Archive for the ‘Growth’ Category

Who has watched the movie (or will at least admit to watching it) Megamind? You know that part where the bad guy asks Megamind what the difference is between a villain and a super villain? His response is my favorite part of that movie, and probably among my top 5 parts of any movie watched ever – PRESENTATION!

So I went to Subway today at the local gas station on the corner by our offices. This gas station was packed, subway was packed, the convenience store was packed. By all accounts, I would have to say it was among the busiest gas stations I have been at for a while. I noticed as I was ordering my lunch that the store manager, and what looked like another manager, were carefully washing the windows with a squeegee. They painstakingly removed every dust particle or stain from both sides. The job was done immaculately and as Megamind would say, their presentation made this gas station a super station.

This exact same gas station, just a few months ago was dead. Nobody. Crickets. That’s right, this station had the exact same location, but under different management had an arby’s, as well as convenience store, and gas pumps. Everything was always filthy, the outside, the inside, the shelves were not stocked properly, the restaurant was a mess, and the gas pumps rarely had fuel in them. Yes, the gas pumps at the gas station didn’t work because there was rarely gas. Now, this process took a few years to deteriorate to the point that new management bought the station from old management and turned it around in a matter of weeks.

They say in Real estate that location, location, location is what matters, and is the most important decision you can make. I say, ya, pretty important, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the lesson Megamind teaches us. You need PRESENTATION!

Sometimes the best way to learn something is to either do it wrong yourself or learn from someone else’s mistakes. I have had the pleasure of doing both. If you are thinking of franchising your business you have probably read, or been told about the pot at the end of the rainbow. Well like anything in life, if it is worth having, it’s going to be a lot of work. Here are three tips to avoid some disasters and maybe help you catch the leprechaun:

1) Mess of pottage. Why trade your franchisor birthright for a few dollars? In franchising, someone looking to buy your franchise will pay you a handsome franchise fee, some concepts as high as $50,000 at signing. The franchise fee is there to do a few things, like get skin in the game, cover the costs of attracting top talent to your franchise system, pay the tuition for all of you’ve learned, fund development of systems, etc. The challenge with such large franchise fees is that it’s often more money than you will get in royalties for a few years. Because of this, franchisors are more excited about closing that big deal than all the hard work to earn the royalties that come from years of business building; they trade their birthright to a share in a successful business for a short term boost to the bottom line. Some franchisors take all this money, go on a nice vacation, buy a new car, and don’t follow through with support. Not only is this not ethical, in my opinion, but it is extremely short sighted. Don’t fall into that trap, stay the course, support your franchisees, and make sure each and every golden goose is well fed and cared for.

2) Dictatorship. So, you’ve convinced a few people to buy your concept and on top of all that you have your 90 page franchise agreement signed, that some high priced lawyers put together for you. All the bases are covered- and the sweet talk stops, honeymoon is over and it’s down to business. Yikes. Nobody like being told what to do; if someone was smart enough to buy your franchise, they are probably smart enough to learn from your team, as well as your fellow franchisees. People like to be influenced, led, and shown your vision. Help them buy into not just your business model but, you and your team by demonstrating why your next big idea is one that they should adopt. I recently read a book called The Science of Influence; definitely one worth reviewing for those of you looking to see who prefer to use the carrot over the stick.

3) Partnership. I have often heard that a partnership is a sinking ship. In saying this, I will say that I have been fortunate to have some amazing partners, and that I have experienced the dark side of partnerships as well. When you consider growing your business, it is critical you get your business structure right, and if you have partners, roles and responsibilities are going to be critical to your success. Whether you form a partnership or not, there needs to be one President, CEO, Chief Pooh-Bah, or whatever title you make up. Every company needs a leader, so don’t make the mistake of approaching your business like a marriage, unless, you are into divorce.

There are plenty more things you could do to mess things up, but, I believe, if you watch for these land mines you are well on your way. Feel free to share your views on ones I missed.

The 5% Rule

Posted by admin under Branding, Growth, Running a Business

Do you matter? When your customer looks at your place in the community, state, and world, do you
show up on the radar? Building your position in the minds of your customers is key. Building your
position in the minds of your employees is vital. Building your position in your own mind is critical.

We live in a place so covered with advertising messages that you can no longer afford to be “just
another business” to your customers or anyone else. If you aren’t near the top, you are on the compost
heap. If you aren’t taking steps to grow into the best company you can be, you have a one-way express
ticket to the bottom.

So what are you going to do about it?

Start by using the rule of 5%. Ask yourself, “If we were to improve our business by just 5% this
quarter, what would we do first? Where would we start?” Then go to work. You can set your own
benchmarks to get there, but get there. It doesn’t sound like a large number, but if you set a goal that
is easy to reach then harder goals become more reachable. Don’t set your sights too low, of course.
Stretch yourself and try to be the best company you can but don’t aim for anything less than 5%.

The funny thing about 5% is that it has a domino effect. You will be surprised at how much MORE
your business increases than just 5%. Usually, those little things that you have been putting off are the
foundations for much bigger operations. They are the building blocks of your company’s future. That
means that one of those little details on your to-do list may move you farther than you ever dreamed it
could.

What is on your 5% list?

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