The 2018 Multi-Unit 50: Ranking the Most Multi-Friendly Brands

Courtesy of Franchising.com

Original Article Click link for original article

Multi-brand franchising is a growing phenomenon. Some franchisees are not content with operating one brand so they add one, two, three, or more other brands to their portfolios. Our annual Multi-Brand 50 issue provides data supplied by FRANdata that gives insight to this growing operational approach. Here are 2018’s rankings of the country’s largest multi-brand operators, along with the brands they’ve chosen.

Top 50 Brands by Number of Multi-Unit Franchisees

RANK BRAND MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEES SINGLE-UNIT FRANCHISEES TOTAL FRANCHISEES
1 SUBWAY 4,151 3,773 7,924
2 MCDONALD’S 1,996 385 2,381
3 DUNKIN’ DONUTS 1,042 519 1,561
4 THE UPS STORE 818 2,311 3,129
5 AFC (ADVANCED FRESH CONCEPTS) 784 1,727 2,511
6 LIBERTY TAX SERVICE 732 939 1,671
7 LITTLE CAESARS 725 92 817
8 H&R BLOCK 668 771 1,439
9 DQ GRILL & CHILL/DQ TREAT 625 1,807 2,432
10 GREAT CLIPS 580 350 930
11 HEALTH MART PHARMACY 574 3,030 3,604
12 ACE HARDWARE 530 2,544 3,074
13 DOMINO’S PIZZA 522 272 794
14 FIREHOUSE SUBS 494 18 512
15 BURGER KING 473 389 862
16 BASKIN-ROBBINS 451 817 1,268
17 VISION SOURCE 433 2,263 2,696
18 JIMMY JOHN’S 426 343 769
19 HISSHO 418 17 435
20 JACKSON HEWITT TAX SERVICE 413 145 558
21 CENTURY 21 355 848 1,203
22 TACO BELL 343 344 687
23 SPORT CLIPS 320 139 459
24 KFC 302 461 763
25 ANYTIME FITNESS 279 1,523 1,802
26 WENDY’S 273 152 425
27 PAPA JOHN’S 272 443 715
28 EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS 262 297 559
29 PAPA MURPHY’S 250 263 513
30 COLDWELL BANKER 247 542 789
31 SUPERCUTS 240 140 380
32 JERSEY MIKE’S SUBS 234 191 425
33 CHICK-FIL-A 222 1,348 1,570
34 GNC 218 246 464
35 FANTASTIC SAMS 213 308 521
36 SONIC 210 282 492
37 DENNY’S 181 326 507
37 PIZZA HUT 181 117 298
39 COLD STONE CREAMERY 177 407 584
39 ZAXBY’S 177 26 203
41 AUNTIE ANNE’S 175 319 494
41 MIDAS 175 286 461
43 ARBY’S 172 276 448
44 EUROPEAN WAX CENTER 161 104 265
45 SMOOTHIE KING 159 226 385
46 WINGSTOP 155 132 287
47 JIFFY LUBE 151 160 311
48 CULVER’S 149 242 391
49 HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER 147 37 184
49 POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN 147 606 753
50 MIRACLE-EAR 144 19 163

Source: FRANdata. Brands with 25 or fewer franchisees were excluded.

Top 50 Brands By Percentage of Multi-Unit Franchisees

RANK BRAND % MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEES MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEES SINGLE-UNIT FRANCHISEES TOTAL FRANCHISEES
1 PANERA BREAD 100.00% 27 0 27
2 FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES 98.37% 121 2 123
3 GATEWAY NEWSTANDS 97.33% 73 2 75
4 FIREHOUSE SUBS 96.48% 494 18 512
5 PANCHERO’S 96.43% 27 1 28
6 HISSHO SUSHI 96.09% 418 17 435
7 HWY 55 BURGERS SHAKES & FRIES 94.44% 51 3 54
8 JACK IN THE BOX 92.38% 97 8 105
9 CAPTAIN D’S 90.91% 60 6 66
10 PALM BEACH TAN 89.66% 26 3 29
11 APPLEBEE’S 89.19% 33 4 37
12 LITTLE CAESARS 88.74% 725 92 817
13 MIRACLE-EAR 88.34% 144 19 163
14 ZAXBY’S 87.19% 177 26 203
15 THE LITTLE GYM 86.54% 135 21 156
16 MCDONALD’S 83.83% 1,996 385 2,381
17 HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER 79.89% 147 37 184
18 AARON’S 79.38% 77 20 97
19 PLANET FITNESS 78.74% 137 37 174
20 GRANDY’S 77.78% 21 6 27
21 BARBERITOS 77.42% 24 7 31
22 HERTZ 76.74% 33 10 43
23 DUTCH BROS. 76.32% 58 18 76
24 CARL’S JR. 75.86% 88 28 116
25 FRONTIER ADJUSTERS 75.00% 123 41 164
26 JACKSON HEWITT TAX SERVICE 74.01% 413 145 558
27 PENN STATION EAST COAST SUBS 72.15% 57 22 79
28 FRESHII 71.70% 38 15 53
29 GODFATHER’S PIZZA 71.67% 129 51 180
30 BOJANGLES’ 71.05% 54 22 76
31 VALVOLINE INSTANT OIL CHANGE 70.37% 57 24 81
32 SPORT CLIPS 69.72% 320 139 459
33 RALLY’S 69.70% 23 10 33
34 BUDDY’S HOME FURNISHINGS 68.97% 20 9 29
35 DUNKIN’ DONUTS 66.75% 1,042 519 1,561
36 PACLEASE 66.67% 42 21 63
37 DOMINO’S PIZZA 65.74% 522 272 794
38 AVIS 65.31% 32 17 49
39 DEL’S LEMONADE 64.52% 20 11 31
40 WENDY’S 64.24% 273 152 425
41 BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE 63.86% 53 30 83
42 COST CUTTERS FAMILY HAIR SALON 63.77% 44 25 69
43 CHECKERS 63.55% 68 39 107
44 SUPERCUTS 63.16% 240 140 380
45 HARDEE’S 62.99% 80 47 127
46 ARMSTRONG MCCALL 62.50% 40 24 64
47 GREAT CLIPS 62.37% 580 350 930
48 ZPIZZA 62.16% 23 14 37
49 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK 61.15% 85 54 139
50 EUROPEAN WAX CENTER 60.75% 161 104 265

Source: FRANdata. Brands with 25 or fewer franchisees were excluded.

 

The #1 Cause Of Sleepless Nights When Buying A Franchise Is…

BY 

 

There’s something you need to know about buying a franchise, and it has to do with sleep.

It’s this: you’re going to have a lot of sleepless nights.

That’s because buying a franchise is a big step. It’s something you’ve never done.

And once you’ve done it-and you become a franchise owner, your life will never be the same. In a good way.

For one thing-if you do it right, being your own boss with a franchise can make quite a splash in your local area.

 

Sleepless Nights Should Be Expected

Buying a franchise is not an easy thing to do. It takes courage. Business ownership isn’t for everyone.

To be sure, you are going to have sleepless nights. It’s totally normal. Ask anyone who’s bought a franchise.

So what is the #1 cause of sleepless nights when buying a franchise?

It’s the fear that you bought the wrong franchise.

It’s those “what if’s?”

 

What If ???

Here are some of the thoughts that will be going through your head:

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opportunity

  • What if the franchise I buy is not the right kind of business for me?
  • What if it’s not right for my local area?
  • What if it turns out that their products/services aren’t very good after all?
  • What if the franchise salesperson or the franchise broker lied to me about certain things?
  • What if their “support” sucks?

Etc.

 

It’s Totally Normal

Again, it’s totally normal to have fear-and a lot of it, when you’re buying a franchise.

But, there are different levels of fear, as well as different causes of fear.

For instance, most of the causes of fear have to do with loss. In this case, a fear of losing money.

As for levels of fear, I’d put not being able to sleep at night pretty darn close to the top of the range.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

 

How To Remove Most Of The Fear So You Can Sleep Better At Night

If you want to sleep better at night when you’re buying a franchise, do these 3 things.

1. Only look at franchise opportunities that have a total investment amount that is under your budget.

That means that if you decided on a maximum budget of $225,000, don’t look at $300,000 opportunities-no matter what.

2. Learn how to do powerful research.

Buy a book and/or read in-depth articles that teach specific franchise research techniques. And use them.

3. Use professionals along with proven business tools along the way.

Remember; this may be the biggest investment decision you ever make. You need to be willing to pay for advice. Unbiased advice.

With this in mind, if you end up needing help with your business plan, hire a local CPA who specializes in small business, or invest in the top-selling business plan software in the world.

You also need to make sure you hire a franchise attorneyNot a business attorney-a franchise attorney.

Finally, arrange an unbiased, guaranteed franchise ownership consultation with me. I’ll work with you to make sure you didn’t miss something in your research, so you can feel confident in your decision.

So you can sleep well at night. 

Negotiating Franchise Agreements and Letters of Intent

Negotiating Franchise Agreements and Letters of Intent

The franchise industry is seeing one of the strongest growth spurts in history. Combine this with a strong economy and it is no wonder that current franchise owners are looking to expand, and those looking to invest in growth areas are eying the franchise world. With any investment, whether you are familiar with the industry or not, there are key considerations to keep top-of-mind as you seek to grow.

Look at some of the most recent articles published here and you will easily find a trending theme related to growth in the franchise world. Examples include a private equity firm investing in one of the largest Planet Fitness franchise groups and a former NFL linebacker looking to build out 100 Jersey Mike’s. In our last two articles, we also tackled growth from a variety of perspectives. We touched on how to be equipped for funding your growth, and growing without cannibalizing your sales.

One critical way to engage in smart growth, for both new comers to the industry and for more experienced players looking to build out their portfolios, is to pay close attention to the terms of your typically long-term franchise agreements. Lisa Payrow, partner with the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, shares that franchise owners can negotiate their franchise agreements, especially if you, as the potential franchise owner, have leverage in that the franchisor is a start-up and/or you are agreeing to open several franchise locations.  A few key provisions of the franchise agreement that can and should be negotiated include:

  • Territory size and exclusivity; and a right of first refusal for additional development
  • Decreased royalty fees or a “ramp up” of royalty fees over the first several years
  • Capped or decreased other fees, such as with respect to transfer and renewal
  • Strengthening your right to cure defaults prior to the franchisor’s right to terminate
  • Removing “cross-default” and liquidated damages provisions
  • Eliminating the requirement of a personal guarantee; or limiting the types of fees to which it applies and/or capping the potential liability

Perhaps you are looking to grow by buying a franchise location from another franchise owner. Here, Payrow suggests that you should use your letter of intent wisely as a negotiating tool. Of course, it is recommended that you always have your strategic advisors involved at this stage of the process, but consider your letter of intent as an entrée into negotiations for what you want in the deal. Payrow shares that the seller may also have some big-ticket items that they would like to negotiate, and knowing them up front will ensure that you have a mutual understanding of what is and is not negotiable. Key terms to address in your letter of intent include:

  • Purchase price and payment terms. As a buyer, consider whether to include a financing contingency or request seller financing.
  • Transaction structure, such as an asset or equity acquisition. Include a list of key assets to be acquired.
  • Earnout terms. Be very clear about when and how the earnout will be measured and earned. The seller should ultimately consider the earnout as a bonus rather than guaranteed purchase price.
  • Working capital targets and adjustments. Again, the parties need to be absolutely clear about what the targets are and how working capital is calculated.  We recommend using actual examples to illustrate any formulas.
  • Holdbacks and escrows, such as for indemnification, including amounts and terms.
  • Limitations on liability, including any baskets or caps, and the survival period for representations and warranties.
  • Terms of restrictive covenants, including non-compete and non-solicit restrictions. Also, the key terms of any post-closing employment agreements, if you will retain the seller’s principals or key employees.
  • Any specific indemnification that you will require, such as “our watch/your watch”, but reserving the right to ask for more based on due diligence.
  • Exclusivity or “no shop” period for negotiations and any “break up” fees.

Regardless of your method of growth, there are critical areas to consider, no matter the franchise entry level or type. Growth is not only through acquisition. In our next article, we will tackle what franchise owners need to be paying attention to if looking to exit a franchise brand or location by selling their franchise.

Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneurial owned business. Her unique perspective comes not only from her educational background; but, more importantly, from her experience as a second-generation family member employee of The Rawls Group – Business Succession Planners. For more information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or email info@rawlsgroup.com.

Sub Mission: Former NFL Linebacker Aims For 100 Jersey Mike’s

Angelo Crowell, a Jersey Mike’s multi-unit franchisee, credits a sit-down with his big brother for his fast start to franchising success.

Crowell, a former NFL linebacker, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2003, just as his brother Germane was retiring from football after five seasons with the Detroit Lions. That family heart-to-heart was a game changer for the younger Crowell, winner of the 2018 Influencer for Former Pro Athlete MVP Award.

“My brother asked me what would I do if football ended today,” Crowell recalls. “I didn’t have an answer for him. He told me I needed to get an answer and start working on my transition plan–now. That conversation started my thought process on what my next step would be when the game ended.”

His first franchise investment would be a familiar choice for Crowell, who grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C., one of six kids–all athletes. His mother cooked dinner Monday through Friday. On weekends Crowell went to Jersey Mike’s. The high school football star, who later earned All-ACC honors at the University of Virginia, loved the fresh grilled subs at Jersey Mike’s, where he talked sports–and what it takes to own your own business–with the brand’s local franchisee.

“When I started looking into franchising, the franchise models that were hot at the time were not going the way of the world. People were wanting healthier and fresher,” Crowell says. “I was already a fan of Jersey Mike’s, and once I understood the business model it just connected for us.”

Crowell and his wife Kim, his college sweetheart and now president of their company, Kalo Restaurant Group, opened their first Jersey Mike’s in November 2010, not long after Crowell left the NFL. Today they own 12 Jersey Mike’s in the Southeast in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, and have plans to rapidly expand to 50 within the next three years, and double that in the next 10.

The Crowells are not new to recognition for their achievements. In 2011, they earned Jersey Mike’s nod for Rookie of the Year, and have been recognized with local business awards for their contributions to the economic development of Tallahassee, the company’s home base.

While Crowell appreciates his experience in professional sports, he is most proud of being seen as more than just a former athlete in business. “When people find out you played sports, it is the first thing they want to talk about,” he says. “We are no longer looked at as being just a former-athlete owner. We put in the hard work, commitment, and dedication that it took to become successful.”

Angelo CrowellName: Angelo Crowell
Title: CEO, Kalo Restaurant Group
No. of units: 12 Jersey Mike’s Subs, 4 in development
Age: 36
Family: Wife Kim, daughter Kendall, son Austin
Years in franchising: 9 in November
Years in current position: 6

Personal

Formative influences/events:
1) Advice from my older brother. When I was entering the NFL, my older brother, who played five years for the Detroit Lions, was retiring. He told me to start working on my transition plan–now. That conversation planted the seed to start thinking about what my next step would be if the game ended today, and I started looking for ventures. 2) Attending the Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative (PAFI) conference when I was researching the franchise business. One of the first keynote speakers was Junior Bridgeman, a franchise mogul. Just hearing him speak about his transition from basketball and how he purchased three Wendy’s while he was still playing, was monumental for us. It set our vision to think big and execute. 3) Going out to Arizona, when I first joined the brand, to spend time with Jersey Mike’s franchisee Bill Mapes. He is still a mentor today. He talked about creating and managing the systems of business. It changed the game for me. I saw it from a bird’s-eye view–how important systems were to the bottom line of the organization and the management of multiple locations.

Key accomplishments:
Being respected as a business owner.

Work week:
Generally, I get up around 4:30 to 4:45 a.m. to get in an hour of exercise. I come back and shoot out emails and correspondence hours before emails start coming in. Generally, I have all my emails sent before 7 a.m. so I can focus on getting the kids ready for school, getting breakfast going, and seeing my wife off to work. I get into the office around 9 or 9:30 a.m. when emails are coming back in. From there, I am in the office, visiting locations, following up with my directors, looking at my stat sheets and inventory, and working on marketing. I don’t have a set schedule. I just try to check my checklist off on a day-to-day basis.

What are you reading?
Philosophies and Traditions by Russ Umphenour (RTM Restaurant Group).

Best advice you ever got:
About a year and a half ago, my area director said, “You have to believe in yourself or nobody will.” I am one of those people who will analyze myself up and down. That advice really forced me to put the pedal to the metal. I knew what I was doing, so I just needed to go for it–go big or go home.

What is your passion in business?
People. People are the fuel to the engine. Having great people around you to push the envelope for the organization and bring different perspectives to the business that you can trust and believe in.

Management

Business philosophy:
I don’t have a business philosophy right now.

Management method or style:
I’m definitely a driver. My wife is the analyst. She will analyze the information, but I’m the driver to get things done.

Greatest challenge:
Our people. Being able to find and retain good people who drive the organization to meet its goals.

How do others describe you?
Kim, my wife and president of our company, describes me as “driven, intense, and a true leader.” And adds, “He has been successful his entire life because of those three things and his focus.”

How do you hire and fire, train and retain?
I’m only hiring executives of the organization at this point. We are always looking for talent and we like to hire from within. We have hired managers off the street and taught them the Jersey Mike’s system, but we believe if you put your hard work in, grow the company, understand and cement the culture you want to build within the organization, it really comes from developing from within. We want to continue to grow and create opportunities for our general managers who want to become district managers, and DMs who want to become directors of operations, to continue to grow and push the organization further. That is really what it is about for us right now.

Bottom Line

Annual revenue:
$7 million-plus.

2018 goals:
We would like to have 18 to 20 stores.

Growth meter: How do you measure growth?
Top-line sales. We look at things globally now as a company to make sure we hit our top-line sales goals, cost of goods sold, and labor.

Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
Our goal is to get to 50 units within 3 years and, realistically, we would like to have 100-plus units in 10 years.

What are you doing to take care of your employees?
We pay above industry standard and have benefit packages for store managers and area general managers. We also have salaried area general managers. We are offering ownership opportunities for what we call tenured managers, who is anyone who has been in our organization for more than three years.

What kind of exit strategy do you have in place?
No exit plan right now. It is generational for us. We have one brand right now, but who is to say where we will be five years from now? We have young kids and would like to see them grow up and one day work in the business in some capacity, and, if they are capable, maybe one day run the organization.

More Uncertainty for Barnes and Noble

Industry experts say the company may face a long road ahead on the way back to health.

Liz Wolf | Jul 05, 2018

Barnes & Noble is without a CEO once again.

The troubled big-box book chain terminated CEO Demos Parneros for “violations of the company’s policies,” according to a July 3 company press release. He was the company’s fourth CEO in the past five years.

The company said the action was taken by its board.

“Parneros’ termination is not due to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto,” the company said. Parneros will not receive any severance payment, and he’s no longer on the board. No further information was provided.

Parnerojoined Barnes & Noble in November 2016 and was promoted to CEO in April 2017. He previously served as an executive at Staples.

“Violation of company policies could mean anything, but being abruptly fired without severance is not good,” says Ben Terry, vice president of retail brokerage at the Coreland Cos., a real estate services company based in Tustin, Calif. “They better find a CEO that shares the vision, [including rightsizing their stores and increasing their omnichannel presence], and can compete with Amazon, otherwise they could be toast.”

The company said it will begin a search for a new CEO, and in the meantime, a leadership group was appointed to handle the CEO’s responsibilities.

The struggling retailer, which operates 630 bookstores, has been getting beat up by online competition for years, with Amazon its primary competitor. It’s suffering from decreasing foot traffic, store closings and declining sales, while Amazon is expanding into the bricks-and-mortar space and opening its own bookstores.

Barnes & Noble reported a 5.4 percent drop in same-store sales in the past fiscal year. Total sales dropped by 6.0 percent to $3.7 billion, and the company recorded a net loss of $125.5 million compared to a profit of $22 million the year before.

Before his firing, however, Parneros said he was optimistic about the chain’s prospects and targeting new initiatives to bump up store traffic and sales.

“Turnaround plans take time,” Parneros said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in June, which was transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “And while our performance has been somewhat disappointing, we began to make steady progress in fiscal 2018.”

Parneros said the company improved its omni-channel capabilities through the launch of its ship-from-store program and implemented a $40 million cost reduction program. He also said there were opportunities to expand the retailer’s toys and games business and revamp its gift business. The former CEO was looking at a smaller, more flexible store prototype with more focus on the customer experience and food. He planned to gradually roll out smaller stores with more cafes and restaurants.

Is a turnaround possible?

Industry experts say the company may face a long road ahead on the way back to health.

“While Barnes & Noble has made some effort to reinvigorate itself, the results to date have been unimpressive,” says Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at research firm GlobalData Retail. “The main reason for this is that new ideas, such as smaller store formats and the Barnes & Noble Kitchen concept, are small drops of change in an ocean of inertia. Most of Barnes & Noble’s stores feel tired, are too large and too cluttered, and do not offer the consumer any compelling reason to visit and buy. Even the Starbucks cafes, which are in most shops, are unappealing and rather dispiriting. Barnes & Noble is simply struggling to pull in consumers.”

Saunders says against this backdrop, it’s inevitable that more stores will close. Some are in locations that no longer work economically.

“In a sense, Barnes & Noble needs to slim down in order to survive,” Saunders says. “But slimming down is not just about stores; in my view, the company should also ditch its Nook division, which has been damaging to profits.” (Barnes & Noble released the Nook e-reader to compete with Amazon’s Kindle).

Terry says downsizing stores puts the retailer on the right track, and increasing its omni-channel capabilities is critical, “if they can get their online sales up and figure out a better delivery system”

“Barnes & Noble really has an opportunity to redevelop themselves,” he adds.

Stefanie Meyer, principal and senior vice president at retail real estate services firm Mid-America Real Estate—Minnesota, says she’s seeing the bookstore do a couple of relocations and several renewals in the Twin Cities.

“They’re three-year, short-term renewals,” she notes. “At least they’re renewing and staying in place. But they all want to downsize. They’re too big. If they can condense their space, I think there are still enough people who want books—not just Kindle or reading books online.”

Barnes & Noble is the last big bookstore, and once the category killer categories are whittled down to one or two competitors, their existence still makes sense, Meyer says.

The company also closed a number of stores, letting their leases expire, so there’s “not too much cannibalizing,” she adds. “They cleaned that part of it up. So if they’re not too close to each other and they don’t have too many in a market, I still think that they can survive.”

What if they do end up bankrupt?

Saunders says Barnes & Noble has large units, and it would be hard for landlords to find new tenants of that size, especially ones that were similar to Barnes & Noble in terms of product mix.

From a re-leasing standpoint, many stores are spread over two levels, so “it’s not like a simple Toys ‘R’ Us box where you can reposition it,” Terry says. “You have a second story, so there’s a little bit of a challenge there. Do you convert it to office? Do you do retail on the bottom floor? The second floor could be entertainment or maybe a gym.”

“It’s just going to take a little longer, because it’s going to take developers a little longer to figure it out. But if it’s good real estate, it will backfill,” he says.

 

Amazon Will Let Entrepreneurs Start Their Own Delivery Business and Earn Up to $300,000 a Year

Many entrepreneurs have built a business on Amazon, selling goods via the online marketplace, self-publishing books and more. Today, the ecommerce giant has announced a new opportunity: the ability to launch your own Amazon delivery operation.

Amazon Delivery Service Partners is a new program designed to help Amazon scale and meet the growing demand for package deliveries. In 2017, Amazon shipped 5 billion items to Prime members alone, and its operating income increased 20 percent year over year to $2.8 billion. To keep up, the company is seeking “hundreds of entrepreneurs” to start their own delivery companies in the U.S. through Amazon, according to a press release. Over time, Amazon aims for these Delivery Service Partners “to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers.”

=

The company will help interested entrepreneurs, even those with little to no logistics experience, “start, set up and manage” a local delivery business, with each owner overseeing 20 to 40 Amazon-branded delivery vehicles that will retrieve goods from one of 75 Amazon delivery stations.

If they’re successful, Amazon says each owner will have the prospect of earning between $75,000 and $300,000 in annual profits. Amazon will provide training as well as access to its delivery technology, along with discounts on vehicle leases, insurance, Amazon-branded uniforms, fuel and more.

Some Delivery Service Partners will be able to start their delivery businesses with Amazon for as little as $10,000 in startup costs, and the company has also announced a $1 million fund to help eligible military veterans get started with the program with $10,000 reimbursements.

The new program, Amazon says, is a solution to concerns the company has expressed on relying too much on third-party couriers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL. In Amazon’s 2016 10-K report, the company stated that “our current and potential competitors include … companies that provide fulfillment and logistics services for themselves or for third parties.”

At the same time, the company stated that replacing FedEx, UPS and others was not its plan — and today’s announcement doubles down on this insistence, as Amazon states that traditional carriers remain “great partners.”

Suspicions to the contrary have mounted throughout recent years. In 2015, Amazon launched Flex, an urban delivery program that allows gig workers to deliver Amazon packages via their own vehicles for an hourly rate. Amazon also reportedly already has more than 7,000 trucks and leases 40 airplanes. In early 2017, Amazon invested in a Kentucky airport to serve as a cargo hub and also has experimented with drones, autonomous vehicles and other forms of delivery.

=Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported on a planned delivery service, “Shipping with Amazon,” by which it would deliver packages for third-party merchants.

Whatever the future holds, entrepreneurs who want to run their own Amazon delivery fleets will deliver only Amazon orders for the foreseeable future.

ZIPS Dry Cleaning is Growing with Gusto

With a flurry of franchise deals and record sales, ZIPS Dry Cleaners is on a roll—and the best is yet to come.

“We expect ZIPS to be a recognizable and profitable national brand by 2030 with sales approaching $1 billion annually,” estimates Drew Ritger, chief executive officer of ZIPS franchising.

In the meantime, the Greenbelt, Maryland-based brand, known for its revolutionary one-price, same-day strategy, is growing with gusto.

ZIPS has a burgeoning development pipeline. The brand, which operates 55 stores in six states, along with Washington D.C., has inked franchise deals for more than 200 locations, with plans to make its presence known in 10 states by the end of next year, and double that number in 2020.

“ZIPS has received phenomenal interest during the past year from potential investors and the concept is considered the best in the garment care business by a number of franchise publications,” Ritger notes. “We are humbled by the recognition and investment, and believe the brand is well positioned for growth to provide superior returns to our franchisees in the days ahead.”

Ritger is a proven multi-brand veteran leading the expansion charge sharply focused on strategic growth. In the past year alone, ZIPS has entered the new markets of Texas and California, with Florida, Indiana, Oregon, and Ohio on deck. Along with existing market expansion, target markets for future new growth include Atlanta, Raleigh, and Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Denver, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Over the next few years, Ritger expects to build ZIPS into a national brand, with a $1 billion future. Other goals Ritger outlines include:

  • 100 stores and $150 million in annual sales
  • store count growth that exceeds 25 percent after 2021
  • a development pipeline of over 350 stores
  • No. 1 Market Share in each market

To reach those goals, ZIPS is hitting the road to growth with experience. The brand is expanding with existing franchisees and new, seasoned multi-unit operators, says Ritger.

“This is encouraging, as it expresses faith in the business, brand, and market segment going forward,” Ritger notes. “We are also pleased that our current franchise base is reinvesting in the brand in our core markets. ZIPS is a market disruptor that is well positioned to gain market share in the markets where we invest.  It is exciting to see other experienced multi-unit franchisees accept our strategy and invest in the brand.”

Founded in 1996, ZIPS launched franchising a decade later, shaking up the dry cleaning industry and saving consumers considerable cash, with its one-price-for-any-garment business model. Whether the item is a necktie, coat, or a pair of pants, the price is $2.29, 60 percent less than the national average. Garments are cleaned on-site, allowing for same-day service. ZIPS profit margins are among the best in the country, in an industry with exceptional margins, notes Ritger.

“We attribute much of our success to the almost 300 years of combined dry cleaning experience that our investors bring to the single price, value-oriented segment of the market in which we operate,” Ritger says.

ZIPS also leads the way in the search for new environmentally friendly practices. The franchise recycles thousands of hangers each year, uses 100 percent biodegradable plastic bags, and is always looking for strategies to reduce water usage and waste production.  Consumers are embracing the innovative brand.

“ZIPS has used process and equipment innovation to improve margins in new and existing stores in the past year, so we are encouraged to see these initiatives yield improved returns and, at the same time, increased customer service,” Ritger says. “Overall, the brand is healthy and growing, while the business is experiencing record sales.”

Discover the opportunities. Visit discover.321zips.com  or contact Sarah Moudry at 240-437-4752 or smoudry@321zips.com.

Key tips on managing work-life balance (and money)

The following article is part of “Real Money/Real Talk,” a series presented by Chase Slate in which people share stories of how their personal finances have evolved.

Spend confidently with Chase Slate. Learn More.

For Chase Slate Ambassador Farnoosh Torabi, life is a juggling act. “I’m a personal finance expert and a highly caffeinated mother of two,” she says. “I am multitasking constantly. Just getting my sons shoes on can be a marathon.”

Having one stop where she can streamline payments helps her manage the different parts of her life and finances. Keeping things in perspective also helps. “There are many ways to define success, and the beauty of that is that it’s different for everyone,” she says. “You have to find what works for you.”

Here are four other tips she recommends for managing work, life and money:

1. Don’t wait for the weekend: Don’t wait until Saturday to dive into your favorite activities and hobbies. Instead, schedule exercise, concerts and classes like any other appointment. In addition to giving you a chance to indulge your interests, setting aside time for outside activities can energize your day—and help ensure that you don’t linger at work late into the evening.

2. Reevaluate your spending—even the little things: Small expenses can creep up on you. At least once or twice a year, review all your financial commitments to be sure you’re not spending money on things you don’t need or that don’t align with your goals.

3. Practice mindfulness every day: Taking time out—even five minutes—to stop and meditate can help calm you down and improve your focus.

4. Tame your inbox: Responding to emails as they trickle in can interrupt your workflow. Instead, try logging on only once an hour—and gradually cut your visits down to a few times a day. The extra time will help you focus on your task at hand.

The Top 5 New Franchises of 2018

 4 min read
Looking to get ahead of the investment curve? Take a look at these new franchises.

Each year, Entrepreneur comes out with its Franchise 500, breaking down 500 excelling companies that could become great investments. To separate the best of the best, we analyze more than 150 data points, from cost to size to brand strength and more.

And while you’ll see powerful brands like McDonald’s or 7-Eleven top our list, there are also some standout, younger franchises that deserve credit, too. Here are the top-ranked companies who have started franchising in the past five years. (To see every company that made the list, head over to our new franchise list here.)

1. uBreakiFix

uBreakiFix was founded in 2009, just a couple of years after the first iPhones hit the market. The No. 18 business on the Franchise 500 list, which offers mail-in and walk-in repairs of electronics, has capitalized on the explosion of smartphones, growing to over 300 locations by the start of the 2017.

  • CEO: Justin Wetherill
  • Business headquarters: Orlando, Fla.
  • Franchising since: 2013
  • Initial investment: $60,400 to $220,850
  • Initial franchise fee: $40,000
  • 1-year growth in new units: 50 units (18.2 percent)
  • Training: 3 weeks on-site, 120 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Ad templates, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

2. Velofix Group of Companies

Velofix is a mobile bike shop that offers bicycle sales or repairs at home. The company, which ranks No. 106 on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500, was only founded in 2012. It started franchising in 2013, but by the start of 2017, it had already grown to 110 franchises, including 26 international locations.

  • CEO: Chris Guilemet
  • Business headquarters: Newark, Del.
  • Franchising since: 2013
  • Initial investment: $163,200 to $198,950
  • Initial franchise fee: $25,000
  • 1-year growth in new units: 25 units (29.4 percent)
  • Training: 17 hours on the job, 24 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

3. Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers

Fyzical Therapy and Balance centers ranks 117th in the Franchise 500, eighth among healthcare franchises. It offers exactly what you would expect: physical therapy, balance retraining and fall prevention, as well as other rehabilitation and fitness programs. Since the company started franchising in 2013, it has grown dramatically each year, adding 11 franchises in its first year, then 28 units in its second and a full 100 in its third year. At the start of 2018, there were 269 units across the U.S.

  • CEO: Brian Belmont
  • Business headquarters: Sarasota, Fla.
  • Franchising since: 2013
  • Initial investment: $82,250 to $390,000
  • Initial franchise fee: $70,000 to $140,000
  • 1-year growth in new units: 47 units (24.5 percent)
  • Training: 24 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, loyalty program/app

4. The Flying Locksmiths

The Flying Locksmiths is older than the other companies on this list, having been founded in 1984, but it’s also the last company to franchise. Since opening up to the idea of franchising, though, the No. 125 business on the Franchise 500 has become very popular. At the start of 2018, there were 73 franchises in the U.S. to go along with the company’s flagship location.

  • CEO: Barry L. McMenimon
  • Business headquarters: Braintree, Mass.
  • Franchising since: 2015
  • Initial investment: $121,596 to $366,396
  • Initial franchise fee: $15,000 to $240,000
  • 1-year growth in new units: 48 units (240.0 percent)
  • Training: 40 hours on the job, 40 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Ad templates, national media, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

5. Amazing Lash Studio

Founded in 2010, Amazing Lash Studio is all about eyelash style and design. The beauty company ranks No. 136 on the Franchise 500, and that’s due in part to its dramatic growth in units since the business started franchising in 2013. By the start of 2018, there were already 181 U.S. franchises.

  • CEO: Edward Le
  • Business headquarters: Scottsdale, Az.
  • Franchising since: 2013
  • Initial investment: $270,350 to $584,200
  • Initial franchise fee: $39,000
  • 1-year growth in new units: 35 units (31.3 percent)
  • Training: 7 to 11 hours on the job, 32 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

6 Habits Longtime Millionaires Rely On to Stay Rich

It’s a simple fact: most millionaires have different habits than the average person. However, these habits are far from inaccessible; they improve one’s odds of finding success but can be adopted by just about anyone with a bit of concerted effort.

But to take that idea one step further, once someone has become successful, how do they stay successful? Here, I’d like to take a slightly longer-sighted look at the habits of millionaires, focusing not just on the habits that make them successful but the ones that help them stay successful over time. By cultivating these habits in your own life, you’ll be investing in your own sustained success over time.

Here are six habits of longtime millionaires:

1. Waking up early.

What do lifestyle queen Oprah Winfrey, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Twitter-co founder Jack Dorsey and Apple CEO Tim Cook have in common? They’re all up at or before 5 am on a regular basis.

Driven people tend to wake up early. Since their days are packed with work and decisions, an early rise time allows them the luxury of some quiet time before it’s business as usual. They know that rising early can allow them preparation for the day ahead so that by the time everyone else is waking up, they’ve already hit the ground running.

2. Goal setting.

You might think that once someone has made millions, goal setting is a thing of the past. After all, they’ve already made it, right? But actually, one of the secrets to long-term success is that millionaires continue to adjust their goals to stay motivated.

Once, their goal might have been to make a million dollars. But when they’ve reached that milestone, they will adjust their goal accordingly. This goal might be monetary, or it might involve a shift toward other pursuits like philanthropy. Regardless of what they might be, longtime millionaires know that it’s important to have specific goals to remain inspired and to maintain a strong work ethic.

3. Lifelong learning.

Attaining financial success in the first place requires plenty of education. The individual in question needs to learn their trade, follow industry leaders and keep themselves up to date on relevant news.

However, the habit of learning isn’t something that should ever go away. As Albert Einstein once said, “When you stop learning, you start dying.” Longtime millionaires know that to remain relevant in their field, they need to continue learning and adapting. They read the paper, they stay updated on world news and they continue looking to resources that will expand their knowledge base and keep them inspired.

4. Taking time off.

Many longtime millionaires have clued into a perhaps unexpected secret to success: It’s not all about money. It’s about enjoying life so that you have the motivation to continue working. As such, they make a habit of taking time off from work so that they can maintain a fresh outlook.

No, this isn’t because they’re lazy. Taking time off can actually make them more effective in their chosen field! The longtime millionaire knows that by taking some time off, they will come back to work refreshed and more effective than before. So whether it’s a vacation or taking time to indulge in a hobby like fixing (or buying) cars, they see the value in stepping away from the computer or the work site on a regular basis.

5. Networking

People who become millionaires rarely do it without a little help. Making money requires an immense amount of relationships and connections. To enjoy continued success, millionaires cultivate and maintain a strong habit of socializing and networking.

Not only does this help forge potential business relationships and deals, but it keeps them in touch with society. It’s a positive reminder that sustained success relies deeply on personal relationships.

6. Giving back.

Many people believe that to become and stay successful, you’ve got to be ruthless. However, most longtime millionaires actually become more committed to doing good for the world as they gain more success.

After all, objects and money have diminishing returns. When I began giving to charity, seeing the incredible impact it had on others provided me with an incredible new source of inspiration. It’s not that I stopped enjoying my money; it’s more that I saw that my riches could offer benefits far beyond buying myself a new luxury car or condo. Simply put: Giving back made my life richer. Many longtime millionaires make a habit of giving back, and it keeps them inspired in a sustainable, long-term way.