Inside the January 2012 Issue
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The Top 10 Franchises for 2012

These franchises made their way to the top by giving customers what they want: tasty food, quick service, quality care and non-pointy soap.

Power Pay

Small businesses are embracing new mobile payment systems, allowing them to make sales without the high fees and long-term contracts associated with traditional credit card processing.

Getting on Board

Mobile payment systems such as Swipe, Pay Anywhere and Square offer merchants free readers, apps, activation and cancellation.

The View From the Top

Read the inspiring stories behind Entrepreneur magazine's award winners, including the top college and emerging entrepreneurs.

What's Your Story

Biographies, product histories and compelling anecdotes can lend a personal touch to any brand--and this resonates with consumers. Here's how to tell your tale.


Editor's Note

Editor's Note: The Joy of Geeking Out

Entrepreneur Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Amy Cosper on reimagining technology.
Business Unusual

Juiced Up

KonaRed squeezes a smart business out of coffee production leftovers.
Ask the Esquire Guy

People Are Always Misinterpreting My Emails. What Am I Doing Wrong?

The Esquire guy suggests we all could benefit from a Robert De Niro approach to e-mailing.

Jargon: Mucus Trouper

Definition: The colleague who always gets the worst colds, yet still makes it in to work to cough, hack and infect the entire office.
The Business Traveler

When to Mix Work and Play

An in-depth look at the delicate art of combining business and personal travel.
Ask a Pro

Forgiveness or Permission?

A professor of business ethics advises on if and when to allow employees to moonlight on startups of their own.
All Up In Your Business

Putting Down Roots

Three tips to build a business that has staying power and remains relevant through the years.
Shiny Objects

Clunky No More

Get rid of those bulky, beige nightmares and enhance your office with some sleek new models.
Mobile Tech

Head On Into the Future

Total Immersion's Augmented Reality software solutions gives heavy metal band Mastodon an edge with fans.
Mobile Tech

A Personal Cloud

iTwin combines the strengths of web-based data storage with flash drives.
Ask A Geek

Inside Job

In this Ask a Geek column, our expert offers advice on in-house development for mobile and web applications.

A Voice in the Ether

MyCyberTwin offers businesses a chatty bot to keep customers company.

Chime In

This online platform lets consumers more easily connect with nearby small businesses.

Belly Up to the Widget Buffet

ShortStack offers hungry businesses a lumberjack breakfast's range of Facebook page options.
Website to Watch

A Spoken-word GPS

Broadcastr pins people's stories to a map of the world, creating a collective living history.
The Fix

They've Got Sklz

A sporting goods site puts the emphasis on content and wins big.

Cultivating Visibility

The popular blogger shares tips to make marketing more of a flow than an interruption.
Lead Gen

Why Content Is Still King

The right mix attracts search engines, generates page views -- and turns browsers into buyers
Doing Good

Do Their Bidding

An upscale auction site offers ultimate access to big-name talent -- and charities reap the rewards
Who Has VC

A Vision Quest

VCs help sharpen Warby Parker's focus on the eyeglass industry.

Exit Strategy

Consider these three tips to develop an exit strategy for your business.

KaChing in the New Year

Three financial resolutions that can benefit your business
Your Money

The Tyranny of Clutter

A look at the high price of owning too much stuff, and what you need to know to shed at least some of it.
Wacky Ideas That Just Might Fly

Wing Man

An aviation enthusiast's invention leaps from the road to the wild blue yonder.
College Startups

Keep on Moving

A Princeton dropout makes waves with mobile gaming and payment services.

Barter Up

Fish vendor Mack Chaffin joined a bartering group to subsidize the marketing services he needed to grow his business.

Flight Plan

MileWise lets users manage their travel rewards programs and search for flights that offer them maximum benefits

Staying on Track

Here's a look at three of the most popular industries in this year's Franchise 500 and the trends that are shaping their future.

It's Still the One

Hampton Hotels continues to dominate the U.S. franchising landscape, holding the No. 1 spot on this year's Franchise 500 List. The chain aims to bring value -- and a hot breakfast -- to travelers worldwide.

The Top 10 Franchises for 2012

These franchises made their way to the top by giving customers what they want: tasty food, quick service, quality care and non-pointy soap.

An Interview with

Founder Kendall Morgan Rhodes talks about's content and how she got the idea to start her own site.

Pie in the Sky

Lower prices and a new restaurant design propel Pizza Hut back into the top 10 on this year's Franchise 500 List.

Damage Control

Fires, credit problems, medical emergencies--there's no end to the obstacles overcome by intrepid franchisees. Here's how three spirited entrepreneurs found success in the face of adversity.

Breathing Life Into Caskets

A Kansas businessman takes on the staid funeral industry and creates a new franchise sector in the process.

Deciphering the FDD

Let's face it: A Franchise Disclosure Document, with its piles of legalese, can be daunting. We help you read between the lines.

Land Rush

For some franchises, the depressed real estate market is an opportunity to renegotiate leases and focus on newly available sites.

A Brighter Financing Future

SBA franchise loans are on the rise, but you still need seed money and a carefully honed business plan. The SBA's Steve Smits provides advice.

What's Hot and What's Not

Burgers, hotels, frozen treats -- it's all looking (and tasting) great. Fancy hams and tanning salons? Outlook not so good.

Hometown Cooking

Many restaurant franchises begin as small-town favorites. But when regional expansion calls, keeping that local flavor is difficult. How three chains have managed it.

Social Gathering

The frozen dessert franchise, in business since 1987, has become the poster child for online engagement in the franchise world.
Back Page

Will Burgers and Big Gulps Save the Economy?

Consider this look at the impact franchised businesses have on the U.S. economy -- and how doughnuts may be just what we need to rebound from the recession.
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