Archive for November, 2010

Fears That Drown Dreams

November 30th, 2010

 

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

This is a reprint of an excellent article posted by Pam Duskocy of Schooley Mitchell Franchise.  Enjoy:

While there are certainly legitimate reasons why a person may not become an entrepreneur, I will focus on a few of the main reasons cited by people that would like to begin a business but haven’t made that leap. I will also offer some thoughts on how to defeat the fear, and progress towards the dream.

It’s Not the Right Time

‘As soon as the mortgage is paid; as soon as the kids are done college; as soon as I get my buyout at work; as soon as I learn everything there is to know about it, as soon as 2 plus 2 plus 2 is 4. As soon as I am absolutely sure that this venture will have zero risk and my astounding success is guaranteed.’ Again, these thoughts are absolutely paralyzing. They are very real thoughts, and most are perfectly legitimate thoughts, but only thoughts and not reality. However, as I said, they are paralyzing.

There is a quote by Goethe that has always intrigued me and it seems to strike at the very heart of this issue.

“There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and magic in it. Begin it now.”

We had a saying at Schooley Mitchell, and it was long before Nike made it famous as their advertising slogan. Whenever, anyone hesitated to tackle a project, or to take a risk, or to take that next step to get the job done, we would simply say, ‘Just Do It!’

That attitude doesn’t suit everyone, but then perhaps it should. My guess is that it does suit those successful people we dream to be. The point is that the time to act is very likely now, when the opportunity is present, as opposed to some ill-defined ‘when ..then I will…’

Stated another way by Marsha Sinetar, “Intentions count as nothing if we do not translate them into action.”

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

Popularity: 4% [?]

Marriot Hotels and Resorts Unveils its 500th Location

November 29th, 2010

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Marriott Hotels & Resorts has recently unveiled its 500th hotel, the 416-room Pune Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre at Pune in India. Besides being the headquarters hotel for the new Pune Convention Center, this hotel has been built from the ground up to be green and will apply for  LEED Gold certification for its construction practices and its policies for recycling materials and reducing energy use in all areas of operations.

Some of the facilities at the newly launched Pune Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre include:-

  • A 10,000 square feet Quan Spa, with 13 treatment rooms and more than 100 authentic, indigenous treatments; a full-circuit fitness centre with state-of-the-art strength and cardiovascular equipment; an outdoor, heated swimming pool.
  • Eight different outlets, such as Paasha, a rooftop Indian restaurant and night club with Indian lounge music; Shakahari, an international vegetarian restaurant; Alto Vino, an Italian restaurant and wine bar; and Bar 101, a whiskey and cigar bar serving 101 different whiskeys.

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

Popularity: 3% [?]

Franchisors Requiring More Money/Experience from Potential Owners

November 22nd, 2010

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I am reprinting this excellent articale from Emily Maltby of the Wall Street Journal.  Enjoy.

With the economy in the dumps, an array of franchisers are raising their standards for prospective buyers. They’re demanding candidates bring much more cash to the table, as well as a stronger track record of experience in the industry. In some cases, they’re even inspecting the buyers’ current operations to see just how well they’re run.

“The margin for error in a down economy is less,” says Darrell Johnson, chief executive of franchise research-and-consulting firm FRANdata in Arlington, Va. “In a good economy, when you are struggling and learning on the job there is more margin for error because the economy is helping you along.”

FRANCHISE2Popeyes
FRANCHISE2

POPEYES SAYS…Buyers must already own a restaurant…AND IT CHECKS OUT

Consider the moves at Popeyes, the fast-food franchise chain operated by AFC Enterprises Inc. In late 2007, Popeyes began to feel “a mushiness in the market,” triggered by the housing crisis, recalls Vice President of Development Greg Vojnovic.

Candidates with stronger business acumen could better handle a bad economy, the company figured—so it mandated that all potential franchisees, or their business partners, must already own a restaurant.

“We’re looking for those that have experience…sweating about payroll and paying taxes every month,” Mr. Vojnovic says. As part of the evaluation process, Popeyes visits the existing establishment to evaluate its cleanliness, operations, culture and financial statements.

The strategy has paid off. Popeyes restaurants that opened in 2008 and 2009 generally have better sales than those that opened earlier, according to Mr. Vojnovic. Also, he says, lenders are more comfortable financing new Popeyes locations because of its improved track record.

FRANCHISE1Zoup!Zoup Fresh Soup’s managing partner and founder, Eric Ersher

ZOUP WANTS BUYERS WITH: $150k in cash, $350k net worth, Credit score over 700

Indeed, banks are a big reason some franchisers are raising the bar. Since the credit crunch hit, banks have been turning down loans left and right—and if a potential buyer can’t get financing, it means big headaches all around.

Would-be buyers lose the time and money that they spent going through the application process. And franchisers—which give franchisees a set window of time in which to find financing, hire employees and open shop—must sometimes wait as long as six months to a year to take back the area and make it available to new candidates.

So, franchisers want candidates to look as attractive to banks as possible. And for banks looking at franchisee loans these days, “[personal] financials are of much greater importance,” says Mr. Johnson. “And most lenders are requiring industry experience.”

For instance, the sandwich franchise chain Firehouse Subs used to encourage a 30% down payment out of the buyer’s pocket, but some candidates could get away with 10% or 20% before the recession. Now it’s requiring 30%—roughly $80,000 to $90,000—because banks won’t stand for anything less.

Firehouse Subs
LOOKING TO BUY INTO FIREHOUSE?  30% down payment.

The results have been positive, says Don Fox, chief executive of Firehouse of America LLC, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The quality of the applicants is higher than it’s ever been in the 12 years the company has franchised, and stores that opened this year are pulling in sales that are 17% higher than those that opened earlier.

At Zoup Fresh Soup Co., candidates now must have $150,000 in cash, $350,000 in net worth and a credit score greater than 700. Previously, they needed only $100,000 in cash and $300,000 in net worth to open a store, which costs between $250,000 and $400,000.

“The credit score and assets seem to be in line with the requirements of the financiers,” explains Eric Ersher, managing partner and founder of the 26-store eatery, headquartered in Southfield, Mich. “We do not look at applications if they don’t meet the financial requirements.”

The new owners must also now be hands-on and present at the business. That disqualifies candidates who have another business or a day job. “The downturn highlighted the importance of fitting with the culture,” says Mr. Ersher. “Those stores that had either absentee or not-engaged owners have not fared as well as those that continue to be passionate leaders.”

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 4% [?]

Franchise Companies Target Key Demographics

November 19th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise Unlimited, Seattel Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

See this interesting re-posting of an article from the Wall Street Journal – Monday Nov. 15, 2010.

Some franchisers aren’t just trying to weed out the less desirable buyers. Instead, they are actively recruiting groups they consider good bets.

Consider Maid Brigade Inc., a house-cleaning franchise based in Atlanta that serves 400 regions around the country. When credit got tight, the company decided to zero in on a group that had served them well in the past—armed-forces veterans.

“We had some veterans in the program already, and they were all successful,” says Bart Puett, president of Maid Brigade. “They have the right characteristics—they are trained on systems, they are goal setters and are hard working.” They also have pensions, which can support them until the business becomes profitable.

FRANCHISE_side

Maid BrigadeMaid Brigade gave away franchises in a contest for veterans.

The company held a contest for veterans and gave away franchises free or at a reduced cost. The winners have been up and running for only a few months, but early metrics are positive, Mr. Puett says. Maid Brigade is now holding its second competition for veterans; it will drop the franchise fees for the first 10 qualified applicants, reducing the overall cost by about $28,000.

Straw Hat Restaurants Inc. has also found success by targeting a demographic. The drive began in 2008, when the pizza chain assembled a new management team. They reduced the requirements and upfront costs for new restaurants, but even the more affordable price wasn’t drawing new qualified owners in the wake of the financial crisis.

That’s when Jonathan Fornaci, Straw Hat’s CEO, decided to target Indian-Americans. Mr. Fornaci used to work for a large financing company’s India division and knew that the culture fosters moral and financial support among friends and relatives.

That meant Indian candidates were less likely to need a loan. Also, Mr. Fornaci says that Indian populations have close ties to their community and a “strong service-oriented mentality”—two new mandates for incoming franchisees. After advertising franchise opportunities at Bollywood concerts, on Indian TV stations and in Indian journals, Mr. Fornaci started getting as many as 20 leads a day. The chain, which was at 38 restaurants in 2008, is likely to hit 100 by the end of the year. Today, some 65% of the deals closing involve Indian applicants.

Prem Dhoot, who opened a Straw Hat Pizza franchise in Walnut Creek, Calif., in September, is a third-generation Punjabi Indian-American. Mr. Dhoot was able to finance the restaurant primarily with cash from savings. But, he says, “the Indian community—they are willing to help you. If I had overrun costs, I would have been fine.”

(Buy A Franchise Unlimited, Seattel Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 3% [?]

Laid Off No More – Start a Franchise!

November 16th, 2010

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

Longtime corporate worker now happily her own boss after buying franchise

Erin Dillon bought an AdvantaClean Franchise in May after being laid off two years ago from Wendy’s International, where she worked for 33 years. Many unemployed workers consider starting a business when they can’t find work in a tight job market, a CareerBuilder survey found. The survey found that 26percent of workers who were laid off in the past six months and have not found jobs said they are now considering starting a business.

The work at times takes her to dark, dank and moldy places. Sometimes, she can be found creeping through crawl spaces, trudging through water-damaged basements and cleaning out dusty air vents.

But Erin Dillon couldn’t be happier.

The former Wendy’s International business-systems analyst has traded in her business suits and heels for a uniform that includes her own company’s embossed polo shirt, workpants and boots.

Dillon is one of the thousands who have lost jobs in the past couple of years but have found light at the end of the tunnel.

Having lost her job of 33 years after Wendy’s merged with Arby’s in September 2008, Dillon took a portion of her severance package and her savings to buy an AdvantaClean Franchise. The company specializes in cleaning air ducts, mopping up after water damage and clearing away mold.

“It’s not pretty work, and it’s labor-intensive,” Dillon said. “But I’m in control of my own destiny and am no longer at the mercy of corporate America.”

Although Dillon had no experience in the field, she said that an AdvantaClean Franchise appealed to her because of its profit potential.

And even more appealing was that owning a company would allow her to “never worry about finding myself in a position to be severed again from my job,” she said.

Historically, the small-business sector has created the most jobs at the end of an economic downturn, Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, said in a statement.

“The intellectual capital that companies were forced to lay off over the last 18 to 24 months was substantial, and it is not surprising that many individuals are using their business skills to create their own opportunities,” he said.

According to the International Franchise Association, the franchise industry created more than 140,000 businesses and 1.2 million jobs in a five-year period after the recession of 2000-2001. The group forecasts that the number of franchise businesses will increase this year by 2 percent – nearly 18,000.

Dillon is the first woman to own a franchise with North Carolina-based AdvantaClean. Meetings with a job coach helped her to decide to open a business, and a franchise broker helped her decide what business she wanted to buy.

She bought the franchise May 1 with an investment of $100,000 and went through training to become certified in mold inspection and remediation. Although Dillon does much of the home and business inspections herself, she’s hired two consultants to do much of the labor.

Dillon already has been hired for 57 jobs, and she projects sales of $150,000 in her first year and $240,000 in her second year.

She said that although losing her job was unexpected and starting a business isn’t easy, she plans to run the business for at least 15 years.

“Not everyone can do this, but if you have the inclination to start your own business, do it,” Dillon said. “I’m in my early 50s. This is my retirement money that I’m trying to grow.”

Her advice to other laid-off workers unable to find work?

“Things happen for a reason. It’s been a really great adventure. It’s OK to take control of your own destiny. You don’t have to always rely on other people.”

Want to go into business?

If you’ve ever thought about becoming your own boss, here are a few things to consider:

• Use the knowledge from your experiences and positions to become a consultant for a particular industry, field or specialty. Reach out to former colleagues, vendors, clients, etc., to let them know that you’re in business for yourself.

• Establish yourself through contracting. Search for contract and temporary opportunities that will help you build your portfolio and networking contacts.

• Leverage social media to promote your services. Promote your personal brand through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Brightfuse.com. Include links to past work, testimonials and accomplishments. Start a blog addressing issues in your field of expertise.

• Think about direct sales. If you’ve ever been invited to a plastic-container, makeup or candle party, you’ve been a part of direct sales. Take what you’ve learned from those experiences and apply them to becoming a sales representative.

Consider a Franchise – on your own or with others. Buying a franchise typically gives you the right to trademarked names and materials in exchange for a percentage of your profits.

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

Popularity: 17% [?]

Have You Tried a Maui Wowi?

November 15th, 2010

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“I love Maui Wowi Frahcise for the relaxed atmosphere. My office gets to change every day and I will no longer be trapped by four walls. I will have the opportunity to meet new people, have fun and make money all at the same time” he adds.  

“The Aloha Spirit and ‘Ohana are very important to us,” says Justin Livingston, Director of Global Development for Maui Wowi Hawaiian Franchise. “Just as in traditional Hawaiian culture, we believe in looking after and supporting one another. Whether your Maui Wowi Franchise business is in the Houston area or Cancun, Mexico, you know you’re a part of an ‘Ohana that is there to help you succeed.”

From a business perspective, Todd Pinkel loves the product line offered by Maui Wowi Hawaiian Franchise. “I chose Maui Wowi for the flexibility and great products, they sell themselves. This was confirmed many times by the franchise system, during my investigation. I am extremely excited about starting this new adventure and bringing these great products and Aloha Spirit to people in my community. Let the fun and work begin!” adds Todd.  

Now numbering nearly 600 franchised operating units across the U.S., and 3 International Master Franchises, Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the original fruit smoothie drink franchise. The company, founded by couple Jeff and Jill Summerhays, has since expanded to include exclusive blended Hawaiian coffees and genuine Hawaiian lifestyle merchandise. Maui Wowi Hawaiian Franchise has been named to “Entrepreneur” magazine’s Franchise 500 for the past five consecutive years, and has twice ranked as one of the fastest-growing private companies on INC magazine’s INC 500 listing.

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

Popularity: 4% [?]

Overcome Your Fears of Owning Your Own Business!

November 7th, 2010

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

This morning I happened upon an excellent article written by Pam Duskocy of Schooling Mitchell.  She has hit the nail on the head.  Read, Learn, Apply, Flourish, Succeed.

There are many reasons why an individual doesn’t pursue the dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Some are legitimate reasons, including the fact that personal desires and dreams don’t include being in business for yourself. Some people simply don’t have a desire to be in business for themselves and that is perfectly legitimate.

However, it is interesting to note that studies show that 70% of the people surveyed indicated that they had a desire to own a business, and yet so many never pull that trigger. Sometimes financial constraints, or personal and family reasons, are the inhibitors that simply won’t allow for the beginning of a new venture.

While there are certainly legitimate reasons why a person may not become an entrepreneur, I will focus on a few of the main reasons cited by people that would like to begin a business but haven’t made that leap. I will also offer some thoughts on how to defeat the fear, and progress towards the dream.

Fear of Failure

This particular item is probably the most paralyzing of all. Yet, if we examine all of the successful people we know, both past and present, we will come to understand that they have not been frozen by the fear of failure. That poses the question, should we not try to emulate the practices of those that are successful? If so, then the primary challenge is to shed the fear of failure. They did – all of them. It doesn’t mean they didn’t experience it, but it does mean they climbed past it. They probably blasted past it.

In their book entitled “Power Networking”, Sandy Vilas and Donna Fisher proclaim that ‘life is either a daring adventure or nothing’. Their message is that if you don’t dare to pursue opportunities, then you will be stuck where you are forever. I am a true believer in a similar concept that if there is no risk, then you’re playing it way too safe.

To explain by way of a metaphor, if a basketball player finishes a game with no fouls, they were probably playing too safe, they probably didn’t take chances that should have been taken, and they did not achieve their optimum result. And yet, each foul is a failure – but a failure that is a part of the overall success.

As humans, we have a biological make up that provides for the natural instincts to fight or run. When we feel the fear of failure, we feel anxious and nervous, which causes us to tighten up and quell actions. We then tend to convert to natural defense mechanisms and escape to meaningless and time-eating activities. Instead of taking action, we bury ourselves in television nonsense, newspapers, and computer minutia, or whatever the particular medicine of the day dictates. That’s the run-and-hide reflex.

The result is that vagueness sets in and we lose sight of the important issues that can change our lives for the better. Our natural reaction is out of sight, out of mind – no worries. Of course that means finding solutions or finding change for the better is an impossible feat. The contrary, and effective, line of thought is, bring it out and deal with it. Picture the worst result, and then use your imagination to identify alternatives. Realizing that the worst scenario can have alternatives is powerful medicine, which will relieve the pressure and make action possible.

As you can imagine, the most powerful, the most successful, have faced the fear, acted upon it, and realized that they can survive it. That realization is a tremendous springboard to prosperity. Susan Jeffers said, “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

If I had to summarize six steps or thoughts to deal with the fear of failure they would be:

1) Act boldly
2) Persist and never, ever give up
3) It’s not personal
4) Change things, change results; keep things the same, don’t expect different results
5) Ease up on yourself – tomorrow’s coming anyway
6) Look for possibilities – there are always alternatives

One final thought about this subject – fear incapacitates unsuccessful people.

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Popularity: 23% [?]

Buy A Franchise – Maui Wowi

November 5th, 2010

 

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

DENVER (Thursday, October 28, 2010) San Clemente, California offers residents and visitors a beautiful oceanfront, inviting parks, charming downtown, and soon the all natural fresh-fruit smoothies, and authentic Hawaiian coffees from Maui Wowi Hawaiian.  

From the time San Clemente resident, Dawn Anderson, was a child she set a goal to one day own and operate her own business. “I look forward to sharing the entire Maui Wowi experience with my two beautiful, supportive and enthusiastic daughters, and to the Beach Cities area of my hometown of San Clemente” said Dawn. “Right from the start I was intrigued with Maui Wowi and that appeal grew stronger throughout the process.  

“Individuals searching for a business opportunity that is flexible, simple to operate, healthy, dignified, low cost investment and low risk, part-time or full-time, find it in a Maui Wowi Hawaiian franchise” said Justin Livingston, Director of Global Development for Maui Wowi.  

“Surfboards, flip-flops, and waves are a way of life – Maui Wowi Hawaiian is a natural extension of that lifestyle” said Dawn. Dawn will be serving Maui Wowi fresh fruit smoothies and Hawaiian coffees at activities such as fairs, sporting events, conventions, festivals, trade shows, grand openings, and other events around the San Clemente, California area.

Now numbering nearly 600 franchised operating units across the U.S., and 3 International Master Franchises, Maui Wowi Hawaiian is the original fruit smoothie drink franchise. The company, founded by couple Jeff and Jill Summerhays, has since expanded to include exclusive blended Hawaiian coffees and genuine Hawaiian lifestyle merchandise. Maui Wowi Hawaiian has been named to “Entrepreneur” magazine’s Franchise 500 for five consecutive years, and has twice ranked as one of the fastest-growing private companies on INC magazine’s INC 500 listing.

(Buy A Franchise, Seattle Franchise, Bellevue Franchise)

Popularity: 4% [?]

McDonald’s Brews Bigger Coffee Push

November 1st, 2010

βurgerβusiness

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McDonald’s Franchises use a broad array of marketing tactics, but historically it has left head-to-head-taste-test comparisons to bloggers. That’s why it’s interesting that the chain this week has launched a taste-test TV commercial for its McCafé coffee in Australia.

 The spot opens with a young woman’s assertion that “Blind taste tests have shown that more people prefer McCafé coffee” compared with another leading chain, which isn’t identified, leaving us all free to think “Starbucks,” though the competitor isn’t named. She scurries around Sydney inviting people (including one very-American woman) to sip McCafé and the competing coffee (washing those cups occasionally, we hope), and sure enough, McCafé is preferred. Classic blind-taste-test marketing.

What’s most important here is the reaffirmation of just how important McCafé and coffee drinks have become to the world’s largest burger chain. During last week’s quarterly analyst call, McDonald’s President-COO Don Thompson said coffee’s share of McDonald’s Franchise U.S. sales has grown from 2% in 2004 to more than 6% now. McDonald’s global sales in 2009 were $72.4 billion, of which Chicago researcher Technomic estimates U.S. sales were $30.9 billion.

That means coffee alone was a $1.85 billion business for McDonald’s Franchises in the U.S. It means its U.S. coffee sales were the equal of total 2009 food-and-beverage sales for the No. 6 burger chain, Hardee’s. In some overseas markets, such as Australia (where McCafé began in 1993), McCafé’s share likely is larger than 6% of the total.

McDonald’s is now the single largest seller of coffee in the UK, Thompson says, and the chain has 600 McCafés in Germany. “We see opportunities in many of our other markets  … We do see coffee as a point of leverage and growth for us as we move forward,” he said.

In North America, “we still have an opportunity relative to the broader McCafé coffee,” Thompson told analysts. “I know the U.S. team is going to be marketing those products as well. There’s quite a few things that will be coming up.”

McDonald’s heavily markets its sub-brand in Australia, using the tagline, “There’s more to McCafé.” The menu there is broader, including pastries, cookies, muffins, savory snacks like Spinach & Feta Strudel, brownies and tarts as well as coffee drinks, frappés and smoothies. It’s a big enough menu to spin off on its own, which is what McDonald’s Franxhises are doing in Paris, where standalone burger-less McCafés are being tried.

Popularity: 7% [?]