It Pays to Show a Little Respect

When I was 12, I had an after-school job delivering medicine for Mr Wilson, the local pharmacist. He showed an interest in me and would tell me a little about each patient before I set out on my bicycle, satchel over my shoulder. He also always made a point of thanking me as I left to go home each afternoon. Mr Wilson was a sensitive man with a lot of empathy for other peop 
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We Need To Talk

Interdependent relationships, where you can’t just walk away when the going gets tough, can be both satisfying and frustrating. Think marriage, business partnerships, long-term supply agreements, and of course, the franchise relationship. Regular constructive conversations are essential to keep things on track. Over the past week, I and my team have conducted several wo 
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A Dog’s Guide to Stress-Free Networking

A common source of stress is meeting new people in unfamiliar social situations. For instance, starting a new job, moving into a new neighborhood, or attending networking functions. Something impressive I have noticed about our young cavoodle is his natural ability to make friends with strangers – dogs and humans. (He was even dubbed “Switzerland” at Puppy School becaus 
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Take the Franchisor Health Check

Someone recently asked me how a franchisor team would know if their business model was sound. This prompted me to put together the following 25 questions. You could call it a best practices health check. If you are part of a franchisor team, this could be a great tool for promoting useful discussion in your next management meeting. Are you monitoring franchisee unit-leve 
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The Passing of a Mentor

Last week one of my mentors, friends and collaborators passed away. Rupert Barkoff was also an avid reader and constructive critic of my Tips, so I am going to devote this one to him. In 2004 I decided it was time to enter the USA market and attended my first International Franchise Association Convention. It was a little overwhelming as I barely knew any of the nearly  
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The Case of the Mysterious Parrot

This tip is about effective communication, a hot topic for executives who are leading change within their organisations. We may think we are communicating at our best when we carefully craft our words. But our most powerful communication often occurs in unintended ways. In a poem by Rumi, a great thirteenth-century mystical poet, he tells the following story about an Indian 
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How to Attract Great Franchisees

I’ve recently been reviewing the research on successful franchisee recruitment. Because many franchisors have seen a decline in enquiries from new franchisees, I’m going to share eight proven strategies to achieve greater success in this area. But a proviso. These strategies will only work long-term if the franchisor team is caring, competent and ethical, and the business m 
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Rebuilding a Brand Called Franchising

Our brain is wired to be careful of whom to trust. Open yourself up to the wrong person and you can get hurt — physically, emotionally and financially. Nature has given us a shortcut to help here. It’s called reputation. If we’ve heard good things about a person or group, we’ll be more open to what they have to say. In business, we call this having a good brand. Brands, lik 
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The Key to Great Franchisee Newsletters

My mother lives in an apartment which is part of a retirement village managed by a multinational property group. The nature of the relationship between management and residents is so similar to a franchise network it often makes me laugh. For instance, the residents have created a highly effective Committee that keeps Village Management on their toes. And similar to a franc 
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Snakes Alive

Last week I joined 40 people for a personal development retreat in a beautiful bushland setting. For five days we contemplated, cooked and ate together with no interpersonal communication. No talking, no passing notes and no sign language. Yet everything flowed comfortably, stress-free, like clockwork. As you can imagine the planning to pull this off was impeccabl 
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