January 2015 Archives

Why Franchise Software is Moving Into the Cloud

When somebody says, "the cloud," your first thoughts may be of data flying over your head, a room full of servers or the latest scandal to rock the celebrity world. While "the cloud" may be a vague concept at first, understanding and using it will provide you with access to your franchise anywhere so you can grow your business.

Moving your franchise from software that has a defined physical location (i.e.: your desktop computer) to "software-as-a-solution" (SaaS) that you access via a server (the cloud) means that your franchise can be run from a desktop, laptop, tablet or on-the-go with mobile.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud-Computing

Cloud computing is the centralization of data in a secured location on the web. Since the data is accessed via the web and not from a computer drive, the information is accessible anywhere 24/7 from multiple types of devices.

Benefits of the cloud

Having your business's data in one central location is not only convenient but also cost-effective. SaaS businesses have the ability to offer competitive pricing because they give their customers the exact software needed -- no more, no less.

For example, a traditional franchise software company may have set tiers of pricing that are based on the number of licenses needed. Due to the inflexible pricing tiers, there will always be customers that must purchase more licenses than needed (a waste of money). On the flip side, SaaS businesses are able to provide a more flexible pricing structure to fit the exact needs of each customer, eliminating wasted dollars.

SAAS-Cloud

Last year, 82% of companies saved money by moving to cloud-based software. Why would you waste your valuable budget on a software that isn't providing you with the exact requirements you need?

Creating efficiency for your franchise is another benefit to cloud computing. Cloud computing provides you with greater visibility into all the operations of your franchise, giving you insight into patterns and areas of improvement. Franchise operations shouldn't be so disconnected, especially when the data is easily accessible.

In addition to saving you money and creating efficiencies, cloud computing is environmentally friendly and cuts down on printing (since you are sharing information from one central source).

Is it safe?

With various data breaches at places like Target and Home Depot, you might feel like the cloud would be putting your business's data at risk. While some industries are more at risk in cloud security than others, the vast majority of businesses currently store and share sensitive or confidential information over the cloud.

While there are some risks in cloud computing, there are also risks with traditional franchise software. It is important to remember that traditional software is vulnerable to computer viruses or hardware malfunctions that can cause you to lose all of your data.

The cloud is not where the business world is moving to, it is where it currently operates. By joining other businesses that use cloud computing and SaaS, you will see improvements to your franchise in just six months.

Marketing from one touch point

Customer decisions are increasingly being influenced by online and mobile information (i.e.: "where should we go get dinner?" "Yelp says Joe's Restaurant down the street from here got five stars, let's go there") making it critical that national franchisor marketing strategies support local franchisee online marketing plans.

hierarchy

LocalVox is the leading franchise marketing platform for social, local, mobile, email, directories and more - providing clients with up to 20x the value of traditional advertising dollars. Our cloud solution helps franchisees and franchisors manage their entire local online marketing plan from one-easy-to-use platform.

The post Why Franchise Software is Moving Into the Cloud appeared first on LocalVox.

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In interviewing our customers, I found that there were several things they value.

Things they want even before the product or the service.

They boiled down to three basic wants comprising of what we now call the R-T-C factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency.

Let's go over them:

1. R - - Relationship Building rapport is an overlooked art.

Call many companies and the first word shouted at you is: "Name?" No "nice to meet you by phone" or even a "good morning."

There's very little rapport building found in today's customer service. Relationship starts within the first 4 to 6 seconds of a phone call or within 30 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction.

Plus, it lays the groundwork for possible future business. Rapport building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It's a simple basic process.

2. T - - Trust If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship will melt to zero.

Gaining the trust of your customer is the KEY to relationship. From following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company's guarantee statement, creating trust is vital.

If those trusts are broken, it's a big fence to mend. Keep your word to gain the trust of your customer. They need to know they can count on you. Before any sale, a customer must buy "you."

3. C - - Consistency The McDonald's hamburger in Cancun, Mexico tastes the same as the one in Des Moines, Iowa. Why? Consistency. The taste will be the same in each of the stores.

A business should run with the same consistency. It shouldn't matter who the customer talks with. Personally, I'm skeptical when someone tells me to, "Be sure to talk to Joe. He's the best there is." I'd rather hear, "You can talk to anyone in our office."

In summary, the R - T- C Factor is what customers look for and deserve in any of their transactions. So, I ask you? Do you provide enough R-T-C to keep your customers satisfied? As we like to say, this is not rocket science, it's not major surgery. . . it's plain old common sense. Do it.

A recent IFA Annual Conference speaker, Nancy speaks at franchise meetings across the country.

Her passion for the small business is second only to her techniques on sales and customer service.

Her reviews at IFA were off the chart. Contact Nancy personally about your meetings.

314 291 1012 [email protected] or www.nancyfriedman.com

For a complimentary copy of Nancy's eBook, Hidden Gems of Customer Service, please click here.

This is a very simple question.

It was recently asked in a LinkedIn Franchise Group.

And I bet we all want to know the answer.

It would make it easy to build next years franchise marketing budget for franchise buyers if we just had a short-list.

Even better if it had a performance ranking.

There were almost 50 answers and comments to this important question.

Here's a selection of what franchising people said -

"I speak with franchise development departments every day and have found that they can fork out as much as 60% of the initial franchise fee in order to secure qualified franchisees (using franchise consultants, recruiters, etc.). Are there any databases of open territories for potential franchisees to search? Vice-versa are there any databases of franchisees in the market to open a new location?" Mike Mackin

"It has been my experience that you can "catch the bigger fish" through today's portals. The secret is working with your portal vendor and let them help you on the franchise investment levels that you post on the site. The best experience I have had has been with Franchising.com. There numbers are a little lower, but the quality is very good. And don't forget that most consumers are not going to tell you what they really have in the bank until you get further down the sales process." Phil Mettra

"Portals are just another outlet for reaching your target, I don't think you can narrow down a specific vendor that does better than another. If the opportunity on the portal is attractive enough, the portal also ranks highly on Google for top keywords and it has healthy traffic stats (which the portal vendor can provide to you) then you have a winning vendor. You should always do your due diligence and ask those vendors to provide you monthly traffic to the page you will be listed and can even go as far as asking for the top 3 IP locations to ensure they are based in your market. Remember that candidates can come from anywhere but your digital presence, especially social and reputation, is what will give you the edge in higher investment brackets." Brendon Major

"My experience with the portals is that they sometimes work beautifully and other times they just dont. The exact same advert on one site delivers 10 leads and on another none. To be honest although I have met many "experts" I have never found one that has been able to unravel the mysteries of the portals." Sean Goldsmith

"Just wondering if there are other portals more likely to reach and succeed with the higher investment prospects? I believe in a strategy of creating presence and buzz for your brand, with a wide digital presence probably now being the top tactical priority" Kevin Kruse

"I may have a bit of a different take. If a company is looking for "high dollar" candidates, I suggest the you will find them better using highly target public/media relations campaigns, instead of portals. As noted above, using portals to find YOUR candidate is a bit like fishing in the Atlantic Ocean with a single line, a bobber, a safety pin, and a piece of corn as bait. They simply are not designed to find a specific type of candidate. They have tens of thousands of names/inquiries, but they simply cannot be targeted to YOUR candidate. It is MUCH better to design a PR/MR program that targets YOUR candidate BEFORE the person even starts looking for a franchise. By the time a potential candidate hits a portal, you are already competing with hundreds of other franchise companies. Right? Portals have a role, but not for finding a specific type of candidate." Dr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough

"Before you start your campaigns, it is good if the portal can offer statistics for the locations where you are listing in, because different categories work in different locations. The categories can change every 3 months, so it is important to keep on top of the statistics and results. Another point which might help, is that franchisees don't always come from franchise portals, our web portal is a business and franchise for sale portal, mainly because some people are looking for any business opportunity and inquire about the franchise opportunities on the website. It is a larger net to catch enquirers. I hope this is helpful in understanding web portals and how to run a more successful franchise recruitment campaign." Paul O'Brien

"That is great advice, and I like your approach to testing adverts and then placing the most highly effective ones. The big stumbling block is how forthcoming the portals are with their stats. I know in the UK you would have an easier time asking the Pope for his hand in marriage. Are the US portals more forthcoming?" Sean Goldsmith

"I have sold several franchises for clients with an investment level of $400k-$800k by using portals.Granted, there will ALWAYS be the prospect that overstates the amount of capital they have available and you have to just move on and keep on dialing. There hasn't been one portal that seemed to bring in more qualified leads on a more consistent basis than another. I do seem to spend a lot of time chasing credits for pay per lead sites that claim they "verified" leads before sending them, but by and large every portal site seems to do a fairly decent job for me." Tom Parks

"The biggest issue which all Franchisors are facing about this approach is the cost. Some websites in Australia are offering packages which help Franchisors to do this at a more cost effective price. Keep an eye out for this. Otherwise the only other advice I can offer on this is to keep track of leads and quality of leads which are being generated by the website. One of our clients mentioned to me once, from 1 website they had received heaps of leads, but didn't generate any solid leads, while from another they received only a hand full of leads in the month, but 2 of the lead had converted to solid leads" Paul O'Brien

"How helpful are portals in generating qualified leads? My experience tells me that really depends upon your brands investment range. Generally speaking the top 5 portals basically cost the same amount to advertise on them. However because of my sector "automotive" vs "food" the portal is unable to generate me enough leads to make the potal investment worthwhile. I understand the ratio on portal leads to be 200:1 or even 250:1. It would take years for a portal to drive me that much traffic. At which point I would have spent far more than the inital franchise fee in marketing dollars." Lee Oppenheim

"Portals definitely "had their day", i.e. in the late 1980's through the early 1990's. They were THE way to market one's franchise. Today, however, they have become quite common place in our industry, and while there definitely are differences among the wide range of portals, overall, the range of inquiries to sales, as Lee mentions, is in the 200 - 250 to 1. In some ways, portals have become today's franchise "classified ad" section of the Internet. And, it gets very expensive to hire high quality sales people to field these return phone calls. As Franchise Update points out in its 2013 annual marketing survey, the total advertising placement cost associated with one sale these days(for their surveyed companies) was around $13,000...not including personnel costs. Is it the same today?" Dr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough

"Something to be careful with which you might not know about. Make sure that the website which you are using doesn't use a technique called lead thinning. This is when the website generates 1 lead and farms it off to multiple franchisors on their website. Usually the person making the enquiry doesn't know that this is happening either. The way to identify this is when you start calling a lead, the person will say something like "I didn't inquire about your franchise or business". This makes the website look good because of the number of leads generated, but the quality of leads is decreases dramatically." Paul O'Brien

"Terrific dialogue everyone....... portals? To use or not to use...... I heard a lot of "casting a wide net" as well as "be specific in your targeting, e.g. Veterans" , which leads me to a conclusion I've reached before: we are in a challenging, competitive environment for sourcing qualified leads which turn into franchisees. At least we have a forum for discussing our strategies and tactics. Thanks for the insights....." Kevin Kruse

"The specific answer to Kevin's specific question is "No"...at least not by design and not very productively...and it is likely to be quite expensive for the franchisor. I once had a franchisor client in which the "all in" cost was $1.4MM. We did quite well with it. Did we use portals? Yes, as one avenue, and it was truly "dialing for dollars". We did much better with highly focused PR/media relations in terms of finding "high value" candidates." Dr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough

"I disagree. Portals work. You already used portals for your client, even in light of the reality that it's 'dialing for dollars.' Hey, it still takes 35 tons of ore to smelt one ounce of gold--all you have to do is make 200 enthusiastic dials. Big deal. Get with the idea that selling takes concerted effort, and plenty of money. If the average cost of sale (not including commissions) is around $12,000 or so, the obvious path is easy: pick 3-4 top portals;" Paul Stewart

"Your approach works for you, and that's great. I take a different route, and that works for me and my clients. I don't think one is right and one is wrong, just different...in many ways. I prefer more targeted and efficient ways of finding the right candidates. "Dialing for dollars" is simply not my preferred way" Dr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough

"Yes, absolutely, portals work for generating some quality leads that result in Franchise sales for the Franchisor at the investment levels stated" Ronald Silberstein CPA and CFE

"Portals are only as effective as the sales team that are working them, and the matrix you use to measure. Keep in mind the higher the investemnt the fewer the leads you can expect so it is important that your team devote the necessary effort into follow up with each and every lead that comes through." John Byron

"I would say the portals are only as good as the marketing team who works them and and the adverts. If the proper research hasn't been performed before the advert goes up, there is no guarantee of success" Paul O'Brien

"Simple answer to a simple question.. The answer is yes, you have to be in portals. You can add filters to any portal to try to catch the investor you are looking for. Portals are one leg of a triad that you need to build to reach your target customer." Dale Waite

I am glad we solved the riddle of getting high net worth franchise web portal inquiries.

Okay maybe there wasn't a simple answer to the simple franchise web portal question.
Here's some of what I think about the topic.

Franchise inquiries from web portals are minimal expressions of interest.

They are not leads.

You can't designate an Expression of Interest a Franchise Lead until you've qualified them.

The most reliable way to qualify them is to talk with them.

Franchise-Info has some ideas for you to work on this problem.

If you call me we can discuss two things -

  1. What to do with all your inactive inquiries who have expressed an interest
  2. How to attract Franchise Buyers online

I am easy to reach at 443.502.2636 and [email protected] I answer my own telephone. And I call people back.

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It's no secret that finances are considered one of the most important parts of anything, especially a business. After all, if you want your business to really be successful, you need to keep track of the amount of money you're earning versus spending so you can make good decisions for your business.

How can you decide whether or not to upgrade equipment, or whether it's a good time to tighten your budget, if you're not financially informed? Dealing with finances can be difficult however considering your business spends and earns money on a daily basis, and it's hard to know exactly how much money you have.

From invoices and utility bills to checks and bank transfers, businesses deal with quite a bit of money flow and they need a good way to keep track of all of those finances. That's where bookkeeping comes into play, strictly keeping track of every financial transaction your business makes, incoming and outgoing.

That way, businesses not only can see trends in how their spending and earning goes, but they also get to know their company's current net profit/loss at any given time. This data is extremely essential for the success of your business, as accountants use bookkeeping data to allocate any and all funds appropriately and help you determine whether you have funds to spare or you have to tighten your budget.

Financial allocation is very important in the overall growth of your business, but affording these financial services can be incredibly difficult considering both of those are financial services that cost full salaries. Looking at services like outsourced bookkeeping is very important, as remote bookkeeping businesses can save you money while providing you the best possible services with no real catches.

Process of Remote Bookkeeping

Hiring an outsourced bookkeeping business is simple and convenient for you as you get your pick of various services that are offered, making life easier for you. With an outsourced bookkeeping business, you get all of your information handled by a team of professionals who put all of the resultant data on a secure server that you can readily and easily access.

With outsourced bookkeeping, you get your fill of services as well, being offered much more than just the bookkeeping services. You can get accounting and payroll services as well, like getting your bills paid for you, getting preparation for your taxes, getting your reconciliations completed and checked, getting financial reports sent to you on a weekly/monthly basis, and more, all for your convenience.

You can even get some rarer services as well like bankruptcy services and audit/forensic accounting in case you'll ever need them, and all of these services are run down with you to add up to your very low quote. Once you get a quote, the outsourced bookkeeping company copies all of your data down and, in turn, gives you a file or multiple files.

For your convenience, these files give you direct access to the server pending some kind of password system, and you get to choose how many of them you want or where they go. You can restrict access to a work computer to keep your data safe, or you can make access as convenient for you as you'd like.

You can get access off a home computer, laptops, get an app for a smart phone or tablet, or even give an employee access pending their own security system. Once you set up services and access, the rest is up to the remote bookkeeping company, which completes services for you and gives you immediate, 24/7 access to your data which is constantly being updated.

Outsourced Bookkeeping with Cloud Security

There are many reasons to hire a remote bookkeeping business, but one of the bigger advantages is you get heavy security setup for your data and overall efficiency in the process. With outsourced bookkeeping with cloud services, your data is stored and transported efficiently without any loss of security.

The servers used by outsourced bookkeeping businesses are designed to keep your data as safe as possible, also upholding cyber security laws in the process.

Plus, outsourced bookkeeping businesses are so concerned with the security of your information that they create different countermeasures to ensure that even if the worst were to happen, your data will be kept safe, mainly through backups and a cyber insurance policies.

With an offsite backup, your data is protected virtually and physically as the backup is stored on a different data center that runs a different server from the original. Plus, many businesses will set up their outsourced bookkeeping with cloud as a form of backup as well.

Cloud is considered one of the oldest and most reputable forms of online storage, known for security and quick, efficient transportation.

Affording the Best Outsourced Bookkeeping with Cloud Business

Many business owners want that good outsourced bookkeeping with cloud but worry that when the time comes, they won't be able to afford the service. Luckily, remote bookkeeping is easily affordable, and actually saves you tens of thousands of dollars compared to most other services.

With outsourced bookkeeping with cloud, you save quite a bit of money while getting a full team of employees that offer you a wide range of services, quite a few more than you'll get through hiring in-house workers. An in-house bookkeeper can cost you up to $43,000 a year, and accountants will generally cost more, with some CPA's costing over $50,000 a year.

That means to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant for your business, you'll end up paying almost six figures, far more than smaller and even mid-sized businesses can afford! On the other hand, outsourced bookkeeping will cost you between $3,600 and $19,500 a year, depending on the range of services you get.

That means you can get bookkeeping, accounting, payroll services, and much more for half of what one in house bookkeeper would charge you! With remote bookkeeping, you can save quite a bit of money on a yearly basis while getting the best possible services and you can get the best outsourced bookkeeping with cloud business as well.

Remote Quality Bookkeeping™ of Bridgewater, Massachusetts offers you decades of experience through their outsourced bookkeeping with cloud experience. To learn more about outsourced bookkeeping with cloud through RQB, click here.

The post Why Should you get Outsourced Bookkeeping with Cloud? appeared first on Cloud Bookkeeping Services|Remote Quality Bookkeeping.

Everyone has some field they are experienced in, and eventually they reach that point where they would like to take their skills to the next level and run a company.

After all, it's one thing to be a high-ranking worker in your company, but it's quite another to completely control what direction you want to take your business in.

Running your own business means you get to determine your own success and build yourself a legacy, but the initial work with a business is another matter entirely. Starting your own business is incredibly challenging because you need to build up a good reputation as a business that can deliver, and do so while having the best financial setup possible.

Getting this setup can be another matter entirely considering all of the expenses companies have to deal with and the lack of capital they have to pay for them all. From the location you get and the utilities attached to the employees you hire, stock you acquire, equipment you purchase/lease, and more, businesses need so much in order to be successful, and they want the best quality possible.

That means allocating your finances by saving as much money as possible while still getting the best setup, so you can provide the best services while making a profit.

All of your finances tie back into financial services that you employ, which keep track of all of your spending and earnings and use that data to help you determine when and how much you can spend for your business.

However, getting financial services for your company can be another matter entirely, especially considering how much capital smaller and mid-sized businesses make.

Employing Financial Services for your Business

It is a complete necessity for businesses to get financial services, as they use these services to help them determine their day-to-day decisions. Every day, your business spends and earns quite a bit of money, and you need to know how much you have at any given time so that way you can decide on making smart decisions that are based on your finances.

For instance, say you're looking to upgrade equipment, or improve stock, and need the funds to do so; your financial services help you determine whether or not you can do that. Also, what if you're low on funds and need to tighten your budget so your business can not end up losing money?

Your company needs to know how much money they have at any given time, which is why both bookkeeping and accounting are necessary for the success of your business.

With bookkeeping, every transaction related to your business is recorded and added up so you have a final total of where your business is financially as far as profit or loss. From invoices and payroll to checks and utility bills, your company spends and earns quite a bit of money and all of that data is used by an accountant.

Accounting involves allocating all of your finances appropriately based on your bookkeeping, allowing you to get taxes done, pay bills, and make other financial decisions for your business. You need both of these services for your business to run appropriately, but affording them is another matter entirely.

Smaller and mid-sized businesses generally don't have the funds for these services, which is why companies are sometimes stuck trying to do their own bookkeeping.

Doing your own bookkeeping and running a business at the same time can be extremely challenging, which is why business owners oftentimes seek an alternative to getting their bookkeeping and other financial services taken care of.

Hiring an Outsourced Bookkeeping Service

Many businesses will seek out the alternative of hiring a remote bookkeeping business, not only because the outsourced bookkeeping rate is so much more manageable, but the service is also extremely convenient and beneficial for a business.

When outsourcing your bookkeeping, you get the ability to get any and all financial services you need at a reduced price in a very convenient way. All of your information is handled by a team of professionals, who complete any and all financial services you require and putting the data on a secure server that you can easily and readily access.

You can even choose how you get access, restricting access to your precious information to one work computer or setting it up so you can access your information using a smart phone, tablet, laptop, and more. With remote bookkeeping, you also get the convenience of both security and efficient workers completing any and all services that you request.

The server used is extremely secure as remote bookkeeping companies follow cyber security laws to ensure everything is in place, and they also use countermeasures as well to assure that nothing goes wrong with the security of your data.

They use cyber insurance policies, offsite backups, and even back up data on the cloud to ensure that no matter what happens, your data is safe. Plus, all employees hired have some previous experience with handling financial services and are cleared as far as security before they are hired.

All workers work together to complete tasks for you, so you always have multiple employees doing work for you at any given time.

Is the Outsourced Bookkeeping Rate Affordable?

For most business owners, as great as a service is the bottom line always ends up being the cost and whether you can afford a service or not. The same is the case with remote bookkeeping, as the outsourced bookkeeping rate is much more manageable for business owners while providing you a lot more as far as services.

With outsourced bookkeeping, you don't just get bookkeeping services; you also get accounting and payroll services, and any other financial services your business could possibly need. In house bookkeepers will generally cost up to $43,000 a year, and accountants will cost even more, with some CPA's costing over $50,000 a year.

This means you'd pay almost six figures just for financial services, a price many smaller and even mid-sized businesses cannot afford. The outsourced bookkeeping rate, on the other hand, will cost between $3,600 and $19,500 a year depending on what services you get, saving you tens of thousands of dollars a year!

With the outsourced bookkeeping rate, you get the best service at the best cost, making life easier for you when running your business. To learn more about how you can get the best outsourced bookkeeping rate through hiring companies like Remote Quality Bookkeeping™, click here.

The post How does the Outsourced Bookkeeping Rate save you Money? appeared first on Cloud Bookkeeping Services|Remote Quality Bookkeeping.

Apple products are immensely popular with people.

And with me too.

You can't help but admire what Steve Jobs did with Apple the first time he built it.

Even better the second time when he was brought back and he re-invented it.

The products are great and easy for people to use.

I've had an iPhone for quite awhile and I moved to a MacBook Air in June 2013.

It's the best computer I have ever had.

  • Super easy to use
  • Very fast
  • Great design
  • Long battery life
  • Weighs just less than 3 lbs
  • Terrific telephone support

There's a lot of fun and useful things about the MacBook Air.

In June this year I had a problem with my MacBook.

The left speaker crackled intermittently. Which is not something you expect from an Apple product.

So I called AppleCare for help and they are almost always very good over the phone. The Apple tech agent walked me through the computer to do a reset and a computer share which didn't resolve the speaker problem.

AppleCare made an Apple Store appointment for me for the next day.

At the Apple Store it's an onslaught of hip Apple employees all dressed in official Apple tee-shirts with a super cool and relaxed demeanor.

After you get handed off to 3 very nicely trained people who can't help you then wait for the on-site tech who can.

Anyone who has been to the Apple Store knows it's loud. The decibel level has to be very high.

So I have a crackling speaker problem on a MacBook Air and the technician needs to hear it. Very lucky for me he does and they don't think I am imagining the problem.

That was good news.

The bad news was that they needed my MacBook for 3 days once the replacement speakers came in to the store. This meant I needed schlep back up to the Apple Store which is a 62 miles roundtrip and about one and 45 minutes of driving time if you catch a traffic break on I95. So my one trip to get my MacBook speakers up to speed would take 3 separate trips.

It was under warranty and Apple techs confirmed that there was a speaker crackling problem.

I followed the Apple servicing process and they fixed my MacBook Air's speakers. We tested it at the Apple Store and everything was as it should be.

Or so we thought.

Mid-September the same thing happens all over again. Speaker crackling and I call Apple Support. We run through their diagnostic process and reset. That fails. We schedule a visit to the Genius's at the Apple Store and I schlep up their once again. Where the Apple Genius wants to replace the speakers again and go through the MacBook to see if there is another problem.

They order new parts. And I go through the 3 trip drop off and retrieve Apple Process once again.

Not 4 weeks later speaker is crackling again.

I do the Apple Care telephone support and Genius Bar scheduling dance where I asked that a manager meet with me. I get to the Apple Store and go through the phalanx of Apple Tee-shirted people who can't help me and after waiting I meet with Helen the manager.

I explained to Helen that this now the 3rd time for my MacBook Air's speakers to fail. And I said that as good as the Apple Geniuses are they can't get my MacBook right and that it was a waste of my time to keep trudging back and forth to the Apple Store. Was it time for Helen to replace my MacBook Air with a new machine that fully functioned?

Helen convinces me to let her send the MacBook out to Apple's service center for better diagnostics and to a place that would have any part my computer would need. I agreed to it.

5 days go by and I receive my notification that the repairs were done.

This time Apple replaced the speakers (the 3rd time) and in addition a new Logic Board.

It didn't take but a few days and the speakers started to crackle again.

So I make the appointment and go to the store. I ask for Helen and I get Eileen. I tell Eileen the speaker story and she gets a Genius.

Let me take a break and tell you some of my observations of the Apple Store and the Apple Way. When things are easy to fix or user error the Apple Way works. And if you're buying something they have that down to perfection.

Apple team members have no last names and you can't tell a manager from a janitor since they all wear the very same hip Apple Tee-shirt. My thinking is you should not trust a company whose employees have no names. Apple has a reason for this and it's not to help you.

The Apple Way is designed to control you.

The hand off from employee to employee and queueing to wait for the Genius or manager.

The assault on your hearing with the noise levels and super bright lights.

The presence of uniformed and armed police.

The Stepford Wives trained all too nice staff.

Eileen and the Genius can't get the speaker to crackle and hear the noise. I suggest to Eileen that it is time to replace the MacBook. She wants the Genius tech to look it over.

The Genius complete's his inspection and another hip Apple employee tells me my options. Well there was only one option. Get a 4th set of speakers. To which I object ( the Apple hipsters do not like objections) and am told that maybe there really isn't a speaker problem.

Now I have been more than reasonable about a product that I love. But my Apple hipster has gone too far and I step it up a notch and she does not like it. She feigns a righteous indignation and runs off to get Eileen since she refuses to deal with me any longer if I am going to be difficult.

Eileen and I recap my MacBook speaker adventure and she now thinks it's a good idea to replace my MacBook right then and there. So back to the Genius Bar to set up the new MacBook and move my data.

So I won. I beat Apple. Just barely.

They were never going to offer a replacement Macbook. And they will make you earn it. The Apple Way is designed to suit Apple it's not about you.

After over 30 hours of my time and having driven 700 miles on this problem I am back to where I started with the exact same computer I originally bought.

If you haven't tried a MacBook Air I recommend it.

There is a huge difference between a problem and an inconvenience. You know it, I know it and your customers know it.

Listen to what happened to me the other day. We ordered a new copy machine at Telephone Doctor.

Gentleman brings the machine into the office. As he's installing the machine, one of the ladies sees the screen has a rather large crack on it and tells the installer. The young man who wheeled in the machine came looking for me to tell me and proudly exclaims, "Mrs. Friedman, we have a problem."

Because I am a problem solver I asked, "What is it?"

"Well," he says, "the screen on the copier machine is cracked."

I say, "Can it be fixed?" He says, "yes ma'am."

"Well, then," I tell him, "we don't have a problem, we have a minor inconvenience." He thought about that and then smiled.

"When can it be fixed?" I ask. "Oh, today for sure," he says.

Then I assured him, "We don't even have an inconvenience."

Why even use the word 'problem?' Why alert the customer to that? If you really need to let them know something isn't right. Use the word "inconvenience" and then to really simplify it, slice it into 'minor inconvenience' or 'major inconvenience.'

Customers are able to handle 'inconveniences.' Minor or major. They do not like problems. So avoid that word.

When you have a major inconvenience, be sure you have a major answer.

Remember Sales 101: When you're part of the problem, you need to be part of the solution.

Replace the word 'problem' with 'inconvenience.' Watch what happens - the entire situation goes down much better.

# # #

Nancy Friedman is a featured keynote customer service speaker covering communications skills and showing you how to capture & navigate the call.

Want Nancy to speak at your meeting? Call for a speaking demo & full information packet of Nancy - 314.291.1012, visit www.nancyfriedman.com or email [email protected].

Nancy is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and hundreds of other radio and TV shows.

The author of eight books on sales and customer service, Nancy is the spokesperson in the popular Telephone Doctor customer service training programs.

For a complimentary copy of Nancy's eBook, Hidden Gems of Customer Service, please click here.

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We had a client who was seriously considering buying a business & had to explore all financial avenues to complete the purchase. The client understood financing quite well.

To secure financing was quite complicated not only in light of the 7 figure purchase price but also because of the intricate structuring. We explored with him using his 401(k) monies to assist in the capitalization of his purchase.

Done properly, this transaction could be accomplished without penalties or taxes.

Both the client and his wife were CPAs. The more we taught them about about this structure the more they became intrigued and ultimately decided to include ROBS. The client compared us with another firm doing similar work.

And now, I want to toot our horn. Mine and the Walker Business Advisory, who I work with.

"I made contact with both firms and it was abundantly clear to me that after several conversations, Walker Business Advisory was hands down the better of the 2 firms. My questions were answered in a concise and clear fashion.

They had an in-depth knowledge of the structure, the laws and the process. They have a platform that is unique i.e. they shoulder all responsibility and liability for matters that relate to the plan. Their process is totally turnkey. There are two real important parts of their plan.

1. They have a Safe Harbor 401(k) with 15 different investment options and 5 asset allocations.

2. They are the fiduciaries and trustees of the plan.

All of this is can be accomplished for the same price as their competitors. If you take into consideration all that they do, they are dollar for dollar less expensive. I would like to thank Brian for introducing me to Fred Whitlock and Monty Walker. Fred was exceptional in explaining the product, service and process."

As previously referenced, my wife and I are CPAs and Monty, also a CPA, shed light on areas we were not familiar with and provided the solutions................nothing short of amazing!

Now it is great to have clients like this.

Why does that matter to you? Because if you are as smart as these two CPA's, you probably still don't know why is it important to design a plan with: a Safe Harbor and why being a fiduciary is necessary.

If you think that you need to know more, then just ask for more.

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Ever wondered how much it costs to own a McDonald's franchise. If you are interested, here are the details... direct from the McDonald's site:

Acquiring a Franchise

Most Owner/Operators enter the System by purchasing an existing restaurant, either from McDonald's or from a McDonald's Owner/Operator. A small number of new operators enter the System by purchasing a new restaurant.

The financial requirements vary depending on the method of acquisition.

Financial Requirements/Down Payment

An initial down payment is required when you purchase a new restaurant (40% of the total cost) or an existing restaurant (25% of the total cost). The down payment must come from non-borrowed personal resources, which include cash on hand; securities, bonds, and debentures; vested profit sharing (net of taxes); and business or real estate equity, exclusive of your personal residence.

Since the total cost varies from restaurant to restaurant, the minimum amount for a down payment will vary. Generally, we require a minimum of $750,000 of non-borrowed personal resources to consider you for a franchise. Individuals with additional funds may be better prepared for additional or multi-restaurant opportunities.

Financing

We require that the buyer pay a minimum of 25% cash as a down payment toward the purchase of a restaurant. The remaining balance of the purchase price may be financed for a period of no more than seven years. While McDonald's does not offer financing, McDonald's Owner/Operators enjoy the benefits of our established relationships with many national lending institutions. We believe our Owner/Operators enjoy the lowest lending rates in the industry.

Ongoing Fees

During the term of the franchise, you pay McDonald's the following fees:

  • Service fee: a monthly fee based upon the restaurant's sales performance (currently a service fee of 4.0% of monthly sales).
  • Rent: a monthly base rent or percentage rent that is a percentage of monthly sales.

Source: McDonald's Franchising

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How to More Franchise Sales From Your Web Leads

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I have been in franchise sales for over 20 years. Today, selling to web leads is different than selling to responders to the print ads.

And no, the web leads are not more knowledgable.

If anything they are more timid, less likely to talk with you & are still "shopping" when you get them as a "lead".

1. Traditional lead picture.

Here is how web leads are processed in a typical franchise system.

Franchisors Auto Responder Sales Funnel.png

Each lead source has budget. At the end of the year it is typical to re-allocate the budget based on results. Sometimes this rebalancing process actually based on evidence and cost of acquisition numbers. Mostly it is based on fear.

2. The Not Yet Ready To Buy Web Lead

Franchisors Broken Autoresponder Sales Funnel Stuck Responding to Not Ready to Buy From You Yet.png

The major problem that the internet has introduced is well known in retail, showrooming. People who are not ready to buy, but are just looking. But, they are primarily looking for information so that they can shop price.

Once they find the right price, they are ready to buy.

But, you may not be Top of Mind for them anymore -because they weren't shopping for your brand when then filled out the lead form, the were only shopping the category.

3. Filter and Amplify

Now, you aren't making money. No matter how good your sales scripts are.

Franchisors Autoresponder Sales Funnel on Amplified Leads.png

You need to Filter and Amplify these Web Leads and get them Ready to Buy Candidates.

You need a Franchise Lead Filter and Amplifier. There are various ways to do this, but the best of the best use nurturing techniques to go from leads to sales.

This is hard for the traditional franchise sales department who want to get every lead on the phone as quickly as possible.

But traditions die, and all good things come to those who wait - just long enough to hear a buying signal.

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As Winter arrives, it's time to prepare for winter weather. Storms are an expected part of northern winters but even southern states have experienced snow and icy conditions more frequently in recent years.

It's important, then, to make sure your employees know what to do when severe weather strikes. A good policy provides a helpful road map.

When you create or review your inclement weather policy, think about:

1. Employee Communication.

Who will make the decision to close early, delay opening or close operations for the day? You may wish to designate a backup decision maker.

Consider how the decision will be communicated. Good ways are to provide a phone number and web site employees can check for information in the early morning. Other methods are an internal Facebook page, intranet, or phone tree.

2. Smooth Operations.

How will operations be shut down properly? Who is needed to do what? Identify which employees or departments, if any, must continue working. Who else needs to know?

Consider the best methods to let clients know of changes relevant to their needs (e.g. voice mail, web site, email.)

3. Safety First.

Even if you remain open, you may wish to allow employees to make their own weather-related decisions about whether to risk travel conditions based on their circumstances.

Allow employees who are set up for it to work from home or to use sick or vacation time, if available.

4. Obligations with Federal Wage and Hour Laws.

Know your pay obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.)

a) The FLSA does not require that you provide sick or vacation time off benefits nor that you pay non-exempt staff for time not worked.

b) It does, however, require that exempt staff, in order to retain exempt status, be paid their regular weekly wages except in rare instances. If the employer chooses to close for a day or two, exempt staff must be paid their full weekly salary although you may deduct the time from their accrued leave bank.

c) If exempt staff run out of accrued leave or go negative, you must still pay their full weekly wages.

d) If, on the other hand, the exempt employee, rather than the employer, chooses to take a full personal day off for any reason, you do not have to pay for that day, unless your personnel policies say otherwise.

e) Be careful, however, that it must be a full personal day off in order to reduce wages; working a partial day negates that option.

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Following up with franchise inquiries is such hard work.

If you've done it you know what I mean.

You get more no answers, hang-ups, unreturned calls and people who say they never heard of you or your brand when you make outbound follow up calls than you do get franchise sales successes.

These follow up calls seem more like the most dreaded practice in sales "Cold Calling".

We don't like getting "Cold Calls" from salespeople.

Salespeople of all stripes hate making "Cold Calls".

What I am about to say may seem counterintuitive and you might not like it - I think you should treat every Franchise Inquiry Follow Up as a "Cold Call".

Cold Calling.jpg

That's right, it's a "Cold Call".

But you say 'no the Franchise Inquiry is someone who wants to buy my franchise and that's what the lead supplier promised me'.

Okay then why is it so hard to get these hot prospect Franchise Inquiries to answer and return calls?

Let's stipulate that the Franchise Inquiry can't be considered a Franchise Lead until you talk with them and qualify them.

So here's what you need.

You need to know 2 basic things about your Franchise Inquiry to be true -

  • Good Email Address
  • Valid Telephone Number

Armed with the basic Franchise Inquiry information here's what you do.

Write up a voicemail script first since you'll be getting your Franchise Inquiry's voice messaging service most of the time.

Your message is about you reaching out to them about [insert franchise brand] and you'll be calling them back.

You may get lucky and some of your Franchise Inquiries will call you back. And from time to time you get to be pleasantly surprised.

However it's self-deluding to think that Franchise Inquiries who are being chased by other franchise sellers are going to call you back.

It's your responsibility to get them on the telephone.

When you get them on the phone don't sell. It's not time and the Franchise Inquiry is not ready for a pitch.

Your job at this point is to confirm your Franchise Inquiry's interest in your brand and are they qualified to invest in your franchise.

The close on the 1st call with a Franchise Inquiry is confirming a date and time for the next call in your franchise sales process.

join us.jpg

If you would like to know more about Prospecting for Franchise Recruits by accessing the LinkedIn database, then just sign up for our weekly newsletter.

My entire career has been focused on developing ways to help companies communicate better with their customers.

Great customer service is sought by most everyone. Businesses go out of their way to give good customer service. Some make it; some don't.

Customers go out of their way looking for companies that give great customer service. Some find it; some don't.

We have tried so very hard to explain to both sides - the customer and the business, it's not rocket science; it's not brain surgery. It's plain old common sense. But you and I know common sense is not out there.

People love to vent. One of our books, Customer Service Nightmares, is proof of that. They love to report on how badly they've been handled.

I cannot count the number of articles out there on customer service. Some are good, some not; some have new ideas; some speak the old tried and true. And that's where Telephone Doctor customer service training comes into play; plain old customer service.

We call it 'Back to Basics.' You can imagine we have hundreds, if not thousands of ideas, tips, skills and techniques to share. Today we bring you 15; fifteen customer service tips that are good old common sense thoughts.

Short, sweet and to the point. Enjoy.

In no important order. They all should be #1.

  1. "Please" and "thank you" always have been, and always will be, powerful words. Seldom overused.
  2. "You're welcome" is the best replacement for "no problem."
  3. "Sorry 'bout that" is not an apology. It's a cliché. "My apologies" is much better.
  4. A frown is a smile upside down. Stand on your head if you must; but SMILE, darn it!
  5. You cannot do two things well at once. Pay attention to the call or the customer.
  6. One word answers on email or in person are considered cold and rude. Three words make a sentence.
  7. Learn what phrases frustrate your customers. They're probably the same ones that bother you.
  8. When was the last time you sent flowers to someone just because?
  9. Drop a personal handwritten note to a client and just say "thanks for being a good client."
  10. "Hey, how 'ya doing?" is not a great way to start up a conversation. It's not any way to start up a conversation. Period.
  11. Out with friends or family? Put the cell phone away. Talk for 30 minutes. (If you remember how.)
  12. Email manners? The same as phone and in person.
  13. The old "don't tell 'em what you can't do; tell 'em what you can do" applies to most, if not all, customer interactions.
  14. Get excited! Make sure you say something fun, nice and appropriate.
  15. Oh, and smile. That needed to be said twice. A phony smile is better than a real frown.

If you start with these tips, skills, ideas and techniques, you'll notice a big difference in how your customers respond.

Yes, there are many more; didn't want to overdose on this. More coming during the year. Thanks.

###

Nancy Friedman is a keynote speaker on customer service at franchise, corporate, and association meetings. The author of 8 books, Nancy's articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other major dailies. President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, she can be reached at 314 291 1012 or www.nancyfriedman.com.

Everyone wants to save money when setting up a new business. However, when the business needs to get permits from a building department, hiring a franchise architect and investing some money up-front will save you time and money in the end.

Three of most frequent questions we are asked by new franchisees are:

1. Do I need to have new architectural / design drawings created for my location?

The short answer is yes. And it will save you time and money in the long run. A franchise architect will work with local building departments to get your permits as quickly as possible. In addition, a franchise architect will make sure that your new location includes the unique and defining brand concepts that the franchisor has developed, to help maximize your profits.

Each franchise concept has equipment and design requirements that must be included in all locations, no matter what size and shape they are.

A franchise architect understands the unique requirements of a franchisor and how best to design a store layout that takes into account everything from table placement to a register height to ADA requirements to A/C for bathrooms.

2. Why do I need original architectural plans created for my location?

Every city and state in the country has its own minimum building code requirements that must be met.

Building departments do not allow drawings from one location to be used for another location. They cannot be photocopied and re-signed. Each set of architectural drawings that are submitted to a building department must be original and drawn by an architect who is licensed in that state.

The architect must personally sign and seal the plans in order for them to be accepted by a building department during the permitting process.

After a building department reviews the plans, they often return comments that need to be addressed before the plans are approved.

When you work with a franchise architect these comments will be sent directly to the architect who will quickly answer them and work with you to correct any changes that may need to be made to the plans.

This direct relationship between the franchise architect and building department will save you time, headaches and money.

3. Could a franchise architect help me save money on my retail lease?

Yes. If a franchise architect is brought into a project before a lease is signed they will often save you money on construction costs (plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, fire sprinklers, fire alarm systems, finishes, etc.). In addition, if they are good, they can often get you additional tenant improvement dollars to correct existing conditions.

Our clients realize savings on average of 5-8% for build-outs in existing spaces and also consistently see savings in new spaces.

Lasky Architect, P.A. has been providing franchise architectural services for over 20 years and is licensed in 30 states & D.C. We would be happy to share our knowledge and experience with you and help you save time and money as you begin the journey to becoming a franchisee.

Summary

  • Restaurants were said today to be a leading indicator of investment market power in 2015.
  • Five recognizable realities exist in the space that are both challenges and addressable opportunities.
  • Insufficient restaurant profit flow through rates, M&A upside and downside, dysfunctional early IPO valuations, franchisor overfishing and CAPEX measurement are issues.

The restaurant space slogged it out in 2014.

Finally, with meaningful wisps of economic recovery seen in Q4 and more disposable income running in the system, hope of discretionary spending is seen.

Several attractive IPOs, Habit (NASDAQ:HABT), and Zoe's (NYSE:ZOES) made it through the gauntlet and with more to come in 2015 (SHAK and others).

On January 5, Jim Cramer of CNBC said that domestic restaurants are key to the market performance in 2015. That sets a high bar.

Of course a reality gap exists between Wall Street wants and needs and Main Street corporate realities. The prism restaurants operate is not really seen by Mr. Market. Looking beyond the veil, restaurants are a tough business, talk to the departed CEOs of Darden (NYSE:DRI) and Bob Evan's (NASDAQ:BOBE) about that

There are several ongoing dynamic restaurant financial realities that underpin restaurant performance.

All are realities.

All are opportunities.

And, all can be fixed & are addressable.

1. Need to manage and improve restaurant profit flow through. Also known as PV ratios, we should not have been surprised to hear that the ten year US McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) average sales per unit (AUV) grew $770,000 but flow through grew by just $70,000, or 9%. Was it all those beverages that cannibalized food? A national survey just reported the McDonald's average consumer expenditure reported at $3.88 per person, which is shockingly low.

It's a broader restaurant issue however: For a client, I recently examined three QSR brands [McDonald's, Burger King (NYSE:QSR), Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN)] and three casual dining brands [Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), Bob Evans and Applebee' (NYSE:DIN)] that grew average store sales only $46,000 and unit EBITDAR by only $500 between 2009 and 2014, about a 2% flow through rate. Shockingly low sales gains, even worse flow through.

Both Chili's (NYSE:EAT) and Outback (NASDAQ:BLMN) added a boatload of new menu items at or under $10 to their menus in 2014, and Chili's added their signature fajitas to its 2 for $20 menu. This exasperates the flow through problem; let's hope additional upsell initiatives kick in to maintain the average check.

This is the result of hyper food inflation, and some labor cost inflation and a lot of discounting. The fix? Multi dimensions required. Start by not listening to the ad agencies to take the fast, cheapo way out and simply discount; get staff to upsell.

2. M&A is both a value enhancer and a destructor: Both good and bad M&A are in the background and the foreground. Bad M&A can be seen considering Darden and Bob Evans this year. Good: future possible spinoff BEF foods for $400M ($413 million value estimate by Miller Tabak). Its current EBITDA baseline is only a few million dollars. Spin it and give the money to shareholders.

Bad M&A: waiting so long to dump both Red Lobster and Mimi's . Interestingly, financial disclosure and visibility of both brands by their HOLDCOs was awful. Who really knew before Darden spilled the beans in 2014 that weekly customer counts were only 3000/week? That is unacceptable for investors. The fix: the sell side and shareholders should demand better disclosure. Vote with your feet.

3. Restaurant IPO valuations need a reality check. First year restaurant IPO valuation ratings need an asterisk. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Noodles (NASDAQ:NDLS) other than their unsustainable claim to get to 2000 US units. It's a nice, differentiated concept. They will grow but not at Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) rates. Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBPB), El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO) and Papa Murphy's (NASDAQ:FRSH) may grow if they can grow profitability beyond their geographical base. The Chipotle of 2015 is not the Chipotle of 2006. It can't be: The US is proportionately more overloaded with more restaurants during the Noodles 2013 IPO than CMG's 2006 IPO.

First year restaurant IPO price earnings ratios and Enterprise Value to EBITDA ratios need an asterisk because they may well fall later and resume upward momentum later after the post IPO equilibrium is found and real earnings and free cash flow growth is achieved.

Why does this matter? Growing restaurant brands that are over pressured by high valuations do stupid things. Good brands need to be given a chance to grow solidly.

4. Franchise overfishing, resulting subpar restaurant cash flows in the US: earlier in 2014, when fears of US restaurant wage increases were at its peak, several industry studies noted how low restaurant franchise EBITDA flow really was: 10 to 11%. The SS&G (now BDO) restaurant data survey in December just backed that up. For investors, franchisors, franchisees and anyone else: 11% EBITDA on a $1 million AUV base isn't high enough level to service debt, cover overhead and provide funds for maintenance and remodeling capital expenditures in the amounts needed.

The US is overfished, with too many franchise restaurants. One million restaurants in the US! Until the supply issue is addressed, franchise restaurants will chase the temporary +1 or +2 same store sales customer flow that migrates from one brand to another.

Franchisors need to take responsibility for their brand's future evolution. That they don't fully can be seen in the minimum wage debate. Franchisors, notably McDonald's, Burger King/Tim Horton's and Wendy's indicated that it was their franchisees that set the wages. While technically true, it is the franchisor that is the steward of the brand. If the wage goes to $20/hour, it is the responsibility of the franchisor brand to regenerate a store level model that works.

A place to start is to rightsize store physical plants smaller to get the CAPEX lower and to find ways to thin the system of weaker operators who want or need to exit. Closely associated with this is issue poor franchisor earnings disclosure: Sell side analysts covering Dine Equity have given up asking for meaningful information about the 100% franchised brands, and we noted one intrepid sell side analyst who was a journalist earlier could not pry the Burger King international new Russia and China sales levels. This was a pillar of their stated growth strategy and a metric that should be disclosed.

5. Restaurant free cash flow matters. For a client recently, I composed a 45 year snapshot of how sales components and building size has changed over the years. Guess what: while customer traffic (transactions) has declined, the building size has not come down.

The perception gap between the signal of the profit/loss statement and the other costs, and outlays that determines free cash flow is a material problem for an industry so CAPEX heavy. This same concern applies to the "asset light" franchisors, whose franchisees are the investors and have to make a return to be viable. This is not so complicated; performance appraisal systems at any level could be rejiggered to include CAPEX. You manage what you measure.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from franchise salespeople is

"I have been leaving messages for Franchise Inquiries and they don't call me back.

What can I do about it"

Well the first thing you can do is stop expecting Franchise Inquiries who have never spoken to you, don't know who you are and are unsure about franchising to call you back.

You're just not that special. So stop it.

And quit sending insipidly weak emails begging candidates to call you. This just makes your franchise brand look desperate.

Call your Franchise Inquiries a lot.

More than you think you should.

There's one thing about your Franchise Inquiry that's true and you know for certain.

They clicked a button expressing interest in your franchise investment.

It's all you have to go on and it gives you sufficient confidence to follow up.

It's also best to get out of your head that you are being a nuisance since you have the information Franchise Inquiries want.

They asked you to call.

cold-call.jpg

Here's how I recommend you ramp up your Franchise Inquiry follow up calls.

  • Use a CRM program and time stamp all your follow up calls.
  • Have killer voicemail scripts
  • Call Franchise Inquiries everyday for the first ten business days
  • Leave voicemails for every other call
  • After two weeks schedule a call a week

Franchise-Info helps franchisors with lead generation programs and strategies.

If this sounds llike your franchising story & you want some help solving your problems call me at 443.502.2636 [email protected] Lease the talents of 20+ year proven franchise executive, who has seen and solved these problems before.

Pet services have been the fastest growing product segment for the Pet Stores industry over the past five years. Pet services include full service grooming, haircuts, baths, toenail trimming and tooth.

As the demand climbs and the need to fulfill customer demand grows, a feisty mobile pet grooming business, Aussie Pet Mobile Canada, who was voted #1 in Pet Services category by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2012, came looking for a territory answer.

Why they came to us?

They came to us looking for a better way to manage territories for their mobile franchisee's. They wanted to talk to a person who could listen and strive to fill the need they had. They were frustrated with the current solutions which required a dedicated computer running Microsoft.

What they needed?

They wanted to build territories for their franchise operators from any computer. They wanted a way to share and collaborate this information with their franchisee's live.

They wanted to add their own list of data to visualize what was important.

They wanted something with flexible pricing options and they wanted it to be used for all their franchisee's.

What we did for them?

We built them a system that is based in the cloud. A true software as a service option that can be run from anywhere and shared with anyone.

For collaborating, they can now have a franchisee watch live as both parties collaborate on the territory definition. They can give the franchisee edit rights and they can build what they think is a rough draft.

We gave them a "master" territory project that could prevent encroachment automatically. We gave them the ability to share each individual territory to its prospective owner.

For sharing, each project can be shared internally or externally with view/edit rights so they had control on who gets to do what.

Does it pay for itself?

A thousand times over in just time alone. The goal was to have a central repository of all their existing and potential territories, something that they can share instantly vs taking screen shots and emailing them.

This is a dynamic system so as time goes by, the franchisee can grow into more territories if needed and see what is available in the surrounding area and make decisions quicker.

It gives that sex appeal that you are using the latest cutting edge tools to your franchisee's. There are easier solutions, but these don't give the answers they needed, aren't collaborative, only run on PC's or roughly on the web, don't update with new data automatically and are overly complicated.

Is there something you need for a better territory solution?

Connect with me on LinkedIn, then. Let's talk about what you need.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

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