How FEAR Impacts Your Results

In his first inaugural address, Franklin Roosevelt famously stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

At the time of this proclamation, the U.S. was nearing the depths of the Great Depression. Millions were discouraged and convinced things would never get better. In reality, these people had some real reasons to be afraid, but the false evidence they were seeing made their fear paralyzing for many.

The idea of self-generated fear is now a concept that professional consultants and coaches now express in the acronym : F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real. This is a way of expressing a fear of the unknown and the future, based on current perceptions of events and other “circumstantial evidence.” There are two other common ways to express FEAR:

fear concept choiceAlthough the sense of fear this false information creates is real, it can be effectively managed by realizing it is actually subconscious, manifested worry. This type of FEAR creates apprehension, can progress to forms of paranoia, and even paralyze your ability to be proactive in accomplishing your goals.

Oftentimes, the only way to resolve this debilitating problem is to consult with an experienced and qualified third-party who understands the problem. As with many subjective issues, your FEAR can overwhelm the objective truth, and it can blind you to viable options.

Understanding the Mind of the Franchisee

As with many things in life, the communications between a franchisor and prospective franchisee can result in misunderstandings, confusion and misperceptions. There is a natural source of potential tension between these two parties that can result in difficult situations, regardless of the best intentions and efforts of both parties. It’s helpful to examine for a moment why these difficulties are to be expected.

First, the franchisor is working hard to grow their business by adding quality franchisees. These business people invest a great deal of time and effort in developing a workable business model with training and support systems. When a new franchisee is signed up, there is an expectation to provide training and to help that new team member through the setup up and implementation phase. However, the franchisor also expects to wean a new franchise operation after a certain period of time, and is looking for franchisees to operate as independently owned businesses.

On the other hand, the prospective franchisee works hard to overcome the fears and insecurities associated with starting a new business, especially with a large monetary commitment. When they hear terms like “we will work with you” and “we’re here to help you” it is easy to misread this as providing an ongoing womb-effect that covers all anticipated problems and challenges. In other words, the mental emphasis is often more on maintaining that umbilical cord, rather than separating it.

When an experienced, professional franchise coach enters the picture, there is an instantaneous benefit to both the franchisor and the franchisee. These coaches understand the F.E.A.R. syndrome often affects both sides of the equation in the franchise world. The franchisor is accountable to a growth plan that investors, employees and existing franchisees are depending upon. At the same time, the franchisees are focused on their specific commitments, market and operations. They both may see false indicators of problems or potential problems and be discouraged or worse.

Having that professional business coach is often invaluable in pulling back the curtain on these unsubstantiated fears and concerns. With the insights and skills of the right coach, both franchisees and franchisors can recognize their own capabilities, and work toward overcoming those discouraging concerns.

The problems of running and growing a business are real enough and challenging enough on their own. Adding to them because of F.E.A.R. is a futile exercise that the right franchise coach will help you avoid.FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL

Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally, Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.
In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, Thom is also a Certified Franchise Business & Leadership Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

Customer Retention Improvement for your Business

Improving Customer Retention

If you’re a business owner, then of course you want to do everything you can to not only gain new customers, but to keep your existing customers loyal to you. Unfortunately, customer retention isn’t always easy; customers may leave as a result of a bad experience with one of your employees, a bad product, or even a lower price offered by a competitor. While there are all kinds of customer retention strategies out there, there’s one that’s been proven to be the most successful.

Customer Retention Dartboard Perfect Dart Hit

Develop and Enforce KPIs Among Employees

Because the majority of customers who leave a business do so as a result of poor customer service, the single best thing that business owners can do to retain customers is to implement Key Performance Indicators (also known as KPIs) within the workplace. KPIs should be tied to a company’s goals and should be easily measurable. They should also be included in each employee’s contract.

Some examples of KPI’s that can directly improve your customer retention rate are benchmarks such as:

  • Response time to customer inquiries.
  • Time between receiving and order an fulfilling it.
  • Ratings on customer surveys.
  • Quality control levels on finished products.
  • The actual measurement of your customer retention

At the end of each quarter, all employees should receive a KPI review; during this review, managers and supervisors can determine whether or not each employee is meeting those key performance indicators as outlined. If not, then corrective actions may need to take place, additional training may be required, or the employee may not receive a special bonus or incentive.

On the other hand, if KPIs are met, then the employee should be rewarded in some way, whether it be financially or even just giving him or her some form of recognition within the workplace.

How KPIs Improve Customer Retention

There are many ways in which implementing and tracking KPI requirements among employees can help boost customer retention in any business. For starters, employees will have a greater incentive to deliver service to customers that reflects the values and goals of the company. As a result, customers are more likely to be satisfied with their service. After all, an employee will know that he or she could be reprimanded for not delivering the level of service expected and will strive for excellence as a result.

When it comes to customer retention in your place of business, you need to do everything you can to keep your customers around so your company can be as successful as possible – this is good for you, your customers, and your employees. Therefore, if you don’t have a KPI strategy in place among your employees, now is the time to start thinking about developing and implementing one.

For additional information contact: Sunrise Business Advisors

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have plateaued getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

As the managing director of Sunrise Business Advisors, I have owned and operated a multitude of different businesses as well as holding senior management positions with a fortune 500 company. In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, I am also a Certified Franchise Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients.

Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

How A Little Customer Appreciation Can Go A Long Way

Franchise Success through Customer Appreciation

When running a business, or operating a franchise, customer appreciation is generally not a subject at the front of a business owner’s mind. Few people realize how big of an impact the simple act of giving thanks can make on their bottom line. It’s important for any franchisee to remember that clients are the life-line of your business – and in order to be successful as a company, one must win over the hearts of their customers.

Ensuring your customers are happy and satisfied starts with interacting with each customer in a meaningful and impactful way. Every positive interaction with a customer is a step in the right direction, and will make customers think of your business before visiting your competition the next time they need your product or service. If you think back – when is the last time you felt truly valued as a customer, or were sincerely thanked for your patronage? If you are able to remember this, how did that make you feel about the business? It isn’t often that companies pay attention to this small but important element of business, and implementing a customer recognition plan is an obvious priority if you want to stand ahead of your competition.

Customer Appreciation Franchise Success Coaching

Showing customer appreciation is a powerfully effective strategy for retaining customers and increasing each individual customer’s life-time value. Like any marketing strategy, this should be a tactical plan you can implement into your current process.

Customer appreciation should begin with a good foundation, such as developing an authentic company culture which will also help your staff feel more empowered to go the extra mile and help solve customer’s issues. Your company culture should emphasize the importance of acknowledging, thanking and recognizing customers for their loyalty.

Ideas for a customer appreciation program include:

  • Training your staff in the importance of customer recognition. Reward your employees when they have satisfied a customer.
  • Consider personalized messages to your important customers. This can include hand-written notes, or exclusive gifts.
  • Consider loyalty cards – these will reward customers for repeatedly patronizing your business. Make these valuable enough to stand out from the rest. The average U.S. household is enrolled in more than 18 loyalty programs, but is only active in 8.4.
  • Free gifts with purchase are another effective mechanism for rewarding customers.
  • Holding events – the International Franchise Association has some great tips on event marketing to grow relationships with your customers.

You can also get input from your employees on what they would want as a customer. Including your employees in this process will help cement this strategy, and make them feel like they are a part of the company and the decision, which will help them perform better.

In the end, a little appreciation can go a long way in today’s world, where everyone is constantly connected to the internet, social media and technology. Small acts of appreciation and kindness can help set your business apart – but remember to be sincere and genuine! If customers get the idea that this strategy was only implemented to increase profits, well they will quickly turn their attention elsewhere. Figure out what is important to your customers band implement something for your specific customer base – you, or your customers will be thankful.

Thom helps business owners and franchise operators achieve success.

As the managing director of Sunrise Business Advisors, I have owned and operated a multitude of different businesses as well as holding senior management positions with a fortune 500 company. In addition to being a Certified Business & Executive Coach, I am also a Certified Franchise Coach, as well as Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and Trainer. Our philosophy is to provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory services to help business owners achieve the businesses, the teams and the lives that they’ve always dreamed of having. We accomplish this through a tried and proven process of learning and understanding your needs and we’ve always achieved high marks with our valued clients. Let us help you become a Franchise Success story.

Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Successful Franchise Leadership

What does it take to be successful in franchise leadership?

Despite your best efforts, your franchise may be struggling unsuccessfully to keep pace with others in the corporation. Insufficient sales performance, employee attrition, and organizational deficiencies can, of course, seriously impact growth and drive your operation to the bottom of the franchisees’ metrics chart.

Word cloud illustration franchise related

Franchise Coaching for Successful Franchise Leadership

Your corporation’s franchise development experts most likely approved your site selection due to comprehensive demographic data that indicates yours is a sound business environment. Therefore, you should probably start by assessing your franchise management method. Seek guidance from an outside management specialist, if necessary, to identify needed improvements and to most quickly develop your leadership skills to the level of your company’s most successful franchisees.

Quality

Presumably, your site receives products through a standard supply chain and/or other suppliers approved by the corporation. So, your product quality is likely consistent with that of the company’s other franchise units. If so, your consultant’s emphasis will probably center on potential issues in sales and customer service quality. An experienced consultant will evaluate your sales and service processes including lead nurturing systems, repairs and replacements, and customer satisfaction surveys, and will monitor your sales and service employees as they work with your customers to pinpoint issues impacting customer relationships.

Training

During the franchise discovery process, opportunities were probably arranged for you to interview some of the company’s experienced franchisees. If not, you should urgently call for these meetings and take full advantage of learning what others are doing well, especially in areas of operations in which you’ve identified weaknesses at your site. Of course, in extreme cases of low performance, advice from fellow franchisees or in-house franchisee training staff may only produce limited results. You and your team may need much more advanced support to achieve the strength of skills necessary to duplicate the success of your company’s best performing franchises.

Support

Your corporation’s franchise development staff probably spent abundant time with you and your new staff during the start-up phase providing franchise leadership training for you, your management staff, and your sales and service teams. A franchise management consultant will evaluate current performance by each team at your site and work with you to raise the value of these functions to your business.

Leadership

In a previous article I described what being a visionary leader is.

Demonstrate your purpose to build successful professional relationships with all who rely on the success of your business—customers, staff, your community, and your larger franchise organization. Your corporation has likely optimized your all-important web interface. So, focus on increasing external promotional efforts, and improve

Franchise Leadership

Franchise Leadership

systems for marketing to current customers. Make a positive working environment and commitment to excellence the priorities. After all, management’s attitudes tend to translate into customer service employees’ attitudes. Strive to inspire customers’ confidence and generate employees’ excitement about the business as your preferred method for building your brand! If you have determined that it’s time to turn to a business management expert specializing in working with franchises to coach you through to stable success, contact Sunrise Business Advisors for a complimentary Business Assessment Review (B-A-R).

Thom Torode is a NJ based Business & Franchise Coach.

He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors. Thom’s expertise includes working with those business owners who have getting them unstuck and back in growth mode. Additionally Thom works with both franchisees and franchisors in helping them develop their leadership. Thom is also Director Consultant with BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

The Key to Being a Great Visionary Leader

There are a variety of leadership skills out there, but visionary leaders are individuals who often receive the most success out of the endeavors.

Leadership Compass

Visionary Leader

These individuals can create and maintain a vision of a business and or organization that has not yet been created. This vision provides the owner with the will to work hard to achieve their goals, the passion to bring their vision to life, the creativity to adapt as times and technology advance, and the communication skills necessary to inspire their team and workforce to greatness.

Many people attempt to separate the creative process from the intellectual, but to be a truly great visionary leader, one must be able to think with both hemispheres of the brain. In order to effectively bring your creative ideas to life, one has to have the skills to apply this creative process to their whole organization. This individual will need the skills to bridge the creative with the intellectual while clearly articulating the value in their vision and empowering others to bring this idea to life. Having one or more of these skills allows the visionary leader to go after their creative endeavors in the most cost-efficient way.

While many tasks of the business process can be automated or delegated to other individuals, creativity cannot. These individuals are generally very charismatic and magnetic, providing them with the ability to manifest a vision, and delegate pieces of that vision to others. The goal of the visionary leader is to achieve company-wide adoption by planting the seed of an idea in the hearts and minds of others and watching the seed grow . This allows the visionary leader to hold on to the true picture without getting bogged down and losing their creative process. To do so, the visionary leader may set up an organizational structure or improve company hierarchy to ensure their vision is attainable.

Visionary leaders have a great talent for bringing out the best of people, and handling even the most challenging situations with grace and ease. This talent encourages all team members to rise up with a desire to pursue this vision and see it to fruition.

So how does one become a visionary leader? First you must begin to think like a leader. Practice visualizing and achieving goals in all areas of your life. Practice getting others excited about your vision and making them feel as though they are a part of something bigger and better.

It is also important to practice key leadership traits. Good leaders are:

Optimistic: Try to always look on the bright side of things, people should think of you as “that person who is never upset.”

Acceptance of Personal Responsibility: A good leader will not lay blame on others, complain or say “that isn’t my job” a great leader takes responsibility and performs a task to the best of their abilities.

Integrity: Having a strong since of integrity will earn the respect and admiration of others. Always tell the truth, and ensure you stick to a good sense of ethics and morals in all business dealings.

Communication Skills: Learn to enthusiastically communicate your thoughts and ideas. This shows confidence, and energy is infectious – which helps get others on board.

In the end, it does take a certain skill-set to be a visionary leader, but one does not have to be born with these skills. Keeping an open mind, and open heart and practicing good leadership skills in your daily life will naturally pave the way to becoming a visionary leader.

Sunrise Business Advisors is currently offering a limited number of Leadership Assessment Reviews, call 862-219-6890 now to schedule your review.

Thom Torode is an Executive & Business Coach based in New Jersey. He has owned multiple different types of businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally, Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success