At EMyth, we coach and encourage our business owner clients to get free of their business by becoming self-sufficient, lead-generating, client-converting, customer-satisfying machines. How? By designing systems to get work done, and training people to operate those systems to produce consistent results.
If this sounds similar to a franchise prototype, you're right. And while that's usually the domain of fast food restaurants, hair salons, gyms, and other industries whose familiar signs dot the commercial landscape, the advantages of the franchise prototype apply to individual businesses as well.
Get free from your business
The goal for many business owners is to be liberated from their business, and I suggest that the best way to make this goal a reality is to build a franchise prototype. Now, actual franchising may not be part of your vision, but if you're to achieve the ultimate reward - freedom from your business to enjoy more life - you have to behave as if it were.
For a franchise prototype to be successful, it needs flawless systems for marketing, finance, management, operations, and leadership so that anyone can step in and not only understand them, but run them. This will ensure that the business can function efficiently without your daily involvement or, ultimately, your actual presence.
Create a true franchise prototype
Most small businesses are dependent on the expertise of whoever is on payroll at a given time. As a consequence, how tasks are performed changes as people come and go. The danger is that customers will have unpredictable experiences with your business, and might not come back.
Your franchise prototype should clearly document "the way we do it here," and the resulting proprietary operating systems will ensure that tasks are always performed consistently, regardless of who carries them out. This manifestation of your best practices will create predictable experiences that your customers can rely on - and which in turn will help you grow and develop a true turn-key business that'll be attractive to investors.
A franchise prototype in action
One of our clients, Ron, offers insurance and financial instruments under the aegis of a national franchise. When his product range and possible markets expanded, he opened a second office. This doubled his exposure, but halved the time he could spend in either location. Because his name was on the doors, people who called either location expected to speak with him personally, which was clearly not possible.
Ron examined his business objectively, and worked with staff to create systems for their initial and routine client engagements. He hired new agents to take his place on the phones, crafted procedures that reflected his ideal for client care, and built up his staff's expertise.
This strategy proved so successful that Ron opened his third office, and now personally handles only the most demanding investment accounts. Instead, he spends the majority of his time focused on what he calls "management by remote control"—watching his equity grow while poring over sailboat brochures, pondering which to purchase when he decides to sell his systematized, turn-key agency.
Why not you?
Begin by asking: What does my business have the potential to do? What markets do we serve? What is unique about us? How do we create—and maintain—great customer experiences?
I once overheard an EMyth coach say to her client, "If it's in your head, it's an idea. If it's written down, it's an asset." When your vision has been converted to a clearly documented network of systems, you'll have created your own franchise prototype—or what you might proudly call: "The way we do it here."
- A "franchise prototype" is your proprietary way of doing business.
- Observe your business as if you intended to franchise it.
- Have a clear picture of what you uniquely offer to your target market.
- Create documented systems to ensure consistent customer experiences.