Archive for January, 2015

Buy A Franchise Unlimited – Trends for 2015 Pt 5

January 3rd, 2015

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“2015 is going to be a breakout year. We’re doing what we’ve always done—on steroids.” A comment like that could be considered puffery if not delivered by Ron Feldman, a finance guy who is now unlocking the information vault at FRANdata and letting the treasure trove stored there out for public consumption. Feldman didn’t quit his day job; he just gave up his CEO title to move to principal and chief brand strategist for Franchise American Finance. At his second job, he is charged with getting the word out on the vast capabilities of FRANdata, a research firm based in Virginia that runs both the SBA Franchise Registry and bank credit reports for franchisors. As the collector of all franchise disclosure documents, FRANdata can slice and dice the information in a variety of ways, including best practices, benchmarking, loan default info and international trends. “Darrell is a banker, an economist,” Feldman says about Darrell Johnson, FRANdata’s CEO. “I’m a builder.” In that role, Feldman will work to push the FRANdata brand out to both established and emerging franchisors who can use the research to grow their systems, learn best practices from good systems’ track records and mistakes to avoid from less-than-stellar brands. “The information has always been out there, it’s just never been preached,” Feldman says. “I’m the preacher.”

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Buy A Franchise Unlimited – Trends for 2015 Pt 4

January 3rd, 2015

Buy A Franchise Seattle, Buy A Franchise Bellevue, Buy A Franchise Unlimited, Buy A Franchise Blog, Buy A Franchise Info

Growth has been the buzzword in franchising since, well, forever. But growing a system sensibly, so the existing franchisees and the new franchisees all benefit, not to mention the franchisor, is no cakewalk. Until now: Starting in this issue, Franchise Times will follow three young franchisors down the pipeline as they gear up to increase unit counts. This is perfect reading for C-level executives who can learn from the experts—from real estate to training to marketing—without spending a dime. Each month we’ll cover growth from a different angle. And by the end of the year, you’ll have a growth plan thanks to our experts and our three gutsy franchisors who have shown the way. But just like reality TV, you never know what twists and turns are on tap.

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Buy A Franchise Unlimited – Trends for 2015 Pt 3

January 2nd, 2015

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Gary Findley was instrumental at Curves, the women-only fitness chain he helped build to 8,000 centers before leaving. Now he’s plying the same skills to start again, leading the Australian-based EnVie Fitness for Women’s push into the United States. He’s COO and has two stores open here so far, in Dallas and Phoenix, and grand plans for 100 by 2017. “I look up to him as a leader in the franchise industry,” says Liberty Harper, director of operations at EnVie U.S., who’s excited “to work with someone who’s built something to 8,000 locations, and left at the highest of the highest.”

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Buy A Franchise Unlimited – Trend Setters for 2015 Pt 2

January 2nd, 2015

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The teeth-gnashing is over, and now it’s time for restaurants to include calorie counts on their menu items, by November 2015. That means in just 11 months, we can no longer pretend the Fritos sprinkled on the pizza don’t add calories because there’s so much space between each chip, or the pumpkin pie must be low calorie because pumpkin is a vegetable. Although the calorie-labeling rules were long delayed as players argued over who and what would be exempt, the Food and Drug Administration finally announced last November the requirement for establishments that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more locations to post the calorie content of food “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus, menu boards and displays.

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Buy A Franchise Unlimited – Trend Setters for 2015 Pt 1

January 1st, 2015

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FranConnect starts the year with a bang, by acquiring Process Peak and attracting Serent Capital as a new equity investor. FranConnect picks up about 150 franchise brands as clients to add to its 600, lengthening its lead as a provider of franchise management software. The Reston, Virginia-based firm also picks up a West Coast office, Process Peak headquarters in Carlsbad, California. But more important is the professional services model that Process Peak pursued to differentiate itself from its larger competitor—real, live people who are deployed to help clients get the most out of the tech tools they buy. “Franchisors that ignore technology do it at their own peril. Companies that have come out of nowhere and become leaders have always adopted technology in a very serious way,” says Amit Pamecha, CEO and founder of FranConnect. He started the company in 2003, and notes how technology has changed. Back then, the focus was websites and intranets, and both are still critical, he believes. But now marketing is at the top of the list, especially at the micro-level. “There has been a blind spot in which franchisors typically have a really good handle on the marketing they do on behalf of the franchisee, but has very limited visibility into what the franchisee is doing on their own behalf,” adds Keith Gerson, president of global operations for FranConnect. The new FranConnect “will provide us the ability to keep the franchisee focused on the local market.” At least one competitor, Stan Friedman, president of FRM Solutions, believes the Serent Capital investment “places a spotlight on this market segment and its viability,” just as Buffalo Wild Wings lent a halo effect to the chicken wing industry when it went public. And he hints FRM, like other competitors, will be ready to swoop in if customers don’t like the change.

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