Change… Because Failure is not an Option

change-course

Like a ship at sea, a business should make directional changes in a long, sweeping manner. Conversely, although abrupt change in direction may create havoc, it may be deemed necessary by the captain and navigation team to avoid what may not be apparently visible on the surface to others on the ship, but is evident nonetheless through compilation of data and viewing radar. In any event, well thought-out plans, including contingency plans must be in place and acted upon to arrive safely at a specific destination within a certain time frame, and with available resources.

However, what happens when seas are rough, or when a storm is approaching, or when an engine shuts down? It’s then the captain’s responsibility to crew and passengers, and to the ship’s stakeholders to make any and all necessary changes to ensure all interests are protected. Thereafter, when the ship is safely docked, management must review the events that took place and explore options to ensure the same problems don’t reoccur. Management must identify ways to improve performance by developing strategy and executing on tactical plans to accomplish objectives at all required intervals – short, mid and long-term.

Change requires thought and planning. As does operating a successful business. As change occurs, many within the business are exposed to decisions that on the surface appear to be “drastic or severe” and are not understood and/or agreed upon. However, what is typically not realized are areas of weakness and vulnerability that must be addressed and with the utmost sense of urgency. In many cases there are common denominators across multiple areas of the business. Most will be directly attributable to reduction in sales. Some will adversely affect profitability.

Unfortunately, financial concerns seem to keep coming back, although, not quite at levels during the economic downturn of 8-10 years ago. But, as was the case back then, deficiencies, usually hidden by high sales levels are starting to stand out again like sore thumbs. Accepting these facts while realizing limitations and shortcomings is vitally important, but knowing what and how to improve [and change] is required. Definitive action is paramount!

Change what needs to be changed. Prioritize changes that will make the most immediate impact. Grow into the changes that aren’t urgent. But, do it all within the time frame where challenges present themselves as survival may be dependent upon the same. Change, as unpopular as it might be, is necessary to recover AND to move forward. To this end, hard decisions must be made – with absolute conviction and without delay for the good of the business and ultimately, for all within the business. Yes, change is difficult. But so is failure, and failure is not an option!

Clarifying Entrepreneurship

EntrepreneurshipWhy is their reluctance to say, I am an entrepreneur? I’ve been asked that question many times. Heck, I’ve asked that question of myself on more than one occasion. It seems, at times we’re more proud to call ourselves, Founder or CEO or to say, I’m a business owner. Why is that?

Are those titles more respectful than, entrepreneur? Yet, we hear of late, we’re in an entrepreneurial economy. So, is that a bad thing or a good thing, and especially if we have a hard time fully admitting to entrepreneurship? Or, should we just be entrepreneurial in how we approach our work, whatever that truly means? 

Are we claiming to be in an entrepreneurial economy to justify the disappearance of the lifelong career at one company and this is just a way to say we need to create and prove ourselves over and over again, and forget the gold watch?

Back to the reference of being an entrepreneur… Is there a stigma of being a dreamer, always looking for something better, bigger, faster as opposed to what some believe is mundane, repetitive work with the security of a paycheck? Often I hear it’s mostly due to yesterday’s immigrant mindset of being thankful to just have a job, yet it’s that same immigrant mindset that is the epitome of entrepreneurship. 

Living our fears
…we are living our fears.

Actually, I believe it’s because of fear – fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown, fear of the what if, fear of starting over, fear of change… But it’s when those fears are hit head-on and the adrenaline rush of success far outweighs those fears because you know, deep in your heart that you have a deeply ingrained talent that can and will make a difference.

Does that mean failures aren’t possible? Hell no, but it’s working through those failures, those blips, those aberrations that provide experience and resiliency to improve and innovate to make the next step, the next task, the next venture successful. That is entrepreneurship. And, it’s when I don’t consider what I do as entrepreneurship, is when failure mostly occurs. Conversely, it’s when I focus on what I do as an entrepreneur, complete with that thinking outside the box and failure is not an option perspective, and when focused more on results as opposed to opinion of others, THAT is when success mostly occurs.

Yes, I’m an entrepreneur. My focus will stay as such as it is not only good for me, it’s good for my family and for those that rely on me to help them achieve their wishes, hopes and dreams! Why? Because I believe in possibilities, as without them, there are none.

3 Questions to Ask Before Franchising Your Business

three questionsBetween building a larger community network, adding an additional revenue stream and the plethora of other advantages to turning your business into a franchise, it can seem like the obvious next step for business owners that are anxious to further growth.

While franchising can provide immense success, achieving better business margins is not guaranteed.

To determine if your business is ready, prompt an honest conversation with yourself with these three questions:

1. Have you seen consistent success?

While there are no rules about the required years of experience, revenue dollars, etc. before you can franchise, owners should be able to demonstrate that their concept is successful enough to take on a second location. Think about how you will pitch to potential franchisees when that day comes—you should be able to communicate the value of the business and the success they can reasonably expect from buying in.

2. Can the success be replicated?

Seeing business success is promising, but the revenue of the company doesn’t multiply just because the number of storefronts does. If your business gets boosts from a local event, one great shift lead or customers specific to your current neighborhood, attempting to replicate that might be challenging. However, if your operations don’t have many variables and you think a new region will benefit from your business, that’s a good sign that expanding will be a positive thing.

3. Are you ready to invest in your franchisees?

In large companies, the responsibility of providing training and resources doesn’t typically fall with the owner. Being a new franchisor means building that support network from scratch. Providing continuous support to franchisees is an investment in not only their success, but the success of the franchise as a whole—therefore it’s a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The franchisor-franchisee relationship is equal parts manager and mentor, and you need to be ready to provide the guidance they will seek.

If you’d like to learn more about franchising your business, that’s our specialty! Contact Franchise Foundry today to learn more about what franchising can do for your business.