Is Franchising the Right Way to Grow Your Restaurant Business… or Any Business, for That Matter?

This past January I presented a webinar for RestaurantOwner.com about the ins and outs of franchising a restaurant business. Special attention was also placed on preparing to franchise and how doing so could significantly improve the business itself and provide a road map for multi-unit operations – even without actually proceeding into franchising.

Well, the response after the event was quite robust and led to us performing a number of franchise feasibility studies for independent restaurant owners in various markets across the country. Our recommendations were split on whether to franchise or stay the course as an independent operation. In the coming months, we’ll be able to see how our recommendations play out. In the meantime, interest remains high, not only for restaurants but also non-foodservice operations across a multitude of industries and industry segments exploring franchising as an expansion or growth strategy.

RSG_Logo_Rev3.pngLast month, in Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine, a RestaurantOwner.com publication, appeared an article by the RS&G staff, taking a deep dive into my webinar and philosophy about franchising a business. The article started out…

Some of the most successful brands – in any sector – are franchises. In the restaurant business, they are household names. For many independent operators, franchising their concept is the so-called “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”. Before you take that leap, there are a lot of small and critical steps to consider.

The rest of the article, Baby Steps – Is Franchising the Right Way to Grow Your Restaurant Business? may be read on pages 42-47 by clicking HERE.

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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.

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Winning at Poker & Business Starts with the Right Mindset

If you’re not aware of the movie, “Rounders”, it’s basically about the dark side of underground high-stakes poker. Movies like this easily correlate to business. For instance, the main character, Michael McDermott says,

“Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker EVERY YEAR? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?”

Similar sentiment can be expressed about entrepreneurs that start one business after another, and mostly succeed. Do you think that’s luck? Hell, no! It’s knowing when to take a calculated risk, understanding the odds, hedging bets when necessary, being patient, exploring opportunities to increase your bankroll and knowing when to take a competitor head-on. It really is a mindset. Something to think about from the movie as well, “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle.. but you can’t win much either.”

Acceler8Success Poker

#Acceler8Success

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Today’s Entrepreneurs

The world around us has become so noisy that it’s easy to not hear opportunity knocking. In the past, opportunity presented itself in only a few ways… a job offer, a referral, an ad in the paper. Business was regimented… 9 to 5, straight forward processes, slow to change, staying inside the box.

 

Well, technology along with our lost feeling of security, job and other has provided us opportunity and reason that we must keep our eyes open, explore beyond our comfort zones. We must maintain an open mind to create things of value, to control our own destiny, to diversify our income, to take calculated risk, and to think and act outside the box (of complacency, fear and procrastination).

We’re in an environment where the visionaries continue to create the playing field but it’s only doers who will win.

Acting swiftly, yet decisively, albeit deliberately, often throwing caution to the wind, caring little about what others think of them and their decisions, maintaining a laser-focus to not only succeed, but to thrive.

These individuals not only make things happen, they make them count, and in a big way. They are today’s entrepreneurs.

#Acceler8Success

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Franchising: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

World of FranchisingAs I often do on the weekends, I was searching through my personal library seeking out a book or two that might provide me some inspiration for an article or report, and this weekend, I came across a business book that was published back in 1979. The book, “Free Yourself in a Business of Your Own” by Byron Lane, caught my eye for reasons I cannot really explain. Obviously, I’ve had it in my possession for many years, yet, never opened it again since I purchased it for $1.29 at Target. It must have been a clearance book as the cover price was $5.95. Anyway, I can’t even recall seeing it when I routinely search through my library. It’s like it suddenly jumped out front and center and said, “Hey, look here!”

Well, I decided to look through the book because the back cover stated, “This book is about freedom. Freedom from an 8 to 5 regimen. Freedom from dehumanizing democracies. Freedom from job boredom. Freedom from the lock-step culture. Freedom to do your work your way.” Hmmm… not much seems to have changed although lock-step culture is not one I’ve heard of before.

Right away, my thoughts turned to franchising and I began to think about what franchising was like back in 1979. Fortunately, I didn’t have to think very hard, as to my surprise, was a chapter on franchising! It’s placement was to present franchising strictly as an alternative to other forms of business ownership, and in a book with 174 pages, the franchising chapter comprised all of 3 pages. Yes, 3 pages!

Within these pages were a series of bullet points that I found very interesting and it made me wonder how much franchising had actually changed since 1979, and if the changes have improved franchising today. Read the bullet points below and you be the judge.

– While there are no federal laws governing franchising, most states have franchise laws. Get a copy of the law in your state and read it for degree of stringency and coverage. If it is a tough law and a franchising company qualifies to do business in your state, you have one measure of security.

– Don’t believe that acceptance of you by a franchiser means they have evaluated your ability to get the job done. Some franchisers would select a corpse if rigor mortis had not set in and if it clutched in its hand a certified check for the amount of the franchise fee. Do your own introspection and decide if you can handle the franchise.

– Do not deal with profit projections or average profits. Insist on actual financial statements from a cross-section of franchisees. Then, evaluate your expected return on investment.

– Get the financial statement of the parent company and evaluate its ability to provide the services it promises.

– Read the franchise contract. It should be simple, frank, and fair, with complete disclosure, not an instrument of repression. After you think it through with your head, listen to your gut and determine if the contract fits you

– Finally, and perhaps most important of all, is evaluation of the franchiser’s management team. You should do this from two aspects – their management ability and their humanness. If the management does not measure up to good corporate standards, you will not get the profits you seek. You may turn out okay, but they can bring you down.

 

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