How do Business Competencies complement those of a franchise system and its growth strategy?
Should I buy a franchise based on “what I am good at”? Maybe, no.
What are core competencies? These are hardwired skills and talents that can take time to develop fully or you are born with.
The best example I can think of is when you change your major. For example, I thought it would be great to be a Psychologist – more specifically a Developmental Psycho-Biologist. I did not like the psych classes, especially my fellow students. Some of them were so needy and confused. I also worked in a book store shelving books. I avoided the self-help section for that same reason. I really do not have any patience with people. I am a things person – process. So, moving over to a business major was a much better career path for me. I enjoyed the marketing classes, the sales channel processes, and the management classes. On the other hand, HR and accounting – yuck. If you look at my SpotOn! Profile, you will see that I never should have wasted my time in those classes. Fortunately, my husband Mike, the patient, kind and fair guy, does a great job with people. He seems to like it at times.
How do Business Competencies complement those of a franchise system and its growth strategy? Newer systems need people with leadership/vision and more established systems need people who are more technical and customer service orientated. Why is this important?
I can give you another personal experience. When we started with Comfort Keepers in 2001, they were a new system. There were some processes in place, but for the most part, Mike and I had to figure it out for ourselves. But that was fine because we are both strong in the leadership and vision core competency. As our business grew to a multi-unit office, we began to take on different roles. Fortunately, where I am strong, Mike is weak, and vice versa. As the system matured, it became more difficult for us to pay to our strengths. Comfort Keepers began a pilot program for a new services offering, so we jumped at the chance to participate. Our office had the highest revenue in the program. We were able to use our natural talents to grow within the system. As the system continued to mature, we felt our ability to use our natural strengths had diminished. We saw that the business needed someone stronger in the executive role and we knew that we needed to either sell or hire a manager to take the business to the next level.
The experience and training we received have made us better at hiring, firing, accounting, sales, marketing… Owning our businesses was like getting an MBA.
So, what are the Core Competencies:
Leadership & Vision
Sales & Channel Planning
Marketing & Public Relations
Executive & Management
Human Resources & Training
Admin & Customer Service
Finance & Bookkeeping
R&D & Technical
What does all this mean to you? Core Competencies are important to the fit of a franchise; however, it is not the most important piece of the puzzle. Remember, you can be trained in any of these areas and some franchises have systems in place where you will not need to be as proficient. For example, you may be great at customer service skills and the system you are looking at has a centralized call center. You may not have much interaction with people, so this may not be a good fit for you. On the other hand, you may not like doing paperwork and setting up appointments, so having a call center is great. You just go where they tell you to go.
What you want to find is a system where you are interdependent versus codependent. This will avoid redundancy in the effort, lower costs and everyone will be better in their roles. The Cheaper, Faster, Better Principal.