Ask Franchisees, “Would you do it all over again?”

Validation and multi-unit ownership are strong indicators that positively memorable experiences exist within your franchise system. Another way to confirm the existence of these experiences is simply to ask your franchisees: would you do it all over again? However, as a franchisor you must first earn the right to even be taken seriously if you ask this question.

As you head down the path of creating positively memorable experiences with each and every franchisee, be sure to consider ALL touch points – even those beyond the obvious mediums of in-person, by phone and via email. Think digitally!

How do you interact with franchisees on Facebook? How do you come across to your franchisees in LinkedIn discussion groups? Is there common courtesy? Are you proud of each other’s actions within these platforms?

Many will refer to all of this as being great in theory, and not really practical. But just think what could happen if every touch point were seen as another opportunity to create or enhance positively memorable experiences. How would that change the culture of your system? How would that lend towards growing your brand? Think of the ripple effect.

Here are six key points to creating positively memorable experiences in a franchise organization:

  1. Understanding the true meaning AND spirit of interdependent franchise relationships. This must be shared and exemplified at every point of contact with franchisees.
  2. Developing the right culture at all levels. Be careful- culture is also defined as bacteria! This takes time and commitment, and is a reflection of how people, whether franchisees, employees, suppliers or others, are treated at all times.
  3. Creating an environment of truth, trust and transparency based upon open, two-way communications – the cornerstone of creating the right culture. Think of a three-legged stool that could hold a great deal of weight when fully intact yet would immediately fall under its own weight if one leg was compromised.
  4. Establishing your franchise system as family. Treat them as such but understand that this is not the typical type of family of yesteryear with subservience to the head of the household. Mutual respect is paramount!
  5. Building an environment of bottom-up profitability and growth with ALL parties to the franchise agreement and other related agreements focused on mutual goals and objectives. All must sing out of the same hymnal, and not just for dress rehearsal – so be sure to give them the hymn book.
  6. Positively Memorable Experiences – Live it and breathe it every day for optimum results!

As National Small Business Week comes to an end, I’d like to give a shout out to small business owners – entrepreneurs, moms & pops, franchisees, sole proprietors – for paving the way for future generations by keeping the American Dream alive. It’s through your hard work, persistence, dedication and commitment that you continue to improve business at the local level.

With your own money and time, you’re actually field-testing new ways of doing business – marketing, technology and other – continuing to innovate and explore across many industry segments.

Taking risks, you continue to invest in growing areas while also helping to revitalize once great areas. And, whether you know it or not because you’re often in the shadow of big business and Corporate America, you are the backbone of this great nation.

You, all of you, each of you are the spirit of Entrepreneurship and free enterprise that has made this country great and will continue to keep it great for decades to come. For all of that, and for all that you do, I thank you!

And as Mental Health Awareness Month continues, I’ll leave you this week with the following:

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you. Do your best and surrender the rest. Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. That is all I can ever expect of anyone, including me.” Love yourself and be proud of everything you do, even your mistakes, because your mistakes mean you’re trying.

If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So, get off the clearance rack. If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.”

– Unknown

Exploring a Franchise Opportunity: Do your due diligence… and then some!

Potential franchise buyers know before making a final decision, they need to obtain information from other franchisees and also, their possible franchisors. But what information do they need to get?

Generally, I recommend using the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as a guide. Read through it and ask a potential franchisor very specific questions about each item listed. It’s a can’t miss road map. Here’s a start.

What is the history of the franchise concept?

What is the founder’s vision? Who is on the executive and support teams? What experience do they bring to the table? If members of the franchisor team haven’t worked at a location, how have they learned about daily operations? Have any of them owned a business before? It’s important to understand how these individuals relate to franchisees.

How high could expenses go?

All expenses should be clearly defined. It’s imperative to gain a complete understanding of the range of expenses – and why they are what they are. Inquire about assistance for everything from advertising to site selection to your grand opening.

Know what’s going on at the front line.

What is the temperament of the franchise group nationally and within your market or region? Of course, I highly recommend speaking with franchisees, too. Make sure to ask them about costs, problems, profits, and trends. Discuss competition with both the franchisor and franchisees.

Ask about exit strategies.

At some point, you may want to exit the system, or you may have to exit. If you have to exit, is there support if you’re in trouble? Ask about transfer fees and the process of selling your business. Understand the franchisor’s approval process. What happened to each franchisee listed under terminated or closed franchisees on the FDD? What happened to their locations? Have they continued operation under a new franchisee or corporate? Is the location still available? Ask yourself if you would consider a long-term relationship with this brand and its leadership.

Before making your final decision.

After this process is complete and you’ve reviewed your notes, trust your gut instinct! Take your time and think things through until you’re 100% sure of your decision. Make sure you have all your support mechanisms in place, including friends and family. Do not kid yourself. Do not lie to yourself. And do not justify any negatives. Being honest with yourself will help you make the right decision.

Get your financial house in order.

Lenders (and franchisors) have certain minimum criteria when it comes to approving franchisee candidates. Some may require a minimum net worth and a certain amount in liquid assets. It would benefit you to set yourself up financially – for example: find out your credit score, calculate your debt-to-income ratio, and even update your resume.

Get pre-qualified.

You do this with a home, why not a business? By getting pre-qualified through a funding provider, you can better identify what you can afford.

Don’t underestimate how much funding you will need.

One of the leading causes of small business failure is undercapitalization or insufficient funding. Make sure you have enough of a buffer to help with any unexpected operating costs.

Are you ready to own a business?

Talk to a franchise funding professional.

Securing funding can be challenging but is one of the most important steps in starting a business. Knowing your options and ensuring you have a solid funding plan in place is often the key to long-term success and profitability.

Benetrends Financial has been funding America’s most popular brands for over 35 years. Their innovative, fast and economical suite of funding solutions is designed to help franchisees secure the capital needed to successfully launch their dreams. Contact them for a complimentary funding consultation or find out your fundability with their free pre-qualification funding calculator.

A quote from Ray Kroc.

There are many quotes from arguably the most successful fast-food retailer, Ray Kroc that reveal what he was thinking and learning about the business as he was building the McDonald’s chain in the U.S. and ultimately around the world. I believe I like this one best:

“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a favorite fishing fly? Or the arrangement of textures and colors in a butterfly’s wing? Not if you’re a McDonald’s man. Not if you view the bun as an essential material in the art of serving a great many meals fast.”

Think Different Because the American Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive!

As we know, restaurants are having a difficult time due to rising costs due to inflation, supply chain issues, and labor challenges (I’m not so sure about actual worker shortages). Feeling the inflation pinch, as well, customers are being more diligent as to where and when they may decide to enjoy a meal at or from a restaurant.

Although, some restaurants are realizing sales increases over pre-pandemic levels. Why and how are they thriving while others are barely surviving? But the real question in my mind has to do with change – not a shift, not a pivot, but actual change.

As such, this is my question of the week: Is it necessary to change how to conduct business, adapting to the circumstances of the times instead of adjusting, revising which may be more akin to putting square pegs in round holes? Are we crazy to think different (as entrepreneurs, restaurateurs & small business owners), or should we just go with the flow?

Speaking of square pegs and round holes, I just love the words of Steve Jobs shortly after he returned to Apple, the company he founded and launched the Think Different campaign. He started things off with these words:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

I especially find his words fitting this week as we celebrate America’s small businesses & entrepreneurs and their enormous contributions to American life and prosperity. After all, we may not be able to imagine life without the contributions of one, Steve Jobs.

Celebrating National Small Business Week

The pandemic brought to light an important fact: the American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. It underscores the resiliency of our nation and our communities in the face of our largest economic challenge to date. Small businesses are not only the engines of our economic progress, but they are also the heart and soul of our communities. 

This year, during National Small Business Week from May 2-5, America will be celebrating our Main Street small businesses, our mom-and-pop stores, restaurants, shops, and small manufacturers who stayed the course during this difficult time for our great nation. 

Small Business Trends reported, “This year’s celebrations will include a four-day virtual summit in partnership with SCORE to acknowledge small businesses from across the country for their resilience, ingenuity, and creativity. In addition, events will be organized to recognize SBA partners for their support of entrepreneurial development, disaster recovery, government contracting, financial development, and others.”

How can your business get involved?

Constant Contact posted on their blog, “Whether you own a small business, work for one, or just love supporting them, there are plenty of ways you can show your support and take part in this tradition.”

They went on to share five ways you can take part in Small Business Week this year. You can find that HERE.

So, back to my Question of the Week: Is it necessary to change how to conduct business, adapting to the circumstances of the times instead of adjusting, revising which may be more akin to putting square pegs in round holes? Are we crazy to think different (as entrepreneurs, restaurateurs & small business owners), or should we just go with the flow?

Maybe we need a wrist band to remind us? What Would Jobs Do?

Loneliness, Depression, Fear: All Contribute to Mental Health Issues

Some, but not nearly enough has been written about entrepreneurs & celebrities and their battles with mental health. Loneliness and depression continue to occur within the ranks of both groups at an increasing rate and although failure (or fear of failure or a drop from superstar ranks) may be a driving force, it’s often not the sole deciding factor.

Is it the quest for perfection? Is it a blinding passion that nothing else is visible? Or a control issue where no one can do it better, so it’s dealt with alone?

Michael Dermer has written a great book, The Lonely Entrepreneur and has developed a membership site of the same name that is a great resource for entrepreneurs. Strategic Coach has developed a great program for entrepreneurs. There are others, as well.

But are current efforts enough to slow down the alarming rate of suicide among entrepreneurs – and often more in the spotlight than entrepreneurs, celebrities? As successful as they were, what were the deciding factors leading to the suicides of chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade?

The deaths of Bourdain and Spade by suicide have thrown the spotlight on celebrities and depression. Instead of bringing them happiness and freedom, for many, being sought-after, rich and at the top of their game leads to an identity crisis and ruminations on their self-worth.

And now, Naomi Judd, one-half of the iconic country music duo The Judds, reportedly died by suicide after years of struggling with mental illness.

This is a topic that must be brought front and center as we continue to grow as an entrepreneurial society with approximately 60% of the labor force in some type of self-sustaining endeavor whether it’d be as freelancers, sole practitioners, professional service providers, contractors, solopreneurs, and increasingly, musicians, artists, and authors.

Why is suicide more common among entrepreneurs, celebrities and creatives?

Noted Bollywood actor and television star Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide a couple of years ago. His demise came as a shock to many as it was the fourth death of a famous personality from the Hindi film industry to pass away within months of each other.

Suicide is not a new issue, especially not in celebrity circles. These tragic deaths are also not limited by lines of work, ranging from boxers, designers, politicians and writers to actors, musicians and yes, entrepreneurs. What about influencers that have achieved celebrity status along with becoming rising stars in this relatively new class of entrepreneurs?

There was a string of influencer suicides in 2021. All unfortunate and tragic occurrences that took young lives, they left entire fan communities in mourning for their favorite stars who had secured places as standing icons of inspiration across fields, from beauty to travel to farming to sports. But what often goes ignored when reviewing these moments of tragedy is the kind of impact the internet is having on our mental health, every single day.

It isn’t just online celebrities or creators partaking in influencer cultures who are burdened with the impossible expectations and virtual validation that the internet has become the one-stop destination for. Sadly, it can happen, and is happening, to many of us plugged into social media.

There is no conclusive line on whether all these influencer suicides came about as a result of social media impinging on mental health. But there is no doubt about the fact that a direct or indirect correlation between our use (or abuse) of the internet and offline consequences.

So, why do wealthy people kill themselves? Don’t they have it all?

The reality we often forget, however, is that celebrities are human beings, just like us. “We only see one version – one of glamour, fame and fortune,” explains Nance Roy, Ed.D, Chief Clinical Officer at The Jed Foundation. They may struggle with relationships, finances and illness. Adds Dr. Roy: “Celebrities may feel more pressure to perform, to be perfect and to keep up their image for fans, often making it more difficult for them to reach out for help.” Another critical point: a person rarely takes his or her own life because of just one reason. “Suicide is complex, and we often don’t know all the factors involved.”

Bullying, even of celebrities and other notable individuals is certainly a contributing factor as it is for our younger generations. In fact, the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and 2nd among people aged 10 to 34 (a person dies every 11 minutes), suicide was identified by the National Institute of Mental Health as a major public health concern. Suicide rates increased 35% from 1999 to 2018, briefly declining in 2019. However, reports of depression and anxiety – risk factors for suicide – had increased during the pandemic.

Discussing Mental Health Issues

We need to reduce the stigma faced by people experiencing a mental illness. How? As Martin mentioned, we need to talk about it. Stigma remains a major barrier to treatment and care. Dr. Fink agrees: “How do we grieve and process except by speaking and sharing with others?” When people die of cancer, their illness is almost always part the public conversation. From his Haitian roots, Dr. Arty provides a global perspective: “As a world community, we need to be bold and unashamed in discussing this sensitive and painful topic. The discussion itself may save a life.”

Dispelling myths is also key. A common myth? “Asking someone if they are suicidal will not increase the risk that they will die by suicide,” clarifies Dr. Roy. Inquiring about potential self-harm in a compassionate way may instead provide an opportunity for the person to express their feelings and reach out for help.

Proclamation from The White House on National Mental Health Awareness Month

Each May we raise awareness about the importance of mental health and its impact on the well-being of all Americans, including children, adults, families, and communities across our Nation. We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans. We stand in solidarity with those who are experiencing mental health conditions, renewing our commitment to providing them with the support they need and deserve. 

Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans were experiencing stress, trauma, anxiety, and heightened levels of depression. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those conditions, creating an unprecedented mental health crisis across our country. Communities of color, frontline workers, health care workers, and individuals with eating disorders have been disproportionately impacted, and the rate of depression across the country has more than tripled compared to rates in 2019.

Read the full proclamation on the White House website.

‘Why’ is a question that is always asked by those left behind or hurt by these suicides – the answer or answers would never make sense to someone who loves life. As such, I look forward to thoughts on this with hope the discussion continues. Thank you!

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- TALK (8255). It’s free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mental Health: A Cause for Concern

I’d like to share a truly inspiring story as we begin Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a story that can be related to current times when many may need to lend a helping hand to those who are tangled up in the seemingly insurmountable challenges as a result of circumstances not caused by themselves.

Some years ago, this story was in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spiderweb of crab traps. The line was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, tail, torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year NAMI fights stigma, provides support, educates the public and advocates for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

For 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI will amplify the message of “Together for Mental Health.” They will use this time to bring voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events.

Together, we can realize NAMI’s shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

For more information, please visit the NAMI website HERE.

Back to Basics

Since 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. They invite other organizations to join in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.

After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being. 

This year, the theme of MHA’s 2022 Mental Health Month Toolkit is “Back to Basics.” The goal is to provide foundational knowledge about mental health & mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.

Request the Toolkit HERE.

Weekly Review April 24-30

With so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two, or possibly our Question of the Week slipped by without you noticing, or an announcement we may have made just seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed. Well, just like an experience at your local cafe, I really want Acceler8Success Cafe to be conveniently located when you desire or need to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and catch up on some reading.

Okay, I may be going bit far with this, but my goal is for Acceler8Success Cafe to be your virtual cafe. A place where you may frequently visit to enjoy a few minutes to yourself. I’d like the experience to be memorable by providing learning opportunities, by presenting a different perspective & insight, by spurring thought & reflection, by encouraging interaction, and by spotlighting topics that, frankly, may not be as front and center as they should or need to be.

To that end, Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business daily, seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, our daily newsletter will be delivered each morning. Our Question of the Week along with an occasional announcement will be delivered at various times throughout the week.

As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, we also will deliver a weekly review each Sunday morning which will include articles you might have missed during the previous week. My goal is to provide an opportunity to begin the new week with information and ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.

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Conquering Fear “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership Whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure that business ownership is practical and feasible. Due diligence is essential in order to make the right decision – one that will go a long way toward minimizing risk of failure.

Sorry. Your Application Has Been Rejected! Despite being financially qualified and with a proven track record of success, is it possible for franchise candidates to be rejected for not being a “right fit” for a brand?

What role will entrepreneurs play in the economy over the next 5-10 years? This is our Question of the Week. As such, I’d really appreciate your feedback. So please, share your comments, insight and perspective in the comments section below. But first, let’s see if I can spur some thought.

Vision to Reality: A Deliberate Journey A deliberate approach led to the creation of the Acceler8Success mantra that is often seen alongside a black panther whose approach in getting to its goal is nothing less than deliberate.

Maintaining Work Life Balance Here’s to a great weekend and a productive stress-free week ahead. Please share this with others as there are far too many that have a difficult time managing stress and especially so during what are seemingly uncertain times.

Are you ready for National Small Business Week May 1-7, 2022?

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As we prepare to celebrate National Small Business Week 2022, it’s the perfect time to announce the new franchise & business opportunity platform by Acceler8Success Group. In its final stages of development, I anticipate an official introduction within the next 7-10 days.

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“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

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Maintain Work Life Balance

Often, Saturday mornings feel like a much-needed rest stop after driving all day. You know the feeling, right?

You come to a stop and take a deep breath as your arms drop from the steering wheel. It’s then you feel the tenseness in your hands from gripping the wheel tighter than you had realized. A stretch before exiting the car helps the transition from the focus required as you managed your three-thousand-pound vehicle through traffic, turns, sudden stops, other drivers, less than ideal weather conditions, etc.

Upon exiting your vehicle, you stretch once again – this time just a bit longer as you work out the slight pains in your neck or knees. Maybe even a couple of sharp twists of the neck, without even realizing what has really become a habit of sorts – a routine to transition to relaxation and to your next steps, whatever those may be.

Saturdays are key to the transition from the past week. It’s key to the maintaining work-life balance that is essential to your well-being, and to your success. Sometimes, forcing yourself into the right mindset to establish a sense of calm is necessary. Determining ways to do so is essential.

Now you’re ready to move through the day of different activities that will take you further away from the mental weight of the work week. Whether it’s physical work in the yard or a heart-pounding bicycle ride or even a stroll through the mall, you’ll be recharging your batteries while re-energizing your mind.

Have you ever felt your computer was just a bit faster after restarting? And have you ever sensed your car drove just a bit better after washing it? One is actually a real experience while the other is perception, and that’s perfectly okay as both are positive experiences, each in their own way.

I believe Saturdays are “mindset” days. The song, Saturday in the Park by Chicago seems to pop into my mind quite often and for me, epitomizes that mindset, especially the last lines of the lyrics…

“People reaching, people touching. A real celebration. Waiting for us all. If we want it, really want it. Can you dig it (yes, I can)? And I’ve been waiting such a long time. For the day, yeah, yeah.”

I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to sit back right now and listen to the entire song or better yet, watch this video. I believe you’ll find your feet tapping to the melody as you visualize the experience, and wait for it, you’ll begin to smile. Trust me. It will happen!!

How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance Today

Relaxed. Recharged. Re-energized. I’m now ready for Sunday.

To many, Sunday is considered the end of the weekend. To me, it’s the start of a new week, a new beginning.

I love the quiet and solitude of Sunday mornings as I awake by 4AM. I use the time to think about possibilities as I catch up on reading, reviewing the many publications, newsletters & blogs to which I subscribe. Sunday afternoons are typically reserved for family time.

Preparing for the week ahead is reserved for Sunday evenings and typically takes me well into the night. This ensures a stress-free start to the week ahead and goes a long way toward achieving goals. Doing so actually helps plan for free evenings during the week. This allows me to maintain a work-life balance as family commitments & events are firmly in place on my calendar, not to be interrupted by work.

7 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Refuel Over the Weekend

Here’s to a great weekend and a productive stress-free week ahead. Please share this with others as there are far too many that have a difficult time managing stress and especially so during what are seemingly uncertain times.

Vision to Reality: A Deliberate Journey

As many people who know me are aware, most everything I do comes about with a great deal of consideration and research, but not to the point of creating paralysis by analysis. Deliberate, yes, of course. My thoughts behind Acceler8Success were certainly no different. 

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Take a look at our logo. What do you see in the middle? 

Is it an 8? Yes, but it’s more than that as it represents balance. One part of the number shows a defined path with a hard barrier at each end of the path. The other path is open-ended. This represents balance and that there are options to achieve goals – to explore possibilities, opportunities. 

My research was extensive as to what I was trying to achieve. Actually, the number 8 was chosen before determining how to incorporate it into a brand name and logo. Research showed that number 8 seemed to align with my passion for entrepreneurship.

The significance of the number 8 should not be overlooked. Professionalism, material freedom, affluence, and self-confidence are all related to the 8-numerology number. But that’s not all; many numerologists believe that the number 8 is associated with compassion, freedom, and self-reliance.

Interestingly, all are key factors in being a successful entrepreneur! 

Spiritually, the number 8 is a potent number. It’s a spiritual number that symbolizes mental stability and a positive outlook.

An article about the number 8 refers to finding a balance in life and relying on intuition to make the best decisions, to have a positive outlook and belief in one’s own self, and despite the difficulties that may be encountered along the way, to maintain self-assurance.

Numerology of Popular Brands

Further, it goes on that to embark on a new journey, it’s necessary to be confident in actions and to maintain a positive outlook on life and begin new adventures by stepping outside of a personal comfort zone with the courage to face fear.

I’m certainly not a person to rely on horoscopes or act upon superstitions, but if something stops me in my tracks and simultaneously intrigues me AND spurs creative thinking (my mind running wild with possibilities), then I’m on it.

Please take a few minutes to read more about the meaning of the number 8 HERE.

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Upon reading the article linked above you’ll quickly realize the expansiveness of my purpose, my objective. Remember, this all started in 2014 with a year or so ramp up to introducing the theory behind the brand as a mindset of how to do business. The deliberate approach led to the creation of the Acceler8Success mantra that is often seen alongside a black panther whose approach in getting to its goal is nothing less than deliberate.

Recently, we were right at a tipping point. Sometimes, things happen for a reason despite the pain it may cause or challenges that may be faced. If things had gone smoothly with a particular project’s funding several months ago, we probably would not have shifted as strongly to a project that I strongly believe has far greater possibilities than we would have with that other project. 

With this new endeavor, which I look forward to announcing in the near future, it’s become more of an exponential opportunity with multiple revenue streams and profit centers, and one that will benefit a number of our clients. Whereas the other was somewhat more of a square peg in a round hole that may have actually prevented us from exploring this new concept.

Mind you, I still want to capitalize on opportunities with the other project, and we will but I’m super-excited by having been ‘forced’ to explore other opportunities. Garth Brooks says it best in one of his popular songs, Unanswered Prayers:

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs. That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Perseverance. Commitment. Dedication. Focus. Combined, they will keep us on the road to success. Personally, I expect it to be so in a big way as all that’s been experienced is somehow all being tied together – nothing having been done over the past year or so that hasn’t contributed to what we have right in front of us, seemingly just inches away. 

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There is so much in alignment, in balance at Acceler8Success Group, a ‘Ying & yang’ of sorts.

You see, it’s certainly not a coincidence that the symbol for Ying & yang very much resembles the Acceler8Success logo. 

At Acceler8Success Group, we are laser-focused on connecting the right people, brands & opportunities. We believe it’s all about a right-fit mindset that is going a long way toward turning a vision to reality. It’s what we do for us, and for others!

What role will entrepreneurs play in the economy over the next 5-10 years?

What role will entrepreneurs play in the economy over the next 5-10 years? This is our Question of the Week. As such, I’d really appreciate your feedback. So please, share your comments, insight and perspective in the comments section below. But first, let’s see if I can spur some thought.

Elon Musk is Buying Twitter for $44 Billion

While the free speech issues surrounding Twitter may not have much to do with your business directly, today’s development should definitely be of interest to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Why?

Consider these points:

  • Elon Musk is only 50 years old and he’s worth $265 billion. Obviously, he knows a bit about running a business (SpaceX, Tesla). Small business owners should watch and learn as he makes changes to Twitter.
  • Changes Musk makes to Twitter are likely to have an impact to business owners and brands that use or don’t use the site.
  • Musk’s purchase of Twitter could have a ripple effect on other social media platforms.

Read more at SmallBizTrends.com

Investopedia addresses how entrepreneurship affects the economy as promoting economic growth, even if positive effects are sometimes overhyped. It goes on to list four key points for consideration:

  • Entrepreneurship refers to the “pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.”
  • Entrepreneurship has become increasingly socially conscious, taking stock of the impact of entrepreneurial activity on societal issues and tending to view the possibility of addressing those issues as an important function of entrepreneurship.
  • The impact of entrepreneurs on economic growth is overall positive, though it may be more mixed than its proponents realize with evidence pointing towards widely different results within different sectors of the economy.
  • The evidence of how effective socially conscious innovations have been at solving the issues they tackle historically has been mixed.

In an eye-opening article, The Future of Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century, the author, Dr. Srikanth Gaddam points at some of the trends and changes we have seen throughout the business world over the past few years, and what those changes could mean for potential entrepreneurs looking to start their own business ventures in 2020 (and beyond), as well as how those changes could affect the future of entrepreneurship going forward. He lists them as:

The Rise of the Social Enterprise – there has been a sharp increase in the social awareness of consumers and the desire to contribute to businesses who use a percentage of their profits to help a range of deserving causes, and this change in habits has paved the way for a new kind of business venture. These businesses are known as social enterprises and are driven by purpose rather than profit, with a goal of improving the lives of others – and they’re most certainly becoming more and more common in today’s vast business landscape. 

The Impotrance of Digital Trends – aspiring entrepreneurs should certainly keep a keen eye on is the changing trends appearing within their potential consumer base. These trends can then be used to better market products or businesses towards the target demographic, leading to an all-important increase in sales and overall growth of the brand – or they could even be the thing that directs target audience toward the business [idea] in the first place.

Growth of Platforms – there has been a sharp increase in the establishing of businesses that operate using the platform model. A platform is a business model in which the company relies on building a large and prominent user base in order to grow, achieve prominence and maintain long-term success.

Dr. Srikanth Gaddam wraps up his article with, “Overall, there has never been a better time to set up your own business, as long as you can keep up with the trends and stand out among the rest. You could be the entrepreneur behind the next global cultural phenomenon.”

In 2017, a similar question was asked on Quora – What will the future of entrepreneurship look like 10 years from now? What is your advice for young entrepreneurs?

A response from a founder, brand consultant & teacher:

“The future of Entrepreneurship in 10 years looks very promising. Technology and the information age that we are currently in is paving the way and enabling people to become Founders and CEOs at a higher rate and a younger age than our parents did-I’m speaking about the Millennials. Anyone born after 1982. Starting a business and failing was catastrophic for them, and it would be for some today, but it is easier to rebound from a failed venture today. Don’t ever be afraid to fail, it’s called learning. And you can’t prosper without it. Just don’t make the same mistakes three times. My advice as a Brand Consultant that consults Entrepreneurs every day, don’t put your eggs all in one basket. Don’t start a business and not love what you do and be willing to put the blood, sweat and tears into it.”

I hope the information shared above has helped to spur some thoughts in your own mind about entrepreneurship and especially its role as we face economic uncertainty, a changing business landscape, social issues of the day and so much more.

So, back to our Question of the Week – What role will entrepreneurs play in the economy over the next 5-10 years?

Sorry. Your Application Has Been Rejected!

We regret to inform you that your request for consideration to become a franchisee with XYZ Franchise has been rejected. What? How can that be? I meet the financial requirements. I know I’d succeed because I’ve been successful at whatever I’ve done before. And I’ve already found a great location!

This scenario is unfolding more and more as franchisors are focusing on finding the right candidates for their franchise. Processes have evolved from just an application and financial qualification to an evaluation of whether the candidate is right for the franchise system, and with where the system is today. So, how do you know you’re ‘right’ for a specific franchise?

A statement being heard frequently today is, the franchise relationship is interdependent. It implies that both parties to the agreement are dependent upon each other. Your success is our success, and our success is your success. Franchisors are emphasizing strong foundational components of a relationship built upon open, two-way communications as opposed to what has become a cliché of being in business for yourself but not by yourself. Many are referring to the franchise relationship as being akin to a marriage complete with very similar steps leading up to BOTH parties saying, I do.

Of late, I’ve been seeing candidates pushing through the process entirely focused on whether the opportunity is right for them and giving little to no thought about the franchisor perspective. Many believe they are the only ones making a big commitment as they are ‘buying’ the franchise and as such, believe the franchisor should be grateful, never giving thought to what the franchisor is bringing to the table, to the relationship.

Allow me to share a story…

Several individuals inquired together about a franchise opportunity with a fast-growing emerging brand we had been representing for a year or so. The candidates were financially qualified not only for one location but for several, if not more. They had visited one of the locations for lunch and decided to request information.

We had multiple calls including an FDD Review Call and on every call their focus was on location and getting started ASAP. Despite their aggressive nature we kept them on course taking them through the process all the way to Discovery Day. During Discovery Day they met the founders for the first time. At this point things went south, and fast.

Top Options for Funding a Franchise or Business

You see, the candidates, now five of them kept themselves busy talking to each other. They spent more time scribbling notes, running numbers, talking about location… all amongst themselves. No effort was made to talk with the founders, ask them questions or even interact at all. All they did was to tell the founders how they should change this or revise that and how they’d like to do so when they opened their business.

Seeing how quickly this meeting was going off course, we tried to create interaction between the parties. Engagement? Hardly the case at all. The founders also worked hard to engage with the candidates, asking questions, trying to determine if there was a fit. One of the founders even asked, what do you like about the brand and why this brand? The response was along the lines of, we know we can make money and when we do, we’ll commit to other locations.

The meeting ended with me telling the candidates we would be in touch with founders’ decision and if favorable, next steps in the process. Well, a day later I received a call from the primary candidate I had been working with to inform me… yes, inform me they had signed a Letter of Intent on a location, had gotten a cashier check for the Franchise Fee and were ready to sign the Franchise Agreement and wanted to do so that day.

I informed the Franchisor and was promptly told; we are not approving them because they did not believe these individuals would follow the processes and procedures the founders had meticulously and diligently developed and invested in over eight years to that point. A system the founders knew was working quite well as evident by high customer satisfaction, great unit economics including excellent profit margins.

More so, the founders knew these candidates were not a right fit for the brand citing the franchise relationship being a marriage of sorts and this was a relationship they were not interested in pursuing. The founders believed the values they worked so hard to build throughout the brand and that their franchisees were making sure lived every day, would ultimately be missing under these candidates’ management. The franchisor was unwilling to compromise the system at any cost as evident by staying the course despite the candidates’ subsequent offer to remit franchise fees upfront for five locations.

Franchise Ownership – Can I qualify?