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Feature Story:

Overcoming Excuses: 6 Ways To Gain The Edge And Meet Your Goals »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals, says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt.
"Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage," says Waldschmidt, author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success, (www.EdgyConversations.com).
"Ideas, brilliance, genius - they all mean nothing without the guts, passion, and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals...

Feature Story:

Re-Brand, Re-Model, Or Re-Train?: Improve Hiring And Training To Increase Sales »

By Nate DaPore

Over time, every brand evolves to stay relevant to its customers. You may not go through a corporate "rebranding" exercise to the extent that Wendy's, Burger King, or Arby's recently did, adopting a new logo, new store design, and/or new products. If you operate restaurants, think about it: at some point, did you add new items to your menu, redecorate your dining areas, or buy updated employee uniforms? All of these areas, along with your logo and name, combine into your unique brand. Changing just a few of these is a smaller version of rebranding.
Rebranding your franchise is expensive. The costs associated with designing, building, and rolling out a new logo, store design, signage, uniforms, packaging, and advertising (just to name a few) can cost large franchises millions of dollars and countless hours...

Feature Story:

Bankable Leadership: Great Leaders Develop Happy People And Bottom-Line Results »

By Dr. Tasha Eurich

Why won't my employees just do what I tell them? Why am I struggling to motivate my team? Why aren't they giving me the performance I need? If any of these questions sound familiar to you, you're not alone.
You've probably been promoted at some point because you're a competent technical professional. You know how to build a bridge, negotiate a deal, or justify a capital expenditure. But your technical skills usually won't help you be a better leader.
Effective leadership has an undeniable business value. In one study, Jack Zenger and colleagues ("How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits") examined the best (top 10%) and worst (bottom 10%) leaders at a large commercial bank. On average, the worst leaders' departments experienced net losses of $1...

Feature Story:

In-House Or Out?: Focus On Your Best And Outsource The Rest »

By Eddy Goldberg

Franchising is all about outsourcing. Someone comes up with a great concept and essentially outsources its growth to franchisees so corporate can focus on its core task of system development. Why not take that idea and apply it to your own multi-unit organization? After all, if the prevailing wisdom at larger companies is to focus on their core competencies and outsource the rest, why should it be any different for you?
"The important thing to remember is to take on the responsibility for the things you do best. Outsource the things that are time-consuming or a challenge for you, so that you can focus on strategy and growth," says Sean Falk, a multi-unit franchisee with 12 units in the food sector.
Key questions in making a decision to outsource include: What are your core competencies? Can you afford it at this stage of development, or are you still feeling you have to keep doing it yourself? What should you outsource, when, and for how long? And perhaps most important: Can you let go?
Smaller and younger companies often don't have the $150,000 to $175,000 to hire an in-house CFO, or an in-house sales person at $60,000 to $80,000 a year plus 5 percent of sales...

Feature Story:

Creativity Under Pressure: 4 Ways To Come Up With Brilliant Ideas When The Pressure's On »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Here's an intriguing idea from New York Times best-selling author and writing coach Michael Levin, "Creativity is a muscle; use it or lose it."
Levin says anyone can grow their creativity just like any other muscle. "I define creativity as 'the ability to develop great ideas while under pressure,'" he says. "Pressure creates diamonds, so why shouldn't it also create great ideas?"
But sometimes, pressure paralyzes creativity.?"I've experienced it when writing under deadline pressure and writing under the pressure of my own high expectations," he says. "Over time, I've developed several tricks to stimulate my creative muscle and help me come up with great ideas for whatever challenge I face - whether it's writing or figuring out how to arrange a busy family weekend schedule so that everyone's needs are met...

Feature Story:

Loyalty Deserves Rewards: Create A Rewards Program That Suits You (And The Customer!) »

By Jack Mackey

The best loyalty programs do four things:

Feature Story:

Corporate Culture: 4 Cultural Values And Behaviors Of Successful Companies »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Whether you're launching a new business or wondering why your existing company isn't performing as well as predicted, longtime corporate executive Larry Katzen suggests taking a careful look at your business plan.
Did you include a section describing the workplace culture and the steps you'll take to foster that culture?
"When you look at why businesses fail, it almost always has something to do with the culture," says Katzen, author of, And You Thought Accountants Were Boring - My Life Inside Arthur Andersen, www.larrykatzen.com. "For nearly half of the startups that fail, incompetence is cited as the major cause, according to Statistic Brain. Tolerating - or not tolerating - incompetence is part of corporate culture."
Katzen, a former managing partner at one of the world's top five accounting firms, says his experience taught him a great deal about what kind of culture results in successful businesses...

Feature Story:

Come Together: CEO Shares Tips For Encouraging Productive Collaboration In Meetings »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In survey after survey, company meetings get knocked by everyone from employees to senior executives as being among the biggest waste of work hours.
In one poll, by Office Team, 45 percent of senior executives said their firms would be more productive if they banned all meetings at least one day a week!
"The problem that often occurs - beyond the obvious, like lacking a clear agenda - is the underlying current of competition that each person brings to the table," says Berny Dohrmann, chairman and founder of CEO Space International, and author of Redemption: The Cooperation Revolution, (www.ceospaceinternational.com). 
"Competition pulls people apart; cooperation brings them together. Signs that competition is causing unproductive meetings include one or two people dominating the floor; individuals touting their achievements; people consistently failing to contribute their ideas because they fear being criticized or ridiculed," he says...

Feature Story:

Pardon Me, Is This Your Two Grand? »

By Nate DaPore

If you're not filing employee tax credits, it could be.

Do you know there is "free" money out there for your business, and that it is easier than ever to claim it? Last year alone, TaxBreak, a tax credit recovery and processing firm, discovered more than $200 million in available tax credits for clients. Many businesses don't take advantage of the tax credit opportunities available to them, for several different reasons.
Tax credits are designed to encourage businesses to provide job opportunities to groups such as veterans, those in a specified demographic, or those in a specific geographic area. To qualify, your business must have recently paid federal taxes and be for-profit. Businesses with hourly workers and high turnover tend to see the highest qualification rates...

Feature Story:

Giving Credit: 4 More Reasons Franchise Owners Should Explore Prepaid Expense Cards »

By Toffer Grant

Corporate prepaid credit and debit cards offer a new approach to managing day-to-day employee spending that, until now, was available only to the largest corporations. Unlike standard business credit cards, a prepaid expense card ensures employees never have direct access to the company’s business credit line. Employers no longer need to worry about exceeding credit limits or getting hit with late fees or interest charges.
Franchisees across a wide variety of industries across the globe are implementing prepaid expense cards to streamline their business expenses. Here are four more reasons to consider a corporate prepaid expense card program for franchise businesses.

1. Prepaid expense cards are less limiting than credit cards...

Feature Story:

Employee Credit: 4 Reasons Franchisees Should Explore Prepaid Expense Cards »

By Toffer Grant

As a franchise owner, your employees are likely making purchases on behalf of you and your business, which can conflict with the strong need you have to control expenses and limit risk. The dilemma here is that many franchise owners are uncomfortable handing over a business credit card to their employees.
Your comfort level when it comes to providing spend authority can be managed based on the type of tool selections you select. However, most options on the market for expense management are credit-based. These require a personal credit guarantee by the business owner to accept the responsibility of the debt if your company cannot pay. It's a big decision.
Companies with workers on the road now have a game-changing option: corporate prepaid expense cards...

Feature Story:

Wasted Time: 12 Reasons Why Employee Training Fails »

By John Tschohl

Most of the money and time companies spend on training is wasted. That's because the majority of companies use outdated training ideas and boring training methods.
Training that is poorly presented goes in one ear and out the other. It's no wonder employees don't change their attitudes or behaviors after they attend a badly presented training session.
After working in the training field for more than 40 years on six continents, I've seen 12 reasons why group training fails:

Feature Story:

Extreme Mentoring: Don't Hesitate To Give The Gift To Someone Else »

By Steve Farber

What if you could give someone a really special gift that would cost you no money at all? And what if that no-cost gift could significantly change another's life? Well, you could and it will.
You can give yourself as a "gift" to someone you love, believe in, or admire by taking that person on as your Greater Than Yourself (GTY) Project. Think of the Greater Than Yourself approach as Extreme Mentoring, if you will.
I'd highly encourage you extend yourself in this deeply meaningful way. I think you'll notice all kinds of payoff. And to help you make this relationship official (whether or not you already have a GTY Project), we've created this gift certificate for you to use.
Please read the following text from the certificate...

Feature Story:

Favor The Customer: Allow Empowered Employees To Create Profits »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Companies can make more money when they empower employees to make decisions that create over-happy customers, says John Tschohl, president of Service Quality Institute.
"Employee empowerment is defined as allowing employees to make fast decisions - on the spot - in favor of the customer. Empowerment is the single most difficult skill to get employees to utilize. That's a problem for businesses and government because if you don't have empowered employees, you will never be a service leader," says Tschohl, who is the author of Empowerment: A Way of Life.
"It is critically important for businesses to give employees the power to make decisions on the spot because one policy can't cover everything. There are too many weird things that happen every day...

Feature Story:

Engaged For Success: Creating Real Employee Engagement From The Ground Up »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

These days we hear plenty about employee engagement. We know disengaged employees are bad for business. We know an office full of innovative, collaborative employees who feel like "owners" is the key to surviving a brutal marketplace. We may even know the statistics like Human Capital Institute's revelations that companies with highly engaged employees enjoy profit growth at three times the rate of their competitors, and that increased engagement reduces turnover--one of the largest hidden costs in business--by 87 percent.
So, yes: We know. Why then is it so incredibly tough to move beyond the "buzzword" phase and truly transform enthusiasm fakers, paycheck collectors, and clock watchers into employees who truly feel like they have a stake in your company's success?
"Frankly, it's because in many cases employees really don't have a stake," says Michael Houlihan, coauthor along with Bonnie Harvey of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand...

Feature Story:

Failing To Lead: Avoid These 3 Leadership Myths »

By Erick Lauber, Ph.D.

Bradley was failing, and failing badly.
Not only did the members of his team avoid him in the lunchroom and never stop by to say “good morning,” they had begun taping a target to his back every day and everyone had signed up for archery lessons. Bradley’s leadership style just wasn’t working.
Unfortunately, Bradley’s core problem was that he suffered from several leadership myths he’d picked up from pop culture. Like many of us, he didn’t have any formal training in leadership so his beliefs came mostly from watching movies. Leadership to Bradley was square-jawed men taking on insurmountable odds, rallying the troops with award-winning speeches, and humbly waiting for passionate kisses from pretty co-stars. Bradley thought he was prepared to be a great leader because though he didn’t have a square jaw and no one had tried to kiss him in years, he had been practicing his motivational speeches in the mirror...

Feature Story:

Break The Habit: 4 Things To Stop Doing To Improve The Customer Experience »

By Lisa Ford

The customer experience is all about doing things that will be memorable and of value to the customer. Start with the basics and fundamentals. Once you have gotten them right, you will have earned the customer's trust and repeat business. To keep them loyal, break out and be different. There are plenty of companies offering what you offer, so be decidedly different. With that being said, there are things you must stop doing if you want to stand out.

1. Stop asking the customer to repeat information they have told you already. This includes asking them to repeat identifying information already keyed in while listening to prompts. Make certain transfers are smooth and seamless by sharing key information with the next team member...

Feature Story:

The Human Element: Drive Performance By Managing The Whole Employee »

By Marty Martin Psy.D.

The term "human resources management" is essential in business. But have you noticed that the majority of the literature about the topic focuses on the "resources" and the "management" aspects but barely addresses the "human" element? As a result, most managers see their employees as resources to be managed, and not as a whole person that can contribute so much more.
Managing the whole person means acknowledging that everyone is multi-dimensional and has numerous roles to balance in life--all of which affect job performance. However, this goes much deeper than simply work-life balance. It's about recognizing all aspects of an employee to ensure a work-life "fit" that benefits the company and each individual. In fact, when you focus on the whole person rather than just on an employee's work performance, you build more meaningful connections with employees, resulting in greater loyalty and productivity...

Feature Story:

Well-Balanced Life »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

5 tips that go a long way towards a healthy "life worth"

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker, and former CEO who works with some of the world's top corporations and business schools.
"I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth," says Kunath, author of Life ... Don't Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).
"I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn't make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff...

Feature Story:

A Disengaged Workforce: Recognize 'Human Equity' And Focus On Individuals' Strengths »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A Gallup poll from earlier this year shed light on an ugly little secret in the business world: Most American workers either hate their jobs or don't care one way or the other about them.
Less than a third of Americans are actively engaged in their work, meaning they're passionate about it, enthusiastic, and energetic. They're consistently productive, and high performing.
Gallup estimates the 20 million who are "actively disengaged" - openly negative and unhappy have a staggering effect on the economy, costing the United States $450 to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.
"To engage the 70 percent of non-committal or 'actively disengaged' employees, business managers need to change how they view human capital," says Trevor Wilson, CEO of TWI Inc...



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