Sunday, December 14, 2008

Startup Tips Series: Fundamentals of Franchising by Armando Bartolome (Part 4)

Subtitle: Why is “hands-on management” better than “remote controlled management?” Why, in franchising, it’s still 80% work (on your part) and 20% brand?

Note: This is PART 4 in a series of posts on Start Up Tips: Fundamentals of Franchising by Armando “Butz” Bartolome. The full series is PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5 and PART 6.

PART 4, Mr. Bartolome talked about why it’s a deadly mistake to manage your business from a distance. Here’s PART 4 of Bam Aquino’s interview with Mr. Armando Bartolome:

(START OF INTERVIEW – PART 4)

BUTZ: So, a, but you have to manage the business your own. Don’t rely and say, “A, I know, customers will come, because I have (the) brand – no, you have to be hands-on.

The sec, the technique here, the secret is, how well you spend the time in managing the business?

BAM: So even if it’s another person’s, for example, another company or another person’s original idea or business, you have to treat that really like your own.

BUTZ: Of course.

BAM: So you can’t just invest the money, hire a general manager and then leave it.

BUTZ: Or even do remote, remote, remote control. Don’t do that.

BAM: A lot of franchisees do that, parang they have different franchises that they just, once in a while, go to the franchise. That’s a bad idea?

BUTZ: That’s a deadly mistake. Suicide. Because I’ve seen a lot of successful franchisees, um, even if they have 3 or 4 franchises or branches, they are there; they’re on top of the game. They know and they really are people-oriented. They have good teamwork.

Don’t do remote control or all this technology that you can do by remote, -- camera, webcam…

Be an involved entrepreneur. Don’t manage your franchise from distance. (Source: Start Up)

BAM: May webcam ka nalang everywhere…

BUTZ: Can’t, can’t. You have to be in touch, like talking to your customers. Do you really know how your store behaves, you know, like the customers in the area; do you really know what they’re asking for?

BAM: And no matter how well-known your franchise is, you still have to do that, right?

BUTZ: Of course. I always say, you get a franchise, the 80% is still your work, the 20% is the brand.

BAM: Just 20?! Wouldn’t people think that 80% is done already and 20% nalang ang (kailangan nila?).

BUTZ: Because you’re still managing the store. Ok, you’re doing the inventory, the cost control, you’re managing people, you’re talking to customers, you’re doing marketing, etc. But the franchisor’s there to help you out.

BAM: I guess that’s the key, no. The franchisor’s there just to help you out. They won’t run you’re business for you.

BUTZ: No. A lot, it’s a common mistake that people, when you get a franchise daw, a, the franchisor will work for you. No, it’s working WITH the franchisor.

And you have a system, and in fact, I tell people, you know, what they call it the acronym of SYSTEM is, is that Save Your Self Time, Effort and Money, which is true. Um, because the franchisor gives you the system, but you have to work with it, not against it.

(END OF INTERVIEW – PART 4)


Take note, take note, take note… :-)

1. You have to be hands-on. Don’t manage your business from a distance. Let me tell you this, even if you’re Bette Midler’s “OMG!-I’m-so-like-your-super-number-one-fan” fan, when it comes to business, it’s simply not a good idea to manage your business “from a distance”. Well, that’s what Mr. Bartolome said. But the truth is, I have “mixed opinions” regarding this one. I guess, this only applies to small or medium enterprises? (Can someone help me out? :-))

I’m a big believer of “customer-centricity” when it comes to business. You have to take care of your customers, because if you don’t, somebody else will. Mr. Bartolome said: “You have to be in touch, like talking to your customers.” Get to know them. Get to know what they need from your business.

Of course, with all the technology and whatnot that we have right now, it’s so easy to become slaves of technology slash materialism slash consumerism – webcam, cellphones, computers, the Internet, email, etc. But I know that these kinds of technology are here to stay. We just have to learn to “live” with them and use them to our advantage (particular services that come to mind are Smart Communication's Mobile Eye, and Globe’s Inventory Ordering System).

2. When you get a franchise, it’s still 80% work (on your part) and 20% brand. I agree. But the brand can really get you off the ground and running, fast. But in the long run, I believe that your success will depend on how you manage your business. The franchisor’s there to help you out, but he will not run the business for you.

3. The franchisor will not run the business for you. You will have to run it WITH the franchisor. Managing your business would mean doing the inventory, cost control, managing people, marketing, etc. Yes, it does sound like a lot of work (because it is), but you need not to worry because you wouldn’t be a “franchisee” without a “franchisor”. Ask help. Learn from him/her. :-)

4. Work with the franchisor’s system, not against it. Mr. Bartolome said, “one thing with franchising, you get into business that’s proven with a proven success. There’s a model, e.” So work with the franchisor’s “proven system,” not against it.

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