Acceler8Success Cafe Daily Thursday 10.29.20

Every Company Needs an Entrepreneur in the C-Suite

Innovation thrives when it has power and status within an organization. To enable real innovative growth — and rapid response in the face of such crises such as Covid-19 — boards and company leaders must structure top organizational roles to give innovative efforts the resources and attention they need. In our work on business model innovation with over 100 large and medium-sized companies, we’ve found that companies looking for transformation have two good options: an entrepreneurial CEO or a powerful chief entrepreneur. Read more here.

7 Entrepreneurship Stages Will Propel You to Where You Need to Go

The road to becoming an entrepreneur is a journey, and it’s not a short trip. In my efforts to assist aspiring business owners like you, I find that too many see it as a short sprint to get over that one hurdle, like finding that innovative idea, or attracting an investor. In reality, I find that there are multiple stages to the process, each requiring a unique mindset and focused effort along the way. I was pleased to find a new book, The Entrepreneur’s Faces, by Johnathan Littman and Susanna Camp, which outlines the key stages and provides examples of real people making the transformation from one stage to the next. Read more here.

If you wouldn’t think about building a house without blueprints, why would you consider building a business without blueprints? Like plans for a home, business blueprints should include each component necessary for long-term benefit. Whether exploring franchise ownership or growing your brand via franchising, Franchise Foundry can help ensure you have the right blueprints specifically for you! Learn more here.

What Restaurant Sectors Thrived During The Pandemic?

Why did some restaurant chains sales thrive so quickly after the pandemic?

This week’s episode of the Restaurant Business podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Lorn Davis, who leads corporate and product strategy at the financial data firm Facteus. The company has been reporting sales using debit card information since the start of the pandemic, and its weekly reports have provided some key insights into the direction of retail and restaurant spending. Davis discusses some of the sectors performing particularly well, such as chicken wings, and those that have a longer runway for improvement, like coffee. He talks about the factors that have influenced the sectors’ success and failure, and he discusses how consumers have changed since the start of the pandemic—and how much of that change could be permanent. Listen to podcast here.

Jersey Mike’s Subs CEO Peter Cancro to join MFHA President Gerry Fernandez to talk about the path to Black restaurant franchise ownership

Peter Cancro, CEO of Jersey Mike’s Subs will be a keynote speaker at Restaurants Rise powered by MUFSO on its final day, Thursday, Oct. 29, at 3 p.m. EDT, in discussion on the path to Black franchise ownership, brought to you by PepsiCo Foodservice.

Cancro will be joined by Karim Webb, CEO of 4thMVMT and co-founder of PCF Restaurant Management — a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings — and Hugh Roth, senior vice president and chief customer and business development officer for PepsiCo’s Global Foodservice Division. The panel will be moderated by Gerry Fernandez, president and founder of the Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance (MFHA). TIME SENSITIVE: Read more here.

5 Best Business Ideas for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a flurry of challenges, from finding small business funding, short-term business closures, quarantines, and mask-wearing to sharp declines in storefront traffic and more.  So there is no doubt that many entrepreneurs threw in the towel this year. Despite all of this, the data shows that 2021 will be a great time to go into business for yourself. Let’s take a look at some trends shaping new businesses next year and five of the best entrepreneurial ideas for capitalizing on them. If you’re considering starting a small business in 2021, there are some trends to consider before making your plan. Read more here.

As Small Business Saturday is just around the corner please keep in mind that franchises are also small business. Franchise owners are very much the same as Mom & Pop businesses across America having invested their life savings to achieve the American Dream of owning a business. #ShopSmall and #ShopFranchise on #SmallBusinessSaturday.

3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership

Many people have a dream of owning a business. It’s an American Dream! But, whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure their dream-turned-reality starts off on the right foot.

Improve Financial Health

Review FinancesReview and analyze personal finances. As a first step, it’s essential to understand income coming in and expenses going out each and every month of the year. Think ahead to bills that come due quarterly or annually.

Plan a firm budget. The goal is to ensure living expenses are met for a minimum of one year after starting a business. If a vacation is planned during this period, it must be included in the budget. Pay off all short-term debt to the extent it’s possible and practical to do so.

If savings or income from investments are not allocated for living expenses it’ll be necessary for personal income to continue through year one. Lenders will require a solid plan that is not dependent upon first year income from the new business. This may require a spouse or life partner continuing their employment while the business gets on firm footing.

Review credit reports for accuracy. Challenge all errors and keep records of the same. Organize all financial records including bank statements, investment account records and insurance policies – auto, health & life.

Consider working through the above with an independent financial coach who can provide valuable professional insight and perspective. From a confidential, non-judgmental position they can help resolve some issues requiring attention that may have initially appeared to have been barriers to business ownership.

Network as Much as Possible

Meet with members of the local business professional services community – bankers, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, realtors. Share plans to start a business within the community. Develop a network of these professionals and keep them apprised of progress.

Attend and actively participate in networking events well in advance of commencing business operations. Networking provides great benefits from a very early stage including introduction of the business to the community, support from fellow business owners and assurance of a busy grand opening.

From visiting with business professional to attending local chamber meetings to participating in community functions, personal involvement starts to establish a long-term commitment to the community. Owning and operating a business is about establishing and building relationships. Do so as early as possible.

Be Honest with Yourself

Although working through due diligence is essential it’s important not to over-analyze to the point of procrastination… or even, paralysis. Taking the necessary steps outlined above should set a foundation of being well-informed and yes, a foundation of comfort and confidence, as well.

But, only with an honest evaluation that the steps were actually taken and worked through should a final decision be made to move forward.

 

 

 

 

Facts & Perspective on the Future of Franchising

franchise imageTwo out of three isn’t bad. In fact, in baseball that would be a phenomenal batting average never even remotely approached. A winning season percentage? Well, it has been done in several professional sports. However, what I’m referring to are leading stories last week (see below) about franchising. Two of three were positive with growth statistics for franchising shared and the power of the franchise model defined. The other presented as somewhat of a negative perspective on family-owned franchises as being less productive than non family-owned businesses.

In any event, I’d love to see more study done on family-owned franchises and how the notion of underperformance may vary from one industry segment to another. My thought on this focuses on the potential differences between multiple generations of families that own Dunkin’ Donuts franchises as opposed to families that may own a non-food brand that may be more inclined to rely on the performance of one, two or several key staff members. I’d also like to explore the difference between single-unit and multi-unit ownership by families. Any takers to start the discussion?

“Regulations have been trimmed, taxes have been cut, and, as a result, the franchise community has continued its economic momentum. As we move into 2018, we expect lawmakers will remain steadfast in their support for a strong business environment,” said Robert Cresanti, IFA President and CEO in a statement.

The franchise industry is set for another year of major growth!

Franchise establishments are set to grow by 1.9 percent to 759,000 locations after increasing 1.6 percent in 2017, while employment will increase 3.7 percent to 8.1 million workers after growing 3.1 percent in 2017. The gross domestic product of the sector is forecast to increase by 6.1 percent to $451 billion, and will contribute approximately 3 percent of U.S. GDP in nominal dollars, according to the report. Franchise business output will also increase 6.2 percent to $757 billion. The forecast follows a year of slower growth in 2017, mirroring trends seen the year prior in terms of employment and output. Read more.

Family-owned franchises underperform, study finds.

A new study that involved a Ball State University researcher found family-owned franchisees post 6.7 percent lower sales per employee than other franchise owners of restaurants and other chain businesses. “It boils down to the fact that often, family-owned franchises have different objectives as compared to their counterparts,” said Srikant Devaraj, a researcher with Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Read more.

Will franchise leaders embrace a new future state of franchising?

A relatively misunderstood business model, with a paucity of academic support, franchising is on the precipice of history.  Defined by the Federal Trade Commission as an ongoing commercial relationship that includes a license to a brand, payment of a modest fee and the existence of significant control or support, the average consumer knows it as Subway, McDonald’s or Anytime Fitness.  In layman terms, a chain of businesses that share a common brand and a consistent customer experience owned by a local consumer.  But the traditional methodology of franchising has been supplanted by an ever-growing array of hybrid formulations that increasingly are revealing the real power of this enigmatic model. Read more.

Is Franchising the Right Way to Grow Your Restaurant Business… or Any Business, for That Matter?

This past January I presented a webinar for RestaurantOwner.com about the ins and outs of franchising a restaurant business. Special attention was also placed on preparing to franchise and how doing so could significantly improve the business itself and provide a road map for multi-unit operations – even without actually proceeding into franchising.

Well, the response after the event was quite robust and led to us performing a number of franchise feasibility studies for independent restaurant owners in various markets across the country. Our recommendations were split on whether to franchise or stay the course as an independent operation. In the coming months, we’ll be able to see how our recommendations play out. In the meantime, interest remains high, not only for restaurants but also non-foodservice operations across a multitude of industries and industry segments exploring franchising as an expansion or growth strategy.

RSG_Logo_Rev3.pngLast month, in Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine, a RestaurantOwner.com publication, appeared an article by the RS&G staff, taking a deep dive into my webinar and philosophy about franchising a business. The article started out…

Some of the most successful brands – in any sector – are franchises. In the restaurant business, they are household names. For many independent operators, franchising their concept is the so-called “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”. Before you take that leap, there are a lot of small and critical steps to consider.

The rest of the article, Baby Steps – Is Franchising the Right Way to Grow Your Restaurant Business? may be read on pages 42-47 by clicking HERE.

#ShopSmall #ShopFranchise for Small Business Saturday

To create awareness that franchises are as much small business as the ones owned by Moms & Pops across America, I suggest using the hashtags #ShopSmall #ShopFranchise in line with each other on any and all social media activity during Small Business Saturday by American Express. To assist, I’m sharing some graphics below that can be used in these efforts. In addition to utilizing them please LIKE and SHARE whenever and wherever you see them on others’ social media before, during and after the event. It is very important franchising be recognized as a cornerstone of small business and a vital component to continued economic recovery. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

ShopFranchise ShopFranchise2 ShopFranchise3 ShopFranchise4 ShopFranchise5

Are You Confused by Franchise Terminology?

Many, including myself, refer to franchising as an industry… even though we know it’s really not an industry. A business model is probably one of the better definitions, but what does that really mean?

When referring to a franchise, even many within franchising choose from a variety of terms as a point of reference – franchise organization, franchise system, franchise company.

Of course, there’s also the varying terms relating to the franchise relationship – franchisee, franchise partner and not to mention the slang, zee. And to the other side of the relationship – franchisor, head office, corporate office, parent company… and yes, zor.

And what’s the difference between franchisor and franchiser?

Confused yet?

And, franchise locations are independently owned and operated. Yet, the franchise relationship is interdependent… or at least it should be interdependent and not dependent or independent upon… Well, you get it, right?

Now let’s look at the people serving the franchise community. Yep, franchise community is another reference for the franchise list above but let’s move on. Franchise consultants, do they sell or consult? How about franchise brokers, sales agents, sales representatives, and again, franchise consultants. Whew!

Moving down the chain there are franchise suppliers, service providers and vendors… What’s the difference? Preferred or approved? Is there really a difference?

Of course, there are references to segments within franchising such as master franchising and sub-franchising… Which one is correct? And, isn’t the sub-franchisor actually the master franchisee? I guess it all depends on which end of the relationship one is on.

How about now – confused yet?

Franchise services means what, and providing services to who? Franchisee to end-user? Franchisor to franchisee? Franchise service provider to franchisor and/or franchisee?

Same can be said of franchise marketing, right? Does marketing in a B2B or B2C scenario but within a franchise environment mean that it’s franchise marketing? Or, is franchise marketing actually marketing to franchise candidates?

Speaking about franchise candidates, when is a candidate actually a candidate and not a lead or just an interested party? Does this fall under franchise sales or franchise development? And who’s in charge – the VP of Franchise Sales, VP of Franchise Development, or VP of Franchising?

And then there’s reference to franchise professionals. Is a franchisee a franchise professional? How about if the franchisee is a multi-unit franchisee with 25 locations? How about a franchise attorney? Franchise service provider?

If a franchise executive is a franchise professional, at what level of management does one begin to be considered a franchise professional? How about within the franchise organization itself?  Secretary, if their support is purely administrative as opposed to an admin that actually communicates with franchisees?

Oh, and should the CEO of a franchise company be considered a franchisor as we often refer to them as such at franchise events?

Ironic how franchising is the replicating of a system with focus on consistency in image, appearance, product and service from one location to another. Yet, there’s little consistency in the terminology used to define many aspects of franchising.

Franchising Not [Completely] Respected by American Express!

Yes, today is Small Business Saturday and I urge you to support local business everywhere. That being said, please remember that franchises are small businesses as well, and are locally owned and operated. Unfortunately, despite efforts to educate American Express about franchising, they still found it necessary to place limitations on franchising’s involvement by excluding franchises with over 100 locations.

I’m concerned about the local franchisees of BrightStar Care, Rita’s Italian Ice, Red Mango, Nothing Bundt Cakes or of the many other franchise brands whose franchisees invested their hard earned money and savings to develop a business in their local area, just like the Mom & Pop proprietors have done. A small business is a small business. Period.

Franchising is very much small business and AMEX would certainly have a different opinion if all franchises stopped taking the American Express Card! Yes, please visit and support local businesses, including franchise locations, but as a true sign of support for ALL small business owners, about your American Express Card, please do leave home without it!

And, it’s not like American Express wasn’t made aware of franchising’s role in small business.

Last year I wrote numerous articles and actually had multiple phone calls with senior executives at AMEX. All appeared to be on track for including franchising in Small Business Saturdays. I even followed up with phone calls mid-summer to make certain last year’s debacle wasn’t repeated. I was assured all was in order, that they did their research and yes, franchising would be well-represented in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. Well, shame on me for following up, but not following through. You can be assured that will not happen again.

Here are links to last year’s articles which I will build upon for 2013…

Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events

Franchises Are Not Small Business?

Franchises Excluded From Small Business Saturday – AMEX Responds!

Was Franchising Slapped in the Face by American Express by Accident?

AMEX Reassessing Policies for Small Business Saturday


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Unique Franchise Model Raises Questions…

As most everyone in franchising knows, the Chick-fil-A franchise opportunity is quite unique, especially as compared to thousands of other franchise opportunites across all industry segments.

It appears Chick-fil-A has been quite successful with this unique business model, so why haven’t more franchisors followed suit? And, for the ones that have, why haven’t they succeeded?

With respect to a recent article’s reference to average franchisee profits, are there potential issues with Financial Performance Representations in the franchisor’s Franchise Disclosure Document?

Here’s a thought as I compare Chick-fil-A to other franchises… Should Chick-fil-A really be considered a franchise?

Hey, don’t get me wrong… I admire a company that affords individuals the opportunity to earn significant income, provides a great product and customer experience, and stands by its convictions (Closed on Sundays for religious reasons). My questions are entirely focused on the franchising aspect. Is it really a franchise?

Is the Chick-fil-A model more successful from the perspective of failed locations than other franchise chains?

From a business standpoint it appears there is much to be learned from Chick-fil-A. So, why aren’t more franchisors developing similar business practices, even beyond the franchise practices.

Looking to keep this positive… and really looking forward to all thoughts, insight and perspective!

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Franchising Excluded from AMEX Small Business Saturday Events!

This Saturday, November 26th is the 2nd Annual American Express Small Business Saturday. Most likely you have seen advertising and promotions for the event. Possibly you’ve seen the event’s Facebook page that has over 2.3 million LIKES. If you spend as much time online as I have you, then you have definitely seen promo after promo mentioning the event.

Well, franchising, supposedly the cornerstone of small business and as many claim, the driving force behind economic recovery in America, has been excluded from the event. Here’s the AMEX notice…

ELIGIBILITY: The Program is only available to independently owned businesses. Small business cannot promote any of the following: pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events, and any such small businesses are not eligible for this Program. Franchisees, national chains and government agencies are not eligible. By participating in this Program, you represent and warrant that (i) your business complies with the requirements set forth herein and (ii) you are the owner of the business and have the right to participate in this Program.

Yet, American Express heavily solicits franchise brands and franchisees to accept the American Express Card. And, as we all know, at a higher rate than that of Visa and MasterCard. Not to mention the fact that American Express typically exhibits at franchise conferences and trade shows where they promote AMEX Merchant Services. Besides, aren’t franchise locations independently owned and operated?

At the very least, franchisees should be able to participate locally even if franchise brands are prohibited from participating at the national level!

So, do you believe American Express was correct in excluding franchise brands and franchisees from Small Business Saturday? What are your thoughts?

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The Digital Holy Trinity – Possibility or Probability?

I was recently asked my opinion of Groupon and I immediately thought of its place within the whole realm of traditional and social media marketing, and how I see its sustainability in small business, including franchising, and if I recommend using group coupon deals at all.

Here’s my opinion, subsequent rant… and a bold prediction!

Groupon and others like it should only be utilized strategically and only for a specific purpose such as generating immediate interest and cash flow for a typically slow period, and to infiltrate a competitor’s customer base. Both of these objectives have been achieved by utilizing a Groupon-type coupon. Further effectiveness is evident as the coupon strategy is enhanced by social media.

Personally, there are so many Groupon copycats that the allure, even from a customer perspective, has diminished considerably from just six months ago. Case in point – I had purchased over 30 Groupons and similar coupons and was happy to use them all. That being said, over the past three or so months I have not purchased a single one. Why? Because before it was one deal per day and I was notified of the same and I could simply decide one way or the other. Now, I’ve got to look at deals, is it family based or not, entertainment or service… just too much of a hassle. Not to mention the bombardment of collateral emails like for Social Escapes by Living Social, etc.

Beyond that, coupons and promotions will be very geo-specific. Actually, social media is becoming very geo-specific which will drive the geo-specificity of coupons and promotions. Facebook has a distinct advantage over many others as they have both Facebook Places and Facebook Deals. Further, they have finalized or are close to finalizing a deal with Foursquare whereby it works hand-in-hand with Facebook Places. As it is, Foursquare populates into Facebook (and Twitter). And mobile phone usage will continue to drive check-ins and geo-specific marketing. Customer Review sites are jumping on the bandwagon and offer check-ins as well.

Where I believe Facebook will prevail as the leader, is the community feature. Basically, a captive audience where fans can realize all, including coupons and promotions, check-ins, customer reviews, sharing information, posting comments, etc. The push to a more mobile-friendly Facebook is already occurring. If you can think it, Facebook is probably working on it. If not, they’ll buy it. Long-term contracts? Facebook deems them as not being necessary. They really don’t need to as no one really competes with Facebook.

Now that Facebook has become more business-friendly, the sky is the limit. I project you’ll see Facebook go after LinkedIn or develop something similar. Twitter could be a possible acquisition. MySpace? That will be interesting especially as Zuckerburg feels the under 13 crowd should be on Facebook. With MySpace, he’d give them more reason to do so… or maybe justification. Foursquare? Some type of merger would be practical. How about the rumors that Apple is stockpiling their cash for a run at Facebook? Now THAT would be very interesting!

On the other front is Google. Certainly, they are a search powerhouse. And, with their acquisition of YouTube, they now have the top two search engines. Yes, YouTube is used for search even more than Yahoo and Bing. But, Google has not done well with social media. Think GoogleBuzz and GoogleWave. So, at what point does Google and Facebook realize they’ve each cornered their own parts of the market. Maybe even covering the whole market? Would that then create the possibility of a Google-Facebook merger? Just think of THOSE possibilities! And, now that Microsoft has purchased Skype, maybe the celestial landscape will include Skype… albeit with an improved mobile application.

So, the winning combination in one way, shape or form is… Search, Social, Mobile. I like to call it the Digital Holy Trinity!

*This post was originally posted on this site May 2011.

Author’s note – As for Google +, it remains to be seen what happens with Google’s latest attempt at social media.  I, for one, believe it will also fall by the wayside as their other attempts within social media have in the past.


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