What is FranchisEssentials?

franchiseMy name is Paul Segreto and FranchisEssentials is a personal blog of mine focused on franchising and what’s happening in franchising today. I am a 34-year franchise & small business professional and entrepreneur. Currently, I hold the positions of president at Franchise Brokers Association and CEO at Franchise Foundry. In addition, I am the founder of Acceler8Success and founder & co-host of Franchise Today. For more details my bio may be reviewed on LinkedIn.

Since 2009, my objective has been to utilize this site to share information, insight and perspective on franchising. My goal remains steadfast, to help individuals on all levels learn all they can about, within and around the world of franchising. So, whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee, franchise candidate or industry professional including franchise attorney, broker, consultant, coach, supplier or anyone else supporting the franchise community, I trust FranchisEssentials will always be considered a valuable resource. 

If you’re new to the site, you may subscribe to FranchisEssentials to stay updated on new information. You can also find it on Facebook and on other social media where you may see it referenced with the hashtag #FranchisEssentials.

I truly appreciate you visiting FranchisEssentials and thank you in advance for sharing the information found here across social media and also with friends, family, colleagues and clients. As well, please take some time to review the various posts and even visit the multitude of resources listed on the site. Of course, if you’re unable to find what you’re looking for or if you have a question or comment, please complete and submit the form below and I will respond to you ASAP.

Paul Segreto

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Franchising: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

World of FranchisingAs I often do on the weekends, I was searching through my personal library seeking out a book or two that might provide me some inspiration for an article or report, and this weekend, I came across a business book that was published back in 1979. The book, “Free Yourself in a Business of Your Own” by Byron Lane, caught my eye for reasons I cannot really explain. Obviously, I’ve had it in my possession for many years, yet, never opened it again since I purchased it for $1.29 at Target. It must have been a clearance book as the cover price was $5.95. Anyway, I can’t even recall seeing it when I routinely search through my library. It’s like it suddenly jumped out front and center and said, “Hey, look here!”

Well, I decided to look through the book because the back cover stated, “This book is about freedom. Freedom from an 8 to 5 regimen. Freedom from dehumanizing democracies. Freedom from job boredom. Freedom from the lock-step culture. Freedom to do your work your way.” Hmmm… not much seems to have changed although lock-step culture is not one I’ve heard of before.

Right away, my thoughts turned to franchising and I began to think about what franchising was like back in 1979. Fortunately, I didn’t have to think very hard, as to my surprise, was a chapter on franchising! It’s placement was to present franchising strictly as an alternative to other forms of business ownership, and in a book with 174 pages, the franchising chapter comprised all of 3 pages. Yes, 3 pages!

Within these pages were a series of bullet points that I found very interesting and it made me wonder how much franchising had actually changed since 1979, and if the changes have improved franchising today. Read the bullet points below and you be the judge.

– While there are no federal laws governing franchising, most states have franchise laws. Get a copy of the law in your state and read it for degree of stringency and coverage. If it is a tough law and a franchising company qualifies to do business in your state, you have one measure of security.

– Don’t believe that acceptance of you by a franchiser means they have evaluated your ability to get the job done. Some franchisers would select a corpse if rigor mortis had not set in and if it clutched in its hand a certified check for the amount of the franchise fee. Do your own introspection and decide if you can handle the franchise.

– Do not deal with profit projections or average profits. Insist on actual financial statements from a cross-section of franchisees. Then, evaluate your expected return on investment.

– Get the financial statement of the parent company and evaluate its ability to provide the services it promises.

– Read the franchise contract. It should be simple, frank, and fair, with complete disclosure, not an instrument of repression. After you think it through with your head, listen to your gut and determine if the contract fits you

– Finally, and perhaps most important of all, is evaluation of the franchiser’s management team. You should do this from two aspects – their management ability and their humanness. If the management does not measure up to good corporate standards, you will not get the profits you seek. You may turn out okay, but they can bring you down.

 

Posted in Franchise Development, Franchising, Intl Franchising | Leave a comment

Four Steps to Social Media Success

Share Interact Engage

Updated January 11, 2017

A year or so ago, there was a great article shared with me about things we can learn from teens about about social media. To me, the article was spot-on. Point blank, the reason teens are better at social media than, well, anybody, is answered directly in the article as follows:

“Because teens aren’t on social media to promote or sell. They’re there for 1 main reason… To be social!”

The article reaffirmed some things in my mind about social media that we at Franchise Foundry execute on for both our franchise development and accelerated digital strategies clients, but many companies haven’t even begun to do, are afraid to and/or have no clue how to do. One thing in particular is integration across platforms. Another is community-building. And, another is avoiding brand regurgitation making sure to be social and to make it about the audience, not just about the brand.

The key, the true key is that businesses (and marketers) view social media solely as marketing while teens look at it as communicating (sharing information, interacting, engaging… developing the relationship whereby asking for something, a call-for-action, if you will, is normal to the relationship, it is not out of sync, it is not overstepping boundaries, it is not selfish – instead, it is earned! Yes, these are my four steps to social media success – share, interact, engage and then, only then have your earned the right for a call-to-action… and together they are quite effective as they’re all about communicating first, marketing second.

Posted in Franchise Social Media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Eight Years on the Air… But Who’s Counting?

celebrating_8_yearsIt’s hard to believe we’re celebrating 8 years on Franchise Today. I’d like to thank all that have made this show, not only possible but what it is today as one the leading podcasts dedicated specifically to sensible, sustainable franchising.

I’d especially like to thank my co-host for the past two years, Stan Friedman who encouraged me to continue with the show at a time when I was losing interest. He pushed until he got the answer he was looking for, knowing it was the right thing to do. It’s definitely an honor getting to work weekly with Stan and developing a bond that is truly special. Of course, I cannot forget Stan’s organization, FRM Solutions who along with Franchise Foundry sponsor the show.

Thank you to the great PR firms in franchising who continue to introduce us to some of the brightest stars in franchising today, and especially to the fantastic team at Fishman Public Relations who have been bringing us guests for well over five years, sometimes on a moment’s notice.

Certainly, I must also thank Joel Libava, The Franchise King who was a co-host in the early years and as franchising’s earliest blogger really did teach me a thing or two – not to mention all his retweets which helped spur more and more to follow our announcements on Twitter. Along those same lines, thank you to Jerry Darnell who is always the first to LIKE and SHARE show announcements on Facebook.

I think back to the early years and I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Joe Caruso as it was Joe who truly helped reshape the show’s format for the better as producer of the show five or six years ago. Not only did he schedule a new wave of guests, including many great franchise attorneys and finance professionals, but Joe was also instrumental in introducing Franchise Today to the International Franchise Association. Since then we’ve had on the show a number of then current and former IFA Chairpersons as well as the last two to hold the position of IFA CEO & president. To that end, a special thanks goes out to the IFA for continuing to recognize Franchise Today as highly relevant to the franchise community.

And what would Franchise Today be without such fantastic franchise professionals who unselfishly share their time, knowledge and experience so that others may learn the right way, the best way to succeed at this great thing we call franchising? The list goes on and on and without being able to name all for fear of missing just one, I’ll just say I’m blown away by the list as it is truly a Who’s Who in the world of franchising!

Last, but certainly not least I’d like to thank all of our loyal listeners who either listen LIVE or on-demand week in and week out, many without fail, even taking us on vacation with them. Yes, you truly are the reason we’re still here today. Your notes of appreciation and comments across social media make me want to continue Franchise Today for years to come.

To all I’ve referred to above and to all I may have left out, I say, Thank you!

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Change… Because Failure is not an Option

change-courseLike a ship at sea, a business should make directional changes in a long, sweeping manner. Conversely, although abrupt change in direction may create havoc, it may be deemed necessary by the captain and navigation team to avoid what may not be apparently visible on the surface to others on the ship, but is evident nonetheless through compilation of data and viewing radar. In any event, well thought-out plans, including contingency plans must be in place and acted upon to arrive safely at a specific destination within a certain time frame, and with available resources.

However, what happens when seas are rough, or when a storm is approaching, or when an engine shuts down? It’s then the captain’s responsibility to crew and passengers, and to the ship’s stakeholders to make any and all necessary changes to ensure all interests are protected. Thereafter, when the ship is safely docked, management must review the events that took place and explore options to ensure the same problems don’t reoccur. Management must identify ways to improve performance by developing strategy and executing on tactical plans to accomplish objectives at all required intervals – short, mid and long-term.

Change requires thought and planning. As does operating a successful business. As change occurs, many within the business are exposed to decisions that on the surface appear to be “drastic or severe” and are not understood and/or agreed upon. However, what is typically not realized are areas of weakness and vulnerability that must be addressed and with the utmost sense of urgency. In many cases there are common denominators across multiple areas of the business. Most will be directly attributable to reduction in sales. Some will adversely affect profitability.

Unfortunately, the economic woes of the great recession continue to linger, compounding problems that may have started as a result of the downturn. Deficiencies, usually hidden by high sales levels are standing out like sore thumbs. Accepting these facts while realizing limitations and shortcomings is vitally important, but knowing what and how to improve [and change] is required. Definitive action is paramount!

Change what needs to be changed. Prioritize changes that will make the most immediate impact. Grow into the changes that aren’t urgent. But, do it all within the time frame where challenges present themselves as survival may be dependent upon the same. Change, as unpopular as it might be, is necessary to recover AND to move forward. To this end, hard decisions must be made – with absolute conviction and without delay for the good of the business and ultimately, for all within the business. Yes, change is difficult. But so is failure, and failure is not an option!

Posted in Business 101, Franchise Success, Franchising | Tagged , , | Leave a comment