What To Consider When Purchasing A Franchise

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Summary: To select the ideal franchise company to join, you should first find a company with a proven track record of success. A good franchisor will have been in business for at least two or three years and be able to demonstrate the growth potential of its products and services. The best way to do this is by looking at how many franchises they currently have in operation and are they profitable. A robust and growing network often indicates a successful brand.

10 Key Points To Consider When Purchasing A Franchise
Originally published in Forbes.

By Gary Occhiogrosso, Managing Partner Franchise Growth Solutions

If your goal is to purchase a franchise, choosing the right franchise brand to invest in is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. It’s not just about finding a company with a proven track record but also finding one that fits your personality and lifestyle. Your first step, is knowing what to look for when you’re evaluating potential franchises. Here are some key areas to consider:

Franchise Fees
Franchise fees are one-time payments made when purchasing a franchise. These fees can range from $10,000 to $100,000 and are used to pay for the rights to use the name, the procedures and any systems developed by the franchisor. It is also used to cover costs for training and opening support by the franchisor to assist the franchisee with the opening of their franchise. Franchisors usually charge their franchisees up-front fee when the franchise is granted. In addition, post Covid initial “turnkey” investments may be higher than in the past due to supply chain issues, inflation, and increased cost of equipment and leasehold improvements between brands.

Royalty Fees
Royalty fees are the amount of ongoing money (usually a percentage of gross sales) you pay to the franchisor for using their brand name and ongoing support such as marketing and developing new products or services for the franchisee. As a franchisee, you are required to pay royalties based on a portion of your sales. This percentage may be fixed or fluctuate on a sliding scale based on sales.

Term Length
Franchise term length can be a good indicator of how much the Franchisor invests in their franchisees.
On average, depending on the type of franchise, home based vs a retail location, franchise brands have terms that last ten years or less. This means there’s plenty of time for the franchisee and franchisor to work together and develop a solid relationship. Still, it also means that the franchisee may not be allowed to retain the business if something doesn’t work out. If a franchisee is underperforming, the franchisor may not renew the franchise agreement once it expires, or may seek to terminate the franchise prior to the full term. In such a case, the franchisee must exit the business. In many instances, there will be a contractual obligation that the franchisee cannot open a similar business for a period of time within a certain distance from their original location. This is called a non-compete clause.

Consider Your Lifestyle.
* Consider the lifestyle you will have while running the business.
* Look at the hours of operation. You don’t want to buy an 80 work week.
* Review flexibility of franchisor with respect to new products, relocation and other variables.
* See if the location makes sense for you. You will need to manage the location or develop a team to manage the day-to-day operation for you.
* Check out the type of work needed to run the franchisee. Make sure it fits your skill set and interests, including whether it’s something you’d enjoy doing as a full-time job.
Seeking the advice of a professional franchise consultant can be an extremely useful method when evaluating if a franchise is the right business model for you. Scott Milas, a Certified Franchise Executive (CFC) and Certified Franchise Consultant (CFC) with The International Franchise Professionals Group recommends you consider these questions: “What is your “Know” and “Why?” Understanding “why” you are interested in owning your own business, and “knowing” who you are, are critical steps in choosing the right opportunity. A self evaluation and clear picture of your skill sets and eventual end game- exit strategy, will help ensure that you invest in the right opportunity. Better to “know” now then after you made the wrong decision. “Why” now?
An experienced franchise consultant can assist you in answering those questions and choosing a brand that’s a good lifestyle fit as well as one that offers opportunities to meet your business goals

Look For An Experienced Franchisor
To select the ideal franchise company to join, you should first find a company with a proven track record of success. A good franchisor will have been in business for at least two or three years and be able to demonstrate the growth potential of its products and services. The best way to do this is by looking at how many franchises they currently have in operation and are they profitable. A robust and growing network often indicates a successful brand. In addition, it demonstrates that customers value its products or services enough to pay for them again through multiple businesses.
The second thing you should look for when choosing a franchise is reputation—how well does your chosen brand stand up against its competitors? While there may be other similar businesses out there with similar business models, does you selected band have points of difference to separate itself from the competition. It’s essential that you choose one that utilizes high-quality materials, produces consistent results, and provides excellent customer service while maintaining competitive prices at all times.”

Know Your Competition
One of the steps to building a successful franchise business is to know your competition. What brands already exist in the market, and how do they compare? What is their customer base, and what can you learn from them? How do your offerings differ from theirs, and how do these differences help or hinder you as a company?
Tom Scarda a former franchisee and now a franchise coach and consultant offering advice to franchise buyers regarding evaluating the competition and what it may mean to their success as a franchisee “It’s smart to think about a product or service that is needed in your area and consider bringing that sort of business to the town. However, just because there are no batting cages in your town and you think it would do great because there are kids everywhere, you may be right. However, will it make money? Is there some reason why there is no batting cages in the area? When starting a business, you must, must do a comprehensive business plan before anything else. Learn about competition in the area. Understand the local county laws and regulations around the business you’re considering. Be real about the cost to start and run the operation. These are just a few items to consider in a business plan.”

Once you’ve got a handle on who’s out there, it will be easier for you to see where there are gaps in the market—and then fill those gaps with your unique brand identity.

Carefully Review The Franchise Disclosure Document.
Read the current franchise disclosure document (check the issuance date) and have it reviewed by a competent franchise attorney. Harold Kestenbaum, a noted franchise attorney with Spadea Law advises: “When considering the purchase of a franchise, I highly recommend retaining the services of an experienced franchisee attorney. Never contemplate purchasing a franchise without seeking the advice of an attorney who has reviewed FDD;s before. I also recommend that you do your due diligence. By that I mean that you should review Item 20 of the FDD and call all of the existing franchisees who are in your general area.”

There are additional factors to consider when reviewing the franchisor’s FDD. According to Richard Bayer, a Partner in the law firm Einbinder & Dunn LLP: “Purchasing a franchise for many first-time business owners will often be one of the top three expensive transactions the franchisee will ever go through in his/her lifetime. Given the severity of the investment, a franchisee must commit to doing due diligence. It starts with speaking with existing franchisees as well as those who left the system. Their contact information can be found in the FDD. The goals from these calls include gaining a better understanding of the economics of the franchise – is it profitable, when is break even reached, do costs (labor or otherwise) or revenues fluctuate significantly making it difficult to predict performance. Equally important is getting a sense of the franchisor’s temperament – is the franchisor supportive, does the franchisor go above and beyond legal obligations (imposed in the franchise agreement) to deliver for its franchisees, is the franchisor forward thinking and/or technology driven. The FDD is a great source of information about a system, but it is has gaps that can be filled in quite nicely by franchisees in the system and by those who left. Purchasing a franchise without speaking to as many franchisees as possible is a lost opportunity.”

Investigate The Franchisor’s Tenure And Track Record of Success
In addition to analyzing the franchisors’ financials, it’s also vital to examine their overall track record. While a strong balance sheet is an essential indicator of a business’s health and stability, it doesn’t tell you much about how they’ve fared over time. So, for example, if you’re looking at two franchises with similar books and financials, but one of them has been around for four years while the other has been operating since say, 1899, it would make sense to choose the latter in this case—even if everything else on paper looks the same.
This information can be gleaned from third-party sources such as Dun & Bradstreet or franchise trade magazines or by visiting the website of the International Franchise Association. Always go directly through your Franchisor before getting this data yourself so that they can confirm that everything is correct and up-to-date. In addition, it is vital that you speak with or meet as many existing franchisees as possible before you make your final decision.

What Are The Brand’s Training Programs And Support?
When you buy a franchise, you’re not just buying the rights to use its brand name. You also get access to training programs, mentoring, and support from the Franchisor. These must be proven and effective; otherwise, it can be challenging for your business to grow or stay profitable.
You want to ensure that your franchisor is committed to your success as a franchisee. That means offering in-person training (the better option) and or using phone or video calls if necessary. It also means regular advice on running your business and what strategies might help you reach more customers or increase revenue.

Review The Franchisor’s Marketing Plans.
A good franchisor will have a written marketing plan in place. The marketing plan should include a social media strategy and details about how the franchisor plans to use the funds provided through your advertising fees. If you ask for this document, they should be willing to share it with you.

Choosing The Right Franchise Brand Can Significantly Impact Your Success.
We’ve talked about screening potential franchise brands above. Still, there are some other factors that you should also consider when choosing where to invest your time and resources.
Tom Scarda goes on to say “We always hear the phrase, “If you love what you do you never work a day in your life.” That is true if you’re working a job. But a franchise is not a job. It’s a business that allows you to build a lifestyle. In the end, the service or product the business provides doesn’t matter. Of course, it must make sense for the community where you will operate and the concept must be something that you understand. However, you can be a vegetarian and own a burger joint. As the owner you are acting as the CEO and CFO, you’re not flippin’ burgers…well you shouldn’t be. If you are doing the tasks that the business requires then you bought yourself a job and your business will plateau and not be scalable. Scarda adds “Don’t buy a business because it has to do with your hobby. If you do, you will no longer have a hobby and you will probably resent the hobby if you’re trying to pay your mortgage with it. Instead, invest in a business that will give you the time and money to enjoy your hobby until your heart’s content.

It is important to consider all these factors when looking for a franchise brand. Some of them, like the fees and term length, are more straightforward than others. But, if you want to be successful in your franchise opportunity, it’s worth taking the time to research what makes each Franchisor unique thoroughly. A good franchisor will have invested in training programs and support systems that will help you understand how their business works.

Tips For Employers & Employees – Effective Job Interviews

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Suppose you have not decided what to offer someone or are still negotiating with the candidate. In that case, it’s best to provide a range rather than an exact number. This gives candidates an idea of what they could make if hired and shows that you are flexible and willing to negotiate.

Tips For Employers & Employees – Effective Job Interviews
By Johnny Day

As a business, you want to hire the best employees you can. You want people with the right skills who can help the company reach its goals and grow. But only some people will be a good fit for your organization. In fact, according to one study, about 25% of new hires fail within their first 18 months on the job. At that rate, hiring five employees who fail in their first 18 months at work with your company is like hiring only three people who succeed in that time!
Offer salary range, not a specific number.

Offer a salary range, not a specific number.
Suppose you have not decided what to offer someone or are still negotiating with the candidate. In that case, it’s best to provide a range rather than an exact number. This gives candidates an idea of what they could make if hired and shows that you are flexible and willing to negotiate.

Have a plan for the interview before you go in.
Before you go into an interview, you should plan what you want to ask and what kinds of questions the employer will ask you. You should also have your resume and a copy of the job description. Bring a list of references who are willing to be contacted.

When it comes time for your interview, follow these tips:

* Know what you want to ask. The employer may only tell you about some aspects of the job. Instead, they’ll give out one piece at a time during different parts of the interview process to see if candidates are interested in both the work itself and all other aspects related to working there (e.g., pay).

* Have your questions ready so that if something comes up during or after their presentation or tour—like whether there’s room for advancement—then feel free to ask these things without feeling like an outsider who doesn’t belong!
Explain the company culture to candidates.

* Recruiters, managers, and executives should explain the company culture to candidates. Because culture is a set of values, it’s essential to define them early in the process. The goal is to give candidates an understanding of how your organization approaches its work and what being part of that organization means. It may be helpful for recruiters and hiring managers to refer back to this definition when conducting interviews with prospective employees because it can provide a common understanding among team members if they all use the same language when describing their roles within the organization.

Make sure they know what their duties will be.
Clearly outlining the duties of a job is a must. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that employees know their position and how a manager will evaluate them. If you’re hiring someone who has been doing this type of work for years, you’ll want to take them through orientation so that they know what you expect. If someone just graduated from school with little or no experience in your field, then I recommend taking some time out of their first week on the job to explain things like:
What is expected of them in terms of output and output quality? (This is usually tracked in metrics.)
How do we measure performance? (These measurements may include customer satisfaction surveys.)

Don’t be afraid to ask them to elaborate on their experience and qualifications.
Asking candidates to elaborate on their experience and qualifications is part of the interview process. Still, it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about someone’s personality and character. For example, if a candidate has said they have experience in social media marketing, then ask them to describe the last project they worked on from start to finish. On the other hand, if their resume lists specific projects, ask them what kind of work they’ve done in that area before.
If someone has little professional experience (e.g., a high school student looking for a summer internship), then ask them how they’ve approached learning new skills or subjects outside of school-related activities. For example: “Tell me about a time when you had to teach someone else something.”

Give them time to think about it.
Before hiring, ensure the candidate has time to consider it. Suppose they’re ready to sign on right away. In that case, it might mean that they’ve already taken a job elsewhere and are just trying to be polite by pretending otherwise. It’s also crucial that you give them plenty of time so they can ask questions. They probably have some concerns or reservations about joining your company—perhaps even some reservations about working with you—and those issues need to be addressed before anything goes any further. Finally, once someone is hired, their start date must be pretty close to the future. You want them to feel secure and comfortable enough with their decision that they don’t leave for another position before their first day at work; this would lead directly to lousy employee retention rates later down the line!

Tell them about the benefits package.
Benefits are a big part of the job. Make sure you have a good benefits package and your employees know about it. That way, they’ll feel valued by the company and be more likely to stay with you for extended periods.
What kind of benefits do you offer? Do you offer a 401K? Paid time off? Health insurance? These things all play into how willing someone will be to commit their life to your company—so make sure you’re offering them everything they need!

Ask if they have any questions for you.
If you haven’t already, ask your new employee if they have any questions.
Asking what’s on their mind will ensure you can address any concerns they may have about the position.
This is also an excellent time to make sure they are comfortable with the role and explain more about what it entails so that you can determine if this is a good fit for them.

Use these tips to conduct a more effective job interview that will help your company find and retain the best employees it can find When interviewing candidates, it’s important to be prepared with a plan. An effective interview will help your company find and retain its best employees. It’s also important to explain the company culture to candidates during this preparation process. You should also make sure they know their duties for an effective job interview that will help your company find and retain the best employees it can find.

This is a recap of the tips we’ve given above. If you need to decide which ones to use, mix and match them as needed.


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If you plan ahead and get people excited, they will come.
The holiday season is a busy one. People are going to be traveling, and they’re going to be in a rush. Your restaurant may miss out on potential sales if you don’t plan. You can cash in on the holiday season with careful planning and targeted marketing strategies.

By: Dom Hemingway

For many of us, the holiday season is a time to reconnect with friends and family. For restaurant owners and chefs, it’s a chance to make extra money. The holiday season brings out the best in people—and it also brings out their appetite. So take advantage of this opportunity by creating ways to get people excited about your offering. Here are my top tips for doing just that:

Offer exclusive menu items.
Offer an exclusive menu item. What do you have that nobody else does? If you’re a vegan restaurant, maybe it’s a killer dish made with cashews and lentils. If you’re a steakhouse, maybe it’s the most amazing prime rib ever. Whatever it is, draw inspiration from the season and create something. Get people talking about your place as they post photos of their meals online—and then offer this special only for a short period (say, one month). This gives them the incentive to visit sooner than later and will make them feel like they just missed out on something extraordinary if they don’t act quickly enough!
Use social media to promote the special: Promote your limited-time offer on Facebook and Twitter as well as through local newspapers in print ads or even billboards along significant highways nearby—whatever works best for your budget! You can also use hashtags like “#holidaymenu” or “#christmasdinnerspecial” so that customers can easily find information about what makes these deals so great by searching for them in search engines like Google or Bing when looking up keywords related precisely to those terms.

Offer coupons:
This is another way of encouraging customers. Those customers who might not have heard about your holiday specials yet (or are still deciding whether it’s worth trying out) without having spent much money upfront, hand out paper copies at check-out counters or mail them directly home with customers who order over the phone lines.
Use loyalty programs: Not only does this incentivize repeat customers, but it also helps build brand loyalty since everyone loves feeling rewarded after returning!

Spice up your social media presence:

Social media can be a powerful tool for your restaurant. You can use social media to create buzz about your restaurant, promote new menu items and events, and give customers insight into the workings of your kitchen.
Post photos of your food and happy customers on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! It’s also a good idea to create a unique hashtag for your restaurant so that people who want more information about it can find it (for example, #greatrestaurant).
Get festive with decor and holiday-themed dishes
Decorate your restaurant with festive colors.

Offer holiday-themed dishes and desserts:
Offer a special holiday drink special during December, such as hot chocolate or eggnog milkshakes.
Get customers in the mood to be generous by offering gift card promotions, like buy one get one free, where they can buy one gift card at the total price and get another for half price! This also helps you build your customer retention rate too!
The best way to make money off any promotion is when it’s done right—get people excited about returning because they got something great out of it! That’s why we recommend having some loyalty program in place before starting any promotions so that you know exactly how much each customer has spent over time–and thus how much they’re worth (in terms of dollars) based on their average order size at each visit.”

If you plan ahead and get people excited, they will come.
The holiday season is a busy one. People are going to be traveling, and they’re going to be in a rush. Your restaurant may miss out on potential sales if you don’t plan. You can cash in on the holiday season with careful planning and targeted marketing strategies.

Planning Ahead Can Turn a Holiday Season into Profits
Planning for an event like the holidays isn’t just about organizing parties or buying new decorations for your restaurant—it’s about thinking about how these activities will affect your business and how customers will react to them on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. For example: If you have decided to host an open house party at your restaurant during Thanksgiving weekend (or any other weekend), consider what type of food will be served; whether or not it’s appropriate for children; whether there should be seating available outside; what kind of beverages should be served (alcoholic drinks are subject to varying regulations); how much time people need between eating their meal and driving home safely; etcetera!

A successful holiday season is all about two things: planning and being creative. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, take a look at some of the things we’ve done here at www.frangrow.com We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

When Not To Franchise Your Business

Franchising is not for everyone, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort required to make it work, it can be an excellent way to grow your business. However,let’s suppose you are considering franchising as a way of expanding your current business.

When Not To Franchise Your Business
By: Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner FranGrow & Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University

Franchising is a great way to expand your business and grow your customer base, but it’s not for everyone. So before you get started on your path to becoming a franchisor, here are some things that you should think about:
You don’t have a proven business model.

If you don’t have a proven business model, franchising can be a hard way to go. You’ll have to invest a lot of money upfront and spend time managing franchisees, who may not see the potential in your product or service as clearly as you do. In addition, if your idea isn’t unique or doesn’t appeal to people outside of your local area, it won’t take off as you might expect.

There are plenty of success stories about companies that started franchising their businesses and became household names—but there are also plenty of horror stories about companies that began franchising only to have things collapse within a few years. For example, suppose your goal is to ensure that your company stays afloat and continues growing after its initial launch phase (and believe me: it should be). In that case, franchising may not be suitable for you at this stage in its growth process—or ever!

You’re still refining your product/service offering.
If you still need to test your product or service offering, then franchising isn’t for you. Franchising takes time and money, so it’s essential that you know your business model works before you start expanding it. The last thing a franchisee wants is to spend their hard-earned money on a product or service that doesn’t work.

These are some things you should consider before embarking on the journey of franchising:
* Are you offering the right price?
* Do the features meet customer expectations?
* Is the product reliable?
* Is it easy to use?
If you can’t answer these questions confidently, franchise expansion may not be for your business yet.

You can’t afford it.
Suppose you cannot invest in the necessary costs associated with franchising. In that case, it’s probably not a good idea. The price of franchising can be pretty high. You’ll have to pay for all the administrative and legal work required during the process, along with continuing support and other services. You’ll also need cash on hand for marketing purposes and regular payments into an escrow account (if applicable) that will help fund your franchisee’s initial start-up costs.
This is especially true if you don’t already have an established brand or product line; it takes time for those things to develop organically and build momentum among customers. As such, it may take longer than anticipated before any revenues start rolling in from new franchises—and those initial expenses will continue relentlessly until then!

You don’t have a strong brand presence in your local market.
Branding is essential, but it’s not a short-term strategy. On the contrary, branding is a long-term effort that requires a lot of work, money, and time. So if you’re looking for something quick and easy to get immediate results, don’t bother with branding. Branded businesses are built on solid foundations that take years to develop.
Brands are more than just logos; they express who you are and what makes your business unique. A brand can be as simple or complex as necessary (or both). Still, suppose it doesn’t convey the essence of your company in some way. In that case, it falls short of its potential value in building customer relationships over the long term.”

Your business is not scalable.
There are two basic requirements for a business to be scalable:
* The company has been successful in the past.
* The company can be run with minimal costs.
If you do not meet these criteria, your business will not be able to scale without additional investment. You need market research before deciding whether or not franchising is right for you!

Franchising is not for everyone; will it work for you?
Franchising is not for everyone, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort required to make it work, it can be an excellent way to grow your business. However,let’s suppose you are considering franchising as a way of expanding your current business. In that case, it’s crucial that you consider whether or not this type of growth is appropriate for what you’re trying to achieve with your company. As a franchisee, there will be times when you disagree with management decisions or feel like we’re not listening to feedback from our restaurants. To ensure that these situations don’t become roadblocks in our relationship, we strongly encourage all stakeholders (franchisees and management) to communicate openly about the issues before they become conflicts.

Franchising can be a great way to grow your business, but it is not for everyone. If you are still unsure if franchising is right for you, we recommend considering other options, such as starting from scratch or hiring an employee. Many factors need to be considered before making any significant investment. We hope this article helps guide you through those decisions!

Modern Tech Can Give Restaurants An Edge

It is much more likely that franchisors, with resources already on hand, will be able to promote system-wide improvements for all franchisees in their systems.

Modern Tech Can Give Restaurant Businesses An Edge
By Jeremy Einbinder

Restaurants are continuing to use newer technologies that have the potential to optimize the experience both for the consumer and the business. Anything that improve customer experience and reduce labor costs- which is very important in a tight market- is a win-win.

Franchised Restaurants Set Themselves Apart

All of these innovations are especially important for franchised restaurants and allows them to set themselves apart from other restaurants. For entrepreneurs looking to open restaurant locations, it can be difficult to gather all the technological resources available to improve operations. It is much more likely that franchisors, with resources already on hand, will be able to promote system-wide improvements for all franchisees in their systems. These technological enhancements are wide-ranging and could set off a franchise restaurant boom.

For instance, instead of third-party delivery apps, many customers report a preference for ordering directly from the restaurant itself. It would be beneficial, if possible, for a company to have their own internal delivery app. In addition to building brand recognition, this also helps businesses avoid paying exorbitant fees.

Fred Kirvan, Founder and CEO of Kirvan Consulting, a New Jersey based restaurant optimization and consulting firm said: “At this year’s National Restaurant Show, we observed some notable improvements in tech-driven kitchen equipment aimed at providing a more consistent product to its end-user but much of the new tech seemed to be aimed at employee retention.”

Look But Don’t Touch

Payment technologies which allow for no-contact money transfer can also prove to be crucial, especially since the pandemic. In keeping with no-touch technology, it is becoming commonplace for customers to also access only menus and order without contact, allowing for a much safer environment for everybody. The cost reduction for restaurants can be substantial.

There are also tech payment options for employee payroll. Kirvan noted: “Companies offering early pay options and incentives were the noticeable standouts for me. Employee retention is key when you can consider all the software available for taking orders, you’re going to need people to prepare those orders.

Reservation applications like Eat App, Tablein, or OpenTable allow customers to see available time slots, and book their times at their convenience. In such apps, users simply view the time slots available with the number of seats needed and select one. This takes away any awkward interaction with staff of someone calling the restaurant and asking for a specific time for a reservation, only to realize it’s not available. For the business, it allows much greater flexibility in managing waitlists as well as customer loyalty.

Reducing Friction for the Front and Back of House

For streamlining customer orders, Kitchen Display Systems are very efficient, allowing both customers and kitchen staff to seamlessly log orders, instantly displaying them on screen according to priority. This also makes accommodating dietary restrictions much easier.

Radwan Masri, a 30 year veteran in the hospitality industry and a leading international culinary consultant and franchise expert with Ayy Karamba Hospitality added “The other side of food service tech driven business is FOH & BOH automation. Labor shortage in the service business combined with an increase demand for delivered food has impacted how food orders is being processed from start to end. Self-Serve ordering stations, QR codes scanning procedures. Your order nowadays through a drive through window is not the same as it used to be. i.e. I order in Chicago via a drive through window while my order is being processed by a mom sitting at home in Atlanta GA!”

This type of innovation is incredibly valuable and can easily cut down on unnecessary laborious tasks for employees. In addition, artificial intelligence technologies like Winnow reduce food waste. Using a camera, Winnow “learns” to recognize different foods being thrown away. It then calculates the financial and environmental cost of this discarded food to commercial kitchens. This in turn saves company’s money.

In Conclusion

If franchisees and independent restauranteurs expect to stay relevant and competitive they need to take advantage of these burgeoning technologies. The guest expectation has risen as a result of the pandemic and most guests will give a restaurant one, perhaps two chances to meet or exceed their exceptions. When it comes to the the overall guest experience, using these technologies gives operators a better chance to succeed.

Franchisors Shouldn’t Confuse Franchisee Validation with Endorsement

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Successful franchisee validation is so important, it’s common for most franchisor development staff to be aware who their best franchise validators are. Franchisor staff might even recommend which franchisees to contact, because some franchisees don’t want to be bothered while others are flattered to offer their feedback.

By Ed Teixeira

It’s an established fact that to develop a franchise system the franchisor needs to have franchisees who will validate the value of the franchise, including franchisor services, support and quality of the franchise program.

Most of the literature that offers advice to prospective franchisees states that the most valuable source of information on a franchise system is from existing franchisees. In fact, it’s often said that franchisees help sell new franchises as much as franchise development staff and brokers.

Successful franchisee validation is so important, it’s common for most franchisor development staff to be aware who their best franchise validators are. Franchisor staff might even recommend which franchisees to contact, because some franchisees don’t want to be bothered while others are flattered to offer their feedback. I recall a franchisee who was often critical of our franchise support, yet surprisingly was one of top franchise program validators.

It’s important to recognize the difference between franchisee validation and using franchisees to endorse the franchise brand. When a franchisor utilizes existing franchisees in ads or social media to endorse and promote the franchise brand there can be risks. For example, I recall an incident when one of the franchisees in our franchise system helped to obtain a prized national account contract. For his efforts, he was granted a financial benefit from the specific National Account revenues. However, as a further show of appreciation, the franchisor President had the franchisee thanked in a marketing piece and on the franchise web site. A few months later, a dispute led the same franchisee to file a lawsuit against us. It’s one lesson I’ll never forget.

Although franchisors may utilize their franchisees to market its products or services to customers, its different from having their franchisees actively promote and endorse its franchise opportunity.

When it comes to franchisee validations and endorsements, a franchisor should:

Expect franchise candidates to contact a franchisee in an ad for validation. This means that franchisee must remain satisfied with the franchise and franchisor support and services.
When using a franchisee for an endorsement avoid statements that may represent an earnings claim. For example, ‘I’ve made lots of income from this franchise.”
Be wary of how franchisee advertising funds are being used. Using ad funds that single out certain franchisees could cause other franchisees to be upset by publicizing certain franchisees.
In franchise locations visited by customers who could become prospective franchisees the franchisor should promote the franchise opportunity by having tri-fold brochures describing the franchise opportunity and signage to announce the business is franchised.
When recruiting franchise candidates be sure to recognize the difference between positive franchise program validation and using existing franchisees to endorse and promote the franchise opportunity. In the case of franchisee endorsements, there is always the possibility that the franchisee if disgruntled, could be embarrassing to the franchise program.

About the Author: Ed Teixeira
Ed Teixeira is a recognized franchise expert with over 35 years experience in the franchise industry. He has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was a franchisee of a multi-million dollar home healthcare franchise. Ed is the author of Franchising From the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual. He has participated in the CEO Magazine Roundtable Meetings with business leaders from around the country and spoke at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and the Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. Over the course of his career, Ed has been involved with over 1,000 franchise locations and launched franchise concepts from existing business models. Ed can be contacted at 631-246-5782 or [email protected]

Five Skills for Successfully Turning Ideas Into Reality

5 skills for successfully turning ideas into reality

(BPT) – People across the world have tackled immense challenges since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, from social isolation to financial burdens, in a distanced and digitally enabled world. As a result, many important projects were put on hold. But at the same time, many people took the opportunity to make bigger and better plans — and are ready to make these dreams a reality.

In a recent global survey conducted by Project Management Institute (PMI), nearly four in five consumers (79%) said they consider 2021 to be a “do-over,” and an even greater number, 86%, plan to work harder this year to bring their ideas to life.

“The pandemic disrupted countless 2020 plans, but many leaders and innovative thinkers used the time wisely to map out their next moves,” says Mike DePrisco, chief operating officer for PMI. “As more communities and organizations across the globe cautiously turn to recovery and revival, teams are increasingly focused on turning their stalled projects into reality.”

But turning ideas into reality doesn’t come easy. Whether you’re looking to level up in your career, kick-start a new project or create a completely new business, PMI outlines the power skills you need to continue advancing:

1. Communication

Effective communication maximizes success and minimizes risk. It involves not only conducting outward-bound communication, but also listening, taking feedback, understanding nonverbal cues, and interpreting what is meant versus what is said. In a team setting, communication helps team members stay on the same page as they work toward success.

2. Empathy

Empathy allows team members to build greater trust and connections — with each other and with other stakeholders — by helping them understand the wide range of people and work styles they encounter. Empathy also strengthens teams by helping team members feel appreciated and heard.

3. Collaborative leadership

A collaborative leadership style is more effective in inspiring and bringing team members together in pursuit of a shared vision and common goals. Collaborative leaders recognize that each member of the team has something to contribute — in executing a plan and in helping shape objectives.

4. Innovative mindset

An innovative mindset ensures teams are applying new ideas and fresh perspectives to how they organize work and address the myriad obstacles that emerge when turning ideas into reality. An innovative mindset also allows teams to remain agile and pivot more quickly in the face of challenges.

5. Purpose-driven goals

Having a for-purpose orientation helps minimize risks and ensures the organization’s values and commitment to social good are infused in all aspects of project design and implementation. Clear goals also empower changemakers to use their skills to bring about positive social change within teams, companies and communities.

To learn more about these skills and effective project management, visit PMI.org/MakeReality, a virtual hub of inspiration with the tools you need to get started on your next big, bold idea. Find support and inspiration from changemakers across the globe turning their ideas into reality; determine your changemaker persona; and view PMI courses that help you take your project or idea and Make Reality, such as KICKOFF, a free, 45-minute digital course and toolkit that guides learners through the basics of project management with bite-sized content and downloadable templates they can quickly implement on the job.

Learn more about turning your idea into a nationwide franchise click here: www.franchisegrtowthsolutions.com


Flawed Strategic Thinking That Drives Serious Franchise Leads to Disqualify You

By Paul Keiser
I Show Franchise Business Developers and Brokers How to Automatically Find Serious Leads

The leading reason we’ve found causing serious leads to disqualify brands and brokers from consideration is a lack of strategic thought, time and attention given to 21st Century aspects of franchise business development. As an industry, franchise business development methods are mired in tactics over 25-years old. It takes serious reflection and change to adapt to emerging 21st Century franchise buyer behavior and their very different expectations.

Here are five inter-related company cultural and strategic issues that, if ignored, cause serious leads to disqualify you from consideration.

Recognize Franchise Business Development is a Business within a Business
As they begin to scale, franchisors and brokers often struggle with business development. That’s because the knowledge and experience to do it well aren’t part of the operations or customer excellence skill sets of many owners and investors.

Franchise business development is actually a business within the larger franchise business with different needs. Recognizing this, and then properly staffing, funding and executing around a set of realistic goals can put you on a sustainable pathway to success.

Unfortunately, too many try to fix a faltering franchise business development program with band-aids; neglecting the thought needed to find the root causes of problems, not just surface symptoms.

Why…because it’s easy. Tactical solutions make everyone feel good. In fact, re-imagining a 21st Century version of franchise business development requires digging deeper.

To meet the challenge, three strategic areas critical to franchise business development must harmonize:

Finding and Nurturing Serious Leads
Intelligent Pipeline Management
Think of each of these areas as a leg of a stool. If the legs aren’t aligned, then the stool teeters and totters making it useless.

Do nothing and watch as serious leads disqualify you.

Inertia Kills Brands and Brokers
Many brands and brokers become paralyzed by the breadth and depth of change needed to adapt to the changing macro environment of franchise business development. The smaller the brand or broker the more daunting the challenges.

Smaller brands and brokers aren’t often blessed with tens of thousands of dollars laying around to “experiment” or try something new; so, fear stifles decision-making.

But time kills deals. Time also kills brands and brokers unwilling to adapt. It’s time to step up and either hire or develop the skills to upgrade franchise business development methodologies. The market isn’t waiting. Brands and brokers that grab an early mover advantage will prosper; while laggards will fall by the wayside.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you

Lack of Expertise
The skill sets needed to address both franchise business development technology and people’s evolving behavior doesn’t necessarily reside in most franchisors and brokers, who are often solo practitioners. Many franchisors have consumer marketing pros or agencies supporting franchisees. However, these same highly-talented people are inexperienced in the “black arts” of franchise business development and the psychological journey a serious lead embarks on in the Internet Age. You hired them to drive traffic into your stores and restaurants; not recruit franchisees. And likely they do a very good job for you.

Giving franchise business development insufficient support or forcing business developers to work with meager lead generation budgets or whatever software is around or cheap is commonplace. That’s a lazy approach and speaks to a lack of understanding of how to successfully grow a franchise business development powerhouse.

Ownership and leadership need to step up and either acquire or outsource the knowledge needed to reliably scale the business.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

The Internet Upends Traditional Notions of Franchisee Recruitment
Every generation from 1995 forward has been reshaped by the Internet. Consumers complete almost 75% of brand research for high-end goods and services on the web before making a call or a visit. They expect transparency. Your storytelling needs to meet a higher standard of excellence or these serious leads will just move on. So, ask yourself, do you tease or hide information or do you educate on your franchise business development website?

Text messaging has rapidly changed the franchise business development communication landscape. Today’s serious leads comfortably text back and forth with your business developer before engaging. What does that do to old-fashioned “dialing for dollars” models? Which leads are more engaged and serious?

Your franchise website is now expected to tell your whole story. It’s not just a brochure anymore or a landing page to get a form filled out. You’re forced to dig deeper to articulate your competitive differentiation. A test: if you can put your name on a competitor’s website, then something’s wrong with your story.

All brands are coming to grips with ever rising lead generation costs. Can we harness the vast potential of social media and online advertising to create affordable serious leads prospect? Can these newer channels become a game changer or are they just one more money drain? How do these leads convert into your pipeline compared to other channels?

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

Leads Now Have the Power

Leads now control the research process. In fact, 75% of their research is already done before first contact. Serious leads expect complete and transparent information about brands. So, a solid story and a dedicated franchise business development online presence are now table stakes with serious leads. These serious leads engage when they’re ready; not before. So encourage them to do that by delivering a brand education experience that gets them emotionally and rationally invested in your franchise opportunity.

Do nothing and watch serious leads disqualify you.

Franchise Pipeline Solutions (FPS) helps new and emerging franchise brands find their most serious leads using an integrated pipeline management system. It combines enterprise-class CRM with multi-channel Marketing Automation, 1:1 and bulk text messaging, behavioral scoring and auto call scheduling. Our proven approach has been in worldwide use for over eight years.


About the Author:
Paul Keiser has over 40 years of experience franchise development, social media and online lead generation, email nurture, marketing automation and brand storytelling. Today he makes his living giving precious time back to franchise brand business developers and franchise brokers by helping them find serious leads so they focus on more of the right people and do more deals.


Franchisors and Franchisees Must Learn to Deal with Change

By Ed Teixeira

Ed Teixeira is Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Grade and was the founder and President of FranchiseKnowHow, L.L.C. a franchise consulting firm.

If there is one thing that the Pandemic taught us, especially those in the franchise industry, is that certain events both large and small require change. It is a given that the recent Pandemic represents extraordinary change having last occurred 100 years ago. Franchise brands face frequent challenges requiring change including, a formidable new competitor, franchisee resistance to certain promotional programs, declining franchise system growth or a public relations problem like when the Subway Foot Long Sub, was found by a customer to be less than a foot long. When these situations arise, franchisors and franchisees must be equipped to implement change to meet the challenge.

Expect that franchisors will be required to implement changes to their franchise program from time to time some minor and some major. When a franchisor wants to make a change, based upon the magnitude of the change, it should be communicated to the franchisees before the change is implemented providing advance notice.

* Using the franchise advisory council as a sounding board

* Giving franchisees the courtesy of knowing about the change

* Providing the franchisee community an opportunity to respond

* Enlist select franchisees to help mold the change and avoid a confrontation

Some changes are routine in nature and can be implemented as per an existing policy. For example, a revision or clarification to a procedure in the franchise operations manual. Major changes that may have a direct impact on franchisees demand special attention. In certain cases, the change may not be that significant, but rather the perception by franchisees is that the change is the beginning of “more to come.”

Examples of Important Changes Include:

1.Changes to franchise agreements that significantly revamp contract terms, including renewal terms, royalty fees and default conditions. These changes may cause particular concern among franchisees that will be looking to renew their franchise agreement.

2. Changes in marketing or advertising programs which would represent a major departure from the current program.

3. Changes in the direction of the franchise strategy that involve applying resources to a new venture or business.

One of the most effective methods to establish and implement a major change is to involve the Franchise Advisory Council or marketing committee which includes franchisee and company representatives. These committees allow for a dialogue between the franchisor and representative franchisees which can help to foster positive franchise relations and establish a buy-in from existing franchisees.

When franchisors implement a major change that lacks franchisee involvement or advance notice it can be a recipe for trouble. To maintain positive franchise relations before implementing an important change the franchisor should gauge how the change could affect franchisees by obtaining feedback from franchisor field staff and select franchisees.

If feedback indicates a strong resistance to the change, the franchisor should consider the situation, and avoid unnecessary confrontations by being flexible. Change is an important aspect of all relationships especially in the world of franchising. It is important that the franchisor and franchisees conduct business within a climate of change that is positive and considers the needs and objectives of both parties.
About the Author: Ed Teixeira
Ed Teixeira is a recognized franchise expert
with over 35 years experience in the franchise industry. He has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was a franchisee of a multi-million dollar home healthcare franchise. Ed is the author of Franchising From the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual. He has participated in the CEO Magazine Roundtable Meetings with business leaders from around the country and spoke at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and the Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. Over the course of his career, Ed has been involved with over 1,000 franchise locations and launched franchise concepts from existing business models. Ed can be contacted at 631-246-5782 or [email protected]
FRANCHISE YOUR BUSINESS: www.franchisegrowthsolutions.com

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After four years of life in the outlaw motorcycle subculture in NYC, Tom got a haircut, took a shower and landed a respectable job in the New York Subway system. After more than 13 years in the subway Tom became frustrated with the bureaucracy and politics.

🔑Education 🔑 insight 🔑 inspiration – Have you been working from home and don’t want to go back to your office? Have you tasted freedom and want out of the corporate rat race? We should talk. No Sales, No Kidding.

After you incorporate or form an LLC, the IRS will issue a federal tax ID to your small business. This tax ID is also known as an employer identification number, or EIN.

What is an EIN? Let’s take a closer look at this federal tax ID, key areas where having an EIN may benefit your business, and how to obtain an EIN if you were not already issued this tax ID.

What’s an EIN?

An EIN is essentially a social security number (SSN) for a small business.

This tax ID is nine digits long, similar to that of an SSN, with a primary purpose of legally identifying your business. Entrepreneurs may use their SSN or an EIN on paperwork pertaining to their company. Some entity formations, like sole proprietors, use their SSN for business tax purposes. Incorporated formations, like limited liability companies (LLCs), have the choice to use their SSN or an EIN.

More often than not, incorporated businesses will use their EIN. This is because an EIN is slightly less sensitive than an SSN. As such, business owners may choose to use an EIN in lieu of an SSN. Choosing this tax ID acts as a safeguard to ensure the safety of their personal identity. It also helps to keep entrepreneurs in compliance with U.S. tax laws.

How Do I Know I Need an EIN?

There are several aspects of small business where it’s necessary to file for an EIN. Here’s where this tax ID can benefit your company.

Opening a business bank account. Having a business bank account allows small business owners to keep their personal and professional finances separate. Most U.S. financial institutions require a certified copy of an EIN prior to opening a business bank account. An EIN also makes it easier to establish a business credit profile, separate from the owner, and build business credit.
Forming an LLC. If you have already formed an LLC, then you were issued an EIN — and may skip ahead in reading. However, if you are planning to form an LLC keep in mind that the IRS will issue you an EIN. You will also need to obtain an EIN if you choose to incorporate as another entity formation, such as incorporating as a corporation or forming a partnership.
Hiring employees. Here’s where an EIN benefits both employees and the business owner. If your business plans to hire employees, it is a requirement to obtain an EIN. This allows the IRS to track your business and ensure it collects payroll tax. On the flip side of the coin, once a business has been incorporated the business owner is technically considered an employee. As such, you will need to obtain this tax ID — for future employees within the business as well as your own status within an incorporated business.
Besides the aforementioned three bullet points, EINs may benefit businesses in even more ways. You will need to obtain an EIN to establish pension, profit sharing, and retirement plans. This tax ID may also be used when filing annual tax returns. In the event you decide to change your organization type, filing Form 8832 Entity Classification Election will ensure your entity is able to retain its EIN, even if its legal structure has changed.

How Can I Obtain an EIN?

Obtaining an EIN is a fairly straightforward process. You can apply for an EIN online, through the mail, by fax, or even over the telephone with the help of MyCorporation’s trusted team of professionals.

Before you begin the filing process, however, please note that you must determine if your business is eligible for an EIN. The principal business must be located in the United States or its U.S. territories. The true principal officer or general partner must also possess a valid tax ID. This may be an SSN, an EIN, or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Finally, if your small business is not already incorporated or formed as an LLC then it must file to incorporate as a legal formation for their organization.

The Value of Having an EIN

Having a tax ID allows you to take your business to new, exciting heights while remaining in compliance with tax laws. As an added bonus, once you obtain an EIN you have it forever because EINs do not expire.

Conduct your due diligence prior to filing for an EIN and reach out to a legal professional prior to filing if you have any questions. Once you obtain your EIN, remember to treat it similar to that of an SSN. Keep this ID in a safe place to protect it and use it in areas required by your business.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation.

About Tom Scarda:

Tom is now a nationally recognized small business and Certified Franchise Expert (CFE), motivator and dynamic speaker. Tom has authored three books: Franchise Savvy, The Road to Franchise Freedom and The Magic of Choosing Uncertainty: How to Manage Change, Embrace Fear and Live a Fulfilled Life.

30 years ago, searching for his inner drive, Tom left college and submerged himself in the motorcycle underworld in lower Manhattan. This made his mother worry. It was the first time Tom chose uncertainty over the status quo.

After four years of life in the outlaw motorcycle subculture in NYC, Tom got a haircut, took a shower and landed a respectable job in the New York Subway system. After more than 13 years in the subway Tom became frustrated with the bureaucracy and politics. So he quit his job and left his pension behind to pursue his dreams of business ownership. This also made his mother worry.

In 2000, he purchased a smoothie franchise, which he built into three units and sold five years later for a considerable profit. He was the #1 franchisee of the year in Maui Wowi Smoothies in 2002. He purchased a second franchise in 2006 called Super Suppers and failed miserably in that franchise concept. The lessons he learned from failure is what makes him such an expert. Tom has owned and operated both franchised and non-franchised businesses and has years of knowledge and wisdom to share with you.