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Franchise Advice and Interesting News

March 2010

-- FRANCHISEKNOWHOW LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
-- FOLLOWING THE HOUSING MARKET FOR RECOVERY SIGNALS
-- FIVE KEY ATTRIBUTES OF A SUCCESSFUL FOOD FRANCHISE by ALAN SOMECK
-- WHAT I WISH FOR.....
-- TECHNOLOGY CORNER
-- IFE PRESENTATION
-- VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT DECLINES IN 2009 UPTICK EXPECTED IN 2010
-- ECONOMIC STATS THAT MATTER

Be sure to make a visit to our new website. Read about recent news regarding the housing market. You can also learn about what makes for a successful food franchise. The article on VC activity leads to a link that is chock full of VC data from 2009.

FRANCHISEKNOWHOW LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

The new FranchiseKnowHow site will provide articles, information and resources to help franchisees and franchisors successfully grow and operate their businesses.

Some of the subject areas will include: Buying a Franchise, Franchise Operations, Marketing and Financing. The Legal Corner will feature articles from leading franchise attorneys, that represent franchisees and franchisors.

The website will be jointly managed by FranchiseKnowHow, LLC and Attard Communications, Inc., which operates www.businessknowhow.com., one of the leading websites for small and medium size business owners.

Click Here To Visit The New Website

FOLLOWING THE HOUSING MARKET FOR RECOVERY SIGNALS

Housing sales continue to struggle as the economy slowly grinds its way out of the 2009 recession. Certain indicators point to a weak housing market throughout this year, which is in concert with predictions that the current recovery will take longer than previous ones. On the other hand, some have a less pessimistic view of housing in 2010. The Administration has proposed legislative relief for selected homeowners with mortgages that are "under water". This has been seen by some to provide limited relief to the overall housing market.

Here are snippets on the housing market from various sources:

The housing market looks as though it may worsen again in 2010 as foreclosures are expected to increase to over 3.5 million units which is an increase of 10 percent from elevated 2009 levels (source: Realty Trac).

Trulia released its Price Reduction Report for March 2010. The report suggests that sellers are being more realistic when pricing their homes. Over the past year, the rate of price decline began to ease and actually stabilize in certain housing markets. Prices stabilized, largely because sellers finally began to adapt to the new (lower priced) market. I wouldn't be surprised if this discount trend begin to expand again in the coming months as sellers enter the spring housing markets with more optimism after a higher level of activity at the end of last year.

Executives at Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., New Jersey's largest homebuilder, are among those watching if demand will hold up after government incentives fades. The Red Bank, New Jersey-based company this month reported its first quarterly profit since 2006. "With the tax credit for first time and repeat buyers expiring at the end of the second quarter, we too are interested to see if the positive momentum that we established can be sustained," Chief Executive Officer Ara Hovnanian said on a conference call with investors on March 3. "We're keeping a close eye on this as we head into the summer months."

Click To Read the Latest Housing Recap From the US Commerce Dept.

FIVE KEY ATTRIBUTES OF A SUCCESSFUL FOOD FRANCHISE by ALAN SOMECK

In today's highly competitive franchise food marketplace, it is no accident that some franchises have maintained a strong market position even in this very tough economy. The food service business is considered by some to be akin to living on the edge given its high failure rates (some estimates run as high as 70%) within the first 2 to 3 years of operation. The competition is intense and the margin for error is often very thin. It is therefore critical that food franchises that want to grow and be successful need to follow and maintain best practices.

Click Here to See 5 Practices of Successful Food Franchises.

WHAT I WISH FOR.....

........ that I could still hit my 8 iron 150 yards

......... that we've seen the last of frost for 2010

..........all of our readers have a fulfilling year

............ our troops remain safe and successfully complete their mission

TECHNOLOGY CORNER

News From the World of Technology

Thanks to smart phones and other mobile devices, the number of applications that make use of geo-location data is exploding. But developers and device makers face new challenges that include determining physical location accurately, turning coordinates into meaningful information, and protecting users' privacy.

More small physician practices are automating patient files. Electronic record keeping among providers in the healthcare sector has lagged behind other industries but a recent survey by NaviNet reveals increased adoption of electronic record keeping.

Click Here to Read About the NaviNet Survey

IFE PRESENTATION

I'll be presenting at the International Franchise Expo in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 10 at 2:30 PM. The topic will be "Meeting the Franchisor at Corporate." If anyone would like a complimentary admission to the IFE send me an e-mail and I'll forward you a ticket.

VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT DECLINES IN 2009 UPTICK EXPECTED IN 2010

Although the level of venture capital investment was very low during 2009, the Fourth Quarter ended on a strong note and provided optimism for the level of VC investment in the current year.

Learn more about venture capital performance from the Money Tree Report by PWC

ECONOMIC STATS THAT MATTER

From 1992 through the beginning of the latest recession, companies with less than 100 employees accounted for 46% of net job growth, according to Labor Department data.

Some 80% of public employees are beneficiaries of defined-benefit plans under which monthly pension payments are guaranteed, no matter how stocks and other volatile assets backing the retirement plans perform. According to a survey last month by the Pew Center on the States, a nonpartisan research group, eight states -- Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia -- lack funding for more than a third of their pension liabilities. Thirteen others are less than 80% funded. Governments could fill that gap by raising property, sales and income taxes, but most are wrestling with huge revenue shortfalls in trying to balance their budgets. The more likely outcome is dramatic cuts in essential services, such as police and fire protection, health spending, education and infrastructure improvements, in order to cover ballooning pension payments.

 

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