Traits That Make Franchisors Great Leaders 

picture1.jpgFrom professional athletes to high-tech programmers, every career requires different talents. However, what makes a career in the franchising industry different is that the skills to successfully lead do not have to be acquired through rigorous training or years of schooling.

Instead, success in franchise leadership can come to anyone who is determined, dedicated and willing to invest in their personal development—and will pay off tremendously by developing a network of franchisees who respect your leadership traits. Below are the skills a franchisor should focus on to become great leaders and successful business owners:

  1. Consistency: As a franchisor, your franchisees will be looking up to you. Being consistent and following through on your word will let them know that they have a leader they can count on.
  2. Planning: Your franchisees are invested in the business, so it’s natural that they will want to know where it is headed. Make sure to plan ahead and share your vision with your employees, too.
  3. Support: As a franchisor, everyone in the organization is your team member—meaning you have a vital role as a pillar of support and encouragement.
  4. Positivity: Focus on creating a positive space for your franchisees. This will help strengthen your bond and let them know you have their back.
  5. Respect: Every franchisee makes mistakes—it’s just a part of the business. Making sure your franchisees know you still respect them even when they slip up will go a long way.
  6. Face Time: You can’t be expected to visit every franchise location every day. However, the occasional drop-in will help you learn more about the day-to-day operations and struggles of each individual location—and let them know you’re invested in solving their problems.
  7. Passion: Franchising means getting to work with talented, passionate colleagues who love what they do. Believe in the brand and believe in your franchisees—your passion will shine through and inspire them, as well.

For information to move your business or restaurant into franchising, please inquire at Acceler8Success.com.

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Consultant’s Friend or Foe?

failureSometimes, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, it just doesn’t work, or work to the level it needs to in order to help turn around a failing business. Not all consulting opportunities leave us smiling even though we gave it our all… and then some.

It’s sad, but we must learn from the experience to be better, even just a little bit better for the next time, for the next person, the next client, the next entrepreneur.

Certainly, we must be better for the next opportunity if we are to make a difference. In the end, we must not second guess. Instead, reflect upon the experience and move forward. It does leave me with a question, Does having an entrepreneur’s mindset help or actually hinder being an effective consultant?

#reflection #entrepreneurship

Avoid Being Paralyzed by Fear

Life begins

“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” is a very true statement. Unfortunately, that may be easy to comprehend but it’s certainly not easy to act upon. Fear in hearing, “no” makes a salesperson drag out the sales process. Heck, “maybe” is better than “no” is actually their justification.

However, the longer the salesperson hangs onto “maybe” the more time is wasted – time that could be used on realizing other opportunities including actually closing other sales. Of course, there are similar situations outside sales.

Doing nothing when a definitive decision is necessary is often due to fear in making the wrong decision. Not asking a question because of fear that the answer is not what you want to hear is just a delay tactic.

Fear causes wrong decisions, procrastination and so many different things that are certainly not progressive or proactive. Typically, it starts a domino effect of reacting, and like dominoes, once they start toppling over it’s difficult to stop the momentum… and quickly, it gets away from you. So, realize your fears, act decisively and move forward but don’t let fear paralyze you.

“Fear” as defined on Wikipedia

Fear is an intensely unpleasant emotion in response to perceiving or recognizing a danger or threat. Fear causes physiological changes that may produce behavioral reactions such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis.

In humans and other animals, fear is modulated by the process of cognition and learning. Thus, fear is judged as rational or appropriate and irrational or inappropriate. An irrational fear is called a phobia.

Fear is closely related to the emotion anxiety, which occurs as the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.[1] The fear response serves survival by engendering appropriate behavioral responses, so it has been preserved throughout evolution.[2] Sociological and organizational research also suggests that individuals’ fears are not solely dependent on their nature but are also shaped by their social relations and culture, which guide their understanding of when and how much fear to feel.[3][page needed]

Fear is sometimes considered the opposite of courage; however, this is incorrect. Because courage is a willingness to face adversity, fear is an example of a condition that makes the exercise of courage possible.

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Organizational Skills All Small Business Owners Should Possess

Organizational skillsWho hasn’t seen the phrase “organizational skills” listed as a requirement of a position? It might seem excessive that this vague term is so in demand, but the possession of organizational skills can make or break your career success.

While this is true for any role, it is even more integral for a small business owner.* Because there are so many tasks to juggle on any given day, keeping everything organized is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your working hours.

Read on for a look at the essential organizational skills to propel your small business toward success:

Scheduling. More than just scheduling shifts and meetings, as a small business owner you’ll be expected to schedule every aspect that goes into running your business. From scheduling progress check-ins for projects to scheduling incentive programs for sales goals, the ability to create a schedule and stick to it is essential to running your business.

Delegation. It’s impossible for one person to handle everything that needs to happen to keep a business running smoothly—that’s why delegation is key. By delegating, you’re lightening the load on your own shoulders while empowering your team to tackle the difficult tasks.

Time Management. In many jobs, your time is managed for you. You’re provided with small goals on the way to larger accomplishments and project timelines are completed at your own manager’s discretion. However, as a small business owner, those project timelines and daily tasks are set by you.

People Management. Managing is commonly regarded as a “people skill,” but it takes organizational savvy as well. Planning evaluations, building a successful team and orchestrating group meetings may not be the leadership tasks that get all the attention, but they’re just as integral to being a respected and regarded manager.

Preparation. Being prepared is the key to staying on top of your business routine. Whether it’s taking notes before a meeting with your staff, franchisor, or banker or jotting down the next to-do list at the end of the day, starting off on the right foot will keep you from playing catch-up when you should be looking ahead.

*Note: Small business owners include small independent business operators (Mom & Pop), franchisees, restaurant operators, professional services providers (law offices, medical offices) and even solopreneurs with staff.

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Crush It!

I’ve recently re-read for the umpteenth time a fascinating book, Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. He has posted, tweeted, and videoed himself, and his business, to unbelievable success in a very short period of time. The book is a relatively short read, so there should be no excuses for not reading it asap, as it can only help you improve yourself and your business. The following is directly from one of the tabs from the book’s original website. Upon reading the book, I’m sure you’ll further explore Crush It!

Crush It!
By Gary Vaynerchuk

Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.

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Myth #1

I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.

The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers $40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.

Myth #2

My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.

This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.

Myth #3

I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.

First of all, congratulations on finding work that makes you happy! However, the lessons in this book are valuable to anyone, regardless of their employment status. Crush It will show you how to utilize high level and platform specific social media and marketing strategies that will improve your work. It will also show you how to build a personal brand so that even if you’re forced to leave your job, a situation that’s especially relevant today, you’ll be able to easily find employment elsewhere in a field you’re passionate about.

Myth #4

I need to quit my job to take advantage of this book’s entrepreneurial lessons.

While the entrepreneurial strategies in this book do take time, it’s completely reasonable to start the effort as an after-work project to build up until you’re able to replace your current income with the income from your online presence. While you may have to fall behind on the current season of Lost or let your Madden 2010 game suffer, because you’ll be doing something you love you won’t mind putting in the extra effort.

In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around what they’re passionate about. He also delivers both high-level and platform specific strategy and analysis, allowing you to take advantage of the current business environment while preparing you to succeed as it changes and evolves.

This book isn’t interested in making unrealistic promises while glossing over the work involved. Making a living by building content around your passion isn’t simple and it doesn’t happen overnight. What it is, however, is fulfilling and in most cases just as profitable, if not more so, than your previous job.

Furthermore, a business can’t just pay lip service to social media and expect it to return results. The transparency and accountability inherent in its structure necessitates a comprehensive and dedicated strategy in order to reap its tremendous benefits.

By combining practical analysis and strategy with the same passion and humor that’s made Gary one of the most in demand keynote speakers in the U.S. as well as network television’s go to wine expert, Crush It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and harness the future of business and work.

Learn: Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content.

Learn: How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.

Learn: Why storytelling is the most important business concept in the current marketplace.

Learn: How you can build an online business around your passion without quitting your day job.

Learn: Why Twitter and Facebook are just tools and not a social media strategy.

Learn: How to take advantage of the half-billion dollars in advertising that are moving to the internet

Learn: Why transparency and being true to yourself are now winning marketing formulas

Learn: How to build and maintain an online community around your passion and brand

Learn: Strategies for turning attention into money

Learn: Why the legacy element of the internet era is so underrated

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Success… It Starts and Grows with a Vision

I frequently think about a particular interview when I was asked my opinion about why some Private Equity firms fail in their efforts at operating what was originally considered a successful franchise system, while others take the system to even higher levels of success… As you’ll see by my response below, I actually started at the end and worked backwards. But in the end, there is a common theme and it’s built around relationships, or lack thereof. Certainly, systems play a big part in the success equation but losing sight of “people” is a sure way to create a disconnect, even within the most perfect systems. My response and theory may be too simple for many to agree, but I do feel it lends towards the foundation of any successful business in one way, shape, fashion or form.

“All too often you hear about founders buying out the Private Equity firm. I personally, know of two that have done so recently, and for different reasons. And even though only one was a franchise company, there was a common denominator in the circumstances that had developed within the organizations that led to the founders deciding to buy out the PEs… the “parent” company lost sight of its relationship with its “employees & franchisees” and the end-users, “clients & customers”.

My opinion is that “true” mom & pop operations are typically built upon the foundation of relationships, and it’s the strength of those relationships that build the foundation of a strong organization complete with common beliefs, values and mission. It definitely becomes an interdependent relationship. I have rarely seen that occur when PEs get involved where it’s more numbers, numbers, numbers. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important. But it’s the lack of balance between driving towards making the numbers and building relationships that is often missing. Ultimately causing rifts in the organization with the customer or client feeling the lingering effect of diminishing service levels.

Let’s look at a similar situation that occurs all too often in a very typical mom and pop setting even without the inclusion of a PE in the equation. Mom and Pop have run a very successful business for 25 years. They have done quite well over the years, building the business very methodically, never taking on too much debt at any one time. But still progressive in growing to meet customer demands. Sure, their product or service stands out as excellent. But it’s the relationships they have fostered over the years that have truly made the business successful.

Looking ahead, Mom and Pop have structured a very strong succession plan. Junior has gotten his MBA and is primed to take over the business. In fact, Pop has insisted that Junior also work five or so years out in the corporate world so he can gain some hands-on experience, and mature. Mom and Pop have met with their attorney and CPA and have everything in place for Junior to take over the family business. What’s next is a situation that occurs all too often when Mom and Pop are no longer in the picture.

Junior, complete with new ideas, a wealth of education, and some successful business experience, begins operating the business. He introduces new technology, replacing the antiquated systems that had been in place since day one. Junior streamlined operations, improved inventory control, and basically tweaked here and there to the point that the business appeared to be transformed to a business that appeared bigger than it was – almost like it was a part of a national chain.

Initially, customers loved the transformation and the buzz within town was full of praise and admiration for the family. But what transpires over the next few years as things begin to change as the business becomes less personal and more structured is actually the beginning of the end.

Strict policies have been put in place for both customers and employees. Product and service lines have become more defined, but at the expense of some customer favorites being eliminated. Customer service, having become more automated has reduced the necessity of a large staff. In-store signage has taken over where courteous employees once stood. Well, the list goes on… to the point of the business losing sight of people and relationships. Employee turnover continues to increase. Customers’ faces are no longer familiar. And, when a true national chain opens on the edge of town, foot-traffic starts to diminish.

You see, with all the great succession planning that Mom and Pop painstakingly put into place, they missed a key component to the success of the business. And when Junior transformed the business, he also lost sight of that key component. It basically comes down to WWPD… “What Would Pop Do?”

WWPD is basically the relationship part of the business. To put it simply, Pop knew when to put his arm around an employee. Pop knew when to come out from behind the counter. Pop knew how to make a customer feel special. Pop knew to carry certain items that some of his “regulars” loved. And, again, the list goes on… Pop knew, but Junior didn’t. It’s the classic example of the disconnect between WWPD and MBA, and it’s a similar disconnect between a founder-run business and a PE-operated business.

Now, I’m not saying that it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done… meaning the sale of a successful business to a PE. Absolutely, it’s the American Way! Instead, along with the financial and legal succession plan needs to be a visionary succession plan that basically outlines and teaches, “What Would Pop Do?”

So, in addressing the original question, let’s just insert Mom and Pop for the franchise, the employees and customers for the franchisees, and Junior for the PE… and the scenario fittingly plays out.”

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Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!

inspirational-leadership-quotes-618x330

What Makes Great Leaders?

Everyone has their own opinions on what a great leader is and what makes one.

When it comes to great leaders, we believe that it’s not how rich or popular one is, but rather how they reach out to others, how they stand up for what they believe in, and the character they have.

For although society often wishes to glorify and put on a pedestal those who have fame, wealth and power, it is often the ordinary, common, every day people they overlook, the underdogs in life so to speak that rise above to become some of the greatest leaders…

..making some of the most important changes and biggest differences in the world.

From… Lifestyle By My Own Design

Leadership is a Habit That Requires Practice

It is probably fair to say that the argument over whether leaders are born or made has been settled. The fortune spent every year by organizations of all sorts and sizes on executive development is evidence enough for the idea that, while certain attributes of leadership may be genetic, much of what it takes to be a leader can be learned. However, that begs another question. How?

Read more…

They’re Always Watching You as a Leader!

“People have to buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
— John Maxwell

Humans are tribal people. As much as we want to think of ourselves as individuals, we have an innate need to run with the pack. We follow leaders. We are constantly watching their words and actions.

And we are hardwired from an early age to look for inconsistency in behavior in those around us. In a recent training session with leaders, we were discussing the level of distraction all of us experience today.

Read more… 

When Entrepreneurs Are Faced With Failure

dont-quit.jpg

Sometimes no matter how well we plan and how much effort we dedicate to something, we fall short of our goal and the end-result causes a variety of challenges and problems. Ultimately, it can adversely affect financial position, reputation, relationships, team spirit and much more. It can also start to spiral into personal life and affect family, health and overall well-being.

Unfortunately, such situations are often perpetuated by denial by placing one own’s head in the sand.

Well, when our head is in the sand, our most vulnerable ass-et is sticking out in plain view. Some will laugh. Others will point and snicker, definitely telling others. And a few will take advantage of the situation and current position of vulnerability. Sadly, we put ourselves in that position. Not because we swung and missed. Not because we didn’t see the forest for the trees. And not because we just flat-out saw something that wasn’t there. Instead, it’s because we didn’t keep our head high, accept the situation, learn from it and move on, and with laser-focus. That is exactly what entrepreneurs do when faced with failure.

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Executive Opportunity: Invest in Your Own Business Brokerage Office

Small business and restaurant resales are on the rise making it an excellent time to consider owning your own business brokerage office.

A Business Broker is a professional executive, equipped with the knowledge to successfully complete the sale of an existing business, franchise or business opportunity. As the owner of your own business broker office, you will be working on a daily basis with other professionals: business owners, buyers, seasoned entrepreneurs as well as top executives in national franchise companies.

You will serve people from all walks of life. They will come to you for help to buy or sell a business. You will be their negotiator, counselor, marketer, broker, advisor and teacher. You will shape many futures. Your personal integrity will be supremely important. You will stretch your creativity and draw on all your knowledge and experience.

Our National Partner, Empire Business Brokers has successfully trained people from many walks of life to become top producers and business brokers. Our success stories include CPA’s, Attorneys, Bankers, former mid to high level management executives; others who have successfully operated their own businesses, and people with a high ambition to learn. People who feel that they are ready to expand their capabilities with the leader in a dynamic and growing industry will feel at home with Empire Business Brokers!

ADVANTAGES OF OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS BROKERAGE:

– Executive business opportunity
– Low initial investment from $25k
– Multiple profit centers
– Excellent commissions
– No royalty or commission split… Not a Franchise!
– Growing database of buyers, businesses & franchises
– Initial training, marketing assistance and on-going support
– Network of 70+ offices throughout the U.S. and abroad
– Brand founded in 1981

For more information please contact us via email at info@Acceler8Success.com.

Clarifying Entrepreneurship

EntrepreneurshipWhy is their reluctance to say, I am an entrepreneur? I’ve been asked that question many times. Heck, I’ve asked that question of myself on more than one occasion. It seems, at times we’re prouder to call ourselves, Founder or CEO or to say, I’m a business owner. Why is that?

Are those titles more respectful than, entrepreneur? Yet, we hear of late, we’re in an entrepreneurial economy. So, is that a bad thing or a good thing, and especially if we have a hard time fully admitting to entrepreneurship? Or should we just be entrepreneurial in how we approach our work, whatever that truly means? 

Are we claiming to be in an entrepreneurial economy to justify the disappearance of the lifelong career at one company and this is just a way to say we need to create and prove ourselves over and over again, and forget the gold watch?

Back to the reference of being an entrepreneur… Is there a stigma of being a dreamer, always looking for something better, bigger, faster as opposed to what some believe is mundane, repetitive work with the security of a paycheck? Often, I hear it’s mostly due to yesterday’s immigrant mindset of being thankful to just have a job, yet it’s that same immigrant mindset that is the epitome of entrepreneurship. 

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Actually, I believe it’s because of fear – fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown, fear of the what if, fear of starting over, fear of change… But it’s when those fears are hit head-on and the adrenaline rush of success far outweighs those fears because you know, deep in your heart that you have a deeply ingrained talent that can and will make a difference.

Does that mean failures aren’t possible? Hell no, but it’s working through those failures, those blips, those aberrations that provide experience and resiliency to improve and innovate to make the next step, the next task, the next venture successful. That is entrepreneurship. And it’s when I don’t consider what I do as entrepreneurship, is when failure mostly occurs. Conversely, it’s when I focus on what I do as an entrepreneur, complete with that thinking outside the box and failure is not an option perspective, and when focused more on results as opposed to opinion of others, THAT is when success mostly occurs.

Yes, I’m an entrepreneur. My focus will stay as such as it is not only good for me, but also for my family and for those that rely on me to help them achieve their wishes, hopes and dreams! Why? Because I believe in possibilities, as without them, there are none.

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