Congratulations on staying till the final stop of this ride! It is now time to see how the Franchising Prototype can work for you. Small business owners are often admonished: “work on your business, not in it” and left with frustrations wondering, “but how?”
This final Part 6 describes some of the key steps you can take the Entrepreneurial Perspective and switch to building a business not a job that keeps you tied down.
THE FRANCHISE PROTOTYPE
Business Format franchises have a 95% success rate, compared to 50%+ failure, in their first year. And over the first five years, 75% of Business Format Franchises succeed, compared to 80% of all businesses failing.
The reason for the success is the Franchise Prototype, which is the working model of the dream.
The Prototype is all about “Does it work?” and then “Let me show you how it works.” It is where ideas are put to the test in the real world. It conceives and perfects the system. The system runs the business, and people run the system.
The system is so alive, it transforms a business into an organism, driven by the integrity of its parts, all working in concert towards a realized objective. And with its Prototype as its progenitor, it works like nothing else before it.
There is little operating discretion, great attention to detail, training is rigorous.
Once the franchisee learns the system, he is given the key to his own business. Thus, the name: Turn-Key Operation.
To the small business owner, the Franchise Prototype is the means to feed his three personalities in a balanced way while creating a business that works: It provides the medium for his vision to become reality, the order and predictability, and the freedom to do the work he loves.
The Franchise Prototype is a proprietary way of doing business that is at the heart of every extraordinary business, franchised or not.
The world of Direct Selling gets this and has built a host of millionaires and globe-trotting successes from people with no prior experience.
WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS, NOT IN IT
Your business is not your life.
Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that its primary purpose is to serve your life, you can go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.
Pretend you are going to franchise your business, there is nothing haphazard about this. Pretend that your business is going to serve as the model for 5,000 more like it – perfect replicates.
Rules to follow if you are to Win
- The model will provide consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers, and lenders, beyond what they expect.
Value is what people perceive it to be, and nothing more. Every extraordinary business understands what this means. Value can be a touch of kindness, thanks, generosity, recognition, a reasonable price for your products, your dedication to the more needy customer.
- The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
This means the lowest level necessary to fulfil his intended functions. If your model depends on highly skilled people, it’s going to be too expensive and impossible and to replicate. To successfully differentiate your business from competition, a ‘system’ – a way of doing things – is absolutely essential. The blessings of ordinary people to the business owner, is that he is forced to invent innovative system solutions that leverage ordinary people to the point where they can produce extraordinary results again and again. Remember, given experience and appreciation, people grow.
- The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
In a world of chaos, most people crave order. An orderly business provides for its customer and its employees in an otherwise disorderly world. A business that looks orderly says to your customer that your people know what they’re doing and can trust in the result delivered; it says to your people that you know what you’re doing and they can trust their future with you; and that while the world may not work, some things can.
- All work in the model will be documented in Operations Manuals.
Documentation says, “This is how we do it here.” It says to all employees that there is a logic to their chosen work, and a technology by which results are produced. The Operations Manual is best described as the company’s How-To-Do-It Guide. It designates the purpose of the work, specifies the steps needed to be taken while doing that work, and summarizes the standards associated with both the process and the result.
- The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the customer.
A business must not only look orderly, but act orderly; do things in a predictable, uniform way. There must be consistency in the customer’s experience, as unpredictability violates her expectations. Unpredictability demonstrates insensitivity to what the customer enjoys, and her needs and desires; it says the business is not for the customer. The “Burnt Customer” can go someplace else, and she will.
- The model will utilize a uniform colour, dress, and facilities code.
Yes it matters. Marketing knows that all consumers are moved to act by the colours and shapes they find in the marketplace. Little things that are meaningless from a practical view may have great emotional meaning through their symbolism – images and colours can be a highly motivating force. Find colours and shapes that evoke certain things and replicate these uniformly through your business. The model must be thought of as a package for your single product – your business.
What All This Means
“Go to work on your business as if it is pre-production prototype of a mass-produceable product. Think of your business a something apart from yourself, as a world of its own, as a machine designed to fulfil a very specific need, …as a solution to someone else’s problem” (Gerber).
The key question to ask yourself as you do this is, “How can I get my business to work, but without me?”
If you can take on the Entrepreneur’s Perspective you can build a business that gives you a life, not another job that fills more of your life. …Now that’s something worth changing for!
(Notes originally taken and adapted from ‘The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber)