home decorating, home repair, home cleaning, healthcare, as well as a number of pet services. Most of these home-based franchises typically require a lower investment and often offer a more specialized service than their retail and commercial kin.
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2009 was a difficult year for most franchisors, but 2010 is a new year and many franchisors are again looking to grow their businesses. Developing and implementing a "non-traditional" franchise program is one of several key growth vehicles that we will explore in our three part series.
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You've worked hard to build your multi-unit franchise business, and now it's time to step back--not only from the day-to-day operations, but perhaps from the business itself. Is it time to let go? Can you? Will the business continue without you?
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  • 4,602 Reads 178 Shares
Airport concessions may, at first glance, seem like a risky endeavor. Traffic has been steadily declining for a year - down nearly 12 percent in February 2009 when the FAA released its last traffic statistics - and the barrier to entry remains high. But consider the upside. The largest U.S airports host an average of 60 million passengers each year. Not one U.S. air carrier offers their coach passengers breakfast, lunch, or dinner service on domestic flights. Locations offering healthy, fresh, portable options are limited, yet travelers often have hours to wait for delayed flights, missed connections, or - in the best case scenario - a shorter than average security wait time.
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By now you probably understand that the franchising model can make many business start-up decisions quicker, easier, and more efficient. You've bought into the fact that you have a proven product, an effective system of distribution, and a regionally or nationally recognized brand, among other benefits. But when you're ready to sign on with a franchise company and open your store, they may assist you in the site selection process and maybe even lease negotiations, but you will most likely be required to handle land acquisition, construction, and building matters on your own. It's an important - and capital intensive - strategic issue and you want to do it right. Commercial real estate and property or land acquisition can be a complicated matter, but it doesn't have to be. Look for a real estate company or agent with a solid reputation and, preferably, one with experience in franchise operations and building. Work closely with them, seek their advice, and heed it.
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Joe Drury's personal history reads like a rags-to-riches movie script. Born in Canton, Ohio, he was on his own at 14 and "chose to survive," he says. "Everything I did, I attacked it like it was my last meal." He started out working in a Wendy's. He excelled and worked his way into the corporate office, where his mentor and "best friend," Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, taught him everything he knew about running a franchise and being a successful franchisee. He rose to vice president of operations at Wendy's, but left the company in the early 1990s to form the Carolina Restaurant Group, which bought 26 distressed Wendy's restaurants. By 2000, that number was up to 100 and sales had risen significantly.
  • Debbie Selinsky
  • 8,127 Reads 955 Shares
Jett Mehta knew early in his life that franchising would be a good fit for him. "I grew up in the business," says Mehta. "My dad is a Ponderosa franchisee and was the largest franchisee in the country at one point. He was investing in multi-family real estate and got into the restaurant business in the '80s. When I finished school I hooked up with him." It wasn't long before Mehta drew up some ambitious plans of his own. First came a motel deal, and then the food industry beckoned.
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  • 7,918 Reads 591 Shares
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