Weekly Review June 26-July 2

Sundays are a time for review at Acceler8Success Cafe. With so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two. Possibly the week flew by without you noticing one our daily newsletter that seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed.

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. 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.

Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, this daily newsletter is delivered each morning. As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, a weekly review is delivered each Sunday morning listing and linking to the articles you might have missed during the previous week. My objective is to provide an opportunity for you to begin the new week informed and with ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.

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Welcome to the Sunday ‘Weekly Review Edition’ of Acceler8Success Cafe!

Networking is essential to success. So, why half-ass it?

Networking is your lifeblood for a long-term success. It’s often been said that one’s net worth is their network. Yet, many give it a half-assed attempt. Why do you think that is the case when effective, diligent networking produces positive results? If not immediately, then at some point, for sure.

Are we headed to the Hotel California… or, have we already arrived and cannot leave?

From the late-60s and through the 70s it was a different time for sure, but not really much different than today. War, drugs protests & riots, and recession made the headlines then as they do now. Is it a cycle, or is just a plethora of unsettled business that has lingered on for the past 50 years, a beast raising its ugly head now and again to keep our attention?

Treating Goals Like Utility Bills

Do your goals have due dates? Firm due dates similar to utility bills complete with a termination date, late fees, and disconnection notices? Could doing so create a sense of urgency? How about accountability?

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Top 5 Stories of Q2 at Acceler8Success Cafe

I’ve developed Acceler8Success Cafe to help current and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. I’m dedicated to entrepreneurial success at all levels. Whether to help others achieve work/life balance or to just be there to help someone pull out of a tailspin, my goal for Acceler8Success Cafe remains… to be a resource, on LinkedIn and across various social media to share information, to educate, and to provide an opportunity for interaction.

Work/Life Balance: Plan Accordingly

A long weekend is the perfect time to reset the clock on work/life balance. It’s a perfect time for some mental health maintenance. It really is a perfect time for new beginnings.

Thinking about investing in a franchise? Do your due diligence!

If you’re thinking about business ownership and considering whether franchising is right for you, the information shared at Acceler8Success Cafe will help you make an informed decision and provide clarity on your entrepreneurial journey.

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Are you ready to own a business?

Are you thinking of business ownership for yourself and learning how the choice of a franchise, startup or acquisition can “jump-start” the process and your earning potential? 

Well, Acceler8Success Group can help. Working with in-house small business professionals you will work one-on-one in determining if you’re right for buying a franchise, starting a new business, or acquiring an established business, and whether business ownership is right for you. 

If you determine that it is a path to consider, you will be introduced to various industry segments and ultimately, brands & companies that could be a “right-fit” option . . . all to help ensure your future success!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Are franchisees responsible for their own success or failure, and are franchisees entrepreneurs?

A while back I had posted a question on LinkedIn, “Are Franchisees personally responsible for their own success or failure?”

Below please find several of the responses from a cross-section of professionals that I believe provide some very interesting perspectives. Certainly, ones that may be different from franchise professionals that may be too far into the forest to actually see the trees, or of the franchisees that would rather point the finger of blame at someone else rather than at themselves.

As I have done in the past, the names of the responding individuals will be kept confidential. Instead, they will only be identified by their LinkedIn statement or profile.

The president of an HR consulting firm responded, “Franchising quickens the start-up of a new business operation with a systemized model. But in the end, a franchise is a business like any other. Each business owner is responsible for the success of their business. Drive, ambition, courage, determination and a keen focus on sales and marketing is critical. You reap what you sow.”

An operations manager from the telecommunications industry added, “I have the fortune of working with some great franchises in a manner where both the franchisees and the franchise are clients. As others have said, it is a combination of what is provided by the franchise and effort on the side of the franchisee. One could write a series of books on the subject; however, I feel that proper guidance and training are more vital than even advertising when it comes to a good ratio of successful franchisees. Often, I will see even the highest revenue producing franchisee left alienated by a brand, it is not uncommon for some franchisees to not even know who the current regional contact is for their brand until there is a problem. On the other hand, I have seen franchises that provide complete packages for their franchisees including market research, technology like database, PBX, and websites, corporate trainers that are easy to contact and on a first name basis, and most importantly a feeling of partnership where the owner often makes contact for advice, ideas, and information. The right franchise provides two vital resources to a business owner: 1. Instant name recognition and consumer confidence. 2. Tools enough for a business owner to focus on growing his business and not burdened with reinventing solutions to common problems.”

Finally, an expert in the HR field stated, “They are totally responsible for their own success or failure. If the franchiser does not support them, they have to remember they are the ones who made the decision to buy the franchise. They decided who to hire and to approve the location. If the system is not working, then figure out what needs to happen and make it happen. When you buy a franchise, you do not buy a job you buy a business. Would you let your employees blame it on you if they did not produce?”

As I read through the responses, I realized that several were adamant that the fact individuals invested money with a franchisor, they should be guaranteed success. Others pointed toward franchisees being different than entrepreneurs who know there is risk. Does that imply that those investing in a franchise don’t realize there is a risk when investing in any type of business, even if the investment is made by a successful entrepreneur?

And that brings to mind, the off again, on again discussion about whether franchisees are entrepreneurs?

Are Franchisees Entrepreneurs?

In business circles we frequently hear and make reference to “entrepreneurial spirit.” It’s this spirit that drives an individual to taking risks, sometimes calculated, but not always. “Spirit” is often associated with “free.” Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airways fame, among other successful business ventures, would definitely be considered a risk taker, an entrepreneur and free-spirited.

It’s often been said that individuals explore franchising due to it being less risky than starting a business from scratch as the franchise comes complete with a proven business system. The old adage about being in business for yourself, but not by yourself, creates a nice, warm sense of security that a franchise can ultimately provide.

Minimized risk. Proven system. Sense of security. Could you really see Sir Richard as a franchisee? So, if Sir Richard Branson epitomizes the true entrepreneurial spirit, my question is, “Are franchisees entrepreneurs?”

Come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the word, “entrepreneur” in a word cloud about franchising… Wait, there it is in tiny print next to the pinky finger!

I’m anxious to hear what franchise professionals, franchisees and others have to say. Please post your comments below. Thanks.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Weekly Review May 15-21

Sunday at Acceler8Success Cafe is the time for looking back over the past week. It’s a time for review as with so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two. Possibly my Question of the Week slipped by without you noticing, or an announcement I may have made just seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed.

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. 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.

Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, this daily newsletter is delivered each morning. As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, a weekly review is delivered each Sunday morning listing the articles you might have missed during the previous week. My goal is to provide an opportunity for you to begin the new week informed and with ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.

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Adapting to Change; a Moving Target

One key to success in a business owner’s life is to learn from mistakes. Although the mistakes may not have been intentional, they’re real, nonetheless.

Overcoming Fear

As Mental Health Awareness Month continues, I wanted to be sure we keep it front and center. As such, I’ve given it some personal thought this morning as I found myself reflecting upon the past few years and where things are today. What should I be doing moving forward? What lessons have I learned? How do I address my own personal fears?

Do Your Homework BEFORE Buying a Franchise!

Ray Kroc once said, “If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” But is success guaranteed when buying a franchise? Absolutely not so please do your homework BEFORE buying a franchise.

Poker & Entrepreneurship: Games of Skill?

Thinking about poker and the skills necessary to win – whether in a neighborhood or professional game – has me also thinking about the skills entrepreneurs must develop and hone to succeed in their endeavors.

Question of the Week: What skills are necessary for today’s entrepreneur to succeed, and at a high level?

Franchise Success: It Takes More Than an Investment & Hard Work!

As detailed and comprehensive as a franchise system may be, it still is not enough for most franchisees to succeed without their own desire, drive and determination. And not just words.

Keeping our Servicemen AND Veterans Front of Mind on Armed Forces Day

Servicemen AND Veterans. We must meet our obligations to BOTH groups!

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” – George Washington

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If you’re interested in submitting an article for Acceler8Success Cafe, please let me know. Articles must be about entrepreneurship, franchising, small business ownership or anything related to these general topics. Please reach out to me here on LinkedIn or via email to paul@acceler8success.com. Thank you!

On the Lighter Side

As Entrepreneurs we tend to want to teach our children the lessons that we have learned. Sometimes this is confusing to them. One entrepreneur sat his four-year-old son down and said: “It’s time for your lesson.” What’s two plus two? The little boy said, “Two plus two is Six.” “No, son,” his father said, two plus two is not six. “Two plus two is four.” “I’m sorry, father,” said the little boy. “I thought we were negotiating.” © Copyright Mark W. Lund 2009

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“Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup, and ride that highway in the sky” America, “Lonely People” Listen at https://youtu.be/QYGvKc7Q1PU

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Franchise Success: It Takes More Than an Investment & Hard Work!

Too often than not, franchisees are of the mindset that they’ve bought into a franchise system and just need to sit back and wait for the business to flow through their doors. Sometimes, it’s ignorance and perception that clouds their thoughts. Thinking that the brand name they invested in should be enough for instant business success at their location. But, most of the time, it’s just plain old arrogance that gets in the way.

It’s the arrogance of having committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a franchise as being the sole reason for success. It’s also the basis of feeling that with this level of financial commitment, the franchisor should be solely responsible for making sure franchisees succeed. Almost demanding a guarantee of success!

Well, it is not the franchisor’s sole responsibility, under any circumstances, for making sure that franchisees succeed. Sure, the franchisor must provide franchisees with a proven system and field-tested tools, that when utilized diligently and effectively, should provide them with the foundation to succeed.

But, it’s just that, a foundation. And, the franchisor should have systems in place to monitor franchisees’ progress, provide additional training and guidance, and further the overall development of the brand which all contributes to solidifying that foundation. But, as detailed and comprehensive as all this sounds, it still is not enough for most franchisees to succeed without their own desire, drive and determination.

And, not just words, but actual action.

Failure or Success?

Years ago, I was working with a franchise group on a complex marketing project. The project was ultimately a success and achieved most of the goals and objectives that were established prior to launch. Most of the franchisees embraced the strategy and were extremely instrumental in executing the plan. However, there were five franchisees that just couldn’t get out of their own way to realize the benefits of the plan, and did not realize positive results as their fellow franchisees had.

As with many of my franchise clients, the franchisor requested that I work with these franchisees, ascertain the root of their problems, and develop an aggressive plan of action to move their businesses forward. You see, the franchisor truly wanted to see their franchisees succeed! By the way, these franchisees represented the bottom of the franchise group in average unit sales. Definitely, that was no coincidence. Well, to make a long story short, the obvious problem in each case pointed back to the franchisees working “in” the business, as opposed to “on” the business. Mix in some procrastination, entitlement attitudes, and of course, total denial, and the recipe for total business failure was complete.

I was able to determine that these franchisees were compensating for their path to failure by being at the business location longer hours, spending more and more time taking care of customers, while spending less and less time on anything else. All claimed to be working harder than they had ever worked before. Was it because they had to cut payroll and do the job themselves? Ironically, that was not the case as I found employees standing around while the franchisee did their jobs.

Often, I witnessed franchisees literally stepping in front of employees to take care of a customer. When I addressed the same with the franchisees, all were actually preparing for failure but didn’t want to be considered the actual cause of failure. All thought that by being seen at the business long hours every day and working non-stop behind the counter, no one would be able to say they didn’t work hard at making the business a success.

Certainly, they wouldn’t be blamed for failure.

Of the five struggling franchisees, all but one was anxious to listen and make firm commitments to improve their situations. The remaining franchisee was thoroughly convinced he would fail and there was nothing he, or anyone else, could do to change the situation.

He placed total blame on the franchisor, claiming they didn’t provide support, and strongly professed that he, himself, did everything humanly possible to succeed.

When I asked what he was referring to, he pointed to the long hours every day. When I asked about marketing efforts, he claimed he shouldn’t have to do anything in that regard and pointed back to the franchisor.

He ranted about how the franchisor should have spent money on his behalf in promoting the business and how he spent over $300K on build-out and equipment and that should have been more than enough to ensure his success. Further, he felt he should be able to open the doors everyday, and if the brand name was strong enough, success would occur in a relative matter of time.

As I indicated, four of the franchisees decided to move forward. Agreeing that failure was not an option, we developed and executed an extremely aggressive, yet cost-effective, plan of action centered around getting outside the business location every day to promote their business wherever and however they could.

They all agreed they should have been doing this all along but always seemed to procrastinate in actually getting the job done. They attributed a big part of their procrastination to a strong sense of entitlement that the franchisor should be doing more because they, the franchisees, were the ones that already made an investment to grow the brand. As such, they had convinced themselves that any possibility of failure would fall firmly on the franchisor’s shoulders. In turn, they buried themselves “in” the business and were awaiting the inevitable.

After many hours of discussion and debate about vision, passion, drive and determination, all four franchisees decided to take responsibility for their actions and would hold themselves to a high level of accountability, to their business, employees, family, and themselves.

Each was relentless in their quest to turn their businesses around. They spoke to whoever would listen about their products and services. They were tireless in their efforts to discover new groups and organizations that might listen and learn about what their business had to offer.

They were almost to the point of being ruthless in their desire to ask for referrals and recommendations. They were all thinking outside the box, always asking themselves, “What more can be done?” and never accepting a “nothing” answer.

Needless to say, their new attitudes became contagious and before they knew it, everyone seemed to be spreading the word. Nowadays, we would refer to that as a “viral” effect.

The Final Tally

One franchisee sold his business to an individual he met when spreading the word about his business. The new franchisee became a multi-unit operator and eventually sold the business for a significant profit.

Two franchisees took on partners they met in their efforts within the community. All are now multi-unit operators within several franchise systems.

One franchisee continues to operate her business and although happy to have survived, never had the desire to open additional locations.

And, the franchisee, who said he would fail… was absolutely right!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Do Your Homework BEFORE Buying a Franchise!

The dream of owning your own business is alive and well for most Americans. The only problem is that many people don’t know where to start on the journey to becoming self-sufficient. There are a million different options, but first and foremost each potential entrepreneur must decide if he or she wants to become a franchisee or start a business independently.

Each route has its benefits; therefore, it’s critical to take the time to consider both options before making a decision. What it initially comes down to is asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do you understand every aspect of the business, or do you thrive in one area?

When starting a business from scratch, entrepreneurs should be well versed in every single element of the enterprise. They need to create systems and procedures and test whether these work for that particular business. This process of ironing out the details deters some from choosing to own an independent business but excites and challenges others.

Conversely someone who buys a franchise knows that someone else has already done the “dirty work” and found the most effective systems for that particular business. A franchisee must simply thrive at correctly running the system while adding their own personal management touch. 

2. Are you an expert at making a name for yourself or would you like to be associated with an already strong brand?

When purchasing a franchise, you are also inheriting the reputation of that brand. For example, if you open your own Dunkin’ Donuts shop, you will encounter customers who already recognize the pink and orange logo. Many people will know whether they like the brand and will expect speedy service providing them doughnuts and steaming hot coffee.

On the other hand, those starting a business from scratch have a chance to create a unique brand identity. But consumer trust and awareness don’t come easily; they need to be earned through time, consistency and excellence.

3. Are you the kind of person who likes to go it alone or do you appreciate a sense of community?

Owning a business — whether it’s a franchise or not — can be risky. Some people prefer to be self-reliant and want to manage potential problems using past experiences and premonitions as guides. An entrepreneur must solve the issues that arise.

Others prefer enlisting the support and help of others to ensure that their business runs smoothly. A franchisee has many built-in allies, including the franchisor and other franchisees within the system.

The most important factor for success is making sure that problems are identified, and steps are taken in the right direction.

Is Owning a Franchise in Your Future?

For many individuals that explore franchising as the next step in their career, as a way to control their own destiny or as a way to create a family business understanding the process can be quite overwhelming. Below are several articles by franchise experts I shared on my blog in 2018. Still relevant today, I believe it will help interested parties diligently navigate the process to help create a playing field that is best for them as opposed to seeing themselves aimlessly tiptoe through a minefield consisting of franchising’s good, bad and ugly.

If you’re thinking of becoming a franchisee, how should you prepare yourself?

Buying a franchise can be a great move for a would-be entrepreneur who doesn’t want to create a new business from scratch. In theory, franchisees acquire a model that already works on every level, from branding to pricing to marketing. A ready clientele eagerly spends on Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and 7-11. The market has tested the best recipes for glazed crullers, Egg McMuffins and the right combo of energy drinks to stock next to the register. But making a go as a successful franchisee can be a lot more complicated than simply finding an appealing brand and plunking down some cash. For a taste of what can go wrong, see Forbes’ piece about the past problems at sandwich franchise Quiznos, which paid $206 million to settle a suit brought by franchisees who claimed the chain had oversold its markets and excessively marked up supplies. Read more.

How to Buy a Franchise

Contrary to popular belief, the process of buying a franchise isn’t really difficult-but it is a process. I’ve found, (through working one-on-one with thousands of potential franchise owners) that it’s really important to tackle a major life decision like the purchase of a franchise business-or any type of business, in a very methodical way. (Even if you’re not a methodical person!)

But you need to realize that buying a franchise is a big deal. It could potentially be life changing. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

After all, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you wanted to just go out and find a new job -or keep the one you have.

With that in mind, kick off your shoes and grab your favorite beverage. In this article, Joel Libava, The Franchise King shows exactly how to buy a franchise. Read more.

Owning a Franchise Business is Good for Your Family

Many entrepreneurs choose to become small-business owners with an exit strategy of turning over the business to their children one day — a strategy that takes on more importance in an era where young people are struggling to find gainful employment. Children who begin working in the family business at a young age will typically start an ascension into management after college, with an eye on purchasing some or all of the family business as their parents head into retirement. Often, the parents will retain a percentage of the business as a revenue stream in retirement, adding an extra level of responsibility for the child as a steward of their parents’ nest egg.

Even if they don’t stay in the family business, studies show that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children’s entrepreneurship by about 60%. Children of entrepreneurial parents have already experienced many of the ebbs and flows of small-business ownership, which helps to mitigate their fears and raise their risk tolerance. Read more

Learning About Franchising

During research for Franchise Bible, 8th Edition, author, Rick Grossman found that the franchise industry had changed in many ways over the years. Technology has had the biggest impact by modifying buying behaviors. Not too many years ago, franchise buyers would find an opportunity in Entrepreneur magazine or by attending a franchise expo in-person. They would then go through the franchisor’s respective step-by-step process to qualify, purchase and launch their franchises. But today, buyers can find a plethora of information online about nearly any franchise they want to learn about. This has leveled the playing field for new innovative companies to compete favorably with the “big boys” in the marketplace. Read more

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Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership

Many people have a dream of owning a business. It’s an American Dream!

However, whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure their dream-turned-reality starts off on the right foot.

Improve Financial Health

Review and analyze personal finances. As a first step, it’s essential to understand income coming in and expenses going out each and every month of the year. Think ahead to bills that come due quarterly or annually.

Plan a firm budget. The goal is to ensure living expenses are met for a minimum of one year after starting a business. If a vacation is planned during this period, it must be included in the budget. Pay off all short-term debt to the extent it’s possible and practical to do so.

If savings or income from investments are not allocated for living expenses, it’ll be necessary for personal income to continue through year one. Lenders will require a solid plan that is not dependent upon first year income from the new business. This may require a spouse or life partner continuing their employment while the business gets on firm footing.

Review credit reports for accuracy. Challenge all errors and keep records of the same. Organize all financial records including bank statements, investment account records and insurance policies – auto, health & life.

Consider working through the above with an independent financial coach who can provide valuable professional insight and perspective. From a confidential, non-judgmental position they can help resolve some issues requiring attention that may have initially appeared to have been barriers to business ownership.

How to Create a Business Plan

Network as Much as Possible

Meet with members of the local business professional services community – bankers, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, realtors. Share plans to start a business within the community. Develop a network of these professionals and keep them apprised of progress.

Attend and actively participate in networking events well in advance of commencing business operations. Networking provides great benefits from a very early stage including introduction of the business to the community, support from fellow business owners and assurance of a busy grand opening.

From visiting with business professional to attending local chamber meetings to participating in community functions, personal involvement starts to establish a long-term commitment to the community. Owning and operating a business is about establishing and building relationships. Do so as early as possible.

How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Be Honest with Yourself

Although working through due diligence is essential it’s important not to over-analyze to the point of procrastination… or even, paralysis. Taking the necessary steps outlined above should set a foundation of being well-informed and yes, a foundation of comfort and confidence, as well.

Nurture Your Business for Optimum Growth

Think of your entrepreneurial journey much like growing a tree. First, you decide what type of tree you’d like to grow. Next, you learn how best to grow it. You then cultivate the soil to provide a firm foundation, but with necessary room to grow. The seeds go into the soil and it’s time to begin growing. Over a relative time, care is provided along with water, fertilizer and other nutrients so the tree not only grows but grows strong.

“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” – Anita Roddick

For a while it’s frustrating as you stare at the dirt wondering when the first signs of growth will penetrate through the surface — a breakthrough of sorts. Then, one day it appears through the surface of the soil and as fragile as it is you wonder how it had the strength to push through. You then care for the tree a bit more, nurturing it along as it grows and grows, branches sprouting out along the way.

At times, it may look a bit unhealthy, so you move it into more direct or less sunlight, maybe increase watering or add some new fertilizer to the soil around it. You may even relocate the tree to a bigger space, a deeper hole to firm up the foundation so it can grow stronger. And then, you see it blossom as it takes a new form with bright flowers, attracting visiting insects from far and wide. It’s beautiful, but you’re cautious as there are predators that may want to feed off your tree, destroying it along the way. So, you protect it with insecticide or even a cage around it to prevent it from being eaten altogether.

Once mature, your tree will only require periodic maintenance. Sometimes it’ll need to be trimmed and pruned to spur new growth, again making it stronger and stronger and more beautiful than ever. You then think, maybe I should plant another one, and then another? Possibly you can grow them to a certain point and then sell them. After all, you know the process. You’ve gone through the learning curve. You most likely still have some or many of the resources you used to grow the first one. There may even be something new that will help it grow faster.

You see, growing a tree is a process. It takes time. It takes perseverance. It takes care and thought at every step. And yes, it takes you staying involved and committed to, not only the process but to the desired results. If you quit or neglect your responsibilities, your dream and business will die, just as the tree would die.

10 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

5 Considerations for Millennials & Generation Z Open to Franchising and Business Ownership

Franchising is not often considered by the approximately 139 million Millennials and Generation Z population (as of 2020). But, with so many qualified people looking to start or extend their careers, and on their own terms, every job option merits consideration.

First things first. Let’s understand who makes up this segment of the U.S. population that will make up the majority of the workforce for the next 30-40 years:

Millennials were the largest generation group in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the biggest group, and they will continue to be a major part of the population for many years.

Generation Z is the most recent to have been named, and many group members will not be able to remember a time before smartphones and social media. However, the group already makes up around 20.35 percent of the U.S. population, and they are said to be the most racially and ethnically diverse of all the generation groups. 

The number of Baby Boomers, whose generation was defined by the boom in births following the Second World War, has fallen by nearly six million since 2010. However, they remain the second-largest generation group, and aging Boomers are contributing to steady increases in the median age of the population. Meanwhile, the Millennial and Gen Z generations continue to grow, and a big reason for this is the increasing number of young immigrants and refugees arriving in the United States.

Thanks to Adecco’s ‘Way to Work’ survey, which surveyed 1,001 Americans who are mostly currently in college or recently graduated and in their late teens to mid-20s, the primary differences between the two generations and how these differences might play out in the workplace have been identified. Three key takeaways, or differences between Millennials and Gen Z regarding work include:

  • Members of Gen Z are more concerned about the cost of education (21% of respondents), compared to Millennials (13% of respondents).
  • Millennials value stability (34%), while Gen Z puts more of an emphasis on finding their dream job (32%).
  • More Gen Zers follow their parents’ influence (42%), compared to their Millennial counterparts (36%).

So, what about business ownership and franchising, once the American Dream of Baby Boomers?

Here are five important considerations for Millennials and Gen Z open to this path of entrepreneurship:

Affordability. Most people between the ages of 18 and 35 cannot afford $800,000 for a brick-and-mortar business but a home-based business might cost between $40,000 and $60,000. There are a vast variety of franchises. Millennials and Gen Z can find one that fits their budget as well as their ideal income, lifestyle, wealth and equity.

Digital Minds. Both groups are digital natives who can capitalize on the Internet to grow their business. Every type of franchise can benefit from someone proficient in the cyber realm, whether that be growing an at-home business in pajamas, creating a digital work force or driving business with a creative social media campaign.  

Control. Some franchises have a web presence that is systemized from the top. If that’s the case, Millennial and Gen Z candidates need to decide if controlling the social presence is important to them or not, then choose a franchise accordingly.

Do Good. Many young people are as concerned their life work be meaningful and socially responsible as they are with money. A franchise allows Millennial and Gen Z candidates the opportunity to “do good” while being their own boss. Franchises exist for dog sitting, tutoring and healthy food, among countless options available for those looking align livelihood with their social mission. 

Difficulties. Both generations like their own voice on social media, their own marketing plan and are generally excited to execute their next big idea. Franchisors offer a replicable model so customers know what to expect. A Millennial or Gen Z candidates who decide to become a franchisee must be sure they completely support the system they choose.

21 Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

As the future of works rests on the shoulders of Millennials and Generation Z, changes to the work force will continue and most likely, not return to any semblance of what was common pre-pandemic. I guess the most important questions (concerns) for me are, Will Millennials and Gen Zers pull professional culture in opposite directions, or do both generations have common ambitions? After all, the workplace structure cannot be a work in progress forever.

Startup or Franchise? Focus on what is best for you but choose wisely.

Owning and operating a small business was once the exclusive domain of the risk takers of the business world. The true entrepreneur had a distinct flair for creativity, innovation and vision. He, and I emphasize “he”, knew how to operate outside-the-box. He knew how to make things happen. Many times, this individual had little choice as he knew from an early age, he would be responsible for shaping his future and for making it on his own. Formal education was usually limited and often just a far-fetched dream. Corporate life was not even an option. Besides, he couldn’t be told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. No way. No how.

Well, times certainly have changed in the business world. More so recently as many individuals are again faced with economic uncertainty. An advanced degree is no longer the fast track to success. As such, many individuals especially more women than ever before are deciding enough is enough. Wanting to control their own destiny they’re increasingly choosing small business ownership as opposed to leaving their future in the hands of Corporate America.

Sure, the financial aspects are vitally important. That’s a given. However, today’s new small business owners describe their number one priority as establishing true balance in all areas of their life. They desire the freedom of furthering their own personal growth but will limit that growth by their abilities and resources, finding it more important to help others improve the quality of their lives and build long-term mutually beneficial relationships; both business and personal. They firmly believe people and relationships to be the foundation of success even more than money itself as they have determined money (profits) will be the end result of their actions.

This is where the road gets tricky as a decision must be made between starting their own venture and assuming total risk or reducing the learning curve and limiting the risk by investing in a franchise where they would be in business for themselves but not by themselves. The key questions posed by many emerging small business owners are asked very emphatically, “Can I achieve my goals and objectives as part of a franchise system? And do I have what it takes to be a franchisee?”

In addressing these questions (and concerns), it’s relatively easy to analyze the two and realize, beyond the viability of a particular franchise brand as addressed in due diligence of the franchise concept itself, the answers are really contingent and dependent upon each other. The answers actually lie in understanding the mindset required to be a franchisee. Once understood, a choice must be made regarding the desired path either as an independent small business owner or as one of the hundreds of thousands of franchisees across several thousand franchise concepts worldwide.

The typical franchisee must be willing to follow and adhere to a franchise company’s business system and ultimately, promote the same within their new franchise community at all times. It must be completely understood the system cannot be changed by the franchisee nor can their business be operated differently than the franchise company requires as the system is proven and uniform across the chain. It’s this uniformity throughout the organization that is paramount to brand awareness leading to company and franchisee success and is the foundation of an interdependent relationship between both parties to the franchise agreement.

A franchise is almost definitely not the right choice for the business maverick or renegade. Certainly, there is an important place in business and in our hearts for these unique innovators. If not, we wouldn’t know Apple or Amazon as they’re known today. Even McDonalds, as probably the greatest franchise of all time that stormed through the country under the leadership and direction of a true maverick, Ray Kroc, would not have been successful without franchisees being required to strictly follow and adhere to the McDonalds system without fail. No questions asked and no room for negotiation.

Entrepreneurs will be around for centuries to come blazing trails as never before. Some will actually plan to choose franchising as an expansion strategy and build the foundation of future franchise concepts. They will provide a choice for tomorrow’s small business owners on whether to go it alone or invest in a franchise. And it will be those franchisees of tomorrow that will follow, promote and expand those systems that will prove to be the steel, bricks and glass built upon the foundation of new franchise companies. Thus, continuing the growth of franchising as it increasingly expands throughout the world, giving back by affording people more opportunities and options in determining the path to small business ownership that suits them best.

Fear And Consequences of Failure: A True Story Retold Once Again

I’ve been asked time and again to post the following article that I’ve written about in 2011 regarding my own personal experience as a multi-unit franchisee where I succeeded at first, only to crash and burn later on. Over the years, this article has been posted on several of my blogs, picked up by numerous other blogs & online publications, and discussed on various podcasts. I have received numerous comments and inquiries about the article and my experience as well as individuals sharing their own personal experiences and requests for assistance. Although I cringe at the thought of any business failing, I admire and respect the fact that franchisees and franchisors alike (small business owners and individuals & teams running larger organizations as well) know when to put their pride aside and ask for assistance, and I always look forward to providing my experience and expertise to help determine a practical resolve to their problems. 

I’m proud to say this article has been instrumental in helping a number of businesses keep their doors open and work towards recovery. On the other hand, I’m also sad to say several businesses were not as fortunate, but at least the owners were able to exit with dignity and in few cases, with less liability than they previously thought possible. And, in one case, the business owner actually exited in the black when we were able to facilitate the sale of her business when she previously thought about just walking away. Considering the difficulties many small business owners, restaurant operators, franchisees, entrepreneurs and organizations have experienced over the past two years and with challenges continuing, I’m sharing this article once again.

Fear and Consequences of Failure (unedited from 2011)

I can personally relate to the trials and tribulations of owning franchise businesses as I have “been there and done that” and have experiences on both ends of the spectrum from achieving overwhelming success to dealing with bitter failure. I have definitely come to understand the fine line between success and failure in trying to nail down the American Dream.

I know it is sometimes counterproductive to even mention failure which is why the subject is always avoided and never discussed. Yet, it’s out there and it’s real. Once franchisees face the possibility of failure and its very real consequences, they can be motivated to understand that failure is not an option and commit 100% to a plan that addresses immediate problems and provides solutions accordingly. Even if it’s necessary for the plan to be quite drastic or aggressive due to prevailing circumstances, franchisees that unequivocally realize that failure is not an option are prepared for immediate action.

Let me emphasize one point. Franchisees should not view poor sales and disappointing profits as either potential or immediate failure and stick their heads in the sand. I made that mistake in the past and suffered the consequences. Instead, franchisees should build upon the courage it took to become a franchise business owner and recommit to success as they did when they first took the entrepreneurial plunge.

They need to remember their wishes, hopes and dreams that prompted the decision to own their own business. They need to remember the admiration of family and friends when they heard about the new venture. They need to remember the excitement when they actually signed the franchise agreement.

Unfortunately, there’s a very distinct possibility the root of the problem is embedded in the franchisee’s actions, non-conformity to the franchise system and unwillingness to face reality. However, as there was some shining light evident during the franchise award process, it may not be a totally lost cause if the franchisee is made to completely understand the implications and consequences of failure.

As franchisors are faced with the potential of closed units [during this recession] that may be the result of things out of their control, it’s imperative they don’t lose even a single unit just because a franchisee just flat out needs a snap back to reality. It’s worth the effort.

Let me clarify something. I failed as a franchisee. Not because of anything the franchisor did or didn’t do but because I put and kept my head in the sand and did not face reality. I could go on and make excuses about things that happened around me but at the end of the day I could have turned things around if I got my own head out of the sand, made some difficult decisions and took full, immediate responsibility.

Unfortunately, I was scared of failing. I was afraid of what people would think. I was ashamed at what other franchisees, ones I put in business, would think of me. I couldn’t even think of facing my family. All lame excuses for not taking responsibility. Maybe a hard swift kick you-know-where would have helped.

Did I mention that I previously ran the franchise company where I failed as a franchisee? Did I mention I was elected by fellow franchisees, President of the National Advisory Council? Did I mention that I owned and operated five franchise units?

If I had clearly understood the implications and consequences that were looming on the horizon and if I was able to get my big ego out of the way and address things head on, maybe I could have survived. Maybe I could have at least implemented an exit strategy that would have, in some small way, paid back the loyalty and support of my employees, family and friends.

In the end, I may not have survived because it may very well have been too late when and if I finally took action and responsibility. But maybe I could have at least exited with some dignity. Also, I could have saved many innocent people a great deal of hardship, embarrassment, wasted effort and ill-spent resources if I did face reality. This includes my family, my employees and yes, my franchisor; all who believed in me.

Yes, it was a tremendous learning experience but not one I would bestow or wish on anyone. Now, all I can do is to offer my experience to anyone in the franchise industry that needs assistance. As we [prepare to enter 2012] in the realms of economic uncertainty, I’m certain already difficult situations have been compounded but I’m confident a snap back to reality could only help. If just one franchise business is saved from the consequences of failure, then we’ve made progress. Progress we’ll continue to build upon.