John Francis – also known as Johnny Franchise – is a veteran of franchising, having been in the industry for all of his 50 years and having been a franchisor, a franchisee and mentor to both. His experience shows through in this episode!
Limited time offer! Have you got a problem you’re trying to solve? Book a FREE 15-minute coaching session with John Francis and he will help you put together a project plan to solve that problem and move forward with making your business more awesome.
For all of his 50 years he’s been working in, on, and around franchising, starting with his Dad who was a pioneer of franchising in the 1960s. John grew up in this franchise company.
There’s a fantastic video that explains who John is and why he loves working with franchisees and franchisors like you below.
The Franchise Lifecycle by John Francis
John gave us all a snippet of his presentation where he explains the franchise lifecycle. There are 4 stages you go through as a franchisee: the baby, the teen, the adult and the ROCKSTAR!
Phase I – the baby years
Phase 1, the baby phase is your first 1 to 2 years as a franchisee. You want to make sure you’ve got good supervision and that you’re well taken care of. This is like a baby being taken care of by her parents – making sure the baby doesn’t make a mistake that will be with them for life. There are 3 fatal flaws in this stage:
- Spending too much and overinvesting
- Hiring and keeping the wrong people
- to avoid this – hire for values, train for skill
- Hire slow, fire fast
- Thinking you know it all
- Franchisees in this early stage should EXECUTE and IMPLEMENT – NOT experiment
Phase 2 – the teen years
Phase 2 is the teen stage where you’re 2-3 years in. You’re subject to outside influences and bad habits can creep in. When times get tough, when something goes wrong, your passion needs to carry you through or you will quit. This is the time you need to find a mentor, stick together with other franchisees and learn from each other.
The number one tip John had for franchisees: attend your system conference. This conference will get you engaged with other franchisees, fired up about the brand and give you the chance to network with the award-winning franchisees in your group.
KNOWLEDGE BOMB ALERT: Pick 5 award-winning franchisees at that conference, approach them and ask if you can call them from time to time. For the next 12 months before the next conference, call one of the 5 each week. Each week at the same time (say 2pm on a Tuesday) call and chat with one of the 5 about how your business is going, what you’re working on and what you’re struggling with – and do the same for them. You’ll build a network of people you can rely on and trust in record time!
Phase 3 – the adult years
Phase 3 is the adult years. This is when a franchisee is 3 to 5 years into the business and they are starting to make real money. The maturity level is there, they are paying down debt and the organization is becoming more professional. This is where some people get STUCK! Either a slow decline starts, or the real growth starts. The franchisees who make it to 3 to 5 to 10 units and beyond are those who invest in people and structure at this stage. It’s tempting to take your foot off the gas and coast at this stage! If you invest in people and structure and keep an eye on your competitors, you can step back and reach what John Francis calls your “highest and best purpose”.
Phase 4 – the ROCKSTAR years
Phase 4 of the Franchise Lifecycle is the ROCKSTAR phase. This is where you’re in your 50s and really performing. You’re 10+ years into the business as a franchisee and you’ve achieved growth in units and scale. Franchisees get to this stage with the support of others; corporate boards, advisory boards and peer groups. This introduces accountability and becomes a multiplier – from 10 units to 100!
John’s final pieces of advice for franchisees:
- Work with integrity. Always keep integrity your number one value and don’t compromise yourself.
- Work harder than you think you need to. Life is hard work and success takes lots of hard work
- Stay more connected with people and work your networks. Remember you’re not alone and continuously engage with and expand your networks.