Getting A Higher Price When Selling Your Restaurant In 2019

Getting A Higher Price When Selling Your Restaurant In 2019
Chris Viscup a prominent New York Business Broker with Transworld said “One of the other most important parts of selling your restaurant is to make sure your books are in order. It will be your job to prove out how much money trickles down to you through the company and what this can look like to potential buyers.

Getting A Higher Price When Selling Your Restaurant In 2019
by Gary Occhiogrosso Contributor
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

It’s 2019 and after years of hard work you’ve now decided to sell your restaurant, perhaps to open a different business, or retire or relocate. Whatever the reason, selling a restaurant requires a strong strategy, careful planning, and detailed preparation. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips and steps needed to put you on a path for a quicker sale at the highest possible price along with a smooth transition.

Let’s Start With First Impressions.

The appearance of your restaurant not only matters to your customers, but it also matters to potential buyers. Bad “curb appeal” on the initial visit may be all it takes for a potential buyer to take a pass on a more in-depth look into the investment potential of your restaurant. Make sure everything inside and outside the restaurant is clean. If your establishment is a free-standing building, then the quality of care for the property will be an early indication of the level of care taken in building and growing the business over the years. Items like trimming the grass, keeping the parking lot and surrounding area clean and free of trash are crucial to curb appeal. Maintaining clean windows & glass doors, polishing handles, deep cleaning the grout in tile floors and shampooing carpeting are some simple things that will pay dividends to the buyers first impression. If the restaurant is a storefront location, then you’ll also need to make sure any cleaning and improvements that may be the responsibility of the landlord are taken care of before showing the business.

Nothing says “I don’t care” or “I’ve given up on this place” more than broken or missing equipment. If your kitchen equipment is not in 100% working order, it may set up doubt in your financial presentation regarding production capabilities. Also, nonfunctional equipment is detrimental to employee morale and productively. Ultimately that lack of productivity shows up on the Profit and Loss Statement (P&L) in the form of increased labor cost. Every part of the restaurant should present itself as credible to handle the current volume as well as to grow the business in the future. Make sure all of your equipment works. I can not emphasize enough to take the time in advance to replace or repair any broken equipment.

Remove personal items you do not intend to include as part of the sale. Doing this helps avoid any misunderstandings later between buyer and seller. For example, your personal laptop computer used for the business sitting on your desk may be mistaken as part of the assets for sale. Later in this article, we’ll cover making sure a complete equipment and asset list is written. However, the cleaner and less cluttered the visual aspect of the facility, the less chance for any misunderstanding when it comes time to negotiate.

And lastly regarding the facility, don’t be afraid to spend a little TLC money. Making a small investment, such as freshening up the paint, or replacing ceiling tiles, or reupholstering a ripped seat cover can go a long way to increase the visual appeal of your restaurant. These quick fixes will have a positive impact on your sale price and the time it takes to sell the business.

Put Your Financial House In Order Now

Presenting an honest, straightforward, financial picture of your restaurant is the most critical factor in determining accurate valuation and sale price. Professionally documented results regarding unit economics, profitability, and true owner benefit are what buyers, their accountant, and lawyer will be investigating in the due diligence phase of the process. Whether or not potential buyers purchase your restaurant depends on whether or not they think it will make money and provide a reasonable return on investment (ROI). Therefore, the financial information you provide to the buyer is the most significant factor in determining the success of the sale.

Ideally, you have practiced clear and organized bookkeeping since you started your business. If not, then arrange financial records going back at least one year before the time you list your restaurant for sale. That way potential buyers will have a trailing 12-month picture of the restaurant’s performance and trending. It is likely that buyers will ask to see a profit and loss statements and a balance sheet. If you are unable to create them yourself, have your accountant prepare them in advance so you do not feel rushed later in the sale process.

Make A To-Do List For Yourself

Financial statements aren’t the only aspect of getting organized. This step also includes creating a written list of all hard assets such as furniture, fixtures, small wares, and equipment. Also, a copy of your lease should be available for review in the due diligence phase of the transaction. Additionally, be prepared to document that all of the restaurant’s bills are up to date. Be ready to prove in writing that your sales and payroll taxes are current and paid in full. Employee payroll information needs to be in a presentable format and up to date. A to-do list will help you make sure everything gets done so that the sale goes as smoothly as possible.

The Hunt For Buyers

There are two ways to find potential buyers: find them yourself or hire a business broker. The process of valuation, listing, advertising, and vetting potential buyers is time-consuming and in my opinion, requires professional experience and know how. Although many sellers take this step on their own, a professional business broker can support the process by offering recommendations and presentations that save time and attract more potential buyers.

When you interview brokers, be sure to ask them how long they have been in the business of selling businesses, what their specialty is, how many listings they have now, and how many restaurants they have sold in the past year. Also, ask if they have prepared contracts for this type of transaction and how they plan to determine the value of your restaurant. Discuss their answers with your financial and legal advisors to determine if the broker has the right qualifications, experience, and track record.

One prominent New York Business Broker I spoke with said “One of the other most important parts of selling your restaurant is to make sure your books are in order. It will be your job to prove out how much money trickles down to you through the company and what this can look like to potential buyers. Without this component, you will either fall prey to lower offers than you would otherwise be getting, no offers, or end up with buyers wasting your time and never getting to the finish line. Not having good books leads ultimately to the two biggest deal killers – lack of trust and too much time for the transaction to close. With a good broker and good books, most of the heavy lifting is completed in the beginning, before putting the business on the market. Once you sign with a broker, there should be significant time dedicated to proving out the numbers – what they are, and what they could be. Every minute you spend in the beginning will save 5-7 minutes later.”

On the other hand, if you decide to go it alone and forgo hiring a business broker, then you’ll need to get some additional advice from your attorney and account. They can assist you with the proper valuation and selling price. Setting an unrealistic or emotional price on the business will slow the sales process or cause it to fail altogether. Actions to take also includes advertising and listing the restaurant on websites that post restaurants for sale. Keep in mind professional business brokers also use these websites, so competition exists. However, if you study these websites carefully, you should be able to get a good idea on how to word your ad for better results.

Always Be Ready

Whether you list your restaurant on your own or with a broker be prepared to show your restaurant to potential buyers at all times. Since you may have a buyer visit you unannounced, it means keeping the restaurant clean, fully staffed and well-managed no matter the day and time. You never know when a buyer might drop by to take a look. I also remind my clients that any customer in the restaurant may actually be a buyer doing some research before they contact you.

Once The Buyer Is found

At this point, if you’ve found a buyer and negotiations have been successful, then the final step is the paperwork necessary to complete the transaction. The paperwork usually starts with an “Asset Purchase Agreement.” Your attorney should prepare this document for you. The Asset Purchase Agreement details all the components of the sale. Items such as the sale price, the terms (if you are holding a note), a full and complete equipment list, the amount and value of the inventory you will have at the time of closing, the length of time (if any) that you are willing to train the new owner as well as any contingencies regarding the lease assignment from your landlord and of course a deadline date to close the transaction. Regardless of whether you’re working with a business broker or selling on your own, in all cases, I recommend you have your attorney involved to ensure the Asset Purchase Agreement covers all the various aspects of the transaction.

In addition, once you have a buyer engaged but before the final closing date, you should continue to operate your restaurant as if you are not selling it. Acquisitions sometimes fall through at the last minute, and you don’t want to create extra work for yourself in getting everything back up to par again if that happens.

Plan And Proceed

Smart and detailed planning will minimize glitches and deal-killing problems, throughout the transaction. Business Brokers warn: “The biggest disasters all come with one thing in common – wasted time. Without proper planning, not only may you decide to accept an offer lower than what you desire, but you will lose a good portion of your time getting there. As the saying goes – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Make sure you front-load your business and get all the materials you need in order before you sell it.”

I recommend you spend the time upfront, planning the sale, organizing paperwork, investigating brokers and deciding the best time to execute your plan. Selling a restaurant can be a smooth, simple transaction if these tips along with the advice of your accountant and attorney are put into practice.

Branding Drives Restaurant Sales

Create Branding To Drive Restaurant Sales And Growth…

A restaurant must connect with the lifestyle of consumers. The first step to doing this is to have a definite name, image, and brand message.

Create Branding To Drive Restaurant Sales And Growth
By Gary Occhiogrosso
Forbes Contributor
I write about the franchised restaurant and food services industry.

In the past, restaurant advertising consisted mainly of print and broadcast advertisements along with word of mouth. Branding isn’t accomplished solely through conventional advertising. Although advertising uses the branding elements, it refers to so much more. Branding is the practice of making a name, symbol, reasons, and guest experience stand out in the minds of consumers. Branding gives the company and its products a competitive edge above other companies which provide similar products. Thousands of restaurants serve hamburgers, but why when people think about burgers, their minds immediately go to McDonald’s or Burger King? It’s because the power of branding connects the product to a bigger picture. Today’s savvy consumers expect more than merely a place to have a meal. They are not only hungry for lunch but eager to connect with the experience the product or service provides.

Spotlight on branding
In today’s noisy advertising environment restaurants must cut through the clutter with a cohesive advertising and marketing strategy. Franchised and chain restaurant brands spend a great deal of time, effort and dollars on this critical aspect of their business model. Creating and enforcing their brand image is a crucial task for their marketing teams. Smart restaurants marketers understand the need for a consistent brand voice with a clearly defined marketing plan. This consistency is vital because locations in the chain must present consumers with the same image and message to avoid confusion and brand dilution.

Additionally, many consumers want to know what a company stands for, it’s mission, how it goes about its business and why you should eat at a particular restaurant. The need for guest engagement has led restaurant marketers to pivot from purely traditional advertising to creating a total restaurant experience. These experiences include social causes the guests share, their experience with friends and family via social media and their connection to a community. The evolution of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp, as well as search engine optimization, and online ads have become the new messaging channels used by marketers to increase “occasion to use” and brand loyalty. Today’s chain restaurants employ tactics including traditional advertising, social media messaging and participating in local events that support the community. Creating value and loyalty through brand image and guest experience lives in the mind of the guest long after the meal.

Creating a connection is key

A restaurant must connect with the lifestyle of consumers. The first step to doing this is to have a definite name, image, and brand message. Usually, the owners of the business and a branding team come together to discuss and decide on what the restaurant will mean to their future customers. This step should be accomplished at the beginning of the business planning.

Jennifer Williams, the founding partner, of “the watsons,” a New York City based branding firm, describes the importance of restaurant branding like this: ” The National Restaurant Association reports that Americans spend $799 billion a year on restaurants. Beyond clothing, restaurants are the most searched type of business online. Competition is fierce, and branding is more important than ever before. Whether yours is a franchise or independent restaurant, it takes more than great food and service to lure customers and build loyalty and repeat business. It takes a well-defined brand that resonates emotionally with your customers. A brand is essentially the personality of your business. Moreover, its value is derived from the connection people make with it. In today’s crowded restaurant sector, where many chain restaurants offer similar menus, your ability to differentiate yourself – can make or break your success.


Making the Most Of Your Franchise Opportunity

Successful franchises develop strong business models that can be replicated in different cities and states. The growth strategy is well-planned and executed for maximum efficiency. Franchise companies gain market share rapidly,and this can help open up subsequent locations as a result. Developing a good franchise system involves some risks, but also finding out some key elements about the market, forecasting revenue accurately, and setting long-term goals.

Making the Most Of Your Franchise Opportunity

This article is written and owned by our Editorial Contributor Tristan Andrews

Getting involved in a franchise business can bring significant rewards and long-term business success with the right plan and strategy. Franchises can penetrate a market, grow rapidly in multiple locations, and adapt to the local market. Franchise systems are nothing new; they date back to medieval times when business were set up to bring tax revenue to the owners. Today’s franchise systems operate under the same manner with royalties and other fees to keep revenue streaming through the owners and franchisee’s hands.

Successful franchises develop strong business models that can be replicated in different cities and states. The growth strategy is well-planned and executed for maximum efficiency. Franchise companies gain market share rapidly, and this can help open up subsequent locations as a result. Developing a good franchise system involves some risks, but also finding out some key elements about the market, forecasting revenue accurately, and setting long-term goals.

Understanding the competition and the market is a great way to learn about market potential, and realistically gauge what type of market penetration can be accomplished over a period of time. Successful franchisors do local research and market analysis, learning about the market’s needs and demands, and adapting their business strategy to meet them effectively.

Successful franchises create a business model that can be adapted regardless of geographic boundaries or restrictive laws. This can mean making sure that costs are controlled and monitored accurately, employment laws are followed, and all state laws and regulations are completely understood well before setting up operations.

Setting up a short-term and long-term growth plan is important for the franchisor, and provides essential information on initial investments, growth potential, and revenue forecasting. Without a growth plan, there is a low chance of success in continuing the business. An accurate assessment of the business model will help generate additional interest and investors as the franchise grows and builds on itself. Growing the franchise at a steady pace will easily drive up the franchise fee over time, and make it an even more attractive business investment for new franchisees. The resale value of the franchise can increase considerably during the growth period, and it’s important to keep this in mind when assessing profitability of a particular business model.

Today’s franchise opportunities include both retail and service businesses, and the successful enterprises take into account the local market, the competition, assessing the business model’s revenue forecast, and creating a growth strategy. All of these areas factor into the long-term success of a franchise, and need to be recognized before a business can grow.

Article Source:

Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about franchises. Discover and explore the world of Franchising. Find out how owning a franchise can expand your financial horizons at

Hot Franchise Opportunity, click here.

Can Culture Change Affect Your Business Results?

It’s easy to talk – what’s rare, however, is recognition of the fact that great leaders explicitly manage the culture of their organization. If you understand this, you will recognize the need to consciously design ‘the way things are around here’, manage it into place and measure, monitor and review it for ever.

Can Culture Change Affect Your Business Results?

This article is written and owned by Kate Mercer

How much time is wasted around your office coffee machine, by people talking about your organization’s culture and its impact on performance? Think about some typical comments:

‘We’re not delivering the results we should’ ‘There’s no leadership around here’ ‘There’s no coherent strategy’
‘We’re not working together as a team’ ‘All we seem to do is fire-fight’ People talk about the results that would be possible if the culture were just right, and they complain where they see people’s attitudes and behavior affecting performance. But if your organization is like most others, the talk masks a kind of resignation – it’s ‘just the way things are around here’.

It’s easy to talk – what’s rare, however, is recognition of the fact that great leaders explicitly manage the culture of their organization. If you understand this, you will recognize the need to consciously design ‘the way things are around here’, manage it into place and measure, monitor and review it for ever. Then you will use all that wasted time and hot air on making your business outstandingly successful, and producing results which are a reflection of a culture which is anything but resigned.

Results are the Outward Expression of Your Organization’s Culture

Every credible organization, like yours, has a set of tangible, measurable, and objective results to produce.
Different kinds of organization will have different kinds of measurable and tangible results, but in business they always include profit and cash.

The state of your organization’s results displays its prevalent culture. We’re not talking just about long-term results; we’re talking about results in every period – including this quarter, this week, today! Where there is a shortfall in results, there is always a shortfall in culture. If you look for the cultural shortfall and resolve it, your required results will be easier to produce.

Take the example of a company who generally managed to reach its quarterly, half-yearly and annual targets, but always only by the skin of its teeth and a frantic last-minute dash to the finish line. Early in every result period, there was a prevailing feeling that ‘there’s plenty of time’, and a disinclination to be held to rigorous forecasts on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. They felt it would be OK, because they had a lot of ideas ‘in the pipeline’, and were confident they could recover later. But the weeks raced by, and suddenly it was ‘that time’ again!
Through rigorous examination of the culture that was driving this stressful pattern, they decided to challenge this behavior and instead to build and develop a culture of, ‘we deliver on our commitments, regardless of the circumstances’. Nowadays they put in place rigorous business forecasts and measure and monitor their progress towards them. More accountability from the start, which can feel like hard work at first, has saved them hundreds of hours of urgent reactive work and untold stress in the panicky ‘will-we, won’t-we’ dash at the end of every year.

How to Quantify the Impact of Culture on Performance

In quantifying the impact of culture on profitability, there are 3 things that matter:

People do things they shouldn’t do People don’t do things they should do People take too long to do things

And there are 2 dimensions of business profitability impact:

Lost opportunity for increased sales Lost opportunity for lower costs

For help with how to quantify this in monetary terms, click here to go to the Shine Website and download our document ‘Quantifying the Effects of Culture Change on Your Business Results’.

Culture Change Hasn’t Happened until Different Results are Produced!

Some groups are very keen to address their cultural issues, and in these groups we sometimes see the same issue from the opposite point of view. People celebrate a wonderful ‘breakthrough’ in culture. Relationships are repaired and teams are built – hooray! Surely, breakthrough results are on the way? Don’t count on it.

Unless your new breakthrough is immediately demonstrated in tangible, measurable, and objective results, it has not been tested and will fade into memory. The time and resources you have spent on the culture change will have been a waste of money. While there might be a new possibility and a lot of excitement, these don’t add up to a new, long-term, sustainable culture. The reality is that the organization’s results still reflect the former culture. If early attempts to alter results are met with resistance in some way, then the work of culture change is not complete, and the enthusiasm for change will be blunted or killed entirely.

So to answer our opening question, not only can culture change affect your business results, it must! Until your key results have changed to reflect your new culture, and you have demonstrated that you can consistently and sustainably deliver the new level of performance, the hard work of changing your organization is not complete!

At Shine Consulting, we work with leaders who are consciously engaged in designing their organizations to be places where people: are consistently passionate, inspired and committed produce results well beyond the predictable norm In short, organizations that really shine! You can find out more about us and the work we do on our website

How To Find The Right Small Business Franchise Opportunity For You!

This article is written and owned by Candice Clem

Making the decision to go into business for yourself is a
complex decision that most likely took a lot of thought and
consideration. Now the only decision left to make is which
business franchise is the right opportunity for you.
Maybe the choice seems obvious, or maybe you think it won’t matter what
kind of business you run as long as you get to be the boss. But,
a small business franchise can be a tricky thing, and which
small business opportunity you choose may end up being the
deciding factor in whether your career as a small business owner
is a success or a failure.

It is very important to choose a franchise in an area that you
have knowledge, expertise or strong passion. Franchises need to
be run by people who like and appreciate the product or service
being provided and must continually hold the interest and
passion of those people who are operating them. Your employees,
customers, clients and business contacts must be able to see and
feel your passion for the franchise that you own. To that end,
the selection of a franchise opportunity becomes as important as
the initial decision to purchase a franchise . Here are a few
options for franchises that offer a wide range of specified
interest areas and passions.

One of the first things that you might want to consider as a
potential small business franchise owner is whether or not you
want to purchase a low cost franchise. There are several
different options within that category but a low cost franchise
is usually a good option for a first time franchise owner
because it requires a relatively small amount of risk and offers
good experience for someone that is prepared to learn what it
takes to run a small business franchise. A good, low cost option
for an up and coming franchiser would include Goin’ Postal which
is a shipping and packaging franchise that offers training and
support. Goin’ Postal can be run as a full shipping store
location or as a Kiosk business which requires a very low level
of time and capital to get started. The low cost franchise
market also includes businesses such as DVDNow, which is an
automated DVD rental kiosk business. Or a less tech savvy
entrepreneur might appreciate the hands on business approach of
VacuVent duct and air cleaning. Each of these franchises is
relatively low cost to start up and provides a quick cash flow,
very detailed training as well as support. The added benefit of
these franchises, DVDNow, VacuVent, and the kiosk option of
Goin’ Postal is that they can be run from home as a home based
franchise which will allow the new franchise owner to eliminate
overhead costs, and ease into these franchises as schedule and
commitment allow. Other Franchises along the lines of DVDNow
include Video Franchises such as Infinite Marketing which
creates video business cards that contains personal video
messages on a business card sized CD. There are so many
different types of small business franchises to choose from; you
need to ask yourself three main questions:

1. Is the Franchise something that I think is important and
would use if I needed it?

Don’t find yourself in the situation of owning and operating a
franchise business that you don’t appreciate. Typically if you
don’t see a need for a particular service you should avoid going
into that market. Franchise owners are almost always more
successful when the product they sell and the service they
provide is something that they believe in and can stand beside.

2. How much can I afford to invest, and how much time can I
commit to the investment?

Franchise owners need to carefully determine what capital level
is realistic for them to invest especially when financing
through a third party provider, as many low cost franchises will
provide. Also the franchise business owner needs to carefully
determine how much time is going to be available to the new
business. If you are adding this franchise to your current
workload perhaps you should consider a franchise that will only
take a few hours out of your week. Vendstar vending machine
franchise is a good example because you can choose to operate
and service as few or as many vending machines as you desire. If
your franchise is going to be your full time job and sole source
of income then make sure that you are investing in a franchise
that will produce the level of profitability that you will
require for it to be a success.

3. Do I understand the product and service I am providing?

While almost every franchise that you can own will provide you
with some level of training and support, it is particularly
important to have a competent grasp of the productin a franchise
where you will be hiring employees and explaining your product
to future customers. In order to ensure that you will be
successful and continue to grow more and more profitable, you
must have confidence in your business and be able to concisely
explain to people what it is that makes your franchise

Don’t be overwhelmed, a franchise is a great option for an
excited and motivated businessman or woman who is looking to
expand their experiences and increase their profitability. Just
make sure that as you move forward with your decision to enter
the world of small business franchising that you are stopping
along the way to examine what you are doing, why you are doing
it, and how you are going to continue to do it well.

About the Author: Find low cost
home based franchise opportunities and information for
entrepreneurs at Franchise Gator.


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Angel Investors and How to Make it Easy For Them to Fund Your Business

This article is written and owned by Martin Soorjoo

I was talking with an experienced Angel Investor recently who tends to mostly invest in tech startups. He had invested in a Silicon Valley startup (B), 2 years ago and was beaming at the fact that it was clear to him that the startup was finally on the verge of generating some ‘serious revenues’.

What interested me was his comment that he had almost invested in another startup (A), with a similar but stronger model, 6 months prior to coming across startup B. I asked him why he hadn’t and he said ‘they were making me work too hard in order to invest in them’.

The Angel elaborated. He said that like most investors he received several pitches and contacts a day from entrepreneurs with the next big thing. He still runs his own company and has a family, so his time was precious. He went onto to say that he really liked Startup A’s CEO and the people he bought to the pitch. He described them as being ‘committed’, ‘focused’ and ‘resourceful’. The sort of people he could work with.

So far so good. Great idea, great team. ‘The problem was’, the Angel continued, ‘it was more a meeting where I asked them lots of basic questions, rather than them present me with the answers to questions I would have asked’.

This is not uncommon. Sometimes, when you have lived and breathed your business and know the detail inside out, you forget what it is like for someone who is hearing about it for the first time. This is one reason why it’s so valuable for you to have a dry run of your pitch with an appropriate trusted third party.

Lawyers know that they must anticipated as many of the questions and issues a judge and jury is like to raise or be troubled by and deal with them at the outset. And salespeople are trained to ‘inoculate’ against a customer’s potential objections.

It doesn’t matter whether you go to your investor pitch knowing all the answers. If the investor doesn’t ask you the question or you get sidetracked, you have lost the opportunity to put across crucial information. It’s critical that you answer the fundamental questions investors are concerned with, in your investor presentation materials and pitch, before they ask them. When you do that, you not only convey competence and professionalism. You also demonstrate and understanding of what is important to an investor and your ability to sell.

Of course any good investor will still drill down on the detail and ask you a range of penetrating questions. That’s to be expected. But you must make sure that you have covered the first layer of detail that any business investor will be interested in.

I asked the Angel whether he knew what happened to Startup A. Never heard of them again he said. The equation is clear – the easier you make it for an Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist to fully understand all aspects of your investment proposition, the more likely they are to fund you.

Martin is an Investor Pitch Coach and founder of the Investor Pitch Clinic. He works with entrepreneurs and business owners across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom helping them secure business funding from Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists through the creation of winning investor presentations.

A former high flying attorney for over 15 years, Martin worked with numerous business investors including Senior Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. During this period he raised several million dollars, including negotiating one deal worth $75 Million.

This experience has equipped with him unique insights into how business investors make their decisions and the skills to help clients create and deliver an investor presentation that addresses the key questions investors ask, in a concise and compelling format.

Article Source: Angel Investors and How to Make it Easy For Them to Fund Your Business

Is Your Franchise Marketing System Turning Profits Or Running You Out of Business?

This article is written and owned by John P. Hayes Ph.D.

You know there are “right” customers and “wrong” customers and while you may not (yet) know how to tell them apart before they become your customer, you know that the “wrong” customers deliver the least value and create the majority of problems in your business.

Who is a customer?

Customers (or clients), by the way, are not just the people who buy your products and services. They also include your employees, and if you’re a franchisor, they include your franchisees.

Be careful of expert advice!

So I read a passage on a blog that provided “some helpful hints on how you can spot a great franchise marketing system” and the first hint was this:

Customers are brought in the doors. This is what every business boils down to in the end, whether or not the marketing system brings in the customers. After all, that is where you make your profits.

Taking the express train to bankruptcy

And I thought to myself: Or that is where you lose your profits, your money and ultimately your business!

It’s not enough to drive customers through the doors of a franchise, or any business. You’ve got to drive the “right” customers through the doors! Most businesses, and most marketing systems, do not fulfill that objective. And that’s one reason why franchises struggle and fail.

So don’t be fooled into thinking that a good franchise is one where “the marketing system” drives customers to the door!

Happy franchisees make the most money

To wit: Some years ago the new CEO of a major retail franchisor asked me to help his franchisees attract more customers and ultimately generate higher revenues so that (a) the franchisees would earn (and keep) more money, and (b) the franchisees would pay higher royalties. Since the beginning of franchising, franchisors have known that franchisees who make and keep the most money are the happiest franchisees!

So I spent several weeks working with a few franchisees to find out more about their customers. Here’s what we discovered:

It cost the “average” franchisee $100 to get a new customer to come through the door (that included marketing costs and the required fee for the franchise advertising fund).
The “average” customer spent about $10.
No one knew if the customer would return – ever.
If the customer did return – no one could predict when or how often.
The “average” franchisee did little to nothing to bring the customer back again repeatedly (and you may be surprised to find out why).

Busy, busy, busy going out of business!

So while it appeared “the marketing system” was doing its job, e.g. the franchisees were busy serving customers throughout the day, in reality “the marketing system” was slowly running the franchisees out of business (and perhaps into an early grave)!

That and the fact that the franchisees were so busy, busy, busy taking care of all the customers “the marketing system” provided that they had no time to do the things that would have insured getting the maximum benefit out of their customers, i.e. increasing sales, increasing frequency, building rapport with key customers, gathering referrals, etc.

Who caused that fire?

As one franchisee told me, “From the time I open the door in the morning until I close it at the end of a long day, I don’t have time to do anything but put out fires.”

Upon examination, most of the “fires” were caused by customers and employees. Occasionally, even though they didn’t know it, the franchisee caused some of the fires!

Blame it on the franchisor, of course

You can be sure the franchisor got blamed for the majority of the challenges the franchisees faced. Frankly, I would take the side of the franchisees on that issue (though it does no good to blame anyone, but rather to accept responsibility). The franchisor could have done a better job sooner! In other words, the CEO that hired me had only recently arrived at the company. To his credit, he quickly assessed “the marketing system” and knew that it was broken. However, this company had been operating for many years prior to hiring this CEO. Where were the marketing folks all those years? Where was the company’s leadership?

Why doesn’t this system work?

So what was wrong with “the marketing system” at this company?

Simply, it was producing the “wrong” customers for the franchisees!

Even among customers there are stars

Through our continued research we further discovered that not all customers were created equal! Some spent more money than others and never, ever complained or started a “fire”! Of course, those were “the right” customers.

Problem was, “the marketing system” produced too few “right” customers.

Revealing more about “right” customers

Without giving away too much information (and revealing the company), here’s more of what we discovered about the “right” retail customers for this franchise business. They:

spent about twice as much as the average customer
returned 3 to 4 times a week
owned a business, which existed within 3.5 miles of the franchise location
were males (64%) and females (36%)
had partners in their business (46%); most often, a spouse
were between the ages of 32 and 62

Remember garbage in, garbage out?

Wow! With just that information alone we could create a new marketing system that would target the “right” customers! All others were probably “wrong” for the business. The all-important “marketing system” was targeting “all others”!

Ultimately, with the help of the company’s advertising agency, we created a new marketing system that achieved the goals established by the CEO and supported by the Franchise Advisory Council.

Careful of the advice you get

So I shiver when I see “advice” that implies a good franchise is one with a “marketing system” that “brings in the customers.”

That’s true only if the customers are “right” customers. If they’re “wrong” customers, franchisees can plan on owning and operating a business filled with headaches, challenges, issues, “fires” and, ultimately, not enough money. And franchisors can plan on hearing lots of complaints and never enough royalty dollars!

And why would you want either scenario when it’s much simpler, easier, more efficient and responsible to just fix “the marketing system”?

John P. Hayes, Ph.D., author and speaker, blogs at

Article Source: Is Your Franchise Marketing System Turning Profits Or Running You Out of Business?

Successful Franchise Marketing

6 Ways to Find New Customers

This article is written and owned by Kaitlyn Miller

Do you wish that your small business was performing better? Wish you could bring in a few more customers and a lot more money? Well, get to work! It is not easy, but there are some tried and true ways to bring in new clients. Here are a few.

1. Friends and Family
This should always be where you start for any effort, whether it is fundraising or starting a new business. The people who know you are very likely to help you out, especially if you are just getting started in business. Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you know about your business, even if you think they will laugh at you (they probably won’t).

2. Talk to Other Businesspeople
Go around the area and introduce yourself to other business owners. As long as you are not competing with them, most of them will be happy to go into a sort of “cooperative” marketing effort with you. You send customers to them, and they send customers to you. It’s called networking, and it is a great way to build your business.

3. Start a Web Site
In today’s computer age, a website is a virtual necessity. Many small business owners are afraid that starting a website is too costly, but that is not true. You can have a very good looking and professional website for a relatively low cost. Just do some research and find out how to make it happen. You can do it, even if you have no clue what HTML stands for.

4. Good Old Fashioned Advertising
Don’t forget about the newspaper. Placing an ad in your local rag (even a classified ad) is a good way to go. And embark on a poster printing project to make some posters that you can place in strategic locations in your area. Business cards and brochures are very valuable, as well.

5. The Phone Book
Another forgotten old friend of businesses is the phone book. Make sure you get your company phone number into the yellow pages and all of the local phone books in your area. This is a tremendously cheap and effective tool that some small businesspeople completely overlook.

6. Free Attention from the Press
The press release is a tool that can get you some free publicity, if it is written properly. If you do not have a knack for the written word, hire a freelance writer to do up a professional press release for your company. This will only cost you $20 or less. Then, send it out to all of the media outlets in your community. You might be surprised by the attention you get from this simple step.

Article Source:

* * * * * * * * MORNING EDITION * * * * * * * * * * *

Marketing is a Relationship
This article is written and owned by Jody Gabourie

In all my years of marketing and helping people market
their businesses, I’ve found that to successfully and
easily market, it helps to view marketing as an ongoing
relationship. Finding and keeping clients is another way
of saying forming and having a relationship with your
prospects and clients.

Marketing is not trying to get someone to buy something
from you. Your marketing efforts need to focus on building
relationships with prospects and clients rather than trying
to “sell” them something. Another way to look at marketing
is that it’s not about “getting” at all, but instead it’s
about “giving” – your experience, your expertise, your
wisdom, your knowledge.

Marketing is about fostering, nurturing and maintaining a
relationship with each and every client and prospective
customer. By building a relationship, you allow the
prospective client or current customer to get to know, like
and trust you. Only then will they buy your product or
sign up for one of your services.

Just look at yourself – do you spend lots of money with
people you dislike, don’t trust or have no respect for? I
highly doubt it – I don’t. So why would it be any
different for people who are in need of your services and
products? They will only become, and stay, customers if
you build a relationship with them.

By looking at marketing as a relationship, with specific
steps that need to be taken, you simplify the whole process
of marketing. It doesn’t look as intimidating or
overwhelming anymore. We all know (at least the
rudiments!) of starting and forming relationships, and that
means we are all capable of marketing easily and

But what is the actual process for fostering this

What I’ve found to work every time is to break down
marketing into 5 simple steps that mirror the steps you
would take to create a non-business relationship with
someone. You use these same steps to find and keep your
most profitable clients.

Step 1 – figure out what you have to offer

Step 2 – start a conversation

Step 3 – build the relationship

Step 4 – get a commitment

Step 5 – maintain the relationship

Each step is important and logically follows the previous
one. If your marketing misses a step or tries to do them
out of order, your prospects will stumble and won’t make it
in the door to your business. Chances are they won’t try
to visit again, either.

You may already have a hot selling product and a well known
reputation. Or maybe you want to grow your list and offer
your services to lots of new people. Or you may be
starting off with a great service or product but no one
really knows anything about you.

Regardless of where you and your business are right now,
your marketing has to accomplish the same thing – build a
relationship and make a connection. Where it differs for
someone who has been in business awhile versus a new
company is in the specific marketing tactics you employ.

When you base your marketing efforts on following these 5
simple steps, you’ll find and keep many more profitable
clients and as a result have the successful business that
you deserve and want!

Jody Gabourie, The Small Business Marketing Coach, teaches
simple, innovative and powerful marketing strategies to
help business owners find and keep their most profitable
clients. To learn more about how she can help you take
your business to the next level, and to sign up for her
FREE special report, ezine and articles, visit her site at

Simplified Marketing in a Complicated Economy, click here