Archive for September, 2010

Buy A Franchise – Choice Hotels

September 30th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

 

Choice’s Joyce sees expansion in four-star and international arenas 

 
 

PHOENIX — Watch for Choice Hotels International to put a strong emphasis on its Cambria Suites product in the near future. The brand, labeled by the lodging franchisor as a “lifestyle, all-suites brand that offers contemporary, upscale accommodations at affordable prices,” now has 22 franchises open across the country. Choice’s president and CEO, Steve Joyce, is optimistic that the growth will continue, due in large part to its acceptance by the traveling public.

While initial plans to expand the brand rapidly fell short with the economic downturn, Joyce says Choice now plans to use some existing capital to encourage major developers to invest in Cambria Suites. “We’re going to push these projects through until we get some scale and until we have a more rational lending environment when there is more construction capital available,” he said.

Why the investment? “This is Choice’s first entry in to the upscale arena so it’s a very important piece to us in the long term,” Joyce says. Once a “more cooperative financing environment” is in place, he expects to have about 70 Cambria Suites properties open.

Incentives will be given to a mix of developers who are already Choice franchisees. Others will go to developers with whom Joyce has relationships  from his previous role as EVP, global development/owner and franchise services at Marriott International. Joyce joined Choice as president and COO in May 2008.

Four-star product for choice?
Cambria won’t be Choice’s only foray into the upscale sector.

“We would very much like to be in the upper-upscale sector with a full-service brand, but with a full-service brand that fits our company,” he said. For this reason, Joyce has frequently said a four-star product with a strong value proposition would be the best way to go. “We’re in a good position balance sheet-wise,” he said. “We have got a lot of dry powder that we’ve been sitting on.”

“An [upper-upscale] product would really round out our portfolio and help drive a lot more business customers into our brands,” Joyce said, noting that business travel is about a third of Choice’s mix.

“People say, ‘we have so many hotels in this country, how many more you can run?’ The answer is, ‘a lot,’ because we have a lot of different brands for different purposes. In addition to that, we hardly play at all in the upscale and upper upscale. That’s the other half of the business. So that’s where our growth opportunity is,” he said, noting that the upper-upscale hotels would open in domestic markets first.

Technology fueling expansion
It’s not to say that international expansion is not being considered for Choice’s other brands, thanks in large part to the fact that the company’s proprietary Web-based hotel property management system, choiceADVANTAGE, allows it to work with properties all over the globe, as long as they have access to the Internet. The PMS, already installed in 3,000 Choice-branded franchises in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provides functionality for guest servicing, revenue management, groups functionality, and remote access and full integration with Choice’s programs. The company also is planning to roll out the system to its properties in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France and Germany later this year.

“Basically, we can go to a franchisee and say, ‘Look, if you have access to the Internet, you have access to all our systems. You don’t have to buy a box, you don’t have to buy cabling, you don’t have to buy air-conditioning for your box, you don’t have to pay a geek to watch over your box,’” Joyce said. “It’s all Internet-based. It is really a huge advantage for us to be able to go to a franchisee and say, ‘You don’t have to pay anything to convert equipment.’”

Expanding international portfolio
Joyce said Choice has a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment in its IT platform, which will assist in its international expansion. “We are ready to roll it out at the end of this year,“ he said. “We think it’s going to be huge advantage for us with conversions in Europe.”

Indeed, there is opportunity across the pond, according to Joyce. “We see a ton of relatively small, 50- to 100-room, independent properties that will work for us with our brands. That’s a huge, huge play and we believe we are going to be well-positioned to take advantage of that,” he said, noting that the Choice has long had an extremely strong presence in Scandinavia.

“The Scandinavians already know who we are like nobody’s business, which is great,” he said. “We just need to get that kind of distribution going in Paris and Germany and the U.K. Once we do that, I think we are really going to have something.”

To achieve that expansion, the lodging franchisor will be investing in development through next year; it has also elevated David Pepper to SVP, global development. Pepper previously served as SVP of franchise development for North America for Choice.

“We probably have one of the better, more aggressive sales forces in this country and we want to export that approach to selling franchises in Europe and the U.K., India and other spots,” Joyce said.

Quality Inn hits 1,000
While new brands and international expansion are a focus for Choice’s top executive, he is also keeping a keen eye on the company’s most tried-and-true brands. Quality Inn, which launched in 1941, now has 1,000 properties, thanks to the recent addition of the 86-room Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center in Martoon, Ill.

”A lot of the innovation that happened in the hotel business happened first in Quality, such as the first telephones in guestrooms, the first TVs, the first 24-hour desk and the first 24/7 call center. So if look at the history of the hotel business, it’s the history of Quality, which is kind of cool,” he said, citing Holiday Inn’s arrival on the scene in the late 1950s as another important landmark for the industry.

Today, Quality plays a big role as a conversion brand.

“We actually think it’s going to be one of our primary growth vehicles for the next two to three years as the conversion market remains hot,“ he said.
The benefits of a Quality Inn? “We make sure they are well run and clean and that they are great value. Consumers react well to it; everybody knows that brand and for franchisees it represents an incredible value. Through our distribution channels, we push a lot of business their way.”

Comfort’s redesign
The Choice CEO also has faith in the Comfort Inn product, which has nearly 2,000 properties open. Its sister brand, Comfort Suites, has more than 600 franchises open.

“We actually think this is going to be our next power brand. The box is terrific and consumers like it,“ Joyce said, noting that a new emphasis on the brand’s design will help propel it forward. The international architecture and design firm, Gensler, has just done a series of designs for the brand, which Joyce admits had “a pretty sterile look originally.” At 30 years old, Comfort Inn was ready to be reinvigorated, he said, adding that franchisees have participated in what its new look and feel. “It’s going to be a major boom for the existing product.”

Elevating the image of the Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites up a notch will create more room in the economy niche for Sleep Inn, he said. The brand has more than 400 locations open.

“There is no reason Sleep can’t be 1,000 units, he said. “Consumers and developers like it and it’s a very economical box.“

Mood of the members
Overall, Joyce said Choice franchisees are cautiously optimistic following a good summer for most.

“There are still some pockets that are pretty tough and profits, while they are up, are still way down from where they were,” he said. Even though franchisees have made a lot less money in the downturn, “they’re an optimistic bunch by nature. And I think we have done a lot to be supportive of them, both financially and by being flexible by pushing back costs. We’re doing a lot of things to try to help them, which I think they have recognized.”

And, current conditions aren’t all bad. The challenging lodging development market is actually helping existing hotels “because the supply-demand balance is going to be as good as it’s been in a long, long time,” he said. “That means that you are going to get – even the economy grow slowly–pretty significant demand growth.”

That dynamic, along with an improved overall employment outlook, bodes well for Choice and its franchisees, Joyce said. “So I think franchisees are getting to the point where they feel they’ve made it through. We are not out of the woods yet, we are not making the kind of money we were, but I can see the [recovery] is coming and I am looking on to what looks like a pretty good side of things.”

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 2% [?]

Buy A Franchise – How Subway Built a $4B Brand- 5 Bucks at a Time

September 29th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise. Bellevue Franchise)

Since joining Subway as CMO of its Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust in 2006, Tony Pace has been quick to make change, boosting advertising from 52 weeks a year from 33 weeks at the chain that is now America’s second largest, after McDonald’s. He’s created a new digital marketing team and developed branded entertainment opportunities on shows like The Biggest Loser and Chuck. It’s Pace’s first job as a marketer, but the agency veteran is no novice to the QSR business, with experience at McCann on accounts like Burger King, Outback Steakhouse and regional Popeye’s business, and at Young & Rubicam, KFC. Next week (Oct. 4), Subway kicks off a new promotion featuring front man Jared’s training for the ING New York City Marathon. Pace recently talked with Brandweek about Jared, other Subway “famous fans” and the phenomenal success of the chain’s $5 Footlong. Below are some excerpts.

Brandweek: Tell us about the success of $5 Footlong subs.
Tony Pace:
On an annualized sales basis, the $5 Footlong is over a $4 billion brand for us. It was started by a franchisee at a Florida restaurant, and as it got broader appeal, we tested it. We thought it was powerful, but with marketing behind it, it was unbelievable. It has had more than 90 percent awareness with people aged 12 to 64 since about three months into the program. It emphasizes great value on our menu, and that’s something we always needed to address. Right now we’re 130 weeks into the $5 Footlong, which was originally planned as a four-week promotion. We’ve had a lot of scattered pricing, and the $5 Footlong helped us go to tiered menu pricing.

BW: Subway has continued to grow through these tough times. As a private company, Subway doesn’t publicly share numbers, but can you give us an indication?
TP:
As recently as 2007, we were the fifth largest QSR [quick-service restaurant]. Now we’re the second largest. [Food service market researcher]  NPD Crest said QSR traffic has been flat for nearly the entire year. We’ve averaged 8 percent growth since March, and in the last three months, we’ve seen double-digit traffic growth. We have 23,000 restaurants in the U.S., and while that number has grown a little bit by adding 855 stores this year, most of our growth is on a same-store basis.

BW: What is your marketing emphasis at this time?
TP:
We look at it differently than our competitors. Given the size of our business, we need about 30 million customers a week. Using one message during one particular point of time is not the way we work. We’re selling breakfast, healthy sandwiches, indulgent sandwiches, $5 Footlong sandwiches. We use Jared in advertising, PR and social media, but he isn’t necessarily the focal point in every promotion. Some would say we run the risk of being too diffused in messaging. We look at marketing in layers that run in concert with one another. They obviously have different emphasis but build off the essence of Subway which is fresh and made to order right in front of you.
BW: How is your new breakfast menu going?
TP:
Very well. It’s a legend in our category that it took McDonald’s three years to make any money in breakfast. Fortunately we’re getting there a lot faster than they did.

BW: You’ve recently upgraded your coffee to Seattle Best. Do you have any plans at the moment for espresso-based drinks?
TP:
Seattle Best is a good brand, and we needed a good coffee to launch breakfast. But I wouldn’t say espresso-based drinks are a near-term proposition for us although we’re always open to what makes long-term sense.

BW: Do you have any menu expansion details that can you share?
TP:
We have such a breadth of ingredients that we can expand the menu just by focusing on ingredients we already have. Right now we’re promoting Firey Footlongs. One of them is a turkey sub with melted cheese and jalapeno; that’s a variation on a theme, but it has a different flavor and taste profile than a standard turkey sub. There are more than 2 million combinations you can make, given the ingredients we have in the restaurant.

BW: Can you tell us a bit about Subway’s use of sports celebrities and its use of  branded entertainment?
TP:
We don’t use celebrities; we use people who are already fans of Subway who happen to be famous. Michael Phelps, when he’s not training, likes to order a meatball and jalapeno sub. Projects like (one-hour August special and Web series) Golf Therapy is terrific because NBC was part of that, and we were able to put a lot of our famous fans into the show. The integration of marketing into content is hard to do unless you have the assets to do it. We have both with media outlets and individual personalities. A big advantage with our famous fans is they’re always sending out messaging on our behalf to their fan base whether it’s about a new commercial, event marketing or other PR activities.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise. Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 5% [?]

Buy A Franchise – McDonald’s Thrives During Recession

September 28th, 2010

The recession, now officially over, and down in history books the longest since the Great Depression, was not kind to the business world. Once-proud General Motors succumbed to government takeover. Disgraced financial giant AIG  needed taxpayer bailouts to survive. Countless smaller, uncelebrated businesses closed their doors completely.

 An exception to all of this economic despair has been fast food chain McDonald’s. While rivals Burger King  and Yum! Brands  struggled during the recession, McDonald’s has not only stayed afloat since 2008: it has grown.

 In August, McDonald’s reported that sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 4.6%. Burger King, meanwhile, announced on September 2 that it has agreed to sell itself to investment firm 3G Capital in order to “gain breathing room to fix its business,” according to Reuters. At that time, Burger King shares were down more than 31% since the end of 2008 – while McDonald’s shares rose nearly 18% during the same period.

Here’s how McDonald’s did what so many other businesses coundn’t during the recession: thrive.

Recession-Friendly Pricing

As early as November 2008, Forbes recognized McDonald’s low pricing strategy as a pillar of its recession-era success. At that time, Burger King’s stock had fallen 24.6% over the prior year, while Yum! Brands had plummeted 28.6% during the same period. Ruby Tuesday  went into a free fall, with its stock falling 88.3% at that time. McDonald’s, meanwhile, dropped only 3.4% during this time frame. The reason, Forbes maintains, was its “recession-friendly Dollar Menu.”

In addition to that, McDonald’s occupies in the food service industry roughly the position that Wal-Mart fills in retail: the lowest-cost producer. When recession strikes, cost becomes paramount.

New Products For Different Markets

 CNN, while acknowledging the cost issue, says that there is more to why McDonald’s has thrived. Referring to the company’s “liquid profits,” CNN finds that McDonald’s has “given more kinds of people more reasons to head to its stores throughout the day, buying an ever-wider range of products.” Throughout its history, McDonald’s has been a place for young people to quickly get their hands on cheap, greasy food and leave as fast possible.

Today, McDonald’s has grown far beyond these needs. For one thing, the fast food chain now sells premium coffee which, Consumer Reports says, beats Starbucks for taste and quality. A new line of now-popular frappes and fruit smoothies was released. Most McDonald’s locations also offer free wifi Internet access, with the goal to not only bring in more customers through the doors, but once in, get them to stay longer (and consume more) as well. 

Reduced Advertising Costs

McDonald’s has also shrewdly taken advantage of lower TV advertising rates to reinforce its unique selling proposition to customers. As CNN explained in August, rates for local television advertising are down across the board due to lower promotional spending across the business-to-consumer world.McDonalds, whose same-store sales rose 7% internationally in July versus a year ago (and 10.1% in “non-American, non-European parts of the world) has seized the opportunity to mount an all-out promotional blitz for its various products without having to substantially grow its advertising spend.

Improved Operations

Another driving force behind McDonald’s success in the last few years has been a company-wide push for improved operations. In a March 2009 article, the Wall Street Journal told readers about Ralph Alvarez, the Cuban-born ex-accountant who served as McDonald’s president and chief operating officer through the end of the year and spearheaded a full-fledged crusade to make McDonald’s more efficient. (Alvarez announced his retirement in December 2009, citing health reasons.) During his short-term leadership, however, his work included: 

“…pruning gas-guzzling cars from the company fleet, pressing media buyers to negotiate lower advertising rates and putting the brakes on building new outlets on street corners where nearby development shows signs of weakness.” 

While tackling these challenges, Alvarez is managing the company’s gigantic investments in the coffee drinks and other new product lines that have helped McDonald’s stand tall against the recession. He is so committed to his efficiency campaign that he reportedly visits stores unannounced wearing baseball caps and sunglasses to verify first-hand that his instructions are being followed.

Rapid Price Adjustments

 The same Wall Street Journal piece also discusses how McDonald’s has begun using computer systems for in-store decision making. Using the “reams of customer data” at its disposal, McDonald’s now closely analyzes “everything from whether customers are trading down to smaller value meals or dropping cokes from their orders to exactly how much they’re willing to pay for a Big Mac.” Alvarez, who confessed to loving numbers, said that these kinds of computerized systems allow McDonald’s restaurants to rapidly adjust prices based on current customer demand.

One result of this process occurred in China, where some restaurants reportedly slashed the price of certain combo meals by up to one-third – but only during lunch hours.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 14% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Basic Business Concepts Part 3

September 27th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Time

Any desired commodity, currency in the case of this discussion, increases in value as it increases in scarcity. Although we were all hoodwinked into believing that the computer revolution of the 1980′s was going to make us so efficient that we would have gobs of time on our hands, I don’t think there are too many converts to that ascribed belief any longer.

When we discuss our clients’ need for more time in their respective businesses, during our training class for all new Schooley Mitchell Franchisees, I always relate the following story.

The scene was at a National Franchise Convention waiting for the kick-off speaker to begin the proceedings. There were several hundred Franchisors sitting in the convention hall, when from the back of the room this guy entered, flipping a head of lettuce up and down. He walked right up the middle aisle continually flipping the leafy orb. There were a few snickers because it was apparent to some that an inmate had gone over the wall at the local asylum.

With a determined look, and a single purpose in mind, this guy trotted right up to the front of the room, climbed onto the stage, and leapt behind the podium. With a greatly threatening look, he bellowed, “Somebody in this room tell me why this head of lettuce represents the most important concept that you must understand for your business to survive in the next decade!” He was completely fired up, spittle was flying, and he was turning red. At this point half the room was convinced of the asylum scenario, while the other half realized that this was actually the guest speaker.

Gliding down a bit from his commando high, he said, “O.K., I want to ask you a couple of questions.” He went on to say, “I want you to think back ten years, picture in your mind your local grocery store, and tell me how many square feet were dedicated to heads of lettuce at 79 cents each.” After a bit of a pregnant pause, someone in the audience yelled out, “30 square feet.”

Our now calm and seemingly rational speaker now asked, “O.K we can accept that answer, so now flash forward ten years to today and somebody tell me how many square feet are dedicated to heads of lettuce in today’s grocery store at 89 cents.” The answer came back as ten square feet.

The next question was, “Now somebody tell me how many square feet are dedicated to prepared salads at $4.95 each.” The revelation was clear. Yes, that’s where the other 20 square feet went – in fact, the current stores may even use more than 20 feet! The crowd was elated that they had solved the riddle.

Then in a very quiet, almost ominous tone he asked, “So what is that about and why does it matter so much to your business?”

His message was of course that it was about time. We are willing to pay good money, already conceded to be a valuable currency, to save ourselves time. We will pay a premium to avoid cutting carrots and cucumbers, and in my mind I plead guilty to the act.

In fact, he said, “Time is the currency of today’s economy, and you need to figure out how you are delivering time to your customers, or you will not thrive.”

The story hit hard, made a strong and valid point, and I have been thoroughly convinced of the importance of time as a currency of trade ever since. The challenge of course is to figure out how to deliver time to our customers. Before we can do that we have to figure out how we can make it clear to our customers that we will, in fact, help them to gain time through our wares.

Money and time are certainly the most recognizable and widely accepted of the currencies of trade. However, it is my belief that we also trade in Security, Knowledge and Prestige. These currencies will be reviewed in more detail in a subsequent release, but for now, suffice it to say that we need to feel secure, not only physically, but also that we have made the right decisions. We also crave knowledge. In fact, we live in a knowledge-based society now. The vast majority of people trade for prestige as well. Otherwise, why would we wear what we wear, drive what we drive, live where we live?

Money, time, security, knowledge and prestige make up the suite of Currencies of Trade. So the challenge is how to deliver these items, and how to make our customers aware of how we deliver them.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 3% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Maui Wowi Named to Franchise 500

September 26th, 2010

Maui Wowi Hawaiian Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 for 5th Straight Year

Maui Wowi Hawaiian, the premier destination for authentic Hawaiian products on the mainland, today announced it has been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s high-respected Franchise 500® ranking for the fifth consecutive year. Listed at #190 overall for 2008, Maui Wowi Hawaiian also came in at #165 on the magazine’s listing of America’s Top Global Franchises.

Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500®, which debuted in 1980, is considered the best and most comprehensive rating of franchises in the world. Using an exclusive formula based on objective data, the ranking measures a franchise company’s financial strength and stability, growth rate and system size, as well as number of years in business, length of time franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. All financial data is audited by an independent CPA.

“Reaching five consecutive years on the Franchise 500® is a testimony to the enduring strength of the Maui Wowi brand,” said Michael Haith, president and board chairman of Maui Wowi Hawaiian. “Consumers continue to focus on nutrition and healthy food choices–even in the beverages they drink. Maui Wowi not only defined the smoothie category nearly 25 years ago, but also continues to innovate through its selection of premium Hawaiian coffees and other island merchandise. The Aloha Spirit is more alive than ever at Maui Wowi Hawaiian.”

In addition to its signature fruit smoothie drinks blended to order wikiwiki, Maui Wowi Hawaiian stores and free-standing units serve premium Hawaiian Kona-blend coffee, espresso and cappuccino, as well as a full selection of genuine Hawaiian lifestyle merchandise. Maui Wowi Hawaiian franchisees benefit from the burgeoning smoothie market; U.S. retail sales of smoothies surpassed $1.6 billion in 2005, and are expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2010.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian’s success is due as much to its Aloha Spirit as to its products. The company and its franchisees enthusiastically adhere to the values of family, harmony, and balanced living, and are committed to an environmentally-aware philosophy that abides by the principles of sustainable living.

In addition to its long-standing Entrepreneur magazine Franchise 500® ranking, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has been twice ranked as one of the fastest-growing private companies by INC. magazine. The company recently announced its first international master franchise signing in Singapore, and is aggressively developing franchise opportunities in other world markets.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the only franchise that offers authentic, natural Hawaiian products, fresh-fruit smoothies, blended Hawaiian coffee beverages, and genuine Hawaiian lifestyle stuff. Founded in 1983, Maui Wowi Hawaiian has experienced meteoric growth to include nearly 500 franchised units in its worldwide franchise ohana, or family. This earth-friendly company celebrates its Aloha Spirit by embracing the values of family, harmony and balanced living while striving to abide by the principles of sustainable living.

To learn more about Maui Wowi Hawaiian’s franchise opportunities inside or outside the United States please contact me at 206-200-3325 or info@buyafranchiseunlimited.com

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 2% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Basic Business Concepts Part 2

September 25th, 2010

(Buy a Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

This is Part 2 of my 3 part series on Basic Business Concepts:

Money

This is the most accepted version of currency in most people’s minds. In fact, money is used in our common language synonymously with currency. I propose that it is only one currency, albeit the one we trade with in commercial transactions most apparently.

In reality, it’s just the bridge between the caribou and the carrots. I mean, surely people don’t really want a stack of paper. No, they want the carrots if they’ve already got a bunch of caribou. Our forefathers have simply been able to structure a system where the paper can be traded for stuff, and stuff can be traded for paper – and we’re all willing to abide by this trading system.

So a dressmaker is willing to trade one of his dresses for some paper. The landlord is willing to rent part of her space to the dressmaker to display dresses in return for some of his paper. The grocer will accept the landlord’s paper for some carrots – no caribou required.

We all get this one. So if we know that one of the currencies that businesses desire is money, then our products and services must be able to help our customers gain more money. It seems simple but I’m not sure we have that goal firmly in mind when we illustrate our wares.

However, just like the system of trading stuff for paper is simple, so is the concept that we need to show our customers how they can gain more money by doing business with us. The better we can communicate that message, the more attractive our goods and services will be to our desired customers.

(Buy a Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 4% [?]

Buy A Franchise – HOUSE Approves SBA Loan Limit Increase

September 24th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

 

HOUSE APPROVES International Franchise Associations SUPPORTED SBA LOAN LIMIT INCREASE

 International Franchise Association Members Join House Leaders for News Conference after Bill’s Passage.

 The International Franchise Association today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, which includes provisions that will help increase credit access for Franchise businesses.  This is helpful to not only the Bellevue Franchises and Seattle Franchises, but Franchises located all across the country. 

“The passage of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act by the House is a great win for Franchise businesses that have lobbied intensely for these changes for nearly two years,” said IFA President and CEO Stephen J. Caldeira.  “We commend the House for their action today, and strongly urge the President to quickly sign the bill into law so that Franchise owners can access additional capital to start new businesses and create jobs in communities across the country.”

The bill, passed by the Senate last week, increases the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan limit from $2 million to $5 million and extends the 90 percent loan guarantee rate through the end of 2010, which will help to encourage banks to participate in the SBA program. IFA analysis shows that with the loan limit increase, 450,000 to 600,000 new jobs could be created by Franchise businesses.   

Two International Franchise Association Franchisee members joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members  of the House during a press event after passage of the bill.  Mariana Huberman and Ram Javia represented the franchise industry as the House celebrated the passage of the bill. Huberman owns The UPS Store located in Washington, D.C. and has struggled to access the financing necessary to open a second store.  Javia, who was recently named an International Franchise Association Franchisee of the Year, owns three Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Baltimore, Md. area and sits on the Brand Advisory Council for Dunkin’ Brands.

Caldeira credited the International Franchise Association’s aggressive lobbying activities by its small business members for helping to ensure that the loan limit increase and extension of the 90 percent guarantee and borrower fee reductions were included in the bill.  Through congressional testimony at multiple hearings over the past 18 months, intensive media outreach and paid advertising, along with interaction with White House, Treasury, SBA and Federal Reserve officials, the International Franchise Association has worked relentlessly to explain that if more capital was available, franchise businesses could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.  IFA studies show that for every $1 billion in lending, franchise businesses can create over 40,000 jobs and $4.2 billion in economic output. 

Caldeira said the passage of the bill coincides with the latest advertisement in International Franchise Association’s public awareness campaign now running in Washington, D.C. area publications. The new ad features Pat Luers of Centerville, Ohio, who opened his first BrightStar Franchise last year and created 40 new jobs in his community.  Luers would like to open more locations of the BrightStar Franchise, however he is having trouble accessing additional credit to make that happen.  The advertisement explains that with access to credit and sound regulatory policies, franchise businesses like Luers’ can be an important part of the country’s economic recovery.

 (Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 3% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Basic Business Concepts – Part 1

September 23rd, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise).

If you are looking to start your Franchise in the Seattle, Bellevue  areas, as well as anywhere in the country, these basic business concepts apply to Franchises in all areas.  I will address this in a short 3 part Franchise series.

Every Franchise system should have a clear understanding of the following concepts. In addition, they should have a clear marketing strategy to help their Franchisees communicate to customers and prospects about how they will deliver these currencies as they operate their Franchise.

Trade

Give something to get something. Our inhabited globe has come a long way since the act of trade meant that ‘I’ll give you one caribou if you give me three baskets of carrots and a cord of wood’. However, that same basic tenet still drives all economic transactions. Value for value is the test. If we can create more value then we can get more value back when we auction ours. The only difficulty is that the definition of value is ever-changing. Therefore it would make sense that if we can figure out who defines value, we will be able to create and deliver more of it.

Remember from the discussion about Basic Franchise Business Concepts that… ‘It’s all about the customer’. So if we accept that it’s all about the customer then it follows that the customer is the beast that defines value. Seems simple. Seems basic. Seems unchallengeable.

O.K. so how do we figure out what the customer defines as value? It seems to make sense that we need to find ways to ask the customers that we choose to serve. We need to ask them to define what they find more and more valuable. We also need to accept that the definition of today will not be the same definition of tomorrow. At some point, somebody figured out that the customer wanted a fatter caribou, and if a fatter caribou was delivered, then four baskets of carrots and some extra wood could be obtained. They probably asked the carrot guy.

Study of business customers in today’s world will reveal that there are some basic currencies of trade that hold value for the customer. Understanding these basic currencies will help to define the specific methods and characteristics that are required of the product or service you provide to meet the value definition of your customer.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 4% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Dunkin Donuts

September 21st, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise).

Bill Rosenberg’s Dunkin’ Donuts Rose To No. 1

It was just one flip-open lunch truck parked outside a factory.

But Bill Rosenberg wanted his first business venture in New England to stand out. He wanted to wow customers with the finest coffee.

It was 1946, and the future founder of Dunkin’ Donuts had just cashed in $1,500 in war bonds and borrowed an additional $3,500.

Rosenberg, celebrating the 50th birthday of Dunkin' Donuts in 2000, said: Rosenberg, celebrating the 50th birthday of Dunkin’ Donuts in 2000, said: “If you serve good coffee and fresh product, people will come.”

The going rate for a cup of joe was a nickel. Rosenberg vowed to sell his superior blend for a dime.

Everyone he talked to said it was a bad idea. Rosenberg figured he couldn’t make a decent profit on a penny less. He had added up costs for the higher-priced “hotel blend” he had found and top-quality milk and cream to go with it.

Plus, Rosenberg thought his employees would work harder if they earned more. Their pay was based on 10% commissions.

He knew coffee would make up a big portion of total sales and profit. And he planned to expand…and expand he did…with one of the world’s most successful Franchise models.

Rosenberg’s Keys

  • Founded Dunkin’ Donuts, the world’s largest coffee and baked-goods chain, and helped forge standards for the franchising industry.
  • “I focused on making that first store a success, then I moved on to the second store, the third and the fourth. You start and learn and build and keep changing your goals as you achieve them.”

First he had to get customers to try the coffee. He told his brother Leon to lure customers away from the competition by offering free cups of coffee and telling them they should pay the full price if they liked it.

They liked it.

Besides the better tasting food and coffee, Rosenberg’s brand-new trucks outshone other vendors’ dingy operations. He had the flip-open vehicles outfitted with stainless steel shelving and equipment. His servers wore crisp uniforms.

Before long, Rosenberg’s food trucks eased out the competition. Industrial Luncheon Service grew into a fleet of 200. It became the largest foodservice operation in New England, expanding into cafeterias and mobile food carts inside plants, feeding millions of workers.

But Rosenberg wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to try something new: a retail store. He thought it should showcase the company’s biggest sellers: coffee and doughnuts, both freshly made in batches all day.

In 1948, he opened his first doughnut shop, Open Kettle. It was in a former awning store in Quincy, Mass., on the main road from Boston to Cape Cod.

Looking for a better name, Rosenberg had his employees brainstorm for ideas. In 1950, one name clicked.

Dunkin’ Donuts was born.

New signage added to it: “The World’s Finest Coffee.”

Dunkin’ Donuts went on to become an iconic global fast-food chain, with 9,000 units in 30 countries and $6 billion in annual sales.

The coffee is still percolating — No. 1 in the segment of hot regular cups sold at U.S. quick-service restaurants, though Starbucks is tops in espresso, according to research firm NPD Crest.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise).

Popularity: 14% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Teri Yaki Grill

September 20th, 2010

(Buy a Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

If you have been looking for a successful, and up and coming Teriyaki Franchise with a proven track record, then the Teri Yaki Grill Franchise may just be the food Franchise that you have been looking for.

Short Description:
Teriyaki rice bowls, sushi, sandwiches, salads and soups

Public / Client Description:
This concept fits very well for the new century; the food I healthy, delicious, affordable and provides plenty of variety for everyone’s tastes. The food is Japanese themed with American influences, as well. Everything is prepared quickly and with fresh ingredients. The concept has done well in Utah, operating for more than 8 years with 4 corporately owned units in Salt Lake City. It fits well in strip and enclosed malls, free standing buildings or as a co-branding with another type of concept. Teriyaki Express was started by Mike Keim, a Seattle Seahawks professional football player after retiring.


Buy a Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise

Popularity: 3% [?]

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