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She snapped over a missing chicken nuggets

Topix - Fri, 2017-06-23 10:40

We've talked about at least three different stories in the last month where someone at a fast food restaurant flipped out over an order of chicken nuggets.

Categories: Today's Food News

4 ways to use POS data to cut costs

FastCasual.com - Fri, 2017-06-23 09:30
When integrated with a back-office system, POS data reveals inventory needs, how much they should purchase and how many employees are needed on hand to turn it into finished food and top-line revenue.

16 Gas Station Franchise Businesses

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 09:30

With billions of dollars’ worth in annual sales, gas stations are big business in the United States. Gas station franchises offer the chance for individuals to jump on the gasoline retail bandwagon and run a busy and profitable business.

Small Business Trends takes a look at 16 gas station franchise businesses throughout the U.S.

Gas Station Franchise Businesses to Consider 7-Eleven Franchises

7-Eleven has more than 8,600 convenience stores, many of which have gas stations, across the U.S. 7-Eleven aims to make franchising easy and convenient. The company provides a turnkey solution, meaning they deliver everything franchisees need to run their business. 7-Eleven franchise stores come fully operational.

Franchisees are required to pay an initial franchise fee, which varies by store, as well as a down payment on the store’s opening inventory of approximately $20,000.

AMPM

Founded in California in 1978, AMPM rapidly grew and now boasts hundreds of combination gas stations and convenience stores throughout the U.S.

The financial requirements for an AMPM franchise includes an initial investment of between $400,509 and $7,807,883 and a liquid cash sum of $800,000 – $1,200,000. In-class sessions and hands-on training is provided with AMPM gas station and convenience store franchises.

Circle K

Circle K franchises are located in more than 20 different states throughout North America. These convenience stores and gas station franchises offer a lucrative business opportunity for investors. An initial investment fee of $211,450 – $1,601,500 is required, as well as ongoing franchise fees of $25,000 – $25,000.

Circle K offers financing options to cover equipment costs with third-party sources.

LUKOIL Franchise Gas Station

Franchisees have the opportunity to own LUKOIL franchise gas stations in various locations. LUKOIL offers visionary entrepreneurs the opportunity to operate an independent business in the family of the LUKOIL brand.

Street Corner

Street Corner was set up in 1988 and has been franchising since 1995. An initial investment of $45,645 – $1,479,800 is required for a Street Corner franchise and franchisees must make a net-worth of $100,000.

Financing options are available from third party sources, which cover the cost of the franchise fee, equipment, start-up costs, accounts receivable, inventory and payroll.

Sunoco APlus

Sunoco APlus convenience stores and gas stations are located all along the east coast of the U.S. and west into New York and Ohio. Sunoco APlus offers franchise opportunities for investors wanting to run their own convenience and gas store.

Franchise candidates are assessed on their business experience and abilities, financial strength and personal drive. The total estimated investment for a Sunoco APlus franchise is $25,000 to $600,000.

Alliance Energy

Alliance Energy offers the opportunity to lease gas stations at numerous locations in the company’s northeast footprint.

Successful franchise applicants will be given all the necessary tools and logistics to create and sustain their business.

Dash In

Dash In provides franchising opportunities for its gas stations and convenience stores across the U.S. Dash In gas been franchising since 1979 and has 58 franchise units available. Total investments of $138.6 – $187.2K is required. Financing options are available for Dash In franchises.

Express Convenience

Express Convenience has been franchising since 1984. The gas station and convenience store franchise has a total of 19 franchise units located in the Midwest. With a $165 – $200,000 total investment, franchisees are provided with training to help their business. Financing is available for Express Convenience franchises.

Marathon

Marathon brand gas stations with convenience stores are available to franchise across the U.S. In fact, Marathon stations are primarily owned and ran by independent entrepreneurs. In 2015, Marathon brand retail outlets sold around 5.02 billion gallons of vehicle fuel. Franchisees can benefit from the Marathon brand’s experience and leadership support, designed to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary skills for growth.

Kangaroo Express Convenience

The Pantry is a leading convenience store operator in south-eastern United states. The pantry has around 1,500 stores in 13 states. Kangaroo Express is the Pantry’s principle operating banner. Franchises are available to operate Kangaroo Express gas stations for successful candidates.

Quik Stop

Quik Stop Markets offer quality fuel and convenience product shopping in more than 100 locations within Northern California and Northern Nevada.

The Quik Stop franchise offers motivated entrepreneurs the opportunity to run their own retail and gas station store. Quik Stop franchise business owners receive classroom and in-store training, marketing support, promotional advertising, bookkeeping and accounting assistance and ongoing business consultation.

Murphy USA

Murphy USA is a nationally-recognized brand and gives franchise owners the opportunity to use their existing professional experience and skills to build a thriving convenience store and gas station business.

Liquid capital of $100,000 plus is required to be a Murphy USA franchisee. Successful applicants must have already been self-employed or have held a management level position.

On the Run

On the Run convenience stores are franchised with TMC Franchise corporation, a subsidiary of alimentation Couche-Tard.

As well as offering typical convenience store products and gas, On the Run gas stations offer fresh snacks, quick meal options, health and beauty supplies and more.

A total investment fee of $50,000 is required, with liquid assets available of $100,000.

Shell

Shell is one of the world’s biggest names in petroleum. In the United States, Shell has a network of strategically-located local service stations, offering convenience retailing as well as a variety of fuel products.

Shell offers franchise opportunities for suitable candidates. Successful applicants are required to have at least 10 percent unencumbered cash of the total capital required for investment. Financial institutions can be approached to franchisees to obtain a loan for the funding.

Extra Mile

ExtraMile’s convenience store and gas stations combination offers the world-recognized Chevron gasoline brand with retail food outlets. The ExtraMile franchise brand was established in 2007 and has gone on to expand to more than 200 stores.

Successful candidates for an ExtraMile franchisee recieve support from the Chevron Corporation in areas training, advertising, ongoing business advice and mechanizing. The estimated total investment to buy and manage an ExtraMile station franchise is $1.5 – $2.5 million.

If you’ve got the drive, commitment, motivation and financial means, becoming a gas station franchisee with any of the above franchise companies, could prove to be the lucrative business investment you are looking for.

Gas Station Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "16 Gas Station Franchise Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends

LWHA And Meyer Jabara Hotels Retained To Asset Manage And Operate Portfolio Of Five Hotels In The Carolinas

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 09:06
DANBURY, CT—-LWHA Asset Management Services (LWHA), a hospitality advisory firm, and Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH), a hotel ownership and management group, ...

10 Smart Tips for Marketing Your Brand to Chinese Consumers – #Gateway17

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 08:30

So you’re interested in selling in China? Great! There are plenty of opportunities for companies looking to expand into the Chinese market, according to speakers at Alibaba’s Gateway ‘17 event this week.

But it’s not as easy as just listing some products and arranging shipments to China. You actually have to learn how to market to Chinese consumers.

Small Business Trends attended the inaugural Gateway’17 event June 20 and 21 at Cobo Center in Detroit. Here’s a report from the conference with tips for marketing products in China according to Gateway ‘17’s speakers and experts.

Tips for Marketing in China Tell Your Brand Story

“Chinese consumers want to hear your brand story,” said Amee Chande, managing director of global strategy and operations for Alibaba Group in a presentation Wednesday.

That means they want to buy from brands they feel connected to. Especially if you’re importing products, you have to build some kind of trust by sharing information about your brand, both in your store and through other methods.

So don’t simply put your products out there and expect them to sell themselves. You need to provide great products and a great brand in order for Chinese consumers to trust you enough to buy.

Decorate Your Store

If you’re selling products on Tmall, which is a good strategy since it’s the most popular marketplace among Chinese consumers, then you have a lot of options for sharing more information about your products and your brand.

Within Tmall and other marketplaces, you can customize your store completely. Add your own branding elements, product updates and other content. This can help your storefront stand out and also keep customers coming back for more.

Update Your Feed

One of the most popular features on Tmall is the news feed, which you can use to “decorate” your store. This is similar to what you might be used to on social media sites like Facebook. You can share new products and company updates regularly.

According to Chande, young people on Tmall log in and look at news feeds from their favorite stores up to seven times a day. So making those updates interesting and appealing to Chinese shoppers could potentially spur a lot of sales.

Utilize Live Streaming

Live streaming is another marketing tool available on Tmall. And it can be a powerful way to build up some brand trust by showing the actual people behind your brand or the product in action. You can share a company event, new product release or even tutorials related to your offering.

Take Advantage of Shopping Holidays

In China, there are shopping holidays just like there are in the U.S. But the actual holidays are different. So don’t just discount your products on Cyber Monday and expect tons of sales. Do some research on the popular holidays in China and the promotions available on platforms like Tmall.

For example, November 11 is known as “Singles Day” in China (because of all the 1’s in 11/11). An answer to Valentine’s Day, Singles Day is all about buying yourself gifts or buying small items for friends. It’s a major opportunity for any business that sells in China.

Try Bundling or Unique Discounts

Like customers anywhere, Chinese customers love a great deal. So discounts and promotions can be a great way to get some attention for your products.

Sam Wolf, founder of LuckyVitamin, a brand that has found success selling on Tmall said of the company’s customers in China, “They love getting a good bargain. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re just looking for rock bottom prices. But they want to feel like they’re getting a good deal when they buy something.”

So it’s not just about cutting prices. But if you can offer a unique promotion or create some bulk discounts so customers can see more value in their purchases, it could be worthwhile.

Do Your Research

It’s also important, no matter what actual marketing methods you use, to do research about your customers and market beforehand. There are plenty of cultural and logistical differences that come with selling in China. So you need to do research and work with partners who can help you understand the landscape.

Overall, you need to have patience and make sure to do your due diligence instead of jumping right in. Marketing and selling in China isn’t something that just anyone can do. You need to be really dedicated to it in order to succeed.

Michael Zakkour, Vice President of China/APAC and global eCommerce practices for Tompkins International said in a discussion at the Gateway’17 event, “In China, everything is possible. But nothing is easy.”

Offer Personalized Service

Your customer service is also part of your marketing in China. Chinese consumers expect fast shipping and answers to all of their questions, according to Wolf. So you need to consider your shipping time and customer service availability to be part of your marketing efforts and make it a priority.

Create Virtual Shopping Experiences

Tmall also offers opportunities for sellers to take advantage of new technology like virtual reality and augmented reality in order to create unique experiences for customers.

For example, if you have a unique retail location and also sell online, you could offer a virtual shopping experience that lets customers feel like they’re actually walking around your store when they’re shopping online. Or you could use augmented reality to help customers make buying decisions, like trying on virtual makeup or arranging virtual furniture in a photo of your living room.

Keep Up With New Technology

And that’s just the beginning of the possibilities that technology offers to businesses selling in China. Tmall and other marketplaces are constantly working to update their offerings. So you need to keep up with those trends and adapt with them if you’re going to stay relevant with customers in China.

Shopping on Taobao Photo via Shutterstock

Other Images: Small Business Trends/Annie Pilon

This article, "10 Smart Tips for Marketing Your Brand to Chinese Consumers – #Gateway17" was first published on Small Business Trends

Waymo hires ex-Tesla engineer to lead self-driving hardware

AutoNews - Fri, 2017-06-23 07:54
Waymo has hired Satish Jeyachandran, Tesla's former director of hardware engineering. Jeyachandran spent nearly seven years at Tesla before leaving earlier this year.
Categories: Latest News

Wired For Success

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 07:48
VT Hospitality Gains Momentum Within Lodging Industry With Fiber-Based Solutions

Best Sales Techniques You’re Not Using … Yet!

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 07:30

When it comes to increasing leads, you must employ the right techniques.

But what are the best sales techniques to use to meet your goal? A new report by sales acceleration software provider InsideSales highlights sales techniques you’re probably not using today — yet.

Best Sales Techniques

No two businesses are the same. But when it comes to lead generation, some techniques are effective for almost all businesses.

Best Strategies for Lead Generation

Data shows company websites (83 percent) are clearly the most widely adopted strategy for lead generation. They are followed by email marketing (74 percent) and LinkedIn (69 percent).

Interestingly, blogs (8 percent) and LinkedIn (7 percent) have seen the biggest increases in adoption since 2013.

Inside Sales Has Gained Momentum

More sales and marketing leaders (13 percent) say they are willing to try inside sales more than any other method this year.

What’s more, 93 percent of sales and marketing leaders who currently use inside sales say they plan to continue using it.

Underutilized Techniques You Might Want to Consider

It’s worth noting that some sales techniques are proving to be effective, despite not being used widely by most businesses. Take small executive events and partner relationships, for instance.

The InsideSales report found both executive events (79 percent) and partner relationships (77 percent) effective but less-adopted.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, was found to be well adopted although leaders didn’t believe it was effective at creating brand awareness.

Time to Take Another Look at LinkedIn?

It’s evident that businesses are focusing a lot of their energies on LinkedIn. But is it really helping businesses achieve their goals?

The InsideSales report shows LinkedIn has not been effective at generating pipeline compared to other methods. As a small business owner, you might want to take a fresh look at your LinkedIn strategy to improve leads.

About the Study

Utah-based InsideSales.com surveyed 678 sales and marketing leaders for this study. To gather data, InsideSales.com sought this group’s opinion on key issues regarding marketing tactics, brand management, lead generation, pipeline creation and marketing challenges.

Business Sale Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Best Sales Techniques You’re Not Using … Yet!" was first published on Small Business Trends

Tesla in talks with labels for music-streaming service, report says

AutoNews - Fri, 2017-06-23 07:19
Tesla is in talks with record labels about creating its own music-streaming service, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Categories: Latest News

Hyatt Selects Malaika Myers as Chief Human Resources Officer

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 07:11
CHICAGO--Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced it has named Malaika Myers as the company’s chief human resources officer. Myers will ...

Redefining the Meaning of Success

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 06:30

Sometimes cartoons just appear seemingly out of thin air.

I was listening to the business report on the radio and someone prefaced a statement with ‘if by that you mean …’.

Immediately I said, aloud to myself mind you, ‘if by profits you mean …’ and then I went to the dictionary.

Now, there are quite a few definitions of profits, but this one seemed the funniest.

So, yeah, sometimes cartoons let themselves in and you both sit down and have a good laugh over coffee. Not often, but it’s nice when they do.

This article, "Redefining the Meaning of Success" was first published on Small Business Trends

Twitter

Topix - Fri, 2017-06-23 06:13

The owner of Burger King has pledged to eliminate deforestation from its supply chains by 2030 but scientists say the company is not moving fast enough to stop its hamburgers from destroying rainforests and the communities who depend on them. Restaurant Brands International, one of the world's largest fast-food restaurant operators, has been criticised by activists for buying soy and beef from newly deforested land in Brazil and other South American countries.

Categories: Today's Food News

Park Plaza London Waterloo Premieres As A New Sanctuary For London Adventures

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 05:44
LONDON--Upper upscale contemporary brand Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts has announced the official opening of its new hotel Park Plaza London ...

Crescent Hotels & Resorts Unveils Hotel PUR Quebec's Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 05:30
QUEBEC, QC––Crescent Hotels and Resorts is pleased to announce Hotel PUR Quebec is in the final stages of a multifaceted makeover ...

Hotel Equities To Manage Renovated Courtyard In San Antonio, TX

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2017-06-23 05:26
ATLANTA––Atlanta-based Hotel Equities (HE) announced that it has been chosen to manage the Courtyard by Marriott Sea World/Lackland in San Antonio, ...

Apply These 3 Strategies When Dealing with the Ex in Business

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 05:00

Kim Leach and her ex-husband were high-school sweethearts. But after 21 years together — 16 of them wedded — a series of rough patches led to their divorce. With two kids, a house that they’d almost paid off and years of accumulated belongings, the split was bound to be painful and time-consuming.

And there was another wrinkle: The couple jointly owned a small business.

There’s no recent research on the exact number of couple-owned businesses, but in 2000, some 3 million of the 22 million U.S. small businesses were managed by couples.

For these couples, divorce throws a wrench into business management. “When dealing with your ex-spouse, it adds an extreme layer of complication to every decision,” says Shawn Leamon, a certified divorce financial analyst.

Ways to Handle Divorce with a Business Involved

Leamon helped Nerdwallet identify three common ways joint owners might deal with a business during the divorce process, and when to consider each.

1. The Buyout

A buyout, the most common way couples divvy up business assets during a divorce, allows one person to become the sole owner by buying the other’s portion of the business. This can be done either as a “bulk” buyout, using cash reserves or a business loan, or by setting up a payment plan over a certain time period.

Leach took this route, and her husband bought her out of their Oklahoma fitness center. But she was focused on getting custody of her kids and ignored her lawyer’s advice: to have the business appraised and charge interest during the agreed-upon seven-year buyout period.

Instead, she estimated the business’s value at $100,000 and agreed to a $50,000 buyout over seven years with no interest. The business turned out to be worth closer to $200,000 or $250,000.

“Fear overwhelmed me too much,” says Leach, who acknowledges that her conservative approach stemmed from a fear of rocking the boat. “I’m a very confident woman … but when you’re in that situation, everything is an unknown, so you do gamble a little bit.”

Tips

If you can, pay for a neutral appraisal: Business appraisals can be expensive, ranging from a couple thousand dollars to more than $30,000, but Leamon says they’re worth it. It’s easy to under- or overvalue a business, and hiring a neutral party helps ensure a fair deal for everyone.

Consider the future: The longer the payment period, the more likely it is that the spouse who keeps the business will default on payments or shut it down. In her book, “The Little Divorce Survivor’s Handbook,” Leach says that if she could do it over again, she’d negotiate an upfront buyout instead of an installment plan. “You can’t foretell the future,” she says. “You need to plan like this is all you’ve got coming your way.”

2. The Compromise

A riskier option involves running the business as usual, with both parties maintaining control of the company. If you and your ex try this tactic, it’s crucial to develop defined business roles and clear expectations.

It might also be a good idea to review your business structure and legal documents to make sure they reflect your position in the company.

In Leamon’s opinion, staying in business together is the least ideal scenario. A financial advisor since 2010, he says he’s never seen this strategy work in the long term.

“You’re getting divorced for a reason,” he says. “When trying to maintain and run a business together, it adds an extraordinary amount of stress.”

Tips

Leave the personal at home: Your relationship with your ex is now strictly business. Work isn’t the time or place to bring around the new boyfriend or girlfriend, or even discuss those new relationships, Leamon says.

Review your legal documents: This is especially important come tax time, when your divorce might impact federal business taxes.

3. The Walk Away

Divorce is a good time to start fresh in your personal and business lives. If you decide to move on to a new venture, you and your ex can either sell the company to a third party or close up shop.

Selling a business is messier than you might think. It can take time to find a buyer, and the longer the divorce process takes, the more likely it is that something — your relationship, the business, the economy — will take a turn for the worse.

If your company is a franchise, it likely has specific requirements for future owners, which can narrow your candidate field and lengthen the selling process further.

Having a personal connection to the business can also make it hard to sell. So in certain circumstances, shutting down may be the best option. Small businesses often carry a heavy debt load, Leamon says. “Sometimes it’s cleaner to close it than try to dig yourself out of a giant hole.”

Tips

Think beyond cash: You can split profits from a sale 50/50, but your share can also be factored into the overall settlement. Can’t decide who gets the lake house? Consider trading your profit for the vacation home.

Keep it clean: If you decide to close your business, tie up loose ends first. “Business issues, when not properly closed, can haunt you for years,” Leamon says. It’s not as simple as just signing a few documents; you should also review potential issues such as back taxes and lawsuits.

Regardless of the outcome, Leamon stresses the importance of finding a workable agreement. “If you can’t resolve it between your attorneys and you, a judge will decide what ultimately has to happen,” he says. “If you can’t come up with a solution, a solution will be forced on you.”

To navigate the process, try mediation or enlist the help of a divorce advisor to make sure you’re not saddled with an outcome that neither of you desires.

Business Couple Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Apply These 3 Strategies When Dealing with the Ex in Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

PrideStaff Expands with New Staffing and Employment Agency in Fort...

PR Web - Fri, 2017-06-23 03:30

PrideStaff, a national, franchised staffing organization, is pleased to announce the opening of a new staffing and employment agency in Fort Meade-Bowie, Maryland. The new office will offer a full...

(PRWeb June 09, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/FortMeade-BowieStaffing/FortMeade-BowieEmployment/prweb14411766.htm

Fatal Accident Leads to Lifetime of Wellness at New Chiropractic...

PR Web - Fri, 2017-06-23 03:30

The Joint Chiropractic Opening New Clinic in Tampa

(PRWeb June 09, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/06/prweb14407852.htm