3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: May 10

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. American Pickers negotiating tips. If you're looking to improve your negotiating skills, watch an episode of the History Channel's American Pickers.

The show's stars, Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, owners of Antique Archaeology, wander back roads chatting it up with old-timers and peeling through decades-old trash to hopefully find some treasures. But the two are experts in the art of negotiation.

Entrepreneur lays out negotiation lessons learned from the show, including understanding the other side (in their case the seller's) motivation, never paying up for something and knowing when to walk away from a deal.

2. Underperforming franchise sectors. Are you surprised? Following an article he wrote in which he estimated that 1 in 6 franchises have less than 5 franchises opened, consultant Ed Teixeira identifies the 10 franchise sectors that are underperforming. They include pet centers, construction and remodeling, senior care and restaurant (drive in and carryout), according to Business Brokerage Press.

Teixeira says there are several reasons these sectors may have made the list: the segment is growing rapidly and attracts more start-ups; a lack of business and/or financial resources; or hot franchise concepts tend to draw inexperienced franchisors.

"The lesson for those businesses considering a franchise program is to have the right business model coupled with sufficient capital and good franchising advice ... don't allow yourself to be convinced that any business can be franchised," Teixeira says.

3. Which food chains attract the Millennial generation? McAlister's Deli, Cracker Barrel and Johnny Rockets, which received top marks from the Millennial generation, according to an analysis by Technomic.

Marketing to Millennials -- defined as consumers aging from 19 to 34 -- can be a challenge, Technomic says. The group places value on social responsibility, sustainability and organic ingredients, among others.

"Success with today's Millennial consumer will depend on making an emotional connection and setting expectations," says Darren Tristano, Technomic's executive vice president.

Technomic studied the consumer experience ratings of 107 restaurant chains in its database that measure more than 50 attributes including service, restaurant cleanliness, atmosphere and ambiance, food, beverages, takeout, value, brand image, advertising effectiveness and emotional connection.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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