I was recently re-reading Douglas Myer\’s book \”What I\’ve Learned in Business\” and I came across the sub heading \”Find a Mentor\”. The book goes on to tell how a Dr Grant Lau, who advised the Todd family in the mid nineteen sixties, was asked to become the young Myer\’s mentor. Myers said that he needed someone to help him think through the position he was in, rather like McKinsey (the US firm of management consultants) does today. They didn\’t operate in New Zealand in those days.
Myers goes on to state that he was wanting and needing to progress his company, Lion Breweries, in a changing business environment and that he needed the support and independent thinking of his outside advisor Dr Lau.
Franchise Business: How to Increase Profits and Reduce Problems
Most outstanding and successful companies consult independent specialists to ensure that their companies have every chance of performing to the highest level. Good franchisors do the same thing. However, I believe that it is important that franchisors consult specialist franchise firms such as Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd. With this firm they have seven specialist consultants that individually and collectively have a vast amount of business and franchise knowledge.
They advise on how to structure and systemise a new start up franchise, as well as giving continuing advice on the best way to operate a franchise chain.
The continued excellence of a franchise business rests on many critical components. The power of the brand, the systems, the relations with the franchisees and the suppliers all play their part in the success of the franchise network. By improving some or all of these elements, greatly increased profitability becomes a reality for the franchise business. With Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd new Level Best programme they identify available profitability gains – and identify problems or potential problems before they escalate, and can map out an overall prosperity programme for the entire franchise chain. They can then assist implement that \’prosperity plan\’ step by step.
About a year ago I was in the office of one of our clients discussing that best way to introduce a Franchise Advisory Council when the phone went and a long conversation followed. It was with their lawyer about a problem within the franchise chain. As it transpired it was a very costly problem. The franchisor when first confronted with the problem immediately rang his lawyer. The result was a bitter franchisee and a very costly bill for both sides.
I believe that had the franchisor phoned his franchise consultant or mentor, the result in this case could have been very much less costly and could have been positive for both the franchisor and the franchisee. A consultant with practical experience and knowledge of the life cycle of a franchise business can almost always devise a best practice solution to most franchise problems without letting them get out of hand.
The Japanese have practiced Continual Improvement in most of their business and have as a result produced some wonderful results. Toyota, for instance, the world\’s most profitable car manufacturer. It is the same with a franchise business, it needs continual improvement. One of the cost effective ways of diagnosing what that improvement should be and how to implement an improvement programme is to have an independent specialist assist you. Remember it’s the intellectual capital that provides the competitive advantage.
This article first appeared in Franchise New Zealand Magazine
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