Three Things Your Franchise Should STOP Doing in 2013: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Ever heard of a ‘Not-to-Do’ list? Business Owls got one right here! If you’re going to make 2013 your franchise’s best year yet, here are the top three things you need to stop doing. Check it out…
1. Stop Complaining About the Economy
So, you’re sick to death of this bad economy ruining your franchise business.What are you going to do about it – emigrate? Let’s put that into perspective –the US government is over $16 trillion dollars in debt; European solvency is threatened by the European Sovereign Debt Crisis; and the Chinese economy is slowing down significantly (that’s because their two biggest customers – the European Union and the United States are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy). The global economy may be in deep trouble, but here’s a reality check – the so-called bad economy is the new normal and things won’t be going back to how they were pre-2008 anytime soon…or perhaps forever. So quit complaining and deal with it. Now is the time to hunker down and get on with things, wherever you are. Heed the wise words of US President Theodore Roosevelt: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Start:
- Being proactive, not reactive
- Focusing on what’s profitable in your franchise and losing what’s not
- Getting a grip on your debt – rather save on the interest and get cash-in-hand
- Managing your franchise’s cash flow – get tough on non-paying clients and re-assess the terms you offer them.
- Developing the right attitude to life and work.
THE LESSON: There’s always money to be made, even in a bad economy!
2. Stop Taking Customers for Granted
Customer relationships are a bit like romantic relationships – over time, the initial excitement of having them on board gives way to that comfortable feeling that they’ll always stick around. Confident that they’re in the bag, you start chasing after new franchise customers and, slowly, old relationships get forgotten as new ones are forged. Don’t let time lull you into a false sense of security – customer relationships need to be groomed if they’re to continue. If you don’t pay them attention, slowly but surely you’ll find customers dropping you in search of a better customer experience elsewhere. Start:
- Getting in touch with customers from whom you haven’t heard in a while – they’ll appreciate the effort
- Taking customer complaints seriously – sure, we all hate hearing negative feedback but listening to it not only helps make customers feel validated but helps us make improvements, too
- Encouraging return business by initiating a franchise loyalty programme THE
LESSON: It costs less to retain old customers than it does to hunt down new ones!
3. Stop Being in it for You
You’re in the franchise business to make money for you, right? Wrong! You’re in it to keep people happy and give them what they want – because by giving them what they want, you get what you want. Rather than focusing on what you can get out of your business, then, focus on what others can get out of it, instead. Start:
- Cultivating a happy workplace –Would you go the extra mile for the boss from hell? Thought not!So what makes you think your staff would? Work on keeping staff happy and healthy and watch productivity rise.
- Cultivating a customer-centric attitude – Your customers aren’t doing you a favour by giving you their business, so do not act like they are
- Give back – Whether it’s throwing a freebie the way of a customer, donating your franchise products or services to a good cause or helping a staff member get an education, good deeds resonate with customers.
THE LESSON: We usually get what we give!