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Larry Presby, Dallas resident and veteran, recently launched operations as a franchisee with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.


He services Collin County in North Texas which includes sections of Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Frisco, and many other small rural towns and cities. The former manufacturing executive and veteran turned his attention to detail into a new career that can benefit others.

"I served in the 18th Combat Engineer Brigade in Europe," says Presby.

"Looking back on my time in the service, I realize that many building blocks were established to provide me the foundation I used to succeed. Teamwork and systems are two of the key parameters that I took with me through my corporate career and now guide me in developing my home inspection business."

"After making a home purchase, I became aware of the importance of a quality home inspection. The bare bones home inspection report I received did not highlight numerous issues and cost me many agonizing hours and dollars which launched a new path of interest.

As a result of my new knowledge and countless hours in remodeling and construction, I became my family and friends' advisor when reading their inspection reports," said Presby.

"After being in the corporate world for many years, it was time to devote myself to another passion of helping others.

As a home inspector I know I can fulfill this. I want to make sure people can make informed decisions about their home purchase which will becomea place in which they will create their safe haven."

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for over 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home.

Consistently ranked for 23 years on Entrepreneur Magazine's annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its eighth consecutive year as No. 1 in its category on that coveted ranking.

In addition, the company has 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors' service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report.

All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces.

The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past eight years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years.

For further information, please visit

To inquire about a franchise, go to

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Everyone knows Ray Kroc as he was portrayed in the "The Founder" movie by Michael Keaton.

Not every franchise can get a Michael Keaton to play their founder.

But, every franchise needs an excellent founder's story.

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How many CEO's do you know are forgoing their salaries for their employees?

Well, look at the CEOs of these franchisors -- they are forgoing their salaries.

Good for them.

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It is no secret that restaurants are in trouble right now.

No customers means no sales, no royalties and no rent payments.

One group of Burger King franchisees has a novel solution.

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Tim Horton's was one of the most popular brands in Canada, even a few short years ago.

It has fallen out of favour. We see the same in the US other once very popular brands like Subway, TGIF, Ruby Tuesday's, etc.

brand failure.png

Why do you think this happens?

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So what does this use of language mean?

"We are leaning in to accelerate the transition of our Pizza Hut U.S. asset base to truly modern delivery/carryout assets," said David W. Gibbs, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Yum! Brands, in an Aug. 1 earnings call to discuss second-quarter results. "

"Leaning in -- to accelerate a transition -- to truly modern delivery/carryout."

Translation: Bike couriers won't deliver from almost 500 of our Red Hat stores.

Oh, that's you mean -- why didn't you say so?

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At over 1,000 units and counting, Multi-Unit owner Guillermo Perales is bigger than 95% of all the franchise systems in the US.

How did he get so big?

How does he view his franchisor business partners?

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They get private equity money.

They exaggerate their projected growth.

Later, when no one is looking, they go bankrupt.

Do you think this will happen to Slim Chickens?

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Have you been in the new Fireshouse Subs - a smaller footprint.

Does it deliver the same service?

Or does it look cramped to you?

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Terrific infographic - at a glance you can see how the restaurant industry is spit up into various ownership groups.

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What background do you need to become a good Senior Care franchisee?

Interesting story about a brother & sister who saw their parents and other loved ones go through the aging process and who it affected their decision to become a Senior Care franchisee.

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Looking for franchise validation from your existing owners is generally a good idea.

But, this franchise sales development program by DQ strikes me as a bit lazy -- can't they do any prospecting on their own?

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Bill Gates said that he was done with talking about cow farts.

But, the Beyond Meat movement shows that some people remain ignornant of the value herbivores bring to the table, as it were, for both the creation of topsoil & great food.

Kris Gunnars wants to you to be a proud meat eater.

You may love franchising, but if you want to own and run one, it's crucial you get the right fit.

This is what Ron Kuhn discovered before purchasing his Window Genie franchise this past June.

Ron Kuhn spent many years running a process improvement and efficiency consulting company along with a partner.

He and son Alex will now serve the Grand Rapids, Michigan community with residential and light commercial window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing, gutter cleaning and more.

"While running my consultancy business I realized I liked being my own boss," said Kuhn, "so I also invested in a Quiznos Subs franchise during those years. Running the sub shop, and my consulting business, gave me the variety and challenges that kept things interesting," Kuhn shared.

However, when his consulting company partner moved on in 2008, Kuhn took on more responsibility to keep the operations consulting business going. He decided to focus on that and sold the Quiznos franchise in 2009.


"When I decided to re-enter the franchise community," continued Kuhn, "it was clear I needed to find the best fit. I wanted to shop around for another franchise that was better suited to my lifestyle and my plan to include my son Alex in the business.

Some of my fondest memories, even when times were tough, were of taking Alex to my Quiznos shop at ages five through eight!

He loved it. He would go with me to the store and help with anything he could. He would wipe tables, put away stock, make sandwiches and ring up customers.

I think learning structure at that young age was very good for him so now we are working together in our Window Genie franchise while Alex takes college courses.

After we went to Window Genie's corporate office in Cincinnati for training, we knew this was a much better "franchise fit" for us and figured out how we would do this as a team.

We both loved the corporate culture of the company. The feeling is very inclusive and that nobody is in this alone. That's perfect because it is hard for me to be everywhere; so, Alex is helping me train new technicians, quote cleaning jobs, answer phones, and overall be another set of hands whenever I need him.

Two heads are always better than one, and the two of us have mastered this. We think, work, and collaborate as a team and I believe that this will truly help us be a success."


About Window Genie:

Founded in 1994 by Richard Nonelle, Cincinnati-based Window Genie is a national home service franchise specializing in residential and light commercial window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing and gutter cleaning.

Additional services in select markets include gutter re-securing, roof washing, solar panel cleaning, holiday light instillation, dryer vent cleaning and more, visit

Window Genie currently operates with over 100 locations in 29 states. Window Genie is a subsidiary company of Dwyer Group®, a service based franchise organization. Target markets for growth include New York, California and Florida.

For more franchising information, visit

If you ever find yourself at a dinner party with Oliver Guminski, don't even think about complaining about the terrible commute to the office you face each day.

That's because Guminski can top your story and then some.

Let's just say he'll have the best story in the room. That's because from October 2010 until May 2015 in his position as a global financial (equities) sales and trading professional, Guminski commuted for work from his Colts Neck, N.J. home to London just to come back to see his family.

However, Guminski's commute lessened considerably when he bought the rights to CertaPro Painters of Hightstown, NJ. in December of 2015. He then proudly became part of America's most referred painting company.

"And," he commented, "I was able to come home to my wife and daughters and really settle in a wonderful area."


Guminski has been so pleased with his decision he added new territory to his business in fall that encompasses Central New Jersey; Western Monmouth County - Freehold, Colts Neck, Manalapan, Englishtown, Marlboro, Farmingdale. Old territory: Mercer County, parts of Burlington County - Millstone, Perrineville, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Hamilton, Hamilton Square, Allentown, Chesterfield, Yardville, Bordentown.

"I left my financial sector career to pursue what I would consider a very good opportunity, which also allowed me to reunite with my family," Guminski said.

"After months of research, I decided to join CertaPro Painters based on the quality of its people, from both a corporate as well as franchisee perspective; its impressive track record; the quality of its training and support; and finally, its business model."


Commercial and residential painting is an estimated $40 billion industry in the U.S. and Canada. CertaPro has been ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in its category for the last three years and boasts a customer referral rate that exceeds 95 percent.

What's more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of actively employed painting and wall-covering contractors will increase by 38.5 percent during the 10-year period from 2010 to 2020.

The bureau further concluded that sales of residential painting services are likely to increase by an annual rate of three to four percent during the same period.

With Guminski's commuting travails behind him, he has also been able to fulfill another pursuit that had to be put on hold while he was crisscrossing the Atlantic for five years.

"I immediately reconnected with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, where I had been a member since 2009," Guminski said.

"I was finally able to complete my boat crew qualification, which I had to put on hold while working abroad."


About CertaPro Painters

Founded in 1991, Oaks, Pennsylvania-based CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America. With more than 500 locations worldwide, CertaPro provides a customer-driven painting experience for both residential and commercial properties that is unparalleled in the industry. The company's stellar service and proven business system have made CertaPro North America's most referred painting company.

For franchising information, visit CertraPro-Franchise

MIDLOTHIAN, IL January 9, 2017 - Moran Family of Brands is one of the nation's leading franchisors of general automotive repair, transmission repair, window tinting and driver safety products.


Moran Family of Brands was founded on a simple idea: Americans depend on their cars, and they can depend on us. Our franchise owners create a higher standard of excellence for automotive repair service, window film and safety products.

Moran has brought consistency to the automotive aftermarket by offering specialty chains in nearly every segment of that market. They have been listed as one of the founders in developing the concept of co-branding various franchise systems together. Most recently, Moran has expanded its franchise offering beyond the automotive aftermarket into the home improvement industry with SmartView Window Solutions.

As new avenues emerge to attract and inform potential franchisees, Moran is turning to LinkedIn to bolster its messaging and engagement with franchise candidates. "We know that the talented and qualified franchise operators we want for our franchise concepts are active and reachable on LinkedIn." said Peter Baldine, President of Moran Family of Brands. "We are excited to work with Joe Caruso and Michael Webster at Franchise-Info to reach new prospective franchise owners using the LinkedIn database and grow our franchise network."

A select group of highly regarded franchise brokers and coaches will soon receive an invitation to join the Franchise-Info LinkedIn Group to begin receiving important information pertaining to Moran Family of Brands.

"In addition, we are delighted to offer our franchise brokers and coaches the opportunity to learn how to prospect for franchise leads on the LinkedIn platform. With Franchise-Info as our teaching partner, our franchise brokers and coaches will have access to the most up to date learning platform."

"LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 450 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet." Source LinkedIn

"With LinkedIn's membership growing at a rate of more than two new members per second it's a platform that franchise sellers must use if they want to engage and recruit the best and brightest franchisees" said Joe Caruso, Principal at Franchise-info.


About Franchise-Info

Franchising News Hub on LinkedIn. Franchise-Info provides a steady stream of Franchise news, opinion and informed commentary from around LinkedIn, blogs & digital newspapers. Growing franchise companies use Franchise-Info Prospect Marketing and the LinkedIn database for franchise recruitment sales targeting prospective franchise owners for their brands.

About Moran Family of Brands

Moran Family of Brands is one of the nation's leading franchisors of general automotive repair, transmission repair and automotive accessory centers. Based in Midlothian, Illinois, Moran Family of Brands provides specialty products and services in virtually every aspect of the automotive aftermarket through four individual brands and a total of more than 120 franchise locations nationwide including: Mr. Transmission, "The Professionals"; Alta Mere "The Automotive Outfitters"; Milex Complete Auto Care centers and SmartView Window Solutions. For more information on Moran Family of Brands visit

Chain Restaurants continue expanding branded menu favorites into Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) products. Most chain restaurants are offering frozen food. Those items can be found in the new frozen food court (frozen aisle) at your local grocery store including from companies the ilk of Boston Market, P.F. Chang's, and TGI Fridays.

Darden, Taco Bell and IHOP are finding success with toppings, salad dressings, canned beans, taco shells scattered throughout the store.

Safeway on the other hand has found that fresh ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat prepared food is driving customer frequency while creating loyalty. Safeway is currently focusing its marketing effort to redirect restaurant customers into their grocery stores for fresh prepared food.

Utilizing a traditional QSR marketing playbook Safeway's Signature Café's, Lunch Combo includes chips, made to order sandwich and a branded Coca Cola beverage sells for $5.49 an everyday price. Why this is important. The messaging vehicle utilized is again out of the QSR playbook a Sunday Newspaper insert.

Leveraging the value Safeway's Sunday insert coupon includes a Big Value Meal for $9.99 which is a focused ready-2-eat family meal. The Big Value Meal includes one Roasted Chicken (or substitute entrée) and two large side orders. The coupon again leveraging restaurant marketing techniques includes a suggestive sell item a 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola. Where is your customer getting dinner tonight?

Channel blurring is only in the mind's eye of some marketers not in the consumer's mind. Do you understand who you are competing with?

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Yes it IS marketing. When you bring your product, service, goods, what have you, to a market, how you distribute them is key. It's been a long time since a client told me they wish to sell "one franchise at a time". I mean it happens, but it's no longer the plan of choice. The 3-5 pack seems very popular. Better still the 5-10 pack. If you have one great franchisee wouldn't you rather he/she open 3-10 of your locations than finding 3-10 franchisees, hopefully just like this one? Of course. Are you offering incentives? Are you telling the really great candidates what value-add you offer, such as a national PR firm behind your brand? Or a stellar ad agency that helps build the brand?

SEI Healthcare, based in Brentwood, Tennessee has area developers in Kentucky/Southern Ohio, Florida and Georgia. After years of perfecting his system, founder Beau Brothers chose a new name that doesn't pigeonhole the company in a specific niche. After being known as Sitters Etc. since inception, Brothers decided to seek a name that reflects the new services they offer.

"We are not sitters per se, but so much more," said Brothers, who is now focused on franchise growth expansion, while passionately maintaining the principles upon which the company was first founded. "And the time to reflect these new services and higher levels we have reached in care is now."

According to a 2014 U.S. census report, America's population of seniors stands to grow precipitously by 2050. By 2030, the report says, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, up from 13 percent in 2010. This, said Brothers, is one of the reasons why he is certain now is right the time for SEI Healthcare's own growth.

"Over the past 13 years we have refined our care process with a firm understanding of best practices for seniors," said Brothers. "The sum of our combined experience and knowledge of how to provide the best care for seniors gives me tremendous confidence that any SEI Healthcare franchisee will have a great opportunity to succeed in providing non-medical in home care during a time when, more than ever, senior care is in high demand."

Brothers continued, "The Area Developer is ideal for us. Someone who knows the industry, what is needed, understands franchisees and their needs too and has vast sales and marketing experience is the perfect person to help build our system and our brand."

Already expansion plans are coming to fruition in four territories in Eastern Kentucky, where new franchisees began training in March. While Brothers sees opportunity for franchise growth throughout the country, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida and

St. Louis are all key target markets the company recognizes as being especially fruitful for interested franchisees. The Area Developers who signed recently, Craig Shaw and Ralph Laughton, will be developing Georgia and Florida respectively. The pair has specific talents and backgrounds that would be ideal for almost any franchise system.

Said Shaw, "my dream at the beginning of my search was to invest in a multi-unit territory of a franchise system and develop them over time. As I did more research in franchising, the Area (or Regional) Developer role was attractive because it would allow me to both accomplish my long-term goals of growing a business and to invest into the lives of others. The more I researched the AD role the more excited I became about the opportunity to partner with a franchisor to grow his/her brand so I began to look for an organization that had a great system and one that I knew I would enjoy working closely with.

"And," continued Shaw, "on a personal note, I've always enjoyed assembling a team of motivated individuals to collectively accomplish a goal. By building a network of franchise owners throughout the state of Georgia, I believe that we all can be stronger by working together to address both the needs of our clients as well as the franchise owners. I've always enjoyed coaching and mentoring, and I welcome the opportunity to help develop our franchise owners in GA and see them succeed. I have 28 years of medical sales experience to share with our team, and I look forward to encouraging our franchise owners to perform at their very best."

And Shaw's opinion is that the AD model provides a great opportunity for franchisors to grow their brands and accomplish their vision through strategic partnerships with like-minded business professionals. Shaw said, "The vision of SEI Healthcare is to raise the standard of care within the non-medical home care industry. This philosophy closely mirrors what I've tried to accomplish in my 28 years of selling within the healthcare market."

By utilizing the AD model, a franchisor can benefit from a business partner that has great knowledge of local markets, issues and challenges. Additionally, an AD can stay on top of issues that affect the local franchisees and bring everyone together to determine the best solutions and approaches to take. Franchisees with access to an AD also benefit by having a local level of support to compliment that which they receive from their franchisor."

Go to:

Young Chefs® Academy, a premier children's cooking school franchise company ("YCA" or "the Company"), today announced significant restructuring measures during the most prolific periods of innovation since its inception.

These key organizational changes were implemented to optimally position the Company for growth opportunities in an evolving franchise industry.

The Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Schmidt, who was the former Senior Vice President and Chief General Counsel of Curves International, to the position of President.

Also, Kevin Ayers, who was the past Vice President and General Counsel of Curves International, has been named Vice President and General Counsel.

Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Ayers came on board at Young Chefs Academy as equity partners several months ago helping to complete a class A corporate team.

Mr. Schmidt's role will be to drive efforts directed at overseeing franchise business expansion, employee additions, corporate administration and global services.

Mr. Ayers will assume responsibility for overseeing legal and compliance requirements along with assisting in domestic and international business expansion.

Schmidt said, "I have had the privilege of representing, owning and working with many franchise businesses and I can truly say I am delighted at the opportunity to work with such an attractive concept.

Our founder's [Julie Burleson] strong commitment in the values that will make Young Chefs Academy a household name is the key ingredient, and I look forward to making this the number one children's service franchise."

"We are excited about our plans to expand our franchise business system and continue to provide the support we believe our franchisees deserve," said Ayers. "We look forward to enhancing the Young Chefs Academy brand worldwide and increasing the value of each franchise."

Founder, Julie Fabing Burleson has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer and will continue to lead Young Chefs Academy creating the company culture and mission that is necessary to meet business objectives while supporting the Company's growth and vision.

"As the leader of Young Chefs Academy, I have an obligation to the System, the franchisees and the customers we serve to make YCA a household brand," said Burleson.

"While these moves were bold, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth.

Our strong base of franchisees recognize what this means to their business as well as the increased value to their franchises."

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From restaurants to retail, there are no shortages of franchising opportunities available to entrepreneurs - and it can be confusing on how to make a decision. Whether you have many years of experience in owning a franchise and are looking to grow or are planning on buying a franchise, you should always take a look at franchise industry statistics before embarking on any new business plan.

Keep reading for franchise facts culled from the International Franchise Association's annual economic outlook report and the U.S. Small Business Association.

Facts about franchises


  • 8.8 million: the total number of direct franchise jobs in 2015
  • +247,000: the number of new direct jobs franchises will create in 2015
  • +235,000: the number of new direct jobs the franchise industry created in 2014
  • Franchise types predicted to grow the most:
    • #1: Quick-service restaurants
    • #2: Retail businesses
  • Employment distribution:
    • 65%: Food and hospitality (table and full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, retail food, lodging)
    • 29%: Services (business services, personal services, commercial and residential services, retail products and services)
    • 6%: Real estate and automotive


  • 781,794: the number of franchise establishments in 2015
  • +5.4%: predicted growth in franchise economic output for 2015
  • $889 billion: estimated economic output for franchises this year
  • +5.1%: percent by which GDP of the franchise sector will grow (the economy as a whole is predicted to grow by +4.9%)
  • 3.0%: the percent of the economy that comes from the franchise industry


  • 8 minutes: A new franchise business opens every eight minutes every business day
  • 1 out of 12: of every businesses in the U.S. are franchise businesses
  • $250,000: average initial franchise investment (excluding real estate)
  • 10 years: the average length of a franchise contract
  • McDonald's: the top franchise company
  • 50%: of all retail sales in the U.S. come from the franchise industry

At their core, all franchises are local businesses -- and, therefore, need a comprehensive local online marketing strategy to grow. While franchisees must work within their franchisor's guidelines, there are still many local online marketing activities that franchisees can use to reach the local community.

If you are interested in learning more, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (646) 545-3400.

The post Franchise Facts appeared first on LocalVox.

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Is a Subway Franchise a Good Investment?

It's one of the most popular questions for every experienced franchise author/speaker. Perhaps because it's the largest franchise in the world (in terms of units, not retail sales), people want to know if a Subway franchise is a good investment.

And because many of my readers and seminar attendees know that I wrote Start Small, Finish Big with Subway's co-founder, and I sold a major franchise business to him, they think I have special insights about Subway. Really, I don't.

"Is Subway a good franchise investment? . . . Can you help me get one?"

While those are important questions to ask about Subway, they are important questions to ask about any franchise that you think you might want to buy.

In answering the questions, here's what I tell people.

Subway must be a good franchise investment for some people because many of the franchisees have been with the company since almost its inception, and (now answering the second question) it seems impossible to "get one" in the USA.

Of course, neither answer is really what you want to know, but you're not asking the right person!

If you really want to know if Subway is a good investment, franchisees are the people to ask. They can also tell you how to "get one"!

You can easily find Subway franchisees either by looking into the company's disclosure document (where you'll find their contact information), or simply stopping at a Subway and talking to a franchisee.

Franchisees are usually willing to discuss their experiences with prospective franchisees, and if they have insights as to how to "get one" they'll tell you. However, it seems to me that few Subway franchisees own just one unit -- they own multiple units (it would be a good idea to ask them why) and so they may not be too eager to help someone buy a unit unless it's far from where they'd like to own another one.

For those of you (and there are many) who would like to skip the start-up phase of business and buy an established franchise, that may be easier to do with Subway, except that the existing franchisees get first dibs on available units. And that's because a franchisor would rather sell a unit to an experienced franchisee than to one who knows nothing about the business.

Meanwhile, you're asking the right questions, and keep in mind that there are at least 2,500 franchise concepts in North America alone looking for new franchisees . . . don't limit your questioning to Subway. Ask the same questions of other viable concepts such as those included in my most recent eBook: 12 Amazing Franchise Opportunities for 2015.

The website just published this infographic, entitled "Foray into Franchising."
Although I don't necessarily agree with all of the opinions in the infographic, I think it's interesting and very informative so I thought I would share it here.

Could Facebook be Franchised?

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When you hear the word "franchise", most of us think immediately about Subway, McDonalds and many others. Traditional franchise opportunities have been brick and mortar locations that allow entrepreneurs to "live the American dream." Times are a changing.

Enter social networking. You may ask yourself, "What does this have to do with franchising?" Wait for it...

Prior to what we think of today as a social network was the Bulletin Board System (BBS) in the early 1990s. This was a community built around the dial-up modem that allowed people to connect, communicate, upload and download files among other things; the precursor to the Internet itself. As the Internet and the World Wide Web were born (thanks Al Gore), more and more services have strived to connect YOU to the rest of the world.

Then in 2004, a Harvard graduate named Mark Zuckerberg changed the world forever creating Facebook. When his company went public in 2012 everyone wanted a piece of the action. At 1.3 billion users and a $200 billion valuation later, Facebook is here to stay and social networking has become an integral part of our existence. Now when you hear the words "social network", most of us think immediately of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (oh wait, that would still be Facebook).

Fast-forward a year. By now you are likely familiar with another popular social networking service, Snapchat. Snapchat allows individuals to send a photo, video or text message that disappears after a few seconds.  You may also remember Snapchat turned down an offer from Facebook for three billion dollars in late 2013. Three BILLION dollars! At that time it was a huge head scratcher as to why they would turn down such an offer. In recent weeks, this has become much clearer.

Snapchat is now looking to grow the value and usage of its app.  They announced a joint venture with Square Cash to create Snapcash.  The Snapcash feature allows you to add a debit card to your account to send cash payments through the app for free (for now).

Additionally, they also have been looking to leverage live events with a feature they call "Our Story". 

Users attending an event submit photos and videos, which create a "Story".

Although the Snapchat team curates the "Story", the idea of leveraging events through social media is important and an untapped concept.

Now the question is, if Snapchat were a franchise and people were willing to pay you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per event, would you buy that franchise? How about Facebook or Instagram? Is it possible to franchise a social network or a mobile app for that matter? If they did, how would it look? How could it be monetized?  How much would you want a Facebook franchise?

When Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored the first goal for Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics this February, he did so with a blazing slap shot. As proud father Richard Carlson looked on, he knew that scoring goals had truly become a family affair.  

Though the arena in which the elder Carlson works lacks the manicured ice, vocal beer vendors, and rowdy fans that populate John's workplace, his game is one that nevertheless requires the tenacity and drive of a hockey player. 

When the former corporate healthcare worker was laid off due to restructuring and budget reductions, Carlson took time to reflect and weigh his options. He had, after all, many of them. With almost ten years of experience in health care, Carlson could have rejoined the system in which he had for so long achieved success. Yet it became apparent to Carlson that it was time to do some restructuring of his own and play a different kind of game.  

Ultimately, Carlson decided that it was time to realize a dream he had long held. "I always wanted my own business, so I was determined to see the loss of my job not as a setback, but as an opportunity," says Carlson. After a thorough search for franchises which met his demands, Carlson came upon Window Genie. "I gravitated towards franchising so I didn't have to start with a blank page," Carlson explains. "I looked for a business that was service-related and straightforward. After years of dealing with the complicated rules and regulations in healthcare, I wanted simplicity. Window Genie was the answer." 

In July, 2013, Richard opened a Window Genie location serving Ocean County and Southern Monmouth County in New Jersey and he hasn't looked back since. 

Window Genie is a mobile cleaning services company focused primarily on its "big three" services: window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing. The company also offers, among many other services, dryer vent cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, chandelier cleaning and gutter cleaning and re-securing. Window Genie services residential customers, small offices and commercial spaces. 

As is the case with any NHL team's arduous 82-game season, Carlson faced challenges as his business grew. Yet just as any good hockey team perseveres from those challenges thanks to veteran teammates providing assistance, Window Genie was able to help Carlson block all the shots he faced. "I needed to learn how to market and advertise," says Carlson. "Management, hiring, those were things I had experience with, but I had to learn not just how to perform the excellent services we offer, but how to make this business an extension of myself. Window Genie was able to help me with those issues and get the word out about all that we could do." 

Carlson's primary clients are residential, either dual-income home owners who have neither the time nor the desire to maintain the exterior of their homes, or retirees who are unable to maintain their homes by themselves any longer. Carlson's Window Genie business has been very well-received by his community. His phone, he says, is ringing constantly and his services are well known throughout the territory he serves. 

"In today's corporate environment people like me are forced out of their jobs quite frequently," says Carlson. "I decided to take control of my career, and it was the best decision I've ever made." For Carlson, repeat business is the driving force that inspires his work at Window Genie. "Every day we're committed to providing quality services at reasonable prices so we become customers' preferred home services provider." 

About Window Genie

Founded in 1994 by Richard Nonelle, Cincinnati-based Window Genie is a mobile cleaning services company focused primarily on its "big three" services: window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing. The company also offers, among many other services, dryer vent cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, chandelier cleaning and gutter cleaning and re-securing. Window Genie services primarily residential customers, as well as small offices and commercial spaces. The company currently has 65 franchise owners operating 140 units in 28 states, and expects to grow to 100 franchisees by the end of 2014 and over 300 within five years. Target markets include California, New York and Florida. For more information, visit


Movers Who Care

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If you communicate with Melanie Bergeron, Chair of Two Men and a Truck, you immediately realize that caring about people is in the very core of her being. After that first encounter, you will never wonder how her company can achieve 97% customer service satisfaction year after year.

When you truly care about the people you serve-your customers, your franchisees, and your community-it's going to show. "It is all about taking stress out of people's lives; and we know how to do that," Melanie shares. "Our franchisees take pride in our customer satisfaction rating just as much as we do, and that makes all the difference," she adds.

Melanie Bergeron, Mary Ellen Sheets (her mother), and her two brothers, Brig and Jon Sorber, share a remarkable story that speaks loudly about the connection of hard work, caring, a positive mindset, strength of values, family, and great success. Melanie says: "For me, nothing has come really easy. I've had to work hard for everything that I've achieved in my life. My main motivation has always been pleasing people. If I can make someone's life better, that's worth all the hard work I can muster." Melanie is one of those special people you are lucky enough to meet from time to time who leaves you feeling better about yourself and about the world, someone whose enthusiasm for life is contagious.

It is not surprising that people support and help Melanie whenever possible. She gives full credit to everyone who has worked with her; and of course, to each member of her family. "It has never been about me. As hard as I 've worked and as difficult as things have been for me at times, there was always at least one person helping me along the way; and then, more and more! It has never been just me; it has always been us (meaning her family, employees, franchisees, vendors and colleagues); Melanie shares.

Melanie entered the world of franchising as one of the first franchisees of Two Men and a Truck, which provided her with a unique sensitivity to help steer the organization in the right direction from the beginning.

Franchisee satisfaction has always been taken seriously by this very successful company. "For the last 8 years we have used Franchise Business Review to gather and report feedback from our franchisees.

Our franchisees are happy; we have an average rating of 4.2 out of 5. And, if there are ever any areas where we don't get the highest marks, we take immediate action to address them. Open communication and transparency are very important to us. And, when we say: 'Movers who care' we mean that at all levels," Melanie shares.

After a few years operating her franchise in Atlanta, Melanie was recruited by her mother, Mary Ellen, to run the franchising company. Melanie packed up her bags and headed back home to Michigan. "It was really hard. As a franchisor we were not making any money; our franchisees were, but we weren't charging them enough so we were barely making it. I had no knowledge of franchising, no money coming in, and no paycheck. It was tough! I had to wear many hats and the people I could afford to hire didn't have the expertise we needed," Melanie shares. "But, the silver lining was that out of every mistake I made -and I made them all-I learned valuable lessons that helped us propel the company to greater success," she adds.

Perhaps one of the ultimate challenges a franchisor has to face is raising royalties. And, Melanie accomplished that beautifully. She personally went to visit each one of her franchisees to explain the reason for the change and get a buy-in from all of them. When facing issues that are as sensitive to franchisees as royalty fees are, there is no other way to handle them than clear and open communications.

Today this company's philosophy continues to make the difference. "At every annual conference, before the event commences, we hold what we call 'Directors' Chats.' Basically any franchisee can make an appointment to discuss anything they want with any of the company's directors. The opportunity to talk with us face to face and to share what concerns them helps our franchisees feel that any grievances they may have are being heard, allowing them to be in the proper frame of mind to get as much as possible from the conference. As the leaders of this company, the Directors' Chats keep us humble -and that is a good thing," Melanie explains.

Melanie shared with me that she is a 'rule follower' by nature-something else with which I can identify. Perhaps that is one compelling reason behind our love for franchising. "Franchise success is based on consistency and that only comes when all franchisees follow the system.

Compliance by all franchisees protects our name. And, from time to time, it also leads to some tough decisions such as non-renewals and, when necessary, even terminations. As you know, what one franchisee does or doesn't do affects the entire network. So, when we make these hard decisions, the rest of our franchisees support us. We may be kind, but we are also strict when we have to protect everyone's investment," Melanie explains.

And I couldn't agree more.

Melanie has been asked many times what she would do differently if she had the opportunity to do it all over again.

And, she hesitates because the answer is not clear-cut. "I guess what comes to mind is to have more capital. The thought is that if we had more money when we started we would have avoided much suffering.

But along with all that pain came much learning that I wouldn't want to give up. I feel a lot of joy and pride when I look back at all that we went through-all the challenges we had to conquer made me, and the company, stronger," Melanie clarifies.

Melanie has some critical suggestions for business owners considering franchising:

  • "Make sure your business is profitable -this is rule number 1."

  • "Trademark the name of your business as soon as you think you may franchise it in the future."

  • "Be honest with yourself when you evaluate the sustainability of your concept. If it is a fad, franchising is not for you."

  • "Is your concept affordable? Is it trainable? Is it easy to learn? If you answer 'no' to any of these questions stay away from franchising."

  • "Learn everything you can about franchising. Research, research, research."

  • "Get involved with the International Franchise Association (IFA) as soon as you can."

  • "Differentiate yourself from the competition-this is critical."

If you want to have the franchise success that Melanie and her family have been able to achieve with Two Men and a Truck, you may want to emulate some of Melanie's traits such as her hard work principles, her kindness, her energy and enthusiasm for life and franchising, and her total commitment to learning and giving.

Melanie Bergeron is a living example of when you treat people right, you will be rewarded.

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The post Franchise Success: It's All About What You Do for People appeared first on InFraSu.

Is BrightStar Care Right For You?

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Shelly Sun, CEO and Co-Founder of BrightStar Care, takes success seriously. From the very beginning she has dedicated herself to making BrightStar Care the brightest star, first in the home care industry and then in the franchising world.  Shelly thrives in the face of change and challenge. Her leadership skills as well as her financial and operational prowess have produced a fast-growing yet robust franchise system-a model to emulate by those aspiring to franchise their businesses as well as by emerging franchisors.

I first heard Shelly speak during a teleconference sponsored by WEBB (Women Empowered by Business) back in 2010; she had only been franchising for a few years then and she already had a wealth of knowledge. Yet, what stayed with me was her genuine desire to share and to help others succeed.  

Along with being the best at whatever she does, sharing and helping others are Shelly's main drivers.  Shelly is an insatiable learner and has built an organization based on continual improvement.  "Our focus on culture, systems, and learning the best practices of franchising have been the biggest contributors to our success, both financially and in the relationships we have built within the franchise industry, with our franchisees, and with our corporate team," Shelly shares.

Shelly Sun takes the success of her franchisees personal. In her book, Grow Smart, Risk Less, she states: "The founder/CEO must have passion and commitment to a relentless pursuit of improving franchisee unit economics. This is not something that can be delegated, because the organization will take its direction from how committed the leader is to enabling franchisees' success, to supporting franchisees, and to finding the win-win in the decisions that are made daily."

For Shelly this is not just rhetoric; she lives her convictions.  She shares: "I get the most satisfaction from seeing and hearing the results of the Strategic Planning Sessions I hold with my franchisees. I spend one day and a half to work with 10 to 15 franchisees at a time on their businesses.

Anyone can come as long as there is space and together we create a roadmap to help them produce the results they desire. I am personally and intimately involved in helping my franchisees grow and succeed," she shares.  Since Shelly started these sessions almost four years ago, there have been already 110 franchisees who have gone through the program and some of them have chosen to attend more than once.

For a high achiever like Shelly, deciding the best use of her time has been her greatest challenge.  "I had to let go of the day-to-day management of the business so I could focus my energies on what really mattered, like the Strategic Planning Sessions I now hold with franchisees, or the regulatory affairs that need my attention. I had to learn to delegate and elevate and that has not been easy; particularly when finding the right people to be part of my corporate team, in some instances, has been trying," Shelly shares.

I was fascinated by BrightStar's franchisee strategic planning sessions and wanted to learn what brought them about. "I have always been close to my franchisees. I asked about their businesses and listened carefully. I realized that there was a gap. They seemed to lack the 360° view that is required for effective strategic planning. I also have a natural gift for using metrics and benchmarking to improve performance. I was already doing it for the company and the next step had to be helping our franchisees do the same for their own businesses," Shelly answers.

Shelly believes that, in order to replicate franchise success, you must start with owning multiple locations. You need to know what works and what doesn't before you ask someone else to invest in your idea. Once you have a tight business model and have proven you can replicate its success, the work has just started. "With each franchisee that joins you, there are new lessons.

As they go through the training sessions and start applying what they've learned, you need to watch out for what they were able to assimilate and what they couldn't and ask yourself, why?" Shelly shares. "You can never stay still. You have to watch for what may not work in a different market and respond accordingly. You have to be constantly alert to maintaining the highest of quality as well as customer and franchisee satisfaction. And finally, you must be vigilant that your brand's standards are enforced and act quickly to protect the brand when it's compromised," she adds.

If Shelly had to do it all over again there is one thing she would change; she would spend more time finding the right people from the start. "I would start thinking about the staff I needed as growth commenced and look further ahead to anticipate my needs. I would get involved with the International Franchise Association (IFA) quicker and use their resources and mentorship to learn and find people who are more aligned with the core values of our company. I need my team to put franchisees first and to be willing to embrace whatever change is required to serve the needs of the franchisees," Shelly shares.  Today Shelly has a strong interview process and human resource team and when they hire, they search and test as carefully for core values as they do for skills.

Shelly advises those who are contemplating franchising their businesses to:

  • "Read my book Grow Smart, Risk Less: A Low-Capital Path to Multiplying Your Business Through Franchising. I spent a lot of time, effort and money giving back to the franchising community by writing this book."

  • "Make sure your business model is profitable at all levels and that there is a continuous demand for your services. We are in a unique industry with senior home care. Once we get clients, their demand for our services increases as time goes on."

  • "Make sure you test your business model before you franchise it. Owning several locations before you franchise will provide the information you need."

  • "Create a transparent culture. We have no secrets. Our item 19 in the BrightStar's Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is 11 pages long. Our franchisees have access to everyone's financial results on a weekly basis."

  • "Take the success of your franchisees personally because it is personal. Their success is your success and you need to not just talk about it, but demonstrate it. Get involved, be accessible, and help them. You know your business better than anyone else; take your knowledge and gifts and use them to make your franchisees' businesses stronger."


The post Franchise Success Is Taking Your Franchisees' Success Personal appeared first on InFraSu.

Vanilla lattes and caramel frappes might the first thing to come to mind when you think of Starbucks, but this global franchise is looking to move beyond coffee.

The coffee giant recently announced that it would begin serving handcrafted carbonated beverages known as "Fizzios" in 3,000 stores across the U.S. and in global markets, such Singapore, South Korea, and China, by the end of year.

Starbucks began testing these handcrafted sodas in Atlanta, Georgia, and Austin, Texas, late last year. Currently, the chain offers three soda flavors, Golden Ginger Ale, Spiced Root Beer, and Lemon Ale.

Starbucks also reportedly plans to add additional, locally relevant flavors this summer. The sodas are made by staff and are carbonated immediately after customers order.

In order to bring these handcrafted carbonated beverages to customers, it looks like Starbucks is eyeing a deal with well-known carbonated beverage machine company SodaStream. Israeli business news website Globes reports that Starbucks is in advanced talks to take a 10 percent stake in the company, something that could result in a $1.1 billion deal.

All in all, these new carbonated drink offerings are just one part of Starbucks' multifaceted expansion plans.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced that certain shops would begin selling selected wines and beers in the evenings. In an attempt to bolster its foods offerings, the franchise has also been increasingly emphasizing lunch menu items.

Just last year, the brand rolled out of a variety of La Boulange pastry items, and the company has reportedly been testing a number of new items. 

Ultimately, whatever Starbucks is doing, it appears to be working. This year there are plans to open another 1,500 locations, including 600 in the Americas. The company continually reports healthy gains in sales in spite of the fact that many food franchises are continually lagging. 

Same-store sales rose 6 percent in the U.S. in the second quarter, and the company earned $427 million, up from $390.4 million a year ago.



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Based in Newington, New Hampshire, fitness franchise Planet Fitness has gone from a small, local based chain to national leader in fitness franchises. With an astounding 4.5 million members across 47 states the popularity of Planet Fitness has grown tremendously.

And it doesn't look like this growth will be slowing any time soon; it is currently the fastest-growing full size health club franchise in the country.

In 2012 Planet Fitness became the national gym sponsor of the widely popular NBC program "The Biggest Loser" and the franchise celebrated the opening of their 700th location in November of 2013 in Stockton, California.

So how did Planet Fitness get so big? Well, the story starts in 1992, when brothers Michael and Marc Grondahl took over a struggling Gold's gym franchise in Dover, NH. Unfortunately, due to poor location and lack of parking, they were eventually forced to close that original location. But that didn't stop Michael or Marc.

They went back to the drawing board and started again in 1993 with a new location named Coastal Fitness. To help with managing operations, they brought on a third partner, present CEO Chris Rondeau. They would eventually buy the name "Planet Fitness" from a Florida gym in 1994.

Given the highly competitive nature of the gym business, the partners made a bold move to target an entirely new demographic... people who wanted a place to casually exercise without all the serious body-building types and judgemental attitudes.

To accommodate this new audience, they streamlined operations and eliminated the serious weight equipment and focused more on cardio machines such as treadmills and stationary bikes. Over time, this hassle-free environment became known as the "Judgment Free Zone," designed to make those new to working-out totally comfortable.

After quite a bit of price experimentation from $99/year to $35/month, they ended up offering gym memberships at dramatically reduced prices of $10/month in order to compete against bigger, better-known brands. This low cost membership and unique environment proved to be a truly revolutionary business model in the fitness world.

In addition to the low-cost $10 per month membership, Planet Fitness offers a variety of other benefits including membership appreciation gestures such as free pizza on the first Monday of every month, and free bagels on the second Tuesday of every month, being open 24 hours, no contracts, no commitments, no salesmen, free training, 30-minute workout rooms.

After a decade of successful operations, the company then embarked on a national franchising plan in 2003. The fitness industry as a whole has seen rapid growth in the last ten years or so, with global gym membership reaching close to 50 million, and Planet Fitness is right on the cusp of that trend. Today, they are actively seeking new franchises throughout the United States and Canada, ranking in at #25 on the list of fastest growing franchises. If you are looking to invest in a fitness franchise Planet Fitness is one of the best options out there. The franchise fee is $10,000 with an ongoing royalty fee of 5% over the course of the ten-year franchise term, which is renewable.

All in all, it looks like Planet Fitness' success will only continue to grow. "As we celebrate our 10th year of franchising and the opening of our 700th club, we're excited to continue to open new locations and provide even more people with access to affordable, high-quality health clubs," Chris Rondeau, the franchise's chief executive officer, recently explained. "Our unique, non-intimidating environment truly creates an atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable."

The Keys to Planet Fitness Success?

Specialized Knowledge/Proven System

For starters, the original Planet Fitness owners were operators themselves and operated several gyms first-hand. This personal experience provided Planet Fitness ownership and team members with the "specialized knowledge" to build-out a scalable, franchise-able system. Such operations experience provided Planet Fitness corporate members with the insights and experience to understand the dynamics of leases, construction, gym operations, staffing, member issues, memberships and product offerings, marketing and sales, legal and other business areas critical to franchise system success.

The Right Team

With a seasoned, experienced team Planet Fitness was able to crossover into franchising much easier than other franchises with less hands-on experience. As well, Planet Fitness really did have a "system" that could be rolled out successfully -- and they knew it because their team had already opened and operated multiple gyms previously for over 10 years.

Smart Marketing

A keen sense for marketing exposed a large, untapped market of casual fitness individuals that were often intimidated and therefore uninterested in gyms. By introducing a low-cost membership and the "Judgement Free Zone", Planet Fitness was able to directly target and attract a huge following of new, atypical gym members.

Planet Fitness fully committed to this "non-gym" audience and successfully launched national advertising campaigns that specifically scoffed at typical "gym rats." Such edgy campaigns were wildly successful and clearly touted that Planet Fitness was truly the home of "no judgement."

Combining these marketing efforts with the national recognition that came with Planet Fitness' involvement with "The Biggest Loser" created a recipe for franchise awareness and market success.

Business Model

By pricing recurring monthly memberships all under $20, Planet Fitness made their gyms accessible to most everyone. As well, most members don't work out frequently, but are willing to maintain their membership anyway because it's so affordable. Planet Fitness also went against the grain and focused only on the bare essentials clients wanted in equipment and services. This allowed for streamlined operations and equipment purchases.

National Trends

Of course, it always helps to have some national trends driving interest in a product or offering. And the trend of an aging population and increasing rates of obesity are now encouraging people to get fit far more than ever before.


No franchise system will be successful without dedicated support. Planet Fitness offers a range of franchisee support such as:

  • Training: Available at headquarters: 2 weeks. At franchisee's location: as needed.
  • Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
  • Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, Regional advertising.


Given the success of Planet Fitness, it's clear to see the brilliance of this unique business model after 20 years. But the truth is, it wasn't always so clear what the future of such a novel concept would be. It took tenacious confidence and commitment of the original ownership team to stick with this unique and unproven gym model. And in that commitment lies the real key to the success of Planet Fitness.

Marc Grondahl once said, "Just be true to yourself. If you have an idea, even if it is an unpopular idea, be tough and don't give up. Don't be afraid to do things differently."

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