What business are you in?

What Business Are You In?
My Tannerisms booklet is written for prospective franchise owners. If you’re looking for a reason why Tannerisms, I felt it was time that we exited the stuffy jargon and cliché advice—“You’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself”—and started talking to entrepreneurs in a straightforward manner with common sense advice. If you’re a prospective owner, I want you to think before you commit. I offer 30 easy-to-understand bits of wisdom that will help you through your due diligence process, e.g., #6 “Go with a franchisor that has skin in the game, and as a franchisee, #5 “If you’re going to buy a franchise, follow their recipe.” I promise if you read my book, you’ll be inspired about franchising and informed to ask the right questions and to make the best decision. But, more on Tannerisms in another post, today I want to ask franchisors and the people who work for them, “What business are you in?” I know you’ll be surprised by the answers: From marketing—“We’re in the brand-building business.” From operations—“We’re in the systems development and field execution business. From the other departments, you’ll get similar turf definitions. That should tell you there’s a problem. Unless you are all in sync on what business you are in, you will have an unwieldy business model and you will be sending mixed messages to your franchise candidates. [Editor’s note: Franchise prospects, be sure to ask each person you contact within a franchise system, “What business are you in”? If you hear a consistent theme, you’re in good hands. If the answers are all over the map, you need to change direction.] OK. So what’s the answer to “What business are you in”? YOU’RE IN THE FRANCHISING BUSINESS—to recruit, train and create successful franchise owners. Yes, brand building is an essential part of that, and so is developing systems, and the mission of every other department, but at the core of your business is franchising. It’s a larger purpose than any one department. It’s the glue that holds the organization together. And, franchising is sure to resonate with existing and potential owners. As important, it simplifies the decision-making process. With every opportunity to spend money, pare costs or fork left is the question: “How will my decision affect franchising?” Someday I’m going to write a Tannerisms book for franchisors. (I’m already thinking about a book for vets.) The first adage for franchisors will be, “Ask yourself, “What business are you in?’” Think about it. Lose sleep. But, get it right. If not, you’ll be like my #4 Tannerisms and a franchise system to avoid: “Make sure the franchise you’re looking to buy isn’t working out of a trailer with a 40-watt bulb hung from the ceiling.”

Posted in Franchise, Franchise Information

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