Archive for October, 2010

As a franchiser and a strong believer in the franchise business model, it might be surprising to hear me say that franchising is not for everyone, but it’s true. There are certain reasons that would (and should) deter even the best entrepreneur from becoming a franchisee:

1.       The opportunity you’re looking for doesn’t fit a franchise mold.

There are lots of franchising opportunities available and odds are you will probably be able to find an opportunity that fits your particular interest… unless you’re interested in an industry that really shouldn’t be franchised. Certain businesses simply do not fit a franchise model, such as a farm or a computer chip manufacturing plant. The process of franchising consists of fragmenting and spreading a business over a more widespread territory – in the case of a farm or computer manufacturing plant, taking business away from the epicenter in order to “expand” would only weaken the company. If you are set on franchising, make sure it’s for an industry that can support successful franchises.

2.       You are not well-financed

Do you have the money to franchise?By the nature of the beast, when you buy a franchise you are going to spend thousands of dollars at the beginning. You are paying for the years and years of research and experience that multiple owners, founders and partners have utilized to create a successful, well-supported system – think of it as your “tuition.” Keep in mind that this franchise fee costs much less than the costs of the mistakes you will make if you try to start a company on your own. It is worthwhile to avoid those mistakes that only experience can prevent by buying into a franchise. But if you don’t have capital for start-up, you won’t be able to buy into a franchise and you certainly won’t be able to finance a start-up business of your own. If this is the case, try being an employee for a while. Make money while gaining experience until you have the money and ability to run a successful business.

3.       You have a strong independent streak

Many subscribe to the idea, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” That mentality will destroy an organization. Successful franchises are based on a team effort, especially within a service industry like Five Star Painting or Five Star Holiday Décor. Running a business takes a lot of knowledge and experience in a number of different specialties. For a franchisee to be successful he needs to trust the corporate team’s expertise.  Five Star, for instance, provides personalized websites complete with a slew of search engine optimization and management

'Lone Ranger' types don't want to rely on others to get the job done.

'Lone Ranger' types don't want to rely on others to get the job done.

campaigns. We also provide a comprehensive 24-hour sales and support center complete with a first-contact lead system, marketing planning and management. Franchisees are also provided the Five Star branding as well as in0house software that produces accurate computerized estimates, reports and customer tracking.

There are some people who feel a strong need to be in control of everything, that it has to be done their way. They believe they’re “my customers” and no one else can talk to them. That’s the individual that wants to be in business all by himself – book keeping, finance, every single department run by himself.  These types of people make great consultants. They can be a successful one-man show, but they can’t run an operation. If you’re looking into starting a business but aren’t looking for help, franchising is not for you.

No Ordinary Ice Cream

Posted by admin under Business, Product
How can shift from selling a product to selling an experience?

Are you selling a product or an experience?

A cup of coffee is, all things considered, probably worth less than fifty cents. How then does a company like Starbucks get its customers to pay upwards of five dollars for that same cup? The answer is that Starbucks is not simply selling a cup of coffee; they are selling an experience. Starbucks provides an environment and a culture that makes a simple (or not so simple) cup of coffee worth that much more.

This idea is explored in the book The Experience Economy: Work is Theater & Every Business a Stage by B. Joseph Pine II. Alongside Starbucks, The Experience Economy examines the work of Walt Disney who created the world’s first theme parks which provide guests (never “customers” or “clients”) a living, immersive cartoon world with rides that not only entertain but involve guests in an unfolding story. Disneyland and Starbucks both provide more than a simple commodity; they provide an experience.

Businesses that have caught onto this idea of experience economy have learned they can charge more for their product. People want don’t just want to buy stuff anymore, they also want to be entertained. Restaurant theaters have caught on to this, being able to provide a meal and a show, involving the audience in the experience. Movies have become that way with 3D. Some take the stuff out of the equation altogether; owners of corn fields have learned that they can make a much larger profit by creating a corn maze than by simply selling the corn for consumption. Something that has been around forever, like corn, can be turned into an experience for a much greater profit.

It is this same notion of the experience as a commodity that has gotten us so interested in working with Sub Zero. Sub Zero is not your average ice cream shop. On the Sub Zero website, it states, “Our secret is Cryogenics, the science of ultra cold where we use direct contact freezing. Our process takes a matter of seconds. This is the best and fastest ice cream you will ever see or taste.” Sub Zero has turned ordinary ice cream into extraordinary ice cream. “Nothing is frozen before you order.”

Ice cream is a product that has been around forever, but with Sub Zero, they are selling the experience. Couple that experience with an amazing product and that is what will be successful.

Sub Zero

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