Franchise Clique Recognized by the Franchise Brokers Association as Vendor of the Year

Last week the executive team at Franchise Clique traveled to Orlando, Florida as an Emerald Sponsor for the Franchise Brokers Association’s Annual International Franchise Brokers Conference, and what a surprise, we were recognized as the 2015 Vendor of the Year! The coveted award was presented at the expo among the franchise and business opportunity industry’s most recognized and respected names, signifying the impact made by Franchise Clique in the lead generation industry.

“We have always believed in our drive and commitment to being the best. FBACon4We are honored that the Franchise Brokers Association recognized this fact. We are so grateful to be involved with such an incredible organization.” Said Owner|CEO David Schwartz when asked about Franchise Clique’s rise to greatness. When asked what was next Schwartz replied, “Winning Vendor of the Year propels the Franchise Clique team to strive to new heights.”

Franchise Clique received the award for Vendor of the Year in a year that included many accomplishments. Amidst new innovations and exciting personal changes the company has continued to grow and flourish through facilitating connection among inquiring franchisee candidates and the brokers and concepts they are looking for.

Franchise Clique would like to thank all the brokers and vendors, who gave their time at the FBA Conference, as well as the members of the FBA, which, as an organization, shines a light on all the advantages that this organization has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

Accelerating Your Entrepreneurial Success with Networking

Networking is the accelerant you can use to set your entrepreneurial career aflame. It can do so much for your career, from letting you meet potential mentors to helping you find contacts and opportunities for your start-up. The problem you likely share with many people is simply not knowing where to start.

1.      Approach Networking with the Right Mindset

The problem with most people is that they approach networking as work. Don’t approach networking thinking that it’s all about how many business cards you can get or hand out. Look at it as a way to develop genuine relationships with the people involved in your industry. Treat people as possible friends and not just potential assets.

Become friends with the people you meet. They are going to help take you and your business to the next level. These people deserve your respect and to be treated as more than just assets.

2.      Have a Goal

Don’t just network — network with a goal in mind. Have something you want to happen, a goal you can work towards, before you step into a networking event. Think about where you want to be in five years, where the start-up should be. Write it down. Write down what you need to get done in a year to get closer to your goals. Then write down what you need to get done in three months to get closer to your goals.

Look at each of those goals and figure out who can help you achieve them. Do you need a better accountant to help you get the resources you need? Do you need a mentor to teach you a couple of key skills that will allow you to succeed? If you’re having trouble deciding whom you need, simply figure out what you lack and who can fill that hole.

3.      Learn How to Connect with People

Knowing how to connect with people is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur. It’s not just for networking, it’s for what happens afterwards. You don’t just make a new friend and then never interact with them. Relationships are ongoing and require maintenance. You need to learn to connect and keep on connecting with the people who will help you succeed.

Ask the right questions. Asking better questions leads to better answers, which results in memorable conversations. Ask difficult questions, such as how they expect to achieve their goals considering the kind of opposition they face.

How will you know which questions to ask? Pay attention, not just to what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it. Learn more about the convention you’re attending and the industries that will be represented, so you’ll have something to contribute to the discussion.

4.      Connect People to Each Other

One of the best ways to accelerate the growth of your network as an entrepreneur is to serve as a bridge. Someday you’re going to meet someone who needs something you cannot provide — but you’ll know someone who can help. Take the time to introduce them to each other. At best, they’ll appreciate the effort and then be more inclined to help you find people who can help you solve your problems. At worst, you’ve helped out a couple of your friends. After a few months, follow-up on your connection and find out if you actually helped them.

It is important to note here that you shouldn’t keep score. Do it because you want to help out.

Networking can help you accelerate the success of your start-up and your career as an entrepreneur. It can help spread word about your business and about your skills as an entrepreneur. Talk to people. Connect people with each other. Learn how you can create and nurture relationships with others. You’ll find yourself surrounded with interesting people and your start-up going places you never thought it would.

Handling Change In Your Business

Whether you are a current franchisee, a future franchisee, or even just a fan of our blog, chances are that you have experienced major changes in your workplace. Changes can cause great anxiety, especially if you are forced to adjust the way you have always approached a situation. Changes in process are often the best way to enhance productivity in business, yet the transition can prove to be troublesome.

I wanted to take this week’s post to discuss dealing with change and the growth contained in the process of change. Most of us operate under the illusion that life remains constant, but in reality, it is always changing. Your business, if it’s growing, is always changing, too.

Based on a study by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), the number one issue facing senior leadership today is “dealing with complex challenges.” Furthermore, studies say that the number one most important competency in shortest supply today is dealing with change. The CCL defines challenges as problems that:

  1. Lack a clearly defined solution
  2. Remain beyond an individual’s or single group’s ability to overcome
  3. Have significant strategic, cultural, environmental, and marketplace impact
  4. Create a paradox of reflection and action
  5. Render traditional solutions ineffective
  6. Demand flexibility and agility as challenges shift seemingly overnight

Being open to change and the lessons within change is no small task. Positive change requires letting go of old patterns and taking a fresh approach. In business, and in life, we must go beyond our preconceived ideas. We have to embrace, rather than resist, the change.

Change in an organization calls for a great deal of communication, specifically from the leaders in the group. What are some important lessons that you have learned about change from your business? Leave comments below!

Virtual Expo Asks the Tough Question: Is Business Ownership Right for You?

North America’s Leading Career and Franchise Business Coaching Company, The Entrepreneur’s Source®, Fuels Dreams of Business Ownership with “Start a Business Weekend” Virtual Franchise Expo July 25-27

The nation’s leading career and franchise business coaching network, The Entrepreneur’s Source® is hosting its virtual Start a Business Weekend® expo July 25-27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT. The virtual expo offers current and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore business opportunities and gain advice from experts – all from the comfort of their home or office.

The Start a Business Weekend expo allows attendees to “walk” into a digital Exhibit Hall and visit the booths of more than 90 of the nation’s hottest franchise concepts. Participants can chat live with representatives about a variety of different franchise brands, learn how to finance their new business, attend keynote presentations, and download informational resources. Business coaches from The Entrepreneur’s Source will be available to help would-be entrepreneurs determine if business ownership is right for them. After attending a Start a Business Weekend expo, 95 percent of participants end up discovering options they admittedly would have never looked at on their own or would have previously dismissed.

 

“Many people would love to start their own business, especially with the job market moving towards part-time work. The problem is, many people don’t know where to start or are unsure of the skills needed to run a business,” said Brian Miller, COO of The Entrepreneur’s Source. “Our free Start a Business Weekend expo asks the hard hitting question: is business ownership right for you? By the end of the three day event, participants will have that question answered and the tools and guidance necessary to start their entrepreneurial journey.”

 

The Entrepreneur’s Source has more than 30 years of experience in helping make franchisors and their franchisees more profitable. With more than 230 offices in the United States, Canada and the UK, the company presents prospective franchisees with new business opportunities that complement their goals, needs and expectations, while delivering franchisors the right individuals to grow their concepts. Additionally, the company also offers business-coaching services to help franchisees advance, improve efficiency and increase the return on the investment made on their franchise business.

 

Registration for the SABW Expo is currently open, with no registration fee, at www.StartABusinessWeekend.com. For more information about The Entrepreneur’s Source and business coaching support, visit http://www.entrepreneurssource.com/.

 

About The Entrepreneur’s Source
The Entrepreneur’s Source is North America’s leading career and franchise Business Coaching Company dedicated to the entrepreneur, with more than 230 offices in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Dominating the $1.5 billion dollar Business Coaching/Consulting franchise market in North America, the company offers a full range of services to individuals seeking alternate career options and to franchise businesses looking to increase performance. For more information about The Entrepreneur’s Source, please visit http://www.EntrepreneursSource.com/

 

The Entrepreneur’s Source and Start a Business Weekend are trademarks of TES Franchising, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Mobility: A Time-Tested Specialty and an Alternative Entrance into the Senior Market

Headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, and sweeping its way across America, 101 Mobility is one of the nation’s largest providers of mobility solutions and one of the most exciting alternative opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking out their niche in the senior boom.

101 Mobility sells, installs, rents, and services a complete line of home health, mobility, and accessibility products for the elderly and disabled. From stair, porch, pool, and auto lifts, to ramps, bridges and walkways to power scooters, safety baths, and more, they service residential and commercial clients alike and are the top dealer of many of their products’ manufacturers.

In an industry historically predominated by “mom and pop” shops and anonymous online firms, seniors and their caretakers often don’t know who to trust for professional and reliable mobility products and aren’t aware of the broad variety of mobility solutions available. As one of the first nationally franchised organizations of its kind, 101 Mobility has been leading this specialty into the 21st century.

101 Mobility’s is a scalable business model designed to grow with your operation, and can be launched in 90 days or less. Their franchisees receive comprehensive training, protected territories, established relationships with equipment vendors and core national accounts, marketing assistance, and their unparalleled, all-inclusive “Mobilink” business operating system.

101 Mobility is on the move and is seeking motivated entrepreneurs who can help them reach their national goals. If you have strong sales and marketing skills and are shopping for solid alternative options in the senior market, consider the time-tested specialty of “mobility” and contact their franchise development team today.

To learn more about this up-and-coming franchise opportunity, please visit: http://www.franchiseclique.com/franchise/101-Mobility.

Women and Franchises: how to pick the best one for you

Every woman is unique. If you have made the decision to be self-employed, but are still mulling your choices, consider opening a franchise. The multitude of possibilities out there means that there is bound to be a franchise that’s right for you and reflective of your unique personality. There are many steps to think about, so let’s dive right in.

 

What kind of franchise opportunity should you choose?
As a woman choosing the best opportunity to pursue, maximize the benefit of your point of view- the woman’s point of view that is. There are plenty of business avenues where your perspective as a woman gives you a competitive advantage. From automotive maintenance to home maintenance, women have their own perspective on researching and buying a product or service. Utilize this and your sales will benefit as a result.
Some of the specific franchise areas that would benefit from a woman in charge are:

Women’s fitness;
Women’s dietary supplements;
Women’s health products or services;
Fashion retailer;

The list above is intended to get your ideas flowing. Knowing what a woman wants with regard to certain products is a valuable viewpoint for most business ventures, so take this knowledge to the next level with the following step.

 

Stick to your strengths!
Next, consider your strengths and abilities. You want to match your talents and interests with the franchise that makes the most sense for you.

 

Consider these questions:

Is there an area in which your friends always ask you for advice?
Did you gain expertise or a skill-set in a previous job?
What are your interests and passions?

 

Keep your strengths in mind when shopping for a franchise. You want to be in a business that you enjoy and will stick with.

Make a list of your top 5 choices, and then contact them –
Contact the franchisors (the owners selling you the franchise rights) that interest you the most. Emphasize any management and sales experience that you have. Making sales is the heartbeat of any franchise, so align your passion for the product with your previous experience and skills.

 

Balance –
If you have a family or other responsibilities, look into franchise opportunities that allow you to better balance the work and home aspects of your life. A franchisor should help you establish whether opening a store an acceptable distance from your home is feasible. Business planning and education are part and parcel of buying a franchise, and the franchisor should help you in this regard.

 

Startup cost and experience-
Each franchise has a cost to buy into the opportunity. Evaluate your top choices, keeping in mind the amount of your initial investment. Ask about how other franchisees are faring, sales-wise. This will help determine the length of time it may take to get back your investment, as well as giving you a snapshot of the health of the company. A strong record of sales will help reduce your risk. Remember to ask the franchisor about any previous experience that is required.

 

Get Started –
Prospective entrepreneurs have many resources at their disposal. Businesses ranging from unique candy and fashion retail to educational services and tax preparation await those women motivated to become successful owners of a franchise. To learn more about these and other franchise opportunities available, please visit www.franchiseclique.com.

Thriving in Franchising After Leaving Corporate America

Franchisee Profile of Fred and Lorraine Pierson
Showhomes Franchisees, Raleigh NC

Fred Pierson’s path to entrepreneurship was anything but linear. Before becoming a Showhomes Home Staging franchise owner in Raleigh, N.C., Fred Pierson had two different corporate careers.

 

In college, Pierson earned a degree in aviation management and went on to manage corporate jet facilities across the United States. Due to the nature of his work, he and his wife, Lorraine, moved frequently. After years of packing and unpacking, Fred, Lorraine and their young children settled in North Carolina and Fred left the aviation industry and his first corporate career.

 

Fred then joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He felt that “hospitality was similar in nature” to his aviation work. For the next decade, Pierson worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually earning the title of General Manager. As the economy contracted during the Great Recession, Fred returned to work for a competitor at half the compensation of what he had been making.

 

“After doing corporate work for 25 years, my wife and I felt it was time to start working for ourselves,” says Pierson. “In life, opportunities present themselves occasionally, but what really made Showhomes the right opportunity for us was the timing,” he explains.

 

As luck would have it, a good friend of Fred’s was starting her own mortgage brokerage firm around the same time as his departure from the hospitality industry. Due to her encouragement, Fred became a national and state licensed mortgage loan officer — passing both tests on his first try.

 

“Old dogs can learn new tricks!” he says.

 

Working as a mortgage officer was very interesting to Pierson, though he soon realized it could put a strain on his relationships with friends.

 

“I refused to sacrifice my relationships with people to originate loans,” Pierson explains, “As such, my wife and I looked at opportunities that would provide me with a pipeline of loans without pushing me to use my personal contacts.”

 

A good friend led the Pierson’s to Showhomes, a business model they felt they would use as an “ancillary feeder” to his mortgage business that catered to those relocating to the Raleigh area.  “We quickly saw that the opportunities with Showhomes were far greater than within the mortgage business,” says Fred. “In a short period of time we saw impressive results that allowed us to walk away from the mortgage side of things and focus on Showhomes.”

 

The Pierson’s ultimately chose Showhomes over other franchise opportunities because it played to the couples’ talents. Lorraine enjoyed interior design and, as a byproduct of Fred’s aviation management days, was adept at staging houses and making them feel like homes. Fred, a self-described “turnaround specialist for companies,” easily brought in new business.

“Technically no one does what we do on a national level with the level of support and national branding that Showhomes offers,” Pierson says.

 

On what to expect when becoming a Showhomes franchisee Fred says, “You’re buying the right to a territory and what you do with that territory and how you manage it effectively is up to you.

 

As franchisees, Fred and Lorraine have learned a considerable amount about real estate and the effect staging has on the buying and selling process. The number one challenge to Showhomes as a business model, according to Fred, is demonstrating the value of a staged home to both the seller and to the realtor.  “Showhomes is here to stage, maintain, manage and protect your home. My job is to make someone fall in love with your home; it’s the Realtor’s job to find a buyer”.

 

With experiencing close to a 70-percent success rate of having homes sell within 90 days of being staged, the Pierson’s feel that the human elements—leaving slippers by the bed, The Wall Street Journal near the coffee maker– clearly make a difference and bring a human touch.

 

“To be successful it helps to be well-rounded and most people, because of their corporate careers, are specialists in a particular area, like sales, operations, or administrative. For this reason, it works best with a great team, similar to myself and my wife Lorraine.”

 

“I take great satisfaction in explaining Showhomes to business principals,” says Fred, “Smart people right away say, ‘That’s an amazing business model!’”

Why Restaurant Franchises Cost What They Do

A question we are often asked by entrepreneurs is, “Why do restaurant franchises require such a high investment?” While every restaurant or food franchise’s fees differ, some of the most popular food franchises require investments between $101,000 and $1,700,000.* How can a restaurant franchise cost so much? Aren’t they just selling burgers and fries?

 

The Franchise Fee:

 

Most franchises require franchisees to pay a one-time franchise fee at the start of the franchise agreement. This is, in essence, how most corporate franchise entities make money. It’s equatable to buying any good. If you want the right to own or to use something, you must pay for it first. In the case of a franchise, the franchise fee most often covers the “how-to” guide, which will instruct the franchisee on just about everything concerning his or her franchise.

 The Royalty Fee

 

Not all but many franchises require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee for use of trademarked items. After all, a franchise’s trademarks include more than its logo and slogans; you’re paying for brand recognition. The biggest difference between a double cheeseburger with special sauce and a Big Mac® is the name, not what’s between the buns.

 Operations Costs

 

Running a restaurant might seem fairly straightforward but there’s a reason why most independently owned restaurants fail. (The failure rate for restaurant and food franchises are lower.) The labor, food and operations costs are high when compared with the average 2-3 percent profit margins experienced by most restaurants and food franchises. You’ve got to charge enough to keep the lights on, to keep your servers and cooks paid— but not charge so much that your customers feel you’re unreasonable.

 

If you’re wondering why franchisees put up with so many expenses and risk of failure consider the propensity for success of restaurant franchises. The most popular kind of franchise to start is a food or restaurant franchise for one major reason: there’s huge global demand for fast-casual, quick-service and fine dining establishments with a successful track record.

 

 

*Some franchises, like Taco Bell, require franchisees to own more than one franchise. 

Franchising in Ireland

The Emerald Isle might be best known for leprechauns, Guinness and St. Patrick’s Day, but Ireland’s franchising industry is as strong as ever.

 

Ireland’s franchising industry has grown, despite economic problems, every year since 2006. A recent survey found that 40 percent of the population wanted to be self-employed. The Irish franchise industry currently has 4,086 franchise units in operation which equates to 42,927 full-time franchising jobs.

 

The types of franchises that populate Ireland, a country roughly the size of Indiana, are mostly in the service sector, most of them being in the food and drink industry. One-third of the franchises operated in Ireland are retail franchises.

 

Franchise concepts conceived and founded in Ireland are rare as most are franchises for sale from the United Kingdom or the United States. Franchise opportunities from Australia, other parts of Europe and Asia have become increasingly popular.

 

The average initial franchise fee for a franchise in Ireland is $37,154. As franchising becomes an increasingly significant pathway to self-employment and personal success worldwide, so it does in Ireland. Many franchisors wishing to expand outside the U.S. often do so in the U.K. and in Ireland as English is the shared common language.

How Much Business Experience is Enough?

Franchise recruiters often look for business experience in their franchisees, but how much is enough?

 

Passion, dedication to customer service and a can-do attitude are all important qualities most franchises look for in potential franchisees. Natural-born cheerleaders who possess undying enthusiasm for their brand are ideal but not so necessary as someone with business experience. The most sought after franchisee candidates are those who possess some kind of business knowledge. But, if you’re an entrepreneur hoping to become a franchisee how much business experience do you really need?

 

When a franchise recruiter asks a potential franchisee about his or her business background it can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry; they’re not looking for a Harvard MBA graduate, they’re just looking for a good manager.

 

Considering your past managerial experience is a good idea whether you’re just beginning to research franchise opportunities or well into the process of becoming a franchisee. Think about your previous jobs or the community organizations to which you belong:

 

  • Have you ever been placed in a leadership position with delegates beneath you?
  • Have you had to report to a senior member and execute orders from “on high” while handling your daily responsibilities?
  • Are you familiar with basic accounting principles?
  • In the past, have you had to manage a crisis concerning a customer or settle a dispute between employees or team members?

 

Above all, a franchisee is not only the manager of his or her franchise location but also a steward of the overall brand. A candidate with prior management experience is accustomed to taking orders from above (the franchisor) and delegating to those beneath him or her (franchise employees) while managing the day to day operations of a business. It might sound easy enough, but juggling these responsibilities is not always straightforward. Franchise recruitment teams want to know you’ve been thrown a few curveballs– and knocked it out of the park.

 

 

The Rise of Pet Franchises

Implausible as it may seem, the faithful golden retriever who greets you each day after work is actually a descendent of the big bad wolf. While Little Red Riding Hood’s nemesis is no longer a part of man’s best friend our dedication to our furry friend’s happiness remains intact. As such, the rise of pet franchise concepts should surprise no one.

 

 

For some, particularly single women, pets become surrogate children. Singles are more likely to consider pets family members– 66 percent of single women, for example as opposed to 46 percent of married women. Despite loving and caring for pets like full-fledged members of the family, modern work schedules make daily dog walks or play time with feline friends difficult. Not every schedule allows for midday walks or play dates.

 

Fortunately, pet franchises make it possible to keep pets well taken care of, groomed and happy even when owners are too busy.

pet franchise

Sometimes your schedule just doesn’t allow for midday walks. Or, maybe you’re going on vacation or out of town on a work trip. Whatever the reason, Out U Go is America’s premiere professional dog walking and pet sitting franchise. Out U Go has almost two decades of pet franchise and pet care experience.

pet franchise

Preppy Pet isn’t going to dress your dog in pearls and seersucker– although I’m sure that can be arranged. Preppy Pet incorporates doggie daycare, pet boarding, grooming and adoption services into one all-inclusive pet franchise.

 

HydroDog Mobile Pet Grooming is one of the cutest and most recognizable mobile pet franchises in the industry. You can’t miss HydroDog’s attention-getting big blue dog mobile grooming salon. The demand for mobile grooming services is on the rise, something all HydroDog groomers are able to take advantage of.

pet franchise

Invisible Fence is one of the most recognizable names in the pet franchise industry. With over 2 million pets protected by Invisible Fence worldwide, it’s also one of the largest pet containment franchises in North America. If you’re committed to keeping pets safely within the borders of their owners yards, Invisible Fence is an opportunity definitely worth considering.

Pet Franchises

While dog-centric pet franchises are certainly popular, they’re not the only kind of animal franchise concept available. Wild Bird Centers of America caters to our wild feathered friends while also making a positive difference in your local community.

pet franchise

 

Why Food Franchises Remain Successful Despite Economic Obstacles

It’s no secret that food franchises are often the most searched for and requested on franchise directories and portals. It’s what we all think of when someone says “franchising.” Despite the popularity of food franchises– the how is that sector of the industry doing?

 

Why do I ask? Well, maybe you heard of this little thing called “The Great Recession” and, in its wake, the tightening of our collective belts. How have food franchises fared? Has development for food franchises slowed? If not, how is that possible when food costs have risen and disposable income has decreased for most families?

 

Fast-Casual Food Franchises Are On the Rise

 

Research suggests that fast-casual franchise restaurants, which are a subset of quick-service restaurants, rank as one of the five best franchises to open due to high demand. Presumably as a result of the Great Recession, consumers are concerned with maximizing their time and money when it comes to eating out. Eating establishments that are less expensive but still allow consumers the ability to escape the kitchen and feel as though they’re treating themselves.

 

The number of quick-service restaurants are expected to grow 1.7% in 2013, the third largest growth percentage according to the International Franchise Association.

 

The Franchising is On the Rise– How? Why?

 

A recent study by the IFA shows that the number of franchise establishments increased by 1.5% last year.

 

Why? How? Simply, the economy is why and how.

 

Unemployment and underemployment (taking lower pay and lower-level jobs) are still unfortunate realities for the U.S.’ economy. As such, more Americans are mindful of their spending. Dinners at high end dining establishments have become increasingly rare. In addition, many individuals and families are working multiple jobs or longer hours resulting in a need for fast, inexpensive meal options– especially if you’re traveling between places of employment. This increased demand for quick-casual and quick-service establishments (think Panera and McDonald’s respectively) has permitted the franchise industry a growth coveted by many other economic sectors.

 

Exiled corporate executives and those who lost a substantial portion of their savings due to the Great Recession face the unfortunate reality of a shortened or no retirement at all. In order to earn a living, many entrepreneurs have chosen franchises as a means of business because of each concept’s proven track record.

 

What’s Behind Rising Food Costs?

 

Despite a reputation for quick and inexpensive meals, franchises are facing rising food costs because of four important reasons: increased fuel and transportation costs, reduction of food availability, and a continuation of economic circumstances that created 2011’s food price inflation.

 

  • The U.S. government’s subsidization of corn for bio-fuels has removed substantial amounts of the grain from the food supply, increasing overall prices.
  • The World Trade Organization limits the amount of stockpiling the U.S. and the European Union may do of corn and wheat in case of extenuating weather circumstances. As such, the price of corn and wheat remains volatile. (Note: wheat prices in 2011 more than doubled.)
  • As more of the global population becomes affluent, the demand for meat increases. In accordance with this demand, the need for animal feed– primarily grains– increases driving up the cost of both items.
  • The increase in oil prices means high food prices, as much of our food isn’t grown locally but shipped across oceans and nations.

Read more:

Why Are Food Prices Rising?, About.com

5 Best Franchise Opportunities For 2013, TheStreet.com

As more entrepreneurs pick franchising, sector grows, Charlotte Observer