When I first started in franchising, I read books and cold called and asked many questions. I learned a lot and met some great people. But I was frustrated. Most of the information I found didn’t fit our business model or franchisee profile. It worked for an established national brand. It worked for QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants). It didn’t work for an emerging Canadian system of home-based service providers.
The time has come to be audacious. Get creative. Be playful. Try some new strategies. Why?
When I started my business 11 years ago, I was told that we should offer this trendy service or go after that market. Though I was a freshly green entrepreneur, I was never tempted to follow those suggestions. I had a clear vision of what the company should look like and feel like.
As a new franchisor, I followed the common, accepted wisdom. And why not? Franchising is well established in Canada, with many thousands of units from hundreds of brands generating millions of profit every month. I figured they must know the best way to do it, right? Then I encountered gender bias, I was patted on the head, and I learned the hard way that those tried and true strategies don’t work for our system.
And that is ok. Fall down 7 times and get up 8, because the road to success isn’t without it’s dead ends…or whatever other coffee-cup platitude or Oprah-esque quote you prefer. The point is, a failure or setback or mistake is only without merit if you lose momentum. Or if you don’t learn, recalibrate, and start again.
I’m headed to Kingston to find our next franchisee. I’ve been creative in developing a promotion which will help recruit, and also establish business relationships that will benefit our franchisee when she starts her business. I’ve been inspired to try new strategies based on the experience of other emerging women-owned Canadian systems (thanks Twitter for connecting me to such an awesome group of women).
Is it time to get audacious in your business?