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VOICE-TEL FRANCHISE NAMED ONE OF 10 MOST VALUABLE FRANCHISES IN THE UNITED STATES

 EDINA, Minn., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Neil L. Friedman of Minnetonka, Minn. made the smart call 3 years ago when he purchased a Voice-Tel franchise. Success magazine just announced that Voice-Tel is one of the 10 most valuable franchises to own, according to an Ernst & Young study in the November issue.
 Friedman, owner of the Voice-Tel telecommunications franchise in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, said his organization earned a number nine ranking in the Gold 100 listing, up from last year's number 88 finish. Voice-Tel is a $40 million communications company that provides voice messaging services to companies in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Voice-Tel service streamlines telephone usage and increases the speed of communication by reducing typical "live calling" chit-chat and diminishing the need for "pink slip" messages.
 The annual Gold 100 survey measures the quality of franchises, using Ernst & Young to measure and tabulate values according to a number of factors -- financial performance, growth and management, corporate stability, franchiser attitude and service and franchisee relationship assessment.
 Founded in 1986, Voice-Tel provides interactive voice messaging serviced via a digital network. Currently serving more than 3,500 cities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, Voice-Tel operates the largest voice messaging network in the industry. Experts predict that voice messaging, part of the burgeoning telecommunications industry, will be a $5.6 billion industry by the end of 1994.
 Friedman, vice president/general manager of Voice-Tel of Minnesota, is proud of the company's recent recognition. "We are very dedicated to superior customer service and technical support, so it's particularly gratifying to be recognized on a national scale," he noted.
 Locally, Voice-Tel offers voice messaging services to customers representing industries such as real estate, health care and food service. According to Friedman, Voice-Tel service is attractive to any business which is interested in enhancing its communications efficiency and reducing costs. "Voice-Tel lets my customers maintain a personal touch," added Friedman, "and it accelerates decision-making, keeps people better informed and allows users more control over their time."
 The popularity of voice messaging is growing dramatically, particularly among today's increasingly mobile executives. Companies and individuals use Voice-Tel to facilitate and enhance their communications -- users exchange information in their own voices with as much detail as necessary, they can pass along personally -- received messages to others on the system, or they can broadcast messages to hundreds of people with just one phone call.
 For example, Voice-Tel is used by Realtors to communicate quickly and efficiently with banks, mortgage brokers and other agents who are constantly away from their offices; by sales managers to communicate with field salespeople in geographically dispersed areas; by national associations to message with members and field offices all over the country; even by a high school Spanish teacher as a linguistic exercise to allow students to follow tutorials and answer back when they have questions or need clarification on specific lessons.
 Voice-Tel's decision to grow its business through franchising represents a winning marketing strategy confirmed by its recent designation in the Gold 100. "The franchise approach is ideally suited to the current phase of the electronic communication revolution," noted Wayne Willis, president and chief operating officer of Cleveland-based Voice-Tel Enterprises, Inc. "Our franchisees are business people who understand that every organization communicates in different ways and has different needs," added Willis. "Voice-Tel franchisees are entrepreneurs who can think creatively -- they're people who can look at a customer's organization and quickly grasp what needs to be done to significantly enhance communications."
 According to Willis, the franchise approach is a win-win situation for Voice-Tel. "Our customers are extremely well-served and so, too, are our franchisees and the franchiser organization.
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 /CONTACT: Neil L. Friedman of Voice-Tel, 612-844-0963/


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Date:Nov 11, 1993
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