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.

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Love at First Bite: Oath Pizza Signs New Multi-Unit Franchisees to Fuel Growth in Austin

Oath’s simple operation drives attractive labor and supply chain advantages for traditional corporate and franchise locations. Oath’s nationwide supply chain distribution network creates reliability, the brand’s adaptive menu offers customers a quick, consistent product, and the business with attractive unit economics, including longer shelf life, reduced costs, and better throughput.

Love at First Bite: Oath Pizza Signs New Multi-Unit Franchisees to Fuel Growth in Austin

By Luca Piacentini – 1851 Franchise Senior Writer
Reposted with permission

Oath Pizza has become one of the most popular brands and sought-after franchise models in less than a decade. Since opening its first seaside shop on Nantucket Island, Oath has expanded to serve its fresh, feel-good pizzas to communities across the country. This year, momentum has picked up steam with Oath Pizza signing on multiple new multi-unit franchise owners to expand to new markets like Austin, Seattle, and Los Angeles.

Dilan Karunamuni and Sham Tyagi are the new franchise partners behind the three-unit signing in Austin. The two friends come from a background in the finance and tech industries, where they first met as consultants.

“I used to work in retail at Verizon and AT&T, so I had experience working with customers,” says Tyagi. “I eventually ventured into the cell phone business and started my own company. I sold that business to one of my competitors and founded my consulting firm specializing in subscription-based systems for software companies.”

Karunamuni eventually took a job at that firm, where his long-lasting friendship with Tyagi began. While the two never considered going into business together, that changed the day they each took their first bite of Oath Pizza.

“I was visiting Philly and stopped at the Apple store,” says Tyagi. “I was hungry, so I walked next door to Oath Pizza. I knew it was a brilliant experience when I had the first bite, and I called Dilan and told him he had to try it.”

Karunamuni stopped by Oath the next time he visited the area. “We were so blown away by the food, brand, store, [and] the look,” he says. “It was so good, and I even brought some home for my family to try.”

Soon, the duo recognized the unique opportunity ahead of Oath and decided to introduce the pizza to the growing Austin market.

“We knew this would work in Austin,” says Tyagi. “There are plenty of food options, but it is an ever-expanding market, and the palette of people moving from all over is always changing,” he adds. “People here want to explore new food options, and Oath Pizza is an option that is better for you with fresh toppings, organic proteins, and limitless customization options,” he shares.

As an experienced entrepreneur and business owner, Tyagi says he could also tell Oath Pizza’s business model was positioned for success thanks to the backing of its expert team and robust support infrastructure.

“Our process started by reaching out to the Oath team,” says Tyagi. “As we learned more, we saw the leadership team was very experienced, and how every franchise and corporate team member was knowledgeable and went above and beyond,” he adds. “We instantly felt comfortable with the company and wanted to be a part of the team that would take this brand to the next level.”

Karunamuni and Tyagi visited a store to explore how each location functioned inside and out. “I had never owned a food business, which I knew could be tricky, so I was doubtful about the simplicity at first,” says Tyagi. “We saw how it operated, and it was an instant no-brainer for us. Everything is seamless, with streamlined processes, a simplified menu, and a super smart and efficient model.”

Oath’s simple operation drives attractive labor and supply chain advantages for traditional corporate and franchise locations. Oath’s nationwide supply chain distribution network creates reliability, the brand’s adaptive menu offers customers a quick, consistent product, and the business with attractive unit economics, including longer shelf life, reduced costs, and better throughput.

“Efficiency is the key word,” says Karunamuni. “I have a little experience having worked at Quiznos and Dunkin Donuts, and I’ve seen how a messy back of the house can lead to problems in the front end,” he says. “When I saw the Oath Pizza model, I was in awe — everything is thought out precisely, from ordering the products to serving the customer. There are so many advantages to joining a brand so primed on efficiency.”

Karunamuni and Tyagi hope to open their first Oath Pizza in early 2023 and the rest of their stores by the end of 2024.

“It’s the best chain pizza I’ve ever had, and it can compete with mom-and-pops everywhere,” says Tyagi. “We are excited to have people in Austin taste this product. That’s what it is all about — it’s that good.”

Karunamuni and Tyagi aren’t the only entrepreneurs recognizing the strength of Oath’s franchise model this year. Brad and Jennifer Langford, a married couple of restaurateurs and franchise industry veterans outside Seattle, signed a three-unit deal to grow Oath Pizza throughout their market.

“Being an operations-focused owner, when I read about Oath Pizza’s business model, I realized they had found a way to streamline their operations and customer service to make the numbers work,” Brad Langford shares. “You can have the best product in the world, but if you can’t take the development of a product and streamline it through prep, product, and marketing to your customer, it doesn’t matter how great it tastes,” he adds. “I was shocked at how great this product tastes, and more importantly, the bottom line adds up.”

Another recent signing comes from former Target executive Mandeep Singh and his brothers-in-law, Garish Talwar and Kulwant Jafal. They are introducing Oath Pizza to Greater Los Angeles through a three-unit deal as franchise group Brothers Empire.

“We came across an article about Oath and liked what we read, so we dug deeper and decided to reach out to their team,” says Singh. “I was immediately impressed. They are great people and walked us through every question we had. They are passionate about what they do.”

Oath Pizza’s CEO Drew Kellogg says the team is excited to find more franchisees across the country as the brand continues to emerge as a leading force in the pizza segment.

“We’re excited about our continued expansion into growing markets like Austin,” Kellogg says. “We’re looking forward to bringing on more smart, passionate entrepreneurs like Dilan and Sham to help us expand to new markets and inspire happiness in our communities every day.”

The cost to open an Oath Pizza franchise ranges from $380,000–$550,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee. For more information on franchising with Oath Pizza, visit https://www.oathpizza.com/franchise.

About Oath Pizza: Oath Pizza is the fast-growing franchise known for its award-winning avocado oil crust, fresh, organic toppings, and efficient, innovative business model. Oath started in a seaside shop on Nantucket Island. Today, it has expanded nationwide under the leadership of former Chipotle executives who have built the brand and business to scale. The Oath franchise opportunity has quickly risen to a top business consideration for its unique advantages: low cost of entry, small 800 – 1,200 sq ft footprint, flexible build-out with no Type I venting or gas requirement, reliable supply chain, innovative digital systems, and a simple operation that requires only one-to-four employees per shift. Learn more at oathpizza.com/franchise.

Macro Methods To Control Food Costs In A Restaurant And Maximize Profits

Photo by Tim Toomey on Unsplash

One way to get better-quality products is by buying local ingredients or those grown locally (naturally). This helps reduce transportation costs, which can lower food cost due to fuel prices—and it also reduces waste since you wouldn’t be shipping food across country lines when there are local farms nearby!

Macro Methods To Control Food Costs In A Restaurant And Maximize Profits
By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner, Franchise Growth Solutions.

Restaurant owners, chefs, and managers know the value of controlling food costs. But understanding how to manage your restaurant’s food costs can be tricky. This is because so many factors determine what goes on your menu and how much it should cost, from food and labor costs to waste management. Here ais a quick overview on how you can manage your restaurant’s food cost:

Food Cost Percentage
Food cost percentage is the amount of money spent on food divided by total sales. It’s a measure of how much of your sales are going toward the cost of goods, which is used to calculate your profitability.
In addition to being an overall measure of profit margin, food cost percentage also allows you to track discrepancies between weeks and months regarding budgeting. For example, if one month shows a high percentage while another shows a low one, some shifts in staffing or inventory may need addressing before they become problems later on down the line.

Keep Track of Inventory
You must keep track of your inventory. This is the first and most crucial step in controlling food cost. You must know your inventory, its location, and how much has been used or sold. There are several ways to keep track of your supply inventory: a spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel) or a software program (like QuickBooks or Restaurant 365). You could also use cloud-based inventory management systems such as Restaurant Manager Pro or Inventory Doctor that automatically sync with your POS system.
The benefits of using an automated system include: tracking a cost per item; recording sales by SKU; producing purchase orders based on demand; monitoring stock levels; receiving alerts when stock gets low; comparing product costs against competitors’ prices via price comparison reports; sending out notifications when ordering needs to be done soon because inventory will quickly run out (or vice versa—notifying suppliers that there is excess capacity).

Quality Products
Regarding food costs, the quality of your products is one of the most critical factors. You may be able to save money by buying less expensive ingredients and products, but if they’re not good quality, then you will have wasted your time and money because they won’t taste as good. One way to get better-quality products is by buying local ingredients or those grown locally (naturally). This helps reduce transportation costs, which can lower food cost due to fuel prices—and it also reduces waste since you wouldn’t be shipping food across country lines when there are local farms nearby! Also, local farms tend to use safer pesticides than big corporations because they want their customers happy; nothing makes people mad like finding out that pesticides are used on their food without them knowing about it!

Avoid Waste
Reduce food waste, Recycle food waste.
Recycling programs allow you to turn your leftover food into an asset by turning it into compost or animal feed or donating it to those in need. You can also use recyclable materials and packaging for other items in the restaurant or kitchen, such as cutting boards, aprons, and dish towels. Donate food waste to charity organizations such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries, where it will be used as an ingredient for meals served to those who need them most in our communities. This is helpful from a cost-saving point of view and helps promote community values through charitable giving while helping reduce hunger in America overall! The key is to find a system that meets your needs. For example, if you are a small business owner without an IT department, then a cloud-based solution might be the best choice for you. However, if you have an IT team and can afford software like QuickBooks or Sage 50 US Accounts Plus, then, by all means, use that instead. In addition, you should consider buying local ingredients and products to save money on food costs. They tend to be of better quality because they are grown in the area where people live. This also helps reduce waste since there is no need for shipping across country lines when local farms are nearby!

Use Technology to Manage Inventory and Recipes
The second key to controlling food costs in your restaurant is using technology to manage your inventory and recipes. You can use technology to manage inventory by using a POS system. A POS system tracks sales, manages orders, records customer information, and orders supplies. If you don’t already have one in place at your restaurant, consider getting one before the end of summer because they are beneficial when it comes time for peak season in October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). Use technology as well when it comes to managing recipes at your restaurant. Recipe management systems allow you to access each recipe anytime via an app or web browser. These programs work on any device with internet access, such as tablets or laptops located in the kitchen area where WiFi connects all these devices. They work together seamlessly even if multiple users operate them simultaneously without slowing down their performance, which means efficiency ratings go up. In contrast, labor costs go down since they no longer need any additional cooks hired just for this task alone since now everyone knows exactly what needs to be cooked next, so no more wasted time spent looking things up!
To restate the top ways to manage the Cost of Goods.

Know your food cost percentage: This should be considered the most important. The food cost percentage is a measurement of how much it costs to make and sell your food (expressed as a percentage). It includes all direct ingredients, packaging materials, labor, overhead, and other expenses associated with preparing ingredients for sale at retail. If your food costs exceed 30 percent of sales, you’re probably losing money on every dollar of revenue generated by your business.

Keep track of supply inventory: Make sure you have accurate records of what you have on hand at any given time to avoid running out unexpectedly and losing customers because they can’t get what they want when they want it! You also don’t want to overstock supplies or make more than necessary if demand is low; that’ll waste money! Please ensure everyone in the kitchen or warehouse knows their responsibilities regarding stocking shelves with new products. In addition, make sure there’s always someone available who understands inventory management software programs (like this one!) so that even if someone leaves unexpectedly due to not knowing how these programs work, there will still be an easy way.

Use compostable materials: Compostable materials are made from organic material that can be decomposed by microorganisms and turned into compost, which can then be used as fertilizer for gardens and farms. Using compostable utensils, plates, and cups at your restaurant or event venue will reduce landfill waste each year to get things done.

As I mentioned up tpo, this is a overview. There are numerous resources on the internet as well as restaurant consultants that assess and recommend a variety of ways to save on food cost and increase profits. While it is difficult to control food cost in a restaurant these simple ways that have proven successful.

The first step is to determine the percentage of your total sales that should go toward food costs. This will give you an idea of how much money you need every month or year to operate at a given profit level.

Next, keep track of supply inventory to keep up with demand and avoid waste by ordering more when needed.

Quality products are also crucial because they will save time (and money) during preparation while providing better flavor profiles at lower prices than similar items sold elsewhere!

Finally, use technology like software platforms to manage recipes and inventory levels without overspending on supplies like employees who take care too long between tasks like chopping vegetables or preparing meatballs.

Franchisors Shouldn’t Confuse Franchisee Validation with Endorsement

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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]


Some of the causes of the great employment disruption of 2021 are beyond the influence of employers. However, there are a number of initiatives that can be implemented by employers to retain employees and attract those who are looking for a change in what they do. So, how do you retain and attract employees? 

by Stan Silverman
Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on November 15, 2021.

Due to the effects of the pandemic, 2021 will be known as a year of immense employment disruption. This is especially acute in the restaurant, hospitality and other service industries, where employees now have higher-paying employment alternatives. 
The cause of the Great Resignation is not limited to dissatisfaction with pay. Many employees who are nearing retirement have decided to leave the workforce earlier than they had planned. Other employees have reevaluated their lives and decided what they were doing was not for them. 

Some employees are burned out dealing with hostile customers and working to meet pent-up demand. Others have left the workforce because they cannot afford childcare. There are those who point to governmental assistance as the reason people are not working, but that assistance ended in September.

Some of the causes of the great employment disruption of 2021 are beyond the influence of employers. However, there are a number of initiatives that can be implemented by employers to retain employees and attract those who are looking for a change in what they do. So, how do you retain and attract employees? 

Employees come before customers

In my columns for the Philadelphia Business Journal, I have emphasized the importance of delivering a great customer/client experience as a way to become the preferred provider in the marketplace. It’s your employees who deliver a great customer/client experience. 

Quoting Sir Richard Branson, co-founder of Virgin Group, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Treat your employees well. They will help you become a preferred employer.
Nurture a culture in which your employees develop a sense of ownership in what they do. Listen to their ideas. Value their contributions. Never micromanage. Set expectations, empower them and cut them loose to do their thing. 

Compensate employees so your company is an attractive employment alternative

For years, many have advocated raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour, with little success. Today, many businesses need to pay $20/hour or more to attract employees. Why? Employees have alternative employment opportunities not only within the same industry, but also within other industries that are rapidly growing. For example, an employee working at a restaurant can quit and go to work for Amazon instead. Pay employees competitively with their alternatives to keep them and attract others.
Will increasing the compensation of employees require companies to raise prices? Yes. The economy will adjust as it did after the dramatic increase in oil prices during the 1970s. 

Differentiate your company and its culture 

Just as you differentiate your company so customers/clients want to buy from you instead of your competition, differentiate your company so employees want to work for you rather than their alternatives. 
Treat all employees as important to your success. Show your appreciation for what they do. Where practical, depending on the job, institute a hybrid model, giving them flexibility to work remotely or at the office. There are companies that have been operating 100% virtually with great effectiveness for many years without adversely impacting employee collaboration. Saved commuting time is spent working on business issues, as well as taking care of personal matters, which reduces employee stress and increases morale.

Differentiate your company from others. Treat your employees as you would like to be treated. Make it part of your brand. Your reputation will attract the employees you need to run your business. 

About the Author
Stan Silverman is founder and CEO of Silverman Leadership and author of “Be Different! The Key to Business and Career Success.” He is also a speaker, advisor and widely read nationally syndicated columnist on leadership, entrepreneurship and corporate governance. He can be reached at [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



As far as the debt is concerned, under Obama the debt went from $10.6 trillion at 1/20/09 to $19.9 trillion at 1/20/2017, an increase of $9.3 trillion over EIGHT YEARS. The debt under Trump increased to $27.8 trillion at 1/31/21, an increase of $7.9 trillion over FOUR YEARS.
Don’t believe anything you hear and very little of what you read!

Roger Lipton, report, franchise, restaurant, economy, gold, deficit
By Roger Lipton

I cannot resist commenting on, and correcting the latest version of revisionist economic history.
Just yesterday Maria Bartiromo was interviewing Peter Navarro, President Donald Trump’s Director of Trade and Manufacturing and a frequent economic spokesperson. After predictably predicting a weak stock market, burdened by the poor policies of President Biden, his description of the last ten years went like this: “Under President Obama, coming out of the 08-09 crash, the GDP grew by a meager 2%, and the debt doubled. Under Donald Trump, we grew at 3% and the economy was roaring before the pandemic hit.”

Not quite:
Under President Obama, the GDP grew by an average of 1.6%, held down by a negative 2.5% in ’09, coming out of the crash. Excluding ’09, GDP grew at an average of 2.2% over seven years.
Trump’s four years went +2.3% in ’17, +3% in ’18, +2.2% in ’19 and -3.7% in pandemically driven 2020. Excluding the last year, out of Trump’s control, just as Obama’s first year, Trump’s economy grew at an average of 2.5%.

So: A reasonably fair comparison would be that Trump’s economy, buttressed by lower taxes, a trillion dollars of overseas corporate capital repatriated, less legislative burden, and a friendlier business climate, grew three tenths of one percent faster than Obama’s. If one wants to include the first year under Obama and the last under Trump, under control of neither, the average would be 0.95% under Trump and 1.6% under Obama.

As far as the debt is concerned, under Obama the debt went from $10.6 trillion at 1/20/09 to $19.9 trillion at 1/20/2017, an increase of $9.3 trillion over EIGHT YEARS. The debt under Trump increased to $27.8 trillion at 1/31/21, an increase of $7.9 trillion over FOUR YEARS.
Don’t believe anything you hear and very little of what you read!

With that off my chest, the fiscal/monetary chickens are coming home to roost. The factors that we have been discussing for years are becoming too obvious for the financial markets and policy makers to ignore.

The table just below shows the monthly deficit numbers. For the month ending April, the deficit was “only” $226B, down from the explosion of $738B in the first full month of the pandemic last year. Still, we are running 30% ahead of a year ago, which finished in a $3.1 trillion hole, and there is huge spending ahead of us this year. With the trillions that are being thrown around, it seems likely that the deficit for the current year will be over $4 trillion. Keep in mind that our Federal Reserve is buying the majority of the debt that we are issuing to fund this deficit, so we are literally “monetizing” the debt by paying for the deficit with freshly printed Dollars. It is in this context that we have suggested that there is no need to raise taxes on anyone, rich or poor. None of it will supply more than a few hundred billion dollars per year, and there is much less aggravation for everyone if one of Jerome Powell’s hundreds of PHDs pushes a computer button and produces the US version of a digital currency. Of course, inflation will be the cruelest tax, especially on the middle and lower class citizen, but they will likely never understand the cause.

Click to enlarge:

Inflation in consumer goods, rather than the asset inflation we have seen in the last ten years, is finally rearing its beautiful (as far as the Federal Reserve is concerned) head. Post pandemic demand, along with looser purse strings as pandemic relief checks are distributed, is replacing the pandemic induced reduction of demand that has suppressed the economy over the last year. As we wrote last month, some very bright economists are agreeing with Jerome Powell that inflationary indications are “anchored” and “transitory”, but we believe transitory may last longer and not so well anchored as expected. The last twelve months of the CPI are now above 4%, and the CPI is widely considered to be understating the inflationary facts of life.

We consider that there has been an undeniable bubble in all kinds of assets, from Tesla to Bitcoin, to collectible homes worth a hundred million dollars to crypto-art and lots of individual stocks that trade for 50x sales instead of a more modest multiple of earnings or cash flow. Investors of all stripes are reaching desperately for a “return”, as evidenced by the historically low yield spread between high yield debt and US Treasury securities, as well as the asset classes referred to above. As we write this, a number of these upside distortions are in the process of being corrected. Tesla is down from over $900 to under $600. Bitcoin is $43k, down from $64k three weeks ago, the bloom is coming off the SPAC rose, and GameStop is down well over 50% from its ridiculous high. However, the process has just begun and will no doubt play out over a number of years.

Gold and gold mining stocks seem to have consolidated adequately since last August, when interest rates went modestly higher, and have just now established new bullish chart patterns. Negative “real interest rates”, subtracting the inflation rate from the yield on short term treasuries, has a strong correlation with the price of gold. The more negative the “real” interest rate, the more attractive is gold bullion, with no dividend or interest. Almost to the day, last August, when interest rates moved higher, reducing the degree of negativity, the gold price started drifting lower. Real treasury rates never turned positive, but the smaller degree of negativity reduced the urgency for ownership of gold. While interest rates have not gone back down to levels of nine months ago, inflation has picked up substantially, so short term treasuries yield several points less than the 4.2% trailing twelve month inflation rate and gold therefore protects purchasing power very well without paying interest or a dividend. The result is that gold bullion, as well as gold mining stocks have now broken out above their 200 day moving average price lines, so technicians will reprogram their algorithmically driven computers. While gold bullion is still down a percent or two for the year, gold mining stocks are positive for the year and have never been fundamentally cheaper.

It continues to be our conviction that gold mining stocks, in particular, are the single best place to protect one’s purchasing power over the long term, and our investment partnership is invested accordingly. Since there seems to be an increasing interest in this subject, in very quick summation:  I am personally the largest Limited Partner, by far, as well as the Managing General Partner of RHL Associates LP, as I have been for the 28 year life of the Partnership. The minimum investment is $500k and the fee structure is “1 and 10”. Funds can be added on the first of any month and withdrawn at the end of any quarter with 30 days written notice. We remain open to new investors, keep our investors apprised on a monthly basis as to our performance, and can be contacted through this site or by email at [email protected].

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 to the left) .

He also invested in gold mining stocks and studied the work of Harry Browne, the world famous author and economist, who predicted the 2000% move in the price of gold in the 1970s. In this regard, Roger has republished the world famous first book of Harry Browne, and offers it free with each subscription to this website.

In the late 1970s, Roger left Wall Street to build and operate a chain of 15 Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips stores in Canada. In 1980 he returned to New York, and for the next 13 years worked at Ladenburg, Thalmann & Co., Inc. where he managed the Lipton Research Division, specializing (naturally) in the restaurant industry. While at Ladenburg he sponsored an annual Restaurant Conference for investment professionals, featuring as keynote speakers friends such as Norman Brinker (the “Babe Ruth” of casual dining) , Dave Thomas (Wendy’s) , Jim Collins (Sizzler & KFC), Jim Patterson (Long John Silver’s), Allan Karp (KarpReilly) and Ted Levitt (legendary Harvard Business School marketing professor, and author). Roger formed his own firm, Lipton Financial Services, Inc. in 1993, to invest in restaurant and retail companies, as well as provide investment banking services. Within the restaurant industry he currently serves on the Board(s) of Directors of both publicly held, as well as a private equity backed casual dining chains. He also serves on the Board of a charitable foundation affiliated with Israel’s Technion Institute.

The Bottom Line: Roger Lipton is uniquely equipped as an investor, investment banker, board member and advisor, especially related to the restaurant, franchising, and retail industries. He has advised institutional investors, underwritten public offerings, counseled on merger transactions, served on Board(s) of Directors, public and private, been retained as an expert witness, conducted valuation studies and personally managed a successful investment partnership, all specializing in restaurants/retail. He has studied great success stories over the last 40 years, from McDonalds to Shake Shack. Even more important he has watched scores of companies stumble and sometimes fail. It is this insight that Roger brings to this website.

Cabin Fever Will Drive a Franchise Explosion

There are available franchise opportunities that can satisfy a wide range of prospective franchisees. From fast food concepts to children’s services there are franchises that require an affordable investment that can meet an increase in customer demand.

Cabin Fever Will Drive a Franchise Explosion

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

By Ed Teixeira. VP Franchise Grade, Author, MA Economics, Industry Partner Stony Brook U.,Advisory Board Pace U. Lubin School

The havoc caused by the Pandemic has given a new meaning to the term cabin fever which is typically attributed to a bad winter. Instead, this recent case of cabin fever has lasted throughout the spring, summer and winter. As the disruption caused by the Pandemic begins to subside with more of us getting vaccinated people are looking to break out from being stuck at home.

Whether its recently overcrowded restaurants, golf courses or a surge in vacation rentals, people want to get out. This movement has started to translate into an increased focus on franchise opportunities. Every credible franchise forecast predicts a very active 2021 for the franchise industry. If there is one thing the franchise model proved during the Pandemic is its resilience to withstand it’s negative impact that caused so many independently owned small and medium businesses to close.

There are available franchise opportunities that can satisfy a wide range of prospective franchisees. From fast food concepts to children’s services there are franchises that require an affordable investment that can meet an increase in customer demand.

Consider the disruption in children’s lives by their not being able to attend school or participate in recreational actives. Parents of school age children will want to make up for these losses by utilizing the various services provided by children’s franchise brands from tutoring to creative arts to recreational programs.

A good resource is, https://www.franchisegrade.com/search which presents over 2,500 franchise opportunities that prospective franchisees can view at no cost. Visitors can use filters to find the type of franchise they prefer, the amount of investment and compare various franchise opportunities.

Now is the time to shake off that cabin fever and take that next step by finding that franchise opportunity that fulfills your vision and meets your budget.

Currently the VP of Franchise Development for Franchise Grade.com. Ed has over 35 years in the franchise industry as a franchise executive and franchisee. He has an MA in Economics from Northeastern U. Mr.Teixeira franchise experience has included the retail, manufacturing, home health care, medical staffing and GPS fleet tracking industries. Ed has experience with international licensing in Asia, Europe, and South America and was a contributor to Forbes Magazine and is qualified by the International Center for Dispute Resolution as an international franchise expert. He is also a faculty member of LawLine.com and have Lecturer at Stony Brook University Business School on the subject of Franchising. Contact Ed at: [email protected] Visit his website: www.franchisegrade.com

New World, New Business: 5 Ways Small Businesses Are Adapting To COVID

“The unexpected has forced many to reevaluate plans, practices and procedures,” notes Andrea Forstadt on USChamber.com. “Yet one of the advantages of being a small business is the ability to more easily lean in to, embrace and adapt to change.

New world, new business: 5 ways small businesses are adapting to COVID

BY Brandpoint with permission.

(BPT) – COVID-19 has irrevocably altered the way that we do business. Some small businesses have floundered, while others have completely reinvented themselves.

In a recent survey by SCORE, just 34% of U.S. small business owners now categorize their companies as profitable, compared to 55% in 2019. As a result, they’re working hard to adapt — reconfiguring their offerings to boost revenues and planning such new strategies.

“The unexpected has forced many to reevaluate plans, practices and procedures,” notes Andrea Forstadt on USChamber.com. “Yet one of the advantages of being a small business is the ability to more easily lean in to, embrace and adapt to change. For many, the short-term alternate plans or adjustments are fast becoming the realities of the foreseeable future.”

Here are five trends that have impacted small business this year.

Freelancing has surged. As people rely on contract work to replace lost jobs, the number of freelancers in the U.S. is growing steadily. NPR reports that two million more Americans began freelancing between September of 2019 and September of 2020, boosting the freelance portion of the U.S. workforce to 26%. Studies also show that women lost jobs at a faster rate than men during the past year; and are more likely to pursue full-time freelance careers due to autonomy and flexible schedules.

Cashless commerce is growing. To reduce person-to-person contact, businesses of all kinds are discouraging or completely eliminating cash payment options in favor of card or digital payments. “Ongoing shifts toward e-commerce, digital payments (including contactless), instant payments and cash displacement have all been significantly boosted in the past six months,” confirms an October McKinsey report. In one example, the raw volume of invoices sent on Invoice2go, which saw more than $24 billion in invoicing volume in 2019, has risen from 58 million to 78 million invoices sent per month — a boost of about 30%. As consumers seek efficiency and convenience, Invoice2go also has seen a 50% boost in digital payments via its payment platform — a crucial assist to help small businesses stay competitive.

Demand is up for digital tools. As small businesses lean more on online business functions and/or e-commerce during social isolation, they’re calling for leading-edge tools that can help them navigate the logistics. Women-owned businesses are often primary customers for financial management tools — studies show they’re 43% more likely than male business owners to be concerned that limited access to funds could hurt their businesses. Around 43% of U.S. small businesses plan to expand their businesses through digital and related technology as a response to COVID-19, according to the Verizon Business Survey. In fact, 30% of these businesses have already added ways to deliver products and services digitally. To meet this demand, Invoice2go has recently added “Reviews” and “Profiles” features — prompting a star-based review after each transaction and enabling creation of an auto-generated website to help small businesses get discovered and build credibility. This is especially crucial for solopreneurs (37% of the platform’s users), who can’t always devote valuable time for customer follow-up and encourage the word-of-mouth that generates future business.

Businesses are diversifying. Many small businesses have devised new offerings as previous income streams dwindled. For example, hotels are now offering day-rate rooms for people who need to work remotely, distilleries are producing hand sanitizer in addition to spirits and restaurants are offering better, easier take-out options. “Difficult times often lead to changes in the way the world operates,” says Wade Thomas in Forbes. His advice to business owners is, “Develop products and services that not only solve today’s challenges, but will also thrive in the new, post-difficult-times world.”

Virtual experiences are expanding. Companies have transformed in-person events into digital experiences. From virtual happy hours, to podcast product releases, to YouTube customers videos, everything is going online. “The real opportunity is to somehow provide the experience and connectivity of former live events to a virtual one that actually can sustain itself over time, even after the end of the pandemic,” explains Bernhard Schroeder in Forbes.

Need a suite of effective digital tools that will help you run your small business smoothly and efficiently? Invoice2go offers user-friendly products that can streamline your day-to-day workflow so you can focus on your business. Functions include estimates, expenses, invoices, payments, appointments, ratings and reviews. It’s going above and beyond for passionate small business owners and freelancers looking to improve and streamline processes in the new year. Learn more at Invoice2go.com.