Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue II, 2017 - Page 8

Chairman’sNote Welcome to the Conference! V ery few of us start out in franchising as large, multi-unit or multi-brand franchisees. I may have more than 700 units and numerous brands today, but when I started out I had one, financed by an SBA loan. In the years that followed, I always kept pushing forward, not allowing obstacles to block my path. We struggle, we learn, and we grow continually throughout our business careers, helped along by our fran- chisors and fellow franchisees. Yet no matter how much we learn or grow, there is always more. That’s the nature of the entrepreneur. Learning is one of the biggest reasons I’ve been a regu- lar at Franchise Update’s Multi-Unit Franchising Confer- ence. Now in its 17th year, the MUFC has become a must- attend event for any franchisee interested in growth and improving their operations. The conference kicks off on Sunday, April 23, with a charity golf event. In addition to providing a fabulous day on the course and the opportunity to network and have some fun, the event raises many thousands of dollars for charity. Sunday evening features a franchisee-only opening social at Carmine’s restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. It begins at 6 p.m. with a first-timer meet and greet with the MUFC Advisory Board, and opens up to all franchisees at 7. I’m excited about meeting and introducing our first keynote speaker on Monday morning: Marcus Lemonis, star of the CNBC show “The Profit,” as well as an accom- plished and renowned businessman, investor, and philan- thropist. Along with many other longtime fans, I’m looking forward to being inspired by his talk. Our Tuesday keynoter, Ronnie Lott, also is well-known with plenty of fans for his accomplishments as a Hall of Fame defensive star and 4-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers. Today his interests have turned to inspiring others to push through barriers to attain their goals, and to community outreach and philanthropic work. Another big reason I attend is the high quality of the educational sessions and panels. This year’s topics include how to be the employer of choice in your market; two ses- sions on securing financing (under $10 million and above $20 million); scaling your organization for growth; M&A as a growth strategy; evaluating FDDs; FACs and franchi- see associations; remodeling; lease negotiations; and more. There’s something for everybody, whatever your current need, challenge, or interest. 6 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE I SS UE II , 2 01 7 There also is a general session on another important topic for 2017 and beyond: legislation and its impact on franchisees. The panel will include Aziz Hashim, last year’s IFA chair, longtime multi-brand franchisee, and managing partner of NRD Capital. Issues on the table include the NLRB’s joint employer rulings, overtime rules, healthcare reform, and minimum wage. Checking out new brands and suppliers also is a big rea- son I attend each year. The sold-out Exhibit Hall includes not only franchisors pitching the benefits of adding their brand to your portfolio, but franchise-focused vendors and suppliers whose offerings can solve many of your most pressing problems and boost your bottom line. Need advice? Tuesday afternoon features two “rooms”: The Money Room and The Law Room. The Money Room provides an opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential lenders to discuss financial solutions and get ad- vice on funding your growth. The Law Room, new this year, is an opportunity to meet with franchise attorneys, also one-on-one, to discuss your specific concerns and get legal advice. The annual MVP presentation, where we recognize the achievements of our fellow multi-unit franchisees, is an- other highlight for me. Presented at a general session, the nearly dozen awards are for multi-brand growth, achieving the American Dream, community involvement, husband- and-wife team, innovation within a brand, and more. Wednesday morning’s closing session addresses ongo- ing external threats to the franchise business model, from over-regulation at the federal level to minimum wage hikes in cities. While last November’s election promised a relax- ing of several onerous regulations, the new administration is off to a slower start than many had expected. We hope Washington improves and good changes start happening. Hosted by the IFA’s @OurFranchise and Franchise Action Network, the panel will include IFA Chair Shelly Sun, co- founder and CEO of BrightStar Care. Get involved! I’d like to wrap up by thanking all the previous MUFC chairs, including Michael Kulp, my immediate predecessor. I’m both humbled and proud to be part of this illustrious chain, to have grown so much from my days as a single- unit operator, now able to give back to those on the way up. I look forward to seeing you in Vegas! Guillermo Perales CEO/Founder, Sun Holdings 2017 Conference Chair