Page 1

Franchising usa T he ma g a z ine for franchisees

Issue 3 - jan 2013

Pinot’s Palette

pa i n t. d r i n k . h a v e f u n .

10 Tips

for Crisis Management


Home Services



Lease Negotiation

Secrets from a Pro




INTERESTED IN BEING IN BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF? Consider the landscape industry… it’s growing and has great opportunity for professionally managed and operated businesses like The Grounds Guys®. The Grounds Guys provides a successful landscape maintenance business model targeting upper end residential and commercial clients. With a franchise from The Grounds Guys, you EHQHÀWIURP\HDUVRIH[SHULHQFHLQWKHLQGXVWU\ enhancing your business success. Contact us to learn more about opportunities in your area. ©2012 The Grounds Guys LLC


Page 3

Franchising usa T he ma g a z ine for franchisees

FRANCHISING USA VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3 JANUARY 2013 publisher: Colin Bradbury.

EDITOR: Christie Hall.

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Sydney Eurchuck.

SALES DIRECTOR: Vikki Bradbury.


PRODUCTION: Joanne Tuffy.

DESIGN: Jejak Graphics.

COVER IMAGE: Pinot’s pallete (L-R: Ashley Gardner – Artist Trainer,Craig Ceccanti – Ceo, Beth Willis – Cco,Charles Willis – President)

CGB PUBLISHING 676 Wain Rd. Sidney, BC V8L 5M5 CANADA Proud member of the IFA:

SUPPLIER FORUM International Franchise Association 1501 K Street, N.W., Suite 350 Washington, D.C. 20005 Phone: (202) 628-8000 Fax: (202) 628-0812

from the

Editor The First Seven Miles

would have quit before he started. In the

Welcome to a new year of franchise news and expert advice from Franchising USA!

making it over the next dune.

Many of you have probably made some goals or resolutions for the year ahead. Maybe this is the year that you finally open your first franchise location. Maybe you’re ready to make the leap from single to multi-unit ownership. Maybe you’re looking at starting the retirement process and are eager to pass along your years of experience to other franchisees through writing or speaking. These are big goals, and they probably seem overwhelming. A friend of mine recently completed the 2012 Marathon des Sables, a gruelling 6 day / 151 mile endurance race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Oh, and they carry their gear for every one of those miles. It sounds crazy but I’m not here to judge. It was an amazing experience, and as I listened to my friend recount his adventures, one thing he said struck with me, and I remind myself of it often. He recalled standing at the start line on the first day. The first rest stop was approximately seven miles out. He knew he could make it seven miles. So he focussed only on those seven miles. He said that if he had thought about all 151 miles of desert that lay ahead of him, he

tougher moments, he focussed only on My friend’s marathon philosophy

could well be applied to the goals and

resolutions we set for ourselves at this time of year. As you look at the year

ahead, making plans for your franchise

business, and in your personal life, find the first rest stop, or the first landmark, and focus on that. Do one small thing each day that brings you closer to

accomplishing your goal. It may be as simple as a single phone call or email.

Cross it off your list and move on to the next item. Then at the end of the day

pull out your map, or business plan, and

remind yourself of how much closer you are to the finish line.

This issue of Franchising USA contains

a number of excellent articles written by franchising experts across a variety of

fields. We also feature franchisors and

franchisees doing what they do best. We

hope you will find something in this issue to inspire you, and to give you the tools

you need to begin the next seven miles of your journey.

Christie Hall Editor

The information and contents in this publication are believed by the publisher to be true, correct and accurate but no independent investigation has been undertaken. Accordingly the publisher does not represent or warrant that the information and contents are true, correct or accurate and recommends that each reader seek appropriate professional advice, guidance and direction before acting or relying on all information contained herein. Opinions expressed in the articles contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publication is sold subject to the terms and conditions that it shall not be copied in whole or part, resold, hired out, without the express permission of the publisher.

Franchising USA

january 2013

On the Cover 10 Cover Story

24 Crisis Happens‌Are You Ready?

Pinot’s Palette Masters the Art of Custom Technology Solutions

Commercial Lease

The Dwyer Group


Dale Willerton, The Lease Coach


Lorne Fisher, Fish Consulting

34 Home Services Feature:

16 Franchisees - Negotiate Your


f ra nchising usa


In Every Issue 06 Franchising News Announcements from the industry


20 Franchise Focus Sport Clips 22 IFA Franchise Industry Looks Forward

to Working with Pres. Obama

26 Franchisor In-Depth First Light Home Care 34 Feature Article Home Services Power House: The Dwyer Group Franchising USA

16 Franchisees - Negotiate Your Commercial Lease Dale Willerton, The Lease Coach 24 Crisis Happens…Are You Ready? Lorne Fisher, Fish Consulting


Expert Advice





30 Tax Favored Financing for Franchise Store Remodeling John Geenen, Waterfront Financial Group MY




44 Franchise Remodeling Robyn Gault, Direct Capital Franchise Group 48 National vs. Local SEO for Franchises & Multi-Unit Businesses Tarla Cummings, Location3 Media


40 Women in Franchising Catherine Monson, FASTSIGNS

57 Building your franchise – Darren Wallis’ tips for going global Darren Wallis, G.J. Gardner Homes

52 Clockwork Home Services 60 Bin There Dump That


Profiled Franchises

62 Red Mango

Franchisee in Action 54 Yoshinoya America 64 Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning

Franchising USA

f ra nchising usa

what’s new! LEGENDARY YEAR FOR BENNIGAN’S IS ONLY THE BEGINNING Iconic Brand’s New Attitude Is Reshaping Casual Dining. Bennigan’s Franchising Company is capping off a year of phenomenal growth and success by launching new domestic and international locations, a new building prototype, new food and beverage menus, new franchise partners and a whole new focus that puts the Legendary brand on the cutting edge of shaping a new casual dining paradigm. “The past year is only the beginning of our Legendary comeback,” said Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan’s President & CEO. “Our return to relevance demonstrates the passion we collectively

feel for Bennigan’s. That intense passion has us “Bleeding Green 25/8” and constantly focused on both our guests and our franchise partners in all of our restaurants around the world. Our Corporate Support Team is the best in the restaurant industry, and none of this would be possible without all of us working together to accomplish our mission.”

quarter alone, but also with agreements to develop over 30 new restaurants in 2013 in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan, and international openings slated for Mexico, Cyprus and Korea. The company currently has 34 domestic and 48 international locations. Contact:

The 82-unit company saw explosive growth in 2012, with new restaurant openings throughout Texas, as well as internationally in Dubai, El Salvador and Korea. Bennigan’s ends the year with not only four openings in the fourth

CICI’S PIZZA FUELS GROWTH WITH NEW KEY EXECUTIVES New VPs and director further pizza buffet leader’s long-term plans CiCi’s Pizza, home of the custom pizza buffet, continues implementing its 10year “Build the Brand” growth strategy with key executive changes, including a new vice president of national brand excellence and a vice president of franchise development. Geoff Goodman, a nearly five-year veteran at CiCi’s, steps into the role of vice president of national brand excellence. Previously, he served as director of brand excellence, with responsibility for supporting franchisees with strategies that enable strong operations. Former CiCi’s franchisee Quinn Newhall takes over Goodman’s

Franchising USA

position as director of brand excellence, marking his return to CiCi’s corporate operations and building upon his more than 20-year career in restaurant management. Tom McCord joins the company as vice president of franchise development. McCord, a seasoned franchising and real estate executive, brings nearly 14 years’ experience with top industry brands including Carlson Restaurants and Yum! Brands. He’ll work to grow the company by recruiting the best franchisees and securing top restaurant sites. “2012 has been a pivotal year in CiCi’s growth, and the changes we’re announcing today are key to our continued success,” said Mike Shumsky,

CEO. “Geoff and Quinn are the perfect complement, fostering strong franchisee relationships and ensuring the CiCi’s brand continues to offer the best quality and value to our guests. Tom brings a high level of expertise to help us not only bring new franchisees into the system but prepare them for long-term success.” Contact:

Page 7

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® LOOKS TO EXPAND Record Revenue, Number of Moves Advances Geographic Growth For Leading Moving Company. Double-digit growth for a record 36 months, new milestones for number of moves and franchise locations, and record revenue figures are responsible for increased franchise development activity for leading moving company, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. New stores in San Diego, Calif. and Westchester, N.Y., in particular, reflect a growing interest in coastal markets. As a result, the company plans further expansion in Southern California and the Mid-Atlantic states in the next 12 months. “We learned many valuable lessons during our first few years of franchising,” says TWO MEN AND A TRUCK CEO Brig Sorber. “Namely, in order to be successful, our geographic growth had to build on the success of existing stores in the region. As a result, we’ve been very deliberate in our approach to new

markets. Today, we have a level of store density that allows us to successfully expand in key markets that present tremendous opportunity for our brand, and we’re encouraged by the early success of our new stores.” The company currently has more than 230 locations providing local and longdistance moving services to 34 U.S. states and three additional countries: Canada, England and Ireland. “A quick scan of our map of locations shows great store concentration right down the middle of the country and, to a lesser degree, west towards Phoenix and east to New York,” says Kelly Rogers, director of franchise development for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. “We see great opportunity for growth in the Western and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.” Contact: www.

ALLEGRA NETWORK RECEIVES TOP MARKETING INDUSTRY AWARDS Allegra Network recently announced it has received a Platinum Award, two Gold Awards and an Honorable Mention from the 2012 MarCom Awards international competition for its creative achievement in marketing and communications. The international franchisor was chosen among 6,000-plus entries from the United States, Canada and several other countries. Allegra Network received the Platinum Award in the Magazine/Corporate category for its Marketing Insider

magazine. Receiving a Platinum Award signifies the entry’s excellence in quality, creativity and resourcefulness. Allegra Network received the Gold Award in the E-Communication/E-Newsletter category for its eVantage e-newsletter, as well as in the Website/Business to Business category for its corporate website. Entries receiving a Gold Award are considered to have exceeded the high standards of the industry and serve as a benchmark for the marketing industry. Winners were selected from over 200 categories. About 18 percent of the entries won the Platinum Award.

Judges also gave an honorable mention to Allegra Network’s mobile website. The MarCom Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which is comprised of several thousand creative professionals. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms and design shops ranging in size from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies.

Franchising USA

f ra nchising usa

what’s new! DUNKIN’ DONUTS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 10 NEW RESTAURANTS Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, announced today the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with existing franchise group, Sack of Donuts, LLC, for 10 restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first restaurant is planned to open in 2013 and the remainder by 2018. During July 2012, Sack of Donuts, LLC, led by brothers Mike and Andy Knapick, signed its first multi-unit store development for eight new restaurants between Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana. The first of these stores opened in Kalamazoo earlier this fall with the first two South Bend stores planned to open in late November and early 2013. Franchise opportunities are still available in Michigan including in Oceana, Newaygo and Montcalm counties.

Additional development areas available in Michigan include Traverse City, Flint and Alpena as well as areas in Lansing and Detroit. Dunkin’ Donuts’ development throughout these communities and towns is part of the Company’s goal to double the number of Dunkin’ restaurants in the U.S. over the next 20 years.


Primrose Schools Partnership Has Million Dollar Impact Seven years of schools’ support help change childhood literacy outcomes. With its 2012 donation of $200,000, Primrose Schools has donated a total of $1,155, 754 since the inception of its seven-year partnership with Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit organization that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. “I want to extend a huge thank you to all the Primrose families and staff who have worked tirelessly over the years to

Franchising USA

raise money for Reach Out and Read,” says Earl Martin Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read. “Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of millions of young children who are now starting school with a better chance for success.” Every year, the 250-plus Primrose schools across the country host Spring Fling events to raise money for the Primrose Children’s Foundation, which supports Reach Out and Read and other local and national charitable organizations. Celebrating 30 years of service in 2012, Primrose Schools is the nation’s leader

in providing a premier educational child care experience in more than 250 schools in 17 states. Primrose partners with parents to help children build the right foundations for future learning and life, and offers and environment that helps children have fun while nurturing Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts. Contact:

Page 9

and excited to help residents of Oahu discover the many health and wellness benefits of massage therapy,” said Nate McFarland, franchisee and regional developer of Hawaii. “We look forward to serving the local community with our quality, affordable massage and facial treatments and monthly memberships.”

MASSAGE ENVY SAYS ‘ALOHA’ FROM HAWAII Wellness Leader Now Operating More than 800 Locations Across 46 States with First Hawaii Clinic. Massage Envy has a new island paradise to now call home. Today, residents of Oahu can de-stress and relax with a visit to the newest Massage Envy Spa now open in Pearl City at 1000 Kamehameha Highway in the Pearl Highlands Center. The new clinic offers a variety of therapeutic massage treatments and Murad® Healthy Skin facials to keep its members and guests on the path to wellness. “We are thrilled to open Massage Envy’s first clinic in Hawaii

“With our very first clinic opening in Hawaii and just last month performing our 50 millionth massage experience – this has been such a tremendous growth year for our Massage Envy franchise partners,” said Dave Crisalli, president and CEO of Massage Envy. “It is abundantly clear that more Americans all over the country are realizing the priority that wellness plays in relieving everyday stress and pain. Massage Envy, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the leading provider of therapeutic massage in the United States. The national franchise is dedicated to providing professional and affordable therapeutic massage and spa services to members and guests with busy lifestyles at convenient times and locations. Founded in 2002, Massage Envy has over 800 locations in 46 states. Contact:

Zounds Hearing Voted ‘2012 Favorite Hearing Aid Store’ Zounds hearing, a Phoenix-based hearing aid company, has been awarded the “Lovin’ Life After 50” Reader’s Choice Award for 2012 in the category of Favorite Hearing Aid Store. The poll asked readers to nominate and vote for businesses who provide, “superior quality and service to the after-50 community.” “We were really pleased to find out that we had been chosen favorite hearing center, since it was decided by Lovin’ Life’s readers,” said Sam Thamasson, Founder and CEO of the Phoenix-based company. “We love our customers and value each and every one of them. It

is there individual stories that inspire our efforts to keep improving hearing technology.” This award reflects not only the superior technology for which the company is famous, but was also won by its efforts to provide exemplary customer service. Zounds Hearing prides itself on the care customers receive after the sale is complete. Customers often stop by just to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee. They are also treated to fre hearing tests and hearing aid adjustments, whenever needed.

year, which has also contributed to its explosive growth. “We had a number of requests from interested parties who enjoy working with seniors and saw this as a great opportunity to own their own business. In addition to our 20 corporate stores, we now have 23 franchise locations under contract, and the number is growing every day. We know we have our customers to thank for this,” said Thomasson. Contact:

In addition to its corporate stores, Zounds began franchising earlier this

Franchising USA

cover stroy

Pinot ’s Palet te

Pinot’s Palette

M asters the A rt of C ustom T echnolo g y S olutions

Imagine the perfect night out. You are relaxing with friends or enjoying a fabulous date night. There is laughter, creativity and fun, all accompanied by a great bottle of your favourite wine. Now imagine you own the business where this all takes place, and you make this evening possible for your visitors. Even better, you are supported by a successful franchise system and state-of-the-art technology. This dream can be a reality when you are a Pinot’s Palette franchisee. Pinot’s Palette’s mission is to bring art to the masses through a fun and entertaining atmosphere with extraordinary customer

Franchising USA

service. Guests sign up to attend a twohour or three-hour painting class where they are instructed by a local, trained artist on how to recreate the featured painting of the night using simple, step-by-step instructions. Pinot’s Palette provides all the art supplies, plates and wine glasses, while guests are encouraged to bring their own wine and snacks. Most Pinot’s Palette locations are a BYOB arrangement, but a quarter of studios have a bar on-site, either due to the restrictions of certain state laws, or as a convenience for customers. Pinot’s Palette is an opportunity for guests to have a social experience while unleashing their hidden creativity in a fun, no-pressure environment. The concept is for anyone looking for a fun night out and a new experience. Pinot’s Palette locations offer a variety of lively classes and typically attract “Girls’ Night Out” groups, “Date Night” couples, anniversaries, bachelorette parties, family gatherings, as well as corporate events.

The first Pinot’s Palette location opened its doors in 2009 in Houston, Texas, and the company has quickly become one of the fastest-growing paint and sip franchises in the country. Today there are 12 Pinot’s Palette locations in major metropolitan areas across the United States, with 13 more locations slated to open in the very near future in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago, among other cities. In 2012, Pinot’s Palette signed an unprecedented 18 franchise agreements and opened six studios around the country, including in the Houston area, Memphis, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. The brand is aiming to open 50 locations in 2013, including its first West Coast location in San Francisco. While this may seem like the kind of rapid growth that is difficult for a franchise system to support and maintain, the senior leadership at Pinot’s Palette is confident in its development plans. “Pinot’s Palette is well prepared to support each one of our new and existing owners, through technology and software that benefits the franchisee through its efficiency and ease of use,” said Craig Ceccanti, CEO and founding member of Pinot’s Palette. The executive team at Pinot’s Palette has designed and built a revolutionary proprietary technology suite that franchisees can use to manage every area of their business. It is modelled after software and technology used in the airline and hospitality industries, but built to the specifications required to successfully operate a Pinot’s Palette studio. It eliminates the need for paperwork and spreadsheets, freeing up

Page 11

time for franchisees to spend building and marketing their studio, instead of being buried in paperwork. Pinot’s Palette’s custom software is integrated with the company website where customers view the online calendar, book classes, make changes to their reservations, purchase gift certificates, and more. Operationally, location owners can manage scheduling, payroll, customer concerns, day-to-day work plans, customizable sales reports, and a variety of analysis tools crucial for understanding what’s happening in the business. There are also marketing tools available, giving franchisees the ability to create promotional codes for use at their specific location. Pinot’s Palette’s software is also directly tied in to the point of sale (POS) system. Borrowing from the touch screens of the hospitality industry, the POS system is directly tied to the administrative software, so that every facet of the business is integrated into one complete system. The POS system is also set up to handle retail purchases, and includes all the features you would find on software used in the restaurant or bar field. “These features give owners the tools to market better, and focus on their customers,” said Craig Ceccanti, CEO and founding member of Pinot’s Palette. “It’s much more than managing reservations. It’s managing the day-to-day.” This ability to manage daily operations is especially crucial for multi-unit operators, Ceccanti said. Pinot’s Palette franchisees are able to create a dashboard within the software for each of their studios. The

“Pinot’s Palette is well prepared to support each one of our new and existing owners, through technology and software that benefits the franchisee through its efficiency and ease of use.” dashboard is the control center, where necessary tasks are listed each day.

it to do, it does. And there are constant enhancements.”

“When your dashboard is clear,” Ceccanti explains, “you know your customers are taken care of.”

As Pinot’s Palette continues its successful expansion, they are looking for franchisees to partner with them to continue to grow the brand. Artistic skills are not required, but a passion for the concept is a must, along with a passion for sharing Pinot’s Palette with their customers and their community through grassroots marketing efforts and building relationships in the business community. The average start-up cost of a Pinot’s Palette franchise is in the range of $100,000, which includes training, equipment, and all of the Pinot’s Palette software and technology.

The dashboard, and in fact, the entire software system, can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Multiunit owners can manage all their locations from one office. Single-unit owners can enjoy the flexibility and quality of life afforded to them by not having to be on-site at all times. Ceccanti said Pinot’s Palette franchisees have found that using this software can save up to twenty to thirty hours per week, giving them time to focus on other aspects of the business, as well as maintain a happy work-life balance. While most of Pinot’s Palette’s franchisees are owner-operators, franchisee Alan Barnard works full-time for a pharmaceutical company and is on the road a lot. He is able to manage the operation of his Pinot’s Palette location without having to be physically there. Barnard said the user-friendly technology was one of the driving factors in his decision to own a Pinot’s Palette studio. “With this technology, I have everything at my fingertips,” he said. “Everything I want

The team at Pinot’s Palette considers their franchisees to be partners in the business concept. “We have a family feel,” Ceccanti said. “There’s a collaborative work flow where everyone’s feedback is welcome and considered.” With that attitude, and the support of their technology and software, it appears that Pinot’s Palette has clearly mastered the art of franchising. For more information: Phone: Email: Web:

713-777-4668 Franchise

Franchising USA

f ra nchisor in depth

Fu r niture M edic

Furniture Medic: M ore T han F urniture R epair “Not only does this market range provide interest and variation for the franchisee, but it also provides a recession-resistant business option.�

With total start up costs of under $45,000 and in-house financing of up to 80 percent, Furniture Medic is a clear winner for anyone in the market for a low-cost franchise. But don’t be fooled by the small price tag. Furniture Medic offers everything a franchisee could hope for in terms of support, flexibility, and interest. Furniture Medic is the largest furniture and wood repair and restoration company in the world. The company was started in 1992, and purchased in 1996 by The ServiceMaster Company, which owns a number of other brands including Terminix, Merry Maids, TruGreen, ServiceMaster Clean, American Home Shield, and AmeriSpec. As part of The ServiceMaster Company family, Furniture Medic benefits from the experience of an organization with operations in 22 countries, revenue of $3 billion annually,

Franchising USA

Page 13

and 60 years of franchising experience with over 7000 franchisees worldwide. Furniture Medic currently has locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for a total of almost 300 franchisees. 200 of those are located in the U.S. As the name implies, Furniture Medic franchisees are in the business of repairing and restoring furniture. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Furniture Medic services a wide range of markets. Many of the clients require in-home repairs to furniture, but also cabinet repair, and restoration of all types of wood surfaces. Commercial clients make up another large portion of Furniture Medic clients with work in office or property management settings. Moving companies often call on Furniture Medic for assistance with furniture pieces damaged in transit. And the insurance industry requires Furniture Medic to assist with restoration and repair as part of the claims process. Not only does this market range provide interest

and variation for the franchisee, but it also provides a recession-resistant business option. With national brand recognition and very little competition, Furniture Medic franchisees are in a good position to grow their business.

60 percent of Furniture Medic franchisees are owner-operators, who run every aspect of the business themselves, providing a further reduction in overhead costs and expenses.

Affordable Franchising

A Furniture Medic franchisee is someone with great customer service skills, someone who is well-organized, and can follow the franchise systems. You don’t have to have previous restoration and repair experience to be a Furniture Medic franchisee, but you should be someone who enjoys working with their hands. The extensive Furniture Medic training process will provide you with the practical skills needed to complete nearly every type of furniture and wood repair or restoration you might come across in your work with clients.

The initial franchise fee for Furniture Medic is $29,900, with equipment costs of $13,000, for a total of $42,900 in start-up costs, with a required $25,000 in working capital. Up to 80 percent of these initial fees can be financed, to prospects who credit-qualify, directly through ServiceMaster Acceptance Company, another division of The Service Master Company, Furniture Medic’s parent company. Franchisees need not worry about SBA or bank loans. And due to the mobile nature of the business, Furniture Medic franchisees do not require a facility lease. Most of the work is done on-site for clients. This greatly reduces the overhead expenses of the business. About

Support and Training

There are three stages to the Furniture Medic franchisee training program. • Pre-Academy: 50 hours of online work

Franchising USA

f ra nchisor in depth

Fu r niture M edic

and reading from your home before coming to Academy • Two-Week Academy in Memphis, Tennessee • One-Week Post-Academy 90 days after completion of Two-Week Academy In addition to the sales and marketing assistance that every franchisee is provided, Furniture Medic goes above and beyond to create an all-encompassing system of support for franchisees at all levels of their business. There is direct business support for the administrative side of each Furniture Medic operation. For practical, on-the-job support, Furniture Medic supplies a technical support line. If

Franchising USA

a franchisee is on a job and has a question about the repair or restoration they are doing, they can make a quick phone call and get expert advice on the best course of action. There is also an online community where networking and support takes place at the franchisee level. These kinds of supports are especially valuable in a franchise system where most people work alone in their day-to-day operations. While most Furniture Medic franchisees are owner-operators working on their own, for those who want to expand their Furniture Medic business, there is the option to hire staff to work alongside them, or to handle the front end of the business. Technicians attend a one week

training course provided by Furniture

Medic, which gives them the basic skills

necessary to carry on the work of restoring and repairing a wide variety of wood products and surfaces.

Furniture Medic is currently looking for franchisees in all areas of the United States.

Please contact Furniture Medic for more information: Phone: 800-786-9687 Email: fmfranchiseinfo@




Page 15

Imagine bringing your backyard TO WORK. Š‡ˆ”‡‡†‘‘ˆƪ‹‰Š–ǤŠ‡„‡ƒ—–›‘ˆƒ–—”‡ǤŠ‡•™‡‡–•‘—†‘ˆ•‘‰„‹”†•ǤŽŽ–Š‹•ǡ”‹‰Š–‘—–•‹†‡›‘—”„ƒ…†‘‘”Ǥ ƒ‡–Šƒ–ˆ‡‡Ž‹‰™‹–Š›‘—ƒ•›‘—‡„ƒ”‘–Š‡’ƒ–Š–‘‘™‹‰›‘—”‘™‹Ž†‹”†‡–‡”Ǥš’‡”‹‡…‡–Š‡•ƒ–‹•ˆƒ…–‹‘ ‘ˆ‡‰ƒ‰‹‰…—•–‘‡”•ǡŠ‡Ž’‹‰–Š‡Ƥ†–Š‡Œ‘›‘ˆ„ƒ…›ƒ”†„‹”†ˆ‡‡†‹‰‹–Š‡‹”‘™›ƒ”†•Ǥ ‡‹˜‹–‡›‘—–‘‡š’Ž‘”‡–Š‹•‘’’‘”–—‹–›–‘™ƒ‡—’‡˜‡”›‘”‹‰ǡŽ‘‘‹‰ˆ‘”™ƒ”†–‘‰‘‹‰–‘™‘”Ǩ


Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Dale Willerton, The Lease Coach


N e g otiate Y our C ommercial L ease “Remember that you are the customer to the landlord. If you want to be in the driver’s seat for the lease negotiations, you must remember who is serving whom.” Franchisees may go through the leasing process once or twice in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living.

Whenever I speak at franchise shows and conferences, I am continually reminded how for many franchisees, negotiating a good lease or renewal against a landlord or their agent can be a challenge. While a franchisee thinks of marketing and managing, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.

Franchising USA

Whether you are negotiating a lease renewal or leasing a new location for the first time for your franchise, these are some tips for tenants:

Negotiate to Win: All too frequently, tenants enter into lease negotiations unprepared and don`t even try winning the negotiations (opting to simply hold their own or not lose). If you are not even negotiating to win, you won’t. With big commissions at stake, you can be sure the landlord’s agent, on the other hand, is negotiating fiercely to win. Tenants should remember that it is okay to negotiate assertively.

Be Prepared to Walk Away: Try to set aside your emotions and make objective decisions. Whoever most needs to make a lease deal will give up the most

concessions. A good franchise in a poor location will become a poor business.

Ask the Right Questions: Gathering information about what other tenants are paying for rent or what incentives they received will position you to get a better deal. Consider that your landlord and his agent know what every other tenant in the property is paying in rent, so you must do your homework too.

Agents … Friend or Foe? Real estate brokers typically work for the landlord who is paying their commission. It is not normally the agent’s role to get the tenant the best deal – it is their job to get the landlord the highest rent, the biggest deposit, etc. Typically, the higher the rent you pay, the more commission the agent earns. If you are researching multiple properties, try to deal directly with the listing agent for each property, rather than letting one agent show you around or show you another agent’s listing. Your tenancy is more desirable to the listing agent if he

Page 17

can avoid commission-splitting with other agents.

Never Accept the First Offer: Even if the first offer seems reasonable, or you have no idea of what to negotiate for, never accept the leasing agent’s first offer. In the real estate industry, most things are negotiable and the landlord fully expects you to counter-offer.

Ask for More Than What You Want: If you want three months free rent, then ask for five months. No one ever gets more than they ask for. Be prepared for the landlord to counter-offer and negotiate with you as well. Don’t be afraid of hearing `no` from the landlord – counteroffers are all part of the game.

Negotiate the Deposit: Large deposits are not legally required in a real estate lease agreement. Deposits are negotiable and, more so than anything else, often serve to compensate the landlord for the real estate commissions he will be paying out to the agent. The Lease Coach is frequently successful with negotiating to have the tenant’s deposit returned upon renewing a lease.

Measure Your Space: Tenants frequently pay for phantom space. Most tenants are paying their rent per square foot, but often they are not receiving as much space as the lease agreement says.

You are the Customer: Far too often, franchisees act as if they are applying for a lease. Remember that

you are the customer to the landlord. If you want to be in the driver’s seat for the lease negotiations, you must remember who is serving whom. The tenant sets the meeting time. The landlord’s agent drops off and picks up documents to you and so on. Shrewd tenants never pick up the restaurant bill if dining over lunch with the landlord or their agent. You must never put yourself in the position of the seller. You must always appear to the buyer … and the customer never pays for lunch.

Make All Offers Conditional: When negotiating a new lease, make your Offer conditional upon certain things – such as financing, franchise territory acquisition, satisfaction with the formal lease agreement, construction estimate costs and so on. This will let you legally and ethically rescind your Offer to Lease

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Dale Willerton, The Lease Coach

have regrets will usually tell you that the whole process happened so quickly they hardly realized what they had agreed to.

Negotiate, Negotiate: The leasing process is just that – a process, not an event. The more time you, the tenant, have to put the deal together and make counter-offers, the better the chance you have of getting what you really want. Too often, tenants mistakenly try to hammer out the deal in a two- or three-hour marathon session. It is more productive to negotiate in stages over time.

Educate Yourself and Get Help: if outside circumstances hold you back. If you need more time, simply request an extension in writing so you can potentially remove your conditions at a later date.

Who Should be the Tenant? Don’t enter in a Lease Agreement (or an Offer to Lease) under your personal name. This will make you personally liable for everything. Instead, form a corporation or holding company which will become the tenant. If you are negotiating on location, but don’t intend to incorporate until a later date, then the Offer to Lease should sate that the tenant is Your Name on behalf of a company to be incorporated later (or Nominee. If you are opening multiple locations, it is often wise to form a new company for each lease agreement as further protection. Corporations also have tax benefits over sole proprietorships.

Select the Best Lease Length: While a five-year lease term is still

Franchising USA

standard (or even 10 years for some franchise systems), it is not necessarily the best term for your business. Consider your own future. Lease terms can also be negotiated in months, rather than years. Instead of signing a five-year lease, opt for a 56- or a 64-month term instead. This can work to your advantage as you can begin a lease term heading into the busy retail season and end your term going into the slower season.

Go Slow for a Better Deal: Franchisees often rush a lease deal and leave valuable incentives or inducements on the table. If you have the time to work with, I recommend that you take it. Often, The Lease Coach gets tenants more free rent, more tenant allowance or even a lower rental rate just by refusing to sign on the dotted line too quickly. If the agent or landlord is anxious to close the deal, you can use stalling tactics to better your position. Franchise tenants who invariably

Unless you have money to throw away, it pays to educate yourself. Taking the time to read about the subject or listen in on a webinar will make a difference. And, don’t forget to have your lease documents professionally reviewed before you sign them. With hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent at stake, personal guarantees and other risks, you can’t afford to gamble. I n leasing, tenants don’t get what they deserve, they get what they negotiate. Another contentious issue for new and current franchisees I often hear about is how much real estate help a franchisor does or does not provide. There are, essentially, three main ways that most franchisors provide this kind of support. These are summarized below: 1) The franchisor will conduct site selection, secure and lease the location and then sublease the unit to the franchisee. With this arrangement, the franchisee is obligated to accept the chosen location; however, he/she does not accept final responsibility

Page 19

for the lease. The franchisor, having signed the “head lease” for the location, will ultimately be liable. Should the franchisee struggle or pull out entirely, the franchisor will often try to resell the business to a new franchisee. 2) The franchisor will delegate the leasing process to the franchisee to find and lease his/her own location, often referring him/her to a broker. This is, typically, the worst scenario for the franchisee. A franchisee may be inexperienced in such matters and not know exactly what to look for. You’ve likely heard the adage of “location, location, location” and there are many elements involved with making the best decision. 3) The franchisor or its area manager/ developer will conduct site selection;

however, will leave the lease negotiations to the franchisee. Typically, franchisees have little or no experience with such matters. The franchisee may well enter into the process unprepared and neither asks the right questions or negotiates effectively. As a result, that franchisee can blindly agree to an inappropriate lease term, accept too much commercial space for his/her actual needs and/or miss out on receiving valuable tenant inducements (including tenant allowances, build-out assistance and/or free rent). Therefore, before signing commercial leases, franchisees need to understand exactly how much help the franchisor will provide. You can learn what you need to know by asking the following questions: 1) Does the franchisor have an in-house

real estate department or person working on salary or receiving a commission from the landlord? 2) Does the franchisor have a real estate department/person who contacts brokers to show properties? Despite what many franchise tenants believe, brokers work for landlords and earn healthy commission checks for signed lease deals. Therefore, that broker may be trying harder to serve the landlord than working in a franchise tenant’s best interest. 3) Does the franchisor have a so-called “Area Developer” who matches franchisees with brokers to conduct site selection? As above, this still leaves the franchisee paired with a broker. 4) Does the franchisor leave the entire matter (of looking for available space and negotiating the commercial lease) to the franchisee? For a free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Franchise Tenants, please e-mail DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach. com. Speaking and training enquiries welcomed. Dale Willerton - The Lease Coach is a Commercial Lease Consultant and author of “Negotiate Your Franchise Lease or Renewal”. Need help with your new lease or renewal? Got a leasing question? Inquire about having The Lease Coach speak at your next franchise conference. For more information: Phone: 800 738-9202 E-mail: DaleWillerton@ Web:

Franchising USA

f ra nchise in focus

Spor t Clips

Sport Clips:

A n M V P C oncept their “MVP Experience” that includes a precision haircut, invigorating scalp massage with Tea Tree shampoo, a classic hot steamed towel treatment, and a relaxing neck and shoulder massage. But Sport Clips is not just another place to get a haircut. It’s a guy-friendly alternative to traditional salons and spas. Everything about Sport Clips is designed to be comfortable and non-threatening for boys and men, from the decor, to the products and services, to the language, and let’s not forget the flat screen televisions throughout each location, all tuned to sports of course!

Occasionally you come across an idea that makes you step back and ask yourself, “Well, why didn’t I think of that?” Sport Clips Haircuts is one of those ideas. In the early ‘90s, Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan recognized the huge potential, and relative lack of competition, in the men’s and boys’ haircut market. To take advantage of this, Logan assembled a top management team and developed the unique Sport Clips Haircuts concept,

Franchising USA

which included groundbreaking new haircutting systems, operating procedures and marketing programs, designed to fully capitalize on this large, underserved market. Sport Clips’ rapid, yet controlled growth, has become a textbook example of how to do things right. With the first location opening in 1993, and franchising beginning in 1995, Sport Clips is now the nation’s leading men’s and boys’ hair care provider with more than 950 stores in 42 states. The mission of Sport Clips is to “create a championship haircut experience for men and boys in an exciting sports themed environment.” They offer quality male hair care services and are known for

Sport Clips is more than a million dollar idea. It’s a billion dollar idea, having reached a “billion dollars in haircuts” earlier this year, after only 16 years of franchising. “We started Sport Clips to meet an underserved niche in the market, and reaching this milestone affirms that the vision is now very much a reality,” says Logan. “Our continued growth as a successful franchise opportunity and service provider is made possible by our clients across the country who choose Sport Clips for their hair care needs and our team members who have chosen Sport Clips for their investments and their careers.” The Sport Clips concept continues to grow, with 128 new stores open this year to-date, and plans to reach 1,000 by the end of 2012. Expansion into the Canadian market is planned to begin in early 2013. Sport

Page 21

Clips has made a name for itself in the business world, through its rapid and solid success. The franchise has ranked in the top 50 “fastest growing” for the seventh straight year in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500”, in the top 10 in Forbes’ “Top 20 Franchises To Start”, and in the top 50 in Dun & Bradstreet’s AllBusiness. com “2011 AllBusiness AllStars”. Long before staking his claim in the business world, Logan served as an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Airforce from 1969 to 1976. His commitment to the military is reflected in the commitment of Sport Clips as the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Through their “Help a Hero” program, Sport Clips has become the VFW’s largest “free call days” sponsor for Operation Uplink, raising more than $1.3 million since 2007 and providing almost 2 million phone calls home for hospitalized and deployed U.S. soldiers. “Our generous clients and team members have helped make our Help A Hero

“Sport Clips is more than a million dollar idea. It’s a billion dollar idea, having reached a “billion dollars in haircuts” earlier this year, after only 16 years of franchising.” program a true success,” says Logan, a

lifetime member of the VFW and VFW

Foundation board member. “An average of

more than 30,000 calls have been made by our hospitalized veterans and active-duty

service members – many on their second, third, or even fourth deployment - during our sponsored call days so far this year.” Veterans interested in owning a Sport Clips get a $5,000 discount off Sport

Clips’ franchise fee of $49,500 through participation in the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, also known as

VetFran, which was created in 1991

during the Gulf War. Sport Clips was

also recently listed on Franchise Business

Review’s Top 100 Franchises for Veterans,

in a survey of 3500 veterans across the country. The generosity of the Sport Clips franchise extends into the sports world as well, which seems only fitting. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, and holds partnerships with several teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and National Hockey League (NHL). This is a franchise concept that is fun, successful, and unique. You may not have thought up the idea of Sport Clips. But you can still own a piece of it. For More Information: Web:

Franchising USA

abou t f ra nchising

International Franchise Association

Accelerating Job Creation Franchise Industry Looks Forward to Working with Pres. Obama and New Congress to Accelerate Job Creation

businesses to the ongoing, sluggish

tax reform, are critical to improving

the 2012 elections, IFA said today.


Members of the International Franchise

trillion in economic output to educate

Association were key players in promoting the importance of franchise small

Franchising USA

economic recovery as a top issue during

the economic health and stability of the

Over the past year, IFA worked on behalf

“We congratulate President Obama and

establishments, which support nearly

and respectfully urge them to create

of the industry’s 825,000 franchise

18 million workers and generate $2.1

candidates about franchising and why progrowth policies, such as comprehensive

the new members of the 113th Congress bipartisan solutions to address long-term fundamental fiscal reform, including

comprehensive tax reform, reforming

entitlement programs and reducing the

Page 23

“In the 2011-12 election cycle, IFA’s political action committee, FranPAC, contributed over $1 million to 128 bi-partisan, pro-franchising, pro-business candidates for House and Senate.” quo for small business is unacceptable. With the elections concluded, the current Congress should act immediately to pass a short-term deal that would avert the fiscal cliff by extending all current tax rates until lawmakers in the new Congress can consider a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system. The partisan rancor, negative rhetoric and perpetual gridlock must come to an end so that we can begin to heal this country and get it moving again.”

unsustainable debt. However, raising taxes on small businesses, including

franchisees, which create 65 percent

of all net new jobs is clearly the wrong approach,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.

“Franchise businesses are in every state

and congressional district and stand ready to accelerate job creation. While this was a status quo election, the current status

IFA’s Franchising Votes campaign educated thousands of employees, franchisors, franchisees and industry suppliers about the candidates’ views on the top policy priorities for IFA. In the 2011-12 election cycle, IFA’s political action committee, FranPAC, contributed over $1 million to 128 bi-partisan, profranchising, pro-business candidates for House and Senate. Franchise Congress, IFA’s grassroots network, met with hundreds of members of Congress and hosted events with candidates to educate them about franchising and issues important to small business. IFA educated the franchising industry about candidates who support the IFA’s “Franchising = Jobs” agenda through a month-long campaign including telephone town hall meetings, emails, web videos

and educational voter toolkits through

About the International Franchise Association: The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development. For More Information: Web:

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Lorne Fisher, CFE, CEO/Managing Partner, Fish Consulting

C risis H appens …

Are You Ready? “The better prepared everyone is, the better you’ll survive a crisis.” We’ve all heard the horror stories of companies that were not prepared and their brands suffered. Remember Dominos and Taco Bell? One responded too late and the other too early without having the whole story.

There is a saying that bad things happen to good companies, it is just a matter of when. So, are you prepared for the unexpected?

Franchising USA

These companies undoubtedly had crisis plans in place – several of them I’m sure. They probably had detailed communications protocols for when issues occur and what information should be gathered and various response statements for any and all scenarios that may happen. However, training on how to execute that plan and who should do what is equally essential. Whether it is a foodborne illness at one of your restaurants, a burglary or

employee misconduct, the corporate team, franchisees and their front line employees need to know their role in addressing, responding and reacting to a crisis. Absent of having a thorough plan that you’ve role played over and over, here are 10 tips to remember when dealing with a crisis.

Honesty is the Best Policy: Always be honest and genuine in your response. Remember, PR cannot fix or dare I say “spin” your way out of a problem. Assess the issue, determine the cause and communicate your plans to address and prevent the issue from occurring again.

Page 25

Act Fast…But Smart: Be sure to respond quickly, but make sure you have enough information to respond intelligently. Being prepared for a crisis will help you know the right questions to ask and of whom. Without a process to collect the details, your response time will suffer. With social media and the 24/7 news cycle, responding immediately is critical. Understand the facts and be honest of where the situation stands.

Speak to the “Real” Audience: Remember when responding to a crisis you will always have two audiences – internal (employees and franchisees) and external (your current and future customers). The media is not your audience. They are a conduit to your audiences. Craft your responses with them in mind.

Control Your Message: When distributing your response statements and communicating your company’s position, you should consider using your own communications platforms to control your message. This may include your blog, web site or other social platforms. Controlling your message from the onset will help minimize audience confusion and drive consistency.

Don’t Just Respond: Your response should not only address what happened, but also what measures you plan to take to help prevent a similar incident in the future. How will you change or improve your own company’s policies, and better yet, the industry’s? Think shrink-wrap lids on over-thecounter medicines. It was created by Tylenol in response to the cyanide crisis decades ago.

The Media Can Help…Really! Remember the media is not the enemy. Never say no comment, even if you don’t have one. Use the media to communicate with your audiences. You may need to work with them on the timing of your

communications, but they can assist you in working through an issue by helping explain what occurred and your path forward.

Train and Train Again: You can never train your team too much. All levels should be involved from corporate executives and employees to franchisees and their employees. You must do more than just share the plan. Conduct sessions to simulate crises in order to teach all parties how to respond. Nothing like a simulation to show your team how unprepared they are. The better prepared everyone is, the better you’ll survive a crisis.

Keep Your Eyes Open: From the onset of an issue, be sure to monitor your brand online and in real-time on all social media platforms. Be sure to respond as appropriate so another crisis doesn’t emerge. Several free sites are available (addict-o-matic is a good one) that can help consolidate the top social media sites to make monitoring easy.

Keep the Lawyers Close: Don’t misconstrue this tip, the PR pros should be drafting the response statements and other communications. However, if

there is a possibility of a lawsuit or the crisis is due to one already existing, it is important to understand the lawyer’s legal strategy. You never want to negatively effect your company’s case with the wrong crisis response.

Be Proactive: Lastly, think how you can use an issue to educate potential consumers about your brand. Each issue you or your industry faces is an opportunity to build a positive brand equity in the communities your serve. Use the spotlight on your brand and industry to show your responsibility and to prepare yourself for the next crisis that may occur. If you build enough equity in the brand bank, the next one may not affect you as much. It has its risks, but the reward can be big. Remember, crisis happens. Be prepared (and good luck). Lorne Fisher, CFE, CEO/Managing Partner of Fish Consulting, helps his stable of franchise clients promote, protect and grow their brands. For more information: Email: Lorne at lfisher@ Web

Franchising USA

f ra nchisor in depth

Fir stL ight H ome Ca re

A C u lt u r e of Care:

FirstLight Home Care Anyone who has cared for an elderly parent, a disabled or injured family member, knows how important it is to have qualified and compassionate support, both for the caregiver, and the person in need of care. FirstLight Home Care makes that their mission every day, for every client.

Franchising USA

FirstLight Home Care provides nonmedical care for individuals over 18, with a focus on seniors. The Campanion and Personal Care services provided by FirstLight Home Care include: companionship, light housekeeping, errands, meal preparation, social planning, bathing, oral hygiene, medication planning and reminders, transportation services, move management, continence and toileting care, and more.

A Growing Industry There is a growing industry in the provision of home care services. It is currently a $70.2 billion industry annually, with a projected growth rate of 46 percent over the next five years. We live in an

aging population. In 2011, 7000 people turned 65 every day. By 2014, it is expected that every day 10,000 people will reach the age of 65. The fastest growing segment of this aging population is in the over 85 range, and overwhelmingly, this group of seniors want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, while receiving the care they need. As much as 85-90 percent of the senior population expresses this desire. That kind of in home care comes at a cost to family members responsible for providing the care to their loved ones. Millions of Americans have become what we refer to as the “Sandwich Generation,� those caught between caring for children, as well as their aging parents. Not only

Page 27

“Successful franchisees understand why home care is so important. Many of them have personal experience in caring for a loved one on their own, so they understand the challenges that family members face.� does this take a personal toll, but it affects the family financially as well. In addition to spending an average of $5000 per year to care for aging parents, those adult children providing care lose time at work, and time with their own children and families. For the first time, we are seeing that productivity lost by employers due to their employees caring for parents is outpacing productivity lost due to childcare. As we look at the demographics of our aging population, we can see that this is a trend that will likely continue for some time. The statistics, along with personal experience with their own families, led the founders of FirstLight Home Care to start the business in 2010. They recognized the growing need for services which would focus on finding ways to better serve clients and families through client satisfaction metrics, a focus on caregiver

retention and personal development, as well as blending of emerging technologies into an operating system to increase owner efficiency and productivity. The decision to franchise and expand was in recognition of the fragmentation of the industry, with many independent providers, but a lack of measurable service quality and leadership within the home care industry.

Successful Franchisees Tammy Iuso was the inaugural FirstLight Home Care owner in 2010. After extensive training and meeting State of Florida licensure requirements, Iuso opened her location in Lake Mary, FL. Today she is not only a successful business owner, but is in the top 15 percent of FirstLight Home Care owners monthly. She was also FirstLight Home Care’s Franchisee of the Year in 2011. Today, FirstLight Home Care has 55 unique

owners with 95 to 100 markets either sold, open, or under development across 23 states. Locations and territories are available across most areas of the United States, and FirstLight Home Care is also looking to expand into Canada by mid 2013. There are a number of other home care franchises and independent business concepts operating in the U.S., but FirstLight Home Care is outperforming the industry average. After 12 months in business, the industry average hours per week per location is 229. FirstLight Home Care locations have a weekly average of 502 hours per week per location after the first 12 months in operation. FirstLight Home Care differentiates in many ways, which contributes to

Franchising USA

f ra nchisor in depth

Fir stL ight H ome Ca re

their success and the success of their location owners. They believe strongly in operating within a “Culture of Care.� Client needs really do come first, with a client satisfaction real-time survey process. Each location starts with 2 full-time people working at getting the business off the ground. This increases the speed of growth and maximizes the potential for early financial success. Owners benefit from the use of a complete web-based technology platform, which provides proprietary scheduling software, sales CRM platforms, and complete back-office functionality including payroll. Training and support is also an ongoing benefit for FirstLight Home Care franchisees. Prior to opening, franchisees participate in 45-55 hours of online training, followed by a week of hands-on New Owner Training at the corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Once the New Owner Training is complete, there is 120 days of phone and webinar support as well as two separate in-person visits within the first six to eight week of launch, and

continuing at a rate of two-three visits per

the business from any computer or mobile device.

Franchisees are invited to any of several

FirstLight Home Care franchisees have great people skills and a commitment to service excellence. They are accountable and self-starters with the ability to follow a proven system. Franchisees must enjoy working with seniors and those with disabilities. Successful franchisees understand why home care is so important. Many of them have personal experience in caring for a loved one on their own, so they understand the challenges that family members face.


regional meetings per year, as well as

the Annual FirstLight conference each

year. For the administrative side of the

business, FirstLight Home Care provides an extensive intranet which houses

all training, marketing, licensure and

compliance documents. As well, they

have an extensive web-based technology

platform, allowing franchisees to operate

To discover your future as a FirstLight franchisee, contact FirstLight Home Care today. For More Information: Phone: Email: Web:

Franchising USA

513-400-5136 bmcpherson@

Page 29

Join a Certain Industry in an Uncertain Economy The rent-to-own industry is a $7 billion business, and it is growing. With an economic climate that is uncertain, consumers are turning to rent-to-own to get the appliances, furniture and electronics they want and need at prices they can afford. ColorTyme is the nation’s most experienced rent-to-own franchisor, and there’s never been a better time to become part of the ColorTyme team with in-house financing, multiple markets available, low franchising fees and many more advantages.


Appliances Electronics Furniture

For more information:


Franchising USA

ex per t advice

John Geenen, Managing Partner, Waterfront Financial Group

Tax Favored Financing

for F ranchise S tore R emodelin g

“If there is a moral to be learned it is to save for the rainy day. This lesson is being played out very visibly in the franchise community.� Franchising USA

Page 31

extension to complete renovations. If the property needed updating at five, seven or ten years, what will it look like with three more years of daily wear and tear? How competitive will the property be to the new hotel, restaurant or remodeled store down the road?

It’s Not If, But When We all know it’s not if, but when the refresh or remodel will take place. The Franchise Disclosure Document may contain specific language stating when updating should take place, but most franchisors have no means of enforcement. If the property becomes too rundown it will most assuredly affect the Brand in a negative way.

Have you recently stayed at a branded hotel or eaten at a franchised restaurant where the property was tired looking and in need of an update? Was the overall experience less than expected due to the worn out facility? On your next trip did you make a point to book a room or eat a meal at a competing brand where the facilities and amenities were up to date? Customers demand a clean updated environment and they vote with their feet. Hotels and restaurants built ten or twenty years ago now need substantial updating to compete with new or recently remodeled properties. Getting Franchisees to invest in updating can be a battle and accessing remodeling capital is an all out war. Next to the initial costs of property construction, a Franchisees largest expenditure will come when a facility is refreshed. Financing this occasion is the key.

Every Thing is Fine Financing There is a non-assuming phrase, which has been getting some play recently. It goes like this. “Everything is fine until it isn’t fine anymore”. It’s very simple. For this article it applies to the easy money lending we all came to count on until the world melted in the fall of 2008. Previous to the financial crisis everything was fine in the lending world. Money was plentiful, credit was simple to establish and we expected this would continue well into the future. Many Franchisors and Franchisees relied totally on financing for property remodeling. There was no need to create an escrow account and save for the event. Then something happened. The world was turned upside down by the mortgage crisis and everything wasn’t fine anymore. Money became very tight. Credit was hard to get even for borrowers with an excellent credit history and an established banking relationship. If there is a moral to be learned it is to save for the rainy day. This lesson is being played out very visibly in the franchise community. Even though credit has dried up, franchise properties still need to be remodeled. Many systems are experiencing a tsunami of worn out stores that have little chance of being remodeled on schedule. Some Franchisors are offering up to a 36-month

Saving for the event is one solution to cover all or a part of the remodel. Its downfall is the use of after tax money and the annual income taxes due on the escrowed assets. If necessity is the mother of invention, then it’s time to look for creative ways to solve the financing dilemma.

The Program One such bit of creativity is the use of a new tax favored program to finance the eventual refresh or remodel. The program is a Franchisor sponsored ‘savings plan’ designed to encourage Franchisees to pre-pay the costs of improvements and renovations for their properties with pretax dollars. The program is structured to maximize tax benefits for both the Franchisor and Franchisee. To participate in the program the Franchisee commits to contributing an additional percentage of revenues as royalty payments to the Franchisor. The increased royalty is invested in an escrow account held by the Franchisor and earmarked for the Franchisees’ future remodel. Such payments should be tax deductible to the Franchisee as a business expense, since periodic royalty payments are costs of doing business, qualify as an ordinary and necessary business expense and are part of a license agreement as opposed to a disguised sale. Similarly the Franchisee’s royalty

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

John Geenen, Managing Partner, Waterfront Financial Group

payments to participate in the program should be taxed as ordinary income to the Franchisor since gross income includes income from whatever source derived, including royalty monies.

Performance Requirements The Franchisor and Franchisee then agree on certain performance metrics between them that will determine the Franchisee’s eligibility to receive the funds when required to complete the improvements (“Performance Requirements”). Some of the factors the Franchisor may consider incorporating in the Performance Requirements include, but are not limited to the following: operational scores, compliance with the Franchise Agreement, entity capitalization and verifying the Franchisee has completed the remodel. These factors will obviously vary by franchise system. It is intended that the program would incorporate any existing financial/operational standards a franchise system may already have in place.

Distribution When the time arrives for the store improvement, the Franchisor distributes the original dollar plus accrued growth to the Franchisee as determined by the Performance Requirements. The payment should be deductible for the Franchisor as an ordinary and necessary business expense. Under the accrual method of accounting, a liability is incurred in the year in which (1) all the events have occurred that establish the fact of the liability, (2) the amount of the liability has been determined with reasonable accuracy, and (3) economic performance has occurred with respect to the liability. Collectively, these three steps are called the “all-events test”. It is important that liability is firmly established before expenses may be deductible. The IRS made clear that generally, all events have occurred that establish the fact of liability when (1) the event fixing the liability occurs, or (2) payment is unconditionally due. Therefore, the Franchisor should only deduct program payments to Franchisees

Franchising USA

when all Performance Requirements have been completed, the payment amount is due and payable, and the Franchisor has paid the store improvement monies to the Franchisee. Correspondingly, the Franchisee should realize ordinary income for the receipt of the program monies. Depending upon the nature of the store improvements/ renovations and the Franchisee’s particular tax situation, the Franchisee may be entitled to ordinary deductions and/or depreciation/amortization deductions for some or all of the improvements/ renovations.

Termination of Franchise Agreement Any default by the Franchisee or other termination of the franchise agreement for cause would make the Franchisee ineligible to receive funds back that were paid into the program. Franchisors’ could use the plan to attract new Franchisees and re-sign existing Franchisees. To encourage system-wide participation a franchisor matching contribution could be added. Then include a vesting provision stating the match can be used only if the Franchisee renews their contract. By sponsoring a tax-favored savings plan and encouraging participation with a matching contribution, the Franchisor is assured that needed updating will

take place on schedule. A consistent, positive customer experience is delivered across the system when all properties are regularly updated. By being pro active the Franchisor has protected the brand image, provided a much-needed financing vehicle for the Franchisee and contributed to the goodwill of the Franchisor and Franchisee relationship. John T. Geenen is a Managing Partner with Waterfront Financial Group in Minneapolis. John may be reached at: 952-236-1755 or john.geenen@ A White Paper on this program is available from Monroe Moxness Berg PA jberg@ Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. To comply with the U.S. Treasury regulations, we must inform you that (i) any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this newsletter was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding U.S. federal tax penalties that may be imposed on such person and (ii) each taxpayer should seek advice from their tax adviser based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as investment advice or the basis for making any investment decisions. The views and opinions expressed may not be those of LPL Financial. LPL Financial does not verify and does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Neither LPL Financial nor any of its employees provide legal or tax advice. You should consult with your personal legal or tax adviser regarding your personal circumstances.

For more information: Phone: Email: Web:

952-236-1755 john.geenen@

Page 33








Find out more



Home Services Power House:

The Dwyer Group

Franchising USA

Page 35

everything from covering their shoes, to cleaning up when the job is done, with the goal of creating a “wow” customer experience. Customers of The Dwyer Group are, “people who value service and a great experience,” according to Doug Dixon, Vice President of Marketing and Operations, Franchise Development for The Dwyer Group.

With Chairwoman and CEO Dina DwyerOwens at the helm, The Dwyer Group, based in Waco, Texas, is a wellrecognized name in the home service franchising industry. The Dwyer Group consists of seven very successful home service brands: Mr. Rooter, Mr. Appliance, Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, The Grounds Guys, Mr. Electric, and Rainbow International. The Dwyer Group dates back to 1981, when Don Dwyer, Dwyer-Owens’ father, started Rainbow International, a carpet dying

and cleaning business, with 36 locations. Today, The Dwyer Group has over 1600 locations across its seven brands. What sets The Dwyer Group and its brands apart is the unique corporate culture that exists at every level of the business. The Dwyer Group members live by a code of values that is based on respect, integrity, customer focus, and fun. That code of values is executed on the front lines by providing a commitment to excellence and a consistent approach to the service each customer receives. Each customer service experience is founded on a carefully designed process that franchisees and employees execute with each interaction or service call. The steps in the process, while slightly different for each brand, include

The Dwyer Group is committed to seeing success for franchisees from a variety of backgrounds. As the founding company behind the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (VetFran), The Dwyer Group is proud to have offered support (over $1.4 million in discounted franchise fees) to 236 veteran franchisees. Earlier this year Dwyer-Owens announced the Public Protectors Franchise Advantage Program (PPFA), which will offer 20 percent off the minimum franchise fee for any current or former fulltime law enforcement/fire fighter with a minimum of two years of full-time service. “There are so many incredible heroes in everyday life,” says Dwyer-Owens. “The Public Protectors Franchise Advantage Program is there to salute them and help them venture into business ownership.”

Franchising USA

feature After appearing on the CBS hit show “Undercover Boss,” Dwyer-Owens also launched the Women in the Trades initiative, to educate and promote the employment of women in the traditionally male-dominated roles in trade careers, and to award scholarships to women already working in the trades so that they can upgrade their skills and receive the required credentials for their field. Franchisees of The Dwyer Group can expect a high level of hands on training. The companies within The Dwyer Group go to great lengths to ensure that their franchisees are prepared to handle a realworld service situation. For example, at

Aire Serv Established in 1992, Aire Serv® is a global franchise organization providing installation, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality systems. Aire Serv franchisees provide these services to both residential and commercial customers at more than 175 locations worldwide. “More than anything, the culture of The Dwyer Group is what sets Aire Serv apart from the rest of the heating and air conditioning industry,” says Aire Serv President Doyle James. “Aire Serv is where you become a franchisee when you want to build a business long term.”

Franchising USA

Rainbow International’s training center, a residential structure is flooded and filled with smoke so that trainees can experience what it the restoration process is actually like.

The vision of The Dwyer Group is, “To

One of the main benefits of The Dwyer Group’s market is that all brands within the company offer what they refer to as, “needed services.” These are home services that customers will require under any economic conditions. “These are typically not discretionary expendures, which has resulted in our franchisees continuing to grow in same store sales, even through challenging economic times,” stated Dixon. The Dwyer Group also puts an emphasis on cross-promoting between brands. If a customer reports a positive experience with one brand, they will be offered the opportunity to enjoy service from one of the company’s other brands. This level of back-office synergy provides an incredible market advantage to franchisees of The Dwyer Group.

is “To teach our principles and systems

be a world class company admired for the excellence that customers, franchisees and associates experience with The

Dwyer Group.” The company’s mission of personal and business success so that

all people we touch live happier and more successful lives.” As they seek to fulfill these purposes, The Dwyer Group has achieved incredible success on every

level, making them a true power house

in the home services industry. “I think we’ve got an attractive offering for a

franchise candidate and they’re responding favorably. We are projecting that our

2012 new franchise sales in units will be

approximately 25% above our 2011 results, Dixon noted.

For more information: Phone: 866 696-1504 Web:

Aire Serv’s promise is to make the customer comfortable, and that means more than just fixing any home temperature issues. Aire Serv franchisees and employees are known for their professionalism, and their ability to put a customer at ease.

in our industry to have access to software,

Aire Serv provides a number of business systems for franchisees. “Our systems are integrated to work together,” says James. “Our systems for each part of the business are designed to support the other, not create conflicts. It is common

welcomed into the Aire Serv brand and

training materials and other support –

but many times they don’t fit together.”

Aire Serv franchisees also have one on one support in the implementation of

all systems as a part of the franchisee

training process. Existing contractors are will benefit from a franchise approach to

training, marketing, discounts, technology, and much more.


Page 37

Glass Doctor Glass Doctor franchisees offer complete glass replacement, as well as service and repair to the automotive, residential and commercial markets at more than 275 locations in the United States and Canada. Established in 1962, Glass Doctor is among the elite full service glass replacement providers in the nation, making it a great option for many companies currently in the glass business, as a way to expand their services and improve on their current success. In 2012, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Glass

Doctor number one in the Franchise 500 home service category. “One of the things that attracts new franchisees is that we can provide exactly the 14 things our most successful franchisees have learned over 50 years,” says Glass Doctor President Mark Liston. “Getting this information directly from other successful franchisees, helps new franchisees focus on those items that propel their success. All new franchisees have a “Sure Start” franchise consultant who works with them for the first year. This helps them get off the ground successfully as they make the transition to the glass industry or into another phase of glass business.”

Glass Doctor’s corporate staff has extensive experience in franchising as well as being in the glass business. One of their franchise consultants was one of Glass Doctor’s original 26 franchisees. The VP of Operations was part of Glass Doctor’s second largest franchisee for over five years and Liston has been involved with franchising for over 30 years. Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutGlassDoctor.asp

The Grounds Guys The Grounds Guys is the newest addition to The Dwyer Group family. Recognized in 2011 as one of Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 Franchises with under 50 units, The Grounds Guys bring a proven system of success to the commercial and residential landscaping, lawn care, and snow removal industries. “Our growth has been phenomenal,” says The Grounds Guys President Ron Madera, “we expect to be at 100 units by the end of 2012.” “One of our unique competitive advantages,” notes Madera, “is our proprietary GroundsNet software, which provides an integrated platform for a landscape professional to efficiently

run and manage his or her business. GroundsNet tracks everything from the effectiveness of various marketing efforts, to quoting and proposal generation, to job scheduling and routing, to the production of invoices, and then it feeds the financial statements. It’s a remarkable system that allows a business owner to easily keep tabs on nearly every aspect of the business.” The Grounds Guys franchise also offers some unique and dynamic tools to facilitate an outstanding customer experience. The proprietary software used by The Grounds Guys also includes automatic email generation notifying a customer when crews arrive and depart their property, a monthly report summarizing the property condition, and an online booking system. “Many of our current franchisees have joined us for our systems and processes” says Madera. “Their businesses were

stalled and not growing the way they had hoped primarily because they lacked the necessary systems. They found that they could no longer wear all the hats by themselves.” One of the great benefits that The Grounds Guys franchisees receive is the ongoing support and coaching from their franchise consultant. The franchise consultant works with the franchisee throughout the year to help them achieve their professional goals. Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutTheGroundsGuys.asp

Franchising USA


Mr. Appliance

America. Their professional franchise system will help franchisees find new customers and gain market share over the local competition.

Mr. Appliance, the world’s largest appliance repair franchise network, was established in 1996 as a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group. Mr. Appliance franchisees service all types and brands of home appliances

and commercial equipment across North

President of Mr. Appliance, Doug Rogers, explains. “Mr. Appliance brings a fresh professionalism to a very fragmented industry. We have taken a home-service concept to the next level with innovative mobile technology, excellence in branding and customer service, and superior systems and training for our franchise owners. As a need-based industry, appliance repair is poised for growth, and Mr. Appliance is leading the way.” Mr. Appliance franchisees are equipped with marketing and public relations support, vendor rebates and incentives, and a dedicated franchise consultant to keep them on the right track. The company

provides ongoing training in our World Class Frontline Service System, designed to give customers the best possible experience. The Dwyer Group Code of Values™ keeps each franchise business location focused on what matters most. With over 160 other franchise owners to share best practices, franchisees are not left to figure things out on their own. Mr. Appliance is consistently ranked among the top home service franchises by Entrepreneur magazine and other industry experts. Mr. Appliance franchise territories are still available in major U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Ga.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Denver, Colo.; and Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutMrAppliance.asp

Mr. Electric Recognized among the “Franchise 500” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Mr. Electric has made its mark as a global franchise organization providing electrical installation and repair services for residential and commercial customers at nearly 200 locations worldwide. Since 1994, the professional electricians at Mr. Electric have been committed to getting it right the first time, and delivering the most comprehensive electrical services including installation, upgrade, and repair solutions. The highly trained electricians at Mr. Electric are equipped for every job from ceiling fans, to custom-designed landscape lighting, or a full commercial re-wiring. Many franchisees are expanding with Mr. Electrics’s help into

Franchising USA

new areas, such as: solar, electric vehicle charging stations, lighting retrofit and holiday lighting. “At Mr. Electric, we have found many small businesses suffer from not having qualified support and resources in areas such as accounting, marketing and sales. Taking those areas into account, we have designed a proven system with a training program that provides each franchisee with qualified business consultants who coach and help improve every aspect of a franchisee’s business,” stated Jeff Meyers, President of Mr. Electric. To give their franchisees a competitive edge in their local market, Mr. Electric has formed national partnerships as the preferred electrical services partner for organizations such as, The Home Depot and CODA Automotives, as well as partnering with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

Working with the proven Mr. Electric franchise system, and networking within the franchise are keys to success for Mr. Electric franchisees. Mike and Donna Muhlman, the first ever Mr. Electric franchisees, have found this to be the case. “Working within the system allows us the free time we need to look forward and prepare for the future, rather than just running from one day to the next. The guidance, support and friendship of our Mr. Electric franchise family makes this possible.” Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutMrElectric.asp

Page 39

Mr. Rooter Mr. Rooter is an all-franchised, full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company with approximately 300 franchises worldwide that is consistently ranked among Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” and the Top 50 in Franchisee satisfaction. Mr. Rooter’s franchisees take the

company’s franchise business systems and solutions combined with four decades of

plumbing expertise and put them to work growing their companies.

“Our customers choose us because we focus on every detail on the customer experience,” says Mr. Rooter President Mary Thompson. “We know that when they have a plumbing problem, making it right is their first priority. We like to start each job on the right foot, more specifically, on the right covered foot. It’s a myth that a plumbing repair begins the moment a wrench meets a fitting, or a rooter goes down a pipe. Truth be told, a plumbing job begins the moment we get our customer’s call. We feel that even the way we park our vans shows how good of a job we’ll do. And, more importantly, it shows how attentive we are to our clients’ needs.”

Established in 1970, Mr. Rooter is the second largest full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company in the United States, providing services to both residential and commercial customers at more than 200 locations in the United States and Canada, and more than 100 locations internationally through master licensees. Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutMrRooter.asp

Rainbow International Rainbow International, established in 1980, is a global franchise organization providing residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services. Those services include: water, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation, trauma scene clean-up, board-up and tarp-over service, as well as carpet care and repair, spot, stain and odor removal, drapery and upholstery cleaning, overspray protection, air duct cleaning, content inventory and pack-out, crawl space mold remediation, and tile, grout, and hard surface cleaning. The Rainbow International job production system has proven to reduce property damage and claim severity. In doing so, they save the insurance company and the property owner money. “From an overall strategic standpoint,” says Rainbow International President Rob White, “Rainbow International is

different in our approach and attitude toward our franchisees. We view our franchisees as franchised ‘business partners’, having the same goal and same mission! Our mission at the home office of Rainbow International is, ‘To help our franchise partners reach their desired level of business success’, or in a nutshell our mission is our franchisee’s

success! When our Rainbow franchise partners are successful, we are successful! Every decision that we make and every business initiative that we implement is directed at helping our franchise partners become successful in their local Rainbow International businesses.” Contact: www.leadingtheserviceindustry. com/AboutRainbowIntl.asp

Franchising USA

women in f ra nchising

Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS International, Inc.

Catherine Monson:

P assionate A bout S uccess

“I am truly passionate about franchising,” says Catherine Monson, CEO of the international sign and graphics franchise, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. Monson has spent much of her very successful career in the franchising industry, but she ended up there quite by accident.

Franchising USA

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University in 1977, Monson began her franchising career in sales and marketing with Sir Speedy, which also gave her an entry into the printing and graphics industry. But sales and marketing was not the ultimate goal for Monson, who, from the time she was in elementary school, had dreamed of running a company as president or CEO. In 1984 Monson was promoted to assistant vice president of franchise development, and later vice president of franchise development, with Sir Speedy. Vice president of marketing and communications was her next

promotion with the company in 1991. In 1996, Monson was offered the chance to turnaround the struggling MultiCopy Europe, as vice president of business development with Franchise Services, Inc., Sir Speedy’s parent company. PIP Printing & Document Services, another subsidiary of Franchise Services, Inc., named Monson as their president in 1999. Over the next few years she dramatically increased franchisee satisfaction and profits after six tough years for the company. In 2008, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. first approached Monson with an offer of the position of CEO. As the only person interviewed for the position, Monson recognized an amazing opportunity for

Page 41

brand growth and development. She accepted the position in January 2009. FASTSIGNS is a multi-national franchise with 536 locations in operation, in eight different countries. There has been tremendous international growth, with the potential for much more in the future. A typical FASTSIGNS location has around five to six employees in addition to the owner, with the largest location employing a total of 29. The corporate staff is made up of 109 professionals, with 12 working in the field. Overseeing a company of this size is not a small task, but it is a task that Monson fully enjoys.

Connecting When she speaks about her love for franchising, it is in reference to the people. She has watched franchising contribute to the lives of so many people as they achieve the dream and independence of owning their own business, with the support of the brand, training, systems, and procedures of a franchise to back them up. Monson has often been called a

workaholic, and openly admits that she is not a great example of work-life balance. But she is happy with her choices, and happy with her life. Growing up with an abusive and alcoholic mother contributed to her choice not to have her own children. And that has certainly made it easier to invest in her career.

Listening This ongoing investment is part of what makes Monson a great CEO. In addition to franchisee support systems which range from dedicated business consultants within the franchise system, to annual franchisee satisfaction surveys, Monson recently appeared Undercover Boss, a CBS Reality Show which places disguised company executives in various frontline roles within the company. These executives often learn a great deal about themselves, their employees, and how the company is really functioning. Monson fully enjoyed her time on Undercover Boss and was fortunate that, of all the people she met and worked

with, â&#x20AC;&#x153;every employee and franchisee was committed to FASTSIGNS.â&#x20AC;? After being on the inside, Monson implemented some changes to the franchise system, the first being more thorough communication from corporate to franchisees and employees at all levels. The second change was the initiation of a training program for large scale outdoor sign installation. After being on a lift three storeys up, fighting the wind as she tried to help install a large sign, Monson discovered that FASTSIGNS didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t provide franchisees with any formal training for such jobs. There is now a training program under development which includes a manual and video component. When asked how franchising is a good fit for women specifically, Monson is quick to point out that she recognizes no differences in the business capabilities of men and women, but adds that franchising is inherently less risky for anyone than starting a business from the ground up. As a female franchisor, in general terms, Monson suggests that women may have

Franchising USA

women in f ra nchising

Catherine Monson, CEO, FASTSIGNS International, Inc.

8am to 5pm. According to Monson, “this makes it easier for a franchisee to have a work-life balance.”

Sharing When Monson speaks to college students and young people, an experience she enjoys at every opportunity, she refers to a set of five identified characteristics of successful people. Monson fully believes that these are learned characteristics and behaviours, attainable by anyone who is willing to put in the effort. 1. A positive mental attitude. Understand the significance of choosing a positive attitude at all times. 2. Goal-directed behaviour. Write down your goals and refer to them often. 3. Self-motivation. Make one more call or send one more email before you finish work for the day. 4. A sense of urgency. Why delay? Whatever task you have before you, get it done today. 5. Never stop learning.

“If you really want to make your mark and climb the corporate ladder, it’s hard to do it in 40 hours a week. If you want to run a company, you have to work harder, smarter, and longer.” the advantage when it comes to managing the relationships and rapport building necessary for working with franchisees, but it can also be difficult. Monson challenges the feminist idea that women can have it all and do it all, saying that, “if you really want to make your mark and climb the corporate ladder, it’s hard to

Franchising USA

do it in 40 hours a week. If you want to run a company, you have to work harder, smarter, and longer.” Monson also makes a point of mentioning that life at the franchisee level is much more flexible. By its nature as a B2B franchise system, FASTSIGNS locations are open for business Monday to Friday,

Monson suggests doing small things every day that work towards these developing and perfecting these five common characteristics of successful people in your own life. Anyone can learn and implement these successful characteristics. It doesn’t matter what kind of back ground you come from. Monson is living proof of that. What’s next for Monson in her career? She is “very, very happy” where she is now. That is very clear in everything she says about her work with FASTSIGNS. She would like to continue to build and grow the brand, and talks about multi-unit branding, co-branding, and taking FASTSIGNS to 1500 locations in 25 countries. If anyone can do it, it’s Catherine Monson. For more information: Web: FranchiseOpportunities

Page 43


Sport Clips may be the perfect EXIT STRATEGY from Corporate America. At Sport Clips, it’s good to be a guy. But it’s GREAT to be an owner! Our semi-absentee owner/manager-run franchise model is perfectly suited for your new life as an entrepreneur. We help you build a stable financial future while you keep your present job until you’re ready to transition to financial and personal independence. Sport Clips has an industry-leading success rate and is on track to have 1,000 stores open by year-end.

s91 Sport Clips Opened Last Year - with No Store Closings! sAlready Over 100 Opened in 2012 - Opening an Average of 3 Each Week! sOutstanding Training and Support sNo Haircare Experience Required - You Can Even Keep Your Present Job sRecession Resistant – Same Store Sales Growth Over 10% in 2011! sFranchise Opportunities Available in United States and Canada sFun Concept that Complements Your Family’s Lifestyle Learn more at or call:

1-800-872-4247 Ext: 1




ex per t advice

Robyn Gault, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Direct Capital Franchise Group



A franchise remodel is a fantastic opportunity to improve your customer experience and attract new customers, both of which are great ways to boost sales. We commonly hear from our franchise clients that they see a rise in both foot-

Franchising USA

traffic and revenue almost immediately after a remodel is complete, with the average increase tending to fall somewhere in the 15 to 20 percent range (Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even heard reports of 40 percent plus!). A project like this can be a significant investment, and while the remodel is in progress, there will be a temporary disruption to your business and your cash flow, which can be an easy hurdle if planned for in advance.

financing a remodel is so important.

These cash concerns explain why

your remodel is complete.

Locking down your finance strategy

early in the project planning process is important so you can be in a position to react fast when funds become due

throughout the project for labor, build-out, equipment and more. This article will

give you a sense of how to plan for your

remodel, how to make franchise financing

work for you and how it can help long after

Page 45

importantly, yourself, will help ensure the job is completed efficiently. While the impacts to your revenue will eventually be made up through increased profits, your relationship with your customers and employees will need attention as well. In the event that you do need to close at times during your remodel, notifying those parties well in advance will be important. Once you have the timeline figured out, it’s time to line up a trustworthy contractor. Get an estimate, get references, and negotiate over the price. Don’t be afraid to get multiple bids, it’s a great way to feel confident that you’re getting the best deal. Finally, and most importantly, be sure you’ve found someone with a reputation for coming in on schedule and under budget. Having a great contractor will make the process smoother for you. Once you have a contractor, a schedule, and have let your community know what’s going on at your store, your next action should be to consider how you’ll be financing the project.

How to Finance Your Remodel

Plan Your Remodel Your remodel won’t happen overnight, so having a plan in place for overcoming the short-term impacts to your day-to-day business is important. The first thing that needs to be considered is how long your store and sales could be impacted. The faster the remodel happens, the faster you are up and running and serving your customers with a fresh new look. Tight project management by your general contractor, your lender, and most

A great place to start is to determine the incentives that may be available to you – some brands may cover a portion of the remodel cost or provide short term discounts on the franchise/renewal fee or royalty/advertising fund relief for a period of time. Also, your Franchisor may have teamed with a lending partner to create a specific lending program for remodels. Your field support person should have a good idea of what’s already been available to you and your fellow franchisees. Next, you’ll either need to turn to a trusted franchise finance partner or find one. When searching for a lender, look for one with a good grasp of the franchise industry. A lender who understands your business and has financed remodels before will be an asset, and can help you avoid any unforeseen headaches caused by

things you’ve overlooked. The key is to work with the lender to produce a finance program tailored to your particular needs. Consider the following factors as you decide on a plan: • What’s lender’s relationship and experience with your particular brand? Ask for a franchisee referral or check with your Franchisor Finance Team to see if the lender is approved. • Is deferment possible? It’s advisable to try to seize an opportunity to defer payments while the actual work is being done. This way, you can avoid making payments while business is impacted. • Are repayment terms flexible? Chose payback terms that make sense for you. If you have an extremely profitable location and you expect to pull in even greater revenues once the remodel happens, you may want to pay your loan back more quickly. If you’re expecting the revenue growth to come more slowly, set the payback length out further. • Did you cover all the bases? Read before you sign, so you understand the finance agreement completely. Make sure you know what you will be paying, when you need to make payments and are aware of any end-of-lease information. If you choose a lender you can trust and go

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Robyn Gault, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Direct Capital Franchise Group

The key to marketing your re-model is to emphasize an improved customer experience. Whether you’ve added more space to dine in, expanded your menu offering, or added new equipment or drive thru lanes to improve speed of service, you need to make a point of highlighting your new features and stir the public’s interest and excitement. You’re a part of their community, and it’s important to share the pride you have in your newly remodeled location with the people who will be supporting your business. Make sure you’re a landmark! Consider distributing coupons or marketing other short-term discount incentives to drive immediate traffic post-remodel.

“The key to marketing your re-model is to emphasize an improved customer experience.”

A short-term working capital loan from a trusted finance partner is a great product to use to fuel your publicity and marketing efforts. In a small community, a couple of radio ads or a billboard might be enough to pull in new customers in a hurry. In larger markets, it might help to turn to your franchisor and see if they are willing to flex some marketing muscle in your local market to bring in new customers. At the end of the remodel process, you have a recipe for real success, in the form of happy employees, eager customers and more than likely, a nice lift in sales to boot. With the help of a trusted lending partner and the right preparation, the process will much easier and more efficient than you ever thought possible.

through this checklist, you will wind up with the money you need and comfortable payment options you want without the headaches you do not. You or your finance partner will then be able to pay your contractor and get the ball rolling on your remodel. Don’t forget, while your remodel is underway, it’s an excellent opportunity to

Franchising USA

upgrade equipment, plan marketing, and train new staff.

Market Your Remodel Once the tarps come off and the sound of saws has died down, you will have to be ready to show off your fresh new look. It’s time to plan and execute how are you’re going to tell everyone about it.

Robyn Gault is the Vice President of Strategic Accounts for Direct Capital Franchise Group. Direct Capital Franchise Group is a national direct lender with 20 years of experience. The firm partners with Franchisors to provide competitive financing to support new store development, remodels, relocations, store acquisitions, equipment upgrades, and more. For more information: Phone: 603-433-9476 Email: Web:

Refinish your future.

Let your passion for wood lead you into a new business with a Furniture Medic® franchise.


Franchising USA Extensive training • Low initial investment • Financing available • © 2012 Furniture Medic Limited Partnership. All rights reserved.

The world’s largest furniture and wood restoration franchise


Contact Jenn Dean, Senior Sales Executive, for global solutions on your multi-media advertising approach. Email: Phone: 250-590-7116 P U B L I S H E R S O F D I G I TA L A N D P R I N T M E D I A

“The team at CGB are impressive with both their passion for their products and their proactive ‘can do’ approach. The publication is high quality, and the mix of articles and profiles makes it a useful and informative resource for prospective franchisees.” Nick Hudson, National Franchise Manager Australia – New Zealand, Snap-on Tools

ex per t advice

Tarla Cummings, SEO Manager, Location3 Media

National vs. Local SEO for F ranchises & M ulti - U nit B usinesses

“Before you implement any SEO strategy it is important to look at a variety of options for managing effective implementation of best practices.” Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the free range, gourmet feed shop that he found after searching “corn store in pigeon forge” in Google on his iPhone and clicking on a localized organic result. If you liked that joke, you’ll love this less than smooth transition into the topic of why local search requires the helping hand of national SEO.

Franchising USA

Because we work with a large number of multi-unit and franchise clients at Location3 Media, we often get asked to talk about specific services that focus solely on local SEO. In trying to process why we’ve had reservations in the past regarding launching a purely local SEO campaign, we found that a simple visual has helped to illustrate how we’ve been previously thinking. A national SEO campaign for a franchise or multi-unit business typically focuses efforts on priority industry keywords and long tail phrases. The optimization across existing web pages, new content development and a backlink strategy will utilize variations of these targeted keywords to achieve search result visibility, thereby driving more site traffic and sales. This is a VERY simplified overview, but we’ll keep it for the sake of time. Well what if your products or

services are so localized that you just don’t see the value in putting time and money into the national portion of the site? The reason is that domain and page authority, built up from backlinks, optimizations, site traffic and a hundred other factors, are passed down to the local pages through the navigation and other effectively placed internal links from the homepages and strong sub-pages. By having some centralized link and content efforts (which coincidentally is a lot more manageable at the national level) you are still passing that value down to elevate the local pages in localized results. If all of your focus is only on local, those individual pages won’t have the benefit of a strong domain pushing them up. In addition you’ll find yourself spread too thinly, especially if there are hundreds or thousands of locations. Unless you have a massive budget and/or SEO team, you

Page 49

won’t be able to deliver effective SEO across all locations, so having that national campaign will make sure that all are benefiting. This presents another big question for franchise and multi-unit systems: Are SEO Platforms worth the investment? Starting back in January 2012, we came across a whitepaper produced by Conductor on the value of SEO Platforms. After reviewing the content, we spent months conducting trials and testing various aspects of the three industry leaders, Searchlight, Bright Edge and Search Metrics. The promise of the SEO Platform looked enticing: all of your SEO data, rankings, analytics and backlinks

integrated to provide better insights for improving organic ranking, including the project management capabilities to streamline processes. Also included was the promise of combining all tools into one platform so that it would be unnecessary to pay for one-offs. While that sounded glorious at first, after almost six month of testing we found that none of these platforms would save us money, time, or truly improve our service offering. We’ve outlined a few of the reasons that stood out for why Location3 decided against the SEO Platform for our needs. Before we dive into our criticisms, we do want to point out that while we decided a platform was not the right course for us,

these are still really good tools that can absolutely benefit others, especially inhouse SEO operations.

KEYWORD TRACKING One of the first questions we asked each of the platform representatives to answer involved keyword tracking. All three tools pulled rankings once a week, which for a lot of people is more than enough. However, we’ve been using Authority Labs for our keyword ranking, which pulls the positions once a day. It was argued to Location3 that this was unnecessary, which in some cases we would agree. However that daily view has proven to be invaluable on many occasions in

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Tarla Cummings, SEO Manager, Location3 Media

providing us deeper insights into how the search engines are ranking our websites. Another point worth noting is that all three tools base their pricing on the number of keywords, so as an agency servicing many clients (some of whom are local and require a significant amount of keywords) our pricing would be through the roof.

ANALYTICS Location3 was probably most intrigued by the idea of pulling in analytics data to present web-based reports to our clients rather than using Excel. What we found with all three tools however, was that the view of this data was limited and therefore would be diminishing the value of our current reporting and analysis. For example, our keyword group analysis pulls in KPIs for ALL non-branded search phrases containing the selected keyword focus. The platforms only pulled in the data for the specific keywords within your campaign, which means all of those long tail phrases, the never-before-searched,

Franchising USA

the misspellings; all of those would not be accounted for.

BACKLINKS Location3 is always on the search for a good tool to help discover link opportunities (although we’ll be the first to admit that we are also a bit skeptical after years of trying). We only ended up testing one platform’s backlink tool, so unfortunately we can’t speak for the other two. The one that we tried returned very few results, all of which were useless to us. The functionality was based off of finding mutual backlink sources across those competitors ranking for desired keywords. In theory, this should work although we’ve tried several tools that function this same way and we rarely find any results that aren’t sketchy directories and reciprocal link deals. Oh, and Wikipedia.

ANALYSIS Analysis capabilities were really the biggest benefit to these tools in our

opinion. It takes in the ranking and analytics data for the keywords, combined with the information from not only your top competitors but also those they identify as competitors related to the keywords you are focusing on and filters through to provide insights. These insights include optimizations that the website may need to better rank for terms as well as new keyword opportunities you may not know about based on what your competitors are doing. What we didn’t see was much (if any) integration of the backlink data into these recommendations which could potentially be very useful. While we would sometimes come across an insight that we thought could be very useful for us, at the end of the day there wasn’t much provided that we didn’t already have through our own processes, which also incorporate the deeper knowledge of the specific campaigns to weed out the unnecessary information. So even though Location3 spent a lot of time exploring and being guided through each of these tools, we do acknowledge that there is a lot more to them than what we based our decision on. Tools like these require months of hands-on use, with multiple campaigns to truly understand them. Before you implement any SEO strategy it is important to look at a variety of options for managing effective implementation of best practices, as well as future optimizations your business or company websites require to rank well within search engine listings. Tarla Cummings is the SEO Manager at Location3 Media, a digital marketing partner built to increase the findability and performance of enterprise and multiunit brands. For more information: Web:

Page 51

60 Years of Successful Franchising ServiceMaster Clean


Realize your dreams Join the ServiceMaster Clean team and realize the dream of owning your own franchise. Our team is committed to your success with available financing, customized marketing plans, lead generation and one-on-one support from our dedicated staff.

Franchises Available Janitorial Floor Care Disaster Restoration

800-230-2360 Financing is available through ServiceMaster Acceptance Company, a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, to credit qualified individuals. Š 2012 ServiceMaster Clean. All rights reserved.

Franchising USA

prof ile

Clock wor k


H ome S ervices

“The team at Clockwork believes that the success of every territory and each franchisee supports the future of the business as a whole.” Clockwork Home Services, one of the largest home services providers in North America, establishes and builds nationally branded franchises for the home services contractor market. Founded in 1998 and led by a senior management team of entrepreneurs experienced with marketing, branding and franchising, Clockwork works primarily with independent contractors, to bring them into one of Clockwork’s three brands: One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister Sparky. In fact, 98 percent of Clockwork’s contractors are conversions. Clockwork provides carefully selected contractors with the tools and skills they need to be successful in their business, with the support of a nationally recognized brand. Clockwork Home Services has learned some hard lessons about sustainable growth. After struggling through a period

Franchising USA

of rapid growth during the economic downturn of 2008-2009, the company was purchased by Direct Energy, and have refocused, with a solid plan in place to not only support their current franchisees, but to position themselves in the home service industry in the years to come. In the last 2 years the company has spent over 1 Billion dollars in acquisitions to achieve this goal. Once a franchisee is selected to join Clockwork, they receive five days of training at Clockwork’s corporate headquarters in Sarasota, Florida in a program called Gearing Up. A training coach then assists them at their location for a week, following up on the Gearing Up training to ensure good habits and correct processes are in place for success. Clockwork franchisees work with Daily Management Reports which track, in real time, exactly where they are in relation to their budgetary goals. These reports allow for open discussion between franchisees and the corporate support team, to proactively discuss what is working, and find ways to improve on what is not. To further streamline the system and processes, Clockwork has committed $3 million over the next two years in software and technology to assist contractors with daily operations. They have also

announced increasing their support staff to 30:1. The team at Clockwork believes that the success of every territory and each franchisee supports the future of the business as a whole. They are committed to helping their franchisees grow and increase their own businesses, while protecting the integrity of the Clockwork brand, and growing the brand through existing or new territories. As they continue to expand, Clockwork is looking for new franchisees who want a better life for themselves, for their employees, and for their communities. For More Information: Phone: 866-574-7431 Web:

Page 53

Join the largest home service company in North America. Boundless ambition with a clear stategic vision. Franchising USA

f ra nchisee in action

Yoshinoya A mer ica

Yoshinoya America: A T radition of E xcellence “With a 33 year history in the U.S. and only five years in franchising, market saturation is not an issue.”

Chris Muradyan and Roger Moussa, longtime friends and business partners, couldn’t be happier with their decision to be franchisees. In fact, Muradyan says the only thing he says he would do differently is that he would have started sooner, right after high school. Historical Fast Food Yoshinoya combines tradtional Japanese cuisine with American fast food service. While Yoshinoya has only been franchising in the United States since 2006 for employees wishing to own their own Yoshinoya, and has been franchising to the general public since 2008, the company’s history dates back to 1899 with the first Yoshinoya restaurant opening in the fish market in Nihonbashi, Chuoku, Toyko. By 1977 the number of Japanese Yoshinoya locations totalled 100. The first American location opened in Los Angeles in 1979. Today, there are over 1800

Franchising USA

Page 55

locations worldwide in Japan, the United States, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines. There are nearly 100 locations in California, and Nevada, with United States operations headquartered in Torrance, California. The history and Japanese heritage of Yoshinoya combine to give the restaurant a feel that differs from most typical American quick serve restaurants. The corporate philosophy behind Yoshinoya is: We are for the people. To expand on that, they believe that they serve people, they value people, and that they want to be a valued part of people’s lives. This commitment is evident in every aspect of every Yoshinoya location, from their uncompromising standards for cleanliness and hygiene, to the highest quality of ingredients prepared with skill and authentic Japanese flavours, to the welltrained and friendly staff.

Where Youth and Tradition Meet Yoshinoya stands out among the fast food industry as being different and unique. That is just what Muradyan and Moussa were looking for. The two had been friends for some time, and Moussa’s family has a franchising background. Before they even finished college, they opened a Subway franchise together in 2007. They realized that franchising was a great way to start making money immediately, without spending further years on their education and ending up with large student debt. They liked the idea of working for themselves. “We’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit,” says Muradyan. “I graduated with a BA in Business Administration, but didn’t want to work a 9-5 job sitting behind a desk,” Moussa says. “I like to be hands on and involved in running my restaurants.”

While they enjoyed some success with their first franchising endeavour, Muradyan and Moussa began looking for a new franchising concept to explore. Yoshinoya America fit the bill. With a 33 year history in the U.S. and only five years in franchising, market saturation is not an issue. “We went out to a few restaurants and saw how busy they were and how the food was a great value for the price, “says Moussa. “At that time they were just starting to franchise and we saw a huge potential to grow and at a fast rate.” They opened their first location, in

Sylmar, California, in June of 2009. Their

second location, in Northridge, California, across from the Cal State University of

Northridge campus opened in May, 2011. And earlier this year, their third location,

inside the UCLA campus, became the first “green” Yoshinoya location, after meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. This location

features environmentally friendly hood, water cooled refrigeration, energy

conscious equipment and green building materials.

Franchising USA

f ra nchisee in action

Yoshinoya A mer ica

Training and Support Moussa and Muradyan have thoroughly enjoyed their experience with Yoshinoya over the past few years. Although they had some previous restaurant experience, none is required, as Yoshinoya provides a full training program, which covers everything, as Muradyan says, “from A to Z” and includes food ordering, cooking, and serving, as well as everything a franchisee will need to know about actually running the business. Yoshinoya franchise training includes one week of extensive, on-site initial training for the franchisee at Yoshinoya’s training headquarters in Torrance, California, six weeks for lead kitchen personnel and 6 to 12 weeks for the front of house store manager. Once training is complete, Yoshinoya franchisees can expect a variety of supports including monthly visits, assistance with local marketing, and low prices on supplies. Yoshinoya also provides international brand recognition through their professional advertising campaigns, an integrated POS system, and a quality online presence. With a new location operational, a Yoshinoya franchise allows for a quality work-life balance. While many franchise locations are owner operated, Yoshinoya allows the franchisee to send Manager and Kitchen Lead candidates to training and a two week overview for the franchisees themselves. Yoshinoya does require that of the franchisees or entity to be

Franchising USA

involved in the business on a regular basis though. Multi-unit ownership is definitely encouraged, and with the right management team in place, the owner is not burdened every daywith the daily operations of each location and after checking on the store, but can spend time on local store marketing in their community to scout for the next great location. Existing restaurant conversions are also welcome, with the initial investment in those cases dependent on the condition, layout, equipment and utilities available. As a partnership, Muradyan and Moussa share the responsibilities and time commitments of the business. This leaves them with time to enjoy their personal lives, and to explore other interests. The friends also own and operate a bar together, and have already signed the franchise agreement for their fourth Yoshinoya location, which will be opening soon.

into.” He also talks about the important of location, location, location. With locations in urban, college-centred areas, including his old college neighbourhood, he certainly knows what he’s talking about when it comes to location. Yoshinoya provides a site model guidelines to prospective franchisees, assists them in site research and locating along with tips that can help them with their due diligence before deciding on any specific location. North American Yoshinoya locations are located on the West Coast, although they are open to development in other areas of the U.S. The company is currently in discussion with Area Development prospects for Hawaii and Canada. Yoshinoya America, Inc. has 8 franchise locations in Southern California for 2013 and has hopes for a total of 10-12 next year. Moussa states with confidence, “I would tell anyone interested in Yoshinoya to pursue it.”

Joining Yoshinoya America

For More Information:

Their advice for anyone starting a career in franchising is simple. “Do your research before you jump in,” says Muradyan. “Know what you’re getting yourself

Phone: Email: Web:

310-353-7110 franchisesales@

Page 57

Building your franchise D arren W allis ’ tips for g oin g g lobal In 2005, after working for more than a decade at one of Australia and New Zealand’s most successful home building companies – G.J. Gardner Homes – I packed my suitcase and left the southern hemisphere with a plan to grow the company in the United States.

With limited contacts, network or map, I arrived solo in America to meet the one master franchisee we had organized from Australia to help grow our business. This experience was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my career. Since that day, the business has seen unprecedented growth in franchises and franchise areas in the United States, despite the nation-wide decline in the United States homebuilding industry and the 2008 global financial crisis. You might not know it from G.J. Gardner Homes’ strong position in the United States today, but the GFC was just one of many challenges I faced in growing my

Franchising USA

ex per t advice

Darren Wallis, CEO, G.J. Gardner Homes

company on an international scale – it was much tougher than I first expected. Today, my company’s profits in the United States alone exceeded $6 million in FY2011—a 25 per cent increase to gross revenue. The franchise’s rapid growth means we now have 16 franchise locations in California, 10 in Colorado and two in Texas, proving that the unique franchise model that has been so successful in Australia and New Zealand is just as successful in the United States. My plans for continued expansion of the G.J. Gardner Homes franchise are firm, with projections of between 300 and 400 active G.J. Gardner Homes stores over the next 10 years. But that’s not to say it has always been smooth sailing. While my business growth plans for the United States have been successful, my first attempts at expanding internationally did not go as planned and I have learnt many lessons along the way. In 2006 and 2007, we attempted to expand in Germany and South Africa with dismal results. Naivety of the language barriers and different business ethics were the biggest issues we encountered.

Eventually the challenges that we as a company faced were too large and unfortunately, as CEO of the company, I did not have the critical experience or knowledge of international expansion to overcome these challenges. Alas, the lessons learnt from these business ventures are part of what makes our franchise as strong as it is today. Through trial and error, I was able to resurrect a resilient methodology before expanding to America. And although it was still a risk, following simple rules meant I could confidently take my business to the United States without fear of failure. International franchising opportunities exist across many markets and industries and franchising is almost universally accepted as a sound way of doing business.

If executed correctly, international expansion can be great for your brand, domestically as well as globally. That said, before expanding a franchise overseas, there is a lot business owners need to consider. The best advice I can offer is to make sure your franchise and company is ready to expand internationally. Do your research and familiarize yourself with your target areas, be on the ground to set it up so it’s done right from the start, and employ the right people who will ultimately be responsible for the success of your franchise.

Are you ready? Asking yourself whether your business is ready and capable to expand internationally is the first thing you should do before taking the plunge into the global market. If you are experiencing difficulties with your business domestically, then expanding internationally is not a good idea. You must ensure you have a solid franchise network with the tools, support, training and processes in place that can be transferred overseas. International expansion is a lot of work and can be expensive. It’s important that you are 100 per cent confident that you and your company are ready to take this big step in franchising.

Do you have a strong franchise model? Having a strong franchise model is crucial to successfully expanding your franchise overseas. Although the product or service you deliver are also important,

Franchising USA

Page 59

an unbreakable business model, a clear strategy and a growth plan are the backbone of the business that will help your franchise become successful on a global scale.

Research, research, research! Once you have decided on the country or countries that you want to expand to, you need to do your research and consider the many different factors that could have an impact on your business. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the political climate, economic state, competitive environment, industry-leaders, potential suppliers, relevant legislation and any cultural issues or language barriers. All of these aspects could have enormous impacts on your franchise and must be considered in the decision-making process. Understanding the areas, state, town or city that you are looking to expand into is a very good move because your understanding of local issues will go a long way.

Be there to set it up Being on the ground to set up your franchise in a foreign country is invaluable. By developing relationships with stakeholders and talking to the right people, you get a first-hand look at the environment in which your franchisees will be operating. Taking the time to set up meetings and personally recruit the staff who will be leading your franchise from abroad will help build a strong structure that is supported by your existing business model.

“Following these simple steps and being informed before taking the plunge and expanding internationally could mean the difference between success and failure.” To be successful in a new country, learning the local and colloquial language can be critical to communicate effectively with potential business partners. Even if you speak the same language, there is a risk that people will still not understand you. Talk the way the locals do so that you can present business propositions in a way that is clear and concise.

Hire the right people Having the right franchisees and master franchisees brings local knowledge and a strong understanding of who your customers are. This intelligence is priceless and can help deliver tangible results fast. Local knowledge and a familiar face could be key to your franchise and your franchisee’s growth. The right person will know your particular market, the industry and your competitors, as well as being in tune with the local community’s and stakeholder needs. Following these simple steps and being informed before taking the plunge and expanding internationally could mean the difference between success and failure. And if you do decide to expand, and you do it well, my experience shows it can be the best move you’ll ever make. American builders have warmly welcomed the franchise opportunities with G.J. Gardner Homes, recognizing the benefits of being a part of a stable, supported and

secure business that has a safety net of other experienced builders within reach. Whether I’m in Australia, New Zealand or the United States, I am always grateful for the strong team of franchisees who operate the G.J. Gardner Homes business, making it the successful and growing home building company it is today. G.J. Gardner Homes CEO, Darren Wallis, has spent the past year taking his company from good to great, expanding in the United States, raising significantly increased revenue, implementing an improved business model and winning several awards – not to mention the birth of his first daughter to add to his family of four boys. At the age of 40, Wallis is one of Australia’s leading young entrepreneurs with an impressive track record for innovation, global success and an eye for the next big thing in franchising. Wallis has worked at G.J. Gardner Homes for the past 18 years, 11 of which as the CEO. Since taking on the top job, the group has grown from 20 offices in Australia to more than 110 in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. For More information contact: Angela Jessup, Account Executive P: 03 9642 4107 E:

Franchising USA

prof ile

Bin T here D ump T hat

Bin There Dump That: C leanin g U p in the T rash I ndustry

Trash in North America is a $35 billion industry. Bin There Dump That gives you the opportunity to own your piece of this simple to operate business. Bin There Dump That is a nationally recognized residential friendly dumpster system that is growing quickly across North America! . They are currently accepting applications from dedicated, entrepreneurial-minded candidates who have a true desire and motivation live better by owning and growing their own business. “Trash is perceived, and rightly so, as a very dirty business,” says company vice president John Ferracuti. “Yet, Bin There Dump That has made the dumpster business clean and, most importantly, ‘residential friendly.’ That gives us a clear and distinctive competitive advantage in every market we enter.” All of Bin There Dump That’s bins and vehicles are designed to fit in the tight spaces you might find in a residential area, without

Franchising USA

“We understand that we only achieve success when our franchise operators achieve success. Everything we do is focused on the success and profitability of our franchise operators.” causing damage or inconvenience for customers. They even have a unique system to make sure that the dumpster never actually touches the driveway, avoiding any potential damage. Bin There Dump That is committed to providing a professional customer experience, which includes clean equipment and trucks, courteous and timely service, and going the extra mile to clean up when the job is done. Ferracuti attributes much of Bin There Dump That’s success to the 45 year franchising history of their parent company, That Franchise Group. “We understand that we only achieve success when our franchise operators achieve success. Everything we do is focused on the success and profitability of our franchise operators.” The Bin There Dump That franchisee process begins with a six step structured investigation, which will help you collect

all the information necessary to feel confident in your decision to become a franchisee with Bin There Done That. One of the key steps in this process is speaking to other franchisees and hearing about their experiences with the company. With almost 60 franchise territories split between Canada and the U.S., Ferracuti looks forward to further growth in the year ahead. “Our focus for 2012 and going forward is to continue to expand all over the United States.” Bin There Dump That franchisees are people with a drive to succeed, the ability to follow a system and execute a proven business model, and the appropriate capital and realistic financial expectations. Successful franchisees love to meet people, share their business, and become involved in their communities. For more information: Phone: 905-823-8550 Web: www.bintheredumpthat. com/franchise-opportunities

Page 61



As a subsidiary of That Franchise Group, Bin There Dump That IUDQFKLVHHVEHQH¿WIURPRYHUIRUW\ years of experience in franchising. Are you ready to learn more? Are \RXUHDG\WROLYHEHWWHU",QTXLUH now for immediate consideration.



Franchising USA

Page 63

Combine a passion for business with healthier food options, package them in stylish destinations that deliver a true experience, and change the dining landscape with a business motto to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Treat Yourself Well.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the recipe for success for one of the fastest-growing franchises in America: Red Mango. When Founder Dan Kim opened his first Red Mango store in 2007, an entrepreneurial dream was launched which would defy the


economy, win legions of fans online, create demand for hundreds of locations and reveal a growing desire that consumers want healthier foods. The dream to share that great business with others then became a reality through Red Mango Franchising. Today, with more than 210 locations across North America, Red Mango has championed a new era, delivering a menu that offers all-natural, gluten-free frozen yogurt that is kosher and rich in probiotics. Add to that a network of franchise owners and food operators who embrace the same passion for business, and the healthy bottom line has translated into a brand of amazing growth. Red Mango has perfected a franchise system that offers training and marketing support from some of the most successful leaders in the industry and has established the most popular brand with traditional, self-serve, kiosk and store-in-store opportunities to meet escalating demand. The company credits its dedication to a healthy menu as the cornerstone to that success; serving fresh fruit daily, maintaining a rotating line of more than 50 frozen yogurt flavors, and offering a choice of all-natural toppings and craveable smoothies have been the key drivers of this feat. Together, it creates a brand power that resonates with smart consumers who want to know exactly what they are getting and will show their loyalty in return. With locations from coast to coast across the U.S. and international expansion in Central and South America, Red Mango has proven to be the real deal and plans to

Red Mango Founder Dan Kim

double in size in the next couple of years. For more information, visit Franchising USA

f ra nchisee in action

H eaven’s B est Ca r p et Clea ning

Heaven’s Best

L ives U p T o T he N ame

“I was working a job that I was very unhappy at. At the time, I had 2 kids in college and 2 in high school. I basically quit my job without having a job lined up. That’s when I found Heaven’s Best. We promoted and worked the business aggressively from the start. It has provided well for me from day one.”

Franchising USA

Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning franchisee Bryan Ferris, and his wife and business partner Vicki joined the Heaven’s Best team in 2001, and they look back on that decision with no regrets.

About Heaven’s Best An international carpet cleaning company based out of Rexburg, Idaho, Heaven’s Best was started in 1983 by Cody Howard, and his business partner who later sold his share of the business to Howard. The two partners saw a need for a different type of carpet cleaning, that would allow for faster drying times through special techniques that didn’t involve water-extraction, which was the common practice with other carpet cleaning companies. The franchise has grown continuously through the

years. Currently, Heaven’s Best has over 300 franchisees in more than 2,500 cities throughout the United States. Heaven’s Best also has multiple locations in Canada and England. Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning has become widely recognized as experts in the cleaning of multiple surfaces in both the commercial and residential markets including: carpet, upholstery, wood floor, tile and grout, as well as leather. But Heaven’s Best is about more than just cleaning. The success of Heaven’s Best comes partly from abiding by the threefold vision the company holds: • To provide new and repeat carpet and upholstery cleaning customers the best job they have ever had. • To treat our franchisees the way we

Page 65

would like to be treated. • To live up to the name Heaven’s Best

Word Travels Doing business according to this vision has led to the great reputation that Heaven’s Best now enjoys. Much of the company’s advertising is through word of mouth. Not only does that reach new clients, but also new franchisees. That’s how Ferris first heard of Heaven’s Best. “We found out about Heaven’s Best through my mom. She used Randy Bailey in the Sioux City, IA area and couldn’t say enough good about him and the results. From that suggestion, we did our research on Heaven’s Best and every other carpet

cleaning franchise. We were sold on Heaven’s Best for many reasons. We liked the process and the quick drying aspect. We talked to many existing operators who all had great things to say about the company and especially the home office and Cody Howard.”

during that time including proper product usage, fabric identification, equipment operation, proper cleaning techniques for all materials, as well as minor carpet repair, spot dying, customer relations, book keeping, marketing, scheduling, and general business operations.

Heaven’s Best was everything that Ferris was looking for in his next career. “I was a motel owner for about 13 years,” he says. “From there I was employed as a loan officer at a local bank. The franchise was immediately a good fit for me because I gained my independence back. I love being my own boss and will never go back to a ‘job’ again. We work hard but when we want or need time off, we put that in our schedule too.”

Once training is complete, franchisees are ready to open their home-based office and begin their mobile operations. Equipment, products, and supplies are purchased from the Heaven’s Best online store to maintain integrity and consistency throughout all locations in the brand.

Training and Support Ferris speaks about the thoroughness of his training, which is the same now as it was in 2001. Franchisees train for one week on-site at Heaven’s Best corporate headquarters in Rexburg, Idaho. All aspects of the business are covered

Franchisees are never alone once the initial training is complete. Heaven’s Best provides ongoing support through the company newsletter, regional seminars, and a telephone hotline to answer any questions that come up. Ferris appreciates the support: “I can get technical and business support any time I need it,” he says. “The home office is always ready to help whenever needed. Each state has a state owner as well. State owners are there to give technical and business advice.”

Franchising USA

f ra nchisee in action

H eaven’s B est Ca r p et Clea ning

more than 40 hours per week. We are in a position now where my employees are doing 90 percent of the work. We manage the employees and the business at this point. We like this stage of our business life very much.”

“Invest in your future now. Once you get going, you’ll wish you had done this earlier.” Are You the Next Franchisee? Heaven’s Best franchisees are people who

are driven to be successful, and are willing

to work hard. For franchisees who qualify, Heaven’s Best will finance up to half of

the initial cost of a franchise for five years with an interest rate of 10 percent. A

Heaven’s Best franchise is a low-cost way to open a business, with initial costs of

Franchising USA

only $28,900, and with royalty fees as low as only $80 per month. Franchisees in this system enjoy a great deal of flexibility, choosing to work parttime, full-time, or as a master franchisee, as an owner/operator or a manager. That flexibility extends to the individual franchisee’s schedule as well. Ferris describes his life as “very balanced.” He says, “I make a good living and never work

For people interested in joining the franchise that has been rated number one by Franchise Business Review for 5 years in a row, Ferris has this to say, “Talk to existing franchisees. Check on Heaven’s best in business ratings and business reviews. Invest in your future now. Once you get going, you’ll wish you had done this earlier.” When asked for his final thoughts on being a Heaven’s Best franchisee, Ferris says, “This is a business/ franchise with the highest of integrity. The products and the system are tested and fantastic. I think so well of the franchise that I got my best friend involved. He’s another happy and very successful operator. My wife and I bet our future on this company 12 years ago. We have not one regret.” For more information: Web:

Page 67

Success is

Waiting for You

Mr. Appliance Corporation is one of the largest and fastest-growing full service appliance repair companies in the world. Its business model targets the high demand, multi-billion dollar appliance service and repair industry in servicing all types and brands of home appliances and commercial equipment.

Mr. ApplianceÂŽ has been working with entrepreneurs and existing appliance service professionals to build strong and successful appliance repair businesses. Our many years of experience and cutting edge systems provide our independent Mr. Appliance franchises the direction that can help them achieve their personal and business goals. Call or visit our website to learn more about Mr. Appliance and the highdemand, high-energy residential appliance repair industry today!

888-206-5130 Š2012 Mr. Appliance Franchising USA LLC




The glass repair industry is one of the most profitable and consistent types of repair businesses available due to: Â&#x2021; 6WRUPDQGZLQGGDPDJH 



888-224-9489 Franchising USA

Š2012 Glass DoctorŽ

Franchising USA January 2013  

Franchising USA is a monthly consumer and trade publication bringing you all the latest news, expert advice, and information from the world...

Franchising USA January 2013  

Franchising USA is a monthly consumer and trade publication bringing you all the latest news, expert advice, and information from the world...