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Eagles vs. Turkeys

The fundamental challenge to being a business owner is in identifying the eagles you want to soar with and quickly dismiss the turkeys that will only keep you on the ground and pecking in the dust.

This sounds awfully easy to say, but the more your business grows, the more you will realise which people are in fact Value Adders and those that are Energy Drainers.

In a franchised business for example, there are some Value Adders that are pretty essential for a franchisor to have in place like a franchise business support team; secretarial support for franchisor management team; complaint handlers; trainers; effective franchise sales people etc.

This is not heck of a lot different from ‘unfranchised’ businesses of course, but the more important element I did want to highlight was the twist when Value Adders become Energy Drainers and that happens pretty easily within a franchised business (in my experience). In my humble opinion the staff members at the franchisor’s office needs to be reviewed at regular two to three year intervals – as the business grows. As with there being a lifecycle for the franchisee, there is also a lifecycle for the franchisor which evolves over time, depending on the growth in franchisee numbers and in the enhancement of the business model.

If we look at the Eagle vs. Turkey scenario, my best advice to any franchisor is to look to other established franchisors (in any industry) and check in with what they are doing to "sharpen their saws" (to use the Stephen Covey expression). This may mean reviewing staff right up to the board members. Franchise businesses go through a huge amount of growth in a fairly short period of time. If this growth isn’t planned properly from the start, the growth pains can be particularly agonizing and the office that gets hit fast is the franchisor’s.

The managing director needs to keep his/her head above water and look to models of success to get the business through the growth and evolution into not only a well-oiled franchised machine but also a lucrative one for all involved. Selecting the eagles that can inspire the way forward is a leadership skill that I admire most from progressive franchisors. The character trait I least admire in heads of business is complacency: slow to move, slow to react and slow to reprimand bad business behaviour. These turkeys will always be pecking in the dust.

So the question is, are you being studious enough to identify the Energy Draining Turkeys and smart enough to surround yourself with the Value Adding Eagles?

Copyright © 2009 Shelley Pearson.
Reprints are welcome, as long as the by-line and article are published in tact and all links made live.


About the Author

Shelley Pearson, formerly an independent franchise consultant, created the Expert Franchise Guide business after identifying a serious lack of a provision of franchise business guidance products to small and medium sized business owners. She has developed her products in order to solve one of these business owners’ biggest operational obstacles: access to decisive, experienced and cost effective franchise business guidance. She is now an information marketer and has managed to attract both professional affiliations and clients who recognise and value her business acumen matched with a practical and empathetic approach.


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