December 2015 Archives

"Made in China" can kill. in 2007, it killed Zhang Shuhong. Zhang's company was Lee Der Industrial.

"Lee Der had been an important vendor for Mattel. ... Everything began to unravel, however, after Mattel discovered lead on toys based on Dora, Elmo and other beloved characters." Secrets of the Money Lab, Chapter 6.

When Dora & Elmo were transformed from cuddly to toxic, both Mattel and Lee Der were in deep trouble.Zhang was betrayed by his supply chain - when someone added lead to the paint. The paint on those toys for American children.

At the height of the scandal, "Made in China" toys threatened 300,000 children with lead poisoning. Mattel paid over $30 million for the product recall. Zhang paid with his life, he hung himself.

Lee Der had its export license revoked - a corporate death. And the brand "Made in China" suffered badly.

Yet, Zhang was an experienced vendor, who had worked with Mattel for over 15 years.

But, as the supply chain got longer and more fragmented both Zhang and Mattel lost control over quality.

Mattel was perplexed: "They [Lee Der] understand our regulations, they understand our program, and something went wrong."

Contrast Mattel's compliance program to what Kroc, McDonald's and their meat suppliers did in the late 50's with hamburger.

Mystery Meat

In the late 50's, hamburger was mystery meat. At times, unsafe, contaminated and poisonous. "Nitrates were used to keep the meet pink, even when it had turned"

At other times, soy protein was added. Soy protein was cheaper and because the soy absorbed water, there was less shrinkage in cooking.

The only regulation in place was that anything designated as "hamburger" could not have more than 30% fat. So, meat suppliers added extra blood to meet this requirement.

Finally, beef offal could be ground up and added to the "hamburger" mix.

The Standard or Recipe

The recipe for "hamburger" was created with the help of Golden States Food Corporation, GFS.

(GFS went on to be a major supplier with McDonald's. It is now the third largest beef supplier, with revenues over $6 billion. Not a bad payday for helping create and maintain a standard.)

The Strategic Problem

The negotiating strategy of the meat suppliers at the time was this:

Agree on a price with a drive-in, independent or chain, but then lower the quality to make the deal "work economically".

Since there were no standards or recipes for hamburger, the meat purchasers always had to bargain hard on price - quality could not be bargained for.

Remember that the regulations only required that anything called "hamburger" didn't have a fat content higher than 30%.

Suppliers could not credibly commit -in advance- to delivering standard hamburger.

This hurt consumers. It hurt the drive-ins and chains. Battling over pennies left no room for paying for the costs of monitoring and controlling quality.

It was the classic chicken and egg problem. If the drive-ins could expect high quality, they could pay more because the individual monitoring costs would be less, and they could charge consumers a bit more.

But, suppliers knew that they couldn't deliver high quality hamburger because some drive-in's would adulterate it and also sell it for the higher price.

The market for quality unravelled, before it got even started.

The Solution: High Standards and Tough Compliance

To solve this strategic problem, Ed Turner and others first decided that the McDonald's standards would hold fat content to between "17 and 22.5%".

And that "hamburger" had to be "83% lean chuck "shoulder" from grass-fed cattle and 17 percent choice plates (lower rib cage) from grain-feed cattle."

Some suppliers thought they could cheat McDonald's. Since the supply chain was fragmented and local, these supplier thought McDonald's would not and could not police their standards.

"They had not counted on the intensity of McDonald's commitment to its meat standards.

Rather than leave the inspection of meat to visual inspections -the method used by the McDonald brothers and most other drive-in operators - Turner and Karos advised franchisees to have the meat routinely analyzed in labs."

Finally, McDonald's provided other simple tests for its franchisees to use, conducted surprise inspections, and kicked out suppliers who failed the standards.

They also quit "hard bargaining" on price - giving up a few pennies on the pound to the meat suppliers.

It is this type of dedication to creating and enforcing standards, in collaboration with its franchise operators and meat suppliers that made McDonald's the force it is today.

It is a good reminder of the value of franchising: the creation and maintenance of standards as a result of collaboration between buyers and sellers & without relying upon the penalties provided by government regulation.


Secrets of the Moneylab: How Behavioral Economics Can Improve Your Business Chapter 6- In Whom We Trust.

McDonald's: Behind The Arches Chapter 6 - Making Hamburger.

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

I'm not a franchisee, I'm a business mentor, that specializes in growing my clients companies by understanding the rational, emotional and subconscious needs of their ideal customers then creating the perfect products and services for these ideal customers....

So, when I decided to help franchise a gardening business, and knowing that the franchisee would be the customer, off I went to 'do what I do' and get to grips with understanding the rational, emotional and subconscious experience of people who have bought franchises.

I have been horrified! I kid you not.

In the past month, I have spoken to 30 or more franchise partners of well known national companies, big and small, as well as partners of lesser known franchises and those recently arrived in the UK.

Whilst I'm aware there are many wonderful franchisors, I have discovered that often, a franchisee is not thought of as a client or customer of the franchisor, but rather as an employee of a dictatorial regime.

I am continuing to speak to people about their franchise experiences, which is helping me build a unique franchise model that treats the franchisee as a highly valued and respected client and not a skivvy.

Which companies do you think have the most ethical and empowering franchise models?

Gary Kennett

Gary Kennett The unfortunate part of being a Franchisee, as I have experienced and observed is, that the Franchisor makes decisions, about Advertising, Sales Promotions, New Product ideas, and certainly, Operational Procedures, that directly affect your bottom line. They may have no clue about your immediate Market potential, but whatever they say, goes, as they move forward with their plans for sales promotions (i.e. DISCOUNTS), and product launches, that may have very little impact on your business, other than, discounting your Profit Margin. At the end of the day, if they're making 7.5% or more of your Gross Sales then, that's what they seem to care about. If they were tied into your Profit Margin then, they may pay closer attention as to who and how they effect their Franchisees. One might say "Well, wouldn't they be concerned if you potentially, went out of business, due to their blind shotgun strategies?" My answer is "No", they would simply approach you with a rock bottom "buy out" price, because your business was no longer worth what it could be, and move on. It's a sad day in Franchising, if you ask me.

Jim Rucker

Jim RuckerHaving worked as both a Franchisee and for a Franchisor, an important issue I see is Franchisees entering into a franchise system with the unrealistic expectation of owning their own business and operating it as they see fit. Yes, they own a business but really what was purchased was the Franchisor's system and if the system is not followed, it can ruin a brand. While many new Franchisees appreciate the system when they start, they can become resentful later because they are not given the leeway to operate things their way. Branding is perhaps the most compelling reason to buy into a franchise system and in order to maintain a high level of consistency and meet customer expectations, there must be compliance with the system. Most franchisees are not born business experts and struggle with some of the most important aspects of successful business operations. Again, they appreciate the system while they are learning it but once it is mostly mastered, dissatisfaction can creep in with the control the Franchisor maintains. One other thing I see concerning Franchisee dissatisfaction is everyone would operate differently if they were the Franchisor and regardless of the decisions made, you aren't going to please everyone. Decisions made by the Franchisor must be made in the best interest of the Franchisor and the system as a whole.

Madam Becky Adams

Madam Becky AdamsI have found this dissatisfaction when interviewing franchisees, and it seems to start after a year or so when they feel they are no longer getting value for money in the form of training and support.

If you're trying to do right by the franchise partner it must be soul destroying for a franchisor to be complained about all the time!

Gary Kennett

Gary KennettFor me, I was very well aware of the relationship, between Franchisor and Franchisee, but the difference is that I thought the Franchisee had more collective influence, as a Group, and the overall situation and status of different events, has proven that we don't. So, I certainly, was not under the belief that I would come into the picture and change my product menu, to offer things the Franchisor doesn't, but I would summarily say that "most of us are not pleased with their dictatorial approach to various issues.

Tim EvansLike Paul said, a lot of franchisees come into the business after being "outsourced" or "downsized" with no previous business experience. They are generally unemployable (not really) to most companies based on age, etc. The franchise system offers them an opportunity to come in a business system, which offers them the core structure of running a business. Unfortunately, all they have is a JOB (just over broke). The key is to make as much as you can above the line (yes the franchise gets their share), but manage your below the line expenses to maximize "your money".

Robert Riche

Robert RicheRobert Riche. I was a franchisee for over 20 years running multiple units, and almost five years in a senior corporate position. Purchasing a franchise is a very dangerous proposition. All the power and control rest with the franchisor, you end up with a lot of turn over of management staff, field management etc., most systems have a high turnover every 3 to 5 years, everyone thinks they have a better idea. Tim your comment about franchisee's is true, but that's what the industry attracts. You can list the quality operations on one hand. Everything else is suspect.

Gary Kennett

Gary KennettMy situation was different than most, in that, the original franchising co. was bought out, but by folks not well experienced in the business. Then, they began implementing their view of the business, and it's future complexion and business model, along with the new "culture" and "atmosphere" they wanted to convey. Due to the very nature of the original business, and how it was now, differing with the newer ideas being brought in, it simply clashed and I think alot of conflict resulted.

Madam Becky Adams

Thank you so much guys for your thoughts. I have been considering trying to combine a franchise structure with a business mentoring model...

So, for example, with the gardening and grounds business, instead of someone buying a franchise, they buy a 'business in a box'.

Their brand, their business to do what they want with.

They buy a step by step proven model, training and support, but the business is theirs from the outset. If after a year of help from a team of on-site and on-line experts they feel they have enough experience, they can cut loose and go it alone, or just buy the support services they think they need.

To me, from having spoken to so many miserable franchisees, it gives the best of both worlds. Autonomy within a proven structure and as much support as you do or don't feel you need.

Cláudio Pazin

Cláudio PazinI am franchisee here in Brazil and the brand that I represent is recognized and has several awards, but the results and expectations presented by the franchisor during the sale process weren't reliable. For example... units with a bad results are often offered to Franchisor Managers or older franchisees at very low prices. It's a way to avoid to show the "shut down" number. There was two years ago I searched for another brand in a different segment, but analyzing the franchisor's data I realized that the data provided weren't also reliable, so I faced the franchisor with my analysis and I heard the answer that if the franchisor tells the truth would be impossible to sell franchises. Of course that time I gave up...

Carlos Roche

Carlos RocheHello Claudio, Sorry to hear about your situation. I understand that the franchisor may have lied about the real numbers, however, if the franchise is solid, give it all you've got and sell.

Do you still have the franchise?
What kind of product or service do you provide?

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

To Comment Original LinkedIn Discussion here -- Click here

To Comment on this Article --Click here

The show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs pitch investors for capital, has some great business lessons . . .

1) If you get what you ask for, take it. Mark Cuban offered one entrepreneur exactly what he requested. The entrepreneur then asked for more and lost the deal. No one likes to do business with someone who gets what he requests and then asks for more; it's a sign of what's to come in the relationship.

2) Networks matter. The Shark Tank investors bring huge value in their networks. Daymond John got the sticker guys distribution in Best Buy as well as retail distribution for Nubrella. Lori Greiner is able to help the businesses she invests in get on QVC. When you're looking for investors understand their networks and more importantly if they're willing to leverage them for you. Ask about this before you sign a deal. Sometimes a deal with less lucrative financial terms is better if it brings the right network to the table.

3) Do your homework. When Mark Cuban negotiates and tells you a deal is final, he means it. I've seen enough episodes to know this, so I cringe when an entrepreneur tries to negotiate further and loses a deal entirely. You won't have the benefit of seeing most people you'll negotiate with on TV in advance, but you can still do plenty of due diligence -- like researching their past deals and talking to their business partners.

The most successful entrepreneurs also know enough about the Sharks to customize their pitch. They tell each one why he or she should personally be interested in the business.

4) Get an advisory board. Getting a Shark to invest in your company is one way to get partners with experience and a network, but not everyone can be on Shark Tank. Creating a strong advisory board can also increase your opportunities; for a small amount of equity you can build a great board. I've found that retired executives with extensive networks are often eager to get back in the game and make tremendous advisory board members.

5) Know your absolute bottom going into a negotiation. One entrepreneur was offered a deal and needed to think about it. By the time she decided to move forward, the Sharks had talked among themselves and reduced their offer. If she knew her absolute bottom going into the show, she could have made a decision on the spot and had a better deal.

Too many entrepreneurs are unsure of what they'd accept and their hesitancy gets them worse deals. Also, if you don't know the lowest offer you'd accept, you could commit to something you'd regret later. Of course, there may be exceptions if unexpected elements come into play, which sometimes happens on Shark Tank.

6) Solve your own problems. The most successful founders built companies to solve problems they faced. They're building for a market they understand and are passionate about. A couple examples are Travis Perry who developed ChordBuddy to help his daughter learn to play the guitar and Eric Corti who invented the Wine Balloon to better preserve wine after he and his wife opened a bottle.

Of course, the problem you're solving has to address a sizable market. No Sharks wanted to invest in Ledge Pillow because they didn't think the market was big enough.

7) Investors buy into people as much as ideas. The Sharks get most excited about a passionate, likeable entrepreneur. Be honest. If that's not you, and you need investors, consider finding a partner who fills this role.

8) Do a deal that works for everyone. The Sharks often say they won't invest in something because they don't have the right background or connections to help the business. If you're looking for investors, try to find those that can help you by serving as more than just a bank. In any deal, whether it's related to VC or not, make sure both sides provide value. You're probably going to do more deals in the future, and a one sided deal won't be good for your reputation.

9) Listen. The Shark Tank investors offer great advice when they turn people down. If you're told "no" don't be so displeased that you can't listen to the rationale. And, if they don't tell you why, ask so you can leverage that advice moving forward. This is a chance for insight from experts.

10) Don't respond to people you're pitching with disdain or sarcasm - even if they say something nasty. The people who do, tend not to get deals. How you act in a pitch will shape what potential partners think it would be like to work with you. In fact, maybe they're pushing you just to see how you'll react under pressure.

11) If you can't sell, learn to. This lesson is for everyone. Even if you're in a large company, you need to sell your ideas and yourself to get ahead. In the case of investors, Sharks are looking for people who can sell. And, business valuations are significantly higher when someone has revenue. Do whatever you can to get sales prior to approaching investors. Mark Cuban stresses that selling is one of the most important skills for entrepreneurs in his great book, How to Win at the Sport of Business.

12) Prepare. I've seen entrepreneurs on the show who don't know their financials or seem to freeze up in the middle of their pitch. When you're going to a meeting or pitch, practice enough that you can talk about your business even in stressful circumstances and please know your financials. The most successful people are usually over prepared. This is something Barbara Corcoran mentions in her excellent book, Shark Tales: How I turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business.

13) Demonstrate your commitment. Investors want to see that you've taken a risk - investing your money and time -- showing that you believe in your business. Don't ask for their money if you haven't invested yours.

14) Patents are extremely valuable. A worthwhile investment if you have something unique.

15) Have options. You can almost always tell when someone believes they have no other options. Those entrepreneurs get a worse deal than they'd otherwise receive. Whether you're selling a stake in your company or buying a car, you need alternatives to get the best deal. One alternative is knowing at what point you'll say "no."

16) Ask, "Are there any other offers on the table?" Some people have gotten much better offers when they ask this rather than responding to the offer that was given. Like anything, the more competition you can create for your business, the better deal you'll get.

17) Don't quibble over small numbers. I've seen deals get lost because someone is dickering over 1%. Don't do it.

18) Ask for something valuable . . . besides money. Steve Gadlin and Mark Cuban were negotiating an investment in Steve's business, I Want to Draw a Cat for You. When the financial terms were on the table, Steve asked Mark if he'd draw and sign every 1000th cat drawing. Mark said "yes." It was easy for Mark to say "yes," and it will add value to Steve's business. Look for opportunities where the other side can provide additional value without any out of pocket expense.

19) The right partner offers more than financial terms. There are some great businesses that are giving up huge chunks of equity for a seemingly small amount of money. Kevin O'Leary bought into Talbott Tea at what seemed like a great valuation for him, but within a short period of time he had the business packaged up and sold to Jamba Juice. When you do a deal with a Shark you're giving up more than you'd offer someone else, because they can exponentially grow your business faster.

20) Don't tell potential investors they're wrong. When you tell Sharks they're wrong - especially in front of other people (like the national TV audience of Shark Tank) they will naturally stop listening to you. No one wants to be told they're wrong in front of other people. Instead, say, "I think that . . ." or "What do you think about looking at it like. . . ." How you defend your position makes a difference.

21) If someone asks you to sell him something, ask, "Why do you want it?" Daymond John challenged an entrepreneur to sell him a pen. The guy did a good job, but I think he could have done better. Instead of jumping right into selling the pen, he could have asked Daymond what he was looking for in a pen and customized the pitch.

22) Find investors who are passionate about your business. The Sharks gravitate not only to the businesses they like but the ones that they're passionate about. Kevin O'Leary invested in the tea company (loves tea); Daymond John in the trash can cover company (he said he had just lost his own garbage can cover); and Robert Herjavec in the guitar learning company (he has a lifelong dream to learn guitar). Those entrepreneurs were solving problems that the VCs personally experienced. Do research to find partners passionate about what you do. You'll have a higher likelihood of making a deal.

23) More Sharks are better than one. Every investor will bring a different network and expertise to the table. Jewelry company M3 Girl Designs, founded by Maddie Bradshaw when she was 10, was offered $300K from Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban. Maddie said she'd take the deal if they'd let Robert Herjavec in as well. She got the same financial deal with one additional investor. See if you can increase the parties who have a stake in your business.

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

Stuff happens! Often, human resources professionals encounter the unexpected. When employees bring surprises, priorities get rearranged, if not completely usurped. Still, having a plan helps everything stay on target and go much more smoothly. The new year is the perfect time to anticipate and plan, making all the difference in what gets accomplished. Here are a few ideas on getting started:

Know your organization. Understand the overall business goals and objectives. Identify how the human resources department can contribute and obtain top management support. Create a human resources strategic plan that supports the organization, its goals and mission.

Stay on top of deadlines. Whether month-by-month or week-by-week, develop a calendar or other means to track tasks for legal compliance and other deadlines that predictably occur. Overlay this framework with the additional HR projects you need to accomplish.

Update your employee handbook. Take into account changes in state and federal law as well as the National Labor Relations Board stance that social media policies not constrict employees' right to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. Check for clear, concise wording and readability. Make sure policies are consistent with one another.

Revise job descriptions. Job duties change and job descriptions need regular updating. Make sure they are clear and accurate and convey the essential functions of the job. Well-written job descriptions provide a road map to employees, serve as a foundation for performance evaluations, and justify exempt vs. non-exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Use wording that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (HR Made Simple subscribers may access HRSentry's Job Description Tool to quickly create ADA-compliant job descriptions.)

Train managers and supervisors. Your need to depend on these folks on the front lines to properly implement your policies and procedures and state and federal employment and non-discrimination laws. Help them understand their role in claim prevention, especially in areas such as sexual harassment and retaliation. Teach the importance of proper documentation and let them know that HR serves as an internal consultant to help prevent and solve HR-related problems.

Target problem areas. Do you have high, unplanned turnover? Is FMLA abuse or absenteeism a problem? Are independent contractors vs. employees classified properly? Are you paying overtime lawfully? Are work-related injuries too numerous? Every organization has areas to improve. Identify the two or three most pressing issues and make this the year to solve them!

Need more in-depth help? Expect the unexpected and plan for what you can! HR Made Simple subscribers have all the resources and tools they need at their fingertips 24/7.

Enjoy a stellar 2016!

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

It's that time of year again. Everyone's busy, stressed out and short of time. It can be easy to forget to thank folks. It shouldn't be. However, sadly, it is.

We can usually remember to thank our customers. And we probably don't have any trouble thanking family. However there is a group of folks that are often left out of the "thank you" pile.

And that would be our co-workers. The folks we spend most of the day with side-by-side. In the spirit of the holidays, we at Telephone Doctor, dedicate this column to our inside customers. The folks that are thought of as our 'home away from home' family. Sure, we argue and disagree with co-workers just like our family. And that's OK, because most of us have a family environment in our office. We understand that. It's our office family. 

With this in mind, our column goes to our co-workers, our internal customers, this month.

1. Understand Your Role - Each employee should know the mission of their organization and the role they play. Those of us who are in a small department of a large company can often times miss the big picture. If you don't know the mission of your company, ask for it. Keep it at your desk. It will help you with the big picture. You may start to understand the 'why' of the things you're asked to do sometimes and 'why' internal customer service is everyone's responsibility from president to maintenance. If management isn't doing their part, often times the entire customer service program will go out the window. We don't want double standards. Remember it starts at the top! 

2. Respect Employee Differences - Cub fan? Cardinal fan? Republican? Democrat? Rock music, classical, whatever. Just because we don't agree with someone doesn't make us right. Differences are crucial for an organization. Differences are key to understanding people. If everyone thought the same way, most of us wouldn't be needed. It's not healthy to argue just because a co-worker isn't doing it the way you would or thinking the way you do. Learn to respect the differences. That's why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream. 

3. Recognize the Personal Space of Others - Simply put, this boils down to the golden rule. Those who can work with a radio playing music may disturb others around them who aren't able to concentrate. Loud voices around someone who's on the phone with an external customer can be annoying also. If you're working in a cubical or sharing an office or area, we need to recognize there are others around you. Be sensitive to their wishes, as you would hope they would be to yours. 

4. Work to Resolve Conflicts - Who hasn't had unkind words with another employee? Or perhaps you and a co-worker strongly disagree on a project or idea. Not trying to make it work can only lead to more stress and frustration. Learn to work it out (notice I didn't say 'try' and work it out) even if you need to call in a professional in the area. Normally someone from HR or another trusted employee can usually be of help on conflict resolutions. 

5. Show Appreciation - We saved this for last because being appreciated, showing you care with a genuine 'thank you". It can be a note, a phone call or just stopping by an office and letting someone know they did a great job. This makes a huge difference in our internal relationships. There are surveys upon surveys that show how much a genuine pat on the back of appreciation is thought of as a way of special compensation.

What the franchise world is saying about Nancy's annual conference programs:

Relevant • FUN • Entertaining • Engaging • Spontaneous • Real • Unforgettable

For a complimentary demo call 314.291.1012, email [email protected] or visit

Join these (and many more) successful franchise clients: Philly Pretzel, CarStar, Big O Tires, Minuteman Press International, NOVUS Glass

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

In this article and in a few of the articles to follow we are going to explore the differences between small businesses that are troubled and small businesses that are triumphant.

While there are a lot of differences between troubled small companies and triumphant small companies, there is one commonality that they both share. It's been my experience that the owners of both types of companies really have the all the answers that they need to make their businesses successful and that's not true most of the time; it is true every time.

There was a time when I didn't recognize that. I was sure that I had all the answers and all I needed my clients to do was follow my lead.

But one day I was working with a client on the beltway in DC. His company consulted with the government on submarine nuclear warfare so he was a consultant also. The project was really successful'

My job was to develop a succession plan for the owner. He had no children, what he had was 10 retired admirals, each of whom ran a division and each of who truly believed they should not only be allowed to run the company, I'm fairly sure they each felt they should be allowed to run the world.

Talk about a room full of egos.

But I did my job, named the successor and convinced each of the other Admirals that their job was probably more important than the CEO spot. We didn't lose one of them.

So the owner and I went out to dinner. Before we left for dinner he pulled an envelope out of the safe and told me that we were going to look at its contents at dinner, I of course was feeling pretty good about myself and then he opened the envelope and showed me the name he had written down before I started the project.

Of course it matched the Admiral that I had chosen.

He then asked me if I knew what the definition of a consultant was. He told me the answer which was that a consultant was someone who borrows your wrist watch and then tells you what time it is.

And that was a great revelation to me.

There is a great difference between a business owner who knows what the answer is, knows what change needs to be made and can make the changes and an owner who knows what the answer is, knows what changes need to be made and just can't make the necessary changes.

And don't underestimate the fact that change is very difficult to bring about . In fact that's the reason that consultants like me are needed, we are change agents.

Machiavelli said" It ought to be remembered that There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and only lukewarm defenders among those who may do well under the new"

Truer words were never spoken. And that's why consultants like me who are really change agents can make a good living; we understand a lot about processes and know how to bring change about.

We could spend many pages more describing the process of change, but I can assure you, the process exists and if you are going to operate a winning or a triumphant business you must understand the change process.

Now let's consider a question. If I were to tell you that there were two business owners in the same industry and they were equally smart and had exactly the same number of years of experience.

Now given that scenario if I were to ask you which of the owners would be the most successful I would get answers ranging from the one that works the hardest to the one that has the best sales staff to the one that is the luckiest.

While all three of those options can be helpful, in my consulting practice I learned that companies that had operating plans consistently outperformed companies that did not have an operating plan.

Think about it. The reason is simple, attempting to operate a business without a clear concise plan that leads you to your goals is just like trying to go on an automobile trip without a map. If you are going to maximize your results you must have a plan.

And once you have a plan you must live the plan, not just once a month or once a week but every day.

And if you are going to have an effective plan you have to get your entire team involved in its creation.

Sure, as a business owner you could go into your office and sit down and go through the process of creating a plan and present it to your employees and tell them this is your plan.

You could say "Go out and be sure we achieve this."

Your employees just have a plan that they think has been shoved down their throat. This is an ineffective way to manage.

It's kind of like a quote I saw from a former marketing executive at Citrix Corporation. He said "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."

If you don't involve your employees in the creation of the plan, they certainly have no sense of ownership.

Owners of winning companies involve their employees in the creation of a plan. Every employee should be responsible for developing their portion of the plan.

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

Search for Articles

Follow Us

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2015 is the previous archive.

January 2016 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.