To all independent business owners!
Here’s something to think about:
I once received a call from the sales vice-president of a well-known national franchise who wanted me to speak at their annual convention. He’d heard about me from one of his independent franchisees, and he knew that I helped businesses grow their sales, customer traffic, and profits as a Destination Business.
We seemed to be the perfect fit, but then he said:
“One thing: I can’t have you mention anything about that Destination-stuff you speak on. These are franchisees. They have set territories. You can’t say anything about becoming a Destination Business because I don’t need a bunch of franchisees leaving that convention, all half-cocked, thinking they can pull customers from anywhere they want.”
And with that, I politely declined speaking for them, and referred him to another speaker.
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand his concern. I know how franchised businesses work. A well-known franchise (like a McDonald’s), wants their locations to deliver brand-uniformity: The same image, the same products, the same promise.
Consistency, not differences.
But here’s the thing: Consumers don’t always want the same. Most of the time, they actually want uniqueness. They want one-of-a-kind. They like individuality. And they especially love Shop-Local, independent businesses run by local owners.
Who knew Mom and Pop were gonna be so Hot?
But the good news is: The principles of being a unique Destination can be merged with franchise systems. But you need a franchise management team that’s willing to grow and learn, like the Real Deals on Home Décor franchise. When I met with the Real Deals on Home Décor executive team, they hired me to help their franchisees grow their businesses. Period! No conditions. No limitations. They wanted me to teach their franchisees and their management team all about my Destination strategy and they wanted me to give their independent owners all the tools they needed to bring in more customers and sales! We took the Real Deals franchise model and incorporated the most powerful parts of my 14-step Destination process and blended them together. Then, they had me teach the strategy to their independent owners.
Real Deals on Home Décor wanted their franchise network of independent business owners to thrive, not just survive.
Now think about your company’s manufacturers who supply your business with products. I learned there’s a difference in manufacturers when I spoke at the American Lighting Association. No sooner had I left the stage when I was approached by the management team from Kichler Lighting, one of the largest lighting manufacturers in North America. They liked what they’d heard and within 2 weeks, they had me design an entire 12-month training plan for their lighting showroom customers that included workshops, 1-on-1 consulting, and monthly Destination webinars, all designed to drive more customer traffic into their businesses.
Kichler Lighting created a program that took the strengths of their product lines and mixed it with the Destination Business process to help their retail store owners grow. Not just plod forward.
They wanted them to thrive.
Why do I tell you these stories? Because I want you look closely at the companies, resources, and programs that are integral to your business, and then, decide if your company is receiving what you deserve. Are the people who manage these entities just helping you maintain your business, or are they giving you all the tools to accelerate your business to its greatest potential?
Some of you know that James Cash Penney, the founder of the JC Penney chain, was a fellow Longmont, Colorado entrepreneur. His first business was located just 2 doors down from our location at 321 Main Street in downtown Longmont just 119 years ago. I’m going to end this blog post with a quote from my former neighbor:
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”
It’s time for you to insist that those forces start working towards your company’s maximum growth.
Destination BootCamp update:
I wanted to update you on our remaining 2016 Destination BootCamps:
- We have three (3) remaining Destination BootCamps in 2016 that have space in them. Their dates are:
- June 7-9
- July 26-28
- September 13-15
The October 25-27 class is full and can take no more participants.
Here are three workshops in my schedule that are open to the public:
Thursday, May 19: 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at Hutchinson Community College, 1300 N. Plum, Justice Theater in the Shears Technology Building in Hutchinson, Kansas, Increasing Sales & Profits as a Destination Business. To register, call 620-665-8468 or email [email protected].
Tuesday, May 24: 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. in Milwaukee Wisconsin at the National Main Street Conference, Room 102C in the Wisconsin Center. The 7 Steps to a Memorable Main Street: Capturing Today’s Customers as a Destination Downtown. Join me for my 1 and only session, and then, stick around and let’s talk about your Destination Downtown challenge.
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14-15, Austin, Texas at the Real Places 2016 Conference, sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission. Go to RealPlaces.us for more information.
Thanks, Everyone! Let me hear of your successes by emailing me at [email protected]