Run Your Own Business

Personalizing your Franchise

Posted by Carl Gould on December 01, 2010
Franchise, business, entrepreneur, marketing / No Comments

Folks, this is a great topic that I was interviewed on. Please see my responses below on how to
put your personal imprint on your franchise location.

OK, so you’ve made the decision to purchase a franchise. Congratulations – you’re an
entrepreneur! But, the rub is that you’d like to show off some of your own skills in running a
business rather than just follow the game plan from the national office. What options do you
have?

CLG-While purchasing a franchise gives you a ‘business in a box’, there is still part of you that
is an outside of the box thinker. The franchise box you purchased will give you the technical
training and direction to run your location. You’ll receive how to manuals, templates, software,
branding which gets you up and running almost immediately. There is , however, going to be this
burning desire inside you to exercise some personalize initiative and judgment when it comes to
running your location(s).There are a number of options available to you where you can exercise
some flexibility while maintaining the integrity of the business system you purchased:

1. Building Your Personal Brand – Reserve www.yourname.com and build a website
around …YOU. Using a logging platform like Wordpress® or Blogspot® allows you to
build an easy-to-use website and it allows you to post videos, photos, articles in blogs.
Tell us about yourself, your history, your social circles, your educational background and
anything else you would like the world to know about you. By building your personal
brand, you will begin creating a deeper relationship with your customers and that will
build more loyalty to your franchise location.

2. Cross-Markets to Your Customer List – Find out what other products and services your
customers would enjoy learning about. One franchise owner I know who owned a fitness
center ran instructional classes, clinics, and small parties (cosmetics, cutlery, home
goods, etc) for the membership and it was very well received.

3. Get Involved in Your Community – Either sponsor a locally-based charitable event or
use your location as a drop off or a solicitation spot (i.e., the Girl Scouts selling cookies
outside your door). Being visible at community events not only raises awareness about
your franchise it also builds your individual band equity and put s you a more desirable
light. In other words they will think you are a brilliant business person!

I’m looking for some great practical tips and advice from franchise owners and franchisees
about how entrepreneurs can put their personalized imprint on their business without crossing the
line.

CLG –

1. Decorate – One franchise owner allowed local artist to display their art on the walls of
their franchise location.

2. A Theme for all Seasons – Go all out in decorating for the various holiday seasons. A
local hair salon had all of their stylists dress in costume for Halloween. It was awesome!
Scary, but awesome…J

3. A long time ago I worked for a franchise that held one of my most memorable job
positions. My boss had the brilliant idea to purchase character mascot costumes (Kermit
the Frog, Big Bird, etc) I stood out on the curb of a major highway and waved to the
oncoming traffic for hours on end. It worked great as people honked their horns, would
stop and have photos taken and would also pull in and come into the store.
Let me, too, what common mistakes franchisees make along these lines so we can help others out
there avoid doing the same.

CLG – Common Mistakes…

1. Replacing the franchisors product with your own. – Avoid the temptation to run your
side business inside your location. That is a major no-no.

2. Not following the system. – Since entrepreneurs are outside-the-box thinkers they are
often tempted to rewrite the operations manual and do things their own way. This is a
recipe for disaster. Use your entrepreneur creativity to enhance the franchise system not
replace it.

3. Being invisible. – Some franchise owners think that by buying a franchise, they never
have to show their face again. This is a mistake. You are still a business owner and your
staff, your customers and your community needs to see you. You are not Houdini, you
are a business owner. Don’t escape and disappear.

“Carl L Gould is the President and Chief DISCoverY Officer CMT International, LLC
(www.CarlGould.com), the farthest-reaching business mentoring organization in the world.
Carl’s unique approach to executive coaching, business mentoring and performance training
helps his clients achieve results worldwide. His latest book, The 7 Stages of Small Business
Success – From Startup to 7 Figures in Three Years or Less, will provide entrepreneurs and
business owners a step-by-step formula to taking their businesses to the next level”

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