How to Stay Focused and Help Others

As events have been unfolding around the world, we have all been going through an emotional roller coaster that feels something like this. It started with shock and confusion about what’s going on. It then moved to feelings of stress and anxiety about the losses associated with dramatic changes to our businesses and lifestyles. Then perhaps to frustration or anger with othe 
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How to Productively Work from Home

The team at the Franchise Relationships Institute have been productively working from our homes for nearly 10 years. Given a number of you and your teams are likely to also be working from home over the coming months (as part of Coronavirus prevention) I’ll share some tips below that have worked for us. While we are a team of nine, the first three tips are relevant to workg 
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Here's to the Volunteers!

For several years an important part of my end of year break has been to participate in a four day retreat, hosted by friends who live in a beautiful, secluded Queensland valley. We meditate, reflect on our values, and enjoy the peace of a forest filled with chirping birds, inquisitive kangaroos and other fascinating native Australian animals. Driving into the valley thi 
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A Message from the Doctor

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor as I’d been feeling unwell following a trip to India. After he completed an initial diagnostic I jokingly asked, “Am I going to die?” to which he replied, “Yes…but not just yet.” He did, however, order a number of tests. Last week my phone buzzed, and I glanced at a text from the clinic, which I read as: The doctor has reviewed  
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Apples and the Art of Proactivity

I once read one of those stories that stay with you. It was about a business owner, let’s call her Janine, who was committed to growing and developing her team. Janine employed two new staff, Liz and Alex, both well-qualified, hard-working and keen to be part of the business. After observing them for a year, she promoted Alex to team leader, leaving Liz to continue in her c 
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It Pays to Show a Little Respect

When I was 12, I had an after-school job delivering medicine for Mr Wilson, the local pharmacist. He showed an interest in me and would tell me a little about each patient before I set out on my bicycle, satchel over my shoulder. He also always made a point of thanking me as I left to go home each afternoon. Mr Wilson was a sensitive man with a lot of empathy for other peop 
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We Need To Talk

Interdependent relationships, where you can’t just walk away when the going gets tough, can be both satisfying and frustrating. Think marriage, business partnerships, long-term supply agreements, and of course, the franchise relationship. Regular constructive conversations are essential to keep things on track. Over the past week, I and my team have conducted several wo 
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A Dog’s Guide to Stress-Free Networking

A common source of stress is meeting new people in unfamiliar social situations. For instance, starting a new job, moving into a new neighborhood, or attending networking functions. Something impressive I have noticed about our young cavoodle is his natural ability to make friends with strangers – dogs and humans. (He was even dubbed “Switzerland” at Puppy School becaus 
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Take the Franchisor Health Check

Someone recently asked me how a franchisor team would know if their business model was sound. This prompted me to put together the following 25 questions. You could call it a best practices health check. If you are part of a franchisor team, this could be a great tool for promoting useful discussion in your next management meeting. Are you monitoring franchisee unit-leve 
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The Passing of a Mentor

Last week one of my mentors, friends and collaborators passed away. Rupert Barkoff was also an avid reader and constructive critic of my Tips, so I am going to devote this one to him. In 2004 I decided it was time to enter the USA market and attended my first International Franchise Association Convention. It was a little overwhelming as I barely knew any of the nearly  
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