"Top Ten" Champions of Franchise Share Their Secrets to Success
by Patricia Schaefer
To read Part I, see Franchise Trade's article
"Top Ten" Champions of Franchise Share Their Secrets to Success, Part I
It's an exciting time for the franchise industry as all signs point to an industry that will continue to thrive and grow -- and as new franchise concepts continue to be developed, introduced and adopted.
The International Franchise Association recently announced that the U.S. Bureau of the Census is planning to include questions about franchising in their 2007 Census of Business. This will be the first time the economic census will actually count franchise business in the U.S.
Out of these hundred of thousands of franchise establishments, Entrepreneur Magazine's 2006 Franchise 500 included the following as their "Top Ten Franchises for 2006."
Franchise Trade queried each of these franchises to find out just what sets them apart from the myriad of other franchises out there. What do they pride themselves on and to what do they owe their tremendous success? And just what do they have to offer an individual today looking to invest in a franchising opportunity?
NUMBER 6: DUNKIN' DONUTS
"People are passionate about our products, our convenience and especially the quality we provide."
Communications Manager Andrew Mastrangelo had this to share about Dunkin' Donuts:
What sets Dunkin' Donuts apart/What it prides itself on
"Dunkin' Donuts has evolved from a place to grab a cup of coffee in the morning to one that serves customers almost around the clock.
"Contrary to our name, Dunkin' Donuts is more about coffee than donuts. Beverages account for 63% of our sales and donuts make up only about 17% of Dunkin' Donuts' sales. We are the country's largest retailer of coffee-by-the-cup, serving nearly one billion cups of brewed coffee each year. Last year, Dunkin' Brands posted a 21% increase in profits that was fueled by our coffee business.
"There is a growing demand for what we offer: great coffee and delicious food and beverages that you can enjoy all day; fresh, fast and affordably. The mix of our coffees and beverages, along with our donuts, muffins, bagels and breakfast sandwiches, has allowed us to grow and thrive.
"Dunkin Donuts is currently expanding in its existing markets, while entering new Southern and Mid-Atlantic markets. The national expansion program ultimately will triple Dunkin' Donuts to 15,000 stores throughout the country by 2025. In the meantime, we are expanding our existing markets, increasing same store sales, offering new menu innovations and introducing new store concepts."
To what does Dunkin' Donuts owe its tremendous success?
"In many ways, our very strong brand is our best recruitment tool. People are passionate about our products, our convenience and especially the quality we provide. We are consistent with delivering high quality products each and every time in all of our stores. Our strong network of franchisees has been the foundation to our success and today we are recognized as one of the leaders in the quick service restaurant category."
What does Dunkin' Donuts have to offer a prospective franchisee?
"We have an excellent relationship with our franchisees. When Jon Luther became CEO two years ago, one of his top priorities was to ensure that the franchisee/franchisor relationship at Dunkin' remains one of the strongest in the industry.
"We are committed to working very closely with franchisees from the first day they sign on with us. We provide constant training and support -- from assistance in site selection and financing to marketing and training. We are constantly having discussions with current franchising managers throughout the country to discuss the brand and how we present ourselves to potential franchisees.
"As a result of our national expansion plan, we are now moving away from a single store model to expectations that our franchisees will sign SDAs [Store Development Agreements] for at least three to ten stores. We are seeking large area developers with a strong organization and the ability to manage multiple stores effectively and successfully. We also look for some prior experience in the QSR [Quick Service Restaurant] industry."
NUMBER 7: JANI-KING
"Quality, proven programs to ensure that we support the demands of both our clients and franchisees"
According to Jani-King, it is the world's leading commercial cleaning franchise company with more than 10,000 authorized franchise owners worldwide. Jani-King's Director of Public Relations, Robert Kindred, shared the following about this company:
What sets Jani-King apart/What it prides itself on
"Jani-King takes great pride in our people and we work diligently in support of them. We have professionally staffed regional support offices in every major market who are available to our franchise owners for training, accounting, account sales and operational assistance. There are few companies that offer their franchise owners the level of support that Jani-King does."
To what does Jani-King owe its tremendous success?
"Our success over the past 35 years has come from understanding the importance of customer service and knowing our customers. We service tens of thousands of clients around the world, but we also consider our more than 11,000 franchisees our customers. We have implemented quality, proven programs to ensure that we support the demands of both our clients and franchisees. That's why our customers refer us to their colleagues and why our franchisees refer us to their friends and family."
What does Jani-King have to offer a prospective franchisee?
"In addition to our top-10 ranking, Jani-King has been number one in our service category [commercial cleaning] 19 times; not only because of the support that we offer, but also because of the opportunities presented by the commercial cleaning industry. Unlike the food service industry, Jani-King offers a low-cost investment. Whether you are looking for a part-time business to help send your children to college or a full-time business to retire from, Jani-King offers a plan that is right for you."
NUMBER 8: RE/MAX INTERNATIONAL, INC.
"Fabulous franchisee/franchisor relations"
RE/MAX International, Inc. is a global network of real estate agents. Founded by Dave and Gail Liniger in 1973, RE/MAX has enjoyed continuous growth for more than 30 years. Chairman of the Board and co-founder Dave Liniger took the time to answer Franchise Trade's questions:
What sets RE/MAX apart/What it prides itself on
"We are special due to our fabulous franchisee/franchisor relations. As founder of the company 33 years ago, we have gone through the ups and downs of a start-up to now having a very large organization. We value our "zees" as personal friends. Almost all of the great ideas and improvements to our network have come from the field. Our success is due to the 115,000-plus sales associates within 6,000 offices in 63 countries."
To what does RE/MAX owe its tremendous success?
"Our success has come from hard work, determination, and well-defined goals as what we as a network strive for in business ethics, relationships, products, services, and market share."
What does RE/MAX have to offer a prospective franchisee?
"We offer number one position in the real estate industry in brand name recognition, market share, and web presence. This is the ultimate competitive advantage to a real estate broker trying to build their business."
NUMBER 9: 7-ELEVEN
"A long, proud history that dates back more than 75 years"
Joanne Webb-Joyce, Director of National Franchise Sales, had this to say about the 7-Eleven franchise establishment:
What sets 7-Eleven apart/What it prides itself on
"7-Eleven has been recognized by Entrepreneur as a Top Ten franchise every year for the last five years and by many other experts over the years. We are among the world's premiere convenience store retailers with a long, proud history that dates back more than 75 years.
"The 7-Eleven Franchise System is like no other in the country. As a leader in the franchise industry for over 40 years, we offer a proven retail operation with a world-famous trademark, and the average initial cash investment is reasonable. Best of all, 7-Eleven franchisees receive assistance and support all the way.
"7-Eleven has much to be proud of, most especially its history of innovation, its relationship with its franchisees, its involvement in the community and its proprietary Retail Information System which enables each store to change as the needs of its customers change."
To what does 7-Eleven owe its tremendous success?
"Ultimately it all comes down to 7-Eleven's commitment to satisfying the customer. Today, over 3,300 U.S. stores are operated by franchisees who are dedicated to giving 7-Eleven customers 'what they want, when they want it' by providing a reliable, fresh assortment of high-quality products, speedy transactions, everyday fair prices and a clean, safe and friendly environment in which to shop."
What does 7-Eleven have to offer a prospective franchisee?
"7-Eleven, Inc. buys or leases the land and develops the site. 7-Eleven also buys the store equipment and pays the utilities. The franchisee leases or subleases a fully equipped 7-Eleven store.
"In addition to a proven 'turnkey' operating system and comprehensive training, 7-Eleven provides ongoing support and services, including advertising, accounting, payroll and monthly financial and marketing records preparation for the franchisee's individual store.
"An assigned Field Consultant visits with the franchisee at least once a week for several hours to provide counsel on every aspect of business. However, all store decisions are made by the franchisee.
"7-Eleven is also committed to a merchandising strategy that differentiates us from all our competition. We have increased our proprietary line of items to drive more traffic to our stores. Now, not only are we known internationally for things like the Slurpee, the big Gulp, and the Big Bite hot dog, we have expanded our food service offerings to include a line of fresh deli items; things like sandwiches and wraps, and fresh baked goods which are prepared and delivered daily. We are putting quality, made-fresh-daily food into our stores, and our customers are taking notice."
NUMBER 10: LIBERTY TAX SERVICE
"Set The Standard, Improve Each Day, and Have Some Fun"
Answering Franchise Trade's questions is Martha O'Gorman, Liberty Tax Service's Vice-President of Marketing:
What sets Liberty Tax Service apart/To what does it owe its tremendous success?
"Liberty Tax Service holds one major distinction among Entrepreneur Magazine's ranking of top ten franchisors: our CEO, John Hewitt is the only person to have founded two of the top ten.
"John founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in 1982 and Liberty Tax Service in 1997. Liberty is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in history. John's high level of experience is the major factor that makes Liberty Tax special and it sets us apart from other franchise organizations.
"Another unique aspect of the Liberty franchise system is our unorthodox approach to marketing. Instead of spending millions of dollars on conventional forms of advertising like radio or television, we focus the majority of our advertising fund on neighborhood marketing activities. For instance, we have Liberty mascots that take to the streets every tax season handing out discount coupons, donuts, pizza and other marketing items to build the Liberty brand. This unique form of marketing is the cornerstone to our approach and has allowed Liberty to grow faster in raw number of tax returns prepared than both of our competitors combined!"
What Liberty Tax Service prides itself on
"Liberty Tax Service has created a corporate culture that we think is unparalleled in the franchising universe. Our Mission Statement is 'Set The Standard, Improve Each Day and Have Some Fun.'
We want to make Liberty Tax Service a growing and thriving force in the business community while at the same time help make the world a better place to live. We have embraced several cause related campaigns that we support with contributions and publicity from our network of over 2000 offices in the United States and Canada. These organizations, Cell Phones for Soldiers and Stop Hunger Now, have raised millions of dollars collectively to help improve the world each day. And on top of it all, we do have fun!"
What does Liberty Tax Service have to offer a prospective franchisee?
"Our franchise opportunity is attractive because of the seasonal nature of the business. The Liberty model allows franchisees to operate their business for just four months. This is ideal for people with families, early retirees looking for something to do but not on a full-time basis, and young entrepreneurs anxious to build net worth while still maintaining another full-time job.
"Most franchise systems require a 52-week, 8-to-12 hour day commitment in order to properly build and maintain the business. With a Liberty franchise, the individual works hard for about 16 weeks and is able to achieve a net profit that matches or exceeds other traditional franchise models."
Copyright 2006, Attard Communications, Inc.