The Tannerisms’ Happy New Year Franchising Wish List
I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions. They’re more fun and fantasy like, “I resolve again this year to put the seat down,” than serious change-your-life convictions. For franchising, resolutions are a waste of time, about as meaningful as doodling an annual marketing plan. However, I do make a “Wish List.” It’s not for me, though, (I set goals for myself) it’s for you—franchisors, franchise owners and prospective franchisees. Here’s my Wish List for 2014:
For FRANCHISORS, I wish…
• That you will put your franchisees first. With every decision, the question should be: “How will this improve the sales, growth and profitability of our owners?” Some franchisors focus on customers, others on operations, a few on technologies and more on brand building. Those are all essential ingredients for success, but they are means to the end—making your franchise owners happy, successful and reliable validators is first and foremost.
• That you will invest in your people. Like any business, direction is top down. In franchising, success is bottom up. Your people are your front line. Train them, establish mentoring programs, support their continuing education, create a team culture and reward them.
• That you will communicate more. A transparent organization knows where it’s going and how it’s going to get there. A transparent organization is fueled by passion and results and not slowed by office politics and gossip. And, a transparent organization has integrity, purpose and camaraderie.
• That you will support the International Franchise Association. The IFA is our one steadfast and resounding voice to protect the American Dream. Your support will make a difference.
For FRANCHISE OWNERS, I wish…
• That you will follow the system. You buy a proven recipe (See my Tannerisms #5) and then you want to change it. Why? If you think you know more than the franchisor and the other franchisees, you don’t belong in franchising.
• That you will take time to mentor and to support your franchisee peers. A franchise system, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link. In this age of mobility and social media, your business success is linked to the success and failure of every franchisee in the system.
• That you will give back to your community. The health of the community you serve directly affects your livelihood. Support your community and people will reciprocate with their business and referrals.
• That you will validate the franchise to prospective owners. A franchise grows by adding new franchisees. Growth benefits you with more resources, strength in numbers, buying clout and much more.
• That you will exude pride in your franchise. Your customers can read your enthusiasm and confidence in the business. (See my Tannerisms #22) If you’re not smiling, how are you going to make your customers happy?
For PROSPECTS, I wish…
• That you will do your homework. (See my Tannerisms #2) Talk to people—franchisors, franchisees, vendors and customers. Take as long as you need. Sample the product or service. Have trusted advisors review the numbers and the forecasts. You can’t blame the franchisor if you fail; you failed because you didn’t cross all the t’s and dot the i’s before your signed your franchise agreement.
• That you will commit 100%, without reservation, to the business. Buyer’s remorse becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Problems will occur. And, that’s why you have a team of home-office professionals and franchise owners who have been there, done that; turning problems into opportunities.
My most heartfelt wish is unlimited happiness for you and yours and a prosperous New Year.