4th Quarter Franchisee Spotlight Person Is……

 

Our 4th Quarter 2018 Franchisee Spotlight Person is…….

Pat Simmons

High Touch High Tech of West LA

1. Favorite Food?
Pizza (chicago style to be specific)
2. Favorite Music?
All of it!
3. How do you spend your free time?  
Exploring with my kids
4. Superhero you most identify with?
  Black Bolt
5. Favorite part of owning a HTHT Franchise?
 OWNING a HTHT franchise, and working with kids ;  )

Thank you Pat Simmons for all the hard work you do at HTHT WLA and Congratulations on becoming the 2018 4th Quarter Franchisee Spotlight Person!!

http://www.sciencemadefunwla.net/

What is a Franchise?

What Is A Franchise?

You’re ready to break-out on your own and be your own boss. The question is, should you start your own business or invest in a franchise? You know what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing, but does that automatically translate into a business concept; a business concept that will be successful and profitable? And even if it does, do you have the commitment it takes to develop your own business or would you feel more secure investing in a business with a successful history and years of experience; a business that you can own with out being alone?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re in the same boat as many entrepreneurs out there. As you wade through the questions and challenges of starting your own business, investing in a franchise may be something to consider.

So, you’ve heard about franchises and know that the sandwich shop around the corner, the local gas station and even your dry cleaner are all franchises, but you’re not quite sure what that means. Well, we’ve taken a page out of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) website resources to help explain the basics of, “What Is a Franchise?”

A franchise is defined as the agreement or license between two legally independent parties which gives:
• A person or group of people (franchisee) the right to market a product or service using the trademark or trade name of another business (franchisor)

• The franchisee the right to market a product or service using the operating methods of the franchisor

• The franchisee the obligation to pay the franchisor fees for these rights

• The franchisor the obligation to provide rights and support to franchisees

Franchisor:
Owns trademark or trade name
Provides Support:
-Financing (sometimes)
-Advertising & Marketing
-Training
Receives Fees

Franchisee:
Uses trademark or trade name
Expands business with franchisors support
Pays fees

There are various types of franchises and business formats. It is important to conduct research on these types and formats to identify those that are of most interest and align with your personal and professional goals.

Business format franchises use a franchisor’s product, service and trademark, but also the complete method to conduct the business itself, such as the marketing plan and operations manuals. Business format franchises are the most common type of franchise.

Types of Franchise Arrangements:
Because so many franchisors, industries and range of investments are possible, there are different types of franchise arrangements available to a business owner.

Single Unit Franchise:
A single-unit franchise is an agreement where the franchisor grants a franchisee the rights to open and operate ONE franchise unit. This is the simplest and most common type of franchise. It is possible, however, for a franchisee to purchase additional single-unit franchises once the original franchise unit begins to prosper. This is then considered a multiple, single-unit relationship.

Multi-Unit Franchise:
• Area development
• Master franchise (sub-franchising)

Area Development Franchise:
Under an area development franchise, a franchisee has the right to open more than one unit during a specific time, within a specified area. For example, a franchisee may agree to open 5 units over a five year period in a specified territory. The franchisor grants the franchisee exclusive rights for the development of that territory.

Master Franchise:
A master franchise agreement gives the franchisee more rights than an area development agreement. In addition to having the right and obligation to open and operate a certain number of units in a defined area, the master franchisee also has the right to sell franchises to other people within the territory, known as sub-franchises. Therefore, the master franchisee takes over many of the tasks, duties and benefits of the franchisor, such as providing support and training, as well as receiving fees and royalties.

For more helpful resources on franchising, visit IFA.

For more information on franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun visit ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net

 

 

Starting a Franchise: Buy New or Established?

If you’re looking for a great launch pad to owning a small business, a franchise can be an ideal place to blast off. We’ll help you reduce the hemming and hawing over whether to buy a new or existing franchise.

Becoming a franchisee can be a great path to entrepreneurship. Franchisees leverage the strength of an established brand and a tried and true business model while the franchisor serves as a source of capital—an asset that is particularly welcome in today’s tight fiscal atmosphere. So how should you become a franchisee? Should you start fresh or set the quick trajectory of buying an business from a seasoned franchise entrepreneur?

Opting to Buy an Existing Franchise

There is a general sense among buyers that investing in an existing franchise location is easier. That may or may not be the case,
depending on the specifics of the location, but it’s true that there are several pluses of investing in an existing franchise as you chart the steps to purchasing a franchise: 

1. History

An existing franchise opportunity can be a turnkey business acquisition. It’s already been in operation so the seller can demonstrate a performance history showing profitability as well as concrete numbers that will help you figure out it’s cash flow and make project future performance. These are two key elements in assessing value. 

2. Flexibility

There my very well be a set fee structure for new franchise locations, which will impinge on the buyer’s ability to negotiate on terms or price. But buying a franchise business for sale puts you right across the table from the seller with more ability to negotiate the terms and maximize the return on your investment.

3. Client Base

An established and loyal client base is a massive benefit for a franchise entrepreneur. Existing franchise business for sale strikes a quick route for new owners to take advantage of an established customer since the franchise brand gives customers a sense of consistency, tapping into memories of positive experiences with the franchise brand. 

Reasons to go with a New Franchise

With a new franchise location, you take on higher risks along with higher rewards. While every franchise business opportunity is different, new franchisees often find out that building a new location provides merits that simply aren’t available with an existing operation: 

1. Lower Purchase Price

New franchise companies for sale are often a better deal because you aren’t buying existing cash flow from an established customer base and you aren’t paying for “goodwill” value often expected by sellers of existing franchises. If the new franchise is successful, you’ll reap the financial benefits of the franchise history, not the seller.

2. Tabula Rasa

A new business offers a fresh start to buyers; a franchise business opportunity unaffected by the habits, preferences and/or flaws of a previous owner. Although you’ll have to put your nose to the grindstone to forge your business in an untried community, you don’t have to worry about skeletons popping out from closets of previous businesses.  

3. Pristine Infrastructure

When you buy a new franchise, it’s likely that your equipment and facilities will also be new or at least newer than they would be if you bought an existing franchise. Out of date equipment isn’t always a deal-breaker, but in some sectors it’s important to ensure that the business has reliable machines and current designs.

To learn more about fun business opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Should I Use A Franchise Broker?

As an entrepreneur looking to purchase a franchise, it can be overwhelming to wade through the sheer number of franchise opportunities eager to welcome you into their system. Where do you start? How much will it cost? Which one do you pick? If you are traveling this road alone, you’ll be challenged to answer these questions on your own. An alternative to scouring through all that information by yourself could be to engage the services of a franchise broker/consultant to help you along the way.

What is a franchise broker/consultant?
A franchise broker (also known as a franchise consultant) is an individual who acts as an intermediary between the franchisor and an individual interested in buying a franchise. In most cases a franchise broker is not directly employed by the franchisor and represents many different franchises. There is no fee incurred by the individual interested in buying a franchise. The franchise brokers are paid a commission by the franchisor.

How can a franchise consultant help me?
There are an estimated 3000+ franchises available in the United States today. A franchise broker can help you select among these various franchise options. Typically, a broker will review the amount of money you have to invest and steer you toward opportunities that match with your interests and resources. They may also help you complete applications and the paperwork necessary to complete the franchise sale.

What should I know about franchise brokers?
There is a lot of debate in the franchise industry about the pluses and minuses of using a franchise broker. If you are thinking of using a franchise broker, here are a few tips to consider:
• Have a clear understanding of their services including their compensation
• Ask a lot of questions regarding their experience
• Be comfortable with their approach

A good broker will have a number of different options available and be well informed on the business model and type of candidate the franchisor is looking for in a franchisee. Also, remember that a franchise broker is only part of the process. You will also want to work closely with your accountant and a qualified attorney to help you navigate the financial and legal aspects that are critical to your success.

Beware!

Some brokers may claim that the franchises they represent have been screened and meet certain standards; however, some brokers will represent any franchisor willing to pay them a commission regardless of the performance of that franchise system.

Some brokers may steer you toward a more costly franchise to beef up their own commission.

Some brokers may make certain representations about income. Earnings claims may not be true or can be misleading. Note that many franchisors prohibit their sales representatives from making earnings representations.

And run away from the broker that….
– speaks poorly of franchises not in his/her portfolio
– promotes franchise brokering as your best franchise opportunity
– uses heavy-handed and high pressure sales tactics

While a good franchise broker can help you make a more informed decision, it’s important that you are comfortable with both their knowledge and approach. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. If you choose to work with a franchise broker, it is important to work with one who has YOUR best interests in mind. You have to trust that this individual will guide you toward the franchise opportunity that most closely meets your personal and professional goals.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Franchise SEO Tips

Google Toolbar

Find out how well your pages rank on Google with the Google Toolbar. Each page on your site has a Page Rank, which is Google’s way of saying which sites are more likely or less likely to yield useful information. The page rank is used to determine which sites to list highest in their results.  Getting your franchise listed above competing franchises in search results will give you an edge over other franchises in your market space. Use the toolbar to track the progress of your search engine optimization efforts.

1) Here’s where you can download the Google Toolbar.

2) Here’s a Google Toolbar support article and video on how to activate the Page Rank widget that comes with the toolbar.

Specialized Google Searches

Your franchise can quickly find out how your site is performing on Google by typing simple search code into a Google search. Here are 3 examples:

1) Find links back to your site. The Google search phrase (excluding quotation marks) is: “link:http://YourPage.net”. The best links to your site are those valued by readers interested in topics related to the products or services your franchise offers. These sites are likely to generate visits from your franchise’s target audience.

2) Find Google-listed pages. The Google search phrase is: “site: http://YourPage.net”. This search will display every page from your site that Google has listed.

3) Find Google-listed pages with a particular keyword. The Google search phrase is: “YourKeyword site:http://YourPage.net”.

Directory Listings

A good way to quickly spread links to your site and boost awareness of the services your franchise offers is to list on directory sites. Used by Google to determine which sites are most useful, links to your site increase your Google page rank and boost your placement, causing you to be listed higher in search results. Three directories which can be especially helpful are Google Plus PlacesBing Business Portal, and dmoz.org. They are used heavily by customers searching for local services. You can build a feature-rich listing with photos, promotional text, a list of services and more.

Keyword text

The search terms that your site is listed under, or “keywords”, are most likely to drive search traffic when they are 2-3 word phrases. Since search engines count the number of times keywords are used on a page to determine a page’s relevance for a given keyword, it is tempting to pack page text with them. However, don’t forget that the most important visitor to your site is a customer, not a search engine! This is why it’s better to stress clear writing over keyword repetition.

Anchor Text

The text contained in links on your site, or “anchor text”, is of special importance to search engines as it is your designation of what is contained on pages of your site. Not only is it good user experience to blanket the site with pathways between pages, but anchor text repeating the same keywords as those found on the linked pages increases the weight of those keywords. Anchor text can also lead to an expanded listing that shows the sections of your site like this example for the corporate site of High Touch High Tech:

Expanded Search Engine Listing

An example of a link which would result in a link in an expanded search listing for Franchise Info (see above) would be: Franchise Info.  The HTML for the link is:  <a href=””>Franchise Info</a>.  We hope that you have found this article useful to set you on the path to effective search engine marketing.  Keep in mind that SEO is a job as big as the web itself, but that steady, regular efforts will pay off in increased targeted traffic to your web site which will result in increased sales and revenue.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

 

5 Tips for Getting Started with Facebook

Tip 1: Engage Your Target Audience

The popularity of a franchisee’s page—and on Facebook it’s all about popularity—will depend on whether or not those who have liked your page are compelled to interact with it.

 

The level of interaction, or as Facebook terms it, “engagement”, will determine a franchisee’s placement on the news feeds of those who have liked the page. Top placement on news feeds will ensure that your posts are being read, and not lost in the veritable sea of messages channeled through Facebook every day. Engagement is determined by the frequency, quantity, and quality of Facebook users doing things such as posting comments and liking your posts.

The first step in engaging your target audience is to figure out who they are! It seems like common sense, but this vital step is so often overlooked. The better a franchisee has identified the demographic of their audience, the more they will be able to write posts that appeal to that audience. Almost without exception, your target audience will be your most likely customers, since the goal of most Facebook company pages is to sell a product or service. Let those reading your posts get a sense that they know who you are—it will be part of what compels them to make a decision to buy. Entertain them while providing information that establishes you as an expert in your industry.

Tip 2: Covers, Covers, Covers!

Facebook has added a new main image layout which allows franchisees with Facebook pages to upload a picture which will be displayed in HUGE format at 850 x 315 pixels. Since your covers are the first thing that visitors will see and most likely the last thing they will forget when they come to a your page, it is crucial that your cover be carefully considered. If your franchise’s corporate office does not provide you with branded cover images for Facebook, it’s a good idea to hire a professional designer. Upload 5 or more covers to your Facebook page’s photo library. That way, users visiting your page can browse through a thematically related series and you can easily select a different cover to “freshen up” your franchise page on periodically, showing visitors something memorable on their next visit.

A franchisee’s cover should epitomize the spirit of the product or service that a franchise sells and use elements from the franchise’s brand manual. If your franchise does not provide a brand manual that simplifies the process of creating your own branded materials, it’s probably time to renegotiate your deal or find another franchise.

3. Install Apps that Add Value to Your Page

The thing which will bring your followers back to your page again and again is value. What’s in it for them? Can your franchise location provide information or functionality to users that they they can’t get elsewhere? This is what we mean when we talk about value as it concerns the web. It’s the “why” in “why visit?” Apps can supply the “why”.

It could very well be that an app developer has already created something that you can use for free which will allow you to represent some of the value that your franchise is known for providing to consumers. These are the best apps to install. To search available apps on Facebook, go to your home page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner of the site and you’ll see “Applications” on the left navigation. Any app which feeds new information on an ongoing basis relating to a franchise’s product or service is an excellent choice since it will “refresh” a franchisee’s page’s content automatically. Apps are displayed prominently on the page just below the cover.

4. Derive Strategy from Usage Statistics

Facebook provides statistics about interaction with your page that are essential for determining which parts of your page are generating interest and which parts are not. Dubbed “Insights”, they are a crucial feedback loop for franchisees. The activity on a web site often seems invisible to the site owner; unlike a brick and mortar store, you cannot meet and talk with the people who are visiting your establishment. Insights makes a franchisee’s customers real, showing their habits and interests, and counting them as they come and go.

In Insights, you can see the date of each post, its title, its reach, the number of engaged users, the number of people talking about it, and its virality. Virality is the percentage of people who have created a story from your post out of the total number of people who have seen it. Use this information to coax new content into the same areas as successful content. Experiment with novel content to find what works. There’s a chance you’ll find your most effective approach this way.

5. Make Your Product or Service Visual with Photos

“Seeing is believing.” “A picture is worth a thousand words.” These sayings capture our tendency to understand and appreciate through visualization. While many people want to read about something to understand it, a great number of people prefer to see it. Seeing a picture is much quicker and more likely to forge the emotional connection that stimulates sales. Therefore, make sure you have populated your page with a handful of photo sets. Facebook makes it simple to upload and arrange photos into thematically related “Albums”. There’s a good chance that your franchise support system will have already provided photos for franchisees to use, so take advantage of this opportunity.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Trends in Franchising

Trends in Franchising

Trends in franchising are ever evolving as the economy ebbs and flows. As a franchisor, you need to keep your opportunity relevant to the demands of consumers while also remaining an attractive option for prospective franchisees. It is critical that you keep your fingers on the pulse of what drives customers to purchase your product and prospective franchisees to invest in your brand. In today’s blog post we are going to explore trends in what prospective franchisees want, where they come from, and the current industries that pique their interests.

What They Want
Prospective franchisees want to, “buy a job”, be their own boss and provide for themselves and their families. They don’t necessarily want to make the sandwiches or travel from home to home to deliver a service; more and more they want to manage a company and employ a professional staff so they can “steer the ship” and focus on strategy and growth.

So how do they know which franchise is right for them? Prospective franchisees will scour franchise directories or go directly to the website of the franchisor to collect the necessary information to help them make this life-changing decision. And the top questions they want answered include:
– What might their potential earnings be?
– What is the initial investment amount?
– Is there strong brand name recognition?
– What kind of training and ongoing support will they receive?

Franchisors should be prepared to answer these questions and more to ensure prospective franchisees will be equipped with the necessary information to make the decision that’s right for them.

Where They Come From
Changes in the population are affecting not only who consumers are today but also the available labor market. As the industry trends in various directions, franchisors must adapt to the ever changing pool from which prospective franchisees can be found.

We have compiled a list of various sub-groups from which prospective franchisees and potential consumers may be found.

Millennials — This generation, whose numbers surpass even those of the Baby Boomers, are coming into their own as a potent economic force as they begin their careers and raise families. This group of media-savvy consumers raised on the Internet presents a huge opportunity for franchisors that can provide goods and services related to their growing needs.

Baby Boomers — As this “forever young” generation ages, it will demand many new services: health and fitness programs; financial and retirement planning and advice; assistance with their aging parents; child care for their younger children and educational services for their college-bound children; legal and tax services and more.

Women — More and more women want to strike out on their own, for a myriad of reasons including scheduling flexibility, the desire to advance to higher positions, for increased challenge and even for a healthier work environment. Many of these women choose franchises rather than entirely new business concepts because new businesses have much higher failure rates than established ones.

Minorities — The U.S. is well on the road to having a “New Majority” as the ranks of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians continue to grow. From food to fashion, real estate to business services, as members of these groups continue their rise in numbers and economic clout, their needs will continue to expand.

Military Veterans — Veterans who are completing their military service or returning home from overseas offer franchisors finely honed leadership skills, personal discipline and comfort with technology. With over 2,000 veterans already actively engaged in franchise ownership through IFA’s VetFran program, interest in becoming franchise owners will only continue to grow.


Seniors
— People are living longer, more active lives today, a trend that will only accelerate as Boomers age. Healthcare-related services delivered at home or in assisted living facilities, will continue to grow. Home renovations for seniors, health and fitness programs tailored to their aging bodies will expand in the years ahead.

Trending Industries
As franchisors, we would love to promise prospective franchisees that they simply could not fail if they invested in our franchise concept; however, both the law and reality prevent us from having this conversation. Since you can’t simply say, “you’ll be successful and make lots of money”, there are a few things you can do to highlight the benefits of buying into your brand and business model. Let’s take a look at which industries are trending and considered “hot!”

Recession-proof brands are understandably popular in any economic environment. These types of businesses include hair cutting, tax preparation, accounting, shipping and packaging, child and pet care and services, auto maintenance and repair, home repair and renovation, computer-related services, real estate, and staffing and employment. Used goods including clothing, sports equipment, and electronic games also tend to do well in any economy.

“Green” businesses, already on the rise, received a big boost with the federal and state governments pushing for increased funding for the energy sector. Energy-reduction services for both homes and the commercial sector will continue to expand. “Green” buildings, made with recycled materials and using less energy present opportunities for handyman franchises, and as the market matures more and more opportunities will appear.

Fitness, health, and personal care. This sector, which includes gyms, fitness centers, nutrition, recreation and sports, spas, tanning centers, and “healthy” fast food, provides targeted opportunities for each of the demographic groups described above. The increase in childhood obesity has given rise to fitness centers and programs that combine fun and education for the younger set.

No business is free from risks, but having a firm grasp of current trends – and where they are likely to go in the coming years – is a big step in the direction of long-term franchise success.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Best Use of Franchisee Email Marketing

Maintain Brand Integrity

One of the main reasons to buy a franchise instead of starting an independent business is that you benefit from the widespread brand recognition built by your franchise.  The sheer number of geographically distributed franchisees in a franchise system exerts an enormous influence on consumers.  When planning your email marketing campaign, it is essential to leverage your franchise’s existing brand in the graphics and messaging content of your email template.

Ask the marketing department at your corporate office if they provide content for franchisees on a regular basis.  For example, High Touch High Tech (ht2) provides a fully branded template on an monthly basis that can be quickly edited by franchisees before sending.

Provide Value to Your Subscribers

Whether or not a subscriber reads your email and clicks through to your web site depends on whether the content of your campaign is helpful, informative and even entertaining to your core group of customers.  If a subscriber has fun while also learning something useful—all the better.  Valuable content will also allow your mailing list to grow by decreasing the likelihood that recipents will take themselves off of your list.

Ask the support team at the corporate office of your franchise if they provide content for franchisees on a regular basis.  For example, ht2 writes original content on a monthly basis for all franchisees to use.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

 

Since there are a number of low cost email campaign systems (i.e. Vertical ResponseConstant Contact, and MailChimp) available on the Internet, why figure it out yourself?  Vertical Response, the system used by High Touch High Tech, provides the most user-friendly interface.  It also supports dynamic list management, social media, easy editing by less tech savvy users, and provides subscribe boxes to put on your web site.  Dynamic list management means that you can create a mailing list and let recipients unsubscribe automatically.  Also, if an email address is not valid, resulting in a ‘bounce’, it is automatically removed from the list.  All of these features translate into giving you more time as a franchisee to craft a carefully considered message that is reinforced by your franchise’s influential brand.

Maximize the Power of  Your Web Presence

Your email marketing campaign is an ideal opportunity to provide links to other aspects of your web presence like your social media page, YouTube channel, and franchisee web site, increasing their potential to exert an influence on your target group of customers.  Unlike your other web efforts, an email campaign ‘pushes’ information to your audience—they receive your email in their inbox without having to decide to do so.

The ht2 E-News template has professionally designed graphics that emphasize our Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and web sites.  Franchisees are able to add links to their sites and Facebook pages.

Following these best practices, and getting a helping hand from your corporate office, gives your email campaign the best chances of resulting in sales for your business without taking away valuable time from other marketing efforts.  So what are you waiting for?  Get started with your email campaign now!

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.