Resolving to shock and awe
When FT Executive Editor Nancy Weingartner asked me recently what my 2014 New Year’s resolutions were, I stared at her blankly. I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to think about it. I guess I could go after the biggies—lose weight, work out more, eat better…blah blah blah—but shouldn’t I be more creative?
Maybe, but it takes too much work to manufacture goals that really don’t mean anything. And as I write this, it’s mid-December. I don’t have much time left to come up with resolutions that shock and awe. I’m just trying to get my sorry self to the gym three times a week and not eat the Christmas cookies in the company break room.
Maybe I need to be satisfied with making changes as they arrive on my doorstep. That happened to me in 2013: Being empty nesters, my husband, Doug, and I talked casually about moving from our far-flung suburb into the city, which would get both of us a lot closer to work, and would be an exciting change, as well. Little did Doug know that his crazed wife would call him in the middle of a morning traffic jam in early June and say, “Let’s do it. Let’s move.” By September and a whirlwind of activity later, we were in a new house, enjoying short commutes and city life. Making change and embarking on new adventures can be thrilling.
And, my friends, that leads me to this issue of Franchise Times, where new projects, articles and coverage are underfoot as well. You can’t miss the coverage of China—it’s on our cover—and you won’t want to. Nancy headed out in November for the Franchise Times/International Franchise Association/U.S. Commercial Service-sponsored trade mission, where eight franchisors toured and met with potential franchisee partners there. What they encountered, from dealmakers to food to political policies, is an interesting read for anyone thinking about embarking abroad—and even for those who aren’t. It’s all about our continuing effort to help you understand the international landscape as the trend to cross borders continues to widen.
And, it’s not just about U.S. franchisors going abroad, as we’ve documented in a story about EB-5 funding, the Fed’s effort to bring international investment into the United States. Simply put, EB-5 funding allows non-U.S. residents to invest in a business here, which gives them green-card status. It’s making its way into franchising, and some franchisors are using this as a way to help them put more franchise locations on the map.
I always like our annual 20 to Watch feature, which fits nicely into the “new journeys” category. These are the people, trends and companies making things happen, or at least they say they will be over the coming year. And, as always, we take a look at our group from the past year to see if they rocketed into space, as we thought they might, or they just flamed out.
New this year is Managing Editor Beth Ewen’s series on healthcare. Yes, I know, we all have seen our fair share of coverage from the general press. But Beth and her reporters will cover it from the franchise angle, and best of all, will be problem-solving for business owners. Now you can read an article on the Affordable Care Act and walk away with a possible solution for your business, starting this month. Who doesn’t want help with that?
Let me make it easy for you: If you only have one resolution this year, make it with Franchise Times—that you won’t miss reading a single issue. With our resolve to deliver top-notch coverage, you can feel confident it’s a resolution you’ll be able to keep.