Get your point across and make that ‘sale’ every time

And your communication success rate is?

Let’s start with an honest assessment.

What percentage success rate do you have across your sales, your presentations, in building relationships, in being heard? My guess is you’d like it to be better – right? Be honest with yourself, this is no time for modest denial

So why is it, no matter how hard you rehearse each speech or script, how hard you work on your self-esteem and your assertiveness, you still find yourself nervous and not getting the result you want?

How come some people just seem to make a connection with everyone and have total credibility? And others have more difficulty in building that trust?

As a franchisor, this connection and credibility is critical for building your franchise group and it can’t be faked.


Extensive research has been applied to this area in recent years, famously by a team led by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard, which is outlined very clearly in her book titled simply ‘Presence: Bringing your BOLDEST SELF too your BIGGEST CHALLENGES’

Cuddy’s team analysed a vast number of video interviews and presentations over a number of studies, looking at a group of very savvy, hard-nosed venture capitalists as they made decisions on which entrepreneurial start up to support. Cuddy was exploring why some of these start-up entrepreneurs were successful with their presentations whereas others failed. And when the analysis concluded, the answer was very simple. So simple in fact that the venture capitalists had not been particularly conscious of it themselves!

It didn’t matter how well someone sold themselves or their product. It didn’t matter how beautifully prepared their presentation was. It didn’t matter whether they were full of self-confidence, or if they were incredibly nervous and tongue tied. The answer was a dramatic discovery, beautiful in its simplicity – the entrepreneurs had to believe in and trust their own story and by doing that, they were signalling how much they truly believed in the value and integrity of the idea and their own ability to bring it to fruition.

When we believe in the product and our ability to deliver it, we easily project poised, enthusiastic confidence – what Amy Cuddy defines as Presence.

And Presence breeds trust and with that comes the ability to persuade people to do as you ask.

Tightening up?

But, sometimes, when you make a big pitch does your face tend to tighten up? Are your breaths short? Does your throat tighten and your voice sound strained?

Do you feel like a fraud?

It’s a strong term I acknowledge, but here we’re not just talking about the business environment. You might be making a point at your local council meeting, questioning a queue jumper at the bus. It might be asking someone for a dance or attending a job interview.

Imposterism – the elephant in the room.

Let’s put arrogance to the side and be frank here. Understand that one of the fundamental reasons we are challenged in reaching the higher level of trust is because, deep down, we simply don’t believe we have the right to be doing what we are doing, either because we don’t believe in the product or ourselves. We feel a fraud – a strong word as I said, but accurate. In classic terms, we don’t have a feeling of entitlement – we feel like imposters.

The tragedy is this very common attitude has often been carried on our backs since childhood, something that may have had a reality for our parents and grandparents, but certainly not for us. We may not recognise it in those words but we are aware of discomfort in our gut or chest.

Picture if you will, the power-dressed salesperson, chest pumped up with confidence to burn, and arrogance in bucket loads. He has a word-perfect sales pitch and can stand up and talk in any circumstances – “with a mouthful of marbles”. And no-one else gets a word in edgeways. Yet, so often these people are not self-aware, don’t truly enjoy what they do, and have little love and compassion for their fellow colleagues, clients and community – even their family and friends. Look closely and you’ll probably see that they are trying too hard and probably don’t believe in themselves. As a result, they appear cold and clinical. Give it a moment’s thought and you’ll realise that these are symptoms which do not strike well with our instincts, with our gut feel. You can smell the bulldust.

I have witnessed this occasionally with the newly successful franchisor who contracts the deadly ‘hubris virus’ – believing it’s all about them to the exclusion of their committed management team and franchise partners. It can be the end of a great success story and kill the group.

Often people in this mode are suffering what Amy calls Imposterism – the opposite of Presence. It is that feeling that we are just not good enough and should not be there.

Imposterism breeds distrust and alienation. This seems to be a 21st century elephant in the room and a serious problem affecting vast numbers of people around the world.

Today there is an expectation of supreme confidence 24/7, of being strong and assertive, in being able to withstand the hardships, the disappointments and losses with our chin up. We struggle to maintain face at all costs – can’t be seen showing weakness, nor admit to self-doubt. “Just do it man, don’t be a wimp!” is the mantra.

But is this unrealistic?

These attitudes have led to enormous growth in depression and unhappiness. It’s the constant pressure brought by high expectations, the ups and downs of life. You may feel you have to protect the remarks of your peers, attitudes you’re not comfortable with. Perhaps you anticipate being frowned upon.

You are not alone.

Amy’s team found that we all from time to time will battle the feeling of being a fraud, that we are not good enough. Presence and Imposterism are the opposite sides of the same coin and need to be managed as such. Because a vast majority of us, both male and female, rich and poor, fail to achieve our potential because of this underlying mindset issue left unmanaged.

Your body language shapes who you are

So to Amy Cuddy’s pragmatic solution. It’s certainly not a quick fix, and whilst it may be simple, it’s is not easy. It’s something that will be incremental, change will come over time.

First, understand the power of body language on both yourself and others perception of you and consciously use it to change both the way you feel and the way others feel about you. The remarkable thing is our own body language does not just change the dynamic around communication with others, it also changes the chemical balance in our bodies. So appear confident and body chemistry will go along and make you actually feel more confident. The opposite occurs too.

Amy explains with clarity the power of body language in her 2012 TED talk “Your body language shapes who you are”. It’s the second-most watched TED and the 21 minutes you spend watching this will be one of the best investments you make.

Secondly, Amy advises, communicate with empathy. You need to exercise humility and listen sincerely to other people’s stories and show them you understand. Only then will they listen to you and hear and trust what you say.

And finally, fake it. Assume the body language even if you do not feel that way. Professor Cuddy explains how, when you’re on the right path, it takes time to assume the mantle with the confidence that you’re rightly entitled to, and which has eluded you. So, when you’re on the right track you often benefit from “faking it till you make it!” and you’ll find after a while of living the part, you are the part. Thanks to both the response you get from those around you and the change in that body chemistry.

Are you doing what you want to do? Honestly?

At the bottom of all of this is one key thing you need to ensure. Are you are doing what you love doing, owning or working in an organisation you are proud to be associated with and promoting a product you truly believe in.

A ‘yes’ to all of these will give you the confidence that manifests the empowerment we are aspiring to.

It’s evident that when we feel powerful we feel free – in control, and unthreatened. And this is when we are conscious of opportunities, put less weight on the threats, and are overall more positive and optimistic.

However, when we are gripped with fear and anxiety we feel powerless. We are more tuned to threats, will be pessimistic and our behaviour is inhibited. We are constantly weighing up the possible benefits versus possible costs and will become vulnerable if we don’t take assertive action.

We all know the legend surrounding Sir Richard Branson – can you imagine him walking into a room feeling powerless, but you can guarantee there are times when he does have self-doubt and he does “fake it till he makes it.”

It’s the simple truth for us all wherever we are, and is even more critical in franchising.


Ultimately you need self-awareness in the form of mindfulness, you need to focus on impressing yourself not others, and critically you need to exercise humility and listen sincerely to other people’s stories.

The prescription is to follow Amy Cuddy’s formula to acquire ‘Presence’ and bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges.

Creating more sales traffic that sticks

Advertising is expensive and, next to creating your product, probably the most critical and expensive investment for developing and growing a successful business.

You May Have To Sacrifice Equity

Some businesses see advertising as their way to growth but I know this is often a gross oversimplification. And the reason is, advertising done wrong can be the biggest waste of money which can often leave the company without working capital.

It’s quite simple – the best ideas mean nothing without connecting with the marketplace. In fact it’s so critical to make this connection, that Steve jobs gave 30% of Apple to a venture capitalist who invested less than $100,000 to support their initial marketing campaign. Without Steve’s understanding that advertising has to be done right and risking 30% of his company to get the right individual’s know-how, we probably wouldn’t have Apple today, despite the brilliance of their products.

The lesson is brutal in its simplicity.

Understand your marketplace and the need for the right advertising campaign to connect to with it and then fund it – almost at any cost. If you can’t fund the proper advertising campaign then you need to find the funds, which may well mean dilute your shareholding.

If Social Media’s Not Your Space Grit Your Teeth.

If your company can effectively use social media, then count yourself lucky. At least for the moment while the phenomena lasts! Being able to effectively use social media is one way to reasonably easily put your message in front of your market place.

Many of us however do not have an audience keyed into any of the current social media platforms and if this is you, then you are up for an expensive campaign which could be your make or break.

The problem with advertising in marketplaces other than social media is overcoming the saturation of consumer products information which confuses everyone. When I say saturation, there are now over 4000 books published every day and the amount of printed knowledge doubles every four years. So when you consider that as a species we hate confusion, you can see why it’s so hard to shine your product’s light through this marketing fog.

Whichever advertising platform you use, it’s critical to make people aware of your point of difference, and I refer to the discussion about positioning in my January blog ‘Simplest way to beat your competition hands down.’

Key Elements To Your Marketing Message

There are some key lessons to be learned about your message in this respect:

  • It must be simple – and strike the reader as a good idea – immediately!
  • It must be logical – your message must make sense
  • Repetition is critical – you must ‘keep on message’ and continue to relentlessly push your point of difference.

I have been reading Jack Trout’s excellent ‘Differentiate or Die’ again and borrowed from his cautionary comment about creativity where he explains that advertising agents and marketers love being creative, (after all, this is how they win their coveted industry awards). The trouble is, this means they like to change the message often and sometimes not reflect your need for a simple, logical and repetitive message.

New Product Launches

Launching a new range can be far better than trying to adapt an existing one.

In 2001 on the launch of their environmentally friendly car, Honda put it in the body of their successful and long established Civic Hybrid. Swing over to Toyota who, with a similar performing model, created a clearly identifiable Prius that many critics said did nothing better than the Honda. But the Prius success story is now a legend. People wanted to be recognised as driving the friendly vehicle despite its odd looks. There may be a lesson for you here.

It’s a question of people making a choice because it’s what they think they should have based on what others have chosen. How many people you know own a four-wheel-drive or SUV and haven’t taken it off road for example? (Confession, ours has made it twice and very briefly at that.)

Stick To The Script

It’s important to maintain focus. But even the largest companies drop the ball – Coca-Cola was known as ‘The Real Thing’ but they blew because they’ve became creative and tried to replace it with their new versions in new bottles.

So you see the bad news is advertising is not always successful, and certainly not overnight. Also reference the phenomena of light beer taking close to 10 years to gain a foothold in the market in Australia despite all the RBTs outside the pubs every night.

I hope this information helps you exploit your point of difference so you can get on the road and grow your business and harness more raving fans.

So get your act together, set a budget, and then get out there and make it happen. And when you hit the sweet spot at all costs stick to your message and don’t let your creative advertisers make the change too soon!

Next month I’ll be writing about how you, as market leader and an ‘Authority,’ or ‘Key Person or Influence,’ can earn the right to successfully carry that heady crown. The bad news is that unless you’re in the top 10% there’s work to be done, and the good news is it can be fixed!

Click on the links for details of our Franchise Weekend Workshops, to grab a free copy of my book: ‘Should I Franchise My Business?’ or to schedule a free consultation. Or simply visit my website and go to or call 1300 960 136.

Simplest Way To Beat Your Competition Hands Down

In today’s consumer world we are all bombarded with choice. Choice of more suppliers, choice of more products, and every one of them promising to provide better service.

It doesn’t have to be January sale time to see that everyone is competing on price as well.

In consumers’ minds this can be a turnoff and cause decision paralysis.
Add to this volatile mix the new threat of disruptive and innovative new business models such as airbnb and Uber and you had better watch out. You may not be in accommodation or taxis but if you’re not yet struggling against serious competition you can be sure you will be faced with similar challenges soon.

Repositioning is the key

The way to beat this challenge is really quite simple, but most businesses just don’t get it.

It serves us well to recall what Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting said years ago.

“The single purpose of a business is to create a customer, and the business enterprise has two—and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.

“Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

In most businesses, owners and managers spend their time in the day-to-day whereas they should be focused on their marketing differentiation by continually improving, upgrading and innovating their business.

Apple are a classic example because Steve Jobs really understood this concept and he drove the market and everyone else had to follow. Apple did this when they launched and they continue to do this successfully today, growing into one of the world’s largest companies. It’s in their DNA – to succeed into the future you need it in yours too!

“OK” you say, “but we’re different because mine is an everyday consumer business not a leading edge technology company.”

I’m sorry but that’s not an excuse. Look at toothbrushes, one of the most competitive common-or-garden products and simplest examples. Oral-B toothbrushes hadn’t introduced a new toothbrush in the 27 years before Gillette acquired it in 1987. Gillette created a stream of new products and features to create differentiation between Oral-B and Colgate, etc. and enormous growth followed. More importantly they continue to innovate today, not resting on their laurels.

Finding your point of differentiation

What can you do in your business to make you different from competition?

The easiest way is to learn from others so take a while to study successful examples and find role models to inspire you.

Baking and butchery retail is owned by the supermarkets and yet Brumby’s and Lenard’s have continued to grow and sell more expensive products by continually innovating and improving their offer, taking advantage of their flexibility and knowledge of their customer demographic to create distinct market differentiation.

What often happens though, is companies take their eye off their point of difference and either make no changes or try to become everything to everyone. Volvo pioneered the concept of safe cars but they were late with front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, then moved into sporty convertibles and coupes that don’t look safe.

They took their eye off what has made them different – and went broke!

It is a tangible difference not just fancy names.

Many businesses spend a fortune promoting their slogans, or taglines in a big way but really I ask you, what does “Yes” (Optus) and “See what we mean” (Canon) signify. They are meaningless, and what’s in it for the customer? Unless you are clearly a market leader with claim to being No. 1 don‘t waste your efforts here.

Price is the enemy – your difference needs to be meaningful and attractive.

“Any fool can put on a deal” said advertising guru David Ogilvy, “But takes genius faith and perseverance to create a brand.”

When approaching this exercise it’s worth taking note of a quotation from Jack Trout major market executive and author of bestseller “Differentiate or Die” when he says “A crisis is something not to be wasted – use repositioning to make some changes to take advantage of your competition”

The Next Step – Does It Make Sense.

So you have got some good ideas from your incubator but how do you know they’re going to work? Bring some serious brains and discipline to the fore and I don’t believe you can do better than refer to the five tests of clarity defined by Jack Trout when he explains how General Motors re-birthed after being decimated by the GFC. Jack described how in their case they dramatically reduced the number of brands and models and redefined their consumer as the ones being attracted to the emerging Japanese and European brands, and in doing so rose to once again be a dominant player in the industry. How they did this in the super-competitive automotive market it’s worthy of study.

The 5 Tests of Clarity

  1. The problem when solved will be simple – Such as in the solution with GM above.
  2. Does it make sense? – Can people understand it instantly?
  3. Get it in writing – You must be able to express it simply with a few words. The challenge is to get the storyline on the back of a business card.
  4. Does it explode in people’s minds? – Do they get it easily?
  5. The timing must be right – tell me is everything when it’s too soon or if it’s too late and get a result.

I hope this helps you determine your point of differentiation, set yourself apart from the crowd and attract more loyal customers.

Next month we tell you how to get your message to the market.

And for details of our Franchise Weekend Workshops go to where you can also get your free copy of my book ‘Should I Franchise My Business?’

Does Your Business Have What It Takes To Become A Franchise

I have been involved in franchising dozens of businesses, at last count over 60. Some from concept and some where we converted an existing business to the franchised model and I am really happy to deal with either pathway with one really important proviso.

The business owner must have a reasonable understanding on what it takes to run a business successfully – franchised or not.

And unfortunately I have concluded this is easier said than done.

Done well, franchising does help to structure a business so that it has the best chance of success because franchising helps to put some great business practices in place. Systems and money management being at the top of the list. But overall, I have found that in most businesses, there are some aspects about business success which need to be reviewed and without sound business experience, creating a franchise is not likely to succeed.

Understanding how business works is especially important, because you, as franchisor, will often be training less business savvy-franchisees on successful business practice.

The most useful way I have found to think about business success is to look at the stages of business growth because it is through this journey that many learn the value of different business skills needed as they grow.

The 5 Stages of Business Growth


Way back in the early 1980’s, the concept that businesses grow through defined stages was first discussed in an article published in Forbes by Neil C. Churchill and Virginia L. Lewis. This work is still cited to explain the importance of basic business elements to success.

Before I go into the 5 stages, there is one important point to make.

Businesses do not necessarily need to go through each stage. It is possible to speed through stages into whichever is your goal. The way to do this is to understand what is required. This is how the likes of Richard Branson create new businesses everyday – Richard will have all his business ducks in a row before he starts. But even his businesses will need to go through some of these stages on the way to creating an empire.
In a nutshell these are the stages

Stage 1 – Existence

This is generally the start-up stage for any business. With no revenue, the focus of the business owner is obtaining customers and delivering the product or service. Inevitably, the owner is definitely working in the business, often alone filling every role. A major concern is having enough money to cover this start-up phase. The strategy here is simply to stay alive.

Stage 2 – Survival

By now, the business has proven it is workable and can be profitable but it is still simple in structure. There may be a limited number of employees supervised by a sales manager or a general foreman but neither will make any major decisions independently. They carry out the rather well-defined orders of the owner.

Systems development is still minimal. Formal planning is, at best, cash forecasting. The major goal is still survival, and the owner is still the business and working in the business. The main aim is to get a return on investment and making the business profitable.

However if the business is to grow, it is important to begin to understand the need to systemise and understand how business operates.

Some small businesses choose to stay here, hardly making a profit, others choose to move into the Success Stage.

Stage 3 – Success

At this point, the company is stable and profitable and cash is not a problem. Most telling, basic financial, marketing, and production systems are in place to power effective delegation.

Organizationally, the company has grown large enough, in many cases, to have functional managers to take over some duties previously performed by the owner and some planning through operational budgets support this delegation.

There should also be some strategic planning in place and the owner and, to a lesser extent, the company’s managers, should be monitoring this in accordance with goals.

While cash is plentiful, the main concern is to avoid a cash drain in prosperous periods to the detriment of the company’s ability to withstand the inevitable rough times.

Some choose to stay in this phase while others choose to move into a phase of growth.

Stage 4 – Rapid Growth

If the decision is made to grow beyond the Success Stage, then key problems will be how to achieve growth and how to finance it. Growth will return to a phase where cash management becomes critical.

Churchill and Lewis report they found the keys to success here are having a sound understanding of delegation and how to manage risk in cash flow.

As staff numbers grow, systems need to become more refined to ensure delegation is efficient and both operational and strategic planning are crucial to make sure everyone is on the same page.

At this stage, the owner no longer works in the business but does have a strong presence over the way it is run and over things such as stock control.

Churchill and Lewis state:

‘This is a pivotal period in a company’s life. If the owner rises to the challenges of a growing company, both financially and managerially, it can become a big business. If not, it can usually be sold—at a profit—provided the owner recognizes his or her limitations soon enough’

Stage 5 – Maturity

The company has now arrived. It has the advantages of size, financial resources, and managerial talent. If it can preserve its entrepreneurial spirit, it will be a formidable force in the market.

If not, it may enter a sixth stage of sorts: ossification and death.

Franchises often do it better


Yes, even in the 1980’s when the Churchill and Lewis first published their article, it was acknowledged that franchised businesses moved through the stages to Success and Rapid Growth better than those not franchised.


Because franchises often have the following advantages:

First of all, they have, in most cases, a franchisor who really understands, through experience, the essentials of business, making sure clear structures are in place from the beginning to move through Existence and Survival fast.

At the very least they will have:

  • A marketing plan developed from extensive research
  • Promotion and other start-up support such as brand identification
  • Sophisticated information and control systems so the whole franchise can be monitored
  • Operating procedures that are standardized and very well developed so delegation is consistent and efficient

I would add that, if the franchisor has really done the homework, there will also be:

  • Strong leadership for the group and an understanding of managing teams of equal partners
  • Good strategic and operational planning which has input from all franchise partners
  • And a very clear understanding of money management in the franchise group, making sure that all levels of the franchise can be profitable

I have to say, not many business I see have all these business aspects in place when they start to think about franchising. And the franchise process will help to put some in place. Things such as systems will be built and it will be essential to have a sound understanding of money management as the franchise structure is developed. If you are still working in the business though, putting in 60 or 80 hours a week, I think you will find the extra work and emotional energy to do the conversion can be more than a little overwhelming.

The Pillars for Successful Business Growth


So what’s the answer?

It’s really quite simple…

In discussing the five stages of business growth, Lewis and Churchill identified some skills needed and show that these skills are what are built up through the business growth process.

    1. Money management
    2. Systems development
    3. Delegation, leadership and people management which results in leveraging you out of the day to day of the business
    4. Strategic and operational planning

In my mind, today, there is at least one other skill to be added.

  1. Marketing and your brand

The thing is, I know very few of us, if any, have the individual skill to deal with every business ability to a satisfactory level, so creating a team is an essential component as soon as it is possible. The key is to understand each area and to know who to put into your team to move you and your business forward.

So here is some detail.

Marketing and Your Brand

Having a good understanding of your target market, what is wanted of you and what your brand should look and feel like is essential from the earliest days of business.

If you do not understand how important this is, you need to think about getting help from the beginning.

Fundamental today is knowing that people respond to the power of Why. If you do not know of Simon Sinek’s amazing Ted Talk on this then visit Start With Why and listen to what he has to say.

Once your brand is sorted, you need to think about how to get your message out into the very different market place of today. Central to this is your internet presence. Businesses without will generally not have the ability to grow beyond their local area if they even manage to reach that level.

The foundation of marketing today is the ability to communicate to your people in today’s vernacular and the bitter truth is that’s the killer for 80% of businesses.

Money Availability and Its Management

Managing business through the various growth stages from inception to maturity needs a good understanding of money. How to manage cash flow, what level of risk is good (some is inevitable), expense management and the need to spend to get growth.

The other requirement is the need for capital to fund different growth stages. Existence, Survival and Rapid Growth all need capital in one form or another and not having the cash can seriously hinder the process.


Systems are the foundation of a growing business. In the early stages, not so much but moving beyond Survival requires the ability to delegate for which systems are essential.

systems, no growth. It’ as simple as that!

Delegation and Leadership

Delegation needs more than just good systems. The biggest problem faced by many entrepreneurs is letting go. Ego and thinking no one can do it as well as you is a trap.

In today’s business environment, delegation needs to be done in accordance with the three Laws of Type I management – motivating people through their own intrinsic wish to do their best.

Outlined by Daniel Pink in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink looks at how the best organisations motivate today in a way that gives their people the drive to take the organisation far.

First is Autonomy. Select people who love the job they will be responsible for and then give them the autonomy or ability to do it their way with as few essential boundaries as are necessary.

Second is Mastery. Select people with an open mind, who do not see their abilities as finite but rather know they will grow with practice and pain and who love a challenge. Put them into a job where they will always be looking to do things better but not one which will overwhelm. They will then go into the flow and give back to the organisation many fold.

Third is Purpose. Human beings seek purpose, a cause greater and more enduring than themselves. Simon Sinek and his ‘Start With Why’ YouTube video will help to see this point.

If you can combine profit maximisation with purpose maximisation then this will take you far. As Simon Sinek shows, think of Apple as an example.

And finally, remember, leadership requires humility. Yes you need the vision. But the ability to give clear directions at the appropriate level, listen to your troupes, change direction when needed, and really understand what team work is all about is key.

Again, Simon Sinek puts it so well in his latest book ‘Leaders Eat Last’. Simon’s central tenet comes from the US Marines where leaders always stand at the back of the line when it comes time to be fed. If there is no food left, it is their bad luck and that is when they rely on their troupes to provide from their share. Would your troupes willingly feed you?

Strategic And Operational Planning and Keeping an Eye on Those All-Important KPI’s

Finally, this is your job. Especially as the business becomes more sophisticated and grows larger.

Making sure you have an eye on the strategic direction of the business and know where it is going. Every leader has a clear picture of this and can give this picture to the team.

In Conclusion

Yes, at the beginning every business owner is in the business doing every task. But as you grow remember, the more you can put in systems and delegate and have some sort of business direction in place, the faster you will achieve the goals you are looking for.

Goals are great. Planning how those goals are going to be achieved is better. Keeping an eye on how the organisation is travelling against those goals is best.

The more successful your existing business or even a past business, the more likely you have what it takes to create a successful franchise group.

Plan and check out how you are travelling with your team regularly.

Foodies Go Mainstream

There Are New Patterns Emerging As Fresh New Food Choices Challenge The Establishment

When we arrived on the Gold Coast a few years ago, we were encouraged to visit Tedder Avenue in Main Beach for a foodie experience. The strip boasted some of the best foodie outlets we were told.

So we decided to go for a walk along the beach and call in for coffee only to be shocked. This once trendy foodie strip next to the beach in one of the more desirable areas of the Gold Coast has been hit hard simply because it and its tenants have failed to keep up with the times. It was a sad experience.

At least 10 shops along the strip were up for lease. Others, in the main, were cafes and restaurants which would have been proud to offer their fare in the ‘60’s. The trouble is bad service, average coffee and Tip Top toast really does not cut the mustard any more. Our tastes in food, service and venues has changed – forever.

Not that this is a bad thing. The opportunities to make a success are really out there. Main Beach is a high density area of the Gold Coast attracting both long term residents and tourists and there is a real need for a foodie strip in Tedder Avenue and a new fresh take on what is being served is really needed.

But it’s tired and old fashioned and quite frankly, the international franchise sector is changing to provide what is needed in a fresh way and at a reasonable price in such areas.

What are the drivers?

Food has become the new fashion

Without doubt, the media and reality television have been responsible for people understanding more about food. Master Chef and Jamie Oliver have had an influence. People are wanting to know what‘s in the food they’re offered and, in the process, are becoming more discerning. They want local, fresh and quality.

There are two more huge contributing elements, first people’s rapid swing to organic, gluten-free and other food categories associated with a healthy lifestyle and second the growing number of people following weight loss programs including adopting trendy health kicks. Associated with these is a groundswell of support for a different style of fast and convenience food. We see clear signs across the whole industry and it’s affecting the big players. Witness McDonald’s new offerings as they struggle to reverse a serious downturn in sales – 15% last year. McDonald’s has been changing for a while now, first with McCafe to cater to Mum so she is more likely to bring the kids in for a treat, then the low calorie options with wraps and fruit and now the flexible burger – ‘Create Your Taste’ invites you to ‘build the one you want’.

Associated with this, the trend is far smaller more boutique food businesses

Probably the icing on this cake is Neil Perry of Rockpool taking on the burger industry. Apparently he really wants to be known for his seriously good $8.95 burger which he wants made available internationally with the motto ‘fast food – slow food values’. One hundred percent Tasmanian grown beef, pickles, sauce in a bun, this burger will take us by a storm.

There is definitely a trend towards smaller hands-on, owner operated cafes, run by people who visibly have a true passion for what they serve, similar to the model of the old continental Maître De style.

Aziz Elali spotted the opportunity in 2012 and opened his first pizza store, Pizzarazzi, in Hobart in a trendy area patronised by a growing band of foodies. Aziz commented to me that trends are being dominated more and more from the US where exciting new ideas are found in places like San Francisco and New York replicated in a myriad different styles in the small local areas. The future is food vans and small, character-filled, specialist restaurant and café chains.

Agreeing with Aziz is Todd McGregor who lived in New York for a while, coming back with the idea of New York Slice, serving good pizza by the slice to late night revellers from popup stalls.

In this pizza market, Crust and Capers emerged first and were the trendsetters, but they’ve outgrown their ‘local’ image, allowing the likes of Pizzarazzi and New York Slice to slip under the radar. You’d never think there was room for more pizza, but as Todd points out, the major chains only hold 32% of the market so there’s plenty of scope for the smaller groups to secure a healthy but modest market share.

Steve Barker, co-founder of ‘Taps Australia’ have seen an underlying move away from the current ‘everything healthy and organic’ to a more balanced choice of food that’s exciting to the palate. ‘Taps Australia’ has a unique position in the Australian market with their brand of self-serve draught beers accompanied by a ‘Taps’ philosophy of a low key joint for live music American style. People flock to Taps to enjoy the range of craft beers on tap together with a great selection of wines, top shelf spirits and ‘Taps’ Signature ‘Teapot Cocktails’.

This trend is also creating an international move towards smaller regional franchise groups

I saw this years ago with Bushman’s Bakery, which only has a few outlets operating in the NSW Mid-North Coast and hinterland. This family owned franchise group is not looking to grow larger and it serves its regional customers with just the baked goods they want.

Similar small franchise groups are becoming the norm in the US. Why? Well it is easier to provide that local and more personal experience when the group is small, the food sourced locally and everyone knows everyone.

And smaller, simpler franchises are also the go

Expect to see more examples of young, trendy food trucks at an event near you and the food will not necessarily be that health conscious.

A US study in the US predicted that the food truck industry in the US will reach $2.7bn by 2017. And for good reason. A truck is much less expensive than a restaurant and the failure rate for food trucks is just 10% (it’s 60 to 90% for restaurants). With the right equipment and great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time. It fits right into the fast food trendy movement with small on-the-ball franchise groups ready to go.

I really love the Son of a Bun food truck below – anyone up for that?


The 7 Eleven saga and is wage cheating endemic?

Of course there has understandably been a lot of press about 7Eleven recently – which appears to be more about franchisee employment practices than franchising per se. There are always a wide range of success and failure stories around franchising but I have found that within the well-managed franchise groups there is very little to complain about. Most franchises are well structured, well run and successful, which is why the failure rate is way below that for most small business.

For an independent view of franchising the PwC and KordaMentha franchise reports are worth referring to, as is Griffith University’s Franchising Australia Report. These show that franchising is by and large the most successful form of business. And that the scope for growth is very positive.

Yes, there have been a fair share of highly publicised franchise failures over the past few years, including Pie Face, Pets’ Paradise and Krispy Kreme, and in each case the boxes have apparently not been ticked on these items by one or both parties, and the same goes for conventional businesses such as OneTel, Gregory’s and witness Woolworth’s’ Masters nightmare.

Wage cheating occurs across the board as seen in recent high-profile Fairwork scandals involving Peter Doyle’s @Quays, The Thirsty Farmer, Mariana Markets and of course 7 Eleven. But dig a little deeper and you’ll see The Fairwork Ombudsman’s snap audits only reveal a handful of offenders.

But the vast majority of franchised businesses do it well.

As you can appreciate, success in a franchise group rests on a combination of sensible business practice from all parties, in just the same way as it applies to any business. And this is why I am so insistent that converting to the franchise model affects the whole business. You will be creating at least two businesses from the one you now have. And it is not understanding this and the responsibilities of the franchisor which is at the bottom of most of these failures.

The foundation of any franchise is good franchisee selection and due diligence, ensuring good potential profitability for all sides of the franchise, good site selection, and most fundamentally, good training and support. There has to be enough money in the formula to make sure both the franchisee and the franchisor are happily profitable and communication between both sides needs to be open and safe. Making sure this part of the equation can work is the responsibility of the franchisor. And it is in this arena I see some go wrong.

Of course, franchisees also have responsibilities to ensure they understand what they are taking on and to do their part in making their franchise outlet works. The preferred course of action prescribed by The Franchise Code is that franchisees have a certificate signed by lawyer, accountant and a business expert showing they have received professional advice. Unfortunately, some franchisees waive this, as is their right, and so basically accept the liability themselves. Franchisees saying they can’t afford due diligence it is not satisfactory – a bit like saying you don’t insure your car or pay the licence fee for the same reason.

In conclusion my long-held view is that the Australia’s government is sadly missing the chance to create a vast pool of employment opportunities that are waiting to be created by accelerating the growth of the franchise sector – for evidence look at the dynamic government promotion of franchising in countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

5 Reasons Why Startup Franchises Can Fail, and What to Do About It

Griffiths University recently reported that the overall number of franchises fell between 2012 and 2014 largely because of small and unprofitable franchise closures. This wave of closures, in my experience, poses a real “uneasiness” to both aspiring franchisors and franchisees.

But why is this happening?

Is it because the franchisor’s business model is not appropriate for franchising? Or maybe the business owner does not have the necessary skills to operate a franchise system? More important-ly, will this mean that the odds of being able to expand at this particular time are highly stacked against you?

It is worth noting that over the years, many successful franchise systems did start with only one outlet – Subway, Donut King, McDonalds among them. Most new franchise groups start with one or very few outlets. And there are other smaller franchise groups which operate with a small number of outlets and do not wish to grow. Franchises such as Bushman’s Bakery, which is a small, family-run regional franchise group with about 8 outlets, operating on the Mid-North Coast and hinterland now. All these systems have managed to prevail regardless of economic situation or the size of the group.

Knowing you have to start small, the key to having a successful business format franchise system is to start smart and avoid the franchise profit traps.
Here are 5 steps you can heed to not fall and get stuck:

Don’t think a franchise is just a Legal Agreement and an Operations Manual.

A common mistake made by most startup franchisors is not having a clear structure for the way their franchised business will operate. They get caught up in drafting the legal agreement that protects the intellectual property of their business and creating operation manuals that act primarily as a sales tool for prospective franchisees.

While the agreement and franchisee manual are crucial both for the protection of your business and keeping your franchise outlets uniform, you need first to get your franchise business structure right.

Every franchise is based on two kinds of businesses – one for your franchisee delivering your product to your customer and one for you, as a franchisor, providing support to your franchisees. The tasks carried out by these two sides of the franchise are completely different and both have their own franchise operations and procedures manuals and the arrangements between the two determine the details of the legal agreement. Writing the legal agreement before you sort out the arrangements between the two sides is fraught with danger because you don’t yet know what you need.

2. Take care with the product and the location (What product is the target market looking for – Demographics)

In every good business, the product or service is tailored for a particular target market, a group of people who love you and who spend with you. Your tribe. And it is your tribe who will make you profitable.
In a franchise group, knowing the demographic characteristics of your tribe and knowing exactly what they desire from you is even more important.

This is because you will want to hone your product and market it around the desires of your most profitable customers. Do they want upmarket wood-fired pizzas or is the speed of delivery and the price that the defining factor.

It is also because the demographic profile of your tribe feeds directly into the planning you need to do for your franchise territories. These characteristics will determine where your franchisees will be most profitable and how big each area needs to be to give each franchisee an equitable return.

Get these two interlinked things wrong and you will struggle with establishing profitable franchise outlets in the future. Get them right and you’re on the road to sizable growth.

3. Think carefully about ongoing fees to support your franchise outlets, especially for the long term

Many new franchisors overlook the need to charge sustainable ongoing fees to cover the support services they need to give their franchisees. It is not easy in the early days to work out exactly what you will need to do to keep your franchise outlets up and running and to keep your fran-chisees happy. Exactly what should you be doing to help them bring in customers, how much work will your support team need to do to keep them all up to speed, will you be making sure all your franchisees attend the annual conference and how much exactly will you need to run your franchi-sor side of the business – the list is long. And many of your responsibilities will be set in stone in the legal agreement you set up in the early part of your journey.

The thing is, in the early days, you will be receiving one-off payments for franchise territories which can cover much of this work. But, in the longer term, as all your potential territories are filled, this one-off initial income will reduce. Then it will be really important that the on-going frees cover your part of the deal.

Redspot Taxi Trucks Very successfully developed in Perth in the 1980’s to around 20 franchisees. But once there were no more territories to sell, the franchisor business failed because their ongoing support fees had not been calculated correctly. They were not adequate to cover the ongoing support and training needed by a mature group franchisees.

To avoid a similar outcome, spend time carefully working out what support you will provide in the long term and the costs and make sure the way these are reflected in your legal agreement is flexible enough to grow with growing needs.

4. Think about support and marketing – especially in the long term

One of the most profound sayings from Greg Nathan, Principal of Franchise Relationships, is ‘Hap-py franchisees are profitable franchisees.’ Franchise Relationships specializes in working with es-tablished franchise groups to improve the crucial franchisee – franchisor relationship.

Taken together with the notion that it is your franchisees who will bring in the money for both sides of the franchise in return for your services, you need to take care of your part of the agree-ment in detail or your franchises will be at risk of disintegrating.

Basically, as franchisor, you have two jobs.

You need to make sure the marketing for the whole group is strong. This involves making sure the brand looks, feels and acts the same throughout the group, and making sure the leads are coming in so your franchisees have customers to serve.

You also need to provide a strong support system for your franchisees. Something that makes sure they operate their outlets consistent with your brand and they get the attention and training they need.

5. Don’t hire the first person with the money to invest

The right person to take up the role as your franchisee is instrumental in propelling your business forward. You need to really understand the combination of skills, personality, experience and pas-sion you want see your franchise business a successful one. The wrong characteristics can be dev-astating to the morale of the group, especially in a new franchise.

It is so easy to in the first instance to make your decision based on the money that this person of-fers, but don’t fall into this trap.

Consider my experience with Bedshed.

My first experience with Bedshed was where, as a franchisee, I bought out a couple of existing franchisees who struggled with the business. Although they had the funds to purchase the business, they did not have the skills or experience to run the outlets successfully so the outlets were failing. With my business experience, I was able to grow the franchise outlets and then resell them for a profit.

Avoid these issues and you accelerate your expansion program.


We know that people generally have lots of questions when they first join my program. We have listed the most commonly-asked ones below. Please read through these over the next couple of days, as they’ll help you to get your head around the whole process.

Q1. “What would it cost to franchise my business if I used franchise consultants and lawyers to do it for me?”

Somewhere between $55,000 and $150,000 and possibly as high as $200,000 depending on what type of business. As a guide here is a typical cost break down

Feasibility Study $12,000 – $3,0000
Choosing franchise model and structure $5,000 – $12,500
Franchise Agreement $10,000 – $35,000
Disclosure Document $3,000 – $10,000
General Legal Advice – IP and Trade Mark protection, etc $5,000 – $10,000
Operations Manual $10,000 – $30,000
Marketing Plan $5,000 – $11,500
Sales package, process and training $5,000 – $12,000
Total $55,000 – $150,000


The ‘How To Franchise Simply Seven Steps’ cover some additional business planning not usually part of the franchising process. These preliminary steps include things we have found are crucial to creating a successful franchise group. We also offer advice on a myriad other things such as effectively selling your franchises and the changes in business and management style needed by your new business.

Q2. “What does it cost to franchise my business using the ‘How To Franchise Successfully’ Program?”

From as little as $9,989 for the Gold Mentoring Program you will be able to have your business franchise ready, excluding franchise legals. Once completed you can attend to the franchise legals with us or your own lawyer…
The Gold Plus and Accelerated Mentoring Programs are more comprehensive and effective and can be completed faster. But the most you will pay is around $35,000 for a program that includes the franchise legals and input from a number of external experts in business coaching, operations and procedures manuals, and territories, as well as access to an experienced franchise mentor, our easy to use templates, a weekend workshop on franchising and more.

Q3. “What Ongoing support do I receive?”

Included in the initial purchase price of all our programs is

  • The Program Modules
  • Supporting Material and Templates
  • Two tickets to a Franchise Training Workshop
  • Videos of the workshops
  • Access to Brian Keen as you go through the Program
  • Regular podcasts where Brian discusses issues with franchise experts
  • Access to the Members’ Website
  • The Help Desk
  • And more…

And with our Gold Plus Program you also receive

  • 12 months support with Brian Keen
  • Complete franchise legal documentation from Ivan Poole Lawyers
  • The Kickstart Coaching Program
  • We’ll give you access to our franchise accountant
  • Consultation with leading international territory expert consultant
  • Consultation program with an expert business strategist to help you with your operations and procedures manuals
  • Recruitment Workshop with Brian Keen
  • Access to the Members’ Website
  • The Help Desk
  • And more…

Q4. “How easy is it to use?””

The program is very easy to use. It is broken into a number of ‘bite-size’ units and you are given easy step-by-step instructions on what to do with examples.

There is help at hand to assist you through the process.

Q5. “What guarantees do I get with the program?”

We offer to fail-safe, no hassles guarantees to all our members:

1. The Franchise For Success Program has a lifetime guarantee; if anything goes wrong with our program material and we cannot repair it we will replace the program at no cost to you.

2. We also offer all new members our unique ‘cast iron’ guarantee – if after your Franchise Business Health Check Workshop you decide that for whatever reason our program is not for you then contact us, return any material you have and we’ll refund all the fees you have paid less the value of the Franchise Business Health Check and cancel your subscription! Without question.

Q6. “How does the process work?”

I will give you my easy-to-follow, step-by-step process for franchising a business. Along the way you’ll get most of the tools, templates and checklists that I have developed.

But, as some of the templates are for things that you can also get from your lawyer or accountant I give you the opportunity to go to them if you wish.

If you do not wish to use other consultants, I also have simple templates for my members for these actions and give you details on how to use them. Most of my clients prefer to purchase my heavily discounted templates and use my expert franchise lawyers and other franchise expert consultants then possibly get their lawyers or accountants to check the completed forms. They find that it is a very much cheaper option.

I give instructions and a look at examples of real franchises that you can learn from. From there you need to apply what you’ve learnt to design and deliver your own systems to franchise your business. You will have to work on your own business to put the systems and processes in place – after all, no-one knows your business like you do!

But don’t forget that as you take the first of my seven steps, I will be there to answer your questions to take as much of the pressure off as possible. So let’s begin!

Q7. “How long does each Unit in the Program take to go through?”

Each unit contains specific insights on different aspects of how to take your business from a single outlet to a multi-outlet franchised business. The earlier units will guide you through my seven steps in some detail and give you a number of actions to take. Please note that many years of experience have shown us that following the process sequentially from beginning to end gives the most successful results.

It may take you varying times to cover the actions listed in each unit. The length of time it takes you will depend on the time you have to put into each task and the complexity of your business. It will also depend on how experienced you are in business as a whole.

Relax though… you don’t have to do it all in one hit; and this is not supposed to be like school!

You can choose to go faster or slower if you want. If you fall behind it doesn’t matter as you’ll always have access to the information. You can re-visit, and go at the pace that suits you.

Q8. “How long will it take me to franchise my business?”

Experience over more than three decades in this business has shown me that by following a simple step-by-step procedure most business owners will be able to franchise their businesses and start selling their new franchises within about 12 to18 months. If you choose to accelerate the process, this can be as quick as six months and in some cases even sooner. More complex businesses may take a little longer.

‘How to Franchise Simply’ offers different levels of membership Gold, Gold Plus and Accelerated Mentoring Program.

The higher levels which offer expert support with business coaching, franchise lawyers, territories and operations and procedure manuals in addition to access to the units generally help business owners to go through the process faster and more successfully.

Q9. “What if I know nothing about franchising?”

Great! You’re in exactly the right place. The information we are going to be teaching is as useful for someone who already understands business and franchising, all the way down to beginners.

For those who are a little more advanced, you’ll find the expert tips and interviews keep you up to date. The processes we offer are a more streamlined and effective way of franchising and you will find you can get through them faster.

For those who know nothing except for what you’ve learnt from attending the occasional seminar and seeing all the franchise businesses out there, I’ll explain everything for you.

Q10. “What if I don’t understand something?”

No problem! You can always email a question to myself and my team at any time. If it’s a quick answer we might respond immediately, or otherwise I will address it within 24 hours or we might tee up one of your one-on-one phone calls.

You might also find your answer or a bit more information on the FAQ page here in the members’ area.

Q11. “How much can you make by franchising a business?”

This can be so varied. It depends on the nature of the product you are selling, how many franchisees with separate outlets you are able or want to put in place and how the system is delivered to them.

The one thing I can tell you for sure. If you are a good franchisor with a fabulous product and have good work ethics, looking after your franchisees well, you will be able to ask for what you want!

Q12. “Why isn’t everyone doing it like you?”

Great question! Although you’ll find once you start looking closely at their techniques and strategies that a surprising number of people are. The thing is that sometimes the consultants helping people franchise their businesses are specialists in only one area of the business. So they tend to leave out crucial bits because they don’t understand the overall picture of running a business, especially a business with multiple business partners which is what franchising involves.

The thing is, if you want to be successful as a franchisor you need to know all aspects of the business and then delegate successfully to your franchisees and let them do the work! That’s why I created this mentoring program, to help you through every part of the business simply in a step-by-step process.

Q13. “Can I apply your ideas in any area of business?”

Absolutely! Because you will be learning lots of different tools, skills and secrets from all the aspects of the franchise process, you will be able to apply these in any business that meets our suitability criteria.
It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, chiropractor, coach, information marketer, internet marketer, swimming pool sales person, real estate developer or hairdresser. There is a way to apply this information to massively leverage your business.

Q14. “How do the One-on-One sessions work?”

As part of the program you have 12 x 10 minute Skype or phone calls with me or one of the business coaches or franchise mentors. The reason they are like this is so that you get really clear about your questions before your call so you can get the most out of your access to our experts.

If you have a question here’s how to get it answered so that you save your calls for the best use for you.

  1. Check this FAQ area to see if your question has been asked before. We are constantly updating this with questions that we receive.
  2. If it’s not here you have two steps to take:
    1. Send us an email to with an outline of your question.
    2. We may be able to answer it by email so saving your phone call for something more important later.
    3. If we, or you, think you need a discussion with one of our experts, we will ask you to book a call with the most appropriate expert for the question you are asking. You will be directed to our business coach or franchise mentors depending on the details you submit in your email.

If you want longer or more of these sessions, you can organise this with our support team. Send us an email to with your request.

Q16. “How do I cancel my membership?””

All our programs are a 12 month commitment for you and us and to obtain maximum benefit we recommend you take advantage of the full year. If there are extraordinary circumstances then contact us to discuss how we can make suitable alternative arrangements.

Q16. “Can I get access to some of the later Units if I want to fast-track the process?”

If you make your investment in one payment you will receive all the units together, otherwise you receive them as you subscribe for each module. If you wish to fast-track simply contact us to arrange earlier subscription payment.

Please email us at if you’d like some more information about these options.

Q17. “Can I access previous Units regardless of when I join?”

When you join our mentoring program, you start at the beginning and receive emails as you purchase the modules which link you through to the onlineUnits. Provided you keep the link, you always have access to them, so you can view them as many times as you want.

Brian Keen

Looking For A Franchise Advisor?

The great benefit of franchising is that it enables you to replicate a proven business model in a new location, fast, effectively and with greater certainty of success than with a traditional start-up.

Given this, it’s easy to think that for a franchise to succeed little more is needed than to simply ‘clone’ what works in one place and then plug in a franchisee.

However, viewing a franchise as a ‘one size fits all’ business operation is a mistake. Even if the franchisee is someone who knows the business well – an existing employee, a friend or family member for instance – an understanding of local market conditions is still crucially important.

How does a franchise work?

Franchising is the ideal way for an ambitious entrepreneur to grow their business and achieve maximum returns from it with minimal risk. So how does a franchise business work?

In essence, franchising allows someone else under licence and for a fixed period – a franchisee – to recreate your original business model somewhere else using your established systems and branding.

Franchises can be set up to manufacture products, say soft drinks; to sell products, which is what car manufacturers do by licensing dealerships to sell their cars; or to provide services, such as hairdressing salons.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

how does a franchise business work

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

As the franchisor – the owner of that original business model – you make money from the one-time upfront fee people pay to become your franchisee, then from the on-going licence fees that follow.

How does a franchise work for the franchisee?

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”″][vc_column_text]

They benefit from buying into a tried and tested business model that’s already shown it can make profits, meaning they have a much greater chance of success than they would if they were starting up their own business from scratch to bring a product or service to market. If successful, franchisees may go on to hold multiple outlets.

And how does a franchise work to grow a business long-term? Because franchisees are using their own money to build their own individual franchise business, franchisors don’t have to find the capital, or the energy, to develop new outlets themselves as they would to grow a business conventionally.

McDonald’s, Subway and Domino’s Pizza all show how successful the franchise model can be when properly developed and controlled. But it’s not just in fast food that you will find them – automotive, cleaning and maintenance, health and fitness, financial services, pet-related franchises, gardening, wedding planners, relationship consultants, retail outlets for clothing and hardware, are just some of the 120+ sectors you’ll find them in.

How does a franchise business work in vastly different industries? In exactly the same way. Whatever the sector, the key to success is always to ensure that each outlet is making an adequate return on investment and that the network of outlets as a whole is generating sufficient profit for the owner of the brand.

To ensure that happens, franchisors must apply their brand rules strictly and effectively across the whole of their franchise network.

If they don’t, the franchise brand may be in danger of dilution, it may start to look tired and stale, or out of step with changing market conditions … in other words, no longer fit for purpose.

When that happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract new franchisees, and existing ones will feel let down. And that lack of franchisor support and engagement will be reflected not just in the franchisee’s profits, but also the franchisor’s.

But, when franchisor and franchisee see themselves as working together in an effective ‘franchise partnership’, the mutual rewards can be significant.

In which case, when anyone asks “how does a business franchise work?”, the answer will be “exceptionally well, thank you.”