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Franchisee to Professional Executive: What, Why and How?

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Successful franchise owners understand they need to be more than the operations manager following the franchisor’s playbook. You are the CEO of your business.

Successful franchise owners are professional managers (executives). You have similar goals, challenges and obstacles as the CEO of any company large or small. You grow personally and professionally expanding your influence over your business and outside the office.

It is possible to have a significant level of financial gain following the franchisor’s operations manual and surviving. But to earn maximum benefits with your asset, financial and more, like being a positive force for others, the successful franchise owner practices and perfects several key attributes.

 

 

Executives to Franchisees Lucas Frey

Successful franchise owners lead their business with a servant’s mindset

Discover what resources your managers need to accomplish their goals. Give them the appropriate resources to get the job done right and set up review processes. Ask questions often. You don’t need to helicopter manage. Trust that your managers will follow through and reach their goals. If one proves otherwise, work with them on why.

This is your work family. Have empathy and know your team well. Help them through adversities and celebrate their victories. Be careful not to over-celebrate the insignificant. You want the real victories to stand out.

The one constant in life is change

Professional Executives never stop adjusting. The best at this is the entire New England Patriots organization. According to Reddit, from 2000 (Belichick’s 1st year as Head Coach) through 2018, the Patriots almost doubled the winning percentage when trailing or tied at halftime compared to the rest of the NFL.

One key habit is to constantly review everything about your company. One key question to ask is, does this process/ service/product add value for customers and employees? A review and adjust mindset is critical not only of established measurements but also to sift out what measurements are truly important. Making necessary strategic adjustments in game and especially at half-time increase the chances of winning that particular game for the Patriots.

But the organization stays on top for so long, and with different players and coaches, because their head coach and executives make the organizational adjustments necessary to succeed year after year after year for a long-suffering Dolphin’s fan.

Cautiously experiment with your business. Discover better processes, tactics and strategies without jeopardizing your business’ financial health. For example, my business recently contracted with a LinkedIn marketing expert to help franchise owners find my blog. Clear success measurements, the specific time frame of the engagement and the fixed financial commitment were mutually agreed before work began. Other factors such as communication, approvals needed and overall assessment are part of the agreement. At the end of the experiment, we will decide together if value was added and the next steps. The cost of the worst case outcome is fixed and the upside is unlimited.

Successful franchise owners make difficult decisions with confidence

Consistently solid decision making is an art and must be practiced. Ask a lot of questions:

• Who can I talk with for relevant input and differing perspectives?
• What are the best- and worst-case outcomes? What outcome is most likely?
• What if we do nothing?
• What are the odds of a certain outcome along the spectrum of best case to worst?
• Is there a time element?
• What are the individual and organizational risks?
• How can the risks be minimized?
• Who does this decision affect and how?
• What is the most impactful way to communicate the decision with your team?
• How much information is enough?

The answer to these questions, and others, may take a few months to answer. Or, as the Terrace Park Fire Chief, arriving on scene of a three-story house hit by lightning, all of those questions must be processed in the first minute.

If an experiment fails, so what? You know the total cost and you have learned valuable information. Not every idea is gold. So, when you strike nothing but sand, be a positive example for your team and move on. Likewise, you are humble in success AND encourage your team to celebrate.

Objectively evaluate the experiment, learn and communicate with your team. At this point decide to continue, continue with adjustments or scrap the experiment and move on.

Professional Executives are consistent and reliable

Emotional stability shows your team you are dependable and unwavering. You don’t growl at others nor do you let yourself get down when results aren’t what you planned. Likewise, you celebrate success with humility and dignity. You appear (and usually are) self-assured in all situations. Inside you may be in the Daytona 500 last-lap-19-car-pile-up moving at 213 MPH. To everyone else, you are as smooth as glass and in control.

In my opinion, professional managers are punctual with very few exceptions. Grandpa Gorsuch always told me, “If you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re late.” Everyone’s time is important.

People in every walk of life are drawn to professional executives. You have an aura, a humble swagger, that elusive something and others want it. There are many books available with varying theories. Successful franchise owners know their business succeeds because of relentless teamwork

You and your team set your goals, available resources and parameters. A functional team will determine the best way to reach the goals. Your expertise, guidance or coaching skills may be required, and that’s perfectly ok. You have regular check-ins embedded in the process.

Your employees trust you. They know you keep conversations confidential unless legally appropriate or with permission. You are always honest and honor all commitments. Your word is your bond.

Professional managers encourage business conflicts without personal attacks. Easier said than done. Lencioni in “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” argues that high performing teams, “engage in unfiltered and passionate debates of ideas” where personal attacks of any sort are forbidden. Teams, not necessarily individuals in the team, mimic their leader. You set the tone for your company.

You celebrate with your team’s successes. Professional executives praise those around them as publicly as possible. Franchisors have newsletters for you to showcase your team nationally, for example. You always provide correction of any kind in private. Respect every member of your team and they will respect you even in uncomfortable situations.

The following examples highlight three of the differences between professional managing versus managing your operations

You make your business unique and design strategic, low-risk experiments to add “innovational value” for your clients (see, “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne). Operations managers copy best practices and remain a commodity with high price sensitivity.

Professional executives constantly grow professionally and personally. You seek to learn and question every aspect of your business. This is especially true for long held industry assumptions. Operations managers work hard to accomplish tasks required to survive the day. Professional executives take on the role of a coach. Just like Coach Belichick, you set the mission and interim goals. You review and practice the playbook with each member and you ask open-ended questions letting them use their expertise. Desired results will follow. Now, you can focus on long-term growth strategies, employee retention and everything else you need to optimize your business. You know to your core that your team and customers are THE REASON each day. An operations manager uses their team to reach a goal. An operations manager directs processes required. And an operations manager considers surviving each day as a win.

You can take action now to move forward into professional executive territory

Read to grow and make it a daily habit. (Insert sigh here) I know, you don’t have time to do anything other than take care of your business and hopefully spend time with your family. Look at it like this, using 30 minutes every day to learn from other professional managers is more beneficial for you, your company and your team than scouring production reports for an hour.

Reports show past performance not how to move forward. Evaluating and correcting processes is important but not as much as becoming a top-tier professional. Have a trusted colleague with whom to talk. Join the CEOs’ lunches with the local chamber of commerce. Or use the services of an executive coach. Being part of an industry bench-marking group is good for operations managers. You have higher-level discussions to best optimize your asset.

Stay healthy in all aspects of life. Create habits that add to your overall success (see, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg). Get help when necessary. It’s a powerful act to admit you don’t have all of the answers. Successful Franchise Owners seek help with issues they aren’t an expert.

Lucas Frey improves franchise owners’ businesses where corporate support alone isn’t enough. He brings more than 26 years of varied professional experiences including 20 years as a franchise owner of Image FIRST Cincinnati, six years as an industrial engineer for a Fortune 250 company (three while living in Honduras, C.A.) and 19 years as a volunteer firefighter. All of these experiences, in addition to Luke’s drive to learn, make him a positive driving force for other franchise owners’ successes. Luke is currently a member of the Center for Executive Coaching and in the final publishing phase of his first children’s book.

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Lucas Frey improves franchise owners’ businesses where corporate support alone isn’t enough. He brings more than 26 years of varied professional experiences including 20 years as a franchise owner of Image FIRST Cincinnati, six years as an industrial engineer for a Fortune 250 company (three while living in Honduras, C.A.) and 19 years as a volunteer firefighter. All of these experiences, in addition to Luke’s drive to learn, make him a positive driving force for other franchise owners’ successes. Luke is currently a member of the Center for Executive Coaching and in the final publishing phase of his first children’s book.

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Ph: 513.615.6750 or on LinkedIn www. linkedin.com/in/lukefrey94 and https:// www.linkedin.com/company/bella-vistaexecutive- advisors