Is Your Franchise Flying Blind?

EOS Issues

How to Recognize and Address Your Core Business Issues.

Over the past several months we have highlighted the various components within the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

  1. Vision
  2. People
  3. Issues
  4. Data
  5. Process
  6. Traction

While each of the 6 components of the EOS Model is a separate entity, they inherently interact with each other in some capacity.  Each individual component needs to be solidly identified if the EOS is going to help the company’s health and growth.

For example, while most companies think that the Issues they are having are unique, in actuality there are only about 25 different Issues that companies have faced since the beginning of time.

Issues: IDS

Let’s examine one company in the news lately that lost close to $1 billion in the market because they failed to handle an Issue properly.  The company in question is, of course, United Airlines.  My purpose is not to get into a debate of the legalities (or illegalities) of what happened, but to merely show you how important it is to go through your own IDS (Identify – Discuss – Solve) for any Issues you might have. Let’s start with what happened within United’s chain of command that broke down so horrifically into a continuing PR nightmare.

From United’s website:  “We are committed to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry. We understand that to do this we need to have a product we are proud of and employees who like coming to work every day.

Our goal is to make every flight a positive experience for our customers. Our United Customer Commitment explains our specific service commitments so that we can continue a high level of performance and improve wherever possible. The commitment explains our policies in a clear, consistent and understandable fashion. We have detailed training programs and system enhancements to support our employees in meeting these commitments, and we measure how well we meet them.”

 

Very interesting…so what happened, what’s the Issue?  From what I’ve read in the various media posts, someone realized that they needed to get 4 crew members to Louisville for the next day.  They had a Process for this, eventually randomly selecting passengers to “volunteer” their seats. It’s still inconclusive as to if that Process called for having police “enforce” that policy.

Part of the process of identifying the key Issue here is to ask a few questions:

  1. Why a PR nightmare?
  2. What happened & What could have been done better to resole this Issue?
  3. Solution:  Analytical tools, Process modification, People

From our February e-newsletter on issues, “Only when the real root Issue is identified should you and your team begin the discussion phase.” What is the real Issue that United is facing?  I’ll suggest a few, but this list is by no means conclusive.

  1. Too much concern for the bottom line that Wall Street requires (Data component)
  2. Too little concern for their paying customers (a direct conflict with their Vision)
  3. Faulty Process
  4. Process driving People, rather than People driving Process

Hopefully, Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United is going to give more than lip service when he states his apology for ‘re-accommodating’ passengers. What happens over the next few weeks will be telling as to how seriously United takes this Issue.

What types of Issues are you facing within your company?  If you would like to have  an Issue Review Session with coach Thom Torode, click here to schedule.

Thom Torode is a NJ based Professional Executive & Business Coach and EOS Implementer. Having owned and operated over 5 different businesses he 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.

 

Slingshot Sales Process

Slingshot Sales Process

I’ve heard allot about the importance of creating a sales process lately. In fact a quick Google search brings up more than 128 million hits. Unfortunately most of those are encouraging you to use or follow “their” process. At Sunrise Business Advisors, our approach is vastly different.
We believe in the importance of having a sales process, in fact if you don’t have a process you might as well be using a shotgun to try and hit your target.
If you’ve ever had a prospect in your pipeline who wasn’t a fit for the service or product your franchise business offers you understand the full frustration that brings to mind.
By having and using a sales process you can virtually eliminate all that frustration. Our process that we demonstrate is based on using a sling shot.

Why a Slingshot?

A slingshot is a device with a frame and an elastic band, which allows the user to fire a projectile with accuracy, speed, and depth.

Slingshot Sales Process

Focused Aim at Your Target

Slingshot Sales Process

With the right conversations, the salesperson and prospect exert just the right amount of energy to the band to make the projectile fly (e.g., close the sale). With the wrong conversations, the sale either breaks down or falls short.

In my next article, I’ll go into more detail about the how and why of a slingshot.
Email Now before spots gone for your sales process review.

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.

What is Strategic Thinking?

What is Strategic thinking?

How to Develop this Essential Skill

Strategic thinking is a valuable skill to master in both your professional and personal life. Mastering this talent will bring tremendous value to any project you undertake. Many studies have proven that individuals skilled in strategic thinking are also highly effective in leadership positions because of their excellent problem-solving and decision-making approaches to a variety of situations. Leaders who can think strategically, are able to look at an issue systematically, which allows them to identify the impact of their decisions across all departments within and outside the company.

Strategic ThinkingWith the benefits strategic thinkers can bring to a business, you may be wondering how you can hone your strategic thinking skills – or even develop strategic thinkers within your own organization. This is not a task to be taken lightly, this is about the mindset of the individual as well as learned techniques that can be applied to problems.

To better develop this skill, it is important to take time to reflect on the lasting effects of your decisions prior to making them. Ask yourself questions to determine what the final outcome may be – who is, and who will be involved in this decision, what risks are presented, how difficult will it be to arrive at your desired outcome – is it worth it in the long run?

Don’t let tunnel vision prevent you from seeing all angles of a situation. Having too narrow of a focus will restrict the opportunities you have to think strategically about a situation. Strategic thinkers are able to connect the dots between people, ideas, and plans to see a bigger picture that others fail to see. Practice viewing the world as a giant web of interconnected ideas, and you will soon discover that you can easily spot the connection between multiple objects.

While thinking of problems and creating solutions is valuable, it is equally valuable to be able to quickly and confidently arrive at a decision. In order to put your plans in place and your ideas in action you must have the capability of making choices, even if those choices are ones you do not personally agree with. Closing one door and opening another is a situation that leaves many of us paralyzed with fear, but is critical to being strategic.

You will need to make choices about what you will and what you won’t do. It is at this critical juncture that your ability to see and think strategically about a situation is really tested. Don’t let the fear of failure or the risks hold you back if you want to truly look at a situation strategically. All this requires is a deliberate approach in your actions.

In the end, this will require practice – perhaps years of patience. This may not be the easiest of skills to acquire, but the end result will turn from a simply average leader to an exceptional leader, mentor and boss.

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.

SYSTEM: Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

In our earlier post on SYSTEM, we discussed the importance of systematizing your business processes, and some high-level ways to go about reorganizing your internal business structure to create better efficiency in your organization. In this post, we would like to further explore the concept of systematizing your business.

systemTo more easily recall the benefits of sound business systematization, we would like to introduce you to the easy to remember acronym, SYSTEM. This stands for Save Yourself Time Energy and Money. When you think of this acronym, you can quickly recall the necessity of creating a system and process for your business.

Systematizing your business process allows you to save time by automating many of the tasks you do every day. Through automating, or delegating these tasks you can focus on more important matters. With a little research, you will be surprised what can be easily and quickly automated. As for delegating tasks, take a look at the small tasks you are doing each day, or week and see if they can be grouped into similar themes. These may be better assigned to another individual in your organization.

Through saving yourself time, you will have more energy to put toward other tasks. Expending energy on a variety of small tasks which others in your organization could be handling for you is not an efficient use of a business owner’s time. You are the individual with the vision for your business, and it’s up to you to get it there, wasting your creative energy on repetitive tasks throughout the day is only a hindrance.

As a direct result of saving time and energy, you will be saving yourself money. Less hours will need to be put in to complete the same amount of work in a day In addition, by making your business a well oiled machine, you will have less risk of costly mistakes, as every part in the machine has its own individual function that it performs expertly. As the business owner, you are meant to oversee this machine, keep it oiled and maintained, but not be a cog in it.

Business process word cloud

Now that you have learned the acronym SYSTEM, and the benefits of having a sound system in place, we hope that you can begin saving yourself time, energy and money by having a more efficient business process.

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.  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

Creating a System for Success

 system text

Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cellphones, our planners and our e-mail inboxes, we have organized ourselves and our time. And if you ever doubt the importance of these systems, recall your panic the last time you lost your planner.

Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of what systems can do to improve our businesses. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring processes so that they can occur systematically without so much thought or attention—and by more than just one person, so that the business can continue to run if the owner takes a vacation.

Figuring Out What to Systematize

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses or jobs that could be systematized. To identify where you can apply systems, step back from your enterprise and try to look at it objectively. Ask yourself questions such as below:

Where are your frustrations? This is an important test for two reasons. First, you are more likely to be frustrated if you are redoing tasks that bring no particular satisfaction. Second, you are going to be frustrated if you have to relearn a task or “recreate the wheel” every time a specific need comes up.

What is holding back your business? What are the choke points? Do you need to generate more prospects? Do you have prospects but a low rate of conversion? Do you convert customers but lose them through poor follow-through? Strategically focusing on your business this way is more likely to spot high-value opportunities for systemization.

What causes you stress? Is it preparing for the quarterly performance reviews? Finalizing your printed catalog? Preparing for your annual make-or-break tradeshow? Even if you know the steps by heart, systematizing at least part of these stress-inducing activities could yield big benefits to your business—and your well-being.

Start by Writing It Down

The first step in systematizing a process is to write it down. What exactly is the process you go through to handle a sales lead? Place a want ad for your shipping clerk? Train a new receptionist? If you are struggling to get all the steps down, try the “backwards” approach. Start with the end result and then determine what you did right before that, and so on, for each step.

Another valuable exercise is to document what everyone in your organization does. Forget job descriptions: You want to know what they actually do. This may highlight high-value opportunities to build systems that can be leveraged throughout the organization.

Often, the documentation you create in this process is all the system you require. The next time the task comes up, you can pull out the file and save the relearning. It also becomes the core of the training manual for new employees, which is often one of the most valuable systems you can build.

Do the Cost-Benefit Math

Here are some guidelines for figuring out which of the myriad choices are worth the effort of creating a system:

What are the odds you will be doing this again? How often?

How hard is it to automate? Creating paper checklists is easy; programming Outlook to sync your phone contacts and automatically generate follow up emails isn’t so easy. However, don’t give up if the software approach is too expensive or complicated. Productivity guru David Allen sells several slick software products, but his core recommendation for organizing tasks is to create a set of clearly labeled file folders. Again, a well-documented, step-by-step manual is the core of many highly successful systems.

How painful is the task? And how painful is failing to execute it well? High-value tasks, such as annual trade-shows and the like, are good candidates for setting up systems in order to reduce risks and the associated stress.

Can you hire it out? In some cases, the best system is to hand the documentation for the process to a junior employee. In particular, those stress-inducing tasks noted above can be partially off-loaded. But you will need to do the work up front of carefully recording the steps involved, and how to achieve and measure the necessary outcomes.

Get Out of the Box

As you go through this analysis, don’t be afraid to start with the question: Why do we do this process in the first place? For every process you find that could be automated with a new system, you may find another that can be eliminated altogether. Systematically reviewing your business this way may be the most valuable system of all.

When selecting a system, ask these questions:

• How is it going to make the process better, easier, or faster?
• What kinds of measurements are in place to ensure it is going to do its job?
• Is the system too complicated to make it effective?
• Have there been complaints or good testimonials?

iStock_000036478778Small

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.  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