Fran-Huh? Commonly Used Franchise Terms

Does franchise lingo have your brain befuddled? If you don’t know the difference between the FDD and the FTC, we’ve got you covered.

As you begin the due diligence process and exciting path toward franchise ownership, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the agreement that you are signing. Consulting a franchise attorney is always a good idea when researching a franchise opportunity, but here is a starter kit of franchise terms to help your comprehension before you reach that point.   Read more

Don’t Forget Franchises for Small Business Saturday

This Saturday has been designated Small Business Saturday, a day in-between Black Friday and Cyber Monday for consumers to show appreciation to their small business community by shopping at locally-owned businesses.

When many people think of franchising, they don’t think small business. Looking at a Subway franchise or a service business such as our own Glass Doctor® or Aire Serv®, they may think of them as big business. However, behind each franchise business is an owner making autonomous decisions for that business, such as whom to hire, what equipment to purchase, and how to market the business in the community. Read more

Being Your Own Boss… Not Quite What You Expected?

You’ve probably heard the saying that no one puts on their headstone, I wish I had worked harder. Having (and keeping) life’s priorities straight is easier said than done, especially when you are working incredibly long days with no end in sight. Toilets, wildfires, appliance breakages, and natural disasters never take a day off…so neither do you. Read more

The Franchise Owner’s Guide to Taking a Vacation

There’s a myth that franchise owners sit by the pool sipping a margarita while everyone else slaves away in a cubicle all day. As nice as that sounds, most franchise owners work very hard, especially during their first crucial start-up year. However, the great thing about a franchise is that it teaches you to work on your business, not just in it, so you can train up leaders and key employees underneath you who know the franchise system well and can operate the business in your absence. As you consider buying a franchise, look for a franchise business opportunity that will give you the infrastructure and support you need. If you follow the system, you can lead the business rather than being the business.

Still, being away from the office can be tricky. Taking time off takes preparation to delegate, and self-control to turn the phone and email off Read more

Making Your Phones Ring in a Service-Based Business

For the owner of a service-based business, there is no more beautiful music than the sound of the telephone ringing with the right customers on the line wanting to do business with your company. If you are not hearing the sound of this music often enough to consistently keep your staff of electricians busy and generate the revenue necessary to make you successful, then now is the time to analyze your current marketing strategies. Your marketing plan should include ways to: Read more

We Love Our Franchisees

FRANCHISEE APPRECIATION DAY

On April 4, Rainbow International celebrated its first-ever Franchisee Appreciation Day, a gesture designed as a show of support to Rainbow International’s approximately 285 franchisees worldwide. Rainbow International is a home restoration company whose franchises offer smoke, fire, and water damage restoration services as well as carpet cleaning for commercial and residential clients.

The Franchisee Appreciation Day celebration included a handwritten note of appreciation written to every single franchise owner, and a thank-you video from the Rainbow International corporate staff. As a corporate office, The Dwyer Group® brands are always striving to give their franchisees a little extra motivation. As you explore franchises for sale, don’t forget to look for a franchise that’s committed to your success and to a good corporate culture.

FEEDBACK FROM FRANCHISEES

“Thank you so much for the support and for believing in us. We are very proud to carry the Rainbow International Restoration & Cleaning torch. It is always about doing the right thing for our customers.”

“We’re feeling the love. Thanks for the video, Rainbow International corporate office.”

“I LOVE THIS! What a great idea! Thank you WACO!”

 

HAVING FUN IN THE PROCESS

 

SEO Optimization

By Laura Shaheen

One of the more hidden aspects of marketing is SEO, and it’s crucial. You may read SEO and be tempted to bury your head in the sand, but we’re here to tell you that it can make a world of difference—and that it’s not as scary or time-consuming as it sounds.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it can be summarily described as the Google-ability of your company. There are a multitude of tips and tricks that can launch your website up the search engine ranks, and many of them just require a few quick tweaks to your existing practices. SEO has exploded in recent years, with books, papers, and professions being built around the practice of maneuvering websites higher up search engines. There have been some scandals, mostly with some companies abusing the system by flooding the internet with extra tags and claims for products that they don’t actually sell, or that doesn’t accurately represent their websites. For the most part, however, an SEO campaign can be a clever way to boost yourself above your competition, and it cannot be ignored.

To really begin to understand the web of SEO, it’s necessary to delve into the basics and work your way up. Search engines like Google rank pages based on a few secret formulas, but it’s fairly universally understood that more legitimate pages rank higher. For example, your unknown company blog will appear more credible if a legitimate page links to you, and thus your blog will rank higher. There are plenty of qualifications for legitimate pages. Some are simply established by age, some are established by popularity, some, like Facebook and Twitter, are megaliths in their own rights. The beauty of this is that you can link your Facebook pages to your blog or website, and Google automatically recognizes this as a more legitimate page than one with no links. Promote cross linking between all of your pages to encourage the flow of traffic and SEO optimization.

In that same vein, having links and references on your page will also optimize your SEO. Another way to increase your visibility is to make sure the titles of your pages reflect your company succinctly. The Google search spiders don’t look at website pages as we do, they scour the HTML and plaintext, and therefore they won’t be impressed by your fancy images, but they will scan the first few words of your titles. Titles that reflect your business will be turned into keywords and your page will be more accurately discovered in Google.

Tags and keywords are another way to increase your SEO. At the end of each of your blog posts, having descriptive keywords and tags not only organizes your site for your visitors, it provides the search engines with a way to classify your page. Make sure you have a variety of tags—for example, this blog post might have the tags SEO optimization, social media, marketing, small business optimization, franchising, etc. Be sure not to overtag, as search engines frown upon it. If you overtag your website with inapplicable terms like “shoe shopping, free dental work, and Leonardo DiCaprio,” you may find yourself booted out of the system and back to square one.

SEO is a wonderful tool because it allows you to exert a finer degree of control over where your website appears on the internet. The tips above are simple, yet effective tricks to move your page up from page 234 of Google to perhaps page 10—and more advanced research can lead you to page one, and the multitude of profit potential that exists in such a place.

The Franchise Run Down

By Laura Shaheen

Despite today’s downturned economy, or perhaps because of it, more and more business owners are discovering the secret of stability and prosperity: franchising. Franchising, though not for all businesses, is an ideal way to grow your company. Franchising allows for the duplication of successful business plans and then applies them directly to your own business. Through the aid and support from the Dwyer Group, you as an owner can spend less time bogged down in the time-consuming minutia of daily business life and can apply yourself to improvement and expansion.

The Dwyer Group is comprised of 7 potential concepts that you might be interested in operating. One of the greatest benefits of working with the Dwyer Group is that you can either convert your existing business into a successful franchise, or you can start from scratch and build your franchise from the ground up. This flexibility allows you the freedom to run your company, while also having support when you require it. Between the Dwyer Group’s proven business plans and excellent training opportunities, becoming a franchisee means starting out ahead and with more connections that you could previously dream.

There are 7 potential franchises that encompass the Dwyer Group, and each one has its own unique benefits and is recession-resistant.

Rainbow International- Rainbow International is in the smoke, fire and water restoration industry. This industry is both recession-resistant and profitable. In addition to those basic services, Rainbow International also offers mold removal services, biohazard clean up and commercial services. With a Rainbow Franchise, you will receive full training and support, and will receive help from our national accounts and marketing team in order to help you get the optimal number of jobs for your business.

Glass Doctor- Not only is Glass Doctor the largest fully franchised residential, business and auto glass franchise company in the U.S. and Canada, they also have the ability to make your existing glass company skyrocket. With a Glass Doctor franchise, you will have access to experts in specialty glass services that can drastically increase your client base. Through a franchise with the Dwyer Group, you will have access to discounts and rebates on all that you need to run your company, and access to special, proven business systems that will streamline your company and maximize results.  

Aire Serv- Aire Serv is a leader in the heating and air conditioning industry, an industry that is both competitive, profitable and always necessary. By opening an Aire Serv franchise, you can learn how to increase profitability, have access to our cutting-edge research and learn to expand your existing company into something much greater. With over 175 locations worldwide, there are hundreds of franchise owners in a support system, as well as the entire Dwyer Group team, who will provide help and information on running a successful business. 

Mr. Appliance- Mr. Appliance is the largest fully franchised appliance repair company in the world. By opening a Mr. Appliance franchise, you are getting the chance to benefit from fifteen years worth of experience in servicing high-end appliances and operating successful businesses.  The industry is both dynamic and competitive, and many people previously owning appliance repair services have made the switch to a Mr. Appliance franchise and seen their companies really take off.

Mr. Electric- Mr. Electric is an electrical home service provider with impeccable connections. Already the official electrical home installation partner of the Home Depot, this powerful alliance has helped our franchise owners become leaders in the industry. With this franchise, you will be able to provide special electrical services like solar patio lighting, security lighting, custom projects and much more. As a franchise owner in such a successful business, you will be allowed the freedom of running your own business with the security of support from other franchise owners and headquarters just a phone call away.

Mr. Rooter- A leader in the plumbing industry, Mr. Rooter allows you to build a successful franchise due in part to the training and business services you will receive on your induction into the franchise family. With a long, illustrious history, Mr. Rooter was founded in 1974 and has grown to over 300 franchise locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Opening a Mr. Rooter franchise means that you will have access to important help that will allow you to focus your time on improving efficiencies and performance. As always, being a part of one of the Dwyer Group’s franchises also means that you will receive the immense discounts and rebates available through the Dwyer Group’s many connections. 

The Grounds Guys- The newest franchise opportunity in the grounds and lawn care industry, The Grounds Guys franchise comes with all of the systems, training, support and tools to become a fully profitable and competitive franchise. With all franchise territories in the United States open, opening a franchise has never been more accessible. Regardless of your experience, you will receive top of the line training  and you can focus on streamlining your business to maximize profitability.

Whether an existing business owner or a new one, any one of these franchises can help you take your business to new, impressive heights. Having the support of other franchisees and the invaluable training and resources from the Dwyer Group means adding layers of security and aid that are difficult to find in smaller, non-franchised businesses. Many franchise owners have praised the system, stating that they are able to devote their time to actually running the business and expanding it, rather than simply putting out fires as soon as they spring up.

Convinced? Click here to get started.

Building Your Company’s Reputation, They Like Me! (And Dealing Rationally With Those Who Don’t)

By Laura Shaheen

The times of business are changing, and the internet has been at the forefront, leading the charge. Now, instead of searching through phonebooks to find specialized services, most people bring their hunt to the internet. There are endless reasons why: speed, convenience, etc., but also because the internet provides what the yellow pages do not: customer reviews.

As human beings in the internet generation, we feel more comfortable in taking advice from complete strangers than simply picking a name from a hat. Typically, this is a good thing. Truly excellent businesses are allowed to shine through their positive reviews, while their lesser competition gets bogged down by deserved negative reviews. However, there are always the one of two negative reviews that really scare people off of a certain service or company. There reviews might be there for a whole host of reasons. Honestly, some people simply like to stir up trouble. They might have had a less than satisfactory time with your company, or perhaps they’re mistaking you for a different company. No matter the reason, negative reviews need to be dealt with, for better or worse.

But how? You may ask. I have no control over the website and this review is chasing off sales!

Never fear, there is hope. Follow these tips to battle negativity and encourage likability and your company will reap the benefits of a greater and more positive online presence.

1.)    Stay calm and never lash out when angry: There are probably very few things in the world more aggravating than Googling your company only to encounter an atrocious and malicious negative review about your company. The review might be an outright lie, but the most important thing to remember is to never lash out when angry. The internet is like an elephant, it never forgets, and people have long memories. If another prospective customer logs on, reads a negative review and then reads you screaming back at the negative customer, they aren’t going to be prospective for long. Remove yourself from the situation and do not post anything for at least 24 hours. By then hopefully your rage will have cooled, and you can begin to make amends to your online reputation.

2.)    Offer to meet and discuss the issue: So you’ve waited 24 hours, you log back in and the review still gets your blood boiling. That’s normal, especially if the critique is warrantless. The best way to run damage control on the situation is to respond to the review in a calm, collected manner and offer to make reparations. Perhaps you could respond by saying: I’m sorry you feel this way about your recent service with Your Company. We would like to get to the bottom of this issue. Please contact us at this number, or feel free to come into our office to discuss your situation personally. We look forward to seeing you. This approach doesn’t just nip the issue in the bud, it makes you look coolly rational and willing to deal with even the most fractious consumers.

3.)    Don’t get bulldozed: No matter the business, there will always be people in the world bent on tugging the tiger’s tail. These people might be looking to take advantage of you, or perhaps chancing on the bet that you would rather pay them off than deal with them. They might be looking for refunds or rebates, and they most likely will have done things like this before. If you truly look at the situation and realize that they are making outrageous demands with no fact to substantiate them, do not simply give in to what effectively is blackmail. They are holding your company’s reputation hostage, and giving in will not serve the company’s best interests. Be polite, but firm.

4.)    Ask yourself if there truly is a problem: Though there are always the pranksters and scum looking to simply ruin a day, oftentimes customers who post negative reviews really do feel cheated and wronged, and this is something to take very seriously. Perhaps your employees mishandled a situation, or maybe something went wrong on your end. Investigation into complaints can turn your most staunch opponent into your biggest fan if you resolve their issue quickly and show that you value their opinion.

5.)    Build reputation in other ways, effectively drowning out the bad noise: A lot of the time, you cannot simply wave a magic wand and remove the bad review from the review site. The best way to counter a bad review is to drown it out with positive ones. Give people a little credit, most people will not take the one negative review seriously if it is lost in the flow of happy customers. Build your company’s reputation by providing excellent service, but also by boosting your online presence. This will also help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and will drown out the negative voices.

1.)    Converse, don’t just sell: People don’t want to be lectured to, and the minute you start rolling into a sales pitch, oftentimes people begin building their reasons why not to submit. Build relationships and it will become their idea to use your services. The different is palpable.

2.)    Respond! The glories of social media: Oh social media. You’ve added a face and a personality to companies. No longer are we simple names in the phonebook, or even an address on the web. Now, through social media, companies are living, breathing entities that can interact personally with their customers. If a customer posts something on your Facebook, negative or positive, write back to them.

3.)    Inquire and ask for opinions: People love to give their opinions and they love to answer questions. Make your social media pages as interactive as possible and your online reputation will become infinitely more likeable.

4.)    Honesty and genuineness: Perhaps the most important point, it’s very easy to read something for its genuineness. Your customers are going to go with the company that they feel is the most honest, hardworking and which will ultimately give them the best deal and experience. Allow your honesty to shine through and negative reviews will become a moot point.

The Franchise Application

By Kerry Pipes

Getting to know a little more about you as a prospect is one of the first things franchises are interested in. The initial franchise application process is a screening mechanism by which franchisors begin to determine your interest and qualifications.

Today, it is common to find initial franchise application forms on franchisors’ websites – but most will be happy to send you one as well. This is a good stepping off point for beginning the communication process. You should not only take this very seriously, but also expect to spend some time gathering the information and completing the application.

Most franchise applications include many of the same requests for information, and it can get quite detailed.

One of the fundamental requests you’ll discover will deal with the specifics of your current financial situation. The franchisor will want to know about your personal assets (and liabilities), for example, because they want to make sure you have enough financial resources to operate the business in case it runs into unforeseen financial difficulty.

And it won’t just be your financial status the franchisor is concerned with. You will probably also be asked about your spouse’s financial state. Some franchisors will want to know if you have financial partners or backers. These are all important questions.

Again, the franchisor wants to be sure that you, your spouse, and your partners are prepared to make the financial commitment necessary to start and run a franchise business successfully.

Beyond finances, you’ll encounter detailed questions concerning your experience, education, background, and even aspirations. These questions are designed to help the franchisor determine whether or not you meet their profile. In other words, they want to know if you’re the kind of person they think will be able to run the business successfully and fit into their franchise system. They do this not only to protect their brand but also their existing franchisees.

Successful franchise organizations depend on franchisees who follow the franchise system completely. As a result, they don’t want people who they perceive as too independent, or people who won’t play by the book because they like to experiment and try out their own ideas. In one sense, franchising is not for those who think outside the box. In this business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Franchise applications are kept confidential and neither the franchisor nor the prospect is bound in any way by the submission of the initial application. Again, take the time to fully and accurately complete the application and return it to the franchisor promptly. You can then expect a quick response and most likely a telephone interview with a franchise representative.

What you can expect to find – and be asked – in a typical franchise application form:

  • Detailed personal information: including all contact information and other biographical and character background
  • Business interests: they’ll want to know if you ever owned a business, have been involved in any kind of litigation/arbitration, or have any partners
  • Location preferences: will usually ask for cities/territories you’re interested in and any alternates you would consider as well as if you are open to relocation
  • Detailed employment history: where you have worked, what you did, for how long, and annual compensation
  • Educational background: and any other pertinent training/experience
  • Personal financial statement: assets, liabilities, net worth, source of income, and total income
  • General inquiry: many franchisors will want to know what you already know about them, their franchise opportunity, and why you are interested

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  • About Us

    Why Morning Huddle? Every business owner needs a time to refocus their business goals and stay apprised of new industry trends, a morning huddle. That’s where we come in.

    The Dwyer Group® has led the service industry for 30 years and owns seven top home-service franchises with 1,600 locations worldwide. Our mission is to help everyone we touch lead happier, more successful lives through our principles of personal and business success.

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