Tag Archives: building relationships

Franchise Owners

Seven Tips For Franchise Owners: Leveraging Your Name

Running a franchise is easy if all franchise owners manage under a common brand, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and everything else the contract commits them to follow. So how can individual franchise owners become a team and bring their individual businesses ahead by one name and one USP?

All owners and managers are driven by different personalities, needs, numbers, time off, egos, etc. Like any relationship, business owners should start by respecting the other franchise owners in their area and be sure to remind themselves that looks can be deceiving — especially when it appears another franchisee is trying to hurt your business, working outside of their designated area or not performing as the brand promises.

I joined Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber franchise more than five years ago now, and I’ve learned if I work together with the other franchise owners in my market, we achieve greater success than working as individuals.

For all you franchise owners, I’ve found seven areas to be especially helpful:

Build Relationships

Take the necessary time to communicate with one another. As a franchise owner, you share the same business name, brand and take on the reputation of other owners. It would serve others owners well to play nice in the sandbox. Remember the competition should not be within the brand. Make getting to know the other franchise owners a priority. Build a positive working relationship, like any relationship; it’s important to keep a healthy balance of work and play.

Set Goals

Know each other’s individual goals and then establish common goals; work together to achieve them. Knowing the other franchise owners will allow you to learn from their successes as well as their failures. It will also allow you to understand their strengths and respect weaknesses.

Be Aware

List the needs of each owner or office. Have a written game plan, with a list of dos and don’ts. For example, knowing up front that everyone agrees if they hear another office is not following the aforementioned rules, they have permission to bring it up and discuss the best actions for correcting the matter. Institute consequences if something doesn’t happen the way it’s supposed to. Let’s say one of the offices doesn’t make it to your monthly meeting; at the next monthly meeting, they have to buy lunch for the group, give the marketing tip, etc. — something that hurts a little while continuing to build on the existing relationship.

Work Together

Establish a give and take attitude, don’t assume you know what another owner has going on based solely on what seems to be happening. Be sure you know all of the facts before you make any judgments or complaints. Go straight to the source and ask specific questions with respect.

Think Economically

When working as one name, decide how the business can save money through purchasing power, by sharing consultants, overhead expenses, employee time, employee training, etc.

Be Open

Open your office, your business and your experience to the other owners for training, employee issues, marketing material review, new equipment, etc. This will allow both offices to become better. It can be challenging to see the forest through the trees when you’re in the business trenches. Opening your doors and asking the owners for their opinion on business decisions will provide a fresh perspective.

Review Other Franchises

Each year, review three other offices outside of your market that are performing well. The same rules that apply to sports, apply to business here. Practicing with someone bigger or better than you will offer growth opportunities to you and your staff.

I know that by working with fellow franchisees throughout the nation I have seen great things come about both personally and professionally. My company has grown at a much faster rate, as I have been able to learn quickly from other’s experience. Additionally, I have grown personally by increasing my business knowledge and leadership skills.

 

hr_industry_leader

2009 HR Industry Leader Of The Year Honoree

Patrick BurkhartName: Patrick Burkhart
Title: Assistant Director
Company: Maricopa County Human Services Department/ Maricopa Workforce Connections

Years with city: 3.5
Years in current position: 2.5
Entity Established: 1998
Employees in AZ: 71
Employees in HR dept.: 4
www.maricopaworkforceconnection.com

Words such as “tirelessly” and “diligently” are used to describe the work ethic of Patrick Burkhart as he collaborates with Maricopa Workforce Connections (MWC) to help people find jobs and assist local businesses seeking qualified employees to hire.

Burkhart is assistant director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department, and MWC is a department division.

MWC offers comprehensive recruitment and talent-acquisition services to businesses, organizations and associations located in Maricopa County and outside the city of Phoenix. Its services are particularly important in today’s recessionary times, as it researches labor market trends and helps job seekers identify their transferable skills. MWC also helps individuals refine their employment search to ensure they are applying for the right jobs using appropriate information and job-hunting techniques. MWC is funded by a federal grant under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and offers its services for free to both businesses and people.

Building relationships is Burkhart’s forte. He establishes rapport with community partners, business leaders and others who may be beneficial to MWC’s clients. He oversees MWC operations and is always looking for opportunities to leverage support and improve efficiency. For example, Burkhart tapped the expertise of another agency to streamline MWC’s processes, reduce waste and alleviate staff stress caused by the increasing number of job-seeking clients requesting assistance at the county’s career centers.

Burkhart also took the initiative to bridge gaps between MWC and other work force development agencies in the region to form the Maricopa County Human Capital Collaborative. The collaborative applies for grant funding to enhance the efforts of local work force agencies and bring additional resources to the area.

Because MWC is federally funded and resources are directed to businesses and individuals, money is not available to pay for memberships in various organizations. Instead, Burkhart and his team work closely with chambers of commerce, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Governor’s Council On Workforce Policy at the Arizona Department of Commerce. Burkhart also works with dozens of public and private organizations that either provide services to the community or have a stake in MWC through positions on its youth council and board of directors.

MWC offers an array of business services, employer services, employed-worker training, on-the-job training, recruitment services, youth services and job fairs. MWC also informs businesses on an array of employment and training-related tax incentives. These incentives include state corporate income tax credits for the creation of new jobs at companies with less than 10 percent retail, a 40 to 60 percent reduction of property taxes for five years at small manufacturing companies, federal work opportunity tax credits and federal welfare-to-work tax credits.

MWC also offers assistance to companies that are downsizing and helps displaced employees with their transition to new employment. Services include information on unemployment insurance, career and job fairs, access to job postings, and workshops on job-search skills, resume writing, interviewing, personal finances and budgeting.