In 2014, Tim and Julie Kenney purchased Clay’s Ace Hardware, a mainstay of south Fort Collins since the original owners, Jim and Lisa Clay, started the store in 1998. Tim and Julie felt the entrepreneurial call, but did not necessarily want to start their own business, so they began looking for businesses to purchase. Their focus rested on a brand that was recognizable, and an existing business that had a culture built around service to the customers and community. They learned that Tim and Lisa Clay were considering selling their store located on Harmony Road in Fort Collins, however the Clays cared deeply about their employees and customers and only wanted to sell to someone with the same values. Tim appreciated this and said, “It’s the idea that people are coming to our store for more than an item.”
By Jim Mastandrea of MFV Expositions
What many fail to consider is becoming a franchise owner. With franchising, people have a built-in support system, a company behind them, a proven brand, financial help, training and more. When people start their own company alone, they usually make mistakes, but as a franchisee, the company keeps you from those mistakes.
The success of the franchise business model is backed up by impressive statistics too.
• Franchised businesses provided more than 90.1 million jobs in 2016 – a greater number of jobs than all manufacturers of durable goods, such as computers, cars, trucks, planes, communications equipment, primary metals, wood products, and instruments.
• Colorado boasts more than 16,000 franchised establishments, with more than 171,000 jobs in the state being a result of franchised businesses (10.7% of Colorado jobs).
Denver will soon be the epicenter of franchise opportunities as thousands of entrepreneurs gather for Franchise Expo West at the Colorado Convention Center Thursday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. Potential business owners will have the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with executives from more than 200 franchise brands at nearly every investment level in a multitude of industries.
Follow these three tips to make your time at Franchise Expo West a success:
Take advantage of the more than 60 free seminars, five in-depth workshops, and three specialty seminars being held throughout the three-day event. These educational opportunities, most of them free, will help you make the right decisions during your franchise research.
2. Ask questions. It’s important to meet and ask questions of the company executives, so go with the intention of speaking to, and not just looking at, the franchisors. View this as an interview, not merely a chance to stock up on free pens and stress balls. Have a short list of questions that you will ask each prospect. Some questions worth considering may include: the initial investment and on-going payments required; the amount of support and training provided new franchisees and then ongoing; range of product or service offerings; locations that are available; current franchisees’ earnings; how many franchisees are in business five years after opening; what’s the biggest reason for a franchise success and failure.
3. Review requirements. After the festival, take the time to review your notes and the literature that you collected. It’s probable that you will have eliminated a few of your original prospects, confirmed your interest in several others, and added a few new companies into the mix. As soon as possible after the event, schedule follow-up meetings to learn more about those franchisors that are still in contention.
For the past four years, Franchise Expo West was held in Anaheim, Calif. Last year, more than 8,000 attendees from 35 states and 24 countries attended, and this year, even more are expected.
Franchise Expo West costs $10 to register in advance and $20 at the door, but those who register at www.franchiseexpowest.com and use promo code OPR can receive one complimentary pass to attend the show. On-site registration is also available, but pre-registration is recommended.
10 Amazing Ways to Motivate Your Retail Sales Team
We will talk about these questions and more when we explore 10 amazing ways to motivate your retail sales team to have the best holiday ever. Be ready to engage with your fellow retailers in this interactive, fun session about how to make the holidays a very special, rewarding season for you, your team and your customers.
Annette Pedersen – Summit View Retail Solutions
After spending over 30 years in the specialty women’s and men’s apparel business, Annette Pedersen decided to take her passion for training and retail knowledge to independent retailers throughout the United States. As a regional vice president for a national women’s retailer she was responsible for up to 120 store locations and prided herself in building revenue and sales by focusing on the development of teams, providing training in leadership, merchandising/display, hiring/training, mastery of customer service, marketing and inventory management. Having graduated with a Masters in Organizational Leadership, she has much to teach and share with others. Additionally, she can relate firsthand with the struggles of independent retailers since she owns her own better women’s consignment boutique. Her retailing consulting firm, Summit View Retail Solutions, strives to build financial security for independent retailers by providing them the best expertise in the industry.