How To Fight The Gloom And Lift Sales By 14 Percent

A client has asked if I could share some thoughts on current trends and opportunities in the franchise sector. Here are a few observations and suggestions to help you stay relevant and drive results. Firstly, yes, many businesses, especially those with a retail presence, are relatively flat or down in sales – but not all by any means. The growing use of smart pho 
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The Sigmoid Curve And The Story Of Life

I'm just back from a few weeks in North America. On the plane I particularly enjoyed a movie called Moneyball because of its focus on reinvention and the pursuit of excellence. Brad Pitt's character is based on the real life Billy Beane who is experimenting with a new way to build a winning baseball team, and he finds himself up against scepticism and resistance from withi 
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Encounters With Operational Excellence

I've just spent an interesting two days at the franchisee convention of one of our USA clients, Taco John's. This is a classic, privately owned franchise system that has been operating for over 40 years with many second and even third generation franchisees. And they’re still managing to achieve strong year on year sales growth. Because I am fascinated by what su 
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A Moving Experience

I have just had a moving experience, literally. Last week we pulled up stumps in Brisbane and moved to Melbourne. As I write this tip sitting at my beautiful old kitchen table in our new home I am thinking about the 26 or so suppliers of personal and professional services we have used over the past few months, a mixture of franchised and independent operators. Some were out 
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Nightmare In The Guitar Shop - A Cautionary Tale

Last week I visited my local guitar shop to buy some guitar strings and enquire about an effects pedal. The guy behind the counter was friendly and after a brief chat he got my strings and started to look for the pedal. I surveyed the glass counter filled with all sorts of seductive guitar accessories and was getting a little excited as he placed the pedal on the counter.  
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How To Build Trust With Potential Franchisees

Happy new year and thanks to the hundreds of people who responded to the last tip “My Father the Mensch”. Some shared their personal reflections on what it means to them to be a dad, a son or a daughter. I love people disclosing a little of themselves because it builds trust (this works at the corporate level too – we call it transparency). And trust is of 
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My Father The Mensch

My dad, Victor Nathan, died on Christmas day. He basically just wore out after 82 very active years. His approach to life is reflected in the following George Bernard Shaw passage: “I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no `brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as  
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Doing LESS And Being MORE

It must have been thirty years ago that I read the following anonymous saying: “There are three types of people - those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” It struck me at the time as one of those basic truths, and it still does. While the message here is “don't just sit there, do somethi 
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Why is Online Retailing an Elephant in the Room?

An elephant in the room is a metaphor for something blindingly obvious, but for some reason is being ignored. I reckon online retailing is franchising’s elephant in the room. It is clearly the most important issue facing the sector today, but it is not getting the quality discussion it deserves. Online retailing is of course where customers order or purchase goods 
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Politics, Religion and Sex in Franchising

I have been advised more than once not to talk about politics, religion or sex. But the purpose of these tips is to raise issues that impact on the success of franchise systems. So I should probably apologise up front because I am going to talk about all three! Let’s start with politics, or what could be defined in this context as the use of power or information t 
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