As we start 2023, I am very optimistic about recent trends in franchising as I talk with my franchisor clients, friends and colleagues. People are feeling good, innovation and new ideas continue, deals are getting done, businesses are hiring, contracts are getting signed, and franchise fees and royalties are being paid. From my standpoint, people are feeling good, and things are looking up!
Here’s my question for you: what are you going to do DIFFERENTLY in 2023 that you haven't done in the past? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I challenge you to try something NEW and different this year, even if it’s only a tiny change. Here are a few New Year changes to consider.
Invest in YOURSELF - Join a Mastermind group. The best group like this that I’m aware of is ZorForum. I currently operate two ZorForum groups, and they are doing well and have been meeting for over a year. During these meetings, the members connect, share and solve problems with each other. Within the ZorForum groups, we offer a moderated confidential environment with straightforward “deep dives” about real, tangible issues that franchisors are facing. If you’re a franchisor executive for a growing brand, there are many benefits from joining a group like this to shorten your learning curve and help you avoid mistakes. There are various suppliers in the franchise industry offering group format opportunities: roundtables and masterminds of various levels, they are all worthwhile and valuable. I suggest you check them all out and determine what’s the best fit for your situation, needs and growth ambitions.
Attend a NEW CONFERENCE - learn something different. As previously discussed, many franchise events occur throughout the year. Here's a great link from my friend, Katrina Mitchell, who maintains a calendar of franchise-related events. Perhaps you could consider attending an industry-specific conference, not one that’s only franchise-related. Trade shows and industry conferences can often provide you with the information you need more than a franchising conference. Even if you attend a conference and don’t make any changes within your organization, you’ll likely make new connections and learn something different. I've been lucky to attend various industry conferences with clients, and I'm always fascinated by how much information is shared at these events. Compared to training programs or other marketing initiatives, attending these tradeshows is often relatively inexpensive.
Take a REAL vacation. Most Americans think a three-day weekend is a vacation. While those can be a lot of fun, I don’t think that’s a real vacation. Here’s a suggestion: take at least a week, or more, to really disconnect, reflect and recharge. During this time, you can deeply and strategically think about yourself, your business, and your vision for your future. What’s working, what’s not, what do you really want more or less of? This type of thinking doesn't happen “on a whim.” It’s best done during an extended amount of free time, which is often reached in a new environment free from distractions and old habits. Try something different; take a great vacation, and do it with the intention to think deeply and reflect. I bet you'll be surprised and feel great when you come back, and maybe have new ideas and goals to consider.
Start learning from a new Mentor - make it personal and intentional. A great mentor is someone with whom you can personally connect, learn, and share experiences. I've been a mentor to many people over the years, and I’m doing it now as a volunteer through the IFA. I find it worthwhile and tend to gain as much as I give. I think many professionals would like to be a mentor and share their experiences, knowledge, and network with someone interested in learning. Consider reaching out to your network to find a mentor for yourself, or perhaps decide to become a mentor for someone else! Ask someone to help you and see what happens...
Use a NEW TECHNOLOGY tool - a new approach. My friends know I’m not a “tech guy”. I can use technology but it’s not a focus of mine. I recently learned of a new artificial intelligence tool being developed - ChatGPT. It's free while it's in its research stage and it's fascinating. Check this out. You might find it useful, it’s certainly very interesting. See more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChatGPT
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. What can you do differently this year? In terms of time and money, what new experiences can you afford that you haven’t considered before? If you can think of something, my recommendation is to try it. More often than not, the benefits will greatly exceed the costs, and you’ll learn something new and different, and it will lead to even more benefits.
Let's schedule a brief call if you'd like to brainstorm. I'm happy to connect and share ideas and enjoy being a resource. I wish you the best as we start 2023, and I look forward to seeing you around. Thank you and take care!