What Happens When You Add a Franchisee

Franchises are always measured by the number of locations and franchisees in the system, but is that the right measurement?

Growth based on bringing in the right franchisees and having them on-board well with existing franchisees is paramount in developing a business model that more of the right people want to spend their hard-earned money and sign your franchise agreement. What does your on-boarding look like? Is it a smooth transition? Can a franchisee hit the ground running when they unlock the front door and turn the “Open” sign on?

You want to have two teams to make your culture work. Your internal team needs to see the vision of what successful on-boarding looks like. Have you shown them? Does everyone understand how important they are to make it happen? The second team is in the field. Not only are your operations teams in the field incredibly important for the energy they bring the new location, but also the surrounding franchisees need to be part of the excitement. Leaving out the new franchisee’s neighbors is a sure fire way to ruin a great on-boarding.

For more ideas on how to develop these teams, reach out to us at Questions@BusinessBulldog.com!

What Kind of Animal Are You?

I was reading a great book on hunting techniques of predator species of animals and it occurred to me that there is a real correlation between the way animals get their next meal and the way businesses try to get customers. Nature has a great way of showing us how to do it right and to help us match our style to the technique that makes the best sense for getting customers into a store. By using predators as a means of examining the ways to get to an end result we are demonstrating a way of looking at your business that has been perfected and in use since anything roamed the earth. There are three main ways that animals hunt – Sit and Wait, Attack, and Infiltrate. Any one of these can be a good way to add customers, but the use of these three forms of hunting (or for us, marketing) should be blended and used often.

Are you a spider Sitting and Waiting in the right location so your customers can find you? Is that the main point of your business plan – to sit and wait for customers to walk in and be drained of their money? This is, of course, not a bad plan. A Business Bulldog stands where the business is. This requires planning and to have the right plan you need to think like a customer.

Let’s spin it around. What if you started thinking like you were the one being hunted. What attractive web would have you as the customers fly into the store?

  • Where would you go to spend money?
  • What do you think about when you travel to a certain area?
  • Do other businesses in this area compliment your plan to spend money and keep you in the area longer?

Now let’s look at Attack! Bears use this aggressive method for getting what they want. Get a scent, leave the area, and grab what you need. Many companies used this technique to get started. Fuller brush salesmen and encyclopedia salesmen were everywhere in the middle of the last century. They would get a whiff of prey and they go charging after it like it is their last meal before Winter. This is a rough way to gain market share and a big way of getting your presence known in an area. It is also very tiring and can wear on customers fast. This is guerrilla marketing – bear style!

Time to turn it around. What would make a business come charging after you like they had nothing to lose? Some would say just being in the area is enough to set of the sensors on these crazy for a sale attackers. There is something more to it.

  • You need to be a participant -someone who looks like their customer.
  • You need to be in the territory.
  • You need have the means of satisfying their need (to make a sale).

The last method is to Infiltrate. Jaguars are masters of this way of hunting. They look like their surroundings and no one notices them until they are caught. They look like they belong there. Ever been at a party and someone makes a suggestion that later on you realize was just to benefit them at your cost? That is the way to infiltrate. Be a part of the scene and then move around until you find what you need. Be quick, smooth, and act with style. This is a skill and a trait that many people do not have, but can learn. It takes being patient and waiting for the right time to act.

Spinning this around again; what would make a jaguar want to spend energy on you?

  • Do you have what they want?
  • Have you said or done something to make yourself a target as a customer?
  • Do you really know your surroundings to know if their is a hunter in the midst?

Since many business owners find a “Customer Hunting Method” and stick with it there is a bewilderment that happens when the customers are no longer there. All it takes is to have more than one way of getting customers to eat well daily. Combine the methods.

  • Be in the right place
  • Location is one of the pillars of any good business – if they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you
  • Have a place that draws customers in
  • Act fast when the customer is in your web
  • Go get the customers
  • Know what a customer looks like
  • Know where customers are in your area
  • Hire the right people who want to go after customers
  • Be prepared to be in the background until the right time hits
  • Ask more questions than you answer
  • Be prepared to listen to your customer’s needs
  • Find ways to make what you want their idea

Do You Speak Employ-ees?

We talk with employees every day. We need them to complete tasks for their job and they need to tell us about the job they do. Seems simple enough, but why is it that there are still employees that we cannot get through to and have one team all working in the same direction? Maybe it is because you are not speaking the same language.

It is not the phrasing, but rather the lens they see your business through BEFORE you start talking that trips up a good conversation. Before you start a conversation with your employees, you need to understand what biases your employees bring to the table and how they are going to see what you have to say through that point of view. You are, after all, living in two different worlds and may never meet in the middle.

You think about your business like a prize fighter does a big fight. You plan and train for the day and know that everything you do brings you closer to your goals. From the paperwork, the inventory you account for, and even the taxes you pay – both financially and physically, you are your work. It is something more than pride that keeps you going and you expect the best from everyone you meet. It is the lens that you see your business and your life through. Often you cannot see a reason not to work as hard as you do or why anyone would live any differently.

Your employees, on the other hand, think about when they need to work and when they get to clock out. Their lens shows them how much money they bring in to the company (your company) and how much of that they get to keep. They see things in black and white. Black is the money that is coming in and white is the amount they get to keep after working hard all day long. They see other workers and calculate that you are rich off their hard work and they just get a small cut. They work – you get paid. They see when you drive up that you are in a nice car and that you have nice clothes. They know you take good care of your family and that, as your own boss, you have the time to spend with your family. They work and do not have as much to go home to. Their lens, to them, is clear since they see things this way every day.

Recently, I was speaking with an owner of a successful company and he stated he could not get his employees to get extra training and was adamant that they would call in sick, just not show, or have one of a hundred excuses to keep them from showing up. My knee-jerk response was, “You pay them don’t you? Just tell them it is mandatory.” This advice was poorly given and received.

What I should have done is find out more about the employees and why they did not want to show up. Once I asked the right question, I found out that they wasted their time in a training class in years past and did not want to repeat this. Simple. To them, they wanted to know more about the training before committing to the time required to go. Once we wrote an agenda and had a conversation about how it would help them, they all agreed to show up.

What else do you want your employees to do that they approach halfheartedly or not at all? The job never end, it just takes on new challenges.

Find the lens that they see things through by asking questions and removing your own biases and you will get the job done. Follow a few standard questions to help you see things more clearly.

  1. Is there resistance because of time, money, or education/ training issues?

  2. Is there prior experiences that keep them from committing?

  3. Does the message need to come from someone else?

  4. Have you had success discussing this issue before? What is different now?

Stop before you talk and think things through by looking at it as an employee would. Talk with them…not at them. You will find that they return the favor and explain things in terms you will understand too.