On Friday I had the privilege to start working with a new client.
Of course, it’s a privilege to be working with all our customers but I’ve really enjoyed the process of getting together with this guy… which has only taken two years or so!
But why was this time so good?
Well, the length of time it’s taken is one reason and I would have been gutted if we let this one slip through our fingers. But the real reason is the Chief Exec of the business.
He’s one of those people who is genuinely passionate about what he does and the business he’s in. He can see ways the industry can be improved and he’s got no time for competitors who don’t do the job properly (and there are plenty of those) and bring the business into disrepute.
He’s got big plans for his business, too, growing his pilot operation and the national account work in a structured way.
And apart from all that, he’s a thoroughly nice and decent bloke. Sickening isn’t it?
Okay, now to the franchise.
Our client is already up and running with a handful of franchisees, but (and this is what I really like) he knows he’s still got lots to learn about running a franchise operation; even going so far as to recognise that he’s better off working with someone else to build a superb network.
His attitude is really refreshing and, fortunately, his franchise operation is just a whisker away from being brilliant, too.
The business is process led and there’s a definite role for a new franchisee, winning new business and managing a team. This genuinely is a management franchise. His product is different from the competition and franchisees will benefit from the continued development that my friend plans.
He’s already had his fingers burned by a franchise consultant, but at least, as a result of his contract, he has an Ops Manual, agreement and documentation. He’s also got a recruitment process.
In fact, all that’s needed (apart from some updating of literature and a couple of extra documents) is someone to join all the different elements up and manage the process.
My job, then, is to do just that. Join the different elements of the franchise operation into a cohesive whole, write some new material and to tell the story of the excellent pilot operation.
Once we’ve got that in place we can start trying to attract new franchisees, which we’ll be doing from mid to end February.
This is one of those jobs that make it all worthwhile. The franchisor knows he’s an expert in his field, but equally knows we are experts in ours. He’s prepared to listen to us, question and challenge when he thinks we’re wrong, but ultimately he wants to learn how to do it himself.