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Don't believe everything you read in the papers about student debt and bankrupcty.

Most states have fine schools which don't cost much. In NYC, the City University system has tuition of $5k or $7k depending on which college you attend, and most students get that all covered thru scholarships and Pell Grants. In 2013's graduating class, more than 80 percent of students got a 4 year degree with zero debt.

Students choose to go to colleges with hotel style accommodations, health clubs, and giant swimming pool palaces. So the colleges are responding to the demand and passing along the costs via increased tuition.

Professor salaries are bifurcated. Associate profs get paid poorly, but the tenured profs get big bucks. My favorite is at UC Berkeley, where professors studying income inequality are getting paid over $300,000 per year plus a benefits package to die for. Then there is the Univ of North Carolina law professor who teaches one class in which he chastises Republicans for making war on the poor--- he gets paid over $200k for teaching that single class.

And nobody actually pays their student loans anymore.

There are forbearance and deferment programs. When you actually do have to start paying (by which time you can be well into your 40s) you can enter into income-based programs. If you take a government job (no matter how highly paying) the debt can be discharged in as little as 10 years and all you have to pay is a percentage of income for that time.

Also bear in mind that much of what is called "student loan debt" is actually money that went to scams which are "schools" in name only.

A lot of the problem is with fraud in the for-profit sector. That has recently come under scrutiny and the taxpayers are footing the bill for hundreds of millions of dollars in the Corinthian debacle. The Democrats have made this an issue in the current election, but what has been almost entirely ignored by the media is that the Clintons got large amounts of money (both directly and thru the Clinton Foundation) from Laureate, which is a for-profit scam which began as a franchise (Sylvan) and expanded into "college" because the money was better.

One of the best ways to immigrate to the US is to enter on a student visa; once you arrive you simply get a job and stay here. For that reason it became more difficult to get student visas, especially if you are a for-profit college. In Libya almost no student visas were being granted to for-profit attendees, but then Laureate gave a lot of money to Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. After that the State Department (under Hillary Clinton) passed out student visas like candy to all comers.

The latest is that the granddaddy of all student loan scams-- the University of Phoenix-- has just been bought by a friend of Bill Clinton. The "University" got most of its money from the federal government (Dept of Defense) but when DoD started cutting off access to "information sessions" (i.e., sales pitches) on military bases and DoD started discouraging service members from enrolling in Phoenix, the stock plummeted.

Now that Hillary is going to be President, there is an expectation that she is going to restore the flow of money to University of Phoenix just as the State Department did favors for Laureate after Bill Clinton got paid. (US politics is very depressing if you think corruption should not be rewarded).

The media narrative over student loan debt in the US is very misleading due to the fact that the whole issue has become political. Nobody wants to address the fact that students arrive on campus lacking basic math and reading skills, and have never written an essay.

Even law school administrators will tell you privately that student quality is declining, and if you deal with recently-admitted lawyers the quality of pleadings is shockingly low.

Ultimately the US is moving towards socializing student debt, but the manner in which it is doing so makes it unlikely that costs will even come down to pace the inflation rate. Rather like the healthcare overhaul, the US will address the problem by shifting the expense to the government but there is no political will to address runaway costs.

There is a new game in FranchiseTown; the recently created The Franchise Consulting Group. It's founder, Nick Neonakis, is the author of The Franchise MBA - Mastering the Four Essential Steps to Owning a Franchise), Amazon's highest rated book on the topic of franchising and is one of the most respected members of the franchise community.

The Franchise Consulting Company™ will be dedicated to finding the perfect franchisee partners for franchisors who represent a variety of industries. As an already recognized top franchise consultant, Nick has dedicated his career to the education and empowerment of prospective franchise buyers and plans to build The Franchise Consulting Group using this pragmatic education on a vast scale by uniting quality franchise companies and those interested in owning them.

Said Neonakis, "Franchising is a business model that ideally would match the perfect franchisee candidate to the best fit possible in a franchisor. This way everyone succeeds. Franchisors grow their brands with quality franchisees who in turn are happy about the huge change they've made in their lives. Often the candidates are ending their careers to go into business for themselves and start a whole new life. This can be a thrilling but anxious time for them. I have seen many matches, good ones and not so good between entrepreneurs and franchisee candidates," continued Neonakis. The goal of The Franchise Consulting Company will be to make sure the match is the right match between franchisor and franchisee. This is not always the case at the current time."

The Franchising Consulting Company will be comprised of senior level franchise executives who have a motivation to educate prospective franchise owners about franchising, and proceed to introduce them to the franchisor who is the best fit for them. The service is free of charge to the potential candidate.

"From helping people with their business planning, franchise selection, competitive analysis and real world investigations, to helping them learn about the rich resources the International Franchise Association (IFA) offers in terms of legal and financial guidance - we want to open the doors to a great new life in franchising to anyone who is interested."

This orientation towards education and empowerment of franchise owners is shared across many levels of the franchise community.

Rocco Fiorentino; the co-chair of the IFA's Membership Committee, past chairman of the National Multi-Unit Franchise Conference, multi-unit franchise owner and President of Benetrends, a premier franchise finance group founded in 1983 states," Nick is considered an industry leader by his peers, and we look forward to working with him in his new endeavor."

Dave Schaefers, Chief Development Officer at Driven Brands, the parent company of Meineke, MAACO and other national automotive franchise companies echoes this assessment "as franchising grows in scale around the world, it is imperative that the partnerships we create are based not only upon cultural fit but also management capabilities. Nick's practical and educational approach has proven to be the basis for many of our most successful franchisee partners. We look forward to working closely with his organization and growing together in the future"

For further information go to www.thefranchiseconsultingcompany.com or contact Nick Neonakis at [email protected] or 800-321-6072.

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More about Nick Neonakis

Nick Neonakis has been a fixture in the franchise community for many years on both the franchisor and consulting side.

Mr. Neonakis' academic credentials include a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) in Finance, Marketing and Strategy from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a degree from the Albert Ludwigs Universitat in Freiburg, Germany. In addition, he has taken numerous post-graduate courses in business, strategy and management. He speaks English and Greek and is comfortable in Spanish, French and German. He guest lectures on the topic of franchising at the Weatherhead School of Management and Miami Dade College and has been interviewed in many publications.

Today, Mr. Neonakis uses his 20 years of experience in franchising, finance and business to help people realize their dream of independent business ownership. Mr. Neonakis lives in Coral Gables, FL with his wife Stephanie and their children, Megan, Max and Alex. In his spare time, he enjoys boating, fishing, travelling and cooking.

(Wellington, Florida) LED lighting will soon no longer be just an efficient choice.

It will be a mandate.

GE recently announced that they will discontinue the production of fluorescent light bulbs at the end of 2016.

Can it be any clearer? To attend a free webinar about this topic on February 24th at 11:00am EST register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7172154302799108098

According to a report in Radiant Insights the LED lighting market is anticipated to grow 45% per year through 2020. LED lights accounted for $13.6 billion in 2014, are anticipated to reach $63.1 billion by 2020. The lighting market is moving towards 100% LED replacement of existing technology including incandescent and fluorescent.

LED Source, the first and only franchisor of LED lighting systems, has introduced a new program seeking out franchisee partners that currently own, operate or work for a lighting or similar type business. According to company president Marcel Fairbairn, "We currently have 15 excellent franchisees doing very well. While supporting them, it occurred to us that those who were already in a related industry can hit the ground running and achieved much quicker results. The future is full of demand (LED Source is currently adding new National Accounts Partner Program clients who are retrofitting stores with LED lighting), that we can easily dominate."

According to the program's criteria, the best candidates would be long tenured sales reps for an LED or lighting manufacturer, electrical contractors looking to boost revenue, or people in the industry for at least two years who are watching the exciting growth from commercial LED sales and retrofits, understand it's a "coming boom" and want to quickly get into the business.

The biggest advantages for new LED Source franchisees already in the LED retrofit business are:

  • Leads through LED Source's National Accounts Program
  • More reliable access to leading products, pricing or systems and processes through LED Source's Vendor Direct Program
  • World class training and support tailored to your level of need
  • A unique partial fee deferral program
  • Customized allowances for your existing business
  • "Merge" branding on your franchise showing that you've got prior experience in the industry
  • A complete network of support and experienced professionals at the home office ready to help solve issues.

Among many other accolades LED Source has been named in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top new franchises and is the front runner in a new industry that's putting an environmentally conscious spin on 140-year-old lighting technology. The company has also been the subject of two major articles in the publication.

About LED Source

Founded in 2005 by Gavin Cooper and Marcel Fairbairn, LED Source is the world's first franchisor of LED lighting products and a dynamic innovative company that focuses on providing full-service, state-of-the-art LED lighting solutions, to commercial clients wishing to convert their traditional lighting. LED Source has created one of the most extensive LED lighting distribution networks in North America, leveraging huge buying discounts to provide discount pricing along with expertise in cost-saving retrofits.

As a franchise consultant and attorney practicing in the province of Quebec, I was delighted to have been asked to write this article. Having been both a full time legal practitioner in the industry and then franchisor, I believe I have gained a unique perspective on franchising and in Quebec in particular.

I remember about 10 years ago being at a CFA Convention and speaking with a very intelligent and successful franchisor. I asked her why she didn't come to Quebec as the market was ripe for her service. She replied "Quebec-that's like going to Mars!" I was stunned. We in Quebec truly are, a "distinct" society, but Martians-?

Many systems have come to Quebec and prospered, but a greater number have failed. Those who have succeeded have been rewarded with higher ticket averages and the consumer loyalty that only Quebecers can give. The entry price is not cheap but when you look at the size of the market, the return is more than there. Just do your homework first.

To be successful a franchisor must first be willing to make the investment, both in dollars and manpower, which are essential to capitalizing on this market. The fixation that seems to strike fear in the hearts and pocket books of senior management is the French language. French is the official language of the Province of Quebec.

You may do bilingual materials but the French must be predominant. The language laws boiled down considerably are that simple. Yes, all your documents need to be translated.

This is a one-time start-up cost of doing business. The Franchise Agreement, Operations Manual, marketing materials, and any other materials that franchisees will use in the ordinary course of business, must be available in French.

This is a big expense, but the franchisees need to be able to do business here the same as all the others do elsewhere. But, is it not your responsibility as a franchisor, and is it not in your interest, to provide them with all the tools the need to succeed? This investment generally gets recuperated over time from the Initial Franchise Fees. The issue here lies not in the "if" but in the "when". When do you do all this translation? Some wait until they sell a franchise and then proceed. My experience and advice is to translate your materials before you go to market. This shows prospects that you have already made the investment and are committed to doing business in Quebec. That loyalty to the province is very important to Quebecers.

The area of largest impact of the language laws is the packaging of your products. Labeling has to be in French. That's not to say that English is prohibited, but French descriptions, directions and ingredients must be predominant. It's becoming more and more common in this global economy for suppliers to take care of this for you. However, in the event that such is not the case, simple solutions like stickers or package inserts do the trick quite well. The task is not as ominous as it sounds. It requires planning and organization, but it's not difficult by any means.

Your next task is to engage Quebec based representation in some form. This is the number one reason that franchisor's fail when they come to Quebec. They fail to work with local professionals. Many franchises come having had tremendous success with a marketing strategy in Ontario only to find it totally inapplicable to Quebec.

Any concept not willing to adapt itself and its sales strategy for the Quebec market should stay home. We are an entirely different consumer than anywhere else in Canada. I've worked with many national clients and I see the difference. For example, in Ontario, being a home based business concept is a big sales plus. In Quebec, it's really not that important. It's nice but not that high on the list of priorities.

The consumer, whether he is buying a franchise or a product or service, is entirely different from any other consumer in Canada.

Quebecers take pride in what they wear and how they appear in public even to go grocery shopping. They are more concerned with value and quality than price, and will spend $100.00 for dinner on a Tuesday night just because they feel like it. What's most interesting about Quebecers is that they are interested in long term relationships.

How many other provinces have consumers interested in loyalty?? When you have a relationship with your client-they are less likely to switch to your competitors over price. There's not much consumer loyalty in any market these days but if you're going to find it anywhere, it's in Quebec.

One way to have local representation is to have a small regional office with a Director of Franchising or a Regional Manager. This one-man office with an address establishes a presence in the market and gives you a base to use for meetings and corporate visits. It's very cost efficient and provides that sense of professionalism and permanence that is reassuring to prospects. This representative should be a mid-level manager with franchising experience as a must.

Alternatively there are franchise consultants who typically work on a project fee or retainer basis, and brokers, who work on commission, whom you can engage depending on your needs. You can find a list of valuable Quebec based resources on the website of the Quebec Franchise Council.

Quebec has a vibrant franchise industry all its own with well over a 100 home grown franchise systems that operate only in Quebec. Many of them operate some 100 units of their own.

When choosing the actual mechanism for entering the market there are various schools of thought. One mechanism is the master franchise agreement. A master would allow the franchisee to sell franchises. Essentially he becomes you in Quebec, providing all the services to Quebec franchisees that you provide to franchisees in other provinces.

Unfortunately, experience shows that this model has not proven successful. There is not enough money to be made by each party in a master where there are still so many possibilities of economies of scale.

Others choose the area development route in which one or many, agreements are struck whereby an individual or corporation is granted several years in which to establish a pre-determined number of units in a small but defined territory. An area development agreement with a good solid candidate (has both general business experience and the financial capacity) is always my number one choice.

Joint ventures are becoming a popular option too where the franchisor and Quebec franchisee become partners in a venture for Quebec development. Then there's the well tested traditional development route of selling individual units.

Regardless of your choice, before you sell any, operate a corporate store for at least 6 months to a year.

To many this step is optional. I really believe that if you are going to do business here you should understand the market in all its facets. Otherwise, how can you truly know how whether or not you have a good prospect in front of you?

Just because he'd be a good franchisee in Ontario does not make him right for Quebec-or for the trade area his store will be located in? Again, without local representation, and preferably a corporate store, you have no way of truly assessing the qualifications of your prospects. There is much to know that surveys and graphs can't convey.

As with the entry to any new jurisdiction in the world, an overview of the legislation in your industry will be necessary as there may be relevant rules or regulations affecting your operations.

There is no specific franchise legislation here so you do not have to provide a Disclosure Document. The added bonus is that you don't have to translate it either!

Most franchisors though do provide it as a gesture of goodwill and also because it does answer most of the traditional questions that franchisees have-so it is a useful exercise. That having been said, if you are going to provide it, then make the goodwill gesture and translate it. It will save you time and money in the end.

A free and incredibly important piece of legal advice here to all you franchisors-if you do provide it, DO NOT sign it. If you do you will be bound by all the representations made in it. Seeing as you are not legally bound to provide it, why create a legal obligation by signing it that can only come back later to bite you. In Quebec you are providing it for information purposes only.

The franchise legislation and rules of conduct come from the Civil Code of Quebec. Unlike any other province in Canada, Quebec has coded legislation on all legal matters dealing with business and personal relations set out nicely in one book. Other provinces, that don't have a code, do have legislation in specific areas and govern via case law, that is, how the courts have decided similar cases previously.

In Quebec, our Code sets forth all the guiding principles and remedies and the case law interprets it. The most important section of the Code states that all relationships must be conducted in good faith and in the spirit of fair dealing, regardless of whether this provision is in the contract or not.

Insofar as other legislation in concerned, Quebec for example has specific legislation in many areas including pharmaceutical retailing, opticians, travel agencies and real estate brokers to name a few. So your business model or franchise documentation may have to be amended prior to your ability to operate in the Province. This would be true however of any new province you expand into.

A plus for the retail concepts is that our retail mall hours are shorter. You will also find our security legislation different. We do not have the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) but rather other legislation that, summarily, grants a right in all moveable property.

Unlike other provinces though, commercial landlords have the legal right to, and always do, register a prior charge against all the assets in the premises, moveable and immoveable, generally equivalent to the value of the gross rent for the term of the lease.

The franchisor can still register his security interest but he will rank after the bank and the landlord. Practically speaking, this is all moot since in any situation where you need to exercise your security you are in line with prior creditors and there is seldom anything left after the bank and the trustee are paid!

So you see there is no need to fear us. Quebecers welcome new concepts openly. The proper financial investment and full commitment by the senior management team to the expansion plan are the cornerstones of success. Triumph in this market depends largely on ensuring that the franchisees have a local voice that can represent the needs of the market to an out-of-province head office.

What I find most surprising is the size of the Quebec market and how Canadian franchisors often will often expand into the United States, Europe or the Middle East before expanding in their own country. Surely the logistics for Quebec expansion have to be easier?

There is certainly enough expertise in the province to ensure that your entry is smooth and well executed. I promise you-we are worth courting-they don't all Quebec "La Belle Province" for nothing!

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

International Franchise Expo - IFE 2014 just finished up. 

What a great franchising event in New York with over 400 hundred franchisors looking to recruit new franchisees domestically and internationally.

This year's expo had something extra and worthwhile. 

Tom Portesy, MFV Expositions, Kevin Pietsch, Franchise Times, Roy Oteo, Wall Street Journal, Todd Evans, Aaron's Inc., & Greg Delks, Firehouse Subs decided to honor Greg Tanner a giant and legend in franchising.

Greg has been a franchising force for about 40 years and for my whole 25 years in the business. 

You see in May this year I read Greg Tanner's article - "My Wife Doesn't Want Me Around The House" where I learned he was retiring from franchising's Aaron's Inc. North America's leader in the sales and lease ownership of name-brand furniture, appliances and electronics. However Greg is far from done with franchising and franchising is not done with him.

Tom, Kevin, Roy, Todd & Greg arranged a party within a party at the IFE exhibitor event at New York's legendary Copacabana. The perfect cover and pretext to assemble a group of franchising veterans to numerous to name in order to surprise and honor Greg Tanner for his franchising success and years of franchise sales dedication.

The party was a huge surprise to Greg. He just didn't see it coming. Greg was roasted, toasted, and honored with terrific franchising mementos of his career and contributions.  

Now I'll tell you my Tanner story and why I was so happy Kevin Pietsch invited me to join in celebrating Greg's achievements. Kevin thank you.

In 2006 I was with an established child care franchisor where I was running a 39 week franchise display ad schedule in the Wall Street Journal. We wanted our messaging to break-through in the franchise opportunities section of the Journal.  And I thought since we had a great Item 19 Financial Performance Representation - FPR we should use it in our advertising. 

Now we all know that when you make an earnings claim with a franchise for sale offering you need to have the required disclaimer language. So in our marketing compliance process I had our general counsel ensure that our ad was compliant with the FTC rule.

We were running the ad in the Journal and it was a great success in generating qualified franchise inquiries and ultimately franchise sales increased.

We were pretty proud of ourselves and our franchise recruitment success.

And then comes a call from Tanner where he says "I see you're running some pretty exciting and aggressive display ads in the the Wall Street Journal". He went on to say "you know Joe I'm thinking that your ad might need a bit of tweaking. You see you got the disclaimer language wrong and let me tell you how I know this. A similar thing happened to me and the FTC thought it would be fun to fine our company $11,000 dollars for each time our ad had run."

My ad had run at least 20 times.

Well Greg was right, our general counsel was wrong, our president was not pleased and we fixed the ad.

Greg didn't have to help us out. It didn't benefit him one iota. But that's the way Greg is and why people who know franchising respect him so much.

Here's to Greg Tanner's continued franchising success!

Headed to the International Franchise Expo at the Javits Center in New York City June 19-21?If so, here are some unusual ways to spend your visit:

  • Find out what it's like to be part of an Apex Fun Run with tents, flags and cones, along with video streaming (Booth 1014). 

  • Get in on free brain training demonstrations every 30 minutes at Learning Rx. See how long it takes you to break a mental sweat (Booth 1036).

  • Ever thought of eating pizza in a cone? Probably not, but now you can. Check out Kono Pizza's full kitchen setup with menu boards, counter/prep area, and proprietary oven (Booth 922).

  • Got a spot on your carpet at home and you just can't get rid of it? Chem-Dry wants you to test their World Famous Professional Spot Remover. It's a natural cleaning product designed to destroy the bond between stains and carpet fibers. Better yet, here's an example of how franchisees use a product to generate added income! (Booth 704).

  • Maui Wowi's Ka'anapali Cart will introduce you to fresh Hawaiian coffee, as well as fresh, gluten-free, all-natural smoothies.

  • Young Engineers will host mini challenges at their booth so that you can get hands on with the various "edutainment" offered by franchisees. Can you win a prize?

  • Snap your selfie with a tricked-out Camaro as Line-X Protective Coatings.

12 Amazing Franchise Opportunities, Lease Guarantees (again), and Pre-Qualify Yourself as a Franchise Owner/Operator

 

     1.  Get 1,500 words to tell your amazing franchise story, be a best seller.

     2. The standard personal guaranty requires a franchisee to put his personal assets behind the lease commitment.  How do you avoid this?

     3. How do you know whether you are franchise owner material or not?

 

1st Story -158 Clicks = PR Value of $993.82*


Dr. John P. Hayes.jpg12 Amazing Franchise Opportunities for 2015

Dr. John P. Hayes is one of the world's most published authors and speakers on the topic of franchising.

Within days of publication, his franchise eBooks climb to #1 best sellers in their categories on Amazon.com.

 

 

2nd Story (Second Week) -131 Clicks = PR Value of $823.99*


Gordon W. Thomas, Esq.jpgDid You Make this Mistake When Signing Your Commercial Lease?

"We have a problem," Harvey announced flatly. "The buyer of your P for P store has gone out of business, and now the landlord is demanding that you pay the back rent and damages. Some $353,000, or thereabouts."

The slight breeze suddenly felt very cold as Kevin tried to process this unexpected disaster. "Why is the landlord coming after me," he asked weakly, "I haven't been involved with the business for over six years now. How could this be happening!?"

  

3rd Story -114 Clicks = PR Value of $717.06*


fred berni1.jpgPre-Qualify Yourself as a Franchise Owner/Operator

So, you want to be a franchisee? Owner of a franchise? Good for you!

In over 25 years I've spent working with franchisors, I've always been impressed with how generous and genuinely nice people in franchising are.

It's no wonder, since franchising is all about helping people achieve their dreams.

* Value based on current LinkedIn's advertising rates this month,  target audience and Google Analytics.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With

Before This Monday - Price Increase!

 

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Selecting Franchise Buyers based on Performance, Lease Guarantees, and New Risk Factors in Franchising

 

     1.  Many terrific franchisors use our FranchiZe Profile because it predicts how a franchise candidate will perform.

     2.  The standard personal guaranty requires a franchisee to put his personal assets behind the lease commitment.  How do you avoid this?

     3.  Investing in a franchise is a huge deal.  Learn these new risk factors.

 

1st Story -109Clicks = PR Value of $685.61*


fred berni1.jpgYou Need to Spend More Money to Recruit Franchisees

In a recent LinkedIn discussion, one of the participants mentioned the fear that many franchisors have when using a selection tool like a personality profile.

The reason for that concern was the general lack of independent data that demonstrates the effectiveness of the profile in predicting performance of franchisees.

 

2nd Story -108 Clicks = PR Value of $679.32*


Gordon W. Thomas, Esq.jpgDid You Make this Mistake When Signing Your Commercial Lease?

"We have a problem," Harvey announced flatly. "The buyer of your P for P store has gone out of business, and now the landlord is demanding that you pay the back rent and damages. Some $353,000, or thereabouts."

The slight breeze suddenly felt very cold as Kevin tried to process this unexpected disaster. "Why is the landlord coming after me," he asked weakly, "I haven't been involved with the business for over six years now. How could this be happening!?"

 

 

3rd Story -65 Clicks = PR Value of $402.56*

Thumbnail image for Jason.jpg5 Risk Factors for Investing in a Franchise

Investing in a franchise is a huge deal.

Before you take the plunge, you want to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

After all, you don't want to make a risky investment; if a franchise has financial problems or appears to be struggling to create and retain business, it is probably best to look elsewhere.

  

* Value based on current LinkedIn's advertising rates this month,  target audience and Google Analytics.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With.

 

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The Real Rate of Franchise Failure, Selecting Franchise Candidates who Can Sell, and New Risk Factors in Franchising

 

     1.  New observations about investment grade franchises.

     2. So, you want to be a franchisee? Owner of a franchise? Good for you!

     3. Investing in a franchise is a huge deal.  Learn these new risk factors.

 

1st Story -225 Clicks = PR Value of $1,415.25*


Richard Solomon.jpgFranchisors Fail at an Amazing Rate!

I hear franchise salespeople say, and read franchisor source printed material that says, that franchising provides a 90% success rate after three years in business!

I have been lecturing on the subject and will share my observations about investment grade franchises.

 

2nd Story -98 Clicks = PR Value of $616.42*

fred berni1.jpgPre-Qualify Yourself as a Franchise Owner/Operator

So, you want to be a franchisee? Owner of a franchise? Good for you!

In over 25 years I've spent working with franchisors, I've always been impressed with how generous and genuinely nice people in franchising are.

It's no wonder, since franchising is all about helping people achieve their dreams.

 

3rd Story -75 Clicks = PR Value of $471.75*

Thumbnail image for Jason.jpg5 Risk Factors for Investing in a Franchise

Investing in a franchise is a huge deal.

Before you take the plunge, you want to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

After all, you don't want to make a risky investment; if a franchise has financial problems or appears to be struggling to create and retain business, it is probably best to look elsewhere.

  

* Value based on current LinkedIn's advertising rates, this month and franchisor target audience.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With.

 

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Selling to the Online Savvy Customer, 5 Easy Steps to QSR Success, and Who Else Wants to Be as Well Known as Sir Richard Branson?

 

1. We know what customers look like right now - more integrated with social media, looking for a personalized, efficient shopping experience.

2. In the first couple of years in business, that could mean the difference between staying in business and losing your life savings.

3. Most people write well enough to convey interesting ideas. This is a bit of a problem for you when you compete for attention on Linkedin.

 

1st Story -1550 Views, 98 Clicks = PR Value of $612.48 

fred berni1.jpg5 Easy Steps to QSR Success

In any retail-type business, by far the largest expense is wages and training.

Since retailers typically average a turnover rate of approximately 110% or more a year, you can see how quickly your profits can be eaten up. 

At fast-food chains, rates as high as 200 percent a year for hourly workers aren't unusual, so the costs of employee turnover are even higher!In the first couple of years in business, that could mean the difference between staying in business and losing your life savings.

See the Comments on QSR Success.

 

2nd Story -1316 Views, 75 Clicks = PR Value of $471.75 (2nd Week on List)

kathy1.jpgSelling to the Online Savvy Customer

We know what customers look like right now - more integrated with social media, looking for a personalized, efficient shopping experience.

With things changing as quickly as they are, have you thought ahead to what your customer will look like in 2015?

It looks like folks have started thinking about this already.

See the Comments on Savvy Customer.

 

3rd Story -977 Views, 118 Clicks = PR Value of $742.22

michaelwebster.jpgWho Else Wants to Be as Well Known as Sir Richard Branson?

Most people write well enough to convey interesting ideas.

This is a bit of a problem for you when you compete for attention on Linkedin.

You could spend time creating your own LinkedIn network, one quality connection at a time. 

Since 2005, I have grown my LinkedIn networks to over 4,500 connections.  So, I can get a bit of attention for my ideas or you ideas when I share them.  How can this help you?

 

Comments on Sir Richard Branson.

 

* Value based on current LinkedIn's advertising rates, this month and franchisor target audience.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With.

 

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Subway, Starbucks, and 2015 Preview

 

     1. Can Subway really open 8,000 more locations?  Great insider observations on the threads.

     2. Will Starbucks start to sell more than just coffee?  

     3.  Planning already for selling in 2015.

 

1st Story -1596 Views, 129 Clicks = PR Value of $811.41

 

Jason.jpgSubway Intent on Overthrowing McDonalds

There are currently 26,000 Subway eateries in the U.S.

But according to Subway CEO Fred DeLuca, there is always room for more. DeLuca recently announced that he believes that there is room for another 8,000 Subways in the U.S.

"Maybe it will take 10 years or so," he commented. "If we do a good job building consumer demand, that number might change and be higher."

Vigorous and thoughtful dissent in the Comments on Subway.   

 

2nd Story -1882 Views, 82 Clicks = PR Value of $515.78

 

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What Do You Make of the New Starbucks Menu?

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.

 

Comments on Starbucks New Menu

 

3rd Story -1050 Views, 52 Clicks = PR Value of $337.08

 

kathy.jpgWhat's New in Selling to the Customer in 2015?

We know what customers look like right now - more integrated with social media, looking for a personalized, efficient shopping experience.

With things changing as quickly as they are, have you thought ahead to what your customer will look like in 2015?

 

Coments  on Social Media Marketing.  

 

* Value based on current LinkedIn's advertising rates, this month and franchisor target audience.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With.

 

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Addictions, Report Cards, and Inattentive Franchisors

 

     1. Are you addicted to social media? 

     2. Download the Retail 150 Local Marketing Report Card

     3. Why some franchisors just don't care about what their franchise owners do with social medial. 

 

1st Story (2nd week)

2455+ LinkedIn Readers 

Kathy (Salerno) Doering.jpg

Are You Addicted to Sharing on Social Media?

"Research conducted in the last two or three years has provided some interesting insight into why it is that we engage with social media." 

Do we want to show the "social world" who we are, how we want to be perceived, all the while being important and helpful to others? ...

 

Comments on Addicted.   More Comments here.

 

2nd Story 

2199+ LinkedIn Readers

Trevor Sumner.jpg

Get Your Local Marketing Report Card

"We are putting a big focus on thinking about the Retail Industry given our Retail 150 Local Marketing Report Card research.

When watching 60 Minutes, you might think that in a couple of years most retail sales would all occur online and be delivered by airborne drone.

Instead, the industry data paints a much different picture ..."

Comments on Local Marketing Report Card

 

3rd Story 

1848+ LinkedIn Readers

Frances Leary.jpgShould Social Media Marketing be Left to Franchisees?

Recently I met with a franchisor that is quickly growing the franchise across Canada.

What I discovered about the company's social media surprised me...not because I haven't seen evidence of it before with other franchises but because I've never met a franchisor state it quite as plainly as this one did ....

 

Coments  on Social Media Marketing.  More comments here.

 

Get Started on LinkedIn - Reach People Who You Could Do Business With.

 

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Addictions, Attractions, and Alternatives to Arbitration

Are we addicted to social media?  Some surprising answers by Kathy Doering.

What makes a good LinkedIn profile - a profile that attracts people who could do business with you?  Some science from Michael Webster.

Why does Litigation and Arbitration produce such unsatisfactory results?  Why do we continue to use these procedures?  Richard Solomon

 

1st Story 

1899+ LinkedIn Readers 

Kathy (Salerno) Doering.jpgAre You Addicted to Sharing on Social Media?

"Research conducted in the last two or three years has provided some interesting insight into why it is that we engage with social media." 

Do we want to show the "social world" who we are, how we want to be perceived, all the while being important and helpful to others?

Comments on Addicted. 

 

2nd Story 

1762+ LinkedIn Readers


michaelwebster.jpgHow To Create a LinkedIn Profile that Magically Attracts ClientsHow To Create a LinkedIn Profile that Magically Attracts Clients

A professional negotiator and mediator asked me to take a look at his LinkedIn profile & make suggestions.

The guy has a terrific CV and resume. Very impressive.

But, does his LinkedIn profile attract or repel potential clients?

There are many LinkedIn experts who will say that they can help you. Maybe they can. I know that some of them will certainly charge you a lot of money.

Use the Science of Decision Making & Not LinkedIn Experts and learn how to create a better profile.

Comments on LinkedIn Profile

 

3rd Story 

1148+ LinkedIn Readers


Richard Solomon.jpgDon't Sue Your Franchise Owners to Get Compliance

Lawsuits and arbitrations often sort out disputes in their legal sense.

They rarely sort out disputes in a satisfactory personal, business or financial sense.

Anyone familiar with the litigation and arbitration process can tell you about how unsatisfactory the result was in most instances.  So what are the real alternatives?

Comments on Franchise Owners

 

 

Expand Your Reach & Find  More People You Could Do Business With

Reach, More on Franchise Owners Assessment & Biz Ops, Revisted

Ok, this was an amazing week.  Last week's 3 top influencers repeated - in the exact same order.

Do you know your Brand's reach?  Worth the cost to franchise owners?

Start using franchise assesment to select high performing franchise owners.  Do it right. Get a Candidate to fill out a Situational Assessement.

And, just what would You Say to a Client who Wants to Buy a Business Opportunity instead of a Franchise?

1st Story 

2405+ LinkedIn Readers (2nd week)

Trevor Sumner.jpg

Franchisors have to Pay More to Reach their Facebook Fans

I loved this story - it appeals to my love of chicanery.  

Here is the simple formula for building a social platform.

First, convince your fans to form groups, say like a town.  You promise to link the groups together, say like a railway.  But for free!

Keep promoting your free railway - say that you want everyone connected.  Make it mantra.  Like a religious chant.  Look saintly when saying it.

Finally, when the groups or towns are big enough, re-think your tarriff rate.

Start charging the heck out travelling between towns.   

Comments on Facebook Fans and here also.  More on Facebook fans, and here too.  

 

2nd Story (2nd week)

2300+ LinkedIn Readers

Fred Berni.jpgHow to Pick High Performing Franchise Owners

Fred's argument - get rid of personality testing when selecting or recruting franchise candidates - is unremarking in the serious recruiting world.

But in franchising it still generates hostility & confused responses.

Personality tests, any derivatives of Myer-Briggs or DISC, are simply the wrong tools for recruitment.

Get the right recruitment tool - or stop complaining about your lousy operators.

Comments on Selecting Franchisees, and here also.  More on Selecting Franchisees, and also here.  But the best thread is in the Franchise Brokers group, click here.

 

3rd Story 

1588+ LinkedIn Readers


Jason Power.jpg
What would You Say to a Client who Wants to Buy a Business Opportunity instead of a Franchise?

This was article generated some great discussion in the franchise groups - especially by people who are in the business of helping people transition from a corporate career to franchise ownership.

Personally, I find that there are very few real business opportunities.  Most of them run afoul the FTC and State laws.

Comments on Franchise Owners, and here.  More on Franchise Owners, and also here.

 

 

Expand Your Reach & Find  More People You Could Do Business With

Facebook, Personality Testing, and Biz Ops

 Why are Brands paying more to reach their fans on Facebook?  Worth the cost for franchise brands?

Stop using personality tests to select your high performing franchise owners.  Do it right. Get a Candidate to fill out a Situational Assessement instead.

And, Just what would You Say to a Client who Wants to Buy a Business Opportunity instead of a Franchise?

1st Story 

1815+ LinkedIn Readers

Trevor Sumner.jpg

Franchisors have to Pay More to Reach their Facebook Fans

I loved this story - it appeals to my love of chicanery.  

Here is the simple formula for building a social platform.

First, convince your fans to form groups, say like a town.  You promise to link the groups together, say like a railway.  But for free!

Keep promoting your free railway - say that you want everyone connected.  Make it mantra.  Like a religious chant.  Look saintly when saying it.

Finally, when the groups or towns are big enough, re-think your tarriff rate.

Start charging the heck out travelling between towns.   

Comments on Facebook Fans and here also.  More on Facebook fans, and here too.  

 

2nd Story

1173+ LinkedIn Readers

Fred Berni.jpgHow to Pick High Performing Franchise Owners

Fred's argument - get rid of personality testing when selecting or recruting franchise candidates - is unremarking in the serious recruiting world.

But in franchising it still generates hostility & confused responses.

Personality tests, any derivatives of Myer-Briggs or DISC, are simply the wrong tools for recruitment.

Get the right recruitment tool - or stop complaining about your lousy operators.

Comments on Selecting Franchisees, and here also.  More on Selecting Franchisees, and also here

 

3rd Story 

1169+ LinkedIn Readers


Jason Power.jpg
What would You Say to a Client who Wants to Buy a Business Opportunity instead of a Franchise?

This was article generated some great discussion in the franchise groups - especially by people who are in the business of helping people transition from a corporate career to franchise ownership.

Personally, I find that there are very few real business opportunities.  Most of them run afoul the FTC and State laws.

Comments on Franchise Owners, and here.  More on Franchise Owners, and also here.

 

 

Expand Your Reach & Find  More People You Could Do Business With

Learning, Silent Killers, and More Scams

 

Interesting discussion about how what search on a smartphone means for local marketing.

Great discussion on whether to spend more on your hiring budget on managers or entry level employees. 

And, more people wanted to read about attorneys who got scammed -wonder why?

 

1st Story 

2230+ Readers

Trevor Sumner.jpg

Do You Need to Learn about Mobile Marketing, Now?

Mobile web adoption is growing 8 times faster than web adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

One in three mobile searches have local intent versus one in five on desktop computers.

Meaning people perform different types of searches depending on the device they are using and where they are.

Given the mobile growth rate, brick-and-mortar companies really need to evaluate their mobile strategy.  

Comments on Mobile Marketing. and here also.

 

 

2nd Story

1800+ Readers

Fred Berni.jpgLearn How You Defeat The Silent Killer of Your Business

Every successful businessperson knows that you're only as good as the employees that represent you.

But, even when you've taken the time and hired the best employees you can, the next item on the agenda is how to keep good employees.

Turnover is a killer on your bottom line.

Comments on Silent Killer, and here also.

 

 

 

3rd Story (2nd Week)

1,110+ LinkedIn Readers

Matthew-100x100.pngAdvance Fee Scam Aimed at Franchisor Attorneys was a good introduction to the world of scams aimed at franchise lawyers.  

Matthew does a good job of explaining the fraud & how lawyers can avoid it.  

I would caution people to understand that a bank may "clear" a cheque and later claim that it was dishonored. So you are still liable to the bank for the funds that "cleared".  

This is also the first wave of this type of fraud, it will grow increasing sophisticated.  We are now seeing these types of frauds using LinkedIn email.

Comments on Scammed.

 

 

  Expand Your Reach  

Sharing, Legal Scams & Crisis

This was a fun week.  Last week's topics were still interesting, but they flipped in order.  

Sharing trumped crisis management & people wanted to read about attorneys who got scammed.

 

1st Story (2nd Week)

2359+ LinkedIn Readers




Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's
 See How Easily You Can Share the Right Type of Content across the Social Media Platforms was a good reminder of how different the big 5 social platforms are.  It was also very interesting because when we emphasized the "sharing as good business'" in the title, we pulled 10 times more readers! Always important to have the right headline for your audience as part of your content marketing strategy.


2nd Story

1,444+ LinkedIn Readers





Matthew-100x100.pngMatthew Kreutzer's  Advance Fee Scam Aimed at Franchisor Attorneys 
was a good introduction to the world of scams aimed at franchise lawyers.  Matthew does a good job of explaining the fraud & how lawyers can avoid it.  I would caution people to understand that a bank may "clear" a cheque and later claim that it was dishonored. So you are still liable to the bank for the funds that "cleared".   This is also the first wave of this type of fraud, it will grow increasing sophisticated.

 

 

3rd  Story (2nd Week)

1,202+ LinkedIn Readers



Richard Solomon.jpgRichard Solomon's The Art of Crisis Avoidance
 was a neat introduction to why smart executives continue to make dumb mistakes when a crisis looms.  Richard has a gruff persona, which hides his deep appreciation for the foibles of humans and institutions.  On our phone call, Richard revealed which executives usually see the crisis coming but are handcuffed into inaction.  

 


 

  Franchise-Info will  Get You the Attention You Deserve from People You Could do Business With  

The impact of the Affordable Care Act - OBAMACARE - upon doctors is to reduce their compensation per activity. If you are a doctor you now work harder to keep up.

This reduces your human resources available for improvement, research, family time and private time. It removes or seriously degrades the financial aspirations that, at least in part, enthused you to follow medical practice as your life's profession. If it follows the pattern of most societies where this kind of medicine is practiced, the quality of service and the quality of doctors will be degraded.

While you may not be able to do much for the future doctors, certain among you can do something to preserve and even enhance your own circumstances.

The medical practice business model now in vogue goes by the name of Concierge practice, an essentially cash payment by patients directly to the doctor for professional service and for premier access without restraint by insurance coverage limits. Payment is in cash and periodic, running from per month debited to your credit card or per quarter or annually, in advance.

To be sure, the patient must keep medical insurance in force for all the other things that the direct cash to physician does not include. That is a parallel resource. The patient is not saving money. To the contrary, the patient is paying significantly more to be included in an inner circle of preferred patients of the particular doctor or doctor group.

This practice model is not available to all doctors. It is most ideally feasible for leading edge physicians located in affluent markets. It is also "seasonal" in the sense that many practice areas are Concierge suitable for patients only during certain periods of their lives. Illustratively, even in the environs of Detroit, Michigan there are pockets of wealth to whom this opportunity would be extremely attractive for the "right" doctors. Locations must contain significant wealth pockets for the Concierge system to work.

Leading edge physicians include those with stellar reputations in the medical community who in the ordinary course of practice attract wealthy patients. Stellar reputations include the obvious superstars associated with leading edge practice; practice groups that have enjoyed an outstanding reputation in the community for a long time and that recruit using the highest standards; practitioners who enjoy excellent working relationships with their main hospitals at executive and also at staff levels - Concierge practitioners will need to be able to arrange preferential deference for their patients when they arrive in hospital; and practitioners with a keen sense of social and network marketing. These are the profile elements of physicians who should consider developing a Concierge practice division within or parallel to their normal practice.

Seasonality as used in this article implies that some potential Concierge patients may need Concierge service during periods of their lives. Illustratively, women may be attracted to Concierge service during childbearing years and during that later period of life when their gynecology needs tend to be more acute. People tend to find Concierge service from leading cardiologists, especially surgeons, in the years of impact from heart abnormalities and disease.

People of means would find Concierge service attractive throughout their lives simply as a matter of personal preference and the fact that they can afford it. The feasibility of establishing a Concierge medical practice involves an assessment of the impact of all these criteria; a determination of appropriate pricing levels; a willingness to triage one's patient population economically; and the acceptance of the level of "access" that must be provided to Concierge patients.

A Concierge menu of preferential benefits over and above what is provided to other patients needs to be configured, including things like special phone numbers and email channels; appointments at the patient's venue when needed and appropriate in terms of available resources: expedited hospital admissions with little waiting and lots of "hand holding"; a network of access resources when traveling; and other extraordinary advantages where reasonably practicable.

There needs to be a special marketing program rather adeptly configured and targeted to the potential patients who fit your target profile. Some finesse will go a long way in setting this up.

The Concierge model should be thought of as a dynamic model that will change each year or irregularly as opportunities present. To be sure, OBAMACARE will morph as it is put into effect and adjustments are required either by the vicissitudes of implementation or by the politics of it. This will present as many opportunities for the Concierge capable practitioner as it does problems for those unsuited for this model.

Consults regarding the feasibility and set up of Concierge models are available by contacting Tamerlane Group in Houston through its email at [email protected] and 281 584 0519.

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Crisis, Mistakes & Sharing 

This was one of those weeks in which we should just award a tie to all three stories, they were that close in readership.  

It was a week that people were reading about strategy: why it is hard to avoid a crisis, what critical mistakes you make on your website, and how to develop a content strategy.

 

Top Story 

1,670+ LinkedIn Readers



Richard Solomon.jpgRichard Solomon's The Art of Crisis Avoidance
 was a neat introduction to why smart executives continue to make dumb mistakes when a crisis looms.  Richard has a gruff persona, which hides his deep appreciation for the foibles of humans and institutions.  On our phone call, Richard revealed which executives usually see the crisis coming but are handcuffed into inaction.  

 

 2nd Story

1,630+ LinkedIn Readers




michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's Are You Making this Terrible Mistake on Your Website? 
was one of the quickest articles I have ever written.  I was jolted into action reading an article by one Drayton Bird's associates, Gerald Woodgate.  His article was a blow to the belly.  I couldn't believe that Joe and I had made this terrible mistake on the Franchise-Info website, and luckily you don't have to!

3rd Story

1527+ LinkedIn Readers




Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's
 See How Easily You Can Share the Right Type of Content across the Social Media Platforms was a good reminder of how different the big 5 social platforms are.  Joe and I don't get out much, outside of LinkedIn, so Frances' article was a useful high level strategy.  Personally, I doubt that I will ever get Twitter -although Frances assures me that I am a Twit.

  

  Franchise-Info will  Get You the Attention You Deserve from People You Could do Business With  

The Art & Science of Choice = Practical Wisdom 

 

Top story was great bit of practical wisdom.  

How can sellers  defeat the buying objection - You cost Too Much!

Great mixture of theory, practice and art.

The second story also addressed a practical problem.

How to avoid the wrong franchise owner - one that interviews well but never takes your advice afterward.

Finally, another look at the procrastinating buyer - the one always shopping and never buying.

 

 

Top Story 

2,890+ LinkedIn Views 




Thumbnail image for michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's You Don't Have to Drop Your Price To People Who say "We Cannot Afford You"
  provided a valuable technique for sellers who have to respond to the objection: Your price is Too High.

There were two great threads for this article in LinkedIn.  

The first thread in LinkedIn is here, and Fiona Middleton, MSM provided some interesting ideas.

The second thread in LinkedIn about this negotiation technique is here.  In this thread, Joe Gordillo does a great job explaining how you as a seller can meet the price objection using the his technique.  Buyers are said to be helpless.  Pay attention to Joe Gordillo's ideas - he really does know what he is talking about.

 

2nd Story (2nd Week)

2,725+ LinkedIn Views 




Fred Berni.jpgFred Berni's  The Franchise Shell Game 
remains a great thread about franchise recruitment.

Fred does a great job of explaining why most franchisors end up with franchise owners who interview well, but then don't take any advice from the franchisor.

Very frustrating for the franchise sales department & real annoying for the operations department. 

But, this is what happens when you don't use science of choice and instead rely upon horscopes - also known as personality tests.

 

3rd Story

1740+ LinkedIn Views 





Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso's
  How To Recruit Not Ready to Buy, Yet Franchise Prospects.

"The way franchise sellers address this today is by sending these not ready-to-buy leads emails which are pretty much different versions of the same tired message: Buy My Franchise, now."  

Some interesting ideas on how to treat the reluctant but qualified buyer on the LinkedIn thread.

  

  Franchise-Info will  Get You the Attention You Deserve from People You Could do Business With  

This Week In Review Endorsing, Leads and Hiring 

 

This week's top story has been a consistently interesting story. 

For me, it raises a unique problem.  Whom do you write for -humans or the bots?

The second story raises one my favourite ideas: Which Franchisor's methods of recruiting Franchise Owners also help Franchise Owners reduce turnover?

The third story revisited another theme: How do franchisors move beyond the web portals?  What alternatives are there for franchisors looking for leads?

 

Top Story (2nd Week)

3050+ LinkedIn Views 



Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's Whom Do You Endorse on Linkedin? Why? 
 continues to be very popular.  Frances raises an important question.  When we write and publish using social media, what is correct way to balance writing for human readers versus bots?

In LinkedIn, when we write up our profiles we hope that people read them.

But, as the controversial endorsement program reveals, we have to be mindful of the bots & feed them, too.  Some great threads about the endorsement debate, and also here.

 

2nd Story 

2925+ LinkedIn Views 




Fred Berni.jpgFred Berni's  The Franchise Shell Game 
raises one of my favourite ideas.  If a franchisor uses a recruitment method to select his or her franchisors, can the same method be used by the franchise owner to recruit employees?

You would hope that franchisors would employ systems that scale this way.

Some terrific and different ideas discussed in The Franchisor's Group on this thread about recruiting franchise owners.

Another good thread on LinkedIn about recruiting franchise owners.

 

 

3rd Story

1160+ LinkedIn Views 





Dave Cyphers.jpgDave Cypher
's Get Rid of That Franchise Lead Generation Frustration Once and For All continues to beguile franchisors

How do franchisors deal with the new franchise prospect?

The one that is constantly travelling around the internet looking for information, yet never seeming to stop to buy?

Some interesting ideas about the not yet ready to buy franchise candidate.

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review More Traps & Pitfalls in Social Media 

 

Again, this week's top story was about how treacherous Google can be for franchises.  Maybe be we should start listening?

And, the second story explained a controversial feature of LinkediIn.

The third story was a celebration of how to get all your great intelligent stories of franchising out there to people who could do business with you.

 

Top Story (2nd Week)

3750+ LinkedIn Views 


Trevor Sumner.jpgTrevor Sumner's How You Can "Partner" with Google 
exposed the difficulty franchises have in getting a return on their adwords adverstising.  

Over the past couple of years, Google has made it harder and harder to quantify the value and successful tactics of SEO campaigns by hiding the keywords from organic searches in analytics.  

It is now harder to use SEO tactics to drive people to your franchise website because Google has hidden the organic keywords from the analytics.

For  more read this thread.

  

2nd Story 

2925+ LinkedIn Views 



Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's  Whom Do You Endorse on Linkedin? Why? 
returned us to that great favorite question - why are we endorsing people on LinkedIn that we don't really know that well?

Do we blindly follow LinkedIn's suggestion?

Or is there some method to our collective madness?

 

 

3rd Story

1925+ LinkedIn Views 




Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso
's 6 Easy Ways You Can Use LinkedIn Groups was one of the best articles on how to use LinkedIn groups I have read.

Of course, I am biased.  

But Joe and I have been igniting intelligent converstations about franchising for over a decade & the LinkedIn platform is the best we have used.  Because the are no anonymous guests - everyone has a professional reputation to guard and maintain.

So, read the entire thread here. 

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review Traps & Pitfalls in Social Media 

 

This week's top story was about how treacherous Google can be for franchises.

The second story was explained some new ways to use LinkedIn.

And the third story cautioned us all on spending our hard earned ad fund on SEO.

 

Top Story 

2500+ LinkedIn Views

11 Comments

 


Trevor Sumner.jpgTrevor Sumner's How You Can "Partner" with Google 
exposed the difficulty franchises have in getting a return on their adwords adverstising.  

Over the past couple of years, Google has made it harder and harder to quantify the value and successful tactics of SEO campaigns by hiding the keywords from organic searches in analytics.  

It is now harder to use SEO tactics to drive people to your franchise website because Google has hidden the organic keywords from the analytics.

For  more read this thread.

 

 

  

2nd Story 

1800+ LinkedIn Views 

10 Comments




michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's If You Don't Start Marketing in LinkedIn Now, You Will Hate Yourself Later  
was a different look at the social platform, LinkedIn, and how you can create attention for yourself and your services.

There were a number of different ideas expressed on the LinkedIn thread.

My overall sense is that most people don't look at how any views their updates actually garner in LinkedIn.  LinkedIn should make this feature more clear.

3rd Story

1300+ LinkedIn Views 

12 Comments




tim lorang.jpgTimothy Lorang's Do You Know This One Easy and Effective Trick to Spying on Your Competition?  
was a good piece on basic website traffic measurement

As someone who advises others on ways to increase their web traffic, including but not exclusively SEO, I use Alexa. Anyone interested in measuring web traffic should use it.

Click here for the thread. 

 

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review  

 

This week's top story had some great advice about the number one cost franchisor owners need to control.  

The second story was about the predicted death of a major social platform.  

And the third story had some great insight into advertising in the 21st century & the challenges that social media are creating for the franchisor's ad fund.

 

Top Story 

2700+ LinkedIn Views

27 Comments

 

Fred Berni.jpg

Fred Berni's Do You Know or Understand How Much Unnecessary Turnover is Robbing You?  hit a nerve with both franchise owners and franchisors.

Franchise owners have the responsiblity of hiring at the local level & mistakes which cause turn-over will cause a franchise owner to lose money.

Franchisors need their franchisees to adopt better hiring procedures, but are worried about dictating too much.  Two great LinkedIn threads about this problem, click here for the first LinkedIn thread, and click here for the second thread.  (Remember that you need to be connected to either Joe or I to read these threads in LinkedIn.)

 

 

  

2nd Story 

2500+ LinkedIn Views 

15 Comments



Kathy (Salerno) Doering.jpgKathy Doering's Is Facebook a Disease? 
was a fun and light-hearted look at that "other social platform."

Some major university, not named "Harvard", has predicted the death of Facebook as people flee the platform to do something else than look at Facebook's retarded ads.

Facebook, in turn, then turned around and predicted the death of this major university, not named "Harvard".  Click here for the first thread, and here for the second  thread.

  

3rd Story

1975+ Linked Views 

23 Comments



Chris Anderson.jpgChris Anderson's Does Your Franchisor have these 6 Key Elements Covered for Your Local Advertising? 
sparked some excellent debate on funding for social media.  Franchise systems usually have a national ad fund and local ad fund requirements.  

The national ad fund is usually between 2-4% of gross, while the local ad fund is much less in comparison.  

But, with local marketing becoming more important, especially when directed at the mobile customer, who should be paying for this?  Is this a national ad fund problem or should the local franchise owners be paying?   Click here for the first thread, and here for the second thread.

 

 

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review  

This week's top stories are about: Using LinkedIn correctly and not being a spammer & two stories on how to recruit franchises effectively.  

This was a bit of an embarrassing week - since both Mike and Joe took all 3 of the top stories.  

I promise to write about strategy & game theory next week & Joe promises not to write at all.  

That should give the competition the edge they need!  

 

Top Story (Second Week)

2615+ LinkedIn View 16+Comments





michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's How To Invite a Single Contact to Join LinkedIn & Connect With You  

continued to attract the most attention.

LinkedIn wants your email list.  But then, LinkedIn penalizes you for inviting people who say they "don't know you".  Even though you had their email address.

Learn how to invite your contacts the right way & avoid LinkedIn's tricky ways.

 

 

  

2nd Story 

1152+ LinkedIn Views -14+ Comments




Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso's 8 Easy Steps for Franchisors Who Want to Recruit on LinkedIn

was about how to use LinkedIn to recruit franchisees. 

LinkedIn is one of the greatest social media sites for recruiting - both for hires and franchise owners.

But, many franchisor sees unaware on how to harness LinkedIn & resort to either spamming groups with PR releases or some other ill thought out content marketing idea.  There really is a better way.

  

3rd Story

861+ Linked Views - 16 Comments





Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso's Why Some Franchisors Almost Always Fail
  

was an interesting discusion franchise discounting.  "Franchise fee discounts are bad business because

they can cause discontent with your franchisees who paid full-price and they are likely not the solution to your franchise sales problem." And yet, franchisor continue to discount & ask their current franchise owners to like it.

 

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review - How To Stories

 

This week, the Franchise-Info community was largely interested in How To stories.

 

1. How to invite contacts to LinkedIn one at a time, not get tricked into spamming your list of contacts &  avoid getting on the dreaded LinkedIn IDK restriction list.

2. (a) How to get franchise sales by getting rid of your Discovery Day.

2. (b) How franchise prospects should see if the current franchise owners validate the system as a whole.

3. How to give your franchise prospects enough time to read the FDD.  

 

 

Most Popular Social Media Story

2301 LinkedIn Views 





michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's How To Invite a Single Contact to Join LinkedIn & Connect With You  
was the most popular social media story.

LinkedIn is run by two deparments.  One department wants you to give LI all your email contacts.  The other department wants to penalize you for being a spammer and restricted your account.

Good back and forth on the LinkedIn thread, with a number of people chiming in about LinkedIn's tricky ways.

 

 

  

Most Popular Franchise Sales Story (Tie)

1862 & 1860 LinkedIn Views




Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso's Get Rid of Your "Discovery Day" & Sell More Franchises 

challenged franchisors to really think about their sales process.


Stop calling it "Discovery Day" if there is nothing left to discover.

The 1980's are over.  Franchisors need to abandon legacy thinking if they want to remain competitive.

 

 

Pete Lindsey.jpgPeter Lindsey's Don't Overlook this Method for Evaluating the Quality of Your Franchisor Support  was almost as popular as Joe's article.

Peter was showing prosepctive franchises how to use the Item 20 in the FDD to evaluate Franchisor Support.

If turnover was high, it probably meant that the existing franchisees would not validate the system.  Good tip.

 

 

Most Popular Franchise Legal Story

1499 Linked Views





Warren_Lewis.jpgWarren Lewis's 
Minimum Disclosure Timing discussed the minimal time frame necessary for a prospect to have an FDD if the sale was legal. There are some tricky state laws to navigate around.

The online discussion was about whether this was enough time for franchise prospects to properly understand the agreement and the significance of the disclosures.

This is ongoing discussion - with some favoring giving the prospect plenty of time to review the document and others fearing that all this information will slow down the deal.

 

  

  What Franchise-Info  Do for Your Popularity!  

This Week In Review - Selling

What can franchisors/franchise owners learn from Pulp Fiction?

What can we still learn from Ray Kroc?  

How does a good PR Strategy Work? 

 

Most Popular

1849 LinkedIn Views 




Jim Martin.jpgJim Martin's Are You Listening? Or Just Waiting to Talk?  
had the most readers on LinkedIn.

And why not - one of the classic lines from Public Fiction.  Good discussion on LinkedIn.

"Unfortunately, most sales people talk way to much and as a result, fail to interact and engage the prospect in a more compelling way."

 

  

Most Comments

17 Comments



Jason.jpgJason Duncan's
Three Familiar Management Problems - Which Do You Want to Overcome?

Why expansion past three unit is so hard.

Sidebar on why Kroc was a PITA.

 

 

Most Engaging Article 

- 247 Readers/4:37 minutes Reading Time

 

 



Rhonda Sanderson.jpgRhonda Sanderson's  The Best PR Moves of 2013 and One Really Bad One 
continued to attract attention.

Probably because Rhonda talked about the hard issue: "One of the biggest obstacles for PR people is getting the client to agree to spend a certain amount of dollars

for great coverage that will bring them many more dollars."

 

  

  What Franchise-Info Can Do for You  

This Week In Review - Selling 

The theme for the second week of January was sales, sales to the not yet ready to buy, selling on a social media platform, and selling to the undercapitalized franchisee.

I guess some credit card bills are coming due and everyone is thinking of sales.

 

Most Read Update:  2045 LinkedIn Views 

 




Joe Caruso.jpgJoe Caruso's  
How To Market to the Qualified, But Not Yet Ready to Buy Prospect was the runaway winner for LinkedIn views.

This is an old topic, nuturing qualified leads from not ready to buy and to them calling you for an appointment.

Can you guess which salesman was the leader in this field?

 

 

 

Most Commented on Story - 13 Comments

 


Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's 
 Social Media Is Not Advertising continued to attract commentary.

Here are some of the differing points of view,  click here, and click here.  (You might have to be connected to me to see the threads.) 

My own view is that sharing information and hoping for a sale is not a sales procedure that works.  But, hey, who knows  - it might be working for a lot of people.

 

 

Most Engaging Article Published on Franchise Info

- 235 Readers who spent an average of 3:59 minutes reading

 

 


Richard Solomon.jpgRichard Solomon's  
Why Do Franchise Owners Really Fail?  revisited the standard problem of whether is enough material disclosure in an FDD for a franchisee to make a decent & reliable business plan.  (Here is one LinkedIn update - you might have to be connected with me to read it.)

Richard had an interesting view about how to treat the effects of the material non dislcosure in section 8 - the rebate section.

He has an interesting estimate of the true royalty rate, reflecting his many years reviewing the FDD and comparing it to reality.

 

 

When You would like to be more Influential on LinkedIn & Get More Sales, Customer or Clients, Look at What Franchise Info can Do for You to Get You People to Pay Attention to You. 

The Week In Review - Vanity in Franchising

The first week in the New Year produced a number of entertaining threads and discussions.  From the value of PR on franchise sales, to whether you should use social media to sell, and some terrific advice on what not to do when updating your website.  The overall theme which linked all three articles seemed to be vanity.  Or at least that is how I saw it.

 

Most Read Update:  1450 LinkedIn Views 

 


Ingrid Korgemagi.jpgIngrid Korgemagi's  
You Don't Have to Re-Do your Website to Gain More Sales brought some much needed common sense to when you should upgrade your website. Many upgrades are done for no other reason than the CEO is bored with the looks of the website.

But if you aren't changing the website to make it easier for your customers to buy, you are likely wasting your money.  Here is one LinkedIn thread on the topic of upgrading your website.

And which professionals change their websites, fruitlessly, more often than others?  My opinion - law firms.

 

 

 

Most Commented on Story - 15 Comments


Frances Leary.jpgFrances Leary's 
 Social Media Is Not Advertising attracted a number of commentators.

Frances has an opinion about the role of sales in social media.  She doesn't think that people should be selling in their posts on a social media platform.  

I, among others, took a different view - I worry that people misunderstand that basics of communication when they seek to simply share information and then expect some economic benefit.  Here are some of the differing points of view,  click here, and click here.  (You might have to be connected to me to see the threads.) 

 

Most Engaging Article Published on Franchise Info

- 199 Readers who spent an average of 4:26 minutes reading

 

 

Rhonda Sanderson.jpgRhonda Sanderson's The Best PR Moves of 2013 and One Really Bad One was easily the most engaging article last week.  Shouldn't be too surprising as Rhonda described some PR follies and feasts of 2013.  Some great PR moves - the opposite of vanity.  One bad one - the curse of vanity.

Several engaging threads on LinkedIn discussed how one could accurately measure the benefits of PR.  A lively discussion ensued -  follow Rhonda on LinkedIn and don't miss her insights.
 

 

When You would like to be more Influential on LinkedIn & Get More Sales, Customer or Clients, Look at What Franchise Info can Do for You to Get You People to Pay Attention to You. 

The Year 2013 In Review

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Our top 3 stories from 2013 are: most popular, most thoughtful, and most engaging.  

The most popular story had the most pageviews or readers in 2013.  

Sometimes, however, we want the story which was the most thoughtful: a story which had a large number of readers who spent  the longest time reading the article- the most thoughtful story.

Finally, we want the story which was read by a lot of people who spent a longish amount of time reading the article - the story which engaged most readers.

Our thanks to Rhonda Sanderson for sponsoring the Year End Review.

Most Popular Story of 2013

 

Kathy (Salerno) Doering.jpg

Kathy Doering has written a number of stories which are very popular.  But one story dominated the headlines in 2013.

I am not going to give it away.

You will just have to read the most popular story of 2013 by clicking here.

 

 

Most Thoughtful Story of 2013

 

Joe Caruso.jpg Joe Caruso wrote the article which people spent the most amount of time reading. 

Joe had a thoughtful discussion of how franchise recruiting had really changed since the 1990's - with the move from print to digital advertising.

Since Joe has almost 25 years in franchise sales, his article Why The Internet has Really Changed Lead Gen For Franchise Sales & How You Can Benefit From It was highly regarded.

 

Most Engaging Story of 2013

Ok, our measure of engagement, a function of the number of readers and the time they spent reading the article, actually picked three articles which were the most engaging stories of 2013.

 

Greg Everts.jpgGreg Evert's article Papa John's Lessons from $250 Million in Text Message Class Action was a thoughtful discussion of a social media disaster.

As Greg pointed out: "The decision also vividly reminds all businesses that the TCPA applies to unsolicited text messages just as it does to unwelcome faxes."

his is legal jungle which franchisors are going to have to become more sophisticated about.

Compliance with the TCPA requires more than common sense, it requires extensive documentation.

 

 

Andrew.jpgAndrew Hubert's article Why Most Americans Almost Always Lose to Chinese Business Negotiators was also very well received by our readers.

As franchise systems expand internationally, negotiation experts like Andrew will be in demand.

Andrew does have a very good paid course on Udemy on how to negotiate effectively with the Chinese.

Be real important for someone making the trip over to China to prepare, remind and help with the differences in business negotiations.

 

 

michaelwebster.jpgFinally, my own story on pre-purchase investigation How Much Can I Make with a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise? has a great following.

With the swing, finally, to more extensive Item 19 disclosure we are going to see more analytical and public discussions of how much you can make with buying a franchise.

Franchisors should note that this story, unlike most stories, is read daily by 18- 42 and they spend 5:35 minutes reading it.  Popeyes is attracting a great deal of interest, are you doing the same?

Our thanks again to Rhonda Sanderson for sponsoring the Year End Review.

When You would like to be more Influential on LinkedIn & Get More Sales, Customer or Clients, Look at What Franchise Info can Do for You to Get You People to Pay Attention to You. 

3 Top Conversations - Friday Dec. 13th

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The Week In Review

Many of our readers have asked us to explain why certain stories were read, to give more context to the rankings.  We rely on more than the straight reader numbers, although we report those also. Many of the conversations started, are appearing all over LinkedIn, so we are going to summarize those comments.  (If we have got your idea twisted around, feel free to correct us!)

 

Most Read Update:  1899 LinkedIn Views 

 

Jason.jpgJason Duncan's article summarizing the SEI's attempts to unionize McDonald's was the most read update, attracting 1899 LinkedIn views.  My update in LinkedIn can be accessed by clicking here, by his first connections.  David P. Daniels brought some needed background history to the problem.  

The minimum wage question is likely to be a big issue in 2014, if our readers are good judges.

 

 

Most Commented on Story - 22 Comments

michaelwebster.jpgMichael Webster's original article in Metro Franchising, The Confidence Man in Franchising, available to all members of the Metro Franchise Assocation LinkedIn group, attracted 22 comments.  

The basic theme is that FDD's have grown too large, no longer disclose the basic information needed for a buyer to make an informed decision.  Both Ed Teixeira and Cheri Carroll contributed to the ongoing discussion about the evolving uses of Item 19s - a needed move away from previous sales practices.

 

 

Most Engaged Article Published on Franchise Info

- 225 Readers who spent 3:51 minutes Reading

 

 

Gerald Woodgate.jpgGerald Woodgate's article syndicated to Franchise Info, under our Creative Commons Licence, was the top article in terms of Engagement metrics.  Gearld wrote a very technical, but easy to read article, looking at Domino's Coupon advertising program in the U.K.  Gerald works with Drayton Bird -whose ad copy has sold more products and services more than all the people claiming to do content marketing! (Ok, I am making this up - but it seems plausible.) 

The reason you want to hire Gerald is that he knows how to write long copy that sells your product or service.  Give it a try & ask for the Drayton Bird money back guarantee.

 

 

When You would like to be more Influential on LinkedIn & Get More Sales, Customer or Clients, Look at What Franchise Info can Do for You to Get You People to Pay Attention to You. 

Some fascinating facts about the origins of franchising. Who was the first Franchisor? Man or woman? US or International. Watch this engaging video to find out more.

With the downturn in the US economy well into its fourth year, American and Canadian franchisors are increasingly looking to international markets to secure new franchisees.  As the worlds’ second largest economy and with the largest middleclass anywhere, China is generating an increasing amount of attention.

Unfortunately, expanding into China is quite different from expanding into more developed countries. Of course there are linguistic, cultural and other significant difficulties to overcome, but the biggest barrier to entry are the systemic problems regarding IP and Trademark protection.  Most prospective franchisers looking at China presume that the legal structure here is the same or similar to those in our home countries and that those laws are simply ignored by the authorities. This view is incorrect.

Although there certainly are enforcement issues here, the situation is being addressed by the central government and organizations currently have reasonable courses of action to protect their brands from clear TM violators.

The real problems occur when international organizations enter the market assuming that their Registered International Trademarks will be honored here in China.  International Trademarks are not recognized in China; in fact, in order to legally register a franchise in China one of the mandatory documents required is a copy of the SAIC (State Administration of Industry and Commerce) China Trademark application. Although a lengthy process, trademark registration in China is not difficult nor is it prohibitively expensive, but it must be performed by a state approved trademark agent.

From the SIAC website:

“Article 18 of the foreigner or foreign enterprise in China for trademark registration and handling of other trademark matters, it shall entrust a trademark agency approved by an organization qualified agent.”

What’s more problematic is that according to Chinese law, Trademarks are first come first served. So, no matter if you are looking to expand into China or advertise in China for new franchisees, pretty much any business can register any trademark if there is not a similar claim.

Again, from SAIC:

Article 29 

“Where two or more applicants for trademark registration in the same or similar goods on the same or similar trademark applications for registration, application for preliminary approval and announcement earlier trade mark; the same day the application, preliminary approval and prior use of the trademark notice, others rejected the application, not to notice.”

So, does registering your trademark in China guarantee that your organization won’t have imitators or outright trademark violators? Of course not, but at least you will have reasonable recourse if it should happen. On the other hand if your organization does not register its’ trademarks it is possible to try to fight the infringement but more often than not, the foreign entity will not receive compensation from the violator but more likely will have to paid for the right to transfer the trademark rights in addition to paying the legal fees for all parties involved.

In short, if you are considering either expanding into China or advertising in China for investors for your home market, play by the local rules and register all of your trademarks. At the most, it’s a few hundred dollars today, or risk losing your brand in China tomorrow.

Sources:

http://sbj.saic.gov.cn/flfg1/flfg/200501/t20050104_53010.html

http://txjy.syggs.mofcom.gov.cn/manager/news.do?method=view&id=1554328

This has been a guest post by William Gibbons and China Franchise World.  Scheduled to launch in October 2011, China Franchise World will be the first American owned and managed, Chinese language website dedicated to matching Chinese Investors to US and Canadian Franchise Organizations. Not only will CFW provide a low cost, traditional web portal but we will also provide tailored, full service solutions to organizations looking to either open shop in China or recruit new franchisees. 

As the editor of the IAFD newsletter, I want to congratulate all our readers.  In July, we made some changes to the website.  We wanted to make the inside sections more accessible, and it easier to read all the articles in each section.

And our readers loved it!  Before the changes, our readers read about 55,000 pages a month. 

But after the changes, our readers read 136,000 pages in July and over 425,000 pages in August.  Our writers thank you for interest and attention.

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Here is what we changed.  

First, when you visit the site, you can now directly access our five sections: Franchisee Association News, Franchise Relations, Social Auidence Consulting, Suppliers and Consultants to Franchisees, and Tools and Resources for Associations.

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All the sections are easily accessible from the main tool bar.  

The second change we made was to make it easy for our readers to simply page through any section.

Look at the bottomof Timonthy Lorang's post on How to Use a QR Code.

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What you see is a simply way to scroll through all the articles in Social Audience Marketing - simple with one click.

You guys have been great - rewarding our writers with over 425,000 pages read as a group in August.  And our writers thank you and hope to be even more enaging by next quarter.

Happy Early Labor Day to Everyone in the US and Canada!

The IAFD cannot make you a better writer, but if you want to market to a better audience, then you just might want to be an IAFD Key Partner.

 

Are You Interesting?

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When you finish this post, I want you to read a sales letter that raised $180,000, in 2011 dollars, in less than a day.  The sales letter was fund raiser aimed at people who had no interest in the charity, interrupted them on their way home from work, and yet was incredibly successful.

What is your instant reaction to the first sentence of this sales letter?  Curiosity?  A refusal to comply?  A more cautious approach - wait and see how many other people will comply?  Do you read the rest of the letter?

The Amazing Sales letter is from David Ogilvy.  This particular sales letter was distributed to white commuters on their way home, shortly after the race riots in the US in 1968.  The charity was UNCF, the United Negro College Fund.  Ogilvy raised $26,000 in less than 3 hours,  the equivalent of $180,000 today.  One single sales letter.

His opening line:

"When this train emerges from the tunnel of 108th Street this evening, look out the window."

The reader's interest is grabbed, rattled and shaken.

But there is more.  How many of these commuters would have normally looked out the window, towards the light automatically as the train left the dark tunnel?  Likely, many  This innocent, automatic, mere twitch has been transformed by social proof.  "Why look, we are all following Ogilvy's order.  Best stay in line and continue complying."  Even being aware of the manipulation won't inoculate you. 

Four short paragraphs later,  he frames his request for money as the fulfillment of a creative act.  "After dinner, will you do something imaginative?  Will you  write a check ..."

With the reader fully emotionally invested, Ogilvy then lays out the factual basis for his request in four or five paragraphs with snappy statistics.  The penultimate paragraph has just one testimonial from John W. Gardner who says,

"... I can tell you with some authority that that the predominantly Negro colleges need help."

Finally, Ogilvy spells out the bargain, with a simple call to action - the 1968 equivalent of 1-click buying.

"Please decide now what percentage of your gift to your own college you wish to send to UNFC, and mail it in the envelope that I have enclosed.  Perhaps you will then sleep a little better during the long hot summer."

(Recall that this letter, dated June 24th, 1968, was only two months after the infamous US race riots in 100 cities which lasted for almost two weeks.  The refrain and chant of  the Watts rioters, "Burn, Baby, Burn", was aslo less then 3 years old.")

Ogilvy delivered up interested, impressed readers to an intriguing sales proposition

-- many could not escape from the emotional pull

-- they gave in and gave.

In terms of the traditional sales funnel, we have interest -> impressed -> intriguing sales proposition = close.

The IAFD cannot make you into David Ogilvy, but with our key partner program you can create your own interest -> impressed -> intriguing sales funnel and close leads, generate warmer leads, or create a bigger audience.

For more on the IAFD's key partner program, please click here.

To read David Ogilvy's Amazing Sales letter, click here..

(This post was inspired by Elaine Fogel's post on Ogilvy's sales letter.)


franchise-info.pngHubspot provides a number of useful tools to evaluate a website, and I like their website grader tool.

You can use their website grader tool to get information about a website, figure out what improvements you might want to make and rank your site against others.

The tool is free, and it is good fun to see how Hubspot ranks you against other websites in your space. After all in the web the main metric is traffic, traffic and traffic.


I thought it would be fun to compare the IAFD ranking against other websites in the same space.

The Website Grade for bluemaumau.org!
First up are BlueMauMau, the franchisee news site, and the International Franchisor Association's site. 

BMM scores a 99, which Hubspot claims to show that the website bluemaumau.org ranks 2,175 of the 2,600,529 websites that have been ranked so far.

Well that is pretty good. Not surprising.


The Website Grade for http://franchise.org/width=
What about the IFA's website?Hubspot ranks them as a 95, which means that  the website franchise.org ranks 129,668 of the 2,600,529 websites that have been ranked so far.  Part of the reason for the lower ranking is that the IFA doesn't have a blog, and the content is judged to be at the advanced or doctoral level.

They get points for their twitter buzz, but lose for no RSS feeds.

Next up are two of the largest independent franchisee associations, AAHOA and the 7-11 Coalition.

Although the AAHOA website has had a makeover, it doesn't score that well -  ranking 659,205 of the 2,600,529 websites that have been ranked so far.

No blogs, no feeds, no twitter, and no signup hurt the AAHOA ranking.

What about the 7-11 Coalition? It is doing better with an 83 score, but Hubspot thinks that there is a blog on the site, which I cannot find.

The readability score is high school, which is reasonable for the web. There are RSS feeds, but no twitter account nor sign up forms could be found which lowers their overall score.



And the IAFD, after 4 months on the web, how did we do?

We scored a 97, and lost marks because we don't have a twitter account associated with the site, and don't have any social bookmarks.  Things to change!

But we are pleased that we outscored the IFA's website!


Who do you want to rank?
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Fifty-seven association executives have recently earned their Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the CAE Commission of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), joining more than 3,900 industry leaders worldwide. 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the CAE program. 

A listing by state of the Summer 2010 class of CAEs can be found below. The Summer 2010 class of CAEs successfully completed the CAE examination administered nationwide on May 7, 2010. 

They will be honored along with the Winter 2010 class of CAEs during ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's 2010 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Los Angeles, August 21-24. 

The CAE program has served to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the practice of association management. 

The CAE program recently earned accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

How many franchisee associations have CAE certifications?

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The legal core of franchising has always been the recognition that the franchisor/franchisee relationship has been a functional one - franchisors were responsible for the brand and supply chain, while franchisees were responsible for the local expertise and sales.

The functional test made the definition of franchisee and franchisor a reality based test: who was doing what.  

The functional test never depended upon what the words in the contract stated the relationship was.  This was critical for regulatory oversight. Actions and not words defined the franchise relationship.

The functional test gave a great deal of leeway to different franchise systems to prosper.  By refusing to identify the franchisee as something apposite an employee or independent contractor, the law correctly sought to identify a franchisee by its relationship to the franchise network.

Franchisors are protected by the  functional test because they are not vicariously liable for those actions which are properly in the sphere of the franchisee, which the franchisee may perform negligently.

Franchisors are protected by the functional test because their franchisees exercising local business expertise and benefiting from local sales were clearly something different from employees or independent contractors.  

Franchisors benefited from the functional test because they were not required to deduct either state or federal payroll taxes from their franchisees.

Franchising thrived because of this functional test.

Now, amazingly the  IFA has thrown this all away in supporting a state law which allows for the first time a definition of franchising to simply depend upon what the contract states, a complete abandonment of the functional test.

Oklahoma has passed a law which threatens the entire franchising industry - by discarding the functional test, Oklahoma is signalling to the rest of the US states the functional test is no longer valid.

This is extremely dangerous, especially for states who need more worker's compensation contributions, unemployment contributions, and other payroll taxes.

Now a state can point to the IFA's abandonment of the functional test and so simply define a franchisee to be a type of dependent contractor, for which the franchisor is responsible for the payroll taxes.

Business or Pleasure?

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National Small Business Week Day 1

Image by ShashiBellamkonda via Flickr

Franchisee Associations have grown in numbers steadily over the last twenty years.

Some succeed; many fail. Why?

Here are the five (5) common failures and five (5) solutions, plus one bonus solution, to make make your Franchisee Association succeed.

These are solutions that have worked in the past, and will continue to work for you.

1. IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME

Problem: Quite often a small group of dedicated leaders in a Franchise system look out among their peers that have successfully formed and maintained a successful Association and think that 'if they can do it, so can we'.

However if the majority of franchisees in the system are happy and indifferent to a formal Association, getting them interested in joining is no small task and can be a very time consuming and difficult selling job.

With no response to the vision of the leaders, they lose financial base and the authority that they otherwise would have in dealing with the Franchisor.

Solution: What to do? Make sure that you have a clear indication that enough Franchisees will join your cause before forming.

Perhaps you charge an initial, minimal fee to allow the leaders to research and make preliminary decisions about forming.

Pre-forming contributions are the most reliable way of knowing whether or not your group has legs.

2. FRANCHISE ADVISORY BOARDS OR COMMITTES (FAC)

Problem: This is a tactic often used by Franchisors to diffuse the forming of an Association. If the members of these committees are hand picked by the Franchisor, very little change will occur within the system. If they are elected by their peers, you are actually off to a good start in forming and Independent Association as an offshoot of the FAC.

The difficulty in making the transition from FAC to Independent FA is that FAC members are usually offered free travel, stay at fine hotels, eat at exclusive restaurants including fine wines and expect that life style to continue.

As you transition to an Independent FA, those amenities will go away quickly as you will now be using the monies supplied to you by individual Franchisees who are not interested in your pleasures, but what you accomplish on their behalf.

Solution: FAC's and Independent FA's can coexist as long as there are strong ties between them and the FAC is another arm of the Independent FA speaking as one voice to the Franchisor.

3. COUNTRY CLUB/FAMILY REUNIONS

Problem: These Franchisee Associations often want to use their Board and Member meetings as a way to get away from it all. It's like a vacation from the daily grind.

These Associations can exist for a long time as long as everything within the system and with the franchisor is copasetic. They run the risk of being ill prepared for significant management changes or complete ownership changes.

Solution: Make sure that your Association has a viable business plan, and it is likely that this means your Association will have a for profit status. There is little or no value in incorporating as a non-profit and then paying taxes anyways.

4. IT'S A BIG WORLD OUT THERE

Problem: It is commonly misunderstood by Independent FA's that all they need to do or want do is focus on their own microcosm or brand.

They don't think about legislation, trends, best practices and other opportunities that they may encounter by joining umbrella Associations, attending outside programs and seminars.

They will create a cocoon of sorts and over time find that the way things always worked don't work anymore.

With the lack of a network outside, they again are ill prepared for significant changes in how Associations need to be funded, how to service their members and how to continue to research cutting edge products and services that continually change the landscape of small businesses.

They may not fail, but they will begin to reduce services to their Members in order to 'cut costs'. That can begin a very dangerous cycle which could lead to their demise.

Solution: Look outside your immediate circle of comfort for other solutions. Look at joining trade associations in your industry, and look for people who have solved your problem in other franchise systems. Those franchise operators that you are competing with also have the same small business problems that you do.

5. THREE AND OUT

Problem: Forming Associations should have at least a three year plan for survival. Most failed Franchisee Associations will likely fail within the first three years. This is often caused by 'formation under crises'.

Although a good crisis is a great way to galvanize members, once the crisis has passed, interest by the Membership begins to wane quickly.

Either Association Leadership provided a positive outcome and everyone is happy and goes along their merry way or Leadership fails to deliver on the expectations of the Members causing resentment and malaise.

Solution: Before you start-up create a three year business plan, with two conventions being planned, the creation of a communications plan, and what member benefits are going to be in place.

BONUS SOLUTION: IT'S A BUSINESS AND DON'T EVER FORGET IT!

It is not unusual to approach a group of Franchisee Leaders of a Franchisee Association and ask; "Are you thinking of your Association as a business?" Once asked, the answer is often followed by first a glazing of the eyes and then a profound 'no'.

This is the essential element that distinguishes successful Franchisee Associations from failures. From day one, they look at their Association as a business that they would manage in the same way that they would manage any other business.

They budget, they review, they react to changes in the business, and they review the business frequently and ask "are we on track with our business goals"?

They are not afraid to look outside and be open to new ideas from other businesses like theirs (Other FA's).

They innovate and they accept the fact that they don't have the formula completely locked down. They realize that things change rapidly and try to stay ahead of the curve in order to remain successful.

Your Franchisee Associations have several goals that must be achieved in order to be successful:

Have a relationship with your franchisor.


Satisfy the needs of you Members through benefits and services. Advocate on their behalves.


Stay on top of changes, best practices and innovation by going outside your microcosm.


Above all; never forget that you are a business. If you succeed your brand will be better for it. If you fail, it is an exercise in futility and the opportunity to have an impact on your brand will have slipped away. Re-forming after failure is difficult if not impossible. 

Stay focused.

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IAFD Blog Talk Radio

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The downtown Indianapolis canal

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This week on Franchise Today begins the month-long Legal Eagle Franchise series. Starting with guest, Michael Webster, Principal at the Law Office of Michael Webster and Chair of Strategic Committee at International Association of Franchisees and Dealers, Franchise Today host, Paul Segreto, explores legal issues within franchising today.

In this segment, Paul and Michael discuss the purpose of independent franchise associations, alternative dispute resolution and the upcoming convention for the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers scheduled for May 10-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Paul and I had a very good discussion, and I encourage you to listen to the podcast, by clicking here.


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