Traits That Make Great Franchisors Great Leaders 

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

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

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

If you’d like to learn more about being a franchisor and building a successful business, contact Franchise Foundry today.

 

POSITIVELY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES – THEY’RE NOT JUST FOR CUSTOMERS! (Part 1 of 2)

A recent Google search for the phrase, “positively memorable experience” revealed results that were exclusive to customer experiences, and TripAdvisor.com garnered one-half of all results with the phrase. So, what causes customers to be so emphatic about their experience that they deem them “positively memorable?” experienceFurther, what implores them to share their thoughts so openly within a public forum?

“Certainly, validation and multi-unit ownership are strong indicators that positively memorable experiences exist within your franchise system.” 

To answer these questions, we must first examine the definitions of the words that make up this phrase as shown on Google:

Positively: In a positive way, in particular; with certainty, so as to leave no room for doubt; used to emphasize that something is the case, even though it may seem surprising or unlikely.

Memorable:  Worth remembering or easily remembered, especially because of being special or unusual.

Experience:  Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.

Now that we fully understand the meaning of these words, their impact when joined together truly makes sense, not only as a powerful phrase, but as a compelling statement. Clearly, this is a statement we should strive to hear from customers at every location within our franchise systems; such a clear, concise message is something we want to share every chance we get. It speaks volumes of the relationship between customer and business, one that both sides can agree on as a benchmark for excellence.

Utilizing this phrase as a filter, ask yourself if your franchise relationships merit the same sentiment. Better yet, imagine if your franchise relationships were deemed as being “positively memorable experiences.” Is this possible or even practical to consider? Of course it is!

The Beginning of the Experience

Pick one franchisee and think back to the time when he first inquired about your franchise. What made him want to continue through the next steps of your franchise sales process? Now, think about what that franchisee must have been feeling along the way through the due diligence and validation processes.  Imagine how he must have felt when he shared with family and friends what he was going to do. Then, after signing and remitting a check for the franchise fee and committing to the initial investment along with a five, 10- or 20-year term, imagine how he justified his decision to these same confidants.

Do you think this was all part of a positively memorable experience? I believe most within franchising would agree that this is the case or the franchise sale would not have occurred. Yet, too often the positively memorable experience diminishes from this point forward. Sure there are many happy, satisfied franchisees across many great franchise systems. But how many, during or after the fact, would actually say the experience was positively memorable?

Part 2… Moving the Positively Memorable Experience Forward

This was originally published in Franchising World September 2014

Facts & Perspective on the Future of Franchising

franchise imageTwo out of three isn’t bad. In fact, in baseball that would be a phenomenal batting average never even remotely approached. A winning season percentage? Well, it has been done in several professional sports. However, what I’m referring to are leading stories last week (see below) about franchising. Two of three were positive with growth statistics for franchising shared and the power of the franchise model defined. The other presented as somewhat of a negative perspective on family-owned franchises as being less productive than non family-owned businesses.

In any event, I’d love to see more study done on family-owned franchises and how the notion of underperformance may vary from one industry segment to another. My thought on this focuses on the potential differences between multiple generations of families that own Dunkin’ Donuts franchises as opposed to families that may own a non-food brand that may be more inclined to rely on the performance of one, two or several key staff members. I’d also like to explore the difference between single-unit and multi-unit ownership by families. Any takers to start the discussion?

“Regulations have been trimmed, taxes have been cut, and, as a result, the franchise community has continued its economic momentum. As we move into 2018, we expect lawmakers will remain steadfast in their support for a strong business environment,” said Robert Cresanti, IFA President and CEO in a statement.

The franchise industry is set for another year of major growth!

Franchise establishments are set to grow by 1.9 percent to 759,000 locations after increasing 1.6 percent in 2017, while employment will increase 3.7 percent to 8.1 million workers after growing 3.1 percent in 2017. The gross domestic product of the sector is forecast to increase by 6.1 percent to $451 billion, and will contribute approximately 3 percent of U.S. GDP in nominal dollars, according to the report. Franchise business output will also increase 6.2 percent to $757 billion. The forecast follows a year of slower growth in 2017, mirroring trends seen the year prior in terms of employment and output. Read more.

Family-owned franchises underperform, study finds.

A new study that involved a Ball State University researcher found family-owned franchisees post 6.7 percent lower sales per employee than other franchise owners of restaurants and other chain businesses. “It boils down to the fact that often, family-owned franchises have different objectives as compared to their counterparts,” said Srikant Devaraj, a researcher with Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Read more.

Will franchise leaders embrace a new future state of franchising?

A relatively misunderstood business model, with a paucity of academic support, franchising is on the precipice of history.  Defined by the Federal Trade Commission as an ongoing commercial relationship that includes a license to a brand, payment of a modest fee and the existence of significant control or support, the average consumer knows it as Subway, McDonald’s or Anytime Fitness.  In layman terms, a chain of businesses that share a common brand and a consistent customer experience owned by a local consumer.  But the traditional methodology of franchising has been supplanted by an ever-growing array of hybrid formulations that increasingly are revealing the real power of this enigmatic model. Read more.

Avoid Being Paralyzed by Fear

Life begins

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

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

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

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

Franchisee Disaster Recovery Kit

Yesterday, I heard from Franchise Relationship Expert, Greg Nathan, as he reached out to me to help him share information to assist franchisors and franchisees affected by Hurricane Sandy. Greg wrote, “In 2011 Australia and New Zealand were hit by unprecedented floods, earthquakes and fires. To assist franchisors provide relevant and useful business and personal support for their franchisees we developed a Franchisee Disaster Recovery Kit. Franchisors told us they found the kit enormously helpful. Given recent events on the USA East Coast we would like to make the Kit available to franchisors in the USA.”

Here’s the information Greg would like to share…

Stepping Up In Times Of Need

One of a franchisors most important responsibilities is to deliver useful and relevant support to their franchisees. Great franchisors understand that in difficult times they need to be out there, standing by their franchisees and their families.

Similarly in times of trouble, franchise systems with healthy cultures will quickly mobilize themselves into action with franchisees providing practical and moral support to their colleagues.

With any crisis, it is only natural that franchisors and franchisees will want to reach out to people who have suffered loss or trauma. With this in mind we have put together this Franchisee Disaster Recovery Kit, in downloadable PDF format, to assist franchisors and others wanting to help franchisees and families who have been affected.

Read more here or go right to the Disaster Recovery Kit below…

Click Here to download Disaster Recovery Kit PDF

Well, Greg, it’s not only my pleasure to help you share this great information, but it’s my honor to know someone as caring as you. It’s no wonder that you and your organization, Franchise Relationship Institute are true leaders in understanding and strengthening franchise relationships. It all does come down to caring. Thank you for doing so!


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Similar Keys to Success in Baseball, Government & Franchising

It’s 4AM and I’m wrapping up some unfinished business for the week. Such is one of the perils of being at a conference (this week was Franchise Update Leadership & Development Conference) the better part of the week. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Especially as I think about the extraordinary experience and character I am privileged to be around at franchise events.

And, I am ever so thankful to those franchise professionals that are always, without fail, willing to share their experience, insight and perspective. To those, and they know who they are… my very sincere thanks and appreciation! You are truly leaders in many ways, and ones that exemplify what makes franchising great!

As I was preparing to post the above statement on Facebook and LinkedIn, I came across an article that I believe further wraps up the week for me. In the article, Federal Reserve chief and avid baseball fan Ben Bernanke saluted the playoff-bound Washington Nationals on Friday as an example for gridlocked U.S. government leaders of how to succeed by making wise, patient decisions.

“People decry the absence of leadership in Washington these days. My response: Look no further than the home-team dugout at Nationals Park,” the Fed chairman wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal’s online edition.

The Nationals just completed the best regular season in their eight-year history, winning the National League Eastern Division with the best record in Major League Baseball. The team begins the playoffs on Sunday in hopes of securing the first World Series berth for a Washington team since 1933.

He said the formula for the team’s success rested heavily on the wisdom and experience of its manager, Davey Johnson.

“He combines the best of two seemingly at-odds managerial traditions,” Bernanke wrote, noting how Johnson used the latest statistical advances as well as old-fashioned scouting.

“Davey is also really good at identifying and nurturing talent. Most strikingly, he has shown himself willing to sacrifice short-term tactical advantage for the long-term benefit of bolstering the confidence of a player in whom he sees great potential,” Bernanke said, citing how Johnson gave under-performing players a chance to improve.

“Many of us in Washington could learn a thing or two from the Nationals’ approach,” Bernanke said.

Well, I believe many of us in franchising could learn a thing or two from this as well…


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