I want to go through some of the top resources, whether you’re looking to buy a franchise, sell a franchise, or sell into franchise systems that you should be following. If you’re interested in diving further in, keeping up-to-date with things that are happening in the franchising space, whether that’s new opportunities, what’s happening in the political situation, like we’re seeing different bills being passed in California that can have a huge impact on labor costs across franchisees running quick-service restaurants and other types of restaurants in California.
So, I’m going to go through the key resources that you need to be following if you’re serious about buying a franchise, or if you’re working in this industry or growing a business in this industry. So, I’m not going to go through a ton of details on each one. I’m going to list the name of the company, and we’re going to include links to the website so you can further go in.
I’m going to start first with “QSR” magazine. They have great coverage of restaurants. And a big part of that obviously are franchises, which make up a large portion of the multi-unit restaurant change in the United States, typically, do have some franchise component to them. “QSR” short for Quick Service Restaurant magazine, as well as their sister company, “FSR,” Full-Service Restaurant, provide a lot of great content on what’s going on with key executives, franchisees across different systems, technology changes, and everything that you should be keeping abreast to if you are in the restaurant arena, particularly in franchising.
Another one in a similar field is “Restaurant Business Online”. They have a lot of great data as they’re owned by a data company, Winsight. And they have awesome reporting, podcasts, great features on up-and-coming franchises and ones that are signing on tons of experienced multi-unit operators, as well as established brands and different things that they’re doing to innovate and grow their top line, as well as the bottom line for franchisees.
The third resource I would definitely check out is “Franchise Times.” We’ve covered them separately in another video. We’ll leave a link to that, as well as a podcast episode. But basically, they’re the industry giant publication for the franchise industry. So, the first two options were really focused much more on food, where “Franchise Times” covers concepts all over franchising, which as you might know, over 50% of businesses that employ the franchise business model are not in the food space.
So, a lot of great information that “Franchise Times” does, especially for those that are professional investors, private equity, investment bankers, they provide great coverage on acquisitions, who’s buying what franchise brands. They’re especially reporting on franchisees that have sold a ton of locations or have signed contracts to open up 50, 100 locations in said territory. So, they do a great job of providing updates, particularly on the financial side, as well as some great lists on the largest franchise systems globally by system-wide sales, as well as the who’s who in the legal space, specifically focusing on franchise attorneys.
The Wolf of Franchises is an emerging media outlet. It’s primarily focused on Twitter and producing comments on emerging franchise concepts, as well as multi-unit franchisees of mainstay brands. So, think of an orange theory that they’ve covered, as well as up-and-coming concepts that franchisees have multiple locations. It’s very much focused on being able to not just buy yourself a job as there are franchise systems that are much more like that but find a business interview, franchisees, interview franchise executives that are growing a profitable business model.
The Wolf of Franchises is definitely a newsletter to subscribe to and look out for information on key emerging trends. One of the issues when you focus more on emerging concepts, and especially diving into the financials, is that Item 19, the financials that are disclosed don’t have a ton of points. So, it might be just looking at Item 19 of a 5-unit system where there are just 5 affiliate locations and there are no franchise units that are reporting financials. So, you just have to take that with a grain of salt, but overall very good reporting on the franchising space, as well as some pretty catchy images and memes.
Now, this next one might surprise you. It’s called BizBuySell. It’s the largest marketplace for businesses for sale online, primarily focused on the United States. And roughly 10% of the listings for sale are actually franchise resales. I like looking at BizBuySell to have a barometer of what might be the franchise resale value for that brand. So, if you go into BizBuySell, you can search Mathnasium, for example, exit out of the state option. Just search Mathnasium and search across the United States, and you’ll see 20, 30 Mathnasium for sale.
And you’ll be able to see some of the key financials, including the sales, the owner compensation, basically the cash flow from the business, as well as how much the business is being sold for. So, it’s very important to understand the franchise resale value. BizBuySell has a great repository of franchise resales. However, they do lack a lot of their new franchise information. So, for BizBuySell, I’d focus on franchise resales, getting the data you need to assess the resale value of franchises if you want to look one by one. BizBuySell is a good resource there.
Next up is Franchise Chatter, which was actually founded by a former franchisee of the UPS Store. Ambrosio provides long-form blog posts on hundreds, if not thousands of franchises diving into the FDD. And pretty much every day, they’re producing a long-form blog post going through a franchise disclosure document and really diving into the numbers. So, Franchise Chatter should definitely be on your list. Like the Wolf of Franchises, it’s another franchise outlet and franchise publication that has a pretty robust email.
IFA, International Franchise Association, is the largest and the oldest franchise organization in the United States, if not the world. And that’s where I go if I want to understand what’s happening politically in the franchise space, what laws could be affecting franchise wars, and what laws could be affecting franchisees.
They covered what’s going on in California by making a minimum wage for restaurant employees that are working for a chain restaurant with over 100 locations really well.
And then kind of the counterbalance to the IFA, you have the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, which also provides great political coverage and really uncovers issues that are happening with franchise brands and the franchisees that are part of that franchise organization. And they’re diving into the franchise disclosure document, diving into issues that are affecting franchisees to basically advocate for further rights and more protection for franchisees so when they do sign that franchise agreement or do renew their franchise agreement, they know exactly what they’re getting into.
So, I’ve learned a ton from the AAFD. I’m not an attorney. I’ve looked at a lot of FDDs, but they have many attorneys that are associated with the organization and many franchisees that are associated with organizations. So, the collective knowledge of the AAFD is incredible. And you should definitely visit the site if you’re looking to buy a franchise.
And they have a great tool if you want to find a franchise attorney to help you with reviewing a new franchise opportunity that you might be investing in. Or maybe you’re a franchisee and you’re not so happy with your franchisor you’re working with and it’s gotten to, unfortunately, that level that you have to lawyer up, and they have great resources for working with lawyers that really have great experience in the franchising space.
So, those are eight resources that you need to be following if you’re serious about franchising, or if you’re working in the franchise industry. Again, “QSR” magazine, “Restaurant Business Online”, “Franchise Times”, the Wolf of Franchises. You also have BizBuySell, franchisechatter.com, International Franchise Association, also known as IFA, as well as AAFD, the Association of American Franchisees and Dealers. So, those are eight resources that you should definitely be following if you’re serious about franchising, and you’re looking to invest in the franchise space or if you’re already working in the franchising arena. Thanks.
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