Franchising in the Age of Knowing How to Get Things Done


It has often been mused that youth is wasted on the young. The implication is that health, freedom and opportunity abound at an age when one is too young to have any idea what to do with it or to truly appreciate it. By the time a citizens crosses the grey line on the other side of 50 it is a much different story. Mistakes have been made and perhaps fortunes have been both won and lost. Whatever the outcome, what remains is an individual who has reached an age where they truly know how to get things done. With a certain natural wisdom and maturity that only comes with age, this population finds themselves in a prime position to take on the thrilling venture of entrepreneurship through franchising. So perhaps it’s time to put that wisdom to good use and find the opportunity that will carry you into the future during this golden season of life.

A 2nd Career When It Matters Most

Somewhere in around the age of 50, most individuals reach a milestone that recognizes at least 30 years in the workforce. Granted, some learn to hustle at a much younger age and they might have even earned a living for over 40 years doing everything from delivering newspapers as a kid to closing major deals in the boardroom as an adult. Whatever the case may be, if that is you then you are entering your prime and you have the capacity to revolutionize your future with franchising.

This is not about getting a 2nd job where you grind your days away just when you should be relaxing and hitting the golf course. This is about putting your life and professional experience to bear for your future. Whatever career you have found yourself in by the time you hit your mid 50’s doesn’t have to stop. Many successful entrepreneurs manage a full-time career as they set up their franchise operations. However, it is a fair question to ask yourself what you want to be doing when that primary career comes to an inevitable halt.

You might think you want to spend your days in front of the TV without so much as even putting on a tie ever again. You might then be surprised to find that retirees often report and overwhelming sense of boredom and isolation after retirement. Perhaps it is your belief that you are set financially for retirement and you plan to spend everyday on the golf course. Then again, you might find that your nest egg wasn’t quite as big as you thought as you carry yourself into your 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s. Right now is the time to take action that will pay social and financial dividends through it all.

So Let’s Talk About Franchising

At this point, some might be doubting whether they have what it takes to kickstart a second career.  If that’s you then let me speak to your skepticism. Regardless of where your career has taken you I assure you that you have the capacity to start your first franchise. The first step is simply finding one of the many thousands of franchises out there that stirs your passion. Perhaps it is a restaurant, fast food joint, tool shop, clothing store or you name it. If there is a good or service that people pay money for then it is likely that there is a franchise options for you. The next step is simply doing a little research or perhaps reaching out to the franchise to see if there is a market for it in your area. You might have a passion for selling ice, but if you live in Alaska that might not be the best venture.

Franchises are heavily invested in the success of their name and brand. As a result, they are not going to open up a franchise in an area if the market will not sustain it. So right from day one, you know that you have a good chance for success if the franchise is willing to put their name on it. Next, you just need ask yourself if the sum of your life experience has taught you anything about managing others. Running your own business might sound daunting, but overseeing a couple kids making your Lenny’s sub sandwiches isn’t exactly rocket science. At this point in your life, can you lead, manage and influence others for good?

Finally, you simply follow the plan. As we mentioned, most franchise have the data down to show what works and what doesn’t. Most can even give you a fairly accurate prediction as to when you can expect a return on your investment. If you follow the model and use what life has taught you over 50 years of life you are primed to succeed. Then, if you should so choose it is simply rinse, recycle and repeat from one franchise to the next. Certainly there is more to it than what was just mentioned, but if you think it overwhelming you might need to consider just how simple it could be.

A Future of Passion and Profit

So now, rather than look towards retirement with an uneasiness about finances or purpose you can sit back and relax like you always intended. The truth is that you can start a series of franchises when you are 50 and manage them for 30 years and still only be the ripe young age of 80. Whereas you might be more active with the franchise in your 50’s by your 60’s you can turn them over to a capable manager while it still creates revenue. Then when you are 80 and you are looking to buy the corner lot on Golden Acre Estates you can always sell them or pass them down to family. Passion, purpose and profit are closer than you think if you can make the leap to join the ever growing world of franchising.  


5 Commonly Overlooked Business Costs

Approximately 543,000 new businesses are generated each month, according to data reported by Forbes. However, Inc.com research shows that 96 percent of businesses commonly fail within 10 years. What gives? In many cases it is due to financials. When starting your own business it is critical to know what expenses you’ll need to be prepared to pay down the line. Here are five overlooked business costs all entrepreneurs need to know about before flipping around an open sign.

Permits

Getting your business up and running requires a lot of paperwork. No form should be overlook or shrugged off, including necessary permits. Permits are not typically a one-time expense, so be sure to find out how regularly you will need to pay for licensing and permits for your business. Nearly all businesses require some sort of permit, when it comes to what kind it depends on the state you live in and your type of business, as well as what type of government rules are applicable. The U.S. Small Business Administration can be a great resource for entrepreneurs, as information concerning state and federal licensing and permits is laid out in an easy-to-understand format.

Maintenance

Maintenance is key when operating a company of any size. Routine maintenance should be conducted in order to stay competitive. This includes tech maintenance to make sure your company’s systems are running properly, payroll apps, computer updates, etc. It’s wise to take a hard look at each aspect of your business once in awhile to determine what needs maintenance. Before you launch, you should be considering potential future costs and how often you’ll have to sign a check for them.

Utilities

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of running a business is the cost of utilities. This includes the rent of your space as well as everything else that goes along with it, from the water bill to the light bill. In many cases, startups or small businesses can operate from a home office or from a rented meeting room or shared office, like those found on ShareDesk. Entrepreneurs operating out of their home or online can book a meeting room or office space with ShareDesk to meet with clients, hold meetings, or hire staff. When it’s the right time to scale up, however, you will have to eventually consider utility costs.

Security Camera Systems

Your business is precious. No matter what your product is or what you are selling, you will want to protect it. Without a security camera system your business is at risk. Having a system can give you peace of mind, allowing you to rest assured your business is safe. Many systems can be operated remotely, too. The 2K IP security camera system from Lorex is great for small businesses, as it offers 2K resolution, double that of 1080P. The top-of-the-line security camera system features six 4-megapixel security cameras that all come equipped with color night vision, which provides extreme detail and top-notch picture quality.

Upgrades

Office supplies may seem like a menial subject; however, the cost of upgrades includes more than just an order of pens now and then. When starting your business it is critical to think about the upgrades that you will have to make down the line. Like maintenance, things around your space will need to be upgraded or replaced. This can include anything from carpeting and furniture to HVAC systems and computers.

How to Franchise Your Way into Retirement Bliss


Let’s face it, everyone will reach their golden years at some point no matter how young of heart they might feel. Then again, if you don’t reach your golden years then something has gone terribly wrong and you’re likely not reading this article right now. So let’s speak to the seasoned individual who’s not quite done yet living life to their fullest. By the time AARP starts sending you literature you’ve seen and done a thing or two in life. The odds are high that everything did not go according to plan, but you’ve learned from it. Remarkably, at the time in life when persons know the most about life, love and business it is also the time they are considering winding down. So let’s ask the remarkable question of, what if you didn’t? What if right at the time when you know the most you took on a venture to secure a steady stream of income that would carry you into your golden years with class and style? It might very well be that right now is the perfect time in life to start a franchise and coast your way towards retirement bliss.

Retirement is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Throughout senior centers around the nation, the same story plays out with regularity. A senior in their 60’s or 70’s shows up with the same story. Namely, “I retired 6 months ago and I absolutely hate it.” The stats are in and it seems like retirement is often not all that it is cracked up to be. Imagine a lifetime of action and movement to be with the stroke of a pen altered to endless amounts of time and little action. Retirement is often the life’s goal for an individual and it can come as a shocking revelation that this goal was found wanting.

It would seem that not only does a retiree’s life savings tend to stretch thin, but so does that sense of purpose and the pursuit of success. When a person has lived enough life to know most what contributes to success it seems oddly incongruent that they would then forfeit that venture. The average lifespan of an American citizen pushes 78 years with some going on to live another 20 plus years past that average. So what exactly does a seasoned professional in the early to mid 50’s think about throwing in the towel this early? Perhaps a franchise is the retirement answer you have been seeking.

Franchise Your Way into Retirement

Starting up a franchise requires a little work, grit and grind. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t telling you the full story. Ask yourselves 50 something citizens of America, do you have a little grit and grind left in you? I’m thinking the answer is an absolute yes and that’s great news for the franchise industry. You’ve lived life, you’ve managed people and you’ve taken your wins and losses. Now it is time to set up a steady stream of revenue that you deserve into your golden years.

Franchising affords one of the more predictable business models in the free market. Hundreds, if not thousands have gone before you and you have a little data on which to rely. The truth is that many franchises will not risk partnering with you if the data tells them you have a high likelihood for failure. Their reputation is on the line and they are not willing to let it suffer to secure a few easy franchise fees. If you do the research and partner with a reputable franchise you have a pretty good shot at success. More than success, you have a pretty good shot at a steady stream of income that not only provides profit, but purpose into this new season of life.

The Exponential Power of Franchising

Recent studies show that the average retired household might spend on average of $40,000 a year. That sounds fairly reasonable, but keep in mind that is just an average. Now imagine that $40,000 a year played out as you live into your 70’s, 80’s or even 90’s. That’s a lot of money to spend for a season of life where social security might be your primary source of income. So what if it wasn’t? Right now in your late 40’s and 50’s, you have everything you need to start building a successful network of franchises where each one will send you a steady stream of money long after you might have given up the day to day management. Franchises don’t just increase your earning power in retirement, but they increase it exponentially.

In Conclusion

For experienced professionals in the latter seasons of their careers, franchising poses a great opportunity to live like you want into retirement. Beyond just the extra income, but running a series of successful franchises in your 50’s and 60’s can also provide you with a fascinating opportunity to avoid the boredom and drudgery of retirement that most don’t expect. You’re done working your way up the corporate ladder and a corner office no longer excites you. So why not bring in some extra income while pursuing a passion project into your golden years.

Moreover, the franchises themselves are an investment. Should you need the cash for reasons of health or housing difficulties you can always sell them. The franchising world is larger that most people think and it extends far beyond hamburgers and pizzas. So perhaps it is time to start doing the research and find your passion project. One that you are ready for as a seasoned professional and just might need as you head into this new season of life. Whether you are dreading retirement for fiscal reasons or simply boredom, franchising just might be the solution for both.


Fund Your Franchise: Use our Pre-Qualification Tool

Many people who feel the entrepreneurial itch make the wise decision to develop their business chops by purchasing a franchise. It makes a lot of sense to have a successful franchising company backing you up with a well-developed business model, operational procedures, training, and even marketing support. But there is still a significant bill to foot in terms of the franchise fee and a host of other startup costs. You need to know what you can afford, and what you might qualify for in terms of a business loan to fund your franchise. The Entrepreneur Authority is excited to announce we are forging a new partnership with the business funding experts at Benetrends Financial. 

Strategies to Fund Your Franchise

Benetrends has been in the business of helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams of starting and running their own businesses for more than 30 years. And they don’t just help you out with initial funding – they stand by you for as long as you need them. eAuth views that kind of commitment to your success as an absolute basic foundation for considering a partnership. “When it comes to offering a range of innovative services to help entrepreneurs secure the funding they need, nobody does it better than Benetrends,” said David Omholt, CFE, a Dallas-based franchise expert and the CEO of The Entrepreneur Authority and Veteran Franchise Centers. “We don’t form partnerships with just anyone, and Benetrends not only meets but exceeds our rigorous standards.”

Can you Afford to Fund Your Franchise?

One of the most important steps in the funding process, and one that is often also the biggest question for most entrepreneurs, is trying to accurately estimate what you can afford for a franchise. Our partnership with Benetrends includes a robust pre-qualification tool that will help you narrow your search for the perfect franchise opportunity by identifying the various financing options for which you’d likely qualify. 

This process just makes good business sense when you think about it. After all, in the same way that shopping for a new home is unwise if you haven’t been pre-qualified for a mortgage to know how much house you can afford, you should also get pre-qualified for funding when shopping for a business opportunity.

Pre-qualification can also save you a ton of time, which is the most precious commodity for any entrepreneur. There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to buying a franchise. A good portion of them will turn out to be well beyond your means. When you know in advance what you have to work with, your search will be much more efficient by ruling out many. 

Please note that this type of pre-qualification tool is not the same as an actual loan commitment. It is an early determination of what options and amounts you could qualify for based on your unique situation. But as an easy and free litmus test for what you can afford, it’s invaluable.

At eAuth we are constantly on the lookout for tips, tools and strategies that will give you an edge in finding the best opportunities, including the quest to fund your franchise. We hope this one helps you make the best decision possible!

5 Time-Tested Marketing Principles That Your Franchise Must Use


Owning and operating a franchise is the best way to start an independent business. It is relatively easy to raise finance, as the lender knows that you have the backing of the franchisor’s proven model. Additionally, you will be provided with access to the franchisor’s operations manual. This is an invaluable tool that will guide you in nearly every aspect of your functioning.

Remember that your primary function as a franchisee is to promote the business of the franchisor and market its products. You are responsible for protecting the franchised brand and building up a loyal customer base for the franchisor’s products.

How can you establish the new business and attract an adequate number of clients? You will need to develop your marketing skills and ensure that your franchise is in a position to meet the requirements of its customers.

Here are five marketing principles that you can use to build up your business and set it on the path to success:

1. Marketing is about beating the competition

Regardless of the type of business that you operate, your customers are going to compare you with others who provide the same service or product. It is absolutely essential that you position yourself in a manner that places you ahead of the competition in the eyes of your clients.

The first step that you must take is to identify your competitors. Understand their business model and the methods that they use to attract customers. Don’t be a copycat, but at the same time, your business must be in a position to offer clients a value proposition that is greater than that which is provided by your rivals.

2. Differentiate yourself from the competition

When you are running a franchise, you will need to follow a standardized approach in most areas. But it is definitely possible to differentiate yourself. Here are some ways in which you can do this:

  • Employee training and attitude – each of your worker’s should have a deep understanding about the product that you sell or the service that you provide. Your clients will place great importance on the quality of the interaction that they have with your employees. Well-informed and courteous employees can be your greatest assets.
  • Offer a consistently high level of service – set the bar very high within your organization. Do all that you can to ensure that every customer is given the greatest respect. While mistakes will happen, it is up to you to acknowledge them and take corrective action immediately. Your clients will appreciate your candor and the fact that you made the effort to rectify the situation.

3. Understanding your customers’ needs

You must take out the time to understand your target market. Which is the customer segment that you cater to and what is the exact need that you fulfill? Getting this aspect right is crucial to the success of your business.

When you understand why a client buys your product, you will be in a position to work on enhancing its most important features. You must conduct some primary research to get this information.

Your objective should be that when your customer has a certain need or requires a solution to a particular problem that pertains to the area in which you operate, your business must be the one that first comes to mind. This is possible only if you have taken the trouble to understand what your clients are looking for and worked towards addressing those issues.

4. Measure the results that you achieve

Your marketing expenses will form a significant part of your total budget. While this expenditure is absolutely justified, you must keep track of how it is helping to establish your business and build up its reputation. Which activities provide the greatest bang for the buck?

Every marketing campaign that you conduct should lead to greater awareness about your business. Over a period of time, it should also result in more sales. Soon after you launch a marketing push, implement a program to gauge customer response. The feedback that you get will help you to take corrective steps and optimize your efforts.

Another way that you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy is to see the effect that it has had on the competition. If your rivals try to copy you or introduce a variation of what you have done, you will know that you are on the right track.

5. Build strong relationships

People like to do business with those whom they are familiar with. It is important to establish and nurture long-term relationships with your customers. Try and find the best way to stay in touch with your existing clients as well as those you want to add to your customer list. You could do this through email, personal phone calls, or even individual meetings.

Once a customer gets to know you and trusts you, the likelihood of doing a greater volume of business will increase. In fact, strong personal relationships form the bedrock upon which many successful businesses are built.

Check with your franchisor

A large part of your marketing efforts will be based upon the guidance and inputs that you receive from the franchisor. It will be your responsibility to execute the marketing plan in a manner that provides the best results.

However, if you think that you need to take some steps that do not strictly adhere to the guidelines provided by the franchisor, it is best to check with them first. Their advice and the information that they provide can be invaluable in helping your marketing efforts to succeed. 



Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Busting the Myth of Multitasking

If you’re an entrepreneur that thinks of yourself as the consummate multitasker, this is one article you must read. Let me begin by stating the main idea: Multitasking is a myth! It’s important to debunk this myth and set the record straight so you know what’s really involved in boosting your productivity.

The human brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. In this sense, there’s really no such thing as multitasking. Your brain just can’t do it. Some people do get really good at quickly switching from one task to another, but it’s not what we all think of when we say we’re multitasking. And even that is hard to do. 

The one exception is when you’re talking about things that are totally second nature. Think walking and chewing gum at the same time. That is true multitasking, but it’s not going to do much to boost your productivity, right? The plain fact of the matter is that if you try to do two complex, non-habitual tasks at the same time, they’re both likely to turn out badly.

Many of you may be familiar with the name Daniel Goleman. If you are, it’s probably because he’s the one who popularized the concept of emotional intelligence. What you might not know is that he’s been looking into concepts related to multitasking and published a book about it a few years back called Focus

He would say give up on the idea of multitasking. What you need to do is totally focus on just one thing at a time. But even that is difficult given all the distractions and pace of life in the digital era in which we live. But there are things you can do to increase your ability to focus and concentrate.

When you need to focus on a particular task or issue, the first thing you need to do is to consciously eliminate as many potential distractions as possible. No, you won’t be able to preemptively prevent all distractions, so then you have to practice ignoring the ones that still come up. 

Perhaps the single-most effective thing you can do to increase your focus is anything that qualifies as mindfulness. Focus is what you need to produce superior results in your business. But it’s very easy to lose your focus. When your mind starts to wander, what can you do? There’s simple four-step process that can bring you back to the task at hand:

  1. Pay attention to your breath.
  2. Admit your mind has wandered off and why.
  3. Consciously set aside that train of thought.
  4. Now re-focus your attention back to your breath again and hold it there for a bit.

You’ll find you’re then ready to get back to work with greater clarity and focus. This little four-step process, however, is much harder than you might think. It takes practice to be able to recognize when you mind goes off-track, and even more practice to train your mind to come back and focus. You may find yourself needing to the do this four-step process many times a day until you get really good at it – but the health of your business will benefit from the effort.

How To Build Customer Loyalty For Your Franchise


The success of your franchise depends to a great extent on the number of new customers that you can attract. A steady stream of fresh clients will ensure that your sales volumes continue to grow at a healthy clip. Your business will register increased profitability and consequently strengthen its financial position.

But adding new customers should not be your only focus. You should devote at least as much time and energy to retaining your existing clients. Getting additional business from a customer who has already bought your product or used your service should be much easier than constantly adding to your client list.

Repeat business from a client has one distinct advantage for your franchise. It costs much less to convince someone who has had a positive experience with your company to use your services again. But it does require a special effort from your side.

How can you build loyalty for your franchise and increase the volume of your repeat business? While the following is definitely not an exhaustive list of the steps that you can take, it will provide you with an idea about what you should do:

Make them feel special

When a new franchise is launched, the entrepreneur would make every effort to ensure that each customer is provided with service of the highest order. But as the business grows and gets established, there may be a tendency to take customers for granted. If a franchise does well, you may not notice if some of your clients drift away to the competition.

Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. A successful business operation can quickly find itself in a position where it finds it difficult to generate an adequate level of sales. Remember that every customer interaction is important. Even if the work becomes routine for you or your staff, the client should feel special every time that a transaction takes place.

Establish a loyalty program that works

Give your customers a reason to remain loyal to your franchise. One of the most effective ways to do this is to reward them for increasing the volume of business that they do with you. If you can structure a loyalty program to offer greater discounts for higher purchase amounts, it will be more effective.

Experiment with different types of programs. In addition to a “tiered” program with stepped-up discounts for greater dollar volumes, you can try to target specific groups within your customer base.

Remember to keep your program easy to understand and honest. No one likes to register for a program and to be told about the “fine print” when they try to get a discount or claim a reward.

In addition to this, the rewards should be within the reach of a significant number of your customers. This will give you a dual benefit. Not only will your franchise register higher sales, you will also get free word of mouth publicity from the customers who benefit from your program.

Communicate regularly with your clients

It is extremely important to remain in constant contact with your customers. But this does not mean that you send them the same message repeatedly. Your communication should be both meaningful and made at appropriate intervals. You have to find the correct balance between retaining top-of-mind awareness and communicating too often.

Your messages should include information about your new products and the ways in which they can provide a benefit to your customer. Use professional language, but avoid industry jargon that some clients may find difficult to understand.

Many businesses miss the importance of replying to the messages that they receive in response to their communication. You should revert within a reasonable period of time and your reply should answer the query effectively.

If you are not able to do this, your communication strategy could backfire. Instead of getting your franchise additional business, it could lead to disgruntled customers.

Tell them about your services and ask for their feedback

Do all your customers know about the excellent service that you provide? Or about the quality of your products? The answer is unlikely to be yes. It is a good idea to include the positive aspects of your products and services in your messages.

Encourage your customers to make suggestions about how you can improve. Even if you can’t use their advice, the fact that you have asked for it will tell the customer that you care about their feedback. Of course, you must remember to thank them and explain your position.

Loyalty is built on trust

If your franchise is successful in establishing a loyal customer base, you will find it easier to achieve increased sales and profitability. But getting your franchise to a position where it can attract large volumes of repeat business from customers is not an overnight process.

You will have to ensure that your products and services are of the highest quality. It is also important to develop an emotional connection with your customers. Small gestures like sending birthday or anniversary greetings can help if they are used appropriately. An occasional note thanking them for their business can also play a role in strengthening the bond that you share with your customers.

Above all, remember that you will have to work continuously to retain your loyal customers. Their loyalty is dependent to a great extent upon how well your franchise can fulfill their requirements. It is up to you to ensure that you maintain the highest standards in the products and services that your franchise deals in. 



Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash



Entrepreneur Bootcamp: 4 Exercises to Help You Launch a New Business

Launching a business is not for the faint of heart. It requires long hours of dedication, research, planning, trial and error and deep introspection to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few DIY entrepreneur bootcamp practices you can try out to get your feet wet.

Determine Your Strengths & Weaknesses

If you really want your business to succeed, you need to fully understand your personal limits. This is crucial because, once you have determined your strengths and weaknesses, you can hire a team of people with the necessary attributes to help balance everything out.

There are many different approaches that you can take to uncover these qualities, including personal introspection, journaling and personality tests. One way that offers some great guidance through the process is called SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and is a method that has been used for decades to help people better understand their business roles.

Take some time to dig deep and write out what honest answers to the prompts to uncover your assets and challenges. Share your discoveries with trusted friends to get their feedback and see if there are any other aspects that you may have overlooked.

Get Networking

When it comes to building a team of people to help you build your business, networking is always an effective strategy. While it may feel a bit forced in the moment, it is actually a much more natural way of connecting with people than putting out a job advertisement and interviewing a bunch of strangers.

To begin, use a website like LinkedIn to find local business groups and find networking events happening near you. Or, make money while you network by becoming a part of an organization like Amway that can help you diversify your income while you are working to launch your own business.

Make the most of your time spent networking by also using it as an opportunity to perfect your elevator pitch for your business. As you continue taking steps forward toward launching your company, this type of experience with selling your idea is especially valuable.

Find a Mentor

A great mentor is an invaluable asset, most especially when you are on the cusp of launching a new business. The ideal mentor will have years (or even decades) more experience than you do, work in a comparable field and a deep understanding of the challenges that you will face as you begin on the path toward building your business.

In order to help connect with a mentor, put your feelers out to friends and family to see if they have any connections who might be beneficial for you to learn from. You can also reconnect with past colleagues or you may find a mentor while attending a local networking event. You never know who could be a life-changing mentor for you, so it’s critical to remain open to the possibilities that come your way.

Learn About Your Audience & Competition

Once you have your business concept fully fleshed out, dive into learning everything you can about the market, from the intricacies of the audience to the field of competition. Get to know your competitors’ and what they offer so you can better distinguish your own offerings from theirs and find out what works and what doesn’t so you don’t waste time and money making similar mistakes.

Think Like A Leader – 6 Ways To Motivate Your Team


One of the most important prerequisites for a successful franchise is a set of workers who have a positive frame of mind and a strong work ethic. Your employees must have the interest of your business at heart and they should be willing to walk that extra mile to ensure that your customers’ needs are satisfied.

How will you get your workers to develop these attributes? While it is crucial to have a stringent screening process for new employees, you must also learn how to motivate them so that they perform their roles effectively.

Here are several ways by which you can boost morale within your organization. If you are able to implement some of these techniques, it is likely that productivity will rise and your business will achieve greater sales and profits.

1. Don’t try and fit a square peg in a round hole

You may recruit an individual for a certain role but after a few months you may notice that the person’s skills are suited to a different job. This happens more often than you would think.

Smart entrepreneurs are quick to take advantage of these recruitment “mistakes.” Instead of trying to persuade the worker to do a better job, they simply reallocate work. In many instances, this benefits the employee as well as the organization.

In fact, there is a variation of this technique that you can use to give your business a boost. An employee may be performing perfectly well in the role that has been assigned. But you may think that this person could be more useful to your business doing some other work.

Shifting workers from one job to another is a good way of increasing productivity and allowing them to develop different skills.

2. Work on your communication skills

 When workers come to you with their problems, you must give them a patient hearing. Many business owners tell their workers “don’t come to me with problems, come with solutions,” but this is not a good approach.

Don’t discourage employees from raising issues that they cannot solve. If you do this, it is quite likely that you will come to know about a problem when it reaches an advanced stage.

If you maintain an open door policy, you will encourage employees to discuss what is bothering them. Over a period of time, this will lead to better customer service and more business for your franchise.

3. Learn to delegate efficiently

It is quite natural to want every aspect of your franchise to work perfectly. But this does not mean that you should carry out each task yourself or constantly look over the shoulder of the employee who you have delegated the work to.

You have to learn to let go and trust others. At the same time, it is essential to provide clear instructions and guidelines. Set up a mechanism that allows you to get regular feedback about how the work is progressing. If you do this, it will be possible to spot errors at an early stage and take corrective action.

Remember that delegation doesn’t mean passing on the entire responsibility for a task. You must provide the necessary guidance to the employee. It is also important to ensure that the person who is carrying out the task has the necessary skills and expertise.

4. Lead by example

As the head of the franchise, you are the role model for your employees. Everything that you say and every action that you take will create an impression on your workers’ minds. If you speak harshly to them, they may resent it and take out their frustration on the customers who visit your franchise.

One way that you can build morale and show that you care is to ensure that your employees are not overworked. A work life balance is important for your employees as well as for you.

If the situation warrants, you must be willing to work alongside your employees. This will help you to earn their respect and encourage them to put in their best.

5. Show that you are serious about results

If your franchise is to do well, you must closely monitor employee productivity and hold workers responsible for their individual goals. Don’t play favorites, because if you do, you will build a culture where keeping the boss happy is more important than achieving results.

Establish a system that measures end results. Each worker should have a clear job description and the actual achievement should be compared with the target that has been set. Every individual’s progress should be tracked and the necessary support and training provided to help that person achieve the stipulated goals.

If you follow this practice, you will instill a culture that encourages employees to work towards the goals that you have set for the franchise.

6. Create a positive work atmosphere

 Customers prefer an environment that is upbeat and cheerful. If the atmosphere in your franchise is gloomy and depressed, your clients will leave if they have a better option.

Get to know your employees as individuals. Even a little time spent on inquiring about their families and their personal welfare will help you to establish a better relationship.

Treat your employees with respect and they will pay you back with hard work and dedication. But if you have a dictatorial management style and you are constantly berating your employees, they will leave at the first opportunity.

A little praise goes a long way

One of the most effective ways to provide encouragement is to express your approval when a job is done well. Genuine praise is a strong motivator and it serves a dual purpose.

One, it makes the employee feel appreciated and is a great morale booster. Secondly, your workers understand that you are keeping track of their their activities and that you know how each individual is performing.

Photo by  Štefan Štefančík on  Unsplash

SMART New Year’s Resolutions

According to Statistic Brain’s New Year’s Resolution Statistics page, more than 40% of people make at least one resolution as a New Year begins. The site also notes that less than 10% are successful in reaching their goal while more than 42% seem to utterly fail at them year after year. Now it’s time for a moment of truth: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If you did, how are you doing on them? If they’re already long forgotten, it may be time to give your resolutions a major boost by making them SMART.

Most people have heard about the SMART framework for goals and objectives. It was a simple little article back in the November 1981 issue of Management Review titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives” by George T. Doran. His idea was to make sure each business goal or objective had the following characteristics:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Assignable (who will do it)
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Time-related (when it will be achieved) 

Going back to Statistic Brain’s page about resolutions, it lists some of the most common ones people make. Not surprisingly, at the top of the list is to lose weight. Writing a goal like that is about as far from SMART as you can get. It’s not specific. You could make it specific by putting a number to it: Lose 80 pounds. Now you immediately have something specific to work towards. But it’s still not SMART. Obviously it’s easily measurable with a scale. Since losing weight is your own personal goal rather than a business goal, it’s kind of automatically assignable, but you should still own it by writing it out as I will lose 80 pounds. It’s getting better but it’s still not SMART. Ask yourself if it’s realistic. You may really want or need to lose 80 pounds, but it might be better to break it up into smaller goals so you get the momentum of early multiple victories. Maybe go for something more realistic like I will lose 15 pounds. That’s better, but it’s still not SMART. The final step of the original framework would to make it time-related (or time-bound). You might write it as I will lose 15 pounds in five weeks. That would mean losing three pounds a week. Seems doable, right? And you’ll be much more likely to reach your goal if it’s SMART because it immediately shows you how achievable it is.

With that as an example, now try applying it to one of your business goals. As I said, most people have at least heard of the SMART framework, but surprisingly few people bother to actually use it, and they’re missing out on the benefits it can bring. Maybe as the New Year rolled in you were thinking to yourself how you’d really like to improve business performance. Well, you can see right away how that doesn’t meet any of the criteria. It’s not specific or measureable at all and there’s no time-frame specified. A SMART goal might look like this: Team X will increase the company’s gross revenues from product A by 10% within the next 10 months. Now that’s a goal you can sink your teeth into! 

Do yourself a big favor and review each of your business goals for 2017 and make sure they’re SMART if you want to greatly increase your chances of success this year.