Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 31, 2007

Heather’s Progress with Employee Selection

After giving us a tour of her site, the WatchMeFranchise team was able to grab Heather for a quick video on her progress with finding employees for her store. With her grand opening only a few weeks away, Heather has begun hiring and training employees. Be sure to check back next week for advice on how to find potential candidates and sample questions to ask during an interview. Oh yeah, do not forget Heather’s grand opening is less then two weeks away, so make sure to stop by frequently on the 12th for our live coverage!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 27, 2007

Live Coverage of Heather’s Grand Opening!

Yes, that is right! The WatchMeFranchise team will be with Heather on January 12th all day presenting live coverage of her Grand Opening! We followed Heather for nearly 8 months now, and documented the process of opening her own franchise business. You saw her work hard throughout her journey and now you will watch everything come together at her Grand Opening. We plan to post videos and entries throughout the day, at least one every hour, so you can see how exciting opening a new business really is. Heather and the WatchMeFranchise team are excited to share this monumental experience live with all of our visitors. Remember to bookmark WatchMeFranchise.com and watch Heather’s Grand Opening live on January 12th!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 27, 2007

Tips For Choosing A Contractor

If your site needs physical improvements then you will most likely need to hire a contractor to make the changes. This was the case with Heather, as her site requires numerous physical changes including a break room that needs to be built. However, selecting the right contractor is essential because a wrong choice could result in months of delays and shoddy workmanship. To help with this process the WatchMeFranchise team has put together the following brief list of tips to keep in mind during your search for the right contractor.  For more detailed advice check out “How do I find the right licensed contractor” on the California Contractors State License Board website.

1. Multiple Bids

Before hiring any one you should probably get at least three bids on the project from different contractors. However, do not just accept the lowest bid. You should be suspicious of bids that come in quite a bit lower than the rest. Compare the breakdown of each bid to ensure that all expected costs for the project have been included in the final tally.

2. Good Reputation

Does the contractor come with good recommendations? Ask for a list of references and contact them to make sure the contractor has a good reputation. When you speak to the references make sure they are legitimate former clients and not just friends of family of the contractor. You can also look them up on the Internet to see if there is any other feedback provided by former clients on third-party websites or blogs.

3. Interview

Meet with multiple, potential contractors and ask lots of questions. Do not be afraid to ask too many questions – you want to make sure the contractor you select is knowledgeable and easy to communicate with.

4. Registered Contractor

Find out if the contractor is registered in your state and ask for their state registration number. When you interview the contractor you should ask to see their license along with a picture ID. If they are not registered then you should continue your search.

5. Physical Office

Visit your potential contractor at their office. Avoid contractors who do not have a physical office and work out of the back of a pick up truck. These contractors will likely be difficult to get a hold of if something goes wrong.

6. Insurance

Make sure the contractor has the appropriate insurance coverage. The contractor should have valid commercial general liability and workers compensation insurance. This is essential so you do not end up with a messy lawsuit on your hands.

7. Experience

Ask the contractor how long they have been in business. Usually the longer a contractor has been in business the better. Also make sure the contractor has experience with the type of job you need completed. Ten years of roofing experience won’t help with an interior construction project.

8. Focus

Find out how many other jobs the contractor is currently working on? If they are over stretched the quality of your work might suffer. You want to make sure that your contractor will be dedicated to the job.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the WatchMeFranchise.com team!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 20, 2007

Heather Gives A Tour Of Her Site

It’s been a few weeks since the WatchMeFranchise team has checked in on the status of Heather’s site, and boy does it look different! Not only has the interior been repainted, but an all new “Managers Station” has been built inside the store. Watch the video below to see Heather give a tour of her store, discuss the progress that has already been made, and explain what is in store over the next few weeks.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 19, 2007

10 Ways The World Would Be Different Without Franchises

Everyone knows that franchises pretty much run the fast food industry. But – believe it or not – franchised businesses have a massive impact on over 75 industries. Back in 2001, it was reported that there were nearly 800,000 franchise-based business establishments operating in just the United States. With a new franchise business opening every eight minutes.

But have you ever stepped back and wondered, “what would the world be like without franchises?” The world would no doubt be a drastically different place, but people may not realize just how big of an affect franchises have on our daily lives. To show our readers what the world would be like without franchises the WatchMeFranchise team has gathered the following top 10 list.

1 ) People Would Eat Healthier

eathealthy.jpg


It is no myth that eating at fast food franchises is unhealthy. As any one that has ever eaten a greasy pile of food from Burger King, or seen the movie Super Size Me, will probably agree. The reason their food is so unhealthy is that fast food franchises focus on producing good tasting food at an extremely fast pace. In order to get hot food to customers these businesses often merely heat up frozen foods that are filled with chemicals and preservatives for optimal taste with a short cooking time. Think about it, how long does it take you to cook a hamburger at home? Then think, how long does it take Carl’s Jr. to give you a hot six dollar burger?

2 ) People Might be Physically Less Healthy

Although people might eat healthier without fast food franchises, they would probably become less physically healthy. Why? Because fitness franchises have become one of top selling franchise industries over the past ten years. Curves and Gold’s Gym are two of the more popular fitness franchises, but there are also countless other gyms, Pilate studios, and fitness related franchise businesses. These franchises target the new health savvy clientele that has emerged in the last generation. But if these gyms and fitness centers were not easily accessible would these busy professionals still find time to run laps around a park near their home?

3 ) Even More Starbucks & In-N-Outs

innstarbucks.jpg

Surprisingly these two extremely popular food service businesses are actually not franchised units. Every single Starbucks and In-N-Out Burger location is corporate owned in order to ensure the stores maintain their respective company’s high standards. This fact may come as a surprise to any one who has ever walked past eight Starbucks locations on a five block walk through Manhattan, but it’s true nonetheless. Therefore, if Starbucks can manage to open over 13,000 locations, with competition from other coffee franchises including It’s A Grind and The Coffee Beanery, imagine how many Starbucks there would be without any franchised coffeehouses!

4 ) Higher Unemployment Rates Worldwide

The franchise industry employs millions of people across the entire globe. According to estimates from 2004, franchised businesses provide over 18 million jobs in the United States alone. McDonalds alone has 31,000 restaurants worldwide, with many in developing and third world countries. These businesses provide job opportunities for people all over the world and encourage economic growth in certain areas.

5 ) Missing Beloved Characters and Catch Phrases

ffcharacters.jpg

Look at the picture above. How many of those images do you recognize? The reason you know what most of them are is because fast food franchises use these characters and catch phrases so much in their marketing that they have become part of modern culture. How many times in your life have you heard the phrase “where’s the beef,” or “I’m lovin’ it?” Without the massive advertising budget that results from national expansion of a franchise, these companies would never be able to afford the marketing expenses to make these characters and phrases part of our culture.

6 ) Less People Would Own Businesses

The franchise concept has allowed millions of people across the world to open and operate their own businesses. Though people often think of the massive corporate giants like McDonalds when they hear the word “franchise,” there are actually over 1,500 different franchisors operating in the United States. These businesses offer regular people the opportunity to open a business with a business model that has already been proven successful. Without the ability to invest in a successful business many of these people would not be able to afford the high prices of opening a new business.

7 ) Lower Income Tax Returns

irscheck.jpg

Roughly six out of ten people in the United State turn to tax professionals to prepare their income taxes. Why? Because the American tax system is extremely confusing and most people do not understand it. Therefore, they go to one of the numerous tax franchises to get their returns prepared. By going to tax franchises these people feel that they can get a better income tax return then if they had prepared the returns themselves.

8 ) Soda Might Not be as Popular

When people hear the word “franchise” one of the last companies that comes to mind is Coca-Cola. However, Coca-Cola not only uses the franchise concept but they were one of the major players in the development and history of franchising in the United States. Years ago Coca-Cola began using the franchising concept by producing flavored syrup and selling it to various bottlers whom held a Coca-Cola franchise. This method allowed them to increase their distribution while reducing their overall financial risk and lowering their distribution costs. Without franchising, Coca-Cola would not have been able to mass-produce their product and soda would not be nearly as popular as it is now.

9 ) People Would Look Much Paler

palepeople.jpg

Though not as popular as they were at the end of the 90’s, tanning salon franchises are still lucrative and profitable businesses. These salons target the same type of busy professionals that many fitness franchises target, who probably wouldn’t have time to lay out in the sun for hours to get a tan. Just imagine what Hollywood would look like if celebrities did not have easy access to countless tanning salons.

10 ) Traveling Would be Much More Difficult

Hotels, car rental stores, and travel agencies are actually some of the strongest players in the franchise industry. By franchising their locations, the franchisors have helped increase the convenience of traveling. Without all these travel franchises going on a vacation would not be as convenient of a task as it is today.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 14, 2007

TaxWise Refresh Training

As we get closer to Heather’s grand opening, things are getting more and more hectic. Fortunately the WatchMeFranchise team was able to grab Heather for a quick interview during her lunch break at the TaxWise refresher training. In addition to asking her about the class we were also able to get the details on some other issue’s she’s been having with getting her store ready. Check out the video below to see what happened with her EFIN, as well as the nasty plumbing problem she encountered.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 11, 2007

Floor Plan Advice

Designing the floor plan of your franchise location is an integral step in the franchise process. It is important to have your store setup so that it not only functions with your specific business but also sends the right message to your customers. If your store is too crowded or is awkward-looking, it might deter customers.

Although the specifics of your floor plan will vary depending on the type of franchise you invest in and the location you choose, there are still a few items anyone should consider when preparing a floor plan:

1. Understand Your Franchisor’s Requirements

Franchises often have very strict guidelines for floor plan preparation, and some even provide downloadable sample floor plans that their franchisees must follow. Most of the time franchisors also have consultants that are available to give advice and help prepare your floor plan.

2. Take Accurate Measurements of Your Site

Before preparing your floor plan make sure that you take accurate measurements of your site. Remember it never hurts to double check, or even triple check, your measurements. Having these accurate measurements will allow you to draw an accurate floor plan that will let you maximize your available space.

3. Identify Physical Changes to Store Immediately

Sometimes you will not need to make any improvements to the site, but if you do it’s essential to get them completed in a timely manner. For example, Heather wanted to build a break room in the back of her store so she contacted a contractor as soon as she got her keys. That way there will be no physical changes or construction to worry about when it’s time to begin moving furniture.

4. “Know Thy Site”

You need to know your site inside and out. Be mindful of light fixtures, electrical outlets, phone lines, etc. Many of these amenities will be essential in how you lay out your store. There is no point in having a computer desk setup on a wall where there are no outlets or a reception desk where there are no phone lines. If caught early, many of these small details can be fixed fairly inexpensively and will spare you major headaches later in the move in process.

5. Submit As Soon As It is Complete

Submit a sample floor plan to your franchise headquarters as soon as you have it completed. Floor plans usually need to be approved by the franchisor, and there are no guarantees on how long it will take them.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 6, 2007

Contest Continuing!

The WatchMeFranchise team is happy to announce that we selected the first winner of our ongoing monthly drawing. We notified the winner via email and sent them a gift certificate to get their federal income tax returns prepared for free! Congratulations!

But the contest is not over! We will continue to give away one certificate per month until April 1, 2008. Entries are now being accepted for December’s drawing. If you would like a chance at getting your federal tax return prepared for free, then head over to the contest entry page on WatchMeFranchise!

On a related note, if you are interested in getting your state tax returns prepared for free, then click on the graphic below. It is linked to coupon for a free state tax return. Just print out the coupon and bring it to any retail Roni Deutch Tax Center location. You may also redeem it by calling Roni Deutch Tax Center and preparing your tax returns over the telephone.

coupon-button.gif

Posted by: RDTC Staff | December 4, 2007

Heather Measures For Her Floor Plan

Last week Heather had a visit from Mike Robertson with GiveSomethingBack, who will help her prepare a floor plan for her new store. In the following video you can see Heather and Mike taking the first step of preparing her floor plan, measuring the space. It is important to get accurate measurements when drawing out your future floor plan so that you can maximize your available space, especially when your dealing with a small space like Heather’s. In addition to the measurements, Heather told Mike her initial thoughts on how she would like her store laid out so that he could prepare a plan customized to Heather’s needs.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 28, 2007

Heather’s EFIN

In addition to being trained to prepare income tax returns, all franchise owners who plan to electronically file tax returns need to apply for an EFIN from the IRS. EFIN stands for Electronic Filing Identification Number, and is given to tax preparers by the IRS as a form of identification and which allows them to e-file returns. Without an EFIN tax preparers cannot e-file tax returns with the IRS. In order to get an EFIN tax franchise owners must complete Form 8633 and submit it to the IRS at least six weeks before they plan to e-file returns. Typically the IRS takes four to six weeks to process a person’s EFIN application.

The WatchMeFranchise team spoke to Heather Spell earlier today and it look’s like she’s having some problems with her EFIN. Although she submitted her Form 8633 a while ago, getting the actual number has been delayed due to issues with Heather’s fingerprints. Apparently Heather is one of the “1 in 120 people who’s fingerprints cannot be properly read by an electronic finger print scanner.” Luckily, since Heather applied for her EFIN early, she will most likely be able to get this issue sorted out before her store opens.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 27, 2007

Heather Gets the Keys To Her Store

We are happy to announce that Heather’s LOI was accepted after weeks of lease negotiations, and she has been approved for her new site location in Roseville, California. The WatchMeFranchise team was at her new location minutes after she was given her keys to get a quick interview with Heather before her furniture vendor arrived to help Heather begin drawing the floor plans. As you will hear in the video, the space hasn’t been officially relinquished to Heather yet since she doesn’t have her insurance policy in place. The management did let her have access to the store for the day to begin setting up the floor plan. The WatchMeFranchise team stuck around for a little while after filming this video so we could document Heather and Mike Robertson from Give Something Back preparing an initial floor plan. Be sure to check back next week to see how it goes!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 20, 2007

Heather Attends Tax School

Part of opening any franchise business is getting trained on how to properly manage and operate the business. From learning how to perform the business services that the business will offer to how to properly service the customers and manage their employees. When opening a tax business, franchisees who are not already trained to prepare federal and state income tax returns must attend some type of tax school. Roni Deutch Tax Center™ franchisees who are not yet trained can attend the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ Tax School, which is a ten week training course that provides attendees with the necessary training for their state. In California this includes the California Tax Education Council certification upon completion. Learning the ins-and-outs of the federal tax code is probably one of the most boring parts of opening a tax franchise, but fortunately there’s a Starbucks right next to the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ training facilities. Enjoy the video below of Heather discussing her progress in Tax School.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 14, 2007

Interview With Heather’s Leasing Broker

A little over a week ago the WatchMeFranchise team headed out to Flahive Commercial Leasing in Folsom, California for an interview with Heather’s leasing broker Greg Flahive. In this video hostess Amanda Scarr was able to talk to Greg about his experience working with Heather to find the perfect site location and get some advice for other franchisees undergoing the same process. Hopefully, Heather will find out in the next few days if she was approved for her site, and once she gets the keys the WatchMeFranchise team will be there to get a tour of the location. So be sure to check back next week to see what happens.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 12, 2007

Top 10 Craziest Franchise Names

There are literally thousands of businesses out there that sell franchises. Some franchises have really straightforward names like Kentucky Friend Chicken or Pizza Hut, and others have crazy names that have nothing to do with the services or products they provide. The Watch Me Franchise team has put together the following list of the top ten craziest franchise names. We want to see if you can guess what products or services each of these businesses specialize in.

10 ) 10 til 2

http://www.tentiltwo.com/

Our thoughts:

The name of this franchise sounds like a bar’s hours of operation. Maybe some type of hot new franchise nightclub that’s only open from 10 PM till 2 am where all the “it” people would chill.

In reality:

Our assessment wasn’t completely off. This franchise is actually a part-time job placement service, apparently targeting people who would only like to work between the hours of 10 am and 2 PM.

9 ) Oogles n Googles

http://www.ooglesngoogles.com/

oogles.jpg

Our thoughts:

Anything with the name Google in it has to be something Internet or search engine related, right?

In reality:

They actually are a company that specializes in fun parties for children, and if you can get past the overly cute flash graphic on their site it’s actually a pretty good idea. But with Google suing every one who mentions their name it’s probably only a matter of time before Oogles n Googles gets a nasty letter from Google’s team of lawyers.

8 ) Tapioca Express, Inc

http://www.tapiocaexpress.com/

Our thoughts:

A franchise restaurant that sells tapioca pudding to go? It sounds like a million-dollar idea; people just love their tapioca pudding!

In reality:

It doesn’t even look like they sell tapioca at all. However, with healthy looking foods like wheat coffee, what in the world are they doing with tapioca in their name?

7 ) Rollerz

http://www.rollerz.com/

rollerz.jpg

Our thoughts:

Ok so again I think we have two main options here. Rollerz could either be some type roller-skating business, maybe a throwback to the glamorous roller-skating days of the 70s? Or maybe it’s some type of hair salon filled with women sitting under hair dyers with rollers in their hair.

In reality:

It’s a restaurant that specializes in healthy foods that are “rolled into a tasty tortilla.” Sounds good enough, but check out the crazy eyed guy on their website. It’s like he’s trying to hypnotize us into wanting to eat healthy. Who else has a sudden craving for a salad with low fat ranch dressing?

6 ) I Take The Lead

http://www.itakethelead.com/

Our thoughts:

This seems like a pretty straightforward business. With a name like I Take The Lead what else could you think of besides some type of dancing lessons?

In reality:

It is some type of sales lead generation business that provides other businesses with leads and referral systems. I guess, as with any business you need to have a catchy name.

5 ) It’s Just Lunch

http://www.itsjustlunch.com/

itsjustlunch.jpg

Our thoughts:

It’s Just Lunch? Well it definitely sounds like a restaurant, maybe one specializing in lunch foods like sandwiches or wraps?

In reality:

It’s a dating service specializing in low stress match making for “busy professionals.” Sounds good enough, but check out this question and answer on the what to expect part of their website. “What’s your success rate? Very high!”

4 ) Crack Team, The

http://www.thecrackteam.com/

Our thoughts:

Well this business sounds like it could be one of two things. First it could be some type of drug delivery service, possible specializing in efficient delivery of crack? Or it sounds like it could be a team of plumbers who instead of wearing belts or better fitting pants decided to own the fact that they show crack.

In reality:

This franchise actually focuses on cement crack repair, which makes sense, but the funniest part of what they do has to be their official mascot. Go check out their site and you will see him, Mr. Happy Crack. However, he isn’t just a weirder looking version of Sponge Bob Square pants, he actually gives meaningful advice “a dry crack is a happy crack.” Ain’t that the truth.

3 ) My Girl Friday

http://egirlfriday.ppcserver.net

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Our thoughts:

Since when did female escort services become franchise businesses? Maybe they market towards people who are lonely on Friday nights? It may be inappropriate but with a name like My Girl Friday, what else is there to think?

In reality:

My Girl Friday is a business that provides concierge and personal assistant services to busy professionals. Check out this quote from their website, “My Girl Friday works with each individual to develop a plan of action that enables a client to feel as if they have accomplished the task themselves.” Now without going too far out on a limb, I’m betting their client’s probably don’t care if they feel like they accomplished the task themselves or not.

2 ) Gimme Sum

http://www.gimmesum.com/

Our thoughts:

This sounds like some type of Asian restaurant. To be honest this probably isn’t that misleading of a name, but we just loved the name so much that we had to include it in our list.

In reality:

Gimme Sum is in fact an Asian restaurant which isn’t that odd on its own, but we did find something interesting on their website. Go to GimmeSum.com and click on “Gallery” in the top right corner and look at some of their pictures. Yes, I guess the ancient saying is true. Nothing sells Asian food better then hot, half naked, girls posing in front of Scion xBs.

1 ) Wholly Crap

http://www.whollycrap.com/

whollycrap.jpg

Our thoughts:

Well, what is there to say about Wholly Crap besides the fact that we absolutely love their name?

In reality:

There really aren’t words to describe Wholly Crap… It’s a pet waste removal service, and besides having the funniest name in the world they also have a hilarious website. Check out the animation of the dog using the pooper-scooper! And with Christmas around the corner, do not forget to pick up your very own Wholly Crap T-shirt.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 7, 2007

Contest Entries Now Being Accepted

The WatchMeFranchise.com team is proud to announce that entries for our new monthly contest are now being accepted. This contest gives all of our readers the opportunity to get their federal income tax return prepared for free!  Every month, from now through April 2008, we will select one winner at the end of every month who will receive a gift certificate good for one free federal income tax return preparation from the Roni Deutch Tax Center.  This service is valued at up to $200.00.  Click here to fill out the WatchMeFranchise.com contest entry form to be entered into our first drawing today.  Good luck everyone!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | November 5, 2007

What is an LOI?

LOI stands for Letter of Intent and in non-franchise industry terms it is any document outlining details of an agreement between two parties before the agreement is finalized. When it comes to franchising and site selection, submitting an LOI is usually the step you take to initiate lease negotiations on a desired site. The LOI should not be a legally binding contract, but should outline desired terms for leasing a site.

But, before submitting an LOI there are a few things you want to consider. First of all, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try to keep a couple of other locations in mind so you are prepared in case the negotiations don’t go through. Also, make sure you are working with a commercial leasing agent who understands your individual situation and will keep your best interest in mind during the negotiations.

Once you find a location that you think will work, it is time to begin negotiations with the landlord to determine if the site will work for your new business. In order to begin the negotiations you will need to submit an LOI to the landlord, which signifies to them that you are seriously interested in leasing the space. For commercial leasing, an LOI’s primary function is to facilitate faster negotiations of a lease.

Typically, LOIs are much shorter than the text of the actual lease. They contain much of the same basic information as the lease will, but in a shorter easier to read format. The LOI should include an extensive list of desired terms including monetary terms deal contingencies, timing/scheduling, specified form of documentation, and who will prepare the documentation. You also want to include details on the financial situation of the site location. You want to make sure all expected costs are outlined as well as financial incentives such as free rent, or structural upgrade allowances.

It is important that you remain patient during the lease negotiation process. It can take weeks for a landlord to review an LOI, and just because you did not hear immediately back from a landlord does not mean you did not get the site. During the negotiations keep in mind that you will be running your business from this location so you want to make sure that all of your needs are met.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 30, 2007

Roseville Chamber of Commerce Video

Last week, Heather attended a monthly luncheon at the Roseville Chamber of Commerce where she introduced her new business to other local business owners. Sue Ann Wilkes, Director of Business Development for RDTC Inc., went with Heather to provide support and assistance during Heather’s first outing promoting her new business. Events like this provide Heather with a great opportunity to develop some networking relationships and get the word out about her new store even though her store is not yet open.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 24, 2007

Banquet Award Interview Videos & Pictures

After Roni was given the Vision Award for her outstanding leadership abilities, the Watch Me Franchise team was able to grab her for a quick interview at the banquet. You can see the interview with Roni below and another interview with Heather Spell, who also attended the banquet to show her support for Roni.

Also, here is a picture of Roni posing with Heather and Gentry at the awards. If you click on the picture it will take you to the full OWL awards gallery on Flickr

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Last week Heather also attended her first monthly luncheon at the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, where she was able to begin her networking with other business owners as a part fo the Roni Deutch Tax Center™ onsite marketing training. We were able to get a quick video with Heather which we will be posting early next week.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 22, 2007

Roni’s Acceptance Speech

Below is the video of Roni’s acceptance speech of the Vision Award at the Outstanding Women Leaders banquet last week. In the video you can see Roni talking about her “kick-ass team” and thanking her mother, who was also in attendance. After the ceremony was over the Watch Me Franchise team was able to get a quick interview with Roni as well as an interview with Heather Spell, who attended the banquet to show her support for Roni. Look forward to seeing those videos posted some time this week.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 19, 2007

Roni Wins “Vision Award”

We are proud to announce that last night Roni Deutch was the winner and recipient of the Sacramento Valley National Association of Women Business Owner ‘ s Vision Award. The award was presented during their Outstanding Women Leaders banquet. The award is given to a n outstanding woman who is the leader of an organization that provides business opportunities for other women hoping to run their own business.

In addition to friends and family, both Heather and Gentry Spell attended the even t to support Roni. Fortunately, the Watch Me Franchise team was on hand to get coverage of this event including pictures and videos with Roni, as well as an interview with Heather about Roni winning the award. For now , we’ve uploaded the picture below of Roni with two employees from the Roni Deutch Tax Center™, but be sure to check back next week for more media from this event.

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Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 19, 2007

Heather’s Retail Location Analysis Report

In this final video shot outside Heather’s desired site location she shows us some key pages from the retail location analysis report that her commercial leasing broker (Greg Flahive) prepared for her. The binder is full of useful information as well as helpful maps and diagrams. Next week the WatchMeFranchise team is scheduled to interview Greg Flahive for more information and advice on the site selection process so be sure to check back for that video next week!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 16, 2007

Site Selection Advice

As we wait to hear if Heather’s letter of intent (L.O.I.) for her desired site was accepted, the WatchMeFranchise team has put together another advice article to help you with the site selection process.

The process of selecting a potential site can cause a lot of anxiety for new franchisees because they usually do not have any experience in site selection or lease negotiations. Fortunately, most franchisors have teams dedicated to real estate support and usually have enough research to help you find a site that is likely to have good customer opportunities. Typically franchisors will provide you with specific criteria and advice for finding the right site. Common elements include demographic and population density information, traffic statistics, and ideal nearby businesses. However, the actual amount of site selection support you will receive varies from franchisor to franchisor. Therefore it is important to research the amount and type of real estate support offered by franchisors before you sign any agreement.

Generally it is the responsibility of the franchisee to do most of the legwork when it comes to finding a prospective site. However, franchisors almost always require that they approve any site location and often request you provide them with pictures and information on the site. Often times the franchisor will even send a member of their staff to personally review your site before giving approval.

Once you have found a potential site to your liking and have your franchisor’s approval then you move onto lease negotiations. In this step, you need to determine the economics of the location, which are typically based primarily on the rent amount. When thinking about the cost of the rent you need to consider the total amount that it is going to cost you to run your business from that location. In addition to rent you also want to be mindful of other factors that increase the total cost such as maintenance fees, real estate taxes, insurance and other expenses. You will need to work with the franchisor, your real estate broker, and the potential landlord to make sure that all of these expenses fit into your budget.

After determining the economics of a site, you move into lease negotiations. When going after a location you will submit what is known as an L.O.I. or letter of intent. In this letter you will include important details to begin lease negotiations such as what rent you would like to pay.

It’s also important to look for any financial assistance that might be available from your landlord. Your leasing broker and franchisor will usually help you identify if any of these benefits are available to you which often include items like free rent allowances or tenant improvement allowances. These can some times represent a very significant amount of money and are worth pushing for during lease negotiations.

Once terms have been agreed on, you will want to make sure the lease is reviewed by an experienced lease attorney. This lease agreement is extremely important and you want to make sure that you fully understand all items that are presented in this document. Your franchisor will also provide you with assistance reviewing the lease, and may even have a suggested lease document for you to use.

When finding a site location for your franchise business you will usually have ample support to help you make your decision, but keep in mind that you are the main player in this process. When you select a location and sign a lease you are agreeing to operate your business in that location for the length of the agreement. You will be working there almost every day, so you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the terms of the agreement.

The Roni Deutch Tax Center™ franchise support staff offers some of the best real estate supports of any franchisors. With a team of real estate attorneys and comprehensive mapping and site selection software, they will help you pinpoint what locations are prime locations for your own Roni Deutch Tax Center™. They will even help with lease negotiations and site development.

In a few weeks the WatchMeFranchise team will be heading out to visit Heather’s commercial leasing broker Greg Flahive of Flahive Commercial Leasing, for an update on Heather’s leasing negotiations and some general advice for people going through this process. So be sure to bookmark WatchMeFranchise.com and check back for our next video update!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 12, 2007

Tips for Looking at Possible Site Locations

Choosing the site location for your franchise business is the most important step in the process of opening a franchise business besides deciding which franchisor to choose. Because of the importance of this step we want to make sure to provide you with as much information as possible. We will walk you through the process so you know as much as possible about selecting a site location and feel prepared when you are making this decision for yourself.

Typically in the franchising process it is the responsibility of the franchisee to do all the legwork when researching and negotiating potential site locations. Meaning you will be responsible for going out with your commercial leasing broker and looking at potential sites. In order to help you with this stressful task, the WatchMeFranchise team has put together the following tips for being prepared when you go out looking for potential site locations.

Bring a digital camera to take photographs and possibly a video camera

Not only will having these pictures and videos make it easier for you to look back over the various locations you visited, but most franchisors also require that you submit pictures or video for their review.

Bring a tape measure as well as ample pens and paper

You want to make sure to have ample paper and writing utensils because you will probably be taking a lot of notes as you visit different sites. It’s also good to bring a tape measure so you can get accurate measurements and possibly draw a floor plan.

Think about accessibility. Is the location easy to get in and out of?

When you are driving in and out of your potential site’s shopping center, think about how easy it is to get to and from your store. Odds are that if it is hard for you to get to the store then it will deter potential customers.

Consider the amount of car and foot traffic around the location

While your looking at the potential sites look out the windows and take notice of the amount of cars driving by and the number of people walking by. Typically you want to find a location that has decent car/foot traffic to generate customers.

Carefully look at the other businesses in you shopping center

Most franchisors tell you what stores and businesses are good to have in your shopping center. But keep in mind that your franchise business will be located near these stores, and think about the types of clientele these stores attract.

Imagine the functionality of a business in this location

When you are inside the location look for things like electric outlets, ceiling lighting, breaker box, etc. Think about how easy it will be for you and your business to function in this location.

Make sure to see what the bathroom is like

Although it may sound funny, it’s important to take a look at the bathroom before you decide on a site. You will work long hours at your site and odds are that you will be using the bathroom, so make sure you like it.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 11, 2007

Outside Heather’s Desired Site Location

Here is the second video the WatchMeFranchise team filmed with Heather last week. We filmed this video outside Heather’s desired site location in the TJ Max shopping center in Roseville, CA. In the video Heather talks about why she decided on this location, and specifically she talks about the amount of car and foot traffic the site gets. Heather also gives advice at the end of the video to other potential franchisees that are going through the site selection process.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | October 5, 2007

On the Road to Heather’s Potential Site

After meeting up with Heather at the Roni Deutch Tax Center corporate headquarters the Watch Me Franchise team packed up and headed off to check out Heather’s potential new site location. On the drive Watch Me Franchise hostess Amanda Scarr asked Heather a few questions about her experience in switching territories and finding the right site location. You can watch that video below or check back next week to see out the other two videos we filmed yesterday where Heather gives more details and advice on the site selection process.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | September 26, 2007

Pictures of Heather’s Desired Location

Earlier this week Heather went out with her commercial real estate broker to hopefully decide on and obtain a location for her new Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM. Unfortunately, Heather has had quite a struggle finding a location because all the available spaces keep getting taken before she has a chance to put in a bid. However, she has found a new location she likes and has already submitted a letter of intent. Although we are scheduled to shoot a video of Heather & Gentry at the site some time next week, Heather was able to send us some pictures she took with her digital camera to share with everyone. Enjoy the thumbnails below!

   

Posted by: RDTC Staff | September 20, 2007

Heather & Gentry Switch Their Territory

A few minutes ago we were notified that Heather and Gentry Spell had been granted their third territory change. Their previous zip code was 95678 and their new one is 95661. Both territories are in Roseville, California, where Heather is hoping to open up her store. Below is a screen shot of the territory selection software highlighting their new zip code. We are scheduled to shoot a new video with Heather in the first week of October so be sure to check back to see her explain why she decided to change her territory again.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | September 14, 2007

Training Graduation & Interview Videos

Today was the last day of Heather’s required training, and as a part of the celebration, all of the trainees and most of the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM staff went to a graduation luncheon at a nearby restaurant. The Watch Me Franchise team was on hand to see Heather get her graduation certificate and for a quick interview by Watch Me Franchise hostess Amanda. Watch the two new videos below.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | September 13, 2007

Heather Struggles with Training: Video Reactions

The Watch Me Franchise team was supposed to get a quick video interview with Heather earlier today, but instead we got a few longer videos. It turns out that Heather was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information that was being given to her at training yesterday. Its true that training can be stressful, but that’s because there is a lot to learn in only a week or two. Fortunately, the training staff is experienced in helping struggling franchisees, and they were able to help Heather feel more comfortable with everything that’s going on.In addition to grabbing Heather from training for an interview with the Watch Me Franchise hostess, Amanda, we were also able to grab interviews with Glen Wielandt, Vice President of Operations, and Mike Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Roni Deutch Tax CentersTM. Enjoy the videos!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | September 12, 2007

Heather Spell Attends her Training

This week Heather Spell, our featured spotlight franchisee, has been attending training at the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM franchisee training in Sacramento, California. The Watch Me Franchise team stopped by training to check up with Heather and so far things are going great. Heather is having a good time and has already learned a lot. Below are some pictures of Heather at training over the past few days that we have uploaded to Roni Deutch’s Flickr account. The Watch Me Franchise team is also scheduled to stop by training tomorrow for a video interview with Heather, so be sure to visit back tomorrow for that video.

       

We are excited to announce that the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM was approved today to begin offering area development opportunities in most states across the country. We are particularly proud of this accomplishment as we are only in our third month of offering franchises. Compared to our competitors who took several years to establish such a program.

The area development program allows individuals to buy a group of 50 territories in a designated region at a discounted rate. The area developer then markets these available franchise opportunities in their specific region. After a territory is sold, area developers receive a percent of royalties collected from the franchises in their territory based on the performance of the stores. When making this purchase the area developer will need to operate at least one business in the territory, which will serve as a prototype business to showcase to potential franchisees. This prototype will need to remain open for the life of the contract and any future renewal terms. The area developers will also provide assistance to their franchisees and work with them to achieve optimal success. For more details on our area development programs be sure to contact one of our representatives.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | August 13, 2007

What is the International Franchise Association?

The International Franchise Association (IFA) was founded in 1960 as an organization for franchisors, franchisees, and suppliers alike to provide help and guidance to the entire franchising industry. The IFA has been an integral component of the modern explosion of franchising by constantly working closely with the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Congress to work on improving how relations in the entire franchise industry. They established a code of ethics to form a framework for the industry standard best practices for all IFA members. All IFA members must agree to the code of ethics in order to be part of the association.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | July 25, 2007

Difference Between Selecting a Territory & a Site Location

People often get confused on the difference between selecting a territory and selecting a site location. Although they are two completely different steps in the franchise process, they do go hand in hand with each other. A territory is a general area that your franchise business will be located in, and you select the territory shortly after signing the franchise agreement. Usually territories are divided by either zip code or by the amount of people living in the area. A site location, on the other hand, is the exact location that your franchise will be at. Usually the site location is either a store in a strip mall or a free standing location. Typically site location comes later in the franchise process, some time after attending training.Heather and Gentry have already selected a territory in Northern California, be sure to watch their Signing & Territory Selection video. Heather is scheduled to attend the first training session, then after she completes training she will be looking for a site location. Be sure to check back and watch as we follow Heather and Gentry as they open their own Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | July 3, 2007

The Territory Selection Process

One of the first things people do after signing a franchise agreement is to begin the territory selection process. Why? Because reviewing and signing the massive franchise agreement is a very slow and monotonous process that would bore even the most excited franchisee. But once you’ve finished with the boring paper work, the first exciting step you get to take is to pick a territory. Not only is it a break from tedious documents, but selecting a territory is actually a pretty fun process. You get to look at maps and decide on the area that your new franchise is going to be located in.

Some franchise company’s already have a pretty large list of franchisees and you are limited to the territory you can select, but with other newer franchises you can pretty much pick any territory you want. Although each franchisor has their own rules on selecting a territory, they all typically have a population requirement for each territory. With a Roni Deutch Tax Center, the territories are divided either by zip code or by geographical area that contains at least 35,000 people.

When deciding what territory to open your franchise business in, you want to make sure that it has the right demographics for whatever business you are opening. Fortunately each franchisor is familiar with their key demographics and will usually work with you to select the best territory available. You should also consider other businesses in that territory. Look for a territory with business that will compliment yours. But remember that this territory is where you are going to be spending a lot of time. Don’t forget to think about the community in general. When you open up a business you are going to become part of the community. Make sure that you feel comfortable with this territory because you will be working in it for the remainder of your franchise agreement.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | June 29, 2007

Signing & Territory Selection

Yesterday morning Heather & Gentry pulled into the parking lot of the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM corporate headquarters early to sign their franchise agreement and begin the territory selection process. Lewis Trio, Vice President of Marketing & Support, was there to help them through the process. Fortunately, the Watch Me Franchise team was also on hand to capture everything on video! Be sure to also read our articles on territory selection and signing a franchise agreement.

Posted by: RDTC Staff | June 26, 2007

Advice on Reviewing Franchise Agreements

Franchise agreements can be quite overwhelming when you first look at one. Understanding all the terms can be quite a daunting task. Fortunately, well-educated potential franchisees have a much easier time reviewing the agreement. The franchise agreement is probably the most important document in the process of becoming a franchise business owner.A franchise agreement is the legally binding component of any business relationship between a franchisee and a franchisor. In carefully worded terms, it spells out the relationship between franchisor and franchisee, the responsibilities of each, and how the new franchise will be run. The agreement lays out the strategy and plan for operating the new business and ensures the franchise will operate in a manner identical to how all other franchises are operating. It also addresses the possibility of potential issues and sets a plan for how the issues will be resolved.

Although there is no standard format for a franchise agreement, typically most franchise agreements cover two main aspects. The first part of the document is usually the purchase agreement, which details the franchise package, the price and fees, and the services to be provided by the franchisor. The second part of the contract is typically the franchise or license agreement. It entails the rights granted to the franchisee, the obligations that franchisor will undertake, the obligations and trade restrictions that will be imposed on the franchisee, and termination provisions.

Remember that signing the contract legally binds you to the provisions of the agreement. Typically potential franchisees will even have an attorney review the franchise agreement. It is important to make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the contract before you enter an agreement.

The Watch Me Franchise spotlight franchisees, Heather and Gentry Spell, are scheduled to come to the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM headquarters some time tomorrow afternoon for a meeting with Lewis Trio. If all goes well, then Heather and Gentry might decide to sign the franchise agreement and begin finding a territory for their store. The Watch Me Franchise team will be on hand tomorrow in case they do decide to sign. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what happens!

Posted by: RDTC Staff | June 22, 2007

Amanda’s Post Discovery Day Interview

After Heather & Gentry finished their Discovery Day tour, the Watch Me Franchise team was able to get them to sit down for an interview with hostess Amanda Scarr. In the video, they discuss their feelings going into Discovery Day and their thoughts on how the day went. So what’s next for our spotlight franchisees? Well if they are 100% sure about moving forward with the purchase then they will be signing a franchising agreement within the next few weeks. Be sure to check back to learn more about franchising agreements and see Heather & Gentry take that big step!

  

Posted by: RDTC Staff | June 21, 2007

Heather & Gentry Discovery Day Pictures

Heather & Gentry just finished attending a Discovery Day at the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM Corporate Headquarters in North Highlands, Ca. While they were walking around the Watch Me Franchise team was on hand to grab a few pictures of them on their tour. We have put the pictures up on Roni’s Flickr account. Click on the thumbnails for the full size pictures!

Discovery Day 14 Discovery Day 05 Discovery Day 13 Discovery Day 06 Discovery Day 12 Discovery Day 03 Discovery Day 15 Discovery Day 16 Discovery Day 07 Discovery Day 08 Discovery Day 02 Discovery Day 09 Discovery Day 10 Discovery Day 11 Discovery Day 04 Discovery Day 01

Heather also gave us the following quick quote about how Discovery Day went. You can see the full text below, and be sure to check back tomorrow to see Watch Me Franchise hostess, Amanda Scarr, interviewing them about how the Discovery Day went.

“Hello! Gentry and I just finished getting back from the Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM location on Madison and Dewey. It was the last stop on our Discovery Day tour before our final meeting with Roni. We had such a great time, and I am glad we were able to come today. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, and it was fun getting to see how our new store will look. We also met so many employees from both the RDTC headquarters and Roni’s law firm. After seeing all that, we are really excited and confident in our decision to invest in a Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM franchise.”

Posted by: RDTC Staff | June 20, 2007

What is a Discovery Day?

Site Map Attending a Discovery Day is one of the final steps in the initial process of purchasing a franchise business. It comes some times after receiving the UFOC and deciding to move forward, and typically franchisors have already approved you financially before even sending an official invitation. Actually going to the Discovery Day usually comes right before you decided weather to actually sign the agreements or not.Although potential franchisees have the opportunity to talk with various members of a franchisor’s team over the telephone, attending a Discovery Day is usually their first chance to meet in person. Not only can you meet with all the principals of the company, but you also get the chance to sit down and discuss the possibility of owning a franchise one on one with them, or even with the head of the company. When attending a Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM Discovery Day, potential franchisees get to meet with all of the company’s principal officers including none other than Roni Deutch herself.Attending a Discovery Day also allows you to tour the franchisor’s corporate headquarters. This tour helps you get a feel for what it will be like to be in business with the company. Remember, when you invest in a franchise you are essentially becoming a part of that company. You are going to be working with the company and will be representing their brand. It is important that you feel comfortable with them.

Most of the time a Discovery Day also includes a visit to an actual retail location of the franchise you intend to purchase. Typically, franchisors will take you to a corporate owned store. When you are looking around the store, make sure you like the look and feel of it. You will be spending long hours working in there, and if you do not like the furniture or something else, then you need to address that before agreeing to a purchase.

When attending a Roni Deutch Tax CenterTM Discovery Day you also get to visit Roni’s law firm, Roni Lynn Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation. Roni opened the firm 16 years ago and it has grown into the nation’s largest tax resolution law firm. By visiting the law firm, you can really get a feel for how Roni runs her businesses by visiting with employees and even having some food from the free kitchen.

Many people often wonder if they should bring their checkbook to make their purchase at the Discovery Day. The answer to this question is yes and no. Although you can make the purchase while at Discovery Day, you certainly do not have to. However, most of the time when someone attends then have already made up their mind and are just waiting for final confirmation of their decision. If this is the case for you, then feel free to bring your checkbook along! Otherwise, do not worry, you can always make your purchase at another date.

Our spotlight franchisees, Heather & Gentry Spell are just about to attend their Discovery Day, look forward to pictures and videos coming soon!

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