Franchise Your Way to Success

When I die, I want my obituary to close with the following:  “The family asks that donations be sent to The Society for the Prevention of Spontaneous Human Combustion.” That should give people something to think about!

This week’s thought is about “franchising.” What does death have to do with franchising? Quite a bit. This method by which you can increase your effectiveness at work dramatically…

…demands that you think of yourself posthumously.

How well would your organization operate without you? How easily could your employees operate without your presence? What would happen to confidence levels within your organization if you were gone?

If you really want to make progress, you need to arrange your organization so that your presence doesn’t matter.

Think of how a franchise works. You’ve certainly noticed that no matter where you go, McDonalds food products taste the same, are produced the same way, and are packaged the same way. The franchise system is such a machine that you could pick up a McDonald’s employee in Yarmouth, MA, drop that person down in a McDonalds in Perryton, TX, and the employee would hardly skip a beat. These restaurants are so organized and consistent, practically the only thing that changes from store to store is employee nametags.

Franchising is a way to be certain that performance throughout a company is replicable and reduces the need for significant management. The idea here is to make yourself dispensable.

So now you’re probably asking, “Mightn’t I be let go if I have nothing to do?”

Well I guess so, if you sat on your duff all day. But think about it: what would life be like in an organization that didn’t need you? You’d have plenty of time on your hands. And with all of that time, what mighty goals could you develop? What masterful plans could you create?


Here’s how to get started:

  • First 30 days: Make sure each of your staff creates an operations manual for each and every responsibility. It should be so detailed that someone could walk in off the street, read the manual and get to work (well, that’s the idea anyway).
  • Next 30 days: Have each person create a list of each and every “hiccup” in their system that needs the attention of you or someone else on the staff in order to be resolved. Prioritize and address these hiccups.
  • Final 30 days: Let things run on their own. Have the staff resolve as many challenges and questions on their own that they can manage.

The goal is to create a process so clearly defined that you could duplicate the exact system elsewhere… just like a franchise. When you have accomplished this, you are now free to do what will bring exponential growth: plan the future.

Die to the present; live to your future. And leave your legacy in stone for others to emulate.

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