Five Steps to Build a Successful Franchise


At Just Between Friends we have been celebrating the past few weeks, after Forbes Magazine named us a top five franchise to buy in 2015. This is such a humbling honor for myself, my staff and the lifeblood of our business, the franchisees. Running this company is truly a labor of love. What began in my living room in Tulsa, Okla. in 1997 is now an international company with 150 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Each franchisee works to build successful consignment events in their community. Collectively, JBF franchises are helping more than 600,000 families buy and sell items and literally “turn clutter into cash”.

Building a franchise system is no easy task and I am often asked for advice by other small business owners interested in franchising. This week I am sharing some of my top tips on what to do when launching a franchise system.

Five Steps to Follow When Starting a Franchise

  1. Secure an experienced franchise attorney: This is by far the most important step. Franchising can be a litigious industry because you are dealing with people’s money and livelihoods. Also I recommend joining the International Franchise Association – full of reputable experts with great resources at your fingertips.
  1. Create a system for training and support(I learned this the hard way) which should include:
    1. Operations Manual
    2. Training program for franchisees
    3. Develop a plan for ongoing support. For example, JBF has an annual conference and regular training webinars, in addition to mentors and smart groups etc.
  1. Decide on your sales model:
    1. Will you have an in-house staff or hire a brokerage firm?
    2. What is your growth model: Domestic, foreign, both?
    3. If it is foreign, in which parts of the world will you focus and why?
  1. Acquire the proper technology to grow and scale your franchise. Examples:
    1. Develop your branding and ensure it is scalable.
    2. Develop your website
    3. POS system
  1. Create a marketing strategy and a guidebook for the following:
    1. Advertising
    2. Public Relations
    3. Social Media – Develop policies and procedures early in your concept as to your social media best practices

For more information on franchising, I also recommend you check out the International Franchise Association’s website.

And if you are interested in Just Between Friends’ franchise opportunity, we are expanding throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information

For more information on franchising, I also recommend you check out the International Franchise Association’s website.

And if you are interested in Just Between Friends’ franchise opportunity, we are expanding throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information

– Shannon

Shannon WilburnBy Shannon Wilburn, CEO of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. @ShannonWilburn (Twitter and Instagram)

Just Between Friends is actively seeking franchisees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information on joining the JBF team.

Staying Organized After a Vacation


Have you noticed when you get home from vacation you somehow bring back more stuff than what you took with you?  I swear we needed an extra suitcase to hold all the brochures our youngest son wanted to bring home so that he could play “Disney World Worker.”

Sometimes, even before we go on vacation, we start accumulating brochure, after brochure, after brochure because we’re just not sure where we want to go. We hold onto them all just in case we decide to go there ‘someday’…  I understand that sometimes it’s nice to hold onto a brochure or two to remind us of trips we might want to take. However, if your drawer is exploding from vacation brochures or travel magazines, now might be a great time to “clear the clutter” and just save the most important one or two brochures for that trip you might plan. An even better idea would be to toss them all and just “Google” your next trip.

As with any vacation, you always manage to pick up a few momentos along the way.  I know my purse was stuffed with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck…we’ve all dealt with this in some way, shape, or form.

So now that we’ve returned from vacation, let’s get organized.

1. As soon as you get home from your vacation, start your laundry. For a special treat to yourself, take it to a laundry service this one time so that you are not so overwhelmed.

2. To clean out your purse from the trip, turn it upside down on your kitchen counter and start tossing out brochures, candy wrappers, tickets, food, or maps from a local area and other signs of your vacation.

3. As soon as you get home, it’s best to completely empty out your bags, suitcases, toiletry bags and wallet.

4. If you purchased small travel bottles of shampoo or soap wash them out so that are ready to be filled again.

5. Keep the toiletry bags stocked for your next trip. Stick a note in your suitcase if you ran out of something or if you wanted to remember to bring Qtips or ear plugs for next time.

Now what do we do with all those hundreds of photos you took on vacation?  I feel another blog post coming on!

michelleAuthor Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter” Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune.  Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations.

image © Inara Prusakova

To Franchise or Not to Franchise – Five Key Questions


  This past week is one that I won’t soon forget. It was Friday morning and I was wrapping up projects preparing for a much needed trip to the beach with some girlfriends when I got the message: Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. was once again on Forbes Magazine’s list of top franchises to […]

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Organizing the Linen Closet


Have noticed that your linens seem to be falling out of your linen closet and there is less space then you remember there being?  If so, let’s start to sort and organize your closet. It’s easy to accumulate a large collection of mismatched sheets and towels with holes in them.  Like everything else in our […]

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10 summer salad recipes to share with your kids


Do you ever get sick of having salad with the same toppings and dressing? It is sometimes hard to get your kids to eat salads (or any sort of vegetables) especially if your salad is made the same way every times. Mix it up with some fun toppings that the kids will love! You can […]

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Healthy Trail Mix Snacks


Everyone loves an on-the-go snack to keep for the car, take to the beach, for a long bike ride or to snack on the plane. Trail mix is a very popular snack, and appears to be healthy- or healthier than alternate chips or cookies. But, be careful because often times, generic trail mixes can be […]

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In Celebration of Dadpreneurs

Ron Caton

JBF Dads Offer Three Tips to Making it Work While Working From Home The number of stay-at-home dads has been steadily increasing for the last five years, topping two million in 2014. And like the “stay-at-home” moms before them, many of these dads also search for ways to make money working from home – many […]

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Bubble Recipes for Kids


Do your kids love bubbles? I was obsessed with bubbles as a kid. I would go through a package of bubbles a day. But, like every kid, I got bored with making little bubbles that would pop right away. Most kids love when they make huge bubbles or a long line of bubbles. Switch it up […]

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Summer Crafts From the Beach

shell wind chimes

It’s summertime and I hope you all get a chance to take the little ones to the beach. The beach is the best place for kids in the summer- they love playing in the water, the sand, finding shells, etc. Take those activities back home with these summer crafts from the beach. There are many different […]

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Sunday Shortcuts to Organizing Meals

hamburger meat

According to the National Restaurant Association, “Americans currently spend 43 percent of their food dollar on food prepared away from home, compared to 36 percent in 1981.” And that percentage is considered likely to increase in the future. National Restaurant Association statistics show that, even in the depths of the recession, customers have maintained their […]

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