Sunday, November 9, 2008

Increase in Arizona Jobless Rate

Though economic downturns may create opportunities for some Phoenix entrepreneurs and Arizona Franchisees, joblessness isn't anything that brings a spirit of cheer. According to this article, Arizona currently matches the national statistic for jobs and is hovering at close to 6 percent. "And economists at the state Department of Commerce said the situation will continue to deteriorate for the immediate future. New figures Thursday put the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 5.9 percent. That’s up three-tenths of a percent from August; a year earlier the figure was 3.8 percent.The last time the state jobless rate was this high was July 2003." The credit crunch, commodity prices and lack of consumer confidence have all been blamed as possible factors.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Top Franchises on AOL

According to this article, in its recent release of the top searches for franchise opportunities, businesses that offer fitness services and the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle have entered the top 10 most searched for business opportunities in the competitive franchise arena, which included such well known brands as McDonald's, Subway and Denny's. The growing Colorado-based Fitness Together Holdings, Inc., the world's largest wellness company, made the list with its two franchised business models: Fitness Together® (, the world's largest personal training organization; and elements therapeutic massage® (, a massage therapy concept. Scott Wendrych, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Fitness Together Holdings, Inc. said that "In today's economy, people want proven brands for career opportunities that also promote a better society. Today, we are realizing a record number of new people interested in owning their own Fitness Together® or elements therapeutic massage® business."

Fitness Together® began franchising small personal training studios in 1996, has awarded more than 600 franchises and now has 419 fitness studios open nationwide. The massage therapy franchisor has sold more than 100 franchises in 18 months and now has 55 massage studios open in 19 states.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Slow Economy Spurs Franchisor Deals for Franchisees

Though the current state of the economy is making some would-be franchisees wary of making big investments, franchisors are coming up with creative ways of helping franchisees and wooing buyers. Franchise companies, facing competition for prospective franchisees are offering two-for-one deals, reduced fees, bonuses for buyer referrals, extended financing deadlines to attract franchisees. According to this article, one such example is Interiors by Decorating Den of Easton, Md., which says it has seen a 33% decline compared with last year. "In response, among other incentives, it is offering to finance up to 50% of the franchise fee (or up to $15,000) for qualified individuals with a minimum of $55,000 in liquid capital. People may have the skills but not the capital to launch a franchise, says Kevin Atkinson, Decorating Den's vice president of program development."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Volatile Economy is a Mixed Bag For Franchises

A downturn in the economy freezes some individuals so that they postpone any new purchases while others view it as an opportunity or challenge. Many corporate refugees use severances or retirement packages as a source of credit for a franchise business. With so many different industries making up the economy, not all businesses flail around when the economy does not fare well in general. Indeed, unemployment sometimes spurs those to go where they would not otherwise have gone.

Interest in entrepreneurship tends to increase when people face unemployment and have no other options. Many people consider starting small businesses and franchises. Indeed, some sectors of the economy do not see a difference in a downturn or may even see increased consumer demand. Many people find that these areas coincide with personal interests as people start franchises involving handyman services, fitness, pet care or elder care with require relatively less capital than other types of businesses.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Buying From an Existing Franchisee-Pros and Cons

Unfortunately, many franchise lawyers only hear from franchisees when there are problems and the franchise does not work out as planned. One such instance is when a franchisee has not bought a franchise direct from the franchisor, but has taken the franchise over from an existing franchisee. This is not always a dire circumstance, but it does require a prospective franchisee to do some due diligence as the franchisee should when buying direct from the franchisor. Indeed, there are certain advantages. Assuming that the franchise is already in operation, there may be little left to mystery and the new franchisee doesn't have to start from the ground up. For example, there is already information on the location, the real estate is in place and if the new franchisee is very fortunate, the current employees of the franchise are also in place saving the new franchisee the hassle of hiring new employees and going through an interview process. Also, hopefully, there's an existing customer base with all of its goodwill attached. But try to think of the purchase as also having the downsides of buying a used car or someone's home. As with such cases, the prospective franchisee should try to ascertain why the original franchisee is leaving. It may be for family reasons or the need for change, but you do not want it to be because there is a poor relationship with the franchisor which you may inherit. The financial history may show that the business did well, but are there changes in the market place or local demographics that suggest a trend in the opposite direction? A new franchisee should also check out the terms of the Franchise Agreement very carefully to make sure they can be in compliance for future operations and that there aren't unpleasant surprises triggered by any franchisee transfer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Impact of The Financial Rescue Plan on Franchised Businesses

Members of the International Franchise Association, (IFA) the world's largest organization representing franchising with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms, made fervant efforts to the House of Representatives to pass the financial market rescue plan. According to this article, IFA President & CEO Matthew Shay felt that: "Passage of the bill in the House will send a positive signal to the financial markets and hopefully free up much needed credit for franchised business to expand. We cannot stress enough the importance of this vote." Shay said that "the 900,000 franchised businesses in the U.S. provide for 20 million jobs and contribute $2.3 trillion to the private sector economy."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Menu Label Law May Help Food Franchises

According to this article, " California this week became the first state to require restaurants with at least 20 locations to list their calorie counts on menus and menu boards." The advantage for consumers may be obvious, but there was some concern that restaurant operators and food franchises might view the menu labeling requirement a consideration of time and expense. However, proponents feel that the requirement will help consumers combat health problems and some California franchisees do not consider the laws a problem. "Dick Shalhoub, who owns 21 Inland McDonald's restaurants, said McDonald's has already begun listing calorie and other nutritional information at its restaurants nationwide. The California measure should not prove a hardship for his franchise company. "There's going to be the matter of printing and putting up more signs, but that's minor compared to the benefit to consumers." Shalhoub said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

West Coast Franchise Expo in Los Angeles November 7th-9th, 2008

According to this article, the West Coast Franchise Expo has become the first franchising event of the west coast. Prospective franchisees or exisiting franchisees may find a wealth of information at the event. Last year "more than 10.000 qualified candidates visited the West Coast Franchise Expo last year and had the opportunity to meet 200 brands seeking to develop, with almost 50% either serious or nearing a decision on which franchise concept to buy." The franchise expo will be held at the LA Convention Center at 1201 South Figueroa Street.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace Sees Strong Demand for Private Jets

It's nice to know that despite the economic outlook, some businesses still see strong consumer demand which is hopeful for other businesses including franchises that may have related or supporting goods or services. According to this article, "Despite the global downturn, soaring demand for business jets is projected to generate more than $300 billion in sales over the next decade, which could support thousands of jobs at aerospace companies in Arizona and around the world. Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace's annual business aviation outlook forecasts delivery of 17,000 new business aircraft from 2008 through 2018."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Franchisee Financing

As fears of credit freezes abound, according to this article, one company known for its drive-in restaurants, has said it will have financing sources available for its franchisees. Sonic Corp "said the current state of the U.S. economy was challenging and could become more so, but that Sonic and its franchisees "are positioned for future growth and increased development." Responding to news reports about the impact of tighter credit markets on its franchisees, Sonic said said that "it has not been informed of any cut-back in franchisee financing."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

California Franchise Expands Seeking New Franchisees

We are always interested in these times in expanding franchises that are hopeful about the economy and expanding to create new opportunities for aspiring business owners. Of course, it's also a way of trying to track if there are certain trends in various industries that signal future growth possibilities. According to this article, the owner of a national bookkeeping franchise that originated in California "now has more than 150 locations. Based out of the Washington metropolitan area, it has expanded into surrounding states." The franchise is actively looking for interested franchisees. Greg Jones, chief executive officer of Bookkeeping Express, states that his business model "is based on the need among small businesses for a national organization that provides bookkeeping services.... Often, small business owners choose between a higher-priced CPA firm or an independent bookkeeper who may not have the entire skill set that can help grow the business."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How One Franchise Remains Optimistic in Hard Times

Despite the economic climate, one health franchise continues to expand internationally and attributes its success to a well thought out franchise model. According to this article, Curves is the ninth most successful franchise company in the world and they are setting their sights on Australia despite the growth their of copy cat fitness centers. Curves' founder Gavin Heaves states that, "we have a very affordable program. You know they may quit the expensive gyms, but Curves at $59 a month is one dinner out that you don’t do. So, if we as an organisation continue to go out there and say that your health is important and that they can take 30 minutes three times a week and it were actually a very affordable form of recreation, then … we actually do well during tough economic times and personally I’ve been around for 15 years, so I’ve been through a couple of recessions and if you are proactive and remind the business operators … they really have the power to maintain their business." Interestingly, Curves is quite vocal about its selection of franchisees. "we sell Curves one at a time to usually women that have numbers that are passionate about the programme and the other guys tend to sell them to investors or pretty much anybody who will put up the money. So, we’ve been able to create a community of support with 10,000 locations in 65 countries that stood the test of time."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Subway Franchise Tries Out New Café System

According to this article, the Subway submarine sandwich franchise is currently testing out a new concept: "five new outlets located in Washington DC shall not only be offering its customers the standard range of subs, ice-cream, cookies and coffee but shall also have an integrated café area." The chain currently has about 29,000 franchises which has expanded to over 85 different countries since its founder Fred DeLuca opened his first location back in 1965.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Local Phoenix, Arizona Franchisees Consider Fro-Yo Concept for Franchising

If you're a regular trend setter in New York or California, you've probably heard of the new frozen yogurt-calorie conscious new taste developed from a concept imported from South Korea called "fro-yo." It has a more tart taste than the frozen yogurt. Though it has been around for a while, according to this article, metro Phoenix has not seen either chain open here which has "left the field wide open for several local entrepreneurs who think they know a good thing when they taste it. A couple of these new owners of businesses are hopeful their ideas will turn into franchises with national outlets." One set of siblings has seen some success opening its first Ice Tango early this year in north Scottsdale and a second store in Scottsdale's Hilton Village. The sister-and-brother team Susie and David Cha have found franchising the way to go.
"It also took the siblings much more than $300,000 - plus the expense of creating the franchise agreements. Franchise cost, the Chas said, will require less than $300,000, which is relatively low, but, as David Cha said, "The idea is that everyone can make a profit. We're really flattered that people want to franchise. And we should be ready to do that soon." You can find a couple of local Fro-Yo stores at Chill 1250 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe. 480-698-6101 and Wildberri Yogurt 401 E. Bell Road (Seventh Street at Bell Road), Phoenix. 602-298-6331.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Local Handyman Service Expands Across The US

We love stories about local regular services that expand into franchises that provide a needed service to regular folk. HandyPro Handyman Services appears to be one such franchsise. According to this article, "HandyPro is a member of the Better Business Bureau with no complaints and participates in CARE, the BBB’s Customer Assurance Program. It was voted one of the “101 Best Companies to Work for in Detroit” in 2002." The franchise specializes in handyman services, small repairs and maintenance jobs for homeowners and commercially owned buildings.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arizona Food Franchise Closes its Doors

Nothing But Noodles franchisee closed its doors despite having entered into a fund-raising agreement with a local Elementary School according to this article. "The five-year lease was up, and franchisee Matt Hale was facing an increase in rent with declining business," said Chad Everts, co-owner of Noodles Development, the Scottsdale-based franchisor. The franchisor claims that with declining sales, other restaurant openings in the area, "the economy, gas prices, and people not eating out as much, the owner chose not to renew the lease."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

California Franchise Honored with Credo Award

According to this article, California Closets franchise were honored recently with the Credo Award for 2007. The Franchise provides custom-designed storage solutions for the home. The award "recognizes the franchise that epitomizes the California Closets Credo, a system of beliefs about how they conduct business and interact with customers and with each other."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Local Arizona Restaurants Join Fight Against Obesity Business Trend

Arizona Smart Choice, a program designed to help fight obesity in Arizona is working with local restaurants, including Subway and the McDonald's franchise, to provide nutritional information for customers, according to this article. "Chronic illness, diabetes and obesity are big threats to the United States and Arizona and according to the U.S. Surgeon General, one out of five adults in Arizona is obese." Arizona Restaurants can join the program at no charge, but a nutritionist, which typically costs about $100 analyze at least one menu item that meets the program's nutritional requirements approval can be provided and the restaurant can display the given Arizona Smart Choice marketing tools.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

California Franchise One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Voted Best for 2008

According to this Article, "One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning ranks #1 as the nation's fastest-growing franchise according to Franchise Times(R) magazine's "Fast 55" list (2007) and ranks #5 on Entrepreneur magazine's list of Top New Franchises (2008)." The franchise offers customers heating & air conditioning services. Readers of The Placer Herald in California selected the One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Franchise as Best of the Best for 2008 in the publication's annual listing of consumer-choice winners.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

12 Points of Fair Franchising

Many franchisees ask our franchise law firm what agreement provisions are fair for the franchisee. Some even wonder if any franchise agreement is fair. One way to to assess your franchise agreement, Federal Disclosure Document and other franchise related documentation is to attend or review the reports put out by the AAHOA (Asian Americans Hotel Owner Associatioon). The AAHOA puts out a performance appraisal report (PAR) that compares five leading franchise companies by determining how they measure up to its 12 Points of Fair Franchising. While the organization looks at franchisors in the hotel industry, its report can provide some insight for any franchisee. For example, according to this article, the Wyndham Hotel Group has liquidated damages clauses in its franchise agreements which generally amount to $2,000 per guest room, or 24 months of fees even though the AAHOA states that franchisees should only have to pay six months of royalty fees.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Domino's Pizza Celebrates 25 Years as an International Food Franchise

Domino's Pizza, the pizza restaurant and takeaway franchise, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of the opening of its first international outlet. According to this article, the first international Domino's Pizza location was launched in Winnipeg, Canada in 1983 as a franchise. "A few months later the first Domino's Pizza outside North America was opened in Springwood, Queensland, Australia." Mostly through franchising, the company has built up over 8,600 outlets in more than 55 countries.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Franchisee Owned Restaurants Stay Open Despite Bennigan Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Though about 150 corporate-owned Bennigan`s restaurants are closing because the company is out of money, the franchise's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is not expected to affect the retaurants owned by Franchisees, according to this article. In fact, the bankruptcy is "not expected to affect plans to open up one of the restaurants in Mandan next year." The restaurant should be open by next spring.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Arizona Franchise Provides Portion Controlled Meals

Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating most recent franchise was awarded in Arizona which is building its kitchen operations near Phoenix, according to this article. The Healthy Eating franchise "provides clients with portion- and calorie-controlled meals. The franchise will gradually expand to accommodate customers with additional distributor locations throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, western part of Missouri and all Kansas."
The company began franchising in 1996 and has approximately 250 distributor locations in those areas and "serves the remainder of the United States via its national home delivery program, shipping meals from coast to coast."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Burger King sued by Franchise owners

Four of Burger Kings franchise owners who operate a total of 57 stores in South Florida have filed a lawsuit against the Franchise over extended hours that the corporation has demanded they keep open later on certain nights according to this article. "The plaintiffs allege the longer hours cost disproportionately more and threaten the safety of their employees, citing several instances where Burger King employees were assaulted during early or late hours."

Friday, July 18, 2008

UPZS Franchise Presents Franchising Opportunity For Latino Families

According to this article, Unique Pizza and Subs Corporation (UPZS) "has announced that it plans to assist the first 30 Latino families in raising the necessary capital to open their own successful Unique Pizza and Subs establishments. Their UPZS franchise will range from full sit down restaurant locations to the new Unique Pizza and Subs mobile pizza kitchens. Any race is invited to participate but our initial plan is to market to the Latino community."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why Use a Franchise Attorney?

Sometimes clients contact us hoping to save money after having started a Federal Disclosure Document (FDD, formerly referred to as the UFOC) using an online kit and want an attorney to provide that "final review." Others use their regular business attorney to look over a Franchise Agreement they may be reviewing for a possible purchase and think that this may be sufficient for a satisfactory review of any pitfalls that may exist for the unsuspecting franchisee. Franchising is a unique creature that share some of the aspects of many business deals, but a Franchise lawyer has experience that combines familiarity with trademarks, branding, federal disclosure requirements that can allow insight that online kits or unsuspecting business lawyers may miss.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Downtown Phoenix Arizona Businesses Need Buses

Several Arizona business owners feel that the key to thriving business in downtown Phoenix depends on nightime transit hours for Phoenix buses. According to this article, "If Phoenix wants its downtown nightlife to thrive, buses need to stay on the street long after sundown, several business owners say.Bill Smith, who owns Bar Smith and other local restaurants, is a member of an alliance of bar, restaurant, hotel and nightclub owners working on a couple of ideas to improve nighttime transit downtown." Discount parking, shuttles and operational hours for the light rail may all have an impact on Arizona businesses in this location.

Monday, June 23, 2008

After Botched Attempt Distribution Company Turns Again to Franchising to Grow Company in Today's Economy

According to this article, "K & N Electric – through its trade name K & N Mobile Franchises – is aiming to expand by implementing an updated franchise system, more than 20 years after a botched attempt in the 1980s. We’d like to grow the company and it’s very expensive for us to put trucks out, fully stock them, pay the salesmen for a year or so until they’re actually selling enough to pay their way,” Nelson said. “So the best way for us to grow rapidly is through franchising, which is why we started the franchise company.” After years of research the company is rehauling it's basic business model to capture as many new customers as possible. "Changes include reducing the franchise royalty rate from 13 percent to 9 percent, lowering the franchise fee from $23,500 to $10,000 and updating computer systems to expedite sales and service." Nelson remains optimistic despite the state of the economy saying "“If the economy is going well, everyone is manufacturing, buying new stuff, which uses our parts.”

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Arby’s® Signs Development Agreements with New and Existing Franchisees

According to this article, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc has signed development agreements with with five new and eight existing franchisees of the giant food franchise to open an additional 35 Arby’s® restaurants throughout the U.S. These include: "Jeff Davis, CEO of United States Beef Corporation, Arby’s largest franchisee with 252 restaurants across the United States, has agreed to open 11 more Arby’s restaurants in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cash-for-Gas Bill Becomes Law Despite Prohibitions in Franchise Agreements

A recent bill allowing gasoline stations to offer discounts to customers who pay in cash demonstrates that Franchise Agreements may not always be as iron clad as the franchisor intended. According to this article, "Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Tuesday signed a bill allowing franchisees of major oil companies to offer cash discounts to customers, even if their franchise agreements prohibit it." The bill does not mandate this action for gas stations, but it allows them to do this as an option.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Phoenix, Arizona Metro Light Rail May Provide Economic Boom for Metro Phoenix

The Metro Light Rail is expected to cover a 20 mile region including Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa and should be completed in December. According to this article, "Light rail is six months from operation, but the transit system's impact on the Valley's real-estate market has been in full swing with new condos, office buildings and mixed-use developments rising throughout metro Phoenix." There are detractors who believe it might be a burden on taxpayers (estimates put the figure at $6 billion for on public and private projects) associated with the rail. Also, construction of the line has effected the operation of nearby businesses. That said, "As the Valley's office market struggles to retain and attract tenants during the economic downtown, light-rail proximity also could be an effective marketing point for landlords trying to lease space." There's also thought that as gas prices increase, this can be a welcoming option for consumers.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Extracurricular Activities for Children May Represent Franchising Opportunity

Apparently, many parents are turning to private businesses to find activities for their children. The reason appears to be that some of these activities are disappearing from schools as they try to save money on "extras" such as music or art. This has provided an opportunity for businesses who want to focus on enrichment for children. According to this article, for some entrepreneurs the franchising route is the way to do this: "For Janice and Dave Morreira, 41 and 52, respectively, it allowed them to make their foray into the children's gymnastics and fitness business even though they didn't have formal training in fitness or children's development.By choosing a franchise, "I could combine something I love doing with children and also contribute my knowledge of [HR], accounting and operations," says Janice, who started her first The Little Gym with her husband, Dave, in 2003. They've since opened another location for combined sales of $1.7 million last year, as well as two more locations in late 2007 and early 2008, all in the San Francisco Bay Area."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Arizona Marketing For Women in North Phoenix

A new forum of business professionals may provide women-owned Arizona franchises a great opportunity for networking which is essential for any business particularly in a downturn economy where any affordable marketing effort should not be passed. According to their site, Team Women™ " is about celebrating successes of each member and working together to create more prosperous businesses for everyone. The purpose of Team Women is for each member to provide highly qualified referrals to other members in their chapter. A qualified lead is one in which the person being referred is expecting to hear from the Team Women member and has provided all of his/her contact information." The newest chapter is located in North Phoenix, AZ and each chapter is limited to 30 women so that the forum can achieve a balance that provides business leads, but is still intimate enough for women to actually develop meaningful relationships.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The UFOC and the Arizona Franchisee

The Uniform Franchise Offering Circular or (UFOC) as it is commonly referred may seem like a standard boilerplate document to some franchisees but it is very important. Not every UFOC (now typically referred to as the FDD or Federal disclosure document) is standard though many of the provisions may vary from franchise to franchise. The UFOC or FDD discloses many of the important issues regarding the role and responsibilities of the Franchisee. For more information on navigating this intricate document, you should consult with a franchise attorney especially if you are in Arizona or California and you can read more here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Franchise Tax Board warns of Online Scams

Taxpayers are being warned by the Franchise Tax Board of two scams involving the tax board and identity theft. According to this article, "The first scam involves an e-mail "phishing" for taxpayer data." This type of scam works by attempting "to lure people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which may be used to steal that taxpayer's identify."
Another scam "involves a phony letter informing the taxpayer his or her tax return may be audited. The letter refers the taxpayer to a fake FTB address in Georgia. Both the e-mail and the letter contain misspellings and grammatical errors."
Taxpayers who receive such information should contact the FTB at 800.852.5711.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Arizona Small Business Association to Spotlight and Support Successful Second-stage Companies

ASBA (the Arizona Small Business Association) CEO Joan Koerber-Walker announced today that ASBA and Comerica Bank have joined forces to shine a spotlight on Arizona-based,
second-stage companies that are generating new jobs and sustaining business growth, according to this article. "To qualify, companies must be privately-owned "second stage" companies. Second-stage companies employ between 10 - 100 employees with $1M to $100M in revenues,
while creating jobs and growing sales through innovative products, services
and practices." The effort means more than recognition. According to Meredith Russell, president of Comerica Bank in Arizona, "This new agreement represents a great opportunity for us to not only recognize but also provide resources for entrepreneurs and growing
companies in Arizona, one of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S.."

District Judge Puts Paralegal Franchises Under Fire

According to this article, state District Judge Bobby Flores, said it isn't the first time he's run into problems with clients of document preparation services. "(The customers) pay them money," he said from the bench immediately after de Luna (in one case) left the courtroom. "And then they come here frequently unready for their cases." Two McAllen franchise businesses - Documents and More and the now defunct We the People - are the two most egregious offenders, he said. They are also the targets of Dyar's lawsuit. "Cindy Dyar, an attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, alleges such companies go much further than enabling clients who probably shouldn't be representing themselves." State statutes prohibit anyone without a license from giving legal advice. But the law turns hazy when it comes to document preparation services. Such companies are allowed if they make clear that their aid is no substitute for the advice of an attorney. This underscores the reason if you need to protect your business or individual assets or just to have peace of mind to seek the services of a licenced attorney which in many cases, may not be prohibitively expensive to justify cutting corners in the first place.

Phoenix Entrepreneur Considers Franchising to Expand Business in Car Crazy Phoenix

Gary Shapiro is the founder and owner of Auto Vault – a secure storage facility for cars and motorcycles. According to this article, : "Auto Vault has become very successful very quickly. "We opened in the fall of 2004 with zero customers," he said. "And now we are looking for more space because we are looking after 400 cars." He started out in the neckwear business before pursuing his passion. "I've always been a car guy, I collected cars, I always drove nice cars," he said. "Even my neckwear showroom was decorated with about 1,000 model cars." The idea for Auto Vault struck him when he was offering a customer a great deal on a Bentley. "He said to me: 'Oh, the money's no problem,' " Shapiro recalled. " 'But where would I put the damn thing?'"In summer when many of the exotic cars are being enjoyed, Shapiro can often make room for vacationers who don't want to leave their cars in the driveway while away.
As his space rapidly fills up as Auto Vault continues to grow, Shapiro is looking to expand. "He's even spoken to people about franchises in the U.S., including south Florida and Phoenix." "Phoenix is a car-crazy town," he said. "And there they have to protect their cars from the summer, not the winter."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers find Franchising Balance Between Work And Family

Liz Norwood is one of many mothers who have found a place at home and in franchising. According to this article, "For a long time, women only had two choices - work or raise a family," she says. "Women who decide to have a baby often have intentions of returning to work after a certain amount of time. But there were few options." So Norwood and three other "new moms" started a new company called 10 til 2 back in 2003 in Denver. The company is a staffing and personnel organization. "As you might expect, the 10 til 2 franchise has been extremely popular with moms who are eagerly becoming franchisees and with the many part-time employees the franchise places in jobs. Norwood says the corporate staff is comprised entirely of women, most with children."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More foreign Investment Wanted in Arizona

According to this article, the weaker dollar means that economic investment groups are taking steps to attract foreign investment to Arizona. Jeff Morhet, chief executive of InNexus, said he is "happy with the company's investment in Arizona. The company operates labs in a research building at the Mayo Clinic in north Scottsdale, where technicians are developing antibodies to help fight cancer and other diseases. Arizona offered what the company needed, including a skilled work force, and the company plans to expand beyond its 31 employees, Morhet said." He believes that "There are greater resources available to technology companies in Arizona than most people give it credit for."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How a Famous Franchisor Got His Start in Retirement

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is one of the most famous franchises in the world, but many may not be aware how this global franchise got its start. This article, has a great synopsis on how Harland Sanders, named an honorary Kentucky colonel, was able to build a global franchise from the humble beginnings in a modest gas station kitchen in Kentucky. "After a fire, he rebuilt with a restaurant and hotel that were popular with travelers—until a new interstate highway diverted traffic away from the spot. Sanders, then in his 50s, hung up his apron and prepared for retirement. Convinced there was a larger market for his secret-recipe chicken, he set about selling it to restaurant owners door-to-door." Sanders sold his interest in the U.S. company in 1964 when he was 74. The famous logo recently changed for the fourth time in 50 years a couple of years ago. According to this article, "The company unveiled a new brand logo Tuesday that includes bolder colors and a more well-defined visage of the late Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, who will keep his classic black bow tie, glasses and goatee. This change gives us a chance not only to make sure we stay relevant but also communicates to customers the realness of Colonel Sanders and the fact that he was a chef,” said Gregg Dedrick, president of KFC’s U.S. division.

Open Air Centers -New Arizona Business Trend

New Arizona malls are hoping that a new misting system will help shoppers beat the heat as humidity rises and temperatures reach 110 degrees. According to this article, some Arizona businesses are hoping that the Phoenix outdoor lifestyle centers will boost shopping: "Much like some outdoor malls near Detroit and Cleveland have equipped themselves with heated sidewalks to draw shoppers during the winter, Valley outdoor centers have prepared to face scorching summers with shade screens, gazebos, strategically placed trees and fountains that allow shoppers." Some feel this will make indoor malls with their heavy use of air conditioning, a thing of the past. "Phoenix developer Jim Pederson, whose company, the Pederson Group, co-developed the Promenade at Casa Grande, said he believes lifestyle centers are popular because most shoppers enjoy being outdoors. "Retail has gone full circle and is getting back to open-air shopping," he said. "There is a certain environment you just can't duplicate with an indoor mall."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Two of the Largest Franchised US Food Chains in the Mid-1950s

Did you know, according to this article, at the time Ray Kroc began franchising McDonald's restaurants in the mid-1950s, the two largest franchised food chains in the United States both specialized in ice cream: Dairy Queen and Tastee-Freez.

Service Businesses a More Affordable Path for Franchise Ownership-Opportunities for California Franchisees

Service business may provide a more affordable point of entry for those lacking the funds that were previously available through home equity loans. According to this article, local franchise consultant Cheri Carroll claims that "While a franchised sandwich shop may cost $120,000 or more for the build-out and equipment, or $300,000 for a retail shop, a service business can cost as little as $20,000 to get started, with almost no overhead." Potential California Franchisees may find potential businesses in the following areas: "Some growing service businesses among San Diegans are Gurnee, Ill.-based BrightStar Healthcare and Sandy, Utah-based Spectrum Home Services, which offer nonmedical services to seniors such as running errands and yard cleaning."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Mentor May Help You Grow a Better Franchise

We don't often think of it in this context, but finding a mentor may be an excellent way of improving your franchise in a tough market. According to this article, " Successful mentorship can be in any number of forms: online or in-person, in both formal and informal settings, on a temporary or long-term basis, and between individuals or in groups. What is essential, experts say, is direction, dedication, and openness." We may be used to thinking of mentorship as a strategy for the very young. Attorney Maria Speth who is 43 went for an interview four years ago at Jaburg Wilk in Phoenix and has had a beneficial mentor relationship with the firm's founder and managing partner, Gary Jaburg for years. "It has also helped boost her efficiency: She estimates she spends 90% of her time working directly for clients, making more money for the firm." The article recommends that : "To be sure your time as a mentee is fruitful, experts recommend setting specific goals at the outset and revisiting them along the way, as well as looking for a mentor who has traveled the career path you seek and has the skills you need, instead of seeking out a mentor whom you like for personal reasons. " Franchisees may want to turn to retirees or " business leaders seeking to improve their managerial skills" as possible mentors.

Ongoing Training & Support Help Build Successful Franchises

One of the benefits of starting a franchise rather than a start-up business from scratch is that it allows the potential franchisee to start with a recognized brand name and also obtain the type of training that has proven effective over time for the chosen business. Any seasoned and successful business owner will admit to having learned from mistakes early in the business and a franchisee often has the benefit of not having to go through so much trial and error. Franchisors who don't provide good training and support to their franchisees can see their franchises wane over time and also create unnecessary ill will among existing franchisees. Good training and ongoing support benefits the franchise as a whole and individual franchises. It can also provide franchisees with peace of mind to make an investment in an established business even if they have not had much business experience. This is especially true for young entrepreneurs. Good training programs should be ongoing and provide details about the business products and services, information on accounting, services and inventory and tips for handling lease and other negotiations to make sure that local and state laws affecting the industry are followed and the proper licensing secured among other factors.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Going Green Good For Environment and Franchisors

Franchisor FOCUS Brands has found that reducing paper has not only helped the environment, but has lead to substantial savings. According to this article, "companies that reduce or eliminate paper-driven processes not only help the environment but also help their bottom line by improving productivity, increasing compliance, reducing storage costs and eliminating time lost to misfiled information and disorganization." FOCUS Brands Inc. is the franchisor and operator of over 2,100 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee® on military bases and in certain international markets. "FOCUS Brands is a prime example of a company that is not significantly different from healthcare, finance or any other type of business – in that it handles confidential information. The multi-brand organization manages legal affairs, finance, audits, private franchisee and personnel records, etc. in house and, as a result, has to securely and efficiently manage, store, access and responsibly dispose of confidential information. For companies across all industries, paper retention and disposal drives up operating expenses and slows productivity."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Franchising For Young Franchisees

Franchising certainly provides those in mid life or with retirement assets an opportunity to experience entrepreneurship. However, franchising may also be a good experience for those in their twenties or thirties. Many college graduates in today's job market may find stiff competition to start a good career. Their lack of experience may make that task harder. Franchising could allow them the opportunity to gain valuable business experience and training for future business or career opportunities. Depending on the franchise, lack of experience doesn't necessarily preclude business success. Good franchises provide franchisees with ongoing training and support. In addition, the nature of franchising is that it generally offers the advantage that is lacking in a regular start-up business. A developed brand is proven and the success of the business opportunity can be explored through investigation of the franchise prior to actual investment. Early sales experience in high school or during college, while not lucrative, may be an additional edge for a young entrepreneur exploring franchising. Financing may be tricky, but there are low investment franchise opportunities and even young franchisees with good credit may not find this a major handicap.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Patient Advocacy Growing Arizona Business

Hiring help to get you through the hospital process is a growing trend that is emerging in Arizona and across the country according to this article. "As hospital care grows increasingly complex and medical errors kill some 100,000 Americans every year, a whole new industry is forming to deal with this disaster — offering hired help to get you through your hospital stay alive....Arizona — with the nation's longest ER wait time and an extreme shortage of doctors and nurses — should prove fertile for the fledgling business." Family and friends can perform the function of sherparding a patient through their treatment at a hospital particularly if they are familiar with the patient's medical history. "But the services of paid advocates are automatically exclusive — available only to those who can afford them. That troubles many in this new business, and sets the stage for scams and frauds targeting vulnerable, often elderly patients.
Patient Care Advocates charges an upfront fee of $1,895 for two years of patient advocate service, available whenever it's needed. They say that does not cover their actual expense of performing the service, which is supported by the other part of their business, home health-care services." However, some US corporations have added this service to their employee health care plans which appears to indicated continued demand.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Clothing Franchisee Describes Highs and Lows of Being a Franchisee

Megan Albers is the owner of Girl Boutique, an upscale clothing store that specializes in designer labels in Overland Park and believes her network of family and friends have helped make her store a success. According to this article, being a part of a franchise in which the owner helped her get in touch with needed vendors was also an asset. The franchisor "had established relationships with many of them, and they were all willing to help me in some form or another. It would have been hard getting some of the vendors I wanted because of pre-existing boutiques around me and simply not knowing how to even approach these vendors.” She also discusses the limitations of having a franchise and how she makes her individual mark. “Since we are required to have the same walls, floor, etc., it is somewhat hard to present that flair you want. The way that I put my own personality into the store was making my own custom desk, and adding furniture pieces. … I wanted the shop to have a feel of a little rustic boutique that was funky and fresh.”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Arizona Might Be A Good Place for Franchising

Kathleen Connell, PhD, a professor at Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley thinks that if you are burdened by taxes, city and state tax codes differ to such an extent that location should be something worth considering. According to this article, "The amount of variation is striking. Families earning the same income experience significant differences in the tax burdens they shoulder, depending on where they live." With respect to Arizona, she mentions that: "The bordering states of Arizona, California, and Nevada also create tax opportunities for residents who may choose to work in California, but reside in the lower tax states of Arizona or Nevada. Check out your state's competitive position at the website of the Tax Foundation (, a Washington-based nonprofit group." This may have little to do with the business tax consequences for the franchisor, but it may impact the decision franchisees make in determining the appeal of an Arizona or California Franchise that has individual tax appeal. "For relocating retirees, however, the tax profile of a community emerges as a primary consideration. Smart retirees seek communities with the lowest income, property, and sales taxes – levies that can add up to significant expenses on a retirement budget."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Roy Rogers Food Restaurant Tries Franchising to Boost Sales

The Roy Rogers food chain has done as well as hoped in the past several years. According to this article, Jim Plamondon the co-director of the restaurant chain hopes to try franchising as a means of bringing back loyal customers. "If things go according to plan, recovery lies ahead. The company is operating a booth during the International Franchise Show today and tomorrow at the D.C. Convention Center, a sign that Roy Rogers is trying for a comeback."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blimpie, Cold Stone Creamery franchisor Has New President

Kahala Corp., an Arizona Franchise of food franchise concepts based in Scottsdale, Arizona announced a new president. According to this article, Chris Prasifka was announced as president of Kahala Franchise Corp., "franchisor for Kahala's portfolio of brands that include Blimpie and Cold Stone Creamery." Prasifka will help "spearhead efforts to reach a companywide goal of 10,000 operating units by 2010." Before joining Kahala, Prasifka "was senior vice president of franchise operations and strategic development at Compass Group's Canteen division."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Arizona Franchise Launches Ugliest Bathroom Makeover Sweepstakes

Re-Bath is a privately owned company based in Tempe, Arizona with nearly 200 franchises operating throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Re-Bath franchise owners help clients improve the value and beauty of their bathroom. The remodelling Arizona Franchise has recently paired with a home improvement radio show to present the Ugliest Bathroom Sweepstakes. According to this article, will join "the hosts of the #1 national home improvement radio talk show “On the House with The Carey Brothers and Rebecca Cole” to present the Ugliest Bathroom Makeover Sweepstakes. “On the House” has been hosted by The Carey Brothers for over 20 years, offering home improvement advice to listeners and call-ins alike."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

International Franchise Association and SBTV Promote Franchising Industry

Small Business Television, the Internet’s first television network (SBTV) has joined the IFA-International Franchise Association to provide small businesses with the latest in franchising news. The two organizations appeared together at the IFA’s 48th Annual Convention in Orlando. According to this article, IFA president said: “Franchising is growing rapidly, not just in the United States, but around the world,” IFA Pres. and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This joint effort serves to educate prospective small-business owners who are investigating a possible franchise purchase and help those who operate franchise systems and establishments to stay abreast of the latest news affecting the industry.”

Five Star Painting Announces a New Arizona Franchise Opening

Utah-based Five Star Painting Inc has grown to 48 franchises in North America and is one of the fastest growing painting franchises in North America. According to this article, the Franchise System announced today that Sonny Tesch and Mike Scanlon have purchased a new Arizona franchise location in the Phoenix, Arizona market. "Five Star Painting is seeing phenomenal expansion from current and new franchisees in order to meet the growing demand of its clients across North America. Sonny Tesch and Mike Scanlon are an experienced team with strong professional ties to the area. Sonny has been in Phoenix for 9 years and has owned and operated a successful financial services business during that time."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Franchising Your California or Arizona Business

Even in a rough economy franchise lawyers receive calls from small to mid size businesses that are doing well and are at the point where they really need to expand to continue or increase that success. There are even businesses, as strange as it may seem, that fold because the demand for their products or services exceeds their resources to meet that demand and they simply fall apart trying to meet that demand. We will revisit the topic of franchising from time to time on this blog.

Why Franchising is an Option for some Businesses:
  • Cost. Franchising is not cheap, but finding the equity or capital to expand a business without franchising can be more costly. Setting up a franchise system requires the input of professionals to meet legal requirements and properly plan the expansion of the business. Franchising allows some businesses to structure the expansion in a way that some of the costs of a regular business expansion are the responsibility of the franchisee. E.g. Lease or service contracts.
  • Management. If a business were to expand without franchising, it would be hard to do so without hiring additional staff to manage additional outlets. Good Franchisees essentially serve the same basic functions your ideal manager might serve in an expanded business. Because franchisees have a stake in your business, indeed, they own the unit that you sell them, with the training that you provide and the guidelines under which they operate, franchisees can spare a business the risk of finding managers who are not sufficiently motivated or finding good managers who may leave at any time they choose. It is not unusual to see franchise agreements that are 10 to 15 years.

California Franchise Does Well in Rough Economy

Jason Brown and Vikki Hardy Brown bought into the Edible Arrangements franchise in 2006. Edible Arrangements is a Connecticut-based chain. According to this article, despite the downturn in the economy, "Their gamble is now paying off as their fruit-arrangement business is no longer just paying for itself; it's starting to turn a profit." They now own a second franchise. Edible Arrangements "has grown from a handful of stores in the Northeast to nearly 800 in only 9 years of franchising thanks to its novelty -- specializing in high-end, handmade fruit baskets and arrangements -- and its healthy twist." Apparently, despite the current state of the economy, the Browns say that none of the Edible Arrangements Franchises have closed.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bankruptcy Filings Expected to Increase as Economy Slides

Although changes in the Bankruptcy Code in October 2005 made filing for bankruptcy more complex and expensive, it's anticipated that individual bankruptcies will increase nationwide significantly as the economy continues it's downward turn. According to this article, "National statistics indicate the trend is well under way, with bankruptcy filings by individuals up 27 percent nationwide in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the year-ago period, according to new figures from the American Bankruptcy Institute, a research and education group.Individuals' bankruptcies nationwide rose 40 percent in the 2007 calendar year compared to 2006. The ABI, which bases its figures on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center, said the increase is due to rising household debt and growing mortgage problems. "

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Internet Marketing Workshops for Small Businesses in Arizona

Front Page Public Relations is a marketing communications firm based in Gilbert, Arizona. According to this article, the firm will be holding "a new 10-week series of weekly Internet marketing workshops to teach small business owners how to generate more sales leads and significantly increase their monthly revenue using cost-effective Internet marketing programs and the power of the Internet. The classes are held in Gilbert, every Tuesday night and cost $25 to participate."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Geeks On Call Franchising Audio Interview

Richard T. Cole, CEO of showcase company, Geeks On Call Holdings, Inc. will be presenting an audio interview describing the core strengths of Geeks On Call and the difference between Geeks on Call and Geek Squad. Geeks On Call provides on-site computer service and solutions to small business and residential customers. According to this article, Mr. Cole discusses how Geeks On Call began franchising in 2001 and the substantial growth the company has experienced since that period, both within the franchise model, as well as their corporate-owned territories in Phoenix, Tucson and Scottsdale, AZ. "We are aggressively pursuing a true national footprint for Geeks on Call" he stated.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Private Investigations Franchise To Exhibit At The International Franchise Expo

If you have executive and management experience and business savvy and people skills, L&W Investigations is actively pursues franchisee candidates with this expertise. L&W Investigations, the foremost private investigations franchise specializing in insurance fraud. The franchise will be exhibiting at the 17th International Franchise Expo (IFE), sponsored by the International Franchise Association (IFA), at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC April 11-13, 2008. Accoring to this article, "L&W Investigations offers a franchise opportunity like no other here at the IFE show""a private investigations firm specializing in insurance fraud," said Steve Butler, franchise owner, L&W Los Angeles. "Besides being a unique franchise offering, you don"™t need a day of experience in private investigations to be successful. I know in my own case, the skills I used in my career as an HR executive are a perfect fit in running my franchise and I know other people with sales and management experience can also look at L&W and see a great fit for the experience and skills they bring to the table."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Are School Unforms A Good Arizona Franchising Opportunity?

Yet another Arizona School has taken the plunge in adopting a school uniform policy. Mesa Junior High tried to adopt the mandatory uniforms measure three times in the past four years in an effort to curb teen crime and behavior problems. School board members have finally approved the measure which will require these Arizona students to begin wearing uniforms next school year. According to this article, Mesa Junior Principal Cathy McDaniel wrote to the board, "We believe this will decrease our number of behavior referrals, particularly dress code and gang activity." We wonder if this could be a good franchising opportunity for Arizona mom and pop small businesses. According to this article, "entrepreneurs Brian and Jamey Elrod started franchising their school uniform stores five years ago, they have gotten pretty good at it." The husband and wife team have decided to take their business success to the next level "by offering small, mom-and-pop operations the chance to buy into Educational Outfitters." If the school uniform trend continues in Arizona, this may be potential franchising opportunity here. (Though currently, " Only five neighborhood elementary schools out of 58 require them: Longfellow, Lowell, Lincoln, Holmes and Eisenhower. ") Brian and Jamey Elrod's franchising company, Educational Outfitters Franchising LLC, just completed its first conversion franchise in Louisville, Ky. "The cost to convert a store will vary, but Mr. Elrod said the average amount would be about $25,000 total, including the franchise fee and other things like signs and updating computer systems." John and Wanda Clark own a school uniform franchise in Chattanooga, TN. They opened a second franchise last year "this time taking the concept into what Mr. Clark said was a new and fast-growing market, Huntsville, Ala. Mr. Clark, who worked in the textile and apparel industries before he and his wife opened their Educational Outfitters store on Gunbarrel Road, said the couple has found great success with the franchise."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Growing California Service Franchises offer Popular Franchising Opportunities in Tough Economy

Local California franchise consultant Cheri Carroll believes that a tough economic period may be the best time to consider owning a service franchise. According to this article, "One factor in franchise choices is home equity — how many new franchisees financed their businesses in the past, she says. Since equity loans aren’t as available or as generous as they once were, service businesses with their much lower entry costs offer a path that many are taking to beat the economic blues,” said Carroll. In San Diego, consulting businesses, executive training services and businesses that offer nonmedical services to seniors appear to offer popular franchising opportunities. There seems to be some support in the numbers. According to Carroll, “While a franchised sandwich shop may cost $120,000 or more for the build-out and equipment, or $300,000 for a retail shop, a service business can cost as little as $20,000 to get started, with almost no overhead.” Franchising appears to be doing particularly well in California. According to an International Franchise Association report sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, "Franchise businesses now make up $1 trillion in U.S. direct economic output."

AAHOA Releases 2007 Report on Franchisor-Franchisee Relationships and Fair Franchising

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is one of the fastest-growing organizations in the hospitality industry with 8,700 members owning more than 22,000 hotels, many of which are franchised. The Association puts out a progress report that evaluates franchise companies against AAHOA's 12 Points of Fair Franchising. According to this article, the association released its 2007 report today on Fair Franchising "that offers insight into franchisor-franchisee relationships and provides a tool for holding franchise companies more accountable for their practices and agreements." Mukesh Mowji, 2006 AAHOA Chairman and visionary behind the process, said "this is a first step in a journey toward 12 Point compliance. It is imperative that AAHOA and franchise companies continue progressive dialogue to improve agreements."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Resort Spa Franchise Expanding in Arizona

A local couple is opening a new Hand & Stone Massage Spa in Phoenix. Though three Hand & Stone centers currently operate in Scottsdale, Anthem and Chandler, Jill Fleming and her husband, John are opening this new Arizona Franchise in March at Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard. According to this article, "three more are expected to open in north Scottsdale, Ahwatukee and Chandler during the year." Hand & Stone franchises allow a monthly membership which offers spa treatments to members at a more affordable rate than some resort spas. "The spas were founded by John Marco, a physical therapist who saw a need in the marketplace for high-quality, convenient and affordable massage-spa services under one roof." The centers offer a range of treatments such as cold stone facials, hot-towel foot exfoliation and hot stone massages. "Membership at the center is $49.95 a month and includes a monthly massage and discounted rates on other services A 50-minute, hot-stone massage is $59.95 for members and $89.95 for non-members. The center offers an introductory relaxation massage for $39.95."

Lights Out for Phoenix, Arizona Businesses

The city of Phoenix is encouraging both residents and businesses to conserve energy by turning off their lights for an hour on March 29 to observe Earth Hour. Many government and business buildings will be participating by turning off the majority of their lights. Lights needed for essential functions such as public safety will remain on. According to this article, "More than 25 cities including Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Bangkok, Sydney and Toronto are participating in the international event organized by the World Wildlife Foundation."

Provision Adds New Requirement to Arizona's Employer Sanctions Law.

HB2745 provides clarification to Arizona's new Employer Sanctions Law and also adds a new provision that would prohibit state and local agencies from issuing business licenses and permits to individuals who cannot prove they are in this country legally. Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa says that such licences would include an Arizona driver's licence and "everything from a state sales tax license and state incorporation to the permitsissued to independent food vendors." According to this article, the legislation "adds provisions designed to provide new protections from prosecution for companies who follow special procedures to check the legal status of new and existing workers. HB2745, which will go to the Senate after a final roll-call vote, also clarifies who is an employee whose identity and legality must be verified, versus an independent contractor. It also adds new provisions to the statute about companies that pay their workers in cash." Pearce explains that the legislation "simply ensures that those not authorized to work in this country will not "compete against the honest business."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Starting Your Own Business Versus Becoming a Franchisee

During other periods of economic downturn, many people who lost jobs and regular salaries found hope in starting their own business and becoming entrepreneurs. Sometimes it takes a firm shove to get people to focus on what would otherwise have remained as dreams. Starting a franchise has many pros and cons that we will revisit from time to time on this blog. Here are a few that you may want to consider:

Benefits of Franchising:

  • Training, Support and Experience. Many franchisees enjoy the idea of not having to "start from scratch" with a new business.
  • Established business plan.
  • Proven methods and Technology.
  • Marketing assistance. Many Franchisors have national campaigns that can benefit local franchisees.
  • Recognized brand name.
  • Collective purchasing power from vendors.

Benefits of Starting Your Own Business

  • No royalty fees.
  • Freedom to relocate or sell other items.
  • More creativity in how you sell your product.
  • Start up costs may be lower.

These are only rough generalities. Not all franchisors provide the experience and training that you might need. Some may micro-manage you to pieces. Also, much may depend on the type of franchise you purchase. Some industries are growing while others are somewhat stagnant. Also, it doesn't help to pick a franchise performing work you will not enjoy. Many franchisees find that it suits them best to pick a franchise based on a personal interest or type of personality. Those who tend to work well on a team find franchising appealing. You work for yourself, but not all by yourself.

California Food Franchise Has Record Sales and Expansion in Slow Economy

Shakey's(R) USA headquartered in Alhambra, CA first opened its doors in April 1954 in Sacramento, CA. Despite a troubled economy, the restaurant franchise is remodelling several franchisee restaurants and is opening new corporate and franchisee stores. According to this article, CEO Joe Remsa's "keen understanding of the brand heritage, equity and vision coupled with his solid working relationship with the Shakey's franchisee body, deemed him a natural successor to the post. Remsa ushers in a new era of stability and brand confidence amidst a growing national demand for Shakey's presence beyond the western region." Remsa explains "Shakey's is an important part of American culture, holding a place in the lives of families over many generations and during economic crisis, consumers and franchisees take comfort in our brand because it reconnects everyone around a simple yet somehow forgotten concept called 'family meal time.'"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Extended Stay Hotel Chain is Awarded Exclusive Franchisee Satisfaction Award

The Franchise Business Review is a national franchise market research firm which conducts a survey each year of franchises and franchisee satisfaction to help prospective franchisees evaluate a franchise system. Several key areas of hundreds of franchises are surveyed by thousands of franchisees including training and support; operations; the franchisor/franchisee relationship; and financial opportunity. According to this article, "Value Place is the only hotel chain to earn a spot on the coveted FBR 50™ list, recognized as the most exclusive award in franchising." Eric Stites is the founder and president of Franchise Business Review. According to Stites, "For people considering a franchise investment, satisfaction among current franchisees is one of the most critical factors to consider. Our goal is to help simplify the franchise research and buying process and help entrepreneurs discover the best franchise opportunities in today's marketplace."

Arizona Bank to help Minority Small Businesses

Gilbert Jimenez is the proposed president of Colonia Bank (in organization) one of two banks that plan to move into new offices in Arizona in the upcoming months. He is also a graduate of Arizona State University and has held executive positions in Arizona. According to this article, "Jimenez said these banks plan to specifically cater to small and medium-sized businesses, especially in the Hispanic and multicultural community. Not only are multicultural citizens everywhere, so are small businesses." Jimenez added, "about 47 percent of Arizona's population is multicultural. About 35 percent is Hispanic.The bank is also expected to serve not-for-profits and women-owned businesses." This may be good news for Arizona franchisees in need of financing since Jimenez states that the banks intend to offer the full array of services of any bank. " Colonia has received approval from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions to organize and begin raising between $8 million and $10 million in initial investment capital. The bank welcomes the small investor."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Franchisor AlphaGraphics Continues to Grow through Franchising

AlphaGraphics is a print and visual communications franchisor with more than 260 AlphaGraphics franchises located in the United States and worldwide. AlphaGraphics continues to expand through franchising despite industry trends in a slow economy and difficulties in the printing and visual communication world to attract new clients. According to this article, Art Coley, AlphaGraphics' senior director of franchise development explains ""AlphaGraphics provides its franchisees with leading-edge programs and technologies that add significant value to their relationships with their customers." AlphaGraphics CEO, Kevin Cushing adds, "The ultimate test of any franchisor/franchisee relationship is when it comes to the expiration of the franchise agreement and both parties are free to go their separate ways. We are extremely pleased and proud that during the past few years 100 percent of our owners whose franchises were due to expire have accepted the opportunity to extend their agreements and stay in the AlphaGraphics network. Fourteen owners have been offered the opportunity to extend their agreements with us in the past two and a half years, and all fourteen have accepted. That renewal rate is unheard of in our industry and is a real testimony to our network of franchisees and our team at the AlphaGraphics Service Center. They know they are a part of a leading and winning brand."

International Franchise Association elects New Board Member

The International Franchise Association's board of directors has elected ADIR Restaurants Corp. Pres. and COO José J. Cofiño as a new member. According to this article, "Cofiño serves on the board of directors of the IFA Diversity Institute and is a member of the Minorities in Franchising Committee. Pollo Campero is a participant in the IFA Educational Foundation's MinorityFran program, which aims to increase the numbers and success of minorities in franchising at all levels." The IFA was founded in 1960 and its membership consists of franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers. The group promotes franchising and is a source of information for anyone interested in starting a franchise.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How Does Starbucks Ruling Affect Franchise Owners?

A San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett ordered coffee chain Starbucks to pay more than 100 million dollars in tips and interest owed to staff in a ruling that stated that supervisors are precluded from sharing in tips from the tip pool intended for employees. According to this article, an attorney for Starbucks servers stated: "California law allows employees to pool tips, Lowe said, though supervisors, managers and owners -- anyone with the authority to oversee or direct other workers -- can't be paid out of the pool." The caution for franchise owners? According to this article, Connie Alexakos, vice president of marketing for the Hawaii-based company, the Bad Ass Coffee Co., states that "it's up to franchise owners to comply with employment laws of their states. She said she read the Starbucks ruling but wasn't clear whether it affected the way Bad Ass franchises need to operate."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Marco's Pizza Opening Several Franchises in Arizona

According to Area Director David Jeffers there are still Tucson and Southern Arizona franchising opportunities available. In fact, there is a Franchise Information Seminar planned for April 22 at the Hampton Inn on North Oracle Road in Tucson. According to this article, "Jeffers announced the first of eleven Marco's Pizza stores slated for the Tucson area will open on March 28th." The article adds that "Marco's Pizza is based out of Toledo, Ohio and is the only Top 25 Pizza Chain whose founder is from Italy. As such, the new store will feature Ah!thentic Italian pizza, toasted subs, salads, chicken wings as well as soft drinks with carryout and delivery service."

Arizona Sweet Business Targets Non-Food Retailers

Jim Schweikert and his Chandler-based company Liberty Distribution Co. LLC has established a nice little niche market targeting businesses that don't sell food. He has managed to expand to a 90 person company and according to numbers the company provided has charted average annual compound revenue growth of 26 percent over the last four years. According to this article, his business model works because he "distributes to stores where customers go to buy DVD players, ply wood, air conditioning filters and cat litter, not breath mints, beef jerky or Sour Patch candies. But the placement of these products at the checkout has helped even non-food retailers to bolster their sales. " By using proprietary software to track sales and replenish their customers' inventory as they run low, Schweikert has been able to turn a profit.

Greater Phoenix Manufacturer's Survey Reveals Poor Outlook for Economy

A new survey shows that Phoenix-area manufacturers aren't that rosey about the economy. According to this article, the survey indicates that Greater Phoenix Manufacturers "are gloomy about the U.S. economy and, compared with previous years, have been hiring less and watching demand fall for their products here and abroad."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Arizona Food Franchise Posts Nutritional Food Content for Customers

Canadian Franchise Extreme Pita has installed the Nutricate Receipt system in all of its Arizona restaurants to help consumers make better nutritional choices. The restaurant is currently in seven locations in Arizona including, Chandler, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson. After ordering, customers get a receipt that prints out calories, fat content tips and other food related information. The company has installed the system in all of its Arizona locations and plans to expand to other locations. According to this article, "the Nutricate™ Receipt system provides consumers with a convenient and meaningful way to understand their nutritional options. Customers receive a customized receipt highlighting the calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein and nutritional daily value for everything they order. The receipt also offers tips on how to eat healthier by providing additional information on the receipt such as “Did you know? If you choose lite mayo instead of chipotle mayo on your pita you will save 160 calories and 10 grams of fat?”

Restaurant Franchisor Assumes Operation of Struggling Franchisees

Father-son duo Paul and Scott Mobley who own Noble Roman’s Inc. a Restaurant Franchise have assumed the operation of six franchised restaurants in Indianapolis. According to this article, " The locations had been operated by a single franchisee, local businessman Steve Patton." Taking over these franchisee units "is a departure for a 36-year-old company that now focuses almost entirely on franchising; Noble Roman’s owns only two locations, primarily for training purposes." Paul Mobley feels that the move is the right one for the company and that they can demonstrate success. The article adds that "Noble Roman’s has reinvented itself several times over the years since launching in the 1970s as a chain of dine-in restaurants. In 1997, after intense competition and rising costs made stand-alone pizza joints difficult to operate profitably, Noble Roman’s turned to franchising nontraditional outlets like bowling alleys and gas stations—a strategy that has paid off handsomely. The chain has sold hundreds of franchise owners on features such as a fast-lunch system and a proprietary partially baked crust that ensures Noble Roman’s pizza always tastes the same and can be cooked quickly."

Friday, March 21, 2008

California Franchisor Expands in Down Economy with New Franchise Locations

Based in Brandon, Florida, i9 Sports is a Franchisor of youth sports leagues, camps, and programs in over 100 locations and several states nationwide. The California franchise is opening new locations each month and apparently participation by youth leagues continues to grow. According to this article, company Founder/CEO, Frank V. Fiume says: "History shows that regardless of the economy, kids play sports. As a business, this is a very attractive aspect of our franchise." He adds, "We work hard and play hard -- but it's all for the love of the i9 Sports brand. The passion that our franchisees and customers share is contagious. It's the ultimate career."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Intensive 2 1/2-day Franchise Workshop In El Paso, Texas

The University of Texas at El Paso's Franchise Center is offering an intensive 2 1/2-day certificate program next month April 24-26. If applicants apply fast enough, they may be eligible for any one of twelve scholarships that are available, worth $875 each, but the deadline is April 1 to apply for financial aid. The program is open to anyone who wants to learn about franchising. According to this article, one El Paso native Marc L. Stelley who attended in 2004 and now has a gyme with more than 600 members says of the program, says"I think it was tremendously informative. It guided me to wisely choose a franchise that caters to my lifestyle. That's very important. Basically, they gave me all the information you need, from legalities to bank loans. It covered all the bases you need to open a business, whether it's a franchise or you're starting a business on your own."

IHOP Sells 41 Applebee’s Restaurants to California Franchisee

Apple American Group LLC is the largest franchisee of the Applebee’s chain bought by Ihop Corp. last year. According to this article, "When Ihop bought the Applebee’s chain last year, Ihop said it wanted eventually to sell 475 company-owned Applebee’s stores to franchisees. Applebee's is about 70 percent franchised. Based in San Francisco, Apple American owns and operates 145 Applebee's restaurants in eight states including California." It appears that future development of several Applebee's restaurants will take place in Southern California and Nevada.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blue Moon Mexican Café Expands into Franchising

Blue Moon Mexican Café just opened its first franchise location in New City, NY. CEO Howie Felixbrod has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years and has businesses in several locations. According to this article, Felixbrod explains that “The next logical step for us to grow the company was through franchising. Our biggest advantage is we can open a store without the exorbitant start-up costs associated with most restaurant franchises.” Felixbrod says the company plans to add 3-5 new franchises this year. They are soliciting potential franchisees in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

California Franchisee Fitness USA enters Franchise Agreement with LA BOXING

Fitness USA Inv, a health and fitness gym, is the wholly owned subsidiary of Montana Mining Corp. The company has entered into a franchise agreement to "become the exclusive franchisee of LA BOXING for the Beverly Hills/Brentwood area of Los Angeles, California, US" according to this article.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home Inspection Franchise Makes Franchise Business Review Top 50

The Franchise Business Review (FBR) surveys thousands of actual franchise owners to evaluate their franchise systems. Every year the FBR announces its Franchisee Satisfaction Awards which highlights the franchises that received the highest praise from their franchisees. Some of the large systems making the top 50 list include The Maids Home Services, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Sotheby's Real Estate according to the FBR list. According to this article, made the top 50 franchise list again and "broke into the top 20 on this elite top 50 list". HouseMaster was the first home inspection franchise and has been in operation since 1979.

Small Business Loan Resources for Arizona Franchisees

Once you finally find that franchise opportunity of your dreams, the issue of financing can freeze some potential franchisees from pursuing their lifelong goals. Certainly, there are many costs involved in purchasing a franchise beyond the franchise fee or royalty payment. These may include costs to purchase equipment for your franchise, advertising or training. There are various strategies or resources that franchisees use to raise money for their franchise. They may include second mortgage loans, borrowing money from the franchisor, family or friends or looking for a partner. Many franchisees also look to their local Small Business Administration or SBA as a possible source. The SBA in Arizona is located in Phoenix Arizona at 2828 North Central Ave. Telephone: 602.745.7200. Click Here for additional or updated information on the SBA's requirements for lending.

Monday, March 17, 2008

One California Franchisee's Success in a Slow Economy

Shawn Crawford's path to franchising was a result of not wanting to wait out whether his job as director of operations for a physician group was going to be eliminated as the economy took a turn for the worse. He researched opening his own gym but according to this article, "when he started looking into the costs involved in such a venture he became discouraged, that is until he came across some research that showed huge growth potential in health and fitness franchising." From among the various fitness franchises he researched, the Californa Franchisee settled on Snap Fitness, a Minnesota-based fast-growing franchisor of 24/7 fitness centers in the United States and Canada. He is pleased with his success and plans to open a second club in April of 2008. His advice to potential franchisees is to "do some investigative work. Talk to a business broker, pick up and read copies of Entrepreneur and the Wall Street Journal, and when they’re ready to proceed contact a franchisor like Snap Fitness directly. Most franchisor Web sites provide rich information about the business model, financial requirements and much more, and they grant access to executives and franchisees during your discovery process."

Franchising Entrepreneur Finds a Way to Make Millions in a Bad Economy

The Dublin Franchise Sliderobes sells made-to-fit home improvement furnishings. Its owner Mick McAleese claims that he used the "serious" mistakes that his company made which included poor location choices and inadequate management to turn the business into a multi million business in the middle of Dublin's recession in 1983. According to this article, the company underwent a process of intense assessment and "saw franchising as a low-risk road to expansion.” McAleese explains the company's appeal to potential franchisees. “Our big sell when attracting franchisees was, ‘look, we’ve got this tried-and-tested business formula and we’ve made all the mistakes for you so you don’t have to. We’ve found the best way of doing things’”. When looking for the right franchisee, McAleese says the company looks for "franchisees with solid management experience." He believes that their experience best helps them cope with the challenges of running a business.

Franchisors Feel Just Fine About the Future of Franchising

At the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference last week in Atlanta, many franchisors in the hospitality industry expressed optimism regarding continued growth. According to this article, one franchisor, Doug Collins who is President & CEO of America's Best Franchising stated that he "sees franchising in the mid market arena as a consistent business, with little variation due to any economic factors so far. Things are about the same in limited service. We are kind of steady like the turtle. We see steady growth every year. " Collins added that "(I)n 2007 the company opened 45 Country Hearth Inns & Suites and America's Best Inns & Suites properties." Collins believes that the company will open 50 franchised hotels this year.

Is the Fast-Food Industry Losing its Grip on Franchising?

The Wall Street Journal's recent evaluation of high-performing franchises, appears to indicate that fast food franchises are loosening their grip on the franchising industry while franchises in the services industry, such as health and fitness, security and consumer services are taking their place. According to the article, "fast-food and casual-dining businesses, while still showing strength, with eight names on the list, also are facing pressure from wage and food cost increases. To lower operating costs, several food franchises already are shuttering some locations." Among the high performers on the WSJ list were Home Instead Senior Care, Abbey Carpet & Floor and The Maids International. According to the article the list is diverses. "In fact, there are now more than 230 lines of businesses that do franchising, according to FRANdata, an Arlington, Va., independent research firm that helped analyze franchise data from the past three years and compile the list."

International Franchising-Franchisors are Spending Millions to Recruit Franchisees

Expos, word of mouth, internet marketing, magazine advertising and other techniques are part of the aggressive marketing techniques many Australian Franchisors are using in a desparate attempt to attract Franchisees. According to this article, a study by market research firm 10 Thousand Feet found the sector spent $44.4 million on marketing to franchisees in the year to September 2007. Many former stategies apparently did not focus on women who are now seen as a huge untapped market. Local mortgage broker Refund Home Loans, recently named Australia's fastest-growing franchise by outlets, targets recruits through TV info-mercials.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Vice-Chairman of the International Franchise Association’s Marketing and PR Committee Elected

Scott Frith , Lawn Doctor's Vice President of Marketing and Franchise Development was recently elected vice-chairman of the International Franchise Association’s Marketing and PR Committee. The announcement was made at the IFA's annual convention that attracted 3,500 franchisors. According to this article, Frith announced: "The mission of the IFA is to protect, enhance and promote franchising. One way this committee can serve the association is to better educate the public and policy makers on the impact of small franchise businesses have on the economy every day," advised Frith on the focus of his new position. "Franchising is the engine that drives commerce in the United States today, and with that momentum, the IFA can serve entrepreneurs looking for long-term stability."

Arizona Surfer Bitten by the Franchising Bug

A former California surfer, Kevin Blackwell has turned a passion for fitness and smoothies into a mega franchising business. Many Arizona residents are familiar with Cold Stone Creamery ice-cream. Blackwell's Scottsdale-based Kahala Corp. is parent to well-known brands such as Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie and Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill. Many of these franchises have a precence in Arizona. According to this article, Blackwell's vision is to have 10,000 franchise stores worldwide by 2010. Kahala Corp is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. The article adds that company officials say the Scottsdale-based Kahala Corp. will take its Cold Stone Creamery brand into Scandinavia during the next five years and plans to have at least 40 stores in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Phoenix Arizona Franchisor Attorney

In addition to handling franchisees with litigation and transactional work, the Phoenix Law Office of Peter N. Greenfeld has recently expanded its representation of Franchisors. Before starting his own practice, Peter worked extensively with Franchisors in a large national firm well known for its Franchisor representation. With his long term experience, Peter has assisted Franchisors with litigation and disputes that arise with existing franchises. The firm also helps franchisors with setting up franchise systems. You can learn more about this Franchise Lawyer by clicking here to visit their website for Franchisees and Franchisors.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Discounts Available to Veterans Opening Franchises

The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, or VetFran program is a collaboration of the International Franchise Association (IFA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and The Veterans Corp. Terry Hill, vice president of communications for IFA, says that over 1,000 veterans have opened franchises through the program according to this article. A typical VetFran discount ranges from 15% to 25% off franchising fee costs. The types of franchises opened by prospective franchisees has included Aamco Transmissions, Rolly Pollies, UPS and its Mail Boxes Etc. stores.

Food Franchise Quiznos Featured on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice

Teams on the reality show will compete to come up with a new sandwich lineup for the retaurant franchise Quiznos, but they will be limited to using ingredients found only in the Quiznos stores according to this article. The recipies of both teams will be sold at the Quiznos stores through April 6. Quiznos is a fast-food sandwich franchise that specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches.

Yakety Yak Wireless California Franchise Listed Among Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500

Yakety Yak Wireless, an expanding chain of wireless phone retailers first opened in Arizona in 1999. David Timlin, CEO of Yakety Yak recently commented in a press release that the company was selected among Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “Franchise 500” list and is ranked at 470 according to this article. The wireless superstores offer a range of cell phones, calling plans and other wireless accessories.