Blunders That Killed These 5 Franchises

Failure is the best teacher. For some, that lesson comes harder, and leads to the closing of a business. But these former business owners are not the only ones who can learn from their mistakes. Other franchisors can have that chance too. Here’s a list of franchises we can learn from, and why they failed.

Branding Blunders


Opening in 1957, Sambo’s restaurants faced controversy early on. Despite their claim that “Sambo” came from the founders’ names, it couldn’t justify the caricature of Li’l Black Sambo so easily. Rebranding could have saved this company had they done it earlier, but even trying to become “The Jolly Tiger” couldn’t undo the damage of poor corporate-level decisions that made it grow too quickly.

White Tower

Seeing the popularity of White Castle, John E. Saxe decided to imitate. They copied much of White Castle, down to the menu, advertising, and architecture of the restaurant. But as popular as this might have made them, they would have been better off distancing themselves a little further. Legal action from the original chain made them change their branding tune, and this ultimately killed White Tower.


Burger Chef

This food chain, popular in the 60s and 70s, once was a real challenger to McDonald’s. They were the first to develop a flamed-broiled burger, a self-serve bar, value combos, and a “Funmeal.” However, this company closed its doors for good in 1996. Why did it fail? It tried to do too much too fast. This rapid expansion helped bring Burger Chef to its knees.

Though you’ve got great ideas and you need to get them out before your competitors, make sure you’re not growing faster than you can handle!


Other franchisors will always see your success and try to imitate it. To avoid going under or losing customers to them, you have to stay on the edge in product and service.

Henry’s Hamburgers

Another once-challenger to the might of McDonald’s, Henry’s had over 200 restaurants by the early 60s. That’s more than McDonald’s had at the same time! But they could not adapt to the changing industry, as dozens of other hamburger chains began popping up. For example, as other chains began adding drive-thru pickup, Henry’s failed to do so. Plus, they had the disturbing controversy of possibly using horse meat.


With the advent of streaming services and more convenient DVD rentals like Redbox, the once-common Blockbuster began shutting down in 2013, after going bankrupt in 2010. Their attempt to stick to their old model backfired, closing the vast majority of their stores. Imagine if Blockbuster had changed with the times instead of holding onto the DVD rental model. We might still see them around!


Divvy can help you avoid any social media or printing blunders. Just contact us today to learn how we can help your franchise succeed!

Franchise Brokers: What Franchisees Should Know

A franchise broker (sometimes called a consultant) focuses on helping the franchisor and franchisee come together in business. Mainly, they help specific franchises to expand their business by helping potential franchisees find the right business for them. This means they work at both ends of the franchise business. So it’s important to know how to pick the right consultant for your needs.

How do franchise brokers work?

Franchise brokers work with about 10 franchises to help them expand their business. They have the information about the franchise, and now all they need is you. Think of them like a matchmaker for business!

When you meet with a franchise broker, they’ll offer you their matching services for free. They depend on this freedom to get your business. You’ll tell them all about your budget, your desires, and your dream franchise. In response, they’ll match you to about 3 of their contracted franchises according to which they see fits you the best.

Remember that brokers match you to a franchise for free. This is good for you. It means you can speak to multiple franchise brokers until you can become part of your dream franchise, rather than tying yourself to someone who is not a good match just because you paid for it. Choose someone who helps you.

When you work with a franchise broker, you’ll be a candidate, not a client. That is because the franchisor is the broker’s client. The franchisor, after all, is the one paying the broker, not you. And they’re getting 40-50% of the initial franchise fee. So you’ll have to be careful to choose the right brokers who are interested in you and not just in themselves.

You can catch this quickly if the franchise broker doesn’t ask about your finances and your desired business experience. If they’re just trying to sell you on an expensive franchise that doesn’t seem right for you, question their motives.

Get all the information

The broker you choose should know all the details of the franchises they present. You’ll need to know as much as you can about a company, down to its culture and day-to-day life. This will affect how you run your business, and whether it’ll be an enjoyable experience or a long-lived regret.

When reviewing their options, be aware that you’ll only get to see franchises your broker has a signed contract with. This means you should take it with a grain of salt when a broker promises to show you franchise opportunities that he or she doesn’t work with.

Trust your feelings

Don’t let yourself feel pressured at any point of the consulting process. This partnership is to fulfill your dreams, not the broker’s. If you do feel pressured, that may be a huge red flag. Remember that large commission? Someone who pressures you may be interested in lining their own wallet with an expensive franchise you won’t want.

You should also look for a genuine connection with your franchise broker. That real connection and trust will get you the best franchise for your needs. And, if there’s a genuine connection, you’ll likely be looking out for each other. What better trait could there be in a partnership?

Marketing Strategies You Should Use to Attract Franchisees

Without marketing, neither you nor your franchisees are successful. But franchise marketing strategies must be carefully tailored to both corporate and franchisee levels, or they could backfire. All your strategies will need to work together to make your franchise profitable, and to attract future franchisees. Learn more below about these strategies, how they’ll work together, and how you can use them to attract franchisees.

For Corporate:

These marketing strategies on the corporate level should attract more franchisees to your business.

Location-based strategy

Tie your strategy to location, focusing on the regions you want to build out first. If you establish a strong foothold in a region and build out from there, franchisees will want to come to your business. You can do this through:

  • Local SEO and keywords
  • Yelp ads
  • Social media ads and marketing
  • Radio and TV advertising
  • Billboards
  • Direct mail

Using both online and offline marketing will expand your reach regionally and draw interest in your business.

Use franchise lists

Get on sites like Entrepreneur, or anywhere with posted lists of franchise opportunities. You can get on an industry-specific lists as well. Your future franchisees are probably already reading these lists!

Stay on their minds

Franchisees have a lot to weigh when choosing to invest in a business. So they’ll go through a lot of options, and if you’re not careful, your franchise can get lost among dozens of other options. Once you’ve recorded their email and other important information, keep that relationship alive. This might be through newsletters, your blog, or a tool like Infusionsoft.

Focus on brand

Much of what will sell your franchise to new buyers is the brand. Your brand should be gaining recognition and trust, which encourages people to get involved with your business. Invest in excellent design, both for your brand and for your website, to stand out for the right reasons.

Target similar businesses

Attract future franchisees from a similar business outside your franchise. Give them a presentation with plenty of marketing materials to show why they should switch over to your franchise. Owners of similar businesses know something of the industry, and if you can convince them your franchise is better, you’ll both be more successful for it.

For Franchisees:

Depending on your franchisees’ needs, you should set up a marketing service for the franchise level. Have your franchisees vote on the kinds of marketing programs they want or need to help make the franchise successful.


As with corporate marketing, target your marketing based on franchisees’ locations. You can use the same elements as in a corporate marketing program, but you must make sure you are delivering to the right audience in the right way for each region. This is especially important for areas with many franchisees near one another.


Not all marketing options are equal, particularly not in a franchise. Nor will one strategy work forever for each owner. You should create a variety of marketing packages that your franchisees can pick based on budget and need. Then, allow them the opportunity to upgrade and downgrade.


Be aware of communication and reporting–two of the largest issues in a franchise. Between both the franchisor and the franchisee, there should be an open line of communication so both sides can speak about the value of their marketing. It’s also important to make sure your franchisees understand how to carry out their marketing plans, which can often be very complicated. Make sure that on your end, you create a lot of clear reports that the franchisees can receive in a timely manner and easily understand.


With a powerful marketing strategy and brand credibility in hand, your franchisees will attract new owners before you know it. As your franchise grows, let Divvy help with your marketing materials! We’d love to help.

Maintain Your Brand With Divvy

As a franchisor, you have many options for keeping your brand consistent among your franchisees. So what makes Divvy stand out above the rest? Divvy by Alexanders leaves little to no hassle for franchisors who want to maintain control over their company’s look. With Divvy, you can trust that your branded marketing stands out in the crowd.

On-site Printing

Divvy stands out from other web to print companies because the complete process is on our site. There’s no need for your franchisees to call or consult during their order. This saves you and them valuable time, such as over a weekend, after hours, or over a holiday.

Also, almost all of our printing and products are done in-house. Other automated web to print sites farm out their print and mailing to other locations and companies. This delays the process, and leaves more room for mistakes. But our in-house printing by Alexander’s gets you and your franchisees your products quickly. It only takes the amount of time to necessary to produce and ship to your location.

Plus, because it’s on-site, we know our printing is high-quality. We can print high-resolution photos from tiny postcards to large stands and signs. If you can dream it, we can print it!


For both franchisors and franchisees, Divvy is easy to use and hassle-free. We use your logo, brand colors, and standards over a wide variety of products, and help you set it all up.

Using our clean, white-label webstores, your franchisees can change hours of operation, dates, names, and numbers to customize signage or cards to their location. We also provide links for HTML tools, making it easy to add indentation, bullet points, and more into a text field without fuss.

Divvy portals also can include webinars for how-to videos, customer presentations, or training for each franchisee.


Franchisors can maintain complete brand control with Divvy. Too much franchisee customization may produce products with the wrong shades and hues, incorrect fonts, and unapproved pictures. These mistakes instantly damage your brand, and undermine your marketing efforts.

Divvy, however, lets you select approved brand colors and styles to prevent such damage. You can even allow franchisees to alter elements of their products based on their needs or desires, helping franchisees to feel like they also have creative control. At the same time, your stylistic control can prevent inconsistencies or mistakes that look less professional. This includes restricting hyphens, periods, or parentheses in a phone number for a business card or sign (e.g. (800)123-4567 or 800.123.4567).


As a franchisor, you control what your franchisees see, and you see all their activity as well. If all your units in Texas need special contract wording or sign colors, but it won’t apply to a unit in Wisconsin, you can hide certain products and capabilities from other franchisees where these options won’t matter.

Divvy allows a reporting option where you can view the order history of specific franchisees. This is useful if a franchisee’s unit isn’t doing well compared to others in their area. using this data, you can check on their marketing tools, how frequently they use these tools, and whether they’re selecting the same as their fellow franchisees.

Divvy’s goal is to save you time and hassle so you can focus on what’s important: your business. We succeed when you succeed, so we’ll help you meet your branding needs. Join the many successful companies already partnering with Divvy. Contact us today!

Divvy for Hair and Beauty Salons

Did you know Divvy could help your hair or beauty salon succeed? If you’re franchising and/or marketing your salon or beauty business, we can help with the hassle and make your marketing shine.

Email Databases

In 2014, Great Clips introduced Clip Notes, combining their email and mailing database with top-notch customer service. Now, clients can get the same satisfaction in their haircut with every visit. This excellent program keeps track of customers’ specific needs, purchases, and requests. This takes the strain off each client and the guesswork out of their service.

If you haven’t already, you should look into creating an email database like this for your salon. Mailing lists are 40 times more effective than social for acquiring customers. Likes and fans on social media only get you vanity and no emails or contact information. Without this, you have no way to offer your fans individualized sales that they will actually use.

Databases and Marketing

Databases target your customers specifically in a way social media can’t manage. For example, you can keep track of which clients regularly get colors or perms, and send them offers that they’ll be interested in and actually use.

Consistent print reminders, relevant offers, and data storage that enhances your customer service also keeps customers around long-term. Your brand will stay at the front of their minds whenever they need salon services. If they think of you first and associate positive service with your brand, you’ll retain them much longer!

Using a database such as this, Divvy can help you market to your clients’ needs. Thousands of people still prefer print reminders from their trusted health and beauty providers. Here is where Divvy steps in.

The Divvy Solution

Through Divvy by Alexander’s print solutions, clients can receive personalized, full-color reminders, offers, and more. Alexander’s will also mail them using sophisticated data-driven technology. This means faster turnaround, better tracking, and fewer calls for your franchises.

Naturally, this extends beyond beauty and hair salons. Divvy can do the same for any franchise! If you’re interested in learning how Divvy can make your customer data and marketing efforts succeed, contact us below!

Top 6 Brand Consistency Tips for Franchises

How to Select the Best Franchisees

When you decide to franchise your business, you are making a very important and impactful decision. One of the hardest parts of the decision is knowing what to look for when you select franchisees. Your franchisees can either make your decision to franchise the best or worst decision of your life. Here are the top () characteristics to look for in a potential franchisee so that you will only select the best franchisees.

1) Health

You want to choose a franchisee who will be in it with you for the long run. If a potential franchisee has recurring health problems that will keep them from successfully run their franchise, they are not the right choice. You need franchisees who are in good health and can perform the necessary duties to be successful.

2) Financial Resources

Your franchisees need to have financial resources to cover any losses that might occur. This is a pretty typical grading criteria for businesses that franchise. You need to determine what the minimum net worth of an individual is so that you can effectively and easily filter out those who aren’t qualified financially.

3) Experience

Your best bet in selecting a franchisee who will be successful is in their work experience. You want someone who has business-related experience and have proved to be successful in their past. You will want to avoid franchising to somebody who has ever worked in business in relation to with finance, marketing, or accounting.

4) Management Skills

Franchisees are leaders, but even leaders sometimes need direction. You need to set up work standards and expectations to help guide them in the right direction. Your franchisee needs to be able to effectively lead a team of employees to be organized and efficient all while staying on top of the management side of the business by accurately bookkeeping the finances and other overhead of the business.

5) Independence

Your franchisee needs to be able to work independently from you. Don’t select a franchisee who you think will be too reliant on you for making business decisions. Choose franchisees who are confident that they can effectively run and business and succeed.

6) Integrity

Probably one of the most important characteristics to look for in a franchisee is integrity. You need to be able to trust all of your franchisees and especially trust that they will be honest and ethical in how they do business. All it takes is one bad apple to destroy a brand.

7) Compatibility

Lastly, you want your franchisees to be compatible with your business, industry, and company culture. Just as if you were going to hire a normal employee, you want to make sure they will fit in and compliment the business in every way. Avoid those people who have toxic attitudes…they usually end up being the bad apple for your business.

Looking For More?

There are a lot of good resources out there that can assist you in selecting the best franchisees. Here are some resources we found useful:

Looking For An Easier Way To Effectively Market?

Divvy is your one-stop shop for all of your marketing needs! From digital marketing to print marketing, you can rely on Divvy to maximize your marketing efforts. You can learn more by contacting us through the form below or by calling at (801) 224-8666. Come experience the Divvy difference today!


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Learn How to Franchise Your Business Today!

The process to franchise your business is a big and scary step in the progression of a business. Franchising has been proven to accelerate the growth of your business at a very rapid rate. You may be wondering how to get started with franchising so that you don’t make any mistakes and the transition can be smooth. If you want the process to be smooth and have a greater chance of being profitable, here are 7 steps to successfully franchise your business.

1) Organize and Prepare Your Business

Just because you own a business doesn’t mean you can franchise and succeed. You need to make sure your business is prepared and organized enough to be successful in franchising out. Think through how your business works. Your future franchises need to to understand the business model and how it works in order to run their own franchise.

You need to do the research. Do you have the research to back your decision to expand via franchises? Market research is crucial to know if there is a demand for your product or service. You also need to know if the market is saturated or not. If the market for what you have to offer is too saturated, you will fail. Look for locations or niches in the market that aren’t saturated so that you can make your own success.

2) Hire an Attorney

There are a lot of legalities with franchising and you want to make sure you do everything right. First things first, you are going to need to fill out a Franchise Disclosure Document with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The language and particulars of this document are so specific that you will need an attorney to correctly draft it. This is only at the federal level, you also need to consider state laws and regulations. You probably aren’t going to want to put in the time and effort to know all of these things because you are still running your business, leave it up to a lawyer to do that work for you.

3) Decide on a Franchise Model

How far do you want your franchise to expand? How many franchises do you want? These are questions that you need to consider while planning your franchise expansion. Decide on places to expand to, based on your market research of course. You need to expand where it makes sense, so be picky about locations. Decide on how fast you want to grow. Sometimes rapid growth is detrimental to a business, pick a rate of growth and expansion that will only benefit your business.

4) Choose the Right People

This is probably the most difficult and important steps in the franchising process. If you don’t choose the right people to franchise your business, your company can fail very quickly. You need to be able to trust and maintain a relationship with your first franchisees. It is easy to find people with capital, but it is harder to find the people with the right experience.

5) Build and Maintain Your Brand

Don’t let your franchisees go off and do their own thing with your business name. Your brand is the most important aspect of your business. When you franchise your business out, you essentially give the reigns to someone else for your brand. In order to avoid a brand tragedy, make sure you have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to your brand image. Don’t let your franchisees alter or change your brand in any way unless you want your overall brand to change.

6) Find a Mentor

There have been plenty of other people who have already experienced what you are going through right now. Find a mentor. Your mentor can guide you and give you advice about the process of how to correctly franchise your business. They should be someone you trust and that has the time for you and your business. Your mentor has the capability of being the most valuable asset to the growth of your business.

7) Support Your Franchisees

Your franchisees need to know that you trust and support them. Franchising is not only scary for you, but it is also scary for the franchisee. They are investing a lot into the franchise and have everything to lose if they fail. Give them the support they need to succeed because if they succeed, your business succeeds and progresses.

Divvy Can Help Your Franchises

If you are a franchiser or a franchisee, Divvy can help you with all of your marketing needs. From print marketing to digital marketing, whatever your needs are, divvy can help. Fill out the form below or give us a call at (801) 224-8666 to see how we can help you. Come experience the Divvy difference today!

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How to Strengthen Your Franchise: Avoid These 7 Costly Mistakes

When investing in a franchise, you want to ensure that your business will continue to receive success. Strengthen your franchise by avoiding these 7 mistakes that could harm your brand and lead to franchisee failures:


As the franchise owner, you are in charge of making the major decisions that effect your entire franchise chain. However, don’t be so tightfisted that you’re unwilling to listen to the ideas your Franchisee owners have. You don’t have to agree with everything that they suggest, but be open to new ideas that can strengthen your franchise and brand.

Expanding Too Quickly

A franchise is meant to grow and succeed, but it doesn’t (and often can’t) happen all at once.  ooking back on its first four years of operation, admitted that one of its biggest early mistakes was leaving the markets of the Southeastern states before it was ready. It granted several franchises for locations in California, which, one after another, turned into nightmares for franchisees and franchisor alike. The franchisees were simply too far from the company’s headquarters. Support and training were difficult; regular monitoring and assistance were nearly impossible given the expense of travel. Small difficulties went unattended and grew into large problems that eventually led to costly restaurant closings.” Let your franchise grow comfortably at a rate that you, the Franchisor, can maintain.

Hiring the Wrong Franchisees

Along the same lines, when you do decide to add more franchisees, take the time to hire someone with a business ethic that matches your own. Andrew A. Caffey suggests that, “The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure the franchisor is adequately capitalized to allow for slower, more measured growth, and allow time for the company to identify the best prospective franchisees possible.” Remember, this business is supposed to last long term. Invest the necessary time it takes to hire the right people.

Forgetting Employees

Now that you’ve hired the right people, be sure to take care of them. Understand the reasons they are working for you so that you can ensure their needs are met. Do your employees enjoy the flexible hours? If so, applying stricter hours to all franchisees could be a big mistake that could loose future employees. Are they working for you because they believe in your product? Then changing the product too drastically might scare them away.

Remember, dedicated employees mean a thriving business. Be sure to care for them and meet their needs so that they can continue to meet the needs of your customers.

Cutting Costs that Compromise the Customer

Saving money on unnecessary costs is a good thing, but compromising the customer’s experience is not. Just like with your employees, be aware of what keeps your clients coming back again and again. Do you have special discounts or deals that they look forward to each month? Getting rid of them altogether may be a mistake. Is there a special item on your menu that your customers adore? Find what keeps your customers coming back, and give them the quality experience they have come to know and love. Remember, it is much easier (and cost affordable) to retain a loyal customer than entice a new one.

Not Sharing “Secret Sauce”

Each business has secrets to its success, whether its a special recipe, a method of training employees, or the attitude with which it receives potential clients. President of Osteo Strong Franchising, LLC, Kyle Zagrodzky, puts it this way: “Entrepreneurs are charismatic, and when they’ve built a successful business and start considering franchising, they often severely underestimate how much of their personal touch makes that business thrive. To win on a massive scale, a franchised company has to be duplicable, but you can’t replicate yourself. Franchisees have to feel connected to the spirit of the brand, and the best way to do that is through great educational resources. Offer franchisees immediate, easy access to a full suite of educational tools that will show them the recipe for your secret sauce so it can be recreated in every unit.”

Trust your Franchisees with the secrets to your success so that your brand can continue to thrive.

Brand Inconsistency

Your brand is how your customers recognize you. If your logo or brand colors are changing from location to location, it will confuse customers, and make some of your Franchisees start to look like cheap knock-offs. Keeping consistency is especially important when rebranding your business.

It’s not all just about logos, however. Are you updating your franchise menu? Offering a new discount? Branded marketing materials should be consistent across your brand, and for that to happen, they need to be easy for your franchisees to access. Here at Divvy by Alexanders, we specialize in helping Franchiees keep branding consistent over all of their social media and print marketing materials. Find out more about Divvy here, or contact us in the form below for additional information.

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Using color psychology in advertising

Fun fact for the day: The human eye can distinguish between 2.5 million and 10 MILLION color variations. Combine this with hundreds of marketing messages we see per day and your task for choosing the layout/design for your next product instantly became a bit more daunting. That is if you are interested in using color psychology well.

Too many times decisions are made based on “What looks good” when the better question should be “What feels right?” Results from studies like The Interactive Effects of Colors show that the relationship between brands and color hinged on the perceived appropriateness of the color being associated with the particular brand. Basically does the color “fit” what is being sold? Color increases brand recognition by 80% so pay close attention to these color psychology infographics we found.


Quick color psychology tips

A list of go-to colors

Blue typically associated with feelings of trust, security, confidence and intelligence. It is considered a strong masculine color and is effective in portraying intelligence and cleanliness. It produces calm feelings and is recommended for more organizations concerned with creating a professional image.

Green can either represent wealth and finance (dark green) or entertainment and leisure (light green). Either way green symbolizes growth, harmony and fresh qualities. Dark green invokes feelings of health as well as financial security or success. It is the easiest color for the eyes to look at and even improves vision. We suggest using this when representing testimonials and founder’s stories.

Red actually increases your heart rate by activating the pituitary gland. Use this when conveying excitement or extreme emotions. Food companies use red in store signage because it encourages appetite and enhances metabolism. A recent study found that changing the color of the price from black to red in an advertisement makes men think they are getting a bargain. Because red is highly visible and helps bring text and images to the foreground, we suggest using it as an accent on your signage to attract attention to your key messages.

Yellow is associated with joy, happiness, optimism and energy. This color stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy. Use yellow sparingly as a way to get attention or to contrast with another color.

Orange is enthusiastic and cheerful, a combination of red and yellow attributes. While still grabbing a consumer’s attention, orange is more toned down. Many people respond physically to the color with increased oxygen to the brain, invigoration and mental stimulation. Our suggestion? Use orange to convey excitement and strength without overbearing the consumer.

Black can be powerful, dramatic, classy or protective. You see black often used when advertising a timeless product or to really round a company’s. Typically we see black on expensive products like clothing and technology.

White on the other hand exudes simplicity and purity. It can be used to help build a brand’s goodness and innocence. White is often used with health related products.


Color psychology in logos

Image by The Logo Company

The next step

So next time you need to update your advertising, signage or logo, do not open the nearest box of crayons and pull out a handful to choose from. Within every industry there are color trends. Look at what your competitors are doing and find a way to differentiate yourself. Don’t use color for color’s sake. In an article entitled Impact of Color Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product). If you have to choose between color psychology theory and market trends, be critical. It is more important the colors support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations.


If you need help designing your franchises logo, marketing material or product displays let us know, we’d love to help.

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