Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2013 - Page 28

Grow Market Lead diligence and contracts. “Due diligence should go beyond just the financial side of things to include really understanding the franchise brand,” said Hashim. That includes the brand’s culture— something panelists agreed most PE firms don’t do sufficiently. Two rounds of breakout sessions filled the rest of the afternoon. Sessions covered timely topics such as cost control, negotiating leases, adding brands, local store marketing, and unit profitability. The session on driving profitability by controlling costs delved into how franchisees can maximize their strengths and save time by automating processes for sorting, managing, and paying bills, for example. Elsewhere, seasoned franchisees talked about avoiding and dealing with lease negotiation pitfalls. Franchisees Gary Grace (Supercuts) and Laurel Wilkerson (Marco’s Pizza) shared firsthand stories of how they deal with landlords, fixed renewal rates, personal guarantees, and more. Attendees had one final chance to visit with the exhibitors on Thursday evening. Judging from the crowds, the level of activity, and the buzz in the room, franchisees and exhibitors alike appeared pleased with how business had gone inside the Expo Hall during the week. Day 3, the checkered flag As the conference drew to a close Friday morning, Russ Umphenour led a closing session entitled “Great Brands + Great Franchise Partners = Franchise Partner Profitability.” Umphenour, who once operated 775 Arby’s, today is CEO of Focus Brands. His long and successful 26 Franchiseupdate Iss u e II, 2 0 1 3 history in franchising provided him with many personal examples of success and failure he used to illustrate his points. Umphenour spoke about the importance of setting and achieving goals, and how franchise brands and their franchisees are partners and should be working together to create great brands. “Always do what’s best for the brand,” he advised. “This benefits all.” It was the perfect finale to a fantastic week. Driving profitability requires a steady hand and a foot on the accelerator. Those who succeed in franchising do so Find out more about this year’s event online and watch for det