Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2013 - Page 26

Grow Market Lead The discussion included topics such as the ideal franchise candidate, profiling tools, the award process, recruitment budgets, conversion rates, cost per sale, and the importance of adapting all of those into a strategic development plan—and sticking to it. Tanner won the panel’s “best quip” honors with his response to a question on how to create a recruitment budget. “Setting a budget is like carving Jell-O,” he said. Day 1, Wednesday afternoon Wednesday afternoon saw the launch of educational breakout sessions. A unique twist this year featured a group of heavy-hitting multi-unit franchisees on stage discussing hot topics as the audience listened in. Multi-unit operator Aziz Hashim (Popeyes, Domino’s, Checkers/Rally’s, and PetValu) facilitated the session, which delved into topics as diverse as employee retention, upselling customers, and maintaining brand culture during growth, to closing units and working more closely with franchisors. The “Growing to 10 Units” breakout session, facilitated by Sean Falk, featured Randy Allen, CFO at the Morelock-Ross Group of Companies; Dan Burrell, an area director for Jersey Mike’s; Gary Avants, a Zaxby’s franchisee, and Karim Khoja, a Dunkin’ Donuts and BaskinRobbins franchisee. In this wide-ranging, fast-paced 75-minute panel, they discussed the pros and cons of outsourcing, maintenance and repair, insurance, the value of constantly interviewing for 24 Franchiseupdate Iss u e II, 2 0 1 3 “You don’t have to change the world, but you can change one person’s world.” — David Akers new talent, real estate and leases, lending relationships, and how to manage the complexity that comes with growth. Other afternoon sessions included “Creating Infrastructure To Support 20–30 Units,” “Building Customer Loyalty and Profits,” “Franchisee Exit Strategies and Succession Planning,” and “Show Me the Money: Franchise Finance Pitch Session,” featuring a panel of franchise lenders. The Expo Hall officially opened on Wednesday afternoon, providing a venue for attendees to gather several times during the conference, attracted by suppliers offering solutions for both franchisors and franchisees—as well as by ample food and drink. Suppliers and franchise brands in the 200 booths rubbed elbows with franchisees, pitching their wares and answering questions. The Expo Hall was a sold-out success, the largest ever for the annual conference. Thursday, Day 2 A continental breakfast began the day, followed by a general session and more details about the new “Franchising Cares” initiative. Conference Chair Sean Falk introduced Laura Castelvi, senior manager for community outreach at the Semper Fi Fund, who provided more details about the organization. Since its establishment in 2004, Semper Fi has issued more than 56,000 grants totaling more than $74 million to more than 9,300 injured Marines and their families. NFL kicker and four-time Pro Bowler David Akers took the stage and encouraged the audience to “get outside of yourself.” He said this was possible by giving “money, time, resources, and passion.” Akers, who has scored more points than anyone in the NFL since 2000 (although he had a terrible 2012), said he’d planned to be a teacher before finding his way to an NFL career. His interest in helping children led him to establish the David Akers Kicks for Kids organization in 2001. Soft-spoken, and not nearly as big as most expected for an NFL player, Akers urged the audience to “invest in someone.” He’s adopted three children overseas, and said people don’t have to change the world, “but you can change one person’s world.” Next up was franchise economist Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata, who delivered his assessment of the state of the current economy and how it is affecting consumers and business owners. “There’s still consumer debt, recovery takes time,” he said. Despite the persistence of consumer debt, a