Leads – A Never Ending Challenge For All Companies

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He explained that through his experience and the help of a little sonar gadget on his boat, that he knew there was a shoal of fish below. We all slung our rods over the side and dropped our lines.

Fishing for Leads – The 5 Steps
By: Peter Lawless

The first thing that I noticed when I got onto the small boat at the harbour in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo, was the cleanliness and order of the boat. The skipper in charge had all of the rods, upright, with their lines neatly tucked away, in holders. The holders were made out of piping, about 30cm long, which had been welded to the side of the boat.

A simple, inexpensive aid had made me sit up and pay attention. This skipper thought about his customers, and this device left a strong impression. We then got a very short lecture on safety, checked we had our life jackets on, and off we went. About 12 of us!

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Finding your target market
About 12 minutes later, the skipper stopped the boat, and told us we should find some mackerel here. He explained that the lures on the hooks looked just like what mackerel wanted to eat. It certainly was not something I would have fancied!

He explained that through his experience and the help of a little sonar gadget on his boat, that he knew there was a shoal of fish below. We all slung our rods over the side and dropped our lines.

Reeling in the sale
Now I don’t know about you, but this was totally new to me. I wound up the line frantically, as soon as I felt a tug, and hey presto, there were three fish dangling off the hooks. I started flailing about, one jumped off before I even got it in over the side, and when I was trying to reel it in the final bit I lost an other one. The one that I got in, I lost down the gutter when I finally got it off the hook.

The skipper explained to me, that once a fish took the bait, I should give a quick tug on the rod, to make sure it was firmly hooked. I should then take my time, to reel it in. Secure the rod in the holder, with the fish hanging over the bucket and deal with them one by one – I did, and I ended up with 20 fish, which delighted me, as I had set a target of 10, since my friend had caught 9 on his first time

So what are the lessons for marketing – if you are still with me, and have not already got most of them, here they are in business speak;
1. Set goals and targets that are realistic, and based on some valid foundation or research.
2. Have simple procedures set up, to make it easy to operate and for your customers to conduct business with you.
3. Speak in your prospects language, about what they want – it’s a bit like the fish bait, unlikely that strawberries and cream will catch many mackerel!
4. Once you know what your prospects like, find out where they are, do some research and target them accordingly – as in our example, not much point in putting down shark bait in a shoal of mackerel.
5. Once you get your customers attention, or have a lead, qualify it, and ensure you follow up at all time to close the sale. Again the use of a good sales process is essential here.

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The bottom line, if you know what problems or desires your customers have, and you can solve or fulfill these, while providing value for money, you will always be a winner.

And if you don’t know the answer to that question, go ask the people who have already bought from you – they do!

Author Bio
Business Owners who need more sales and better marketing advice, turn to Peter Lawless, of 3R Sales & Marketing. For previous articles and interviews like this, visit our website and subscribe to Success. We also provide free Sales & Marketing Assessments for Business Owners with an Irish Connection.

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After 16 Years, Family Owned Gofer Ice Cream Launches Franchise Program

Gofer Ice Cream Franchised Shop, Darien Connecticut

From traditional hard and soft ice cream to fat-free treats, and more recently expanding into plant-based ice cream products with the same promise of high quality for which the brand is known.

PRESS RELEASE
Beloved Connecticut based Ice Cream Company plans to expand in the Northeast

Stamford, Connecticut. Gofer Franchise Systems LLC. Today Gofer Ice Cream announced it has launched a program to offer Gofer Ice Cream Franchises throughout Connecticut immediately. The company is set to expand beyond the State in 2020.

Jay Ragusa, Gofer Ice Cream’s Founder, said: “We’ve been preparing for this day since we launched the brand in 2003. It has always been the plan to prove and perfect the concept and then replicate it through the franchise model. We’ve learned a lot over the years, and we feel we’re in a great position to help others own, operate, and prosper in their own business. Prospective franchisee partners can be confident in the Gofer Ice Cream Brand and system that we offer. The fact is that many concepts have come and gone, but we are here thriving and growing.”

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Gofer Ice Cream Franchised Shop, Darien Connecticut

The successful “Gofer” brand has been serving the Fairfield County Connecticut area for over seventeen seasons, through its current five locations, and it has become a local favorite for many. The concept of Gofer Ice Cream, which was founded by Jay Ragusa and his family, is to be the “home team” of ice cream places. In every town or city, the goal is for Gofer Ice Cream to become the center of the community, where family and friends can enjoy a high-quality frozen treat in a welcoming environment. The shops are simple, easy, and fun to operate. Also, Gofer Ice Cream Shops are built for a relatively low cost. Franchise Partners are already scooping smiles daily, and the goal is to bring this experience to more and more communities. Gofer Ice Cream offers a variety of frozen treats for the entire family. From traditional hard and soft ice cream to fat-free treats, and more recently expanding into plant-based ice cream products with the same promise of high quality for which the brand is known. In 2019 a new company, “Gofer Franchise Systems LLC,” was formed to focus on expanding via franchising the concept beyond Fairfield County.

It’s always a good day to…GOFER Ice Cream

For the past several months, in preparation for the franchise opportunity launch, the team has been working with Franchise Industry Veteran Gary Occhiogrosso of Franchise Growth Solutions. “Gary brings his experience in not only the Franchise Industry but specifically in the frozen dessert business. He has the deep knowledge and connections specifically needed at this point in our growth. With the addition of Franchise Growth Solutions to the team, we are working with the best in the business to make sure we do franchising right. An investment made by a Franchisee is, in many cases, a once and a lifetime decision, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.” commented Jay Ragusa.

Mr. Occhiogrosso has 30+ years of experience in franchise development and sales and was integral to the success of nationally recognized brands, including Ranch*1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, and brands found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

Occhiogrosso stated: “It’s a compelling franchise opportunity, the frozen dessert business continues to grow. People love ice cream. But more than merely the best cream, Gofer creates memories by delivering a family and community experience. With frozen treats to meet virtually every customer trend, whether Plant-Based, or Fat-Free or Soft Serve or our Premium Ice Cream, Gofer Ice Cream gives our Franchise Partners a unique competitive advantage in the Ice Cream business.”

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ABOUT GOFER ICE CREAM
Gofer Ice Cream provides premium hand-dipped and soft-serve ice cream, plant-based ice cream, fat-free Gofer Lite, Italian ice, smoothies, and Razzles, as well as ice cream products and novelties through five retail locations in Southern Fairfield County, Conn. Gofer opened its first store in Greenwich in 2003 and has since grown with both company and franchisee-owned shops also now open in Cos Cob, Stamford, Wilton, and Darien. The company is a multi-year award winner of “The Best of the Gold Coast,” a people’s choice award conducted through Moffly Media. Gofer Franchise Systems LLC awards franchises to operate under the Gofer Ice Cream brand.

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ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC
Franchise GrowthSolutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand concept and development, strategic planning, real estate and architectural development, vendor management, lead generation, and advertising, marketing, and PR including social media. Franchise Growth Solutions’ proven “Coach, Mentor & Grow®” system puts both franchisors and potential franchisees on the fast track to growth. Membership in Franchise Growth Solutions’ client portfolio is by recommendation only.

For more information, please contact Gary Occhiogrosso at 917.991.2465 or via email at [email protected]

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How to Achieve A Competitive Advantage With The Help of Key Customers and Suppliers

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The greatest barrier to successful collaboration is the conventional mindset of a combative relationship with suppliers. Negotiations are perceived as a zero-sum margin tug-of-war, with the relative power balance determining the result.

Achieving Competitive Advantage through Collaboration with Key Customers and Suppliers
By: Don Johnston

An Evolving Operational Focus
In the past when companies pondered corporate strategy, operations had been peripheral to the discussion. Operations were considered a technical matter with one way of doing things and therefore not, strategic. Strategy is about products, markets, and competitive advantage with divergent possibilities.

Operations were seen as a series of puzzles with single best solutions. The realization that optimization of parts did not optimize the whole led to new focus – operational management went up a level from looking at individual tasks to looking at whole processes. During the 1960s, Japanese manufactures obtained competitive advantage by optimizing operational efficiency, which meant lower prices, flexible production capabilities and a reduction in lead times. Operational considerations became a key theme in strategic discussions.

During the 1990s, companies like Dell took this further. The computer market was changing faster than any other market had done in history. Dell began managing operations by synchronizing functional activity into a single corporate heartbeat. An order instantly drove procurement, which drove production and then distribution. The result was a further drop in lead times, inventory requirements, and operating costs along with flexibility. Operational efficiency was Dell’s sole source of competitive advantage and it reaped enormous market share gains.

Collaboration – The Next Step
The historical trend is clear. The impact that one activity has on the next means they cannot be optimized in isolation. The result is that operations have become the key corporate strategic consideration. Yet the nature of competitive advantage is to elapse as competitors replicate it, which places a continual onus on companies to find new differentials. This begs the question – what next?

The answer lies in another step up in the way we view corporate operation. We need to look beyond the borders of the firm in our search for operational efficiency. Optimized company operations can only be achieved through alignment and coordination with the agents up and down stream. Collaboration with suppliers and customers is the essential vehicle of the 21st century for achieving competitive advantage from operations.

The benefits of Collaboration

1. Sharing demand signals
The first step to collaboration comes through information sharing. Across nearly all industries, companies play a guessing game (called forecasting) to estimate the products and quantities that their customers will demand across different markets. Even if a company gets it just right it still needs large inventory buffers to cope with demand variability, thus dramatically reducing its capital efficiency. It is imperative to compress lead times to meet demand rapidly and lessen these negative effects – this can negate the production-cost benefits of today’s off-shoring vogue in China. The butterfly’s wing effect on forecasting and ordering means the end demand signal gets wildly distorted as it echoes up the supply chain being reinterpreted and exaggerated at each turn. Inaccuracies are amplified at each stage, leaving suppliers facing high-stake production gambles.

The answer is simple – relaying end user demand signals and likely future order quantities to suppliers up the chain. This is the single biggest benefit of collaboration and it comes at virtually no cost reducing much of the variability from the forecasting calculation. A supplier’s response will be a much closer fit to market demand if information about likely order quantities is shared. Typically, inventory levels can be reduced by two thirds, service levels sky-rocket while lost revenues evaporate, and supply costs are cut by a quarter when demand information sharing is implemented correctly.

2. Efficiency through alignment
The next step is operational coordination. Working capital naturally collects at the borders of the firm. Finished Goods nearly always account for much more inventory than Work in Process, mainly because of the typical inadequacy in coordination between supply chain entities. Accounts receivable tend to be swelled by disputes and billing problems, which would be ironed out instantly if they were internal issues. Most companies currently allow working capital to accumulate at the point where their processes meet those of their customers and suppliers, which provides a great opportunity for freed cash flow and increased capital efficiency.

Costs can also be reduced dramatically through simple operational coordination between suppliers and customers. Systems, processes, and organizations can be joined up much more effectively to eliminate unnecessary duplication and increase the through-put and flexibility of both supplier and customer organizations.

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The interfaces of goods delivery/goods-receipt, invoicing/invoice-processing and collection/payment all exhibit the same misalignment and duplication. The painstaking effort spent on internal efficiency is negated by a clumsy operational weld between suppliers and customers. Functions get managed to performance metrics, which encourage activity that runs, counter to the efficiency of the organization, let alone the total supply mechanism. Firms should optimise their impact on their key customers’ total cost of supply. Configuring and managing the organization to better align with key customers and suppliers facilitates a more fluid transfer of goods, cash and information up and down the supply chain. This provides a win/win of capital and cost reduction at the same time as enhanced revenue levers for all organizations involved.

3. Joint exploration of strategic options
The final step is a strategic coordination-unlocking new market development and product development possibilities based on co-exploring avenues to competitive advantage. This is only attainable once trust has been built through information share and some steps in operational integration. With the foundation of operational collaboration set, customers and suppliers can combine in entering new markets, coordinated off-shoring and shared selected R&D to explore exciting product development opportunities and condense launch times.

Overcoming the Zero Sum Mindset
The greatest barrier to successful collaboration is the conventional mindset of a combative relationship with suppliers. Negotiations are perceived as a zero-sum margin tug-of-war, with the relative power balance determining the result. This precludes a focus on win-win value driving activity. Suppliers and customers end up perpetually wasting and reworking because they see opening a constructive dialogue as weakness or even as surrender. Many executives fear a loss of flexibility through higher switching costs from greater collaboration. The truth is that most firms’ key supplier base has not changed dramatically over the last 2 years, so collaborative activity would have been massively beneficial as the payback period can be. Still, this does not irreversibly affix firms together – competitive pressures still work to drive down prices and provide the incentive to offer the best value.

Another fear is that companies would give away their competitive advantage to customers or suppliers if they collaborate. The reality is that core competencies do not vanish through sharing demand information, or through bridging operational rifts. The reason that there are few truly vertically integrated industries is testament to this – core competencies dilute and effective organization is impossible over too lengthy a chain. Such anxiety may be unfounded, but the fear is real and debilitating. This is why companies should commit progressively and in parallel, reaching a point acceptable to both parties; from information share, to operational alignment, through to symbiotic strategic planning. As a further development, (depending on the concentration of the end user markets for a product), a company can then extend its collaborative relationships further up and down the supply chain to suppliers’ suppliers, customers’ customers and beyond.

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As with preceding operational evolutions, collaboration will doubtless be pioneered by some companies and shunned by others. Far from the micro/technical operational thinking of the past, collaboration offers a strategic perspective, divergent options and colossal profit, and capital efficiency benefits. Until it becomes universally adopted, collaboration is the most promising source of competitive advantage from operations available today.

Author Bio
Don Johnston is a consultant with the REL Consultancy Group www.relconsult.com – REL’s financial consulting services are all about generating improvements in cashflow. As experts in working capital management REL has been associated with some of the world’s most successful companies for over 30 years, focusing on all of the three key areas of payables, receivables, and inventory.

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Organizational Tips To Keep A Small Business Pointed Towards Success

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I firmly believe that the healthiest small business is the one that visits and reviews their organizational systems every six to twelve months. The small business that keeps doing the “same old, same old” is losing money. So where do you stand?

Being Organized Equals Small Business Success
By: Patty Kreamer

You started your own business because you have a burning passion for what you do. You are also – we hope — good what you do and have a desire to help others. Little do you know that running a business includes, well…running a business. This little bombshell can throw many a new business owner for a loop.

I receive numerous phone calls every week asking me how to start a business as a professional organizer. The first thing I say is that the organizing part is easy because it is a natural gift (sometimes a curse); it’s running the business that can trap you. This is not to scare a potential entrepreneur away, but to help them realize that it’s not all fun and games doing what you do best. You have to:

* Buy insurance
* Get legal advice on how to set up your business
* File for the company name with the state
* Find working capital if necessary
* File all the proper tax forms
* Open up a checking account
* Get office supplies
* Market the business
* Build a network
* And the list goes on and on…

In the initial start-up stage, entrepreneurs are often so excited about starting a new business that they pay little or no attention to what is happening with all the paperwork and electronic data you are generating. That is typical and expected. However, around the six to twelve month mark, entrepreneurs start calling people like me – a professional organizer – begging for help in setting up a system to help them be organized. I envision a hand protruding from mounds of papers reaching for help.

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The sad news is that many small businesses have never taken the time to set up systems once they’ve built up paper and electronic backlogs. They just keep generating documents without stopping to assess what is being created.

I firmly believe that the healthiest small business is the one that visits and reviews their organizational systems every six to twelve months. The small business that keeps doing the “same old, same old” is losing money. So where do you stand?

Something that has really hit home in the past year or so is that you don’t GET organized and have long lasting success. You have to BE organized. Getting organized is a quick fix of cleaning up and putting things away – usually a Band-aid (r) approach – that doesn’t last for more than a few days.

Being organized is recognizing that organization is an ongoing journey. Life doesn’t stop happening the minute you GET organized. You have to have systems in place that will help the daily flow; a lack of systems will cause clogs. These clogs come in many forms:

* Piles of papers
* Lost documents
* Misplaced items – glasses, phone, pens, keys
* Running late
* Stress and frustration…

You get the picture.

When it becomes clear to you that you are running through your day feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing, you may need to reassess your organizational skills and systems.

Your small business must overcome many hurdles to be successful. Fortunately, being organized is one hurdle that you can learn to overcome. Or you can work with a professional organizer to set up customized systems that make you functional, productive, and more pleasant to be around.

I challenge you take a deep look at the state of your small business’ organization. If you see your passion being overrun by disorganization, it’s time to take some action.

Here’s to simplifying your life!

Author Bio
Patty Kreamer, owner of Kreamer Connect, Inc., is a professional organizer, speaker, and author of the Making Life Simple… Again! e-course available at http://www.ByeByeClutter.com/MLSAHome.htm. If your business or organization is looking for a fun, dynamic, and effective speaker, you can email Patty at [email protected] or call her at 412-344-3252.

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How To Start Your Own Daycare Center And Be Your Own Boss

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When you first decide to open up your own daycare, you need to check with your state and government agencies to find out what rules and regulations you need to follow. For example, you are only allowed to have a certain number of children per square foot of space your building has, so you need to know this right off the bat.

Start Your Own Daycare Center- Be Your Own Boss
By: Susan Anderson

Many people are now looking for ways to get out of today’s corporate business world, and to become their own boss. One way that some have been successful is by opening up and running their own day care center. More moms than ever before now have to return to work after their baby is born. Few families are able to make ends meet on one income. So, why not start your own center that caters to these busy moms, and open up a loving and safe place where they can leave their young babes and go to work knowing that will be well cared for?

When you first decide to open up your own daycare, you need to check with your state and government agencies to find out what rules and regulations you need to follow. For example, you are only allowed to have a certain number of children per square foot of space your building has, so you need to know this right off the bat. You will need to locate a site that is large enough to house the number of children that you plan to care for. Many have been successful with purchasing actual homes, and making any needed renovations. You may also have some luck with your local churches or city organizations, either with locating a space, or possibly leasing space from them. It is crucial that you pay attention to all of the zooming rules in your area, so you don’t rent a place, then find out you are not allowed to run a business out of it. It does take quite a bit of overhead to open up your own center, a lot of which goes into getting the location you need.

You will need to try and locate funds to get everything you need. Develop a business plan, and set it before your local Chamber of Commerce, local churches, and businesses. If you have a sound plan, and they feel that the community needs your center, they may help you with funding your endeavor. You may also look into getting a business grant from the government, as this would save you from having to make large payments before your business ever gets off the ground. You can find additional resources online or at your local library that should be able to help you with locating funding, other than taking out a bank loan. If all else fails, then try to get a business loan, but there are better resources available to you, you just have to know where to find them at. If you have an empty store in your area, this may be the ideal place for your daycare center. You may have to do some work to the inside to make it meet your needs, but you should be able to rent it at a reasonable price, especially if it has been vacant for a while. This would also give you the advantage of having a good location, as it would probably in a highly trafficked area of your town, which would be convenient for your clients.

Once you have pretty much gotten everything down as far as laws and your location taken care of, you will need to advertise your new center. One of the best ways to do this, especially if you are on a busy street, is to have a nice sign up that states your business name and that you are accepting children. You will also want to let people know the hours your center will be open, and what days of the week, and most importantly, have a contact number shown. If you can’t get all of this information on your sign, at least have your business name, hours, and phone number, then potential customers can call you for more information. You may also want to drop off fliers at your local pediatrician’s offices, schools (get permission first), or maybe run an ad over your local radio station or newspaper. If you don’t let people know what you are offering, and get the word out, how can you expect to have clients?

Another major decision to make is choosing what hours your day center will be open. If you really want to make an impact, I would recommend being open outside of the normal business hours, maybe opening at 5 or 6 am, and staying open until around 7pm. This would help you get clients that many other daycares are unable to cater to, giving you more customers. Keep in mind, that you will most likely need to provide meals, so if you are open the above hours, you will probably be serving three meals a day. You will want to make sure you remember that when you determine what the cost per child will be. Remember that you also will need to provide at least two healthy snacks a day. Let your parents know what you will be offering, so they will know what they are paying for.

Children tend to do best when they have set routines, so you will need to make a basic daily plan, and give your teachers and parents a copy. It is important that you plan the day according to the age range of the children. Include in a rest or nap time, or two for the younger ones. You will also want to have some learning activities, arts and crafts, outside time, free play time, and story time. If you will be accepting children that are working on toilet training, you will need to set aside specific time slots in the day to be potty time as well.

When you know how many children you will have, and what their ages will be, check your local rules and federal laws to find out how many teachers you need. Depending on the children’s ages, you need one teacher for every so many kids. When hiring your teachers, look for moms or young adults that have taken some early childhood education courses. You want to try to get certified teachers, if possible, to ensure that you not only have a caring center, but one that offers learning opportunities as well. If you can fit it in your budget, it is also a good idea to have some kitchen staff, maintenance people, and possibly even a nurse or CNA on staff in case of emergencies.

All parents will need to fill out medical forms for their children, letting you know their history and of any known conditions or allergies. You will need a release to seek treatment form, the child’s insurance information, contact numbers for the parents in case of emergencies, and contact info for the child’s doctor. It is important to be prepared in advance, in case any emergency situation did arise.

Your center will need to have a designated outside play area, equipped with safe, sturdy toys for the children to play with. This are should be fenced in with locked gates to protect the children. You will want to have swings, sandboxes, slides, any kind of outside equipment you wish, as long as it is safe, and age appropriate.

Stock the individual rooms with toys, books, games, televisions, educational movies, maybe a computer or two for the older children, anything that you wish to have on hand for the teachers and children to use. You will need to have an eating area in each room, and a place for naptime, diaper changes, etc.


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When dealing with parents and financial issues, you will be better off asking them to pay the month or week in advance. By having them pay ahead, you aren’t dependent on them for the funds to buy needed supplies, or pay teachers, and don’t have to worry about losing children due to non-payment. A lot of daycare centers have to close because they financially cannot make ends meet, usually due to parents not being able to pay them when payment is due. Let parents know that you need them to pay in advance so that you have sure funds to use to care for their children with.

You may want to run the center yourself for the first little bit, to keep costs down, and to ensure that everything is running as you want it to. Eventually, when profits rise, and everything is going well, you may want to hire a manager to oversee the day to day running of the center for you. They would be responsible for hiring teachers, taking care of new customers, purchasing supplies, planning lesson plans, meals, etc. You basically would sign the checks, and still make all of the major decisions, but would free to pursue other endeavors if you wish.

Every community could benefit from a well-run daycare center, and with a little patience, and effort you could be the one to give it to them. Just make sure that you follow all of your local, state, and federal laws regarding childcare centers, and that the safety of your children is your number one concern. Everything else will pretty much fall into place over time.

Author Bio
Susan Anderson enjoys writing articles for families and consumers which are informative and adds value to their lives.

For more information on how to create a great monthly income by opening your own daycare center, visit www.nipty.com/daycare

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The Sale of Jimmy John’s Is Now A Done Deal

Back in August of this year, the brand’s image was tarnished when there was pushback on various social media platforms over Liautaud’s photos revealing the avid hunter with a leopard and an elephant that he had killed.

Jimmy John’s Sale To Inspire Brands Now Complete

Recently Atlanta based Inspire Brands announced that it had completed the acquisition of Jimmy John’s. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Inspire Brands lineup now includes QSR brands such as Rusty Taco, Arby’s, and Sonic as well as full-service, casual restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings. Back in 2016, Roark Capital, the private equity firm that owns Inspire Brands, had purchased a majority stake in Jimmy John’s. The final phase of this acquisition of Jimmy John’s based in Champaign, Illinois, was first announced back in September.

Paul Brown, Inspire CEO, said: “We are excited to officially welcome Jimmy John’s to our growing family of brands.” “The team members and franchisees at Jimmy John’s should be incredibly proud of the company they’ve helped create, and we look forward to building on their success as we continue to drive innovation and long-term growth at Jimmy John’s.”

Reporting to Brown is James North, who has been named President of the Jimmy John’s. North commented, “Our guests, team members, and franchisees will benefit greatly from Inspire’s significant scale and investments in industry-leading capabilities, and we look forward to working alongside the Inspire team to fuel future growth for the Jimmy John’s brand.”

Some Would Say “A Needed Change”

Jimmy John’s was founded in 1983 and has 2,800 locations in 43 states. Jimmy John’s founder and Chairman Jimmy John Liautaud will become an adviser to Inspire’s board. Back in August of this year, the brand’s image was tarnished when there was pushback on various social media platforms over Liautaud’s photos revealing the avid hunter with a leopard and an elephant that he had killed. Numerous social media posts with the hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns were calling for a boycott of the restaurant chain when the photos were exposed.

Sizing It Up

As part of the Inspire portfolio of restaurant brands, the company can now boast of being the fourth largest restaurant company in the United States with more than 11,000 units. The transaction enlarges Inspire’s portfolio to over 14 Billion in annual sales.

PRESS RELEASE – Franchise YoungConference Debuts in Miami Nov. 4-5, 2019

The venue for the first YoungConference event – The Confidante Hotel – mirrors the same young and refreshing theme as the conference’s topics and faces. Located between hot South Beach and Miami’s hip art districts, The Confidante Hotel is a playful celebration of its retro-glam roots.

Franchise YoungConference Debuts in Miami Nov. 4-5, 2019
PRESS RELEASE

MIAMI, Oct. 26, 2019 /Franchisemoneymaker.com/ — Franchise YoungConference – an exclusive, new event series designed to propel franchises through the digital age – will launch in Miami on Nov. 4. Born as a movement by and for young or young-minded franchise professionals, YoungConference will focus on topics such as how to use virtual reality, artificial intelligence’s effect on the industry and new approaches to social media and influencer marketing.

More Knowledge
“Participants at the conference will walk away better equipped to navigate today’s digital market and be able to apply the innovations they learn to progress their consumer and franchise recruitment marketing, as well as operations,” said Zack Fishman, co-founder of Franchise YoungConference and Director of Innovation at Fishman Public Relations. “We’re creating an environment where younger franchise professionals have the platform to share innovative ideas and technologies among peers and learn how to implement them in their respective businesses.”

The venue for the first YoungConference event – The Confidante Hotel – mirrors the same young and refreshing theme as the conference’s topics and faces. Located between hot South Beach and Miami’s hip art districts, The Confidante Hotel is a playful celebration of its retro-glam roots.

Welcome the New Generation of Franchising
“The takeaways and experience at YoungConference will be unlike any other franchising event. It’ll spark creatively we’ve never seen before,” said Brad Fishman, CEO of Fishman Public Relations. “It’s time for us seasoned professionals in franchising to not only welcome the younger generation’s ideas and knowledge, but it’s pivotal to the future success of our industry.”

“People are asking how young attendees need to be. I say we’re not checking IDs at the door, and all young-minded are welcome, anyone with fresh ideas,” said Zack Fishman. “You’re the right age if you want to be part of the next generation of franchise greats.”

About Franchise YoungConference:

As its inaugural conference commences in Miami on Nov. 4, YoungConference is the first event series for today’s young franchising generation. With more annual events planned across multiple cities in the pipeline, YoungConference is developing into the place where new leaders will seed innovative franchising growth ideas for decades to come. Rather than be left behind, franchise executive teams, owners and employees will fold into the ongoing events to stay relevant and advance business practices. As technology is exponentially growing, YoungConference provides the platform for “rising star” franchise leaders to spark creative thought, as this generation will move the needle for what’s next and create what’s on the horizon. To learn more about Franchise YoungConference, visit https://franchiseyoungconference.com/.

Media Contact: Matt Siegler, Fishman Public Relations, [email protected] or 847.945.1300

Convert Your Licensed System To A Franchised System

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Although the liability potential is very real, if approached properly there are methods for mitigating licensing liability and for converting your license system to a franchise. It may take some time but it is definitely achievable. Also, an honest and direct approach with state franchise regulators will prove beneficial in the long run.
Convert Your License System to a Franchise System

By Charles N. Internicola, Esq.
Legal Counsel and Franchise Consulting

If your business has established a network of licensees who signed license agreements and who are selling products or services under your trademark or brand then chances are you have given some thought to franchising, whether or not your license system may really be a franchise and whether or not, legally, you need to convert your license system to a franchise system. This issue comes up often and, for a number of reasons, many successful and very well intentioned entrepreneurs (including those who followed and relied on the advice of their legal counsel) have found themselves exposed to franchise liability through the license agreements and license structure that they previously adopted.

If this is your situation then the next step is to evaluate your potential franchise liability, determine whether or not your license is or may be claimed to be a franchise and to then determine the right path forward in protecting your business, maintaining an avenue for continued growth and potentially converting your licensing system to a franchise. The good news is that this issue comes up often and, if approached correctly, is completely manageable and bin the long run can be extremely beneficial for your business.

How the Problem Typically Arises: “It Just Made Sense to Start off as a License”
For many unsuspecting entrepreneurs and their lawyers, licensing is a natural outgrowth of a successful business. You establish a profitable business, your have a great brand, products and services and people take notice. You want to expand and so you start by granting simple license agreements. Your licensees buy products or services from you, they expand your business by establishing new operating units, locations or dealerships using your brand and everything seems to work well. The reason you may have utilized a licensing model was because it just made sense and was a workable system as you grew. Another reason may be that you adopted a licensing structure legal advice or a mistaken belief that you could somehow could adopt licensing as an alternative to franchising.

Is Your License System Really a Franchise?
Chances are that it is. The reason why is because within every franchise is a license where the franchisor “licenses” to its franchisees the right for the franchisees to utilize the franchisor’s trademarks and brand. When evaluating whether or not a legal relationship transcends the line from simple license to regulated franchise, state regulators ignore terms and terminology like “license”, “licensee” and “licensor” and look to the substance of the relationship and whether or not: a license has been issued for use of the trademark licensee is operating an outlet or location in accordance with the licensor’s standards and specifications, and; whether or not there is payment of a fee. Much more often than not state regulators will find that claimed license relationships are really disguised franchise relationships and are subject to franchise regulation.

GET THE GUIDE: For complete detail about whether or not your license system is really a franchise and the tools and information that you can use in making this evaluation, download a fee copy of our extremely helpful guide Licensing verses Franchising.

When Does this Licensing verses Franchising Issue Typically Arise?
Consider than many improperly structured license systems (i.e., where the license system is really a franchise) operate without an issue ever being raised. That is, licensees are satisfied and there are no legal disputes, licensees do not complain to a state regulator and the state regulators themselves don’t contact you. Even if this is the case, the problem is that you may very well be exposed to future liability and your licensee issue may be a “ticking time bomb” only to rise up later on as your system gets larger and larger or during third-party due diligence during an acquisition. Typically this issue arises where:

Dispute with a Licensee – You have a dispute with a licensee and during the course of the dispute the licensee consults with a lawyer and the lawyer claims that your entire license agreement is an unauthorized franchise and that the licensee has been harmed because you did not properly disclose him or her with a Franchise Disclosure Document. Basically, whether you have been right or wrong, the licensee and his or her attorney use this as leverage over you.
Licensee or a Competitor Files a Complaint with a State Regulator – If or your licensee is located in a franchise registration state or a state that actively regulates franchising, if a licensee or, even, a competitor, files a complaint with the state regulator they could trigger an investigation. That is, the state regulator will make inquiries about your license agreements and may determine that your license agreements constitute franchises and that you have violated the state franchise laws.
Due Diligence During an Acquisition – A third party is interested in buying your business and during the pre-acquisition due diligence process the potential acquiring company and their lawyers raise an issue about your license system and whether or not your license agreements are even enforceable.

What’s the Potential Legal Exposure?
If you sell licenses that turn out to have met the criteria of a franchise then you will have violated the franchise laws. The violation is an extremely technical one (i.e., your license is really a franchise, you did not satisfy franchise disclosures mandated by the franchise laws and therefore you have sold illegal franchises) that creates substantive legal and business issues. Basically, your license agreements become unenforceable by you but your licensees may nevertheless enforce the license agreement plus other rights that will be afforded to them under the franchise laws. Your licensees will be afforded the opportunity to rescind their license agreements and seek damages, including reimbursement for their business expenditures.

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Click Here to Learn about Franchising Your Business

Although the liability potential is very real, if approached properly there are methods for mitigating licensing liability and for converting your license system to a franchise. It may take some time but it is definitely achievable. Also, an honest and direct approach with state franchise regulators will prove beneficial in the long run.

What Are The Next Steps
The next step or steps has more to do with your business and the facts surrounding your licensing system. Before jumping any gun, the first step is to evaluate your existing license agreement and licensing structure to determine if your license system has even transcended the line into franchising territory. If it has, then the next steps will involve an assessment of your current licensee relationships, whether or not you are involved in litigation or threatened litigation with a licensee and whether or not you have been contacted by a state regulator inquiring about your licenses.

Are You Being Proactive? – If things are going well and there are no current legal issues (i.e., licensees are not threatening you and you have not received a regulatory notice from a state claiming that you are illegally selling franchises) then the next step is to evaluate your license system, whether or not your license is really a franchise and, if it is a franchise, to implement an effective plan to convert your license system to a franchise system.
Has There Been a Legal Threat? – If a licensee has threatened you or a state regulator has sent you a notice claiming that you are selling illegal franchises then your next steps needs to be accelerated with a focus on mitigating potential licensee claims and addressing state regulators.
The positive news is that if you are dealing with a licensing problem, there are extremely realistic and achievable goals that can be reached in successfully converting your license system to a franchise system and resolving regulatory issues involving claimed franchise violations. The solution may take some time but it is achievable.

Services for Converting Your License System to a Franchise
We have worked with many successful entrepreneurs who, like you, were faced with the need to evaluate their existing license system, convert their license system to a franchise, address licensee legal claims and resolve state regulatory claims.

Our Licensing Evaluation and Franchise Conversion Services
Evaluating and Assessing Existing License Agreements
We will evaluate your existing licensing structure, including your license agreements and other related agreements like licensee training agreements and other agreements involving the licensees sale of products and services. We will provide you with a confidential assessment regarding your licensing structure that will include, if available, recommended modifications to the licensing structure and recommendations for potential conversion to a franchise system. Our review will include evaluation of the applicable franchise laws and regulations in your state and the states where your licensees are located.

Litigation Defense and Responses to Regulators
If a dispute has arisen with a licensee claiming an illegal franchise or franchise violations, we offer litigation services focused on defending your systems against franchise violations. If you already have legal counsel we will work with them on an as needed basis. If you have received a notice from a state regulator either requesting information about your system or claiming that your license is an illegal franchise then on your behalf we will work with the state regulator in resolving the claim.

Convert Your License System to a Franchise System
We successfully convert license systems into franchise systems. Our services not only include a complete franchise development process but also includes a strategic plan that we implement to convert licensees to franchisees, achieve state franchise registrations (even in states that claim you illegally sold franchises) and resolve state regulator claims through negotiated agreements that are commonly referred to “Assurances of Discontinuance”.

Our franchise conversion services are focused on preserving and protecting the existing business and network that you have already built and laying the foundation for continued expansion and growth.

About The Internicola Law Firm, P.C.
The Internicola Law Firm, P.C., helps emerging brands get the legal support they need, resources for growth, and strategies to win at franchising.
At The Internicola Law Firm, P.C., we believe all emerging brands can win big at franchising.
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About the Author:
Charles Internicola – National Business and Franchise Lawyer
The Internicola Law Firm, P.C.
New York, New Jersey and Nationwide Representation
(718) 979-8688

The managing partner and founder of The Internicola Law Firm, PC, Charles is a seasoned business attorney who has worked with and guided his clients at every stage of the business development cycle from start-up, regional expansion, franchised expansion, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property protection and high-stakes litigation. Charles serves as outside and general counsel to a number of franchise, manufacturing and service based businesses throughout the nation where Charles and his team coordinate, monitor and manage all aspects of his clients’ legal matters, regulatory obligations and legal programs for the expansion and protection of their businesses.

Are Meatless Burgers All Sizzle And No Steak?

DAVE & BUSTER’S INTRODUCES LIGHTLIFE MEATLESS BURGER – WHERE DOES MEATLESS TREND STAND?
BEYOND MEAT, Impossible Burger, LIGHTLIFE BURGER


By Roger Lipton

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have gotten most of the attention with their meatless burgers while large companies such as Tyson Foods are no doubt working feverishly to complete their competitive product development. The latest announcement in this area , today, is that Dave & Buster’s has introduced their Lightlife Burger, a plant based product with which we were admittedly not familiar. We wrote an article back on June 4th, provided at the end of this update. At that point, Beyond Meat stock (BYND) had more than quadrupled in the five weeks following its IPO at $25.00 per share. A lot has happened since June 4th. Burger King rolled out The Impossible Burger systemwide, Tim Horton tested it in Canada and has pulled it back, for whatever combination of reasons. McDonald’s announced on 9/27 that they are going to test a Beyond Meat product in Canada. A number of other public chains have introduced meatless beef and chicken products.

Beyond Meat stock (BYND) went from 104 when we wrote on June 4th to a high above $230 by the end of July, retreated steadily to $135 by the end of September, spiked briefly twenty points on the McDonald’s announcement at the end of September, and has slipped steadily to a new low of $118 today. At $118, the enterprise value is still $7.2 billion. According to Bloomberg, sales are projected at $261M in 2019 and $415M in 2020. EPS is projected at a loss of $0.26 of 2019 and a profit of $0.23 in 2020. I’ll make it easy for you. The stock is selling at over FIVE HUNDRED TIMES 2020 projected earnings per share.

Back to the Lightlife Burger: The nutritional content is about the same as the Impossible and Beyond Meat products. The calorie counts, compared to a regular burger are about the same, the fat content is about the same, there is no cholesterol (that’s good), the sodium content , at 540mg is more than five times that of a regular burger (that’s bad) and even more than the 400 mg of Impossible and Beyond. We called Dave & Buster’s (at Palisades Center) and they are charging $16.99 for the Lightlife product (with fries no doubt) versus $13.99 for the normal burger platter. That’s a 21 percent premium, an obviously material detriment. This is in our opinion, far from a game changer (no pun intended) for Dave & Buster’s.

The largest QSR exposure of the Impossible Burger has been at Burger King over the last several months. Prior to the systemwide rollout in August, BK stated that traffic was up 18.5% in a 29 day test in St.Louis. We can assure you that nothing like that is happening since the product has been rolled out systemwide, or management of Restaurant Brands stock would have let us know. Our guess is that BK comp sales are running no more than a couple of points better than prior trends.

In short: we stand by our previous conclusion, hereby restated. Our complete discussion of June 4th is provided below.

CONCLUSION – copied from 6/4/19

The unanswered question is: how large is the demand, at restaurants, for a product that costs more, has the same calorie count and fat content, has a lot more sodium (which creates high blood pressure), but has no cholesterol and contains useful elements such as Thiamin (which helps with nerve, muscle and heart function), B12 (helps with fatigue) and Zinc (for prostate health)?

We do not expect the introduction of meatless products to restaurant menus to improve sales in any meaningful way. The new meatless products taste fine, by all reports, but we haven’t heard anyone say that they taste “better”, and help to justify a higher price. The long term health benefits as described just above are too subtle for most restaurant customers to care much about. Just look at the size, and the nutritional values, of the portions at Cheesecake Factory, Cracker Barrel, and almost everyone else. This, too, in terms of stock market excitement and restaurant industry focus, shall pass.

ENTIRE ARTICLE – AS OF 6/4/19

THE “IMPOSSIBLE BURGER” – HOW WILL IT IMPACT THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY?

We have all been reading, for weeks now, about the huge potential for meatless food products. Beyond Meats (BYND) came public five weeks ago (5/1/19) at $25.00 per share and has gone up a cool four times in value. The total market value of BYND is about $6 billion, and the company is expected to generate (according to Bloomberg) $205M of sales in 2019 (up from $88M in 2018), then $335M in 2020. Profits are nonexistent, having lost $4.56/share in 2018, still expected to lose $0.40/share in 2019, then lose $0.18 in 2020. Safe to say that BYND common stock is trading several years ahead of the fundamentals. This is not unusual, however, when rapidly growing companies have caught investors’ fancy.

The other prominent supplier of plant based meat products is Impossible Foods, which has introduced a variety of products, including the widely promoted Impossible Burger. Impossible Foods is privately held, so we don’t know what their revenues and profits look like, but they recently raised $300 million and have reportedly raised a total approximating $750 million since the founding in 2011.

There have been couple of noteworthy announcements from public companies relating to meatless products. (1) A small company called Chanticleer Holdings (BURG), which operates several burger based concepts, announced on 5/8 (a week after BYND came public) a partnership with BYND, where Beyond Meat burgers will be offered at Chanticleer various brands. That day, May 8th, BURG stock ran from about $1.48/share to almost $3.00 per share, with almost 15 million shares trading. It closed that day at $1.94 and has drifted lower ever since to an all time low around $1.00 per share. (2) Restaurant Brands (QSR) announced on April 1st that their 59 Burger King restaurants in and around St.Louis were going to start serving the Impossible Burger. After reporting that the St.Louis test generated an 18% traffic gain in April, QSR announced on May 14th that they were introducing the Impossible Burger into three new markets, Miami FL, Columbus GA and Montgomery AL. While noone is suggesting that an 18% gain in traffic is to be expected, BMO analyst Peter Sklar wrote on 5/22 that Burger King’s same store sales could be increased by 450 basis points with a national rollout by yearend. For what it’s worth, QSR stock was trading around $65 on April 1st (with the first announcement), around $67 in mid May when the additional three markets was announced, at about $68 when BMO provided their expectation, and at about $65. today. To be sure, there are a lot of moving parts at QSR, other than Burger King, and apparently Tim Horton’s is not doing as well as expected right now. Again, for whatever its worth, and for whatever combination of reasons, CEO, Jose Cil sold $8.7M of his shares on May 28th, at $68.28 per share, about 17 percent of his holdings. This would probably not imply that the Impossible Burger was going to shake (or shock) the world at Burger King.

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THE MARKETPLACE VERDICT

Aside from the skyrocketing stock price of Beyond Meats, the marketplace verdict relative to Restaurant Brands and Chanticleer Holdings (an admittedly very small sample) is that the Impossible Burger is not a game changer. One obvious reason is that no single restaurant company will have an exclusive on meatless burgers. In fact: White Castle, TGI Fridays, Del Taco Restaurants, Carl’s Jr. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers have all introduced Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods products over the past 18 months. We haven’t heard shockingly good sales or traffic numbers from any of these chains. If there is substantial long term demand, everyone will offer it and noone will have a competitive edge.

OUR LONGER TERM VIEW

It is unclear how many new customers will choose one restaurant over another based on a meatless alternative. It is already clear that the cost of goods per unit for the meatless product is higher, so the menu price will be higher as well. It is unclear to us how many consumers are prepared to pay more, especially when (1) the calorie count is the virtually the same and (2) the fat content is approximately the same. We will detail shortly more specifics about nutritional comparisons, but we believe that calorie count and fat content are the two nutritional elements that customers will care about, if they care at all. We have our doubts about how well educated, relative to nutritional considerations, the consuming public is. The average American is twenty five pounds heavier over the last thirty years, and there is a monstrous amount of fried chicken, french fried potatoes, and cheesecake consumed. Also, we are not aware that the addition of calorie counts to menus has changed consumer menu choices. Before we wrap up this discussion, here are more nutritional comparisons of the two products.

A quarter pound beef patty has 260 calories, the Impossible Burger 240. A patty has 22g grams of fat, the IB also 22g. A patty as 94 mg of cholesterol, an IB zero. A patty has 89mg of sodium (4% of the Daily Value), an IB has 370mg (16% DV)(not so good). A patty has no Thiamin, and the IB has 2350% of the DV (that’s good). A patty has no B12 and an IB has 130% of the DV (that’s good). A patty has no Zinc and the IB has 50% of the DV (that’s good).

CONCLUSION

The unanswered question is: how large is the demand, at restaurants, for a product that costs more, has the same calorie count and fat content, has a lot more sodium (which creates high blood pressure), but has no cholesterol and contains useful elements such as Thiamin (which helps with nerve, muscle and heart function), B12 (helps with fatigue) and Zinc (for prostate health)?

We do not expect the introduction of meatless products to restaurant menus to improve sales in any meaningful way. The new meatless products taste fine, by all reports, but we haven’t heard anyone say that they taste “better”, and help to justify a higher price. The long term health benefits as described just above are too subtle for most restaurant customers to care much about. Just look at the size, and the nutritional values, of the portions at Cheesecake Factory, Cracker Barrel, and almost everyone else. This, too, in terms of stock market excitement and restaurant industry focus, shall pass.

Roger Lipton
==========================
About Roger Lipton
Roger is an investment professional with over 4 decades of experience specializing in chain restaurants and retailers, as well as macro-economic and monetary developments. After earning a BSME from R.P.I. and MBA from Harvard, and working as an auditor with Price, Waterhouse, he began following the restaurant industry as well as the gold mining industry. While he originally followed companies such as Church’s Fried Chicken, Morrison’s Cafeterias and others, over the years he invested in companies such as Panera Bread and shorted companies such as Boston Chicken (as described in Chain Leader Magazine)

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/dave-buster-upgrades-lightlife-burger-110000748.html

Franchise And Independent Businesses Need These 4 Key Resources

As a small business owner, time and cost savings are precious. Make sure you know what tools your business needs to function smoothly, and choose the most efficient, cost-effective equipment to meet those needs. Whether it’s a good phone system, up-to-date computers or a shredder to safely dispose of sensitive documents, your business is only as good as the equipment you rely on.

4 key resources small businesses need to succeed

(BPT) – SPONSORED

From small home offices to co-working spaces to hotels and airplanes — as a small business owner, you’ve likely learned that being flexible with your work environment is critical to establishing and growing your business. No matter the spaces you travel to and run your business from, there are a few important resources to have in place to ensure that your operations are productive, efficient and a step ahead of your customer’s needs.

Office-quality equipment at consumer prices

As a small business owner, time and cost savings are precious. Make sure you know what tools your business needs to function smoothly, and choose the most efficient, cost-effective equipment to meet those needs. Whether it’s a good phone system, up-to-date computers or a shredder to safely dispose of sensitive documents, your business is only as good as the equipment you rely on. For example, a great product to invest in is a high-quality, reliable cartridge-free printer, like the Epson® EcoTank® Monochrome Supertank printer. Print more and worry less with a printer that comes with an easy-to-fill supersized ink tank that holds enough ink to print up to 6,000 pages and has a fast first page out time. Available in-store at Office Depot and OfficeMax, the Epson EcoTank wireless SuperTank printers also allow you to use voice-activated printing via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, giving you the convenience to focus on what’s most important for your business.

Professional IT support

Build a tech support team that keeps your business running no matter where you are. You likely don’t have the time to run your business and be your own IT support help desk. With help from a 24/7 remote tech support team from Workonomy™ at Office Depot, you can have access anytime and anywhere to a dedicated experienced tech support team by chat or phone. There’s never a good time for computer problems, but with a reliable 24/7 tech support team that helps with everything from data recovery to virus scans, you can have confidence that your tech will be running smoothly and optimize your business for efficiency.

A method and a space for resetting

Just because you can bring the office with you wherever you go doesn’t mean you should. Make time to leave it all behind. Create a toolbox of activities that help you reset, relax and rejuvenate your thoughts so you can bring fresh ideas to your business. From a brisk walk or a podcast episode to a phone call with a friend, choose one or two activities that you can quickly call upon each day to reset your mind and passion.

A workplace that’s as flexible as you are

Whether you are traveling, meeting a new client, need some help with your laptop or just want a small space to call your own, a great resource to have on hand is a co-working space. Office Depot’s Workonomy™ Hub co-working service provides support and assistance to home-based and small businesses in select locations. From private offices and conference rooms to daily drop-in, there’s a space and a plan that fits your work style. You can also take advantage of services including tech support, storage, packing and shipping, and more. Check out the available services and locations near you at officedepot.com.

Being a business owner requires you to wear a lot of hats and sometimes work in unique and on-the-go places. Your environment doesn’t have to impact the output of your business. With the right equipment and tech support, outlet to relax, and a flexible co-working space, you can set your business up to run efficiently and give yourself more time to do what you’re most passionate about. Sponsored by Office Depot.