Pillars of Franchising magazine - Issue 6 August/September 2022

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Carolyn Thurston Building an Empire Through Education Snapology’s Laura Coe Talks Creative Learning Back to School Buy a Franchise Find a Mentor Create Buzz PILLARS FRANCHISING OF Aug/Sept 2022
2 Pillars of Franchising CONTENTS Departments Cover Story Aug/Sept 2022 Features A Pioneer in Education, Builds a Compassionate Empire 8 Letter from the Editor 4 Calendar of Events 6 Back to School for Franchising 14 Why it is Important to Go “Back to School” as Leaders 12 Training and Education Helped Patricia Miller Blaze Her Path to Success 24 Training Programs: Make or Break Opportunities in the Classroom and On-the-Job 18 How Should a Franchise Territory Be Defined? 21 Falling into Marketing 22 Snapology: Learning Made Fun with the “Snap” of a LEGO 28 Life of Ray 27 Does Your Franchise Have These Factors? 32 True Leaders Never Stop Learning 34 Featured Vendors 50 Questions from the Audience 54 A Pinch of SALT for the Franchise World 36 Why Educators Make Great Franchisees 40 Having the Gift of GAB Doesn’t Mean Talk a Lot 44 Funding in a Recession How to Stay Informed and Improve Your Lending Options 46 What You Put into Your Digital Presence Will Determine What You Get Out of It 52 Back to School Million Dollar Minute 58

Carolyn Thurston leads by example with compassion, creativity and savvy. Ahead of her time with Wisdom Health Academy, other businesses would do well to pay attention.

Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Denham Elizabeth@PillarsOfFranchising.com CEO Kristin Selmeczy Kristin@PillarsOfFranchising.com

Designer Annie Malloy Proofreader Cassidy Ford Contributors Katie Bateman Nancy Friedman Dave Kajganich Harold Kestenbaum Karen Kimsey-Sward Kenneth Laks Laura Liss Andrea Mundle Jaine Reichardt Michele Rempel Eric Schechterman Lin Schussler Williams Susan Scotts Tune in Every Thursday! The Pillars of Franchising Show What you will get • Education • Entertainment • Resources • Opportunities Live on Thursdays at 2:00 PT | 3:00 MT | 4:00 CT | 5:00 ET Broadcast on Youtube, Facebook, Blogtalk Radio, LinkedIn, Twitch and more!

Back to School

Dear Pillars of Franchising Community:

In this issue, we are heading back to school! From information about continuing education to franchising training to overcome the worker shortage, we touch on the importance of education. We start with Carolyn Thurston, founder of Wisdom Senior Care and launched Wisdom Health Academy to train staff well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the worker shortage.

We also feature a true rising star in Thurston’s system. Patricia Miller started as an entry-level nurse aide and worked up the ranks before becoming a franchisee for Wis-

4 Pillars of Franchising Letter from the Editor

dom Senior Care. Her story should inspire us to look beyond what we think we can do and reach for the stars!

We also talk to Laura Coe of Snapology. Her STEAM system focused on Lego design and building gives kids an outlet for creativity and learning that makes it fun!

In our regular departments, we continue to follow Ray Pillar in The Life of Ray to show others how a successful franchise business can give you the life of your dreams. We follow Ray Pillar and his wife, Daisy on their adventures in their brand new “Bus.” Stay tuned for a lot of fun!

As usual, we have a jam-packed issue with our regular contributors and our Million Dollar Mentors, Kristin Selmeczy, Jerry Akers, Ray Pillar and David Kajganich who share their perspectives on buying a franchise

We also have informative articles from Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor, on customer service; Susan Scotts on franchise education; Michele Rempel on marketing; Harold Kestenbaum on legal issues; Kelly Krueger on funding; Michael Ianuzzi on tax/ finance; Andrea Mundie on women and finding balance and our very own Million Dollar Mentor, David Kajganich on leadership. We also feature Laura Liss franchise attorney who has recently joined the team.

Join us on our social media, subscribe on the website and join us every Thursday at 4:00 CT for the Pillars of Franchising live stream! We look forward to serving you, and remember…

The Dream Starts Here!

5 Aug/Sept 2022


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A Pioneer in Education,

Carolyn Thurston Builds a Compassionate Empire

Carolyn Thurston, President and CEO of Wisdom Senior Care and Founder of the Wisdom Health Academy, showcases a success story that is the epitome of helping others. From a nurse working in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina to a franchisor sporting an innovative education methodology, Thurston’s unrelenting support for both senior citizens and aspiring healthcare professionals highlights how philanthropy and prosperity can coexist. Oftentimes, financial success seems inextricably tied to selfishness. But for Thurston, the exact opposite is true.

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Wisdom Senior Care:

Thurston founded Wisdom Senior Care in 2006, after working as a nurse for 20 years. Guided by core principles of kindness, compassion and respect for the elderly, her business steadily grew to 12 franchises. While the majority of Wisdom franchises have stayed in North Carolina, there are now locations in New York and Florida.

As Wisdom expanded, interested clients began flooding in. However, Thurston quickly discovered that hiring quality caregivers could be a challenge. A prospective employee may be certified, but the bedside manner Thurston expected from a licensed nurse aide wasn’t always present in new hires. Thurston needed a reliable training method to ensure her standards were being met.

“One of the biggest questions I would get back from seniors when I would send a caregiver to their home, they would say ‘Carolyn, let me ask you something. Is this person a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?’” Thurston described. “And I would say ‘Yes, why do you ask?’ and they’d say ‘well, I don’t know… they didn’t know how to make a bed.’”

Hearing these complaints baffled Thurston, because her

background in nursing trained her extensively in proper bedside manner. She realized that the majority of the elderly population didn’t prioritize the certification their caregiver had on paper compared to their soft skills and flexibility in meeting the clients’ wants and needs. She founded Wisdom Health Academy with the goal of teaching those practical skills alongside

certify anyone taking her courses as a CNA. Thurston licensed the Wisdom Health Academy in 2012, and the program took off as prospective nursing school students enrolled in CNA classes over the summer.

“It was never the goal at the time it started, (we only wanted) to train my own caregivers,” Thurston said. “But now we have

the necessary technical vocabulary and nursing know-how.

Wisdom Health Academy:

At first, Thurston only trained her own caregivers. As time went on, however, she learned that licensing the Wisdom Health Academy would allow her to

people coming from all over the place, wanting to get trained, whether they would stay with us or they would go work elsewhere.”

Thurston’s classes don’t stop at teaching students textbook nursing techniques and terminology. She also ensures that students

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“One thing we believe is that investing in (people) is important.

understand the importance of proper bedside manner and soft skills, particularly when interacting with seniors.

“We’re going into their home,” Thurston said. “That’s usually their safe, personal space. So if you get an invitation to come to my home, that means you have a special place in my heart. You need to respect that.”

In addition, Wisdom offers personal development courses focused on supporting new employees as they climb the career ladder. Right off the bat, Thurston shows her caregivers a comprehensive “growth ladder” they could follow to potentially become a franchise owner in the future if they’re so inclined.

“We go above. If they’re working truly for Wisdom, then we take them above what the state requires,” Thurston described. “They are put on a path to personal development, learning how to… build teams. They want to become supervisors, they want to become managers. They

want to eventually become a franchise owner.

come in as a home aide, no certification. They go through, they get their Nurse Aide I certification, they move up the growth ladder and at each of these points they’re provided education.”

Wisdom Health Academy’s motto is “If we can help everyone who comes into Wisdom Health Academy, then they can proceed to help the world”. This ideal extends to every aspect of Thurston’s philosophy regarding Wisdom, as she lifts individuals up from within the organization to promote continual growth for the company as a whole.

“One thing we believe is that investing in (people) is important,” Thurston explained. “So whether they stay with us or they go somewhere else, we believe that it’s important to invest in them.”

Ahead of her time:

The Wisdom Health Academy was

founded in 2013, years before the recent labor crisis which has left many employers scrambling to find qualified and interested employees. Meanwhile, Thurston has years of experience under her belt in retaining quality hires. For example, Wisdom Health Academy never makes Wisdom caregivers pay for their courses, inspiring employees to stay with the company for a longer period of time.

“Our caregivers do not pay for it,” Thurston said. “A lot of our franchisees have paid for, invested in their Nurse Aid Is to get their certification. They often pay for their whole training. Some do have a stipulation on a list that their employees would agree to stay with them for one year after they get their certification.”

Thurston also digitized her courses before most, having considered the transition even before the pandemic hit. Doing so has brought students in from all over the United States, even

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“We have people who

though in order to become fully certified they do need to travel to North Carolina for an in-person examination.

“Even before COVID we’d been talking about taking things online, doing hybrid, and there were always so many reasons not to do something,” Thurston explained. “But now I think COVID has taught all of us that online is not all bad.”

Future plans and leaving a legacy:

The future looks bright for Wisdom Health Academy. This year, a medication administration class has been added to the academy, and a Continuing Medical Education (CME) class is in the works to be added soon. Ultimately, Thurston’s goal is for Wisdom Health Academy to offer both a 2-year accreditation and 4-year diploma program to students within the next five years.

“So within the next five years, we plan to have more class offerings within the health industry and business,” Thurston said. “So we are launching as part of the business piece the idea that early in their careers, we can share information about their careers about franchising.”

Currently, Carolyn’s youngest daughter is the administrator of the Wisdom Health Academy. She organizes the hiring of instructors, curriculums that need to be done, and, in Thurston’s words: “I mean, she keeps the school moving.”

“I think it’s exciting that my daughter is able to find her passions,” Thurston said. “And (that) I could be a part of opening that door for her. I think that’s really, really satisfying and helps me feel really good that she’s found something she can thrive in.”

Leaving behind a legacy seems to be part of a day’s work for Thurston. She sees a need. She creates a solution and she executes a plan. Her advice to those looking for their career paths?

“Move forward. Don’t lose focus. Learning online is great, but you still need that personal one-onone relationship that you will use in the field. We can’t lose sight of that. But I would say be sure to really move forward in any way that you can and educate yourself. It will help no matter what industry you’re in. It helps the end customer.”

To learn more about Wisdom Health Academy, visit: https:// wisdomhealthacademy.com/

To learn more about Wisdom Senior Care, visit: https://wisdomseniorcare.com/

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Why it is Important to Go “Back to School” as Leaders

Each year around this time, I watch as school supplies hit the store shelves, school uniforms replace swimsuits on the racks and the promise of cooler temperatures appears on the horizon. As we head into another Fall season, I once again feel the familiar “back to school” buzz. For years as a student, and more years than I care to count as a parent of two, this transition of seasons always seemed to usher in other exciting (and stress-inducing) changes and new beginnings. We grew through these new experiences, without fail, as they stretched us in ways we never expected.

I recently contemplated this feel in the air—the sense of anticipation, the thrill of entering a new season, not knowing what lies ahead but fully embracing the potential for growth and change—and I couldn’t help but think about how this plays out for us as business leaders. We should be lifelong learners, living with a continual expectation of growth and change. We may not be sitting in a too-small desk, hitting the books to improve our GPAs while being distracted by varsity sports, but we face our own versions of this.

For us as business leaders, these distractions create challenges that prevent success. Inevitably, our focus turns to our teams and finding ways to help them

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to continue to grow and learn. That’s a good thing. This is a key part to learning new skills, strengthening existing skills and building connections within our company, all of which are vital to success.

But what about our growth as leaders? We think we don’t have time to focus on ourselves. We treat ourselves as afterthoughts, putting our employees, customers, family, etc. first. Over the past year, most of my conversations with business owners have centered on a similar theme: unsustainable stress, the pressure of continual changes, and the strain of dealing with “surprises.” Many are overwhelmed and candidly exhausted.

Yet, I observe another truth in these conversations. When these leaders do stop and take the time to commit to growing as a leader, both personally and professionally, they learn that spending the time and money is a worthwhile investment. While it seems hard, taking that step is possible and it benefits not only them, but those around them and their business.

In my conversations with my peers, and from my own experiences, I identified four ways leaders can go “back to school” to re-learn how to connect, learn, and grow.

1. Join a business or networking group. These groups provide countless opportunities to finding “your champions,” the right group of

professionals to learn from and network with. They help you expand your knowledge and can connect you to other business owners with similar challenges to yours. Take some time to understand what you need in a peer group; ask yourself who you want to grow with, and consider the quality of the overall group.

2. Find a mentor. A mentor relationship between two individuals should be reciprocal and collaborative. As a business owner, look for someone who might have a role or experience like yours so you can gain new thoughts and ideas. Some business leaders participate in a mastermind group which is a mentoring group of six to eight individuals who help each other solve their problems with input and advice from another group member.

3. Intentionally expand and increase your knowledge through classes, books and podcasts. Depending on your budget and time, a plethora of resources exist to help you grow in every area of your business. Create a personal SWOT analysis or take a personal assessment to determine what you should focus on and create a growth plan with specific goals and timelines.

4. Work with a coach. I know many franchisees who find that hiring a personal coach

is a great resource to help them grow both personally and professionally. The coach guides them through decisions, keeping them grounded in difficult times, and helps them solve issues in their company.

Yes, it is Fall and “back to school” season for our students, a time of promise for new beginnings. Lucky for us as business owners, we don’t have to wait for Fall or any other season of the year to feel that excitement for change and growth. When we are intentional, take time for ourselves, and invest in a healthy mindset, we truly embrace our highest potential as leaders. Let’s go out there and “get back to business!”

Karen Kimsey-Sward has over 25 years working with business owners and franchisees helping them move to the “next level” of performance. She has experience as a business owner who has been through all stages of a company’s life; from its founding through the various stages of growth. She has also been on the franchisor side as a VP of Franchising. Karen is currently COO of Dale Carnegie Chicago. Karen can be reached at 630-640-0339.

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Back to School for Franchising

For kids and some adults, August means going back to school and learning new things. Personally, I’ve always loved learning and education. What I’ve noticed isn’t addressed in most schools, however, is anything to do with entrepreneurship!

Instead you may hear: “Get a good job and work really hard for someone else.” But teachers/professors have little firsthand knowledge about the realities (sometimes painful and filled with disillusionment) of the job market and Corporate America. Just like in the game of American football, you are only as good as your last play!

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Schools don’t mention the countless hours you will have to devote in order just to keep your job, without having much or any control over your hours, days off or future. They don’t tell you that you’ll have to prioritize your job over everything, making long commutes and spending time away from your family even for big milestones like graduations or other special events.

Is it time for you to stop living on someone else’s schedule and explore new possibilities for yourself? There may be other options that you hadn’t explored previously or perhaps discounted prematurely without gathering the information you needed to make an informed decision. Career ownership through franchising may be a solid choice for you.

Advantages of Franchising

Franchising is simply a method of distributing products or services through a business system. There are many advantages, such as:

• Franchises have an established reputation, proven

management and work practices, access to national advertising and ongoing support.

• Franchising allows you to become self-sufficient so you can begin living the fulfilling life you desire.

• You have the freedom to schedule your own time to take that vacation or take time off to be a coach or see your kid in the school play.

• You will not have to worry about job security, control over your future or ageism any longer!

The great thing about career ownership through franchising is that you are in business for yourself but NOT by yourself. You have a full team to support you and a proven system to follow.

What is your why?

By focusing on your “why” – your income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals – you can clarify what you want in both your professional and personal life and learn about possible options

that can provide you with a solid foundation for success.


Now I promise you, I never envisioned I’d be a business owner myself. I never even thought about it. When I went to school, they taught women skills geared towards two futures: cook and sew (become a wife) or type (become a secretary). As a matter of fact, besides teachers or bank tellers, I never recall seeing women in the workplace growing up.

I didn’t have the business background, education or experience to ever even consider I could be the boss. But I knew I aspired to more and was willing to be open to different ideas, work hard and create my own success as a business owner. It was scary, but I did it. My point here is that if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!

Where do I start?

No, you don’t need a million dollars. Many franchise businesses cost less than a new car.  And I’m living proof that you don’t need prior knowledge or experience since training and support are

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“ The great thing about career ownership through franchising is that you are in business for yourself but NOT by yourself.

two of the foundations of a franchise organization. By focusing on your strengths, you too can find a business that leverages your specific talents and matches your goals.

No, you don’t have to open up a retail space. So many current options are virtual or home-based, and while a small space for a home office is optimal, you can consider using  a virtual zoom background to look like you have a professional office space, even if it is in your dining room (shhh, our secret!).

If you prefer to open a retail space, there are plenty that allow you to do just that while being affordable. Many franchises allow you to scale and start creating wealth for your future instead of someone else’s.

Do you want to build an asset or an empire or create generational wealth? That is a possibility

by scaling a business. Do you just want to be your own boss? There are many options that allow you to be a “solopreneuer”. Might you prefer to take advantage of having someone else do the work for you to create passive or recurring revenue in an absentee format?  We can explore semi-absentee opportunities. Do you want to minimize risk by keeping your full-time employment? That’s also a possibility since some businesses allow you to keep your job while ramping up your business.

Many people are worried about their future in their present job in the current economy. Now may be a perfect time to go through education, awareness and discovery, and start planning ahead towards an essential business that stays relevant.

Not sure where to start on your own? Reach out to me for a quick 10-minute, life-changing

call, which includes learning about potential funding options.

Whether you have always aspired to entrepreneurship or have never considered becoming a business owner, ask yourself this question: Do you hate answering to someone else and being restricted by long hours or long commuting times? If so, you OWE it to yourself to explore taking ownership of your career.

Use this back-to-school time to learn about the possibilities and give yourself MORE options to choose from. Who knows, it could be the best FREE education you’ve ever experienced!

Susan Scotts is a multiple award winning career transition coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source® and possesses three decades of experience in helping empower individuals to become entrepreneurs through franchise business ownership. For a complimentary consultation, she can be reached at 561-859-9110 or SScotts@EsourceCoach.com

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Looking Forward Coming in October: “Anniversary Issue” www.PillarsOfFranchising.com PILLARS FRANCHISING OF

Training Programs: Make or Break Opportunities in the Classroom and On-the-Job

As those attending school head back this fall, I was reminded of our own franchise education! Evaluation of a franchisor’s training program is one of the most important parts of considering any franchise opportunity.

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Many new franchisees do not have experience running their own business and most have not worked in the same field as their franchise will operate. Successful training programs increase the odds of that franchisee’s success both financially and in fulfilling the “brand’s promise” to its customers.

How can a franchisee evaluate a training program?

Within every Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) in Item 11, there will be a chart explaining what topics are covered in the “classroom” (either in-person or virtually) and what is covered “on the job.” Study this! Then:

Consider the length of the Program.

Most initial franchise training programs last between 1 – 4 weeks. Can you learn what you need during this time? Can you be away from your home or existing job for this length of time?

(Financial and familial strains matter.)

Are you comfortable with virtual learning?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of the classroom training and some “on-the-job” training has shifted to the virtual space, whether through pre-recorded classes or live on Zoom or a similar platform. Make sure you are comfortable learning virtually if your franchisor intends to teach you this way.

What kind of topics will you practice “on the job”?

While on-the-job topics can vary, successfully learning marketing and sales techniques that the franchisor knows are effective in this business are some of the most important lessons for a franchise owner. Especially if you do not have a background in sales! Having the opportunity to practice these marketing and sales strategies on the job is a critical learning opportunity.

Who will the franchisor train?

If you will have a small operation or will be an owner-operator working in your location, it might just be you as the owner and your spouse. For larger operations, there will often be requirements for the owner and all managers to attend training. Consider these requirements because they impact the timing of your hiring and what range of expenses you need to project for your staff wages, travel, lodging, meals and more while attending training in person.

If you will be responsible for a team of employees when you open, also consider what kind of leadership training you will want to receive so you can have a strong team. Also, consider if you will be responsible to replicate any training you received for your future employees if the franchisor is training you to become a trainer for your team. Being able to do a task is one part of learning, but teaching others requires greater mastery.

Will the franchisor be present at your location for your grand opening?

For franchises with a retail storefront, a strong grand opening is critical to the ongoing success of the business! Having experienced team members from the

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Being able to do a task is one part of learning, but teaching others requires greater mastery.

franchisor at your side to ensure everything goes smoothly can make a big difference.

Call other existing franchisees and ask how effective the initial training program was to them!

The contact information for all the other franchisees is available in your FDD. Do not limit your-

self to only speaking with those that the franchisor has suggested or explicitly makes available on a conference call. Instead, call as many franchisees as you can! Ask and really listen to their responses about the training program and other topics. They have already traveled the road you are about to walk down, so

you should take advantage of their knowledge.

Initial training is only the beginning, but a strong start is important. Find a franchisor that takes their training program seriously and you will increase your odds of a successful investment!

Laura advises on franchise, general commercial, real estate, and trademark transactions and litigation matters, including preparing and reviewing franchise disclosure documents, buying or selling a business, commercial real estate and contractual matters, as well as trademark litigation. Laura previously practiced in Denver, CO. Her involvement in the Denver community includes: Chair, Franchise Subsection of the Colorado Bar Association; Member, Doyle Inn of Court; FY 2017-2018 - Trustee and Second Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Denver Bar Association; -FY 2105-2018 - Executive Committee Member, Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division. Laura can be reached at Laura@lisslamar. com

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How Should a Franchise Territory Be Defined?

Walk into any franchise development office and they will tell you that the true magic begins to take shape “back in mapping.” It is the territory of a franchise that outlines an actual picture in a prospect’s mind that makes them look down at a map and say, “Wow, that could all be mine!”

The mapping department is where franchise territories are drawn, redrawn and created, sometimes based on geographical radius, by population density, and typically with regard to saturation in their specific market.

It is best to have a territory that allows a franchisee the opportunity to fully develop his or her business while still allowing the franchisor opportunities to develop the brand and capitalize on the full potential of an area. Territory mapping is not easy, and there is a lot at stake.

The right or wrong territory can make or break a franchise busi-

ness, which is why there is an entire section in the FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document –Item 12) dedicated to this topic. Item 12 explains how the territory is drawn and why it is drawn that way, whether it is exclusive, and if there are any service parameters (delivery, for example, for a restaurant). The FDD is then reflected in the Franchise Agreement, which is legally binding. Both legal documents are in place to protect the franchisor and franchisee, and for good reason. Disputes over territory infringements are among the most common lawsuits brought by franchisees against the franchisor. A good team will work in tandem to negotiate a franchise territory that works best for all involved parties.

Careful consideration of each aspect of a franchise is critical to the success or failure of a business. It’s exciting to finally have a picture in your head of where your service area will be

located! Take the time, utilize the expertise “back in mapping,” and together the franchisor and franchisee will chart a course that brings your picture to life.

Harold L. Kestenbaum joined Spadea Lignana in 2019, having unrivaled experience in the franchise industry and in franchise law. He founded and served as President and Chairman of the Board of FranchiseIt Corporation. Harold also authored the first book dedicated to the entrepreneur who wants to franchise called “So You Want to Franchise Your Business.” Contact Harold at hkestenbaum@spadealaw.com or call at 215.774.3365 x136.

21 Aug/Sept 2022

Falling into


Ah, the back-to-school season. Even for people without schoolaged children or school staff members, the fall season signals a return to some sort of “normalcy.” Travel is often scaled back, and people get back to their normal living and purchasing patterns. Of course, this season also begins the inevitable countdown to the official (drum roll, please) Holiday Season (sorry!).

The last couple of back-to-school seasons have been weird to say the least. Many businesses weren’t sure how to handle their marketing campaigns and messaging – for good reason.

Understanding that this season may also be unusual in many markets, let’s look at how we can make our marketing for the upcoming season the most effective yet! Here are some ideas to consider:

Take stock of your current online footprint: This is a great time to evaluate your marketing channels, business listings and marketing plans for the remainder of the year. The pandemic brought big shifts in the channels where consumers spend their time, and what you’ve done in the past may not be as effective going forward. Video is getting more engagement thanks to Facebook/Instagram

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Reels and TikTok. Businesses that never considered video are now seeing surprising and even significant results. If you aren’t using video, is this the season to start? Have a conversation with your staff and leadership and collect video ideas that you could try. Identify resources that might help you with editing, scheduling and monitoring.

How are your business listings on places such as Google My Business? Do you have any recent reviews? Is it up to date on your services and/or products? Have you uploaded any photos lately or added any posts? Do you respond to reviews quickly and appropriately? Do you have someone assigned to responding quickly to incoming messages on social media? If you don’t, you could be missing out on opportunities.

In addition to your business listings, take a look at your website. As a franchisee, you may not have a lot of control over the content, but it’s still a good idea to evaluate it for accuracy and have a conversation with corporate if it needs attention or if you have ideas for improvement or a great story from your own franchise.

Take advantage of the great Autumn “themes” for content:

Of course, the back-to-school season is also the back-to-sports season, kicking off basketball, American football and hockey.

However, the fall also includes many “awareness” days, weeks or months, such as the Hispanic Heritage month, Domestic Violence Awareness month and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Check with your team this year and talk about causes that have become more relevant to your business, staff or typical customers over the past several months. Consider giving back and creating a cause-based campaign that involves your team and maybe even some customers. Don’t forget video!

Gratitude is always in season

Talking about and expressing gratitude during the leadup to Thanksgiving is natural, but there’s never a bad time to express your gratitude for your community, customers and team – especially after the last two years! For many businesses, the fact that they are still operating is a reason to rejoice. It’s time to take a deep breath, consult with your team and determine the best ways to extend your thanks through the content on your marketing channels. Is there a way to honor loyal customers and/or team members? Can you

highlight some vendors who have made sure that you had what you needed to stay operational?


This autumn may still be a little “weird”, depending on the course that the pandemic takes as the weather gets cooler. Maybe it’s time to try something new like video, analyze your online listings and information and head into the major holiday season expressing your thanks for remaining in business.

Michele Rempel is the founder and managing partner of Westvyne, a marketing and website design firm based in California and Illinois. For almost a decade, she and her team have been guiding their clients in what to say, how to say it, where to say it, and who to say it to in order to attract and retain customers. For more information about Westvyne, visit www.westvyne.com

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It’s time to take a deep breath, consult with your team and determine the best ways to extend your thanks through the content on your marketing channels.

Features Training and Education Helped Patricia Miller

Blaze Her Path to Success

Patricia Miller is the epitome of a success story in franchising. Her tough circumstances, drive to survive and grit and determination coupled with the opportunity provided by Carolyn Thurston and Wisdom Senior Care and Wisdom Senior Academy propelled her from an entry-level nurse aide to a franchise owner leading her own team. Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Denham and Intern/Staff Writer Johanna Selmeczy sat down with Miller to learn what her path can teach others about success.

Elizabeth Denham: Will you tell us a little bit about how you came on with Wisdom Senior Care?

Patricia Miller: I knew Carolyn (Thurston – see Cover Story) through another business, other interactions. I was actually a stay-at-home mom. I have to tell people – that was probably my second life because I started out after college…. I met the love of my life, got married and decided to have children. We agreed on that I would come home to raise two kids, and I did it. And as life would have it, misfortune happened and my husband suddenly passed. At the time,

24 Pillars of Franchising

I was doing in-home daycare, and I was feeling a little bit of burnout as things have changed. It was a bit much on my own. So I said, ‘well, I’m going to step back from this.’ And Carolyn and I were talking one day, and she said, ‘Patricia, you know, I work with seniors. Why don’t you come and, see if you can help me out with that?’

Johanna Selmeczy: Did you then go through the Wisdom Health Academy, or did you get your training before?

PM: You have to understand, Wisdom didn’t exist back then, so there was no academy at the time. But I did go through Carolyn, and I talked about the fact that I wanted to get certified. She said, “Well, we’re going to get you some training for that.” She was instrumental in helping me get that training, in helping me understand what that training was all about. I was already working and learning. So going through the training just solidified the knowledge I had. I was gaining knowledge, and I just fell in love with it. It was like helping people, seeing them progress at their age and giving them that quality of life they needed as they were nearing the end of their lives.

In one instance, Miller worked with a client who had not been able to walk for some time.

Through working with her and taking it one day at a time, the woman became ambulatory and was so excited.

PM: Carolyn and I didn’t realize the impact it had on her, but she continued to tell her family that if it wasn’t for the kindness and understanding of Wisdom and having people come in and help she didn’t think she would be able to do this. She believed she would have given up on life.

She kept mentioning that one of the things she liked about Wisdom was the system we were developing. And that system would allow people to come in at any level, gain knowledge about what you were doing, and get additional education. And at that point, that’s when we saw the need for the academy and having it in-house. People began getting trained, and that made a tremendous difference.

Miller worked her way from Nurse Aide I to Team Leader to Client Relation’s Manager while working

for Thurston, and at the end of 2019, she made the leap to franchisee.

JS: So you are a franchisee now. In Pittsboro, and I believe Carolyn mentioned that you wound up taking on that position right before the pandemic. Is that correct?

PM: I started the conversations about the franchise. And so March of 2020 is when we opened up the office in Pittsboro. And two weeks later, literally two weeks later, the pandemic was in such a state of uncertainty. We had a contact

25 Aug/Sept 2022

with a facility, and they closed their doors to outside companies for service.

So I got started with nothing. Financing was one of those things. You have the initial capital to get you going, but then you had to also have the working capital to keep you going. So, once we got started, there wasn’t a shortage of people. I would say it is a matter of how you structure it and getting your staffing in place. We took it day by day, adding people on with the pandemic, and it was a challenge because we couldn’t sit down face to face. Everything became virtual.

As Miller has grown in her business, she has learned many valuable lessons that she puts to work in her own Wisdom Senior Care location.

PM: As a franchisee, you now have to deal with with things you didn’t have to deal with before. You’ve got to deal with accountants. You’ve got to deal with bookkeepers and making sure banking and all of that is taking place -- making sure you’re getting the money in and then getting set up for payroll.

And payroll is a whole other issue because you’ve got to make sure you’ve got your insurance including things like liability insurance. You have got to have all these things in place, which are part of your state regulations.

And that is huge. Then you’ve got to ensure that people you’re bringing on meet the state regulations. And if there’s anyone that doesn’t, you have to be able to tell them, I’m sorry, you just don’t.

ED: Are those things that are laid out for you by the franchisor? How much research where you like to do on your own?

PM: One of the things I’ll say about Wisdom, and it is very unique in that, is “yes”. They have

try-level worker, what would you say to that person?

PM: As a matter of fact, I’m doing that right now. And I would tell you the way I view people when I first interview them, I’m already thinking the next two levels out for them. Because I know where I want to see my business grow and I know who I need in place. So I’m looking to see. Do you exemplify the qualities right now to help me get there? And some do, some don’t. But then I realize if they’ve got a determination to succeed, I can help them. We can bring them all in to get some training hands-on and help them get certified as high as they want to go. If you want more than a job, but a career, we’re going to start setting you up along that path.

a great system. You are never left alone. Even when I was out there going day and night, there was always a phone call. There was always a weekly meeting set up. And you could call at any time to say, I’ve got this challenge going on. I don’t quite understand something. So no, you were never left alone. You were given the policies and procedures to go through. And you can always say, I don’t understand this part of it. Help, me!

ED: If you’re talking to someone who comes in to Wisdom Senior Care as an inexperienced en-

I have one person who said, “I don’t want to let you down”. I said, “No, the key is don’t let yourself down. I said, if you pursue this for yourself and be the best you that you can be, I’m going to be there to guide you. But you have got to be the one to be the best you.

To learn more about Wisdom Senior Care and Wisdom Health Academy, please visit: https:// wisdomseniorcare.com/ and https://wisdomhealthacademy. com/

26 Pillars of Franchising

Life of Ray Life of Ray

When you are a Million Dollar Mentor, your life could look something like The Life of Ray. Ray Pillar, owner of Molly Maid franchise locations in the Chicago area, has handed off the day-to-day business to the next generation, and he and his wife, Daisy spend time in their new “bus” on the road for Pillars of Franchising. As our roving reporter, Ray will let us know what is going on out there, and introduce us to franchisees he meets along the way. Stay tuned for more as we follow Ray and Daisy on road reporting in our Life of Ray section!

On the Road Again with Ray and Daisy! “

Learning Made Fun with

Snapology: the “Snap” of a LEGO

Excited young voices bounce and bubble over each other, offering ideas for solving engineering problems while the ambient sound of plastic bricks clicking into place permeates the air. Learning, social development, and fun collide into educational play for children of all abilities using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and other interactive mediums. This is the heart of Snapology, a franchise that has experienced tremendous growth ever since Laura Coe and her sister Lisa co-founded the company in 2010.

28 Pillars of Franchising Features

Humble beginnings:

Snapology began with a simple dilemma: Laura Coe’s eldest son, Sebastian, loved building with LEGO® bricks but was having trouble socializing with his peers. Coe wanted to find something that could help him build leadership skills and teamwork alongside his plastic-brick creations. She was also searching for a franchise to make her own, but was having trouble finding something that “fit.”

“It just kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, no pun intended,” Coe said. “I went to my sister, which was easy to do since we’re best friends… (then) we launched with a LEGO® robotics program in our local rec-center and I clearly wasn’t the only parent looking for this. It just took off and we’ve basically grown exponentially.”

Working in tandem, Coe and her sister each played to their strengths while shaping Snapology. While Coe handled the finance and operations side of the business, her sister took on marketing and sales. Together,

they built a successful franchise centered on providing coding, robotics and S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programs to children of all abilities, ranging from gifted children to those with special needs.

“The foundation is that a lot of the kids that naturally gravitate towards lego bricks and those types of engineering toys are more introverted kids,” Coe explained. “So what we can do is we can give them that confidence because they built a really cool Star Wars ship or a lightsaber that stayed together because they engineered it properly. So you can give them this confidence that really extends through their lifetime.

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“And that’s what I find for me, that’s why I’m in it, I just love to see the kids and hear the stories about how they’ve overcome a challenge or they’ve found their inner greatness or whatever. We can celebrate their differences and their challenges and give them something to really hang onto in terms of success.”

Two models:

As a previous franchisee, Coe knew franchising was a viable and lucrative option for Snapology as it continued to grow. In 2015, she decided to franchise and Snapology has since grown to 188 locations, 160 of which are currently open, across the United States.

Snapology features two potential business models for prospective franchisees to consider. The first is a “community-based” model, focused on bringing Snapology’s programs to schools, libraries, churches, rec-centers and community colleges. Without a brick and mortar establishment to maintain, this model is a more affordable investment.

On the other hand, prospective franchisees could pursue adding a physical discovery center to the mix, which opens the door for more programs, but requires a greater initial investment.

“We’ve got a phenomenal new membership program where kids are able to earn…stamps and they get all these rewards for getting different leadership skills and engineering skills and 3D design skills.” Coe said. “If you’ve got that brick and mortar you can bring the kids in and so obviously (there is) that financial opportunity. It’s a greater investment but the financial opportunity is greater as well, so we’ve got those two levels depending on the type of investor or the amount of risk that a particular person wants to take.”

The ideal Snapology franchisee:

Coe’s inspiration for Snapology stemmed from her children, and she finds that many parents make excellent franchisees. “We do find that parents kind of naturally have that

passion, they naturally want to see their kids succeed and particularly if you have a child that’s like my children… you struggle a little bit more to sort of find their greatness and help them be comfortable in their own skin,” Coe elaborated. “And so we do find that a lot of our franchisees are moms and dads or even grandparents that really just want these programs in their area for their kids.”

However, non-parents can make stellar Snapology owners as well. “We do have owners that don’t necessarily have kids. They just get it.” Coe said. “They just understand the power in LEGO bricks, the power in educational play, and that we’re really making a difference in what these kids ultimately grow up (into).

“It’s really that passion and understanding, sort of the fundamentals of what we’re doing and how we’re trying to make great kids that really drives a great franchisee.”

Snapology has recently celebrated their one year anniversary with Unleashed Brands, a portfolio company that also features Urban Air, XP League, Class 101, Premier Martial Arts, and The Little Gym International. To learn more about Snapology, visit snapology.com or snapologyfranchising.com.

If you are interested in connecting with Snapology or other franchisors, contact us at yourdream@pillarsoffranchising. com.

Benefits of an emerging brand being bought out by a larger conglomerate.

• Access to executives and their teams

• Backup resources to aid when the smaller team is unable to handle demands

• More exposure to the franchisor as a larger brand can be focused on growing the overall franchise, while the franchisor has time to help individual franchisees grow their businesses

• Support from parent company’s CFO and accounting team on monthly financials

• Increased franchise development

• Access to better technology and systems

• Buying power due to being associated with the parent company

• Opportunities to work with other brands under the same umbrella organization

• Marketing dollars going further

• Cross-promotional opportunities

• Added level of comfort from the financial backing of larger company

31 Aug/Sept 2022
It just kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, no pun intended.

Does Your Franchise Have These Factors?

Over my years of experience interviewing customers, I found that there were several things they value. Things they prioritize before the product or service. They boiled down to three basic wants comprising what we now call the R-T-C Factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency. Let’s go over them and you can check your own R-T-C Factor.

32 Pillars of Franchising Customer Service

R – Relationship

Building rapport is an overlooked art. Call many companies and the first word shouted at you is “Name?” No “nice to meet you by phone” or even a “good morning.” There’s very little rapport-building found in today’s customer service. A relationship starts within the first four to six seconds of a phone call or within the first 30 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction. Plus, it lays the groundwork for future business. Rapport-building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It’s a simple, basic process.

T – Trust

If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship

will melt to zero. Gaining the trust of your customer is the KEY to a relationship. From following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company’s guarantee statement, creating trust is vital. If that trust is broken, it’s a big fence to mend. Keep your word to gain the trust of your customer. They need to know they can count on you. Before any actual sale, a customer must buy “you.”

C – Consistency

A McDonald’s hamburger in Cancún, Mexico tastes the same as one in Des Moines, Iowa. Why? Consistency. The taste will be the same in each of the stores. A business should run with the same consistency. It shouldn’t matter who the customer talks to. Personally, I’m

skeptical when someone tells me: “Be sure to talk to Joe. He’s the best there is.” I’d much rather hear: “You can talk to anyone in our office.”


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

Do it!

Nancy Friedman is a popular speaker in the franchise industry and a highly respected customer service expert. Email: Nancyf@telephonedoctor.com. During COVID, call her cell at 314-276-1012 or office: 314-291-1012 (central time) and visit www.nancyfriedman.com Need a company Zoom meeting? Or a 30-minute RX Shot in the Arm for your team? We’d love to share our tips, ideas, skills and techniques with you and your team.

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…this is not rocket science, it’s not major surgery. . . it’s plain old common sense.

True Leaders

Never Stop Learning

How do you know when a person has stopped growing and will soon begin to start failing?

It is pretty clear that time is coming when you hear statements such as: “Yeah, I know about that” or “I went through that training once” or “I’ve heard this before.”

Now, by failing, I also mean they have settled into mediocrity or have settled for being average and just getting by. Then, when things go awry, they are quick to point fingers and start the blame, complain and defend game.

A true leader always puts their people above themselves. The leader needs to understand their interests, needs and desires to truly connect with and add value to them. I’m sure that every leader

34 Pillars of Franchising Leadership

true leader

feels they already do that. So did I. Until I realized how much I didn’t know.

Sometimes, when you are bogged down in the everyday running of things, you don’t see the world changing around you. At some point, I realized some of the things that used to work weren’t really working anymore.

That makes sense. Stay in business or in the same position long enough, and there is a very good chance that the new people coming on board will have a different view of things. Once I began to embrace the fact that I needed to improve, I set out to find the best people to learn from.

As a lifelong learner and ravenous consumer of personal development and growth material, spending a good amount on resources is second nature to me. I always want to stay ahead of the competition and be the best I can be. Funny thing is, the more I spent, the better I became and the more successful my results were.

That’s the other thing. Who you learn from matters. I only wanted to learn from the best. I never really look at it as a cost. I view it as an investment in my own development. Over the years,

that investment has been substantial. Yes, many times it was a message that “I’d heard before.” But here’s the thing about that: many times, I was at a different stage of life, business, mindset etc. than before. Maybe it wasn’t a message that I needed, or resonated with then, but hearing it again made it click.

I am so grateful that I’ve continued seeking improvement. Nowadays, all anyone hears is how difficult finding and retaining great people has become. I hear it too. I see the help wanted signs. Yet I decided to open a new business during it all. Because I have faith in people. I know there are always great people. I also knew that I needed to better understand how to find those people.

So, what did I do? Same thing as always. I found someone who could teach me how to reach them, what approach I needed to take, how to convey the proper message etc. That brought them through the door. Then, my past training helped me select the best from the pool of applicants. The result was a fabulous team, each member committed to excellence and empowered and trusted to do their jobs as if they owned the business. I don’t think it would have happened

had I not sought out and invested in that training.

Yes, it took some time and money, but if you are afraid of investing in your own personal growth and development, why would you expect anyone else to want to follow you?


David Kajganich is one of Pillars of Franchising’s Million Dollar Mentors. He began his career in franchising in 1992 when he became the first franchisee for Buffalo Wild Wings. Within the first year, he reached more than one million dollars in revenue, and for nearly three decades, he successfully ran multiple units until he sold the business in 2020. David was also involved as an area director for a quick service sub sandwich concept as well as for a fitness franchise. Through his experiences, he honed his skills in the areas of leadership, performance coaching, influence and persuasion to help franchise owners get the most out of their managers and employees. He is currently a performance coach through his business, Eagle Status Performance, LLC. You can reach David at david@davidkajganich.com.

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always puts their people above themselves.

A Pinch of SALT for the Franchise World

Both franchisors and franchisees are presented with a host of complicated issues to decipher and plan for when it comes to their business operations. These considerations may include intellectual property issues, rights and obligations of the parties, financial terms, and various purchasing terms and quality standards. A topic that may not come up as often is that of state and local tax (SALT).

36 Pillars of Franchising

As states and localities seek additional revenues and begin to craft new laws and guidance to do so, both Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have been reluctant to impose any type of uniformity requirements upon states and cities. The result is a hodgepodge of rules and ambiguous guidance that often deviate and conflict among different taxing jurisdictions.


For franchisors, one of the most common SALT topics that comes up is nexus. Nexus refers to a particular business’s presence in or connection with a state or locality that allows the state or city in question to impose a tax. This includes taxes such as a net income tax, gross receipts tax, franchise tax or sales and use tax. Maintaining property and payroll in a state, in addition to entering into a state for any business purpose, could give rise to nexus. This may also include the use of subcontractors. In addition to physical nexus, there is a concept referred to as economic nexus, which refers to maintaining enough of an economic presence with a state or locality to permit the imposition of SALT.

As applied to franchisors, there is a history of case law and various statutes and regula-

tions across the country which have implicitly approved of the concept of applying economic nexus to their businesses. Specifically, when a franchisor provides a franchisee with the right to operate a store, business or other commercial activity, that franchisor should have nexus in any location where the franchisee(s) operate. This is based on the notion that the franchisor’s specific franchise (and other associated intellectual property, such as trade name, good will, and patents) are being utilized in the state where a franchisee is operating.

The concept of economic nexus has been applied to franchisors in the context of net income tax, gross receipts or franchise tax, and sales tax. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court approved a state’s sales tax nexus law which was conditioned on generating $100,000 in sales or 200 separate transactions from the state in question, even without any physical presence. This “brightline” nexus concept has been duplicated in about half the

Finstates for sales tax purposes and partially adopted in more than a dozen states for net income, gross receipt or franchise tax purposes.

In the income, gross receipts, and franchise tax world, another confounding issue when thinking about SALT is the proper sourcing of revenue for apportioning income or gross receipts. What this means in practice is that when a company pays business taxes to multiple states, there are various apportionment formulas utilized to allocate income to various jurisdictions to prevent duplicative taxation.

A key component (and sometimes the sole component) of an apportionment formula is the receipts factor—this is essentially a ratio computed by dividing a business’s in-state sales by the business’s sales undertaken/delivered everywhere. The receipts factor is computed based on sourcing rules which also deviate by state. For example, one state may look to the location of the franchisee, another may look

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The result is a hodgepodge of rules and ambiguous guidance that often deviate and conflict among different taxing jurisdictions.

to where the franchisor’s intellectual property is managed, while another may look to where costs were incurred in generating, managing and servicing the franchises.

Finally, there are also sales and use tax considerations to contend with in this arena. While the granting of a franchise generally does not implicate sales and use tax, many franchise agreements require purchasing or leasing of various goods, equipment and services from a franchisor who may have various vendor relationships and economies of scale that could benefit pricing. The franchisor in this case would need to consider a host of different issues, including, but not limited to:

Does the franchisor have nexus in the state or locality in question?

• Is the product or service being provided taxable?

• If sales tax needs to be collected, how does one register, collect, remit and report it?

• When purchasing a product or service for resale, is the appropriate resale certificate being completed and presented to vendors to avoid duplicative tax on the purchase and subsequent sale?

• If the franchisor is purchasing items on behalf of franchisees, what is the proper way to account for and report this for sales tax purposes?


Franchisees face many of the same issues as franchisors. However, the activities of an unrelated franchisor in another state should generally not create nexus for any SALT for a franchisee in that state if it does not have independent nexus on its own. Therefore, franchisees will also have to consider the locations where they maintain property and payroll, have regular economic activity or generate sales when thinking about subjectivity to various business taxes.

However, franchisees who sell tangible personal property have an extra nexus protection when

it comes to net income tax. That protection is referred to as P.L. 86-272, a federal statute that prohibits a state from imposing a net income tax on a business that limits its activities to sales of tangible personal property and solicitation for those sales in that state. This nexus shield is only applicable to net income tax and not gross receipts or franchise tax and can be completely eliminated by conducting other non-de minimis activities in a state or locality.

Franchisees who sell tangible personal property generally source revenue based on the location of delivery, while other types of revenue may be sourced based on location of performance, intangible use, customer facilities, company employees or where costs of performance and maintenance are incurred.

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Finally, when it comes to sales tax—franchisees will have to collect sales if making taxable sales and if there is nexus in the state or locality at issue. In the context of franchise agreements, there could be opportunities for savings for franchisees by closely examining the items or services purchases and determining exactly where delivered or used. The savings could come into play if sales tax may be collected on a product that is not taxable or may be sourced to another location where it is not taxable. These opportunities arise when services have an interstate element to them and/or when software, information services and various digital products are under consideration.

Kenneth Laks is a tax partner in the firm’s Melville, Long Island office with 28 years of experience working in public accounting. Ken has experience with the tax aspects of pass-through entities with specific knowledge in the international tax arena. His focus is in the areas of expatriate taxation, as well as CFC issues, such as sub part F and GILTI, and the interpretation of tax treatises. He has experience working in various industries including engineering, manufacturing and wholesalers, real estate, and software companies. klaks@ citrincooperman.com https:// www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-laks-b6762122/

Franchise Website Link - https://www.citrincooperman.com/industries/franchising

Citrin Cooperman: https://www.linkedin.com/company/citrin-cooperman/ https://twitter.com/citrincooperman https://www.facebook.com/Citrin.Cooperman.CPAs/ https://www.instagram.com/citrincooperman/

Jaime Reichardt is a state and local tax partner at Citrin Cooperman. In this role, he provides consulting advice to all different types of businesses and individuals on income tax, sales tax, gross receipts tax, property tax, realty transfer tax and credits and incentives issues. Jaime helps companies not only identify potential compliance issues and tax reporting exposures, but also assists with identifying and securing pro-active refunds, tax credits or abatements, and other incentive opportunities. He has been able to secure several million dollars in tax savings and economic development benefits. Jaime also has a proven track record of successfully resolving state tax controversies and audits with various revenue departments across tax types. jreichardt@citrincooperman.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/ jaime-reichardt-8196346/

“Citrin Cooperman” is the brand under which Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, a licensed independent CPA firm, and Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC serve clients’ business needs. The two firms operate as separate legal entities in an alternative practice structure. Citrin Cooperman is an independent member of Moore North America, which is itself a regional member of Moore Global Network Limited (MGNL).

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Pillars of Women

Why Educators

Make Great Franchisees

Why Educators Make Great Franchisees

Back to School is around the corner and this month we discuss how educators can look to franchising to supplement, replace or improve their income and job satisfaction.

By the Numbers

• According to the National Center for Education statistics, a report updated in May of 2021 cited that women comprised 76% of the nation’s public school educators.

• As of June 30, 2022, salary. com reported the National Average teacher salary at $54,990.

• Franchise Insights reported in July 2021 that women’s interest in franchising was suppressed during the initial

40 Pillars of Franchising

pandemic year (2020) but has been recovering since.

• In the first half of 2021, women represented half of all franchise prospects.

• Research by Guidant Financial estimated that women account for approximately 31% of all small businesses and franchise ownership in the U.S.

With all of this data and the cost of living increasing faster than income, it is no surprise that franchising is an appealing option for educators.

Closing the Wage Gap

Another reason women may be looking to start a new business could be due to earning less on average than men for the same work. Franchising and entrepreneurship become more appealing for those looking to close the wage gap and take control of their financial future.

Being a teacher can be one of the most rewarding professions out there. The ability to transform lives through knowledge, to make connections and find ways for those who learn differently to understand and flourish and to make lifelong impactful memories for others is no small feat. But in many parts of the nation, the salary is not attractive

enough to support new teachers joining the force, and it is not sustainable as a single source of income. With various opinions on how the education system should function, the stress, lack of recognition and, at times, respect and gratitude, also make teaching one of the most challenging professions.

Leveraging Teaching Skills in Entrepreneurship

What many educators don’t realize is that teaching is a skill that, for those who have honed it, can be taken to many different places and leveraged. I’ve learned this firsthand. When I finished college with an arts degree, I was uncertain about my next steps and took a second degree program to obtain a Bachelor of Education. At the time, the only job available was in a highcrime, low-income neighborhood in Vancouver, Canada. I took the job and enjoyed the children and the challenge of managing the classroom and the learning needs. But I knew teaching was not my calling. I had always maintained other forms of employment throughout the five or so years I taught either full or part-time.

When I finally made the leap to entrepreneurship, I quickly realized how transferable teaching skills were. Ultimately,

teaching is about communication and ensuring those who need to understand concepts, do. In business, this is marketing, training and communications. Running a classroom and the various skills and learning styles and transitions is similar to operations management. With good organization and systems, things run effectively. I believe teaching was foundational to my skill-set in business and to my former role as a CEO.

Teaching provides flexibility. Part-time options or on-call positions are available, and time off (though unpaid) is more abundant than in most professions. The benefit is time to run another business.

Before diving into entrepreneurship, here are a few reasons why franchising is the best option when you want to keep your teaching job:

• There are absentee or semi-absentee models and you can interview current franchisees to clearly understand the time commitment. Keep in mind that no successful business is truly absentee.

• Franchising offers a support network of other franchisees and also the franchisor. You are not alone.

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• A proven business model reduces your risk and should net a faster ROI.

Here are some of the Education related franchises that caught my interest. Many of these were founded by women.

Young Rembrandts

Afterschool art program for kids 3-12 years old. A home-based business that operates classes at host locations such as schools, community centers, etc.

Founder: Bette Fetter 102 locations

Investment: Approx. $40,000 https://www.youngrembrandtsfranchise.com/why-young-rembrandts/young-rembrandts-faqs/

British Swim School

A learn-to-swim and water survival swim school that utilizes pools in other spaces like gyms, hotels and condo buildings.

Founder: Rita Goldberg 215+ swim schools Investment: about $93,700$125,850 https://britishswimschoolfranchise.com/about/

Code Wiz ‘Unlock your child’s inner genius’. A learn-to-code franchise.

Founder: Ruth Agbaji 14 units

Investment: $93,800-$168,200 https://codewizfranchise.com

Challenge Island

An enrichment program where engineering meets education.

Founder: Sharon Estroff 150+ units

Investment: $50,000-$60,000 https://challenge-island.com/ own-a-franchise/

Tutor Doctor

“Every child can learn but not every child learns the same way.” A work-from-home tutoring model.

Founder: John Hooi 700+ units Investment: $73,295-$100,995 (single license) https://www.tutordoctorfranchise.com/?utm_source=consumer_link&utm_medium=website_link

Lastly, educators are natural leaders, an important part of entrepreneurship. As you explore which opportunity is right for you, remember the top traits of great educators that cross over into business:

• Organization

• Empathy

• Communication

• Understanding

• Patience

The International Franchise Association (franchise.org) is a great resource for industry statistics and resources.

How can you get started? The Million Dollar Mentor program. https://www.pillarsoffranchising.

Andrea is the Principal of Coltivare Strategy, a Consultancy she founded to help businesses in the areas of Franchising, Retail, Cosmetics/ Beauty, Marketing and Strategic Planning in order to scale efficiently. She has worked with some of the best brands in Franchising, recently Massage Heights, and is currently Head of Marketing at Woven Brands. Andrea is the former CEO and President of skoah, a Vancouver based skin care company with locations in Canada and the US. She co-founded and co-owned skoah for 19 years, before exiting in January 2021. You can reach her at: andrea@coltivarestrategy.com

42 Pillars of Franchising
that people need different ways to understand the same concepts.

Having the Gift of GAB

Doesn’t Mean Talk a Lot

People have funny ideas about networking. Sometimes it gets associated with others trying to sell you stuff over drinks or at the very least, shoving their business card in your face at a Chamber of Commerce after 5 o’clock social (yuck).

No one wants that. I know I don’t.

But the truth is, we all network. And at its best, networking is about building relationships, giving your best to those relationships and knowing the truth of the old saying: “What goes around, comes around.” (HINT: Remember that old saying, we will be coming back to it.)

No matter whether your business is in the consumer retail space or the business-to-business service arena, networking is essential to success in business.

44 Pillars of Franchising

After decades in sales and more than a decade as a sales coach, I’ve landed on three principles that will serve you well if you practice them with your networking efforts. I call them the Gift of GAB.

They go like this:

GThe G stands for being Generous. Always ask yourself: How can I serve the person with whom I’m interacting? To be clear, that is not code for: What can I sell them? To be generous, one must understand what others need and then respond with that in mind. Connecting people with other people they need to meet, for instance. We are talking about giving with no expectation of return. And about the time you think, well, this sounds like a slow boat to sales, think back to the old saying above.

AThe A stands for being Attractive. No, it doesn’t mean wearing the right clothes, or hair or whatever (although being clean and neat is something my mother would tell you to make a priority), it means the energy we give off with our presence either brings people in or turns them away. Literally, be attractive. Be the person people want to hang out with. If you’re not sure how, revisit G for being Generous. Make sure your positive energy is consistent and authentically you.

BAnd finally, the B stands for being a Builder of relationships. Relationship-building is about long-term connection. Be sure to continually revisit Generous and Attractive in the process. Networking can be fun. And it can be a speedboat to referrals and sales.

I encourage you to ask yourself, “How am I practicing the Gift of GAB in my business?” And not only keep the old saying above in mind, but I offer you this thought from Keith Ferrazzi: “The currency of real networking is not greed, but generosity.”

Networking is about making connections, with generosity of spirit, positive energy and an intention of real connection when you have no idea what will come of it. Networking is building a strategy filled with positive relationships and results. Put that strategy to work, and you will be glad you did.

Lin is a sales coach, author, and founder of UPRising - Unstoppable Powerful WOmen, a community where the genius of women connecting grows.

Website link:  meetlinhere.com

45 Aug/Sept 2022
“ Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. – Jane Howard


Funding in a Recession

How to Stay Informed and Improve Your Lending Options

Funding in a Potential Recession – How to Stay Informed and Improve Your Lending Options

The decision on how to secure the funding you need to buy the franchise opportunity of your dreams can feel just like the process you went through when deciding what business to buy. In good or bad economic times, it’s necessary for prospective owners to educate themselves on the lending landscape, explore all of their options, and do enough due diligence to find the best available financing option.

With a potential recession looming…below are some helpful advice about staying educated and informed of your funding options, along with some tips and advice to improve your opportunity to secure financing.

Your Lending Options

Entrepreneurs looking to fund the purchase of a franchise operation have many funding options to choose from, including banks, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), third-party lending from the franchisor, alternative lenders, crowdfunding and even retirement funds. The most im-

portant step to take is to compare all of your options, as each come with its own set of pros and cons. With so many options, below is a brief summary of the options most often seen in the franchise funding space…

Coll Ateral Based Funding & Loan Programs

These funding options allow candidates to leverage their assets via loans, lines of credit, or more. Also known as debtbased funding as the secured funding will not only leverage a primary asset but will likely include interest payments over

46 Pillars of Franchising

the term of the loan.

SBA loans – An SBA Loan is a government-backed loan to help American entrepreneurs fund their businesses. The good thing about an SBA Loan is that the bank is lending you the money and the SBA is backing that loan up. So, in addition to your personal guaranty, the government is guaranteeing the loan which will make the bank feel more confident. There are various SBA Loan programs; available to fund a wide range of business models. SBA loans are a very popular option for franchise finance. You can essentially fund any purpose - working capital, equipment, inventory, payroll, build out, furniture and more. Loan amounts can range up to $5 million with terms of 10 to 25 years and the interest rates are capped and typically low. This is a very flexible and very popular solution for franchise financing. There are no pre-payment penalties with SBA loans which gives you control of when you pay your loan off.

Lines of Credit - The two most common options are a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or a Securities-Backed Line of Credit (SBLOC). A HELOC loan uses the equity of the borrower’s home as collateral while a SBLOC loan lets you access the value of your investment portfolio (except retirement accounts) without incurring tax consequences.

Equipment Leasing - Whether you need a few cars or a fleet of

trucks, equipment…lenders can design a lease plan that meets your unique needs and maximizes your working capital. The leasing solution can help you stretch your budget, improve your cash flow and keep your business on the move. This also is designed as a lease-to-own program and can be used to support additional territiroes, equipment, vehicles in the future.

Self-Funding Strategies

Often, most people will start by trying to fund a business on their own by using their personal savings. While common, it is not the only way an entrepreneur can start their business without debt. It’s a common misconception that you can only use your retirement funds to purchase investments like publicly traded stocks, bonds or mutual funds. In reality, you can use most retirement plans to buy a business— tax-deferred and penalty-free. In fact, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs have used their retirement savings as a viable resource for funding a business. This is called Rollovers as Business Startups (ROBS)

ROBS Funding – this method of funding allows you to use your 401(k), IRA, 403(b), or other qualified retirement account to fund a business – with no penalties, upfront taxes, or debt. It can also be used as the necessary capital injection for a Small Business Association (SBA) loan. This program is similar to buying stock in a public company, ex-

cept instead you’re investing in your own privately held company. There are two key pillars to this funding strategy, rolling over funds from one qualified plan to another and a company structure that allows the plan to own stock in the corporation. This combination is used to create the Rollover for business Startup business funding option.

Despite economic uncertainty, and even if a recession becomes reality in the U.S., it doesn’t mean that financing and funding will grind to a complete halt. But it’s possible that the lending market will tighten up further, making it even more important than ever to educate yourself on your options so you can be prepared to meet the challenge of securing funding during a recession.

Eric Schechterman is the chief development officer at Benetrends, the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) preferred vendor for ROBS rollover financing and a trusted leader in franchise and small business funding for over 40 years. He can be reached at eschechterman@ benetrends.com.

47 Aug/Sept 2022 FINA
Contact Us Let us help you grow your brand. Find out how we can target your next franchise owner. Contact us at YourFuture@PillarsOfFranchising.com
Pillars is now a full-service consulting firm. We help you select and buy a franchise, grow it to profitability and make your dreams a reality. • Finding the right franchise • Navigating the purchase process • Finding a mentor • Building a network • Reaching your goals • Attracting new franchisees • Marketing your business • Lead generation • Generating visibility • Reaching your goals YourFuture@PillarsOfFranchising www.PillarsOfFranchising.com The Dream Starts Here If you are a potential or current franchisee, we can help you with: If you are a franchisor, we can help you with:

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50 Pillars of Franchising


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51 Aug/Sept 2022

What You Put into Your Digital Presence

Will Determine What You Get Out of It

Acompany’s digital presence can be described as how easy and simple it is to find the company with searching keywords online i.e., via your website, your social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) listings in business directories and other virtual platforms. Digital presence can also include content, website, social media accounts but also reviews too.


Having a digital presence builds trust and makes customers come back to your business along with providing recommendations. With technology never far away these days, it’s easy for potential customers or returning customers to look up companies online to see what their presence is and what content is being shared. Consistent digital presence is key to obtaining visitors and attracting new. The value of having a digital presence as mentioned makes it easier for customers to easily find you online.

Developing a digital presence is the first step for a company along with creating a plan on how to keep your digital presence consistent resulting in what you get out of it in the end. Building an email list is a great way of determining an online presence but also an effective way of reaching out to custom-

ers in a regular way. Take some time to master SEO, either hire a professional to assist you or take some online courses, this time is well spent and will add value to your presence online. Being consistently active online will stop your company’s presence from being dominant and boring, it allows customers to see your content actively and to provide a digital footprint in the customers head. Evaluating your outcome needs to be done regularly such as once a month to see what is working and what is not working so that changes can occur. Trends on social media are constantly changing so keeping up to date with these trends will help with your marketing campaigns and to capture attention of your audience.

Points to consider on how to evaluate digital presence.

• Analyzing social media accounts

• Reviewing content Website search engine visibility

• Reputation

• Considering keywords


Spending time on a digital presence is valuable and essential to developing the company’s growth, so making sure you establish a good foundation for your company and organization is time well spent. Planning your content, deciding what social media accounts and platforms to use and then making sure you are having consistency in your digital footprint. What you put into your digital presence determines what you get out of it.



Katie Bateman Head of Community Engagement

Questions from the Audience

Questions from the Audience

The Pillars of Franchising show airs live every Thursday at 4:00 CT/5:00ET. Because we are a live show, we encourage viewers to call in and ask questions of our guests or our Million Dollar Mentors. Going forward, we will feature some of your questions in every issue of the magazine. If you have questions during one of our shows, we welcome you to call in during showtime at 323-580-5755 or email us ahead of time at yourdream@pillarsoffranchising.com

A question from Tampa. What brands would you recommend for somebody who’s interested in going into multi-unit location ownership?

Jerry Akers: Sure. There are a lot of good ones. I don’t know if I want to into naming a lot of

specific brands because frankly, they all have good and bad things about them. But one thing I would tell you is if you’re going to be in multiple units, especially over a pretty large geographic area, try and buy into systems that need less of your one-onone time. In other words, you don’t have to be in that location very often. They kind of run themselves. So, I’ll give you an example. We do hair care, and we’ve got area managers across the two states that take care of a certain number of salons. So, we don’t have to be there all the time. Once you train those area managers and you have weekly meetings with them to go over what’s going on in their business it’s pretty easy to run.

Our chiropractic clinics kind of run themselves because we’re

dealing with some really topnotch professionals. But if you get into some other brands where it’s very labor intensive from the top end, from your level, it can be problematic. It can be time-consuming. It can, you can actually hold back the organization because you simply can’t be in all places at all times. So, rather than naming franchises, I would look at categories. I’ve got a good friend that owns Smoothie King and there are several great brands out there that compete with them. Tropical Smoothie Café is an example along with two or three others.

Kristin Selmeczy: And those are things that don’t take a lot of your time. If you’ve got a manager in them, they, they will take care of themselves And it is important to understand that not

54 Pillars of Franchising


all franchise systems will allow you to be a semi-absentee or absentee owner. So, Jerry, you brought up Tropical Smoothie Café. I had gone into one recently, and I asked where the owner was and the young woman said that he lived in Michigan. They just came in every now and then. And it’s not that you don’t need strong leadership and not that you don’t need strong management, especially with, you know, you’re typically employing younger people who maybe not be as responsible as you need them to be when you’re customer-facing. But if you get the hiring right, it gives you the flexibility not to have to be in that shop every single day.

JA: It’s about leadership, and it starts with you. And then if you’ve got a hierarchy, like an operations manager and a general manager and a store manager and so on, you’ve got to have that, that culture and the system built to do it. But again, it is not that complicated. One other point is that not all brands work for multi-unit ownership. One that comes to mind right away is Chick-fil-A where they typically want you to only own one. And they want you to be onsite a certain number of hours per week. So that would be one where you would not be able to potentially have more than one.

KS: There are some others like that. Crumbl Cookies is anoth-

er one that wants you in there a certain amount of time. And they tend to want you to own one. I know there are extenuating times when they may let you own more than one, but not just anybody. The listener needs to understand that when you are having those calls with brokers or franchise reps, you ask those kinds of questions. Is there an opportunity for me to own multiples? How far out can I go? You know, some of them may want you to stay in the same state or the same region. Others don’t really care. If you can put together a great team on the other side of the country, they will allow you to do that, especially with virtual communication right now.

KS: Why is female ownership in franchising so low - only 31%?

I have to tell you, personally, I wish I had gotten into it sooner. And, I can say the IFA is doing a great job at engaging women in franchising. And that’s only been the last couple of years that that’s been going on. The SBA has a program for women-owned businesses. There are a lot of resources out there, but I think part of it is, you know, I hate to make this sound bad, but I think we’re also damn busy that sometimes it just is another thing to take on. Sometimes it’s a matter of having the guts.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of knowing that there are many re-

sources out there. We’re just so overscheduled that we just don’t take time to think about what is it that we really want to do with our lives. We’re so busy being moms, and hockey, moms, and baseball, moms. We are doing a million different things. And so, I hope that we see more and more people wanting to get into it because I think that the franchise model is perfect for women who either have experience in business or don’t quite frankly. Um, but what are your thoughts, Jerry?

JA: You touched on several things there, and I’m going to preface this, so I don’t get burned at the stake with the rest of the conversation, but I’m going to preface it with, I will do anything I can to level the playing field and to get more women into it. I think you’re right on that. Franchising is absolutely the perfect opportunity for women to grow and expand and own their own businesses and help their families. I have this vision of more single moms getting into it so they can change the trajectory of the family’s life. But you, you touched on the mom thing and women so often are tied up the first, you know, 20 years of their adult life dealing with children.

So, it may be hard for them to even think about owning a business, going to a nine-to-five job is way easier in that situation so

55 Aug/Sept 2022

that you can rush home to your kids and make it to ball games and all those kinds of things. And that’s great. And although it’s changing, unfortunately, the vast majority of childcare still falls on women. Until that part of it gets into a different position or until women say,” I can do this too,” which some of them do like you and many of my friends that are in franchising, I think many women will just get stuck in that position. It’s hard for them to break out of it and if you suddenly wake up and it’s 38 or 40 years old, whether you’re a man or woman, you may not decide to get in it into a franchise system or own your own business.

JA: And since women do get tied up in the whole child thing for a long time, I think it’s to be

expected -- not because it’s the right thing, but because it’s just the way that the math is working right now. So, I would like to see women, young women get more into it. In fact, we talk about schools with franchising programs like the Titus Center for Franchising down at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and the University of Louisville has a great one. There are others out there, too. That is going to help spur a lot more women to get into franchising early on. And we’ll start kind of balancing the equation a little bit.

KS: Yeah. I’ll tell you. I know that there are a lot of groups out there that help support women who want to get into this. Funding tends to sometimes be an option for people, but I

have to tell you, don’t let it be a barrier. Feel free to reach out to Elizabeth and me. This is kind of one of our hot buttons. We are dedicated to making sure that we can find resources for women. Two weeks ago, we did the women in franchising panel. Take a listen to that episode. You’ll find people who had no idea how they were going to do it. I for one just knew I was tired of balancing a demanding job and two kids (at the time). And then of course, right after we bought my franchise, we closed and guess what! Baby three’s here. And so, it’s like - what happens? But it can all be done. And there are some great homebased models for a woman who wants to get into it but isn’t sure how much she can commit. So please reach out.

56 Pillars of Franchising
57 Aug/Sept 2022 localized digital marketing localized digital ads website design & development graphic design podcast consulting STAND OUT to your local market 805.202.8127 westvyne.com

Million Dollar Minute with Jerry Akers

Call Your Senator Today New Tax on the Table for Small Businesses

Elizabeth Denham:

Jerry, you had some news. Let’s talk about some things that are going on in Washington that the franchise industry needs to be aware of.

Jerry Akers: I got something that I think will be very important to business owners. Number one is what the heck is going on in D.C. that impacts small businesses, and this is hot off the press.

The Senate is starting conversa-

tions about adding a 3.8% tax increase on all small businesses. Now, there are a couple of driving factors here. Number one, they’re trying to pay for the Build Back Better Program, which a lot of us have heard about and they’re scrambling, trying to find where to bring money.

Taxes are always one of the things they’re going to take a look at. Not usually for small businesses, but in this case it is. And the second thing is people in D.C. who have never owned

or run a small business really don’t know what it means to run a small business. And their perception is that business owners with small businesses use it as a tax loophole to avoid paying taxes.

And they’re not paying taxes for Medicare and some of those kinds of things. They don’t really understand that through the payroll that we have, we’re paying that through the payroll we give ourselves. We’re paying all of those things and this tax is

58 Pillars of Franchising

never going to be paid by the intended person. And is not going to be paid by the small business owner.

Yes, I might write the check, but I’m going to either increase my costs to my customers to make up for it. And by the way, when a small business increases its prices, they don’t increase it 3.8%. They increase it 38% or 48% because they’re going to get a little bit of profit on anything that they put in their cost. And number two, if they don’t do it that way or some combination, it’s going to impact their employees because if you’re in a position as a small business owner where you can’t increase your price on your products and services and you get hit with another tax, you’re not going to take it out of your pocket. I will just tell you; you’re not going to take it out of your pocket. So, in many cases, that comes out of bonuses for employees, benefits for employees or even pay decreases for employees. So, I would ask our listeners that if you’re a small business owner, thinking about becoming a small business owner, get a hold of your senator.

Tell them that they must avoid voting for this 3.8% increase

because it will not impact the people that they’re trying to impact.

ED: So, your advice to the small business owners that will be affected by this is to get in touch with their senators and congresspeople.

JA: Absolutely. Let them know that you’ve heard that the Senate is considering this. And explain what you would do as someone or how that would impact you, your customers and your employees so that they really know they understand that it’s not just an easy thing, that they put

a tax on small businesses and a small business owner sends them a check that it’s going to filter down to people that they don’t have even considering. I’m guessing the International Franchise Association will be sending out something shortly. So, you heard it here first!

ED: If you need quick access to find your senator or congressperson, you can go to Senate. gov or House.gov to reach both houses and find the quickest way to get an email off to support small businesses.

59 Aug/Sept 2022 MILL



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