Franchises. I wonder if you are thinking of Big Macs, your beloved sports team, or Double A-M-C-O…… There is plenty to like and dislike about franchise businesses, and I’ll bet whichever one you are thinking of gave you a strong association. If you’ve read more than a few sentences I’ve written you won’t be shocked that I’ll be focusing on the best attributes of them for this article. I started my professional career for CertaPro Painters in San Francisco. I stayed in The Franchise Company ecosystem for close to a decade working at two CertaPro locations and two Paul Davis Restoration businesses. With hindsight, I view these experiences as foundational to the success I’ve had helping small and medium-sized businesses scale up.
What do all great franchises do pretty well?
• Standardization and Documentation of Business Processes
• Improved operational performance – data-driven
• Role refinement, training, and development
• Culture and Community – Employee Engagement
• Structure that can scale
• Replication – Best practices disseminated throughout
• Support & Mentoring
The benefit of franchise ownership and employment is the strength of a proven system, well supported with the ability and purpose to dynamically move forward and grow collectively. Successful franchisees operate with accountability, transparency, and certainty. Not surprisingly these attributes and conditions help any (every!) business thrive. Sure, I could have accumulated similar knowledge and experience in other types of businesses, but I didn’t, this was my path, and I’m betting there is some magic in how franchises allow you to learn. Think about it, hundreds of similar business units operating around the country/world with highly comparable conditions each with an entrepreneurial stakeholder at the helm. Opportunities, insights, and problem solving occur both top-down and bottom-up. The Franchise companies’ executives chart the course and drive the business forward collectively and the franchises (zees) make it happen on the ground level, perfect the operations and share successful iterations with peers and brass. It’s a scalable process improvement that isn’t typically rivaled by other organizations. In short, it’s easy to learn in these environments when they are healthy.
I have no plans of returning to work in a Franchise system and am not recommending you do so either, rather be aware of the dynamics which allow them to succeed and utilize them wherever you are. If you can only leave this article with three takeaways, here they are:
• Standardize and Document your business Practices so you can train and deliver consistently while you grow
• Have a clear, transparent, and visible plan that everyone can get behind
• Foster continuous improvement at all levels
Ok, go out there and kick some butt. And one more thing, don’t wait for the bosses to do this for you. You can and should dial in and document your processes regardless of what your role is. There is always an improvement opportunity, many of them simple and inexpensive to implement, and you are absolutely sharp enough to identify them. Nobody knows the job better than the ones doing it all the time. If you do ever reach a point of mastery or dead-end for improvements in a role, that’s the time to take on a fresh one and do it all over again. The benefit is in the delta, the change, the improvement. Have fun and prosper beloved Reman Universe! I think of you often.
The Sales Cyclist
And currently, The Gold Guy