Now that summer is upon us, I’ve been spending more time on boats and around the water. Here in Minnesota (as in most places), we’re required to have life preservers on board to comply with the state’s boating laws. Not only does everyone need access to a wearable life jacket of their own, but the boat must have a throwable life preserver in a location that is easy to access in an emergency. This means it can’t be tucked away in a cabinet somewhere, but must be out in the open where it can be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
It got me thinking that these life preservers we depend on in a boating emergency aren’t so different from the life preservers that successful franchise businesses have at their disposal:
Your mastermind group is akin to a throwable life preserver, in that if you have a problem and need help, they’ll be there to swoop in and surround you in support. This is not an individual lifeline, but is available to anyone in the group who needs it.
- Your advisory board is the individual life jacket that you put on before or as soon as you get onto the water. It’s there to help you and only you - the only thing that matters are the problems or questions facing your company and its people.
Just as they do in boating, both of these life preservers have a different purpose but are equally important for your business. If you don’t have them in place, you’re missing out on important opportunities to plan strategically and solve issues before they become major problems.
I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of joining a mastermind group since ZorForum launched last year. This organization created mastermind groups specifically for franchisors - making it possible for like-minded business owners to collaborate and help each other with growth challenges (as well as life challenges) through a regular, monthly routine of virtual meetings. Like the throwable life preserver we discussed above, the idea is to lend a helping hand to whoever needs it - and to learn from each other’s mistakes and past experiences.
An advisory board, on the other hand, provides a whole extra layer of support that is dedicated to your and your business’ needs. This is the group of professionals that will help you plan for the future, develop your staff, and increase your credibility as an organization. They’ll help you make those tough decisions and will hold you accountable when you need it most!
As in boating, the time to have a life preserver in place is before you need one. Once you find yourself in an emergency situation, it will be too late. If you’d like to give one of my ZorForum mastermind groups a try, or want to discuss a plan for establishing an advisory board for your franchise business, let’s talk! You can put some time on my calendar for a friendly, no-obligation call here. I’m always happy to offer help where I can. Stay safe out there!