Posts Tagged ‘Steve Greenbaum


Top Ten Lessons from the Franchise UnConference

Straight off the heals of the International Franchise Association Conference in Las Vegas, Weise Communications turned around and headed to Utah for the UnConference. Hosted by Fisher Zucker, Fishman PR and HotDish Advertising, the UnConference was a productive and less structured way to continue working with Franchisors and suppliers to determine best practices for franchise development and franchisee support.

What follows are our top ten nuggets of information from the UnConference.

The view from the gondola. Skiing only happened after a lot of hard work by all attendees.

1. When using Brokers, make sure you leverage them to the full extent. Brokers have historically been, and continue to be, a great asset for finding franchisees. Remember that Brokers are an extension of your sales staff and like all people, they need to be continually educated about your company, your brand and your ideal candidate. For best results, treat them as part of your team.

2. Technology done right can be very effective in making a difference in many areas of your organization, even franchise relationships. We all know nothing is better than a face-to-face meetings to improve relationships. However, meeting all of your franchisees regularly may be near impossible to accomplish. So try video conferencing! Video conferencing on Skype brings people face to face in a more intimate atmosphere than just a phone call and can create better relationships with your franchisees. Bonus, Skype is free.

3. Webinars are effective tools to generate higher quality franchise leads. Webinars are a great way to execute meetings that provide a terrific overview of information about ownership that is controlled and managed so that all key points are expressed in every meeting.

4. Websites can’t do everything, so don’t expect much if its designed for everything. The most successful sites for franchise sales are microsites that can be optimized for your sales keywords. (email me if you would like a PDF article on this topic originally published in Franchise World.)

5. Public relations is an effective way to geo-target franchise sales. Getting media exposure in a certain city or region will help generate sales leads in that area.

6. Treating franchisees like business partners allows you to break down barriers and create a more reciprocal relationship. Ultimately the success of the system depends on the success of franchisees and the franchisor. Working together is in the best interest of everyone.

7. Treat your franchisees as if they are your children – they should each truly believe they are your favorite. Thanks, Lane Kofoed, Assisting Hands® Home Care, for this great insight.

8. Changing their focus from “Lead Flow,” to “Deal Flow,” is the development strategy of Steve Greenbaum and his team from PostNet.

9. Benchmarking is essential to make improvements within the system. It is also great way to make better marketing decisions to increase unit level revenue. OnTrack™ is a free benchmarking tool for IFA members to compare key metrics for sales, expenses, employees, and best practices to improve franchise system performance. Click Here for more information about OnTrack.

10. Corporate level operational and training programs may need adjustment if your new franchisee demographics have changed due to the recession and the availability (or lack there of) for financing.

A special shout out to the program facilitators; Steve Greenbaum of PostNet; Joe Lindenmayer, TSS Franchising; Charles Chase, TFC Brands, and Steve Hearon, Certa ProPainters.

Thanks again to HotDish, FisherZucker and Fishman for a great week. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Did I miss your top takeaway from the conference? Share it with us here!


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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