Convention Time — Your Time to Connect, Innovate and Evolve

GIF_forhomepage_noearlybirdWhether you’re at franchise corporate headquarters, an individual small-business franchise owner or franchise supplier, you’re concerned with building your business, staying on top of federal, state and local regulations and attracting and retaining staff.  Are you making the most of one of the year’s best opportunities to tackle all three areas, and more, at one time?

If you aren’t yet signed up for the IFA Annual Convention, Feb. 15-18 in Las Vegas, there’s still time.  Sure, it’s hard to get away for a few days and yes, it does take time and money, but your return on investment is in terms of:

  • How many leading franchise experts will I meet over the course of the convention?  When will I have another opportunity to seek advice from executives from mature, emerging and cutting-edge franchises, as well as high-achieving franchisees and Supplier Forum members?
  • How many proven strategies will I learn from convention speakers that I can immediately apply to my franchise business?
  • What’s the number of general sessions, breakout meetings, roundtables and concurrent workshops that I can attend to augment my understanding of critical issues affecting my franchise business?
  • Do I have enough business cards with me to make the most of such networking events as the Hall of Exhibits, Taste of Franchising, receptions, the Franchise Party and breaks in between sessions?
  • How many Certified Franchise Executives™ program credits can I earn?
  • How inspired will I be from participating in Franchising Gives Back to contribute to a worthy cause for a local community?

Learn more about the convention and register today so you and your business can take the steps — connect, innovate and evolve — to excel.

 

 

 

Ready, Set and Growing Strong

Each month, Franchising World magazine sets its sights on helping you to expand your business. The April issue brings you strategies on growing your multi-unit franchise business, sharing highlights from the recent Annual Convention in New Orleans − one of IFA’s best-attended conventions – along with offering other articles filled with practical advice.

FWAprilCoverSmallYou can tap into the experience of industry leaders to get advice on diversifying your multi-unit ownership across industries, how veterans can seize multi-unit opportunities, the value of multi-unit franchisee involvement in IFA and much more. Learn these strategies from authors that include:

  • Aziz Hashim, president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, a multi-brand and international franchise owner and operator, as well as IFA treasurer;
  • Mary Kennedy Thompson, CFE, executive vice president of The Dwyer Group, president of Mr. Rooter and past VetFran chairwoman; and
  • Matthew Patinkin, a multi-unit franchisee of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and other brands.

And return to the IFA 54th Annual Convention in a multi-page photo spread that recalls how you wisely invested your time this past February in New Orleans. You participated in educational, networking and community outreach activities, as well as awards’ recognition ceremonies.

 

Franchise ACA Roundtable: “Changing the definition from 30 to 40 hours would be tremendous”

 

 

“Changing the definition from 30 to 40 hours would be tremendous for us,” said Dione Heusel, vice president of human resources and training for Smoothie King Franchises, according to a recent article in The Advocate.

This was the clear conclusion at a roundtable discussion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and our efforts to return to the traditional definition of a full-time worker under the ACA. Kelly Rogers of Two Men and A Truck, Scott Taylor of Last In Concepts, David Lewis of Express Employment Professionals, and Dione Heusel of Smoothie King joined IFA’s Matt Haller and I this week at the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) 54th Annual Convention in New Orleans to discuss the challenges franchises face with the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA has effectively changed the definition of a full-time worker from 40 hours to 30 hours by stipulating that businesses with over 50 full-time equivalents (FTE) must provide health insurance to anyone working over 30 hours a week or pay a penalty. As outlined in a report by the Hudson Institute in 2011, this provision would prohibitively raise costs, putting 3.2 million franchise workers at risk of losing hours and wages. A follow up study by Public Opinion Strategies found that 31 percent of franchise businesses have already reduced worker hours. These concerns were echoed by all participants in the roundtable.

Taylor emphasized a shift among businesses to more explicitly manage their workforce so that full-time employees work 40 hours a week and part-time employees work no more than 30 hours a week to manage costs. “Businesses are going to spend an awful lot of time trying to manage hours,” he said. “While this might reinforce good disciplining among management, it’s also not what grows companies.”

Lewis agreed, stating that variable employees want flexibility on hours and would prefer to keep their current schedules. However, the ACA’s 30-hour rule makes flexibility impossible in low margin businesses that need to closely monitor costs.

Rogers also highlighted the disincentive the 50 FTE rule. According to her, some franchisees are working to stay under the 50 FTE threshold to avoid a significant cost increase, which will reduce economic and job growth.

The IFA has advocated for a return to the traditional definition of full-time and has supported bi-partisan bills such as Rep. Todd Young’s (R-IN) Save American Workers Act, Sens. Donnelly (D-IN) and Collin’s (R-ME) Forty Hours Is Full-Time Act, and Rep. Daniel Lipinski’s (D-IL) Forty Hours Is Full Time Act. These bills would reduce costs for employees and give them the flexibility to reward good work with more hours, avoiding a rigid bifurcated labor force that does not support growth.

Some say bills like Rep. Todd Young’s Save American Workers Act, which returns the definition of full-time to the traditional 40 hours a week, will cause employers to reduce hours for those working over 40 hours a week. All participants pointed out that they are already offer benefits to those working over 40 hours a week, not because they have to, but because it is a long-term investment in talent that is essential for growing their business.

“Every business wants to have the best talent,” emphasized Smoothie King’s Heusel. “We’re a growing brand, and we have to have ‘bench strength,’ meaning we rely on our full-time employees to develop the skills, proficiency, and knowledge we need to grow our business.”

Taylor even joked that if he reduced his full-time staff’s hours to avoid offering health care, somebody else at the table would just snatch them up.

While IFA and its members see the second delay in the employer mandate as somewhat helpful, it is not the permanent fix businesses need so they can invest confidently.

Specifically, Rogers found that while the delay might be considered helpful, Two Men and A Truck franchisees are waiting for clarity on final rules so that they can best understand their cost structure. “I’ve got people sitting on capital, waiting to go into new markets, but they’re afraid to do it,” she said.

See The Advocate’s full piece HERE.

No Limit Agency and SMB Franchise Advisors raise money for VetFran

Nick Powills, CFE, founder and CEO of the full-service communications firm,No Limit Agency, came up with the idea for a dunk tank benefitting VetFran because he thought it would a fun way to build camaraderie for convention-goers at the No Limit Agency + SMB Franchise Advisors booth. The dunk tank was manned by No Limit staffers with guest appearances from clients, attendees and even some IFA team members. By the end of the convention, No Limit Agency and SMB Franchise Advisors had raised $1,085 for VetFran.

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AFC Enterprises’ Cheryl Bachelder at a Glance

Some of the best experience executives can gain comes as a result of them going through and coming out of difficult, but transitional situations.  Visionary leaders include those who are willing to share their experiences to help others advance. Bachelder, C. popeyes_5218 - may 2012

Cheryl A. Bachelder, CEO of AFC Enterprises, Inc., franchisor of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, provides her insights on achieving system cohesion in the November issue of IFA’s Franchising World magazine.  Bachelder, who will serve as a keynote speaker during the association’s Annual Convention in New Orleans, Feb. 22-25, 2014, will address her plans for the brand’s future and getting there.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

  • Revitalizing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

“If I had to attribute it to one thing, I would attribute it to our revitalization of our relationship with franchisees.”  Bachelder added that “It was my belief that the fundamental foundation of franchising is to have a strong, healthy and aligned relationship with the franchisee.”

  • Management Style

“I would describe my management style or my management philosophy as:   my job is to serve well those that are entrusted into my care.  And serving people well is understanding what helps them to be effective and successful and reach their goals.”

  • Leadership

“The most significant role of the leader is to seek out and understand the strengths and talents of team members and align them so that collectively, when you bring it all together, the capabilities are there for the organization to succeed.

“As a leader, whether you’re leading a restaurant, a group of restaurants or you’re a leader in a franchisor organization, I really want to encourage leaders to understand their role as being stewards of the next generation of leaders.  In our business, we essentially develop leaders for a living.”

Look for the complete interview in the upcoming November Franchising World magazine and find details on the IFA Annual Convention now. Continue reading