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Running With Your Franchise

In this transcript, Terry Powell ("the father of franchising" and founder of Entrepreneur's Source) discusses with Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) how to run with a franchise on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in Florida! 

Clay Clark:    Now this final phase is the maturity phase and this is one that I love to watch first hand. Specifically I spoke at a conference last year. I remember being on the tour bus, where we were taking kind of a bus as a group.

Terry Powell:    Uh-huh (affirmative).

Clay Clark:    From a location one to two. Did some excursions as a team, team building exercises with all the franchisees. This is usually where you see the grey haired guy, who's been in it for twenty years. He pulls aside the teenager franchise, who's complaining about systems. Hey I remember when I started. I was going through this, there was that mentorship that goes on. 

Terry Powell:    Uh-huh (affirmative).

Clay Clark:    In this franchise, it seems like the franchisee is no longer fighting with the corporate office, or rebelling. They are actually trying to help. 

Terry Powell:    Uh-huh (affirmative).

Clay Clark:    They might serve as an advisor or that kind of thing. Typically why do franchisees and franchisors start to feel more like family at this phase, why does that happen, in your mind?

Terry Powell:    Well you are actually part of the family, everybody benefits from the franchise brand rising. We call it rising tide, raises all ships. When you work collaboratively and create those synergies. You're going to create an environment for that brand, everybody's going to benefit from. Just like in a family situation. The type you describe to become more mature, there's a lot of good that comes from that. There's some dangers associated with franchisees when they get a little mature. We call that, that it works so well they stop doing it. That happens a lot and then they start creating best practices, that they want to justify why they haven't kept up with the right practices. They start sharing those with other franchisees. You have to be careful of that, even a mature, seemingly successful franchisee is not giving you advice that's outside the guardrails.

Clay Clark:    Another thing about this phase that's interesting is I've noticed a lot of franchises, franchisors have decided that they're going to create a forum for top performing franchisees to contribute. It doesn't mean it's necessarily the veteran ones. For example, I could have been doing it the wrong way for twenty five years.

Terry Powell:    Sure.

Clay Clark:    I could be doing it the right way for five years. It seems like a lot of the top franchises will come up with a format for these top performing people to serve as mentors and advisors. Can you walk me through some of the ways that some franchises have incorporated some successful people in that maturity phase of their business. 

Terry Powell:    It works well in some cases and it doesn't work well in others. 

Clay Clark:    Okay.

Terry Powell:    Sometimes by having your superstars being a model, those individuals are just coming into the system, or at their three or five year. That seems that, that's so far away.

Clay Clark:    Okay.

Terry Powell:    That it actually discourages franchisees from achieving their goals. We have to manage that from a standpoint that we don't put all the superstars up. If you're building a foundation in your business for that skyscraper and we're highlighting the people in the penthouse.

Clay Clark:    Yeah.

Terry Powell:    You don't want to build the rest of the levels to get to the penthouse, you just want to get there. Then you become discouraged, you say that guy or that lady were so phenomenal, they just got it, I'll never be like that. There's a danger in that, what we typically do is create a franchise type of advisory. Even a council that will be a mix of franchisees, that can be objective and can help all types of franchisees be able to understand where they are. 

Clay Clark:    From your prospective, how long should it be from the time I start as a new franchise owner, to a time where I reach the maturity phase. That special time where I'm like the mature franchise owner, til I feel settled. 

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Terry Powell:    That will vary by individual, but I prefer to coach clients to use that phase, from a standpoint of how much of their income, lifestyle, wealth and equity they've achieved and are obtaining from the growth of that business. Continue to go back to that, because that'll be the motivator to continually get the best return. It's not necessarily how long I've been in the business. It's how my meeting on my objectives and my targets around income, lifestyle, wealth and equity using that business as a vehicle to drive my lifestyle. 


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