Posts Tagged ‘Lawn Doctor

13
Feb
10

Lessons From The International Franchise Association Convention: From CEO-speak to comments in the hall – they all made an impact

Last week San Antonio was taken over by several thousand representatives from the franchise industry at the 50th Annual International Franchise Association (IFA) Convention. It was my second time attending the convention, and it has certainly solidified my belief in this lobbying organization. As a small business owner myself, I feel and understand many of the business issues and concerns that franchisees have. And having spent much of my career working with or in large organizations – some franchises, some not – I also feel and understand the concerns of many of the franchisors.

It was once again a great great opportunity to learn from the speakers, exhibitors and other attendees.

Here are my top ten takeaways from the convention:

  1. Innovation is alive and well in America. The number of people I met with new and emerging franchise systems was both empowering and exciting.
  2. If someone can start out as a bus boy and end up owning more than 700 franchisees, anything is possible. Thanks Aslam Kahn,chief executive officer, Falcons Holdings, a (major) Church’s Chicken Franchisee, for this important life lesson: You must first learn who you truly are before you can truly succeed.
  3. A great idea from Russell Frith, chief executive officer, Lawn Doctor: If you have annual goals for your franchisees, give them an annual business plan to help them reach those goals.
  4. Mobile marketing can be fun and a great way to drive business to local franchisees. Duncan White, from OneUpWeb, has an app for that.
  5. You have to look at the big picture when making the best business decisions for the company as a whole – don’t make the mistake of getting bogged down in one small detail. Thanks Steve Greenbaum, chief executive officer, PostNet, for this great bit of information.
  6. One of the most eloquent phrases of the convention: Prayer is the most under utilized resource in business. I am ashamed to say I can’t give proper credit to the speaker, because I was so struck by the many levels of this statement that I neglected to note who said it. If you were at the prayer breakfast and know the author, please comment below.
  7. Adding social media into your marketing mix can significantly drive ROI for franchise sales. I already believed this concept, but it was great to receive confirmation from a numbers-based case study by Sean Fitzgerald of Wireless Zone.
  8. Just as important as the things you learn that you can do, are the things you learn that you can’t do. It was so inspiring to be told, “What I got out of that session on international expansion is that we are clearly NOT ready for international expansion.” I won’t expose the person who made that statement, the branches of her company can continue to spread domestically for a few more years.
  9. Since George Bush (one of the convention’s keynote speakers) left office, his presentation style has become much more dynamic. And he still has strong beliefs with which business owners clearly resonate – including the fact that lowering taxes helps create jobs. I look forward to hearing more from him and reading his new book (due out in November).
  10. Watching the Super Bowl on a theater screen is the ONLY way to watch the big game. Thanks to all the sponsors of FranBowl for a great night!



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