Perks of Being a Gymboree Franchisee!

For over 30 years, Gymboree Play & Music’s carefully crafted programs have been helping both parents and children to grow young minds. The company has continually developed classes and program content to incorporate cutting edge learning and fitness activities. They strive to bring fun, creativity and friendship to both customers and franchisees alike.

There are more than 700 Gymboree franchises in over 40 countries. As the creator and leader in interactive children’s play, music, art and development programs, Gymboree Play & Music built a business system with an unequalled reputation. The company’s unique approach has created a loyal customer base that continues to grow worldwide. Gymboree franchisees also have the advantage of being part of a rapidly growing Gymboree brand. Gymboree is quickly expanding in U.S. markets and opening new franchises all over the world.  Some existing locations are also for sale.

Want the details?

Key markets are available in the US and internationally.

Gymboree Play & Music Center
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Royalty: 6% of gross receipts
Estimated total investment: $126,000-$270,950

Gymboree Metro Play Center
Franchise Fee: $25,000
Royalty: 6% of gross receipts
Estimated total investment: $77,000- $178,350
If you are interested in learning more, contact us here.

Franchise Profile: Taste Buds Kitchen

Have you been to your local Taste Buds Kitchen yet? Taste Buds Kitchen specializes in fresh and unique cooking events. The franchise has a mission to be the top culinary entertainment experience for kids and families by engaging and delighting budding chefs.

What began as a few holiday baking classes and cupcake making birthday parties, quickly evolved into much more. TBK’s culinary adventures includes an ever-growing variety of classes, parties, camps and special events that combine a well-balanced mix of engaging recipes, both savory and sweet, as we take to the kitchen to sprout taste buds and a good time for all ages.

Taste Buds Kitchen is proclaimed the “Best Kids Cooking Class” by New York Magazine and featured as the must try activity by CBS, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox, The New York Times, Hampton Magazine and more.

Franchise Opportunity

Taste Buds Kitchen provides a great opportunity to own a business that is exciting AND delicious. By joining the Taste Buds Kitchen family, you can capitalize on the popularity of their concept by opening a Kids Kitchen in your community.

The Kitchen
Taste Buds Kitchen is an amazing Kitchen Studio designed and built just for kids.  Tables and chairs adjust for kids and adults of all ages and kitchen utensils are located on lower shelves so that the kids can reach and take part in the whole kitchen experience alongside chef instructors.

With your franchise you will receive a design and construction specification that will give you all the details on how to build your own Taste Buds Kitchen!

You’re in Good Hands

TBK has designed a system to assist their franchisees from the day they sign the franchise agreement through their pre-opening, grand opening, and through the life of the business. Training is held at the corporate kitchen in New York City. The program includes both time in the kitchen and hands on training in important areas such as marketing and sales, administration, operations, customer service, human resources and, most importantly, cupcake decorating.  To assist in creating an environment of success, TBK will provide assistance and sometimes have final approval on the following items Site Selection, Accounting Software and Systems, Content development, Advertising and promotion, Marketing strategies, and Ongoing Branding.

Interested in learning more? Check out http://franchiseclique.com/franchise/Taste-Buds-Kitchen

 

Diversifying the Businesses You Own

Many feel that if managed properly, owning a diverse set of businesses can help insulate against business peaks and troughs in the market. Many wealth planners will generally present diversification models to allow the purchase of multiple asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Diversification in the franchise industry is different. Franchisees can diversify within a particular industry by acquiring different brands.  Diversifying within the same industry, such as the buying several different restaurant brands, still allows the franchisee to apply the same basic infrastructure to their business.

This strategy of franchising helps spread the risk from a franchisee’s perspective. If the demography of existing brands and new brands are vastly different, there becomes an opportunity to cross-market both products and knowledge. Aziz Hashim, the president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, highlights a smart way to diversify in his recent piece in Franchising World about this topic, stating that “The most effective way to execute a diversification strategy is to identify opportunities in new sectors where the operational complexity is generally lower than the existing operations so as to not dilute the franchisee’s time and focus, where at least some existing infrastructure can be leveraged and ideally where there are natural synergies through complementary service offerings and similar demographic.” Complementary service offerings can play a key role in expanding your opportunities and create growth.

Do you own a diverse set of businesses? We would love to hear feedback from you!

Marketing to the “20-Somethings” of the World

I have been reading recently about a hot topic in marketing and advertising – targeting the Millennial generation. Who is the Millennial generation, you may ask? While there has been some debate over when the generation starts and stops, generally, it is considered those born between 1977 and 1995. Larger than the baby boomers’ 76 million, there are an estimated 80 million Millennials in this group of 18 to 34 year olds.

So from a marketing perspective, how do we target this generation of people ranging from college students to young parents? First off, we must recognize that most Millennials are technology dependent. There are several tips that Susan Glosby from FIT4MOM offered in this past month’s issue of Franchising World magazine offers some advice.

1. Offer ease of access to your information

Most Millennials use their smartphones and other similar electronic devices to access webpages. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and is easy to read for those accessing info via a smartphone. Additionally, make sure you have all the information people are seeking on your site – contact information, sales information, costs of goods – if they can’t find it quickly, they may take their business elsewhere.

2. A sense of involvement and purpose

Millennials are said to care about the purpose and identity of the brands they support more than generations of the past. What does your brand do to make the world a better place? This generation wants to know. Do you promote local volunteering with your franchisees and employees? Do you help educate your community? Do you donate to certain causes as a company? They want to know those things, and are more likely to be a repeat customer if your ideals are in line with their own.

3. Peer value

Use social media to provide peer endorsements! Millennials have the sense that when using technology, they are never truly alone – their peers are always with them. Having Instagram tags, a Facebook page, a twitter account, allows this generation to easily do some of the advertising for you among their friends.

 

What other ways can we appeal to our 20-somethings? Leave your marketing tips in the comments below!

Franchise Profile: Baskin Robbins

Are you looking for a cool franchising opportunity?

Named “#1 Ice Cream & Frozen Treat Franchise” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream shops. Baskin Robbins has developed over the years to  offer ice cream and frozen desserts with creative cones, unique cakes, specialty desserts, frozen beverages and take-home treats. They also offer BRight Choices®, a line of better-for-you options including fat-free, dairy-free, no sugar added and light ice creams.

Reasons to Invest

  • Simplistic operations with convenient operating hours
  • Multiple revenue streams – in-store, take home, cakes and beverages
  • 95% brand awareness with a multi-million dollar national advertising program
  • Flexible real estate options
  • First-rate product innovation and new product pipeline
  • World-class training and support

Baskin Robbins can be opened in a traditional storefront with a floor plan usually between 800-1,500 square feet, or in non-traditional venues such as gas and convenient stores, universities, airports, mall food courts, and stadiums. To learn more about Baskin Robbins and available franchising opportunities, check out Baskin Robbins over on Franchise Clique.

CarePatrol Franchising System Grows

CarePatrol, the pioneer of the senior living placement industry, recently bought their competitor, Assisted Transition. CarePatrol, founded in 1995 by a social worker after observing the personal trauma experienced by a family whose loved one had been placed in the wrong type of assisted living facility, today helps families make safe choices for their loved ones across the United States.

The recent deal will give CarePatrol approximately 150 franchises by the end of the year, after converting about 60 into the CarePatrol system. CEO Chuck Bongiovanni is excited for this purchase and transition for the company. With his social worker background, he prides himself in using the social work model to clients at CarePatrol. Client phone calls are answered by Master’s level social workers, rather than “the typical call center employees.”

Franchisees must receive their national certification as a certified senior advisor to maintain their franchise license. The purchase makes CarePatrol 10 times larger than their nearest competitor in the assisted living placement industry.

Want to learn more about CarePatrol? Learn more over on our site!

Traditional Media and Content Marketing

It probably comes as no surprise that the printed newspaper and magazine industries are shrinking. Less and less people are reading printed articles, and more and more are turning to online media for their news. It is interesting to learn in recent studies that the trust of your targeted audience may be diminishing as well. Recently in a Gawker.com article, an executive from Chipotle said that Millennials “are skeptical of brands that perpetuate themselves.”

There is a decreasing number of future customers who have no desire to see commercials or ads that they don’t believe are true. Traditional marketing strategies as a whole just don’t seem to be getting the job done anymore when it comes to younger generations. With social media, we are bombarded daily with a surplus of news, opinions, and advertisements. The key to successful public relations strategies now is understanding what to share and how to share it.

Which leads to content marketing.  Content marketing is created when a company develops its own content in the form of articles, blogs, or videos featuring the business. The content must be professional, honest, and not self-serving. Bloggers, specifically, are becoming increasingly credible and popular influencers and can help drive products while not appearing as self-promoting as other forms of advertising.

What is your business doing to reach you target audience? Leave comments below!

Community Outreach in Franchising

Recent studies are showing that volunteer rates in America are on the rise. A 2012 study by the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service found that two-out-of-three citizens serve their communities today and those numbers are increasing each year. Sociologists believe we are seeing a shift in many parts of the country where people are returning to focusing on their smaller communities, through supporting local goods and services, as well their local nonprofits.

Why is this important to national franchises? Any smart business should follow sociological trends. Therefore, national franchise systems are challenged to create a local presence in their community. People want their neighbor Doug running the shop down the road, contributing to the local economy, and therefore national franchises should encourage their independent locations to run as such. The way to do this is through community outreach.

Community outreach shows the public that you ARE a part of the community. While you may be part of a large national company, you are living, working, and investing in the individual communities you serve. By franchise systems partnering with local charities, they show the community that they care about the individual communities they operate within.

“Building a Company Culture for Community Outreach” a recent article in Franchising World, by Robert A. Funk, gives guidelines for how to go about making community relations an important part of your business’s culture. Here are a few I especially liked:

1)      Communicate Core Values

First and foremost, you have to set direction, with both a mission and a vision. Market yourself as a philanthropic company, and use social media to show what you’re doing for your local charities.

 

2)      Financial Contributions

At the corporate level, franchises can supply grants to community projects, as well as local initiatives and programs that support their charitable mission.

 

3)      Engage Your Customers

People want to purchase from a business that is sincere and authentic about giving. Franchises can ask customers to directly donate to the cause, making them feel just as much a part of the giving as the franchise itself.

How Creative Initiatives Can Fuel Growth

Through challenging economic times, franchisors have developed new ways to fuel growth and development in their business. When it comes to finding qualified, well-funded prospects for franchising, usually portals, franchise consultants, and advertising & networking all are strong factors in growing a franchise. Lead-generation sites, like Franchise Clique, play a huge role in connecting qualified clients to franchisors and consultants. Beyond these necessary tactics, franchisors are branching out further, and bringing creative ideas to development.

From the patterns I’ve observed, this is happening in several ways. Parent companies of franchising brands are now taking new approaches to their stores – in locations that offer opportunities for food-court style eating, such as hospitals, malls, and airports where normally one brand would be placed in a store, developers are bringing three or four of their brands to the same location. Both dual-brand storefronts and co-branded store partnerships are certainly on the rise in the franchising market. Providing two goods or services in one location offers customers more of a variety, and targets a wider range of customers altogether.

In addition to multi-brand locations, I continue to see a growth in social enterprise within the franchise industry. Non-profit organizations such as Affordable Homes of South Texas, Inc., Dale Rogers Training Center, and the National Christian Foundation are all teaming up with major franchises like Great Clips, Papa Murphy’s, and Blimpie, bringing franchisee profits straight to these organizations.

These partnerships are doing well because they solve fundamental issues that both franchisors and non-profits face. On one hand, franchisors benefit because they are launching a new location, which is owned and managed by a non-profit group that possesses strong and favorable community reputation, while on the other,  the non-profit benefits because it is buying into proven concepts and corporate office teams who are invested in their success. It truly is a win-win.

What are other ways you have seen franchisors creatively fuel growth? Leave your comments below!

Three Tips for Growth in a Sluggish Economy

  1. LEADERSHIP IS PRICELESS.
    Any growing business needs a strong leader. This holds true especially when a business is struggling. Senior management should play on the strengths of other team members to reinvent old ways and pull from outside sources to evaluate what is and what is not working. As a leader, it’s important to be transparent and honest about the financial stability of the system, yet remain optimistic that positive changes can be made to face economic conditions head on.

2. ACT LOCALLY
National and global goals are certainly something to aspire to; however, market share is won at the local level. A successful and motivated franchisor helps franchisees get active with local businesses, schools, and charitable       organizations. Having a strong brand in a local market can build reputation and lead to potential growth opportunities.

3. LOYALTY IS EVERYTHING
Customer loyalty is crucial during tough financial times. Along with a high-quality product, it is just as necessary to give your customers an awesome experience, consistently. To provide loyalty incentives to your customers is a win, win. For example, this year, the Marco’s Pizza franchise received more than 27 percent of new restaurant applications from Marco’s Pizza customers. Additionally, 30 percent of applications came from referrals of existing owners who sought to share franchise opportunities with ambitious entrepreneurs.

Thanks to Franchising World Magazine‘s January issue for some of this week’s content! Check out more here!

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!

Nonprofits in the Franchise Industry

It may surprise you to learn that Nonprofit groups around the country own franchises, like Blimpie Subs and Papa Murphy’s Pizza. Nonprofit groups, in a more recent trend, are purchasing franchises, and using that revenue from the outlets to support their social missions.

For example, Affordable Homes of South Texas, a nonprofit that constructs houses for low-income families, opened a Blimpie sub shop in downtown Weslaco, Texas. Affordable Homes of South Texas turned to exploring new options for funding when there was a drop in federal housing grants earlier last year.

Other charitable organizations view it as an opportunity to train and employ people in their community. The Dale Rogers Training Center, an organization dedicated to providing jobs to over 1,100 people with disabilities annually, recently opened a Papa Murphy’s pizza franchise near the charity’s base in Oklahoma City.

Customarily, national franchise brands have been contracted solely with individuals, but that is certainly changing. According to the recent NY Times article, more than a dozen national chains since last May have sent representatives “to explore franchising opportunities with nonprofit groups in SourceAmerica, a network of 1,300 organizations serving the disabled, at its annual meeting in San Antonio.”

Do nonprofits own a franchise in your area? We would love to hear your comments on this franchise trend!