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I Remember MAMA, Do You? Letting go of your ego, timeouts, printing time and other secrets of the master franchise operator.

No single factor is more important to the success of your business than how you and your staff choose to spend time--each day, week, month, half and year--it is the rhythm of your business. Stay in rhythm and your dance card will be full. Get out of step and you'll be dancing alone. This article examines how the best franchise operators leverage time to achieve annual performance goals.

ALL SET?

While it's warm now, the calendar says winter is fast approaching. That means it's time to prepare new goals for a new year. You've thought it through and created a set of goals (a skill in and of itself) that address the essentials of your business--profit, people, process and product. You've defined success and determined how to measure it. You share your goals and your vision for achieving them with the staff. You've broken down the steps so that each role, functional area, geography or unit understands what they need to do to make it all come together. Now it's time to flip the switch to autopilot, sit back for 12 months and let the system work. Job well done--you!

NO. NEIN. NAY. NO WAY.

When it comes to business performance there is no cruise control. What you do next will determine if your goals will drive performance or go the way of nearly every New Year's resolution.

When great operators think about achieving their goals, they remember MAMA: Model, Analyze, Modify, Apply.

MODEL THE WAY

Vision is easy, execution is hard. Anyone can paint a picture of a rosy tomorrow. Getting your team to the promised land takes your leadership.

Whether you feel it or not, your team is watching you. They are constantly wondering whether you mean what you say or if it's all just talk. Here are three ways you can prove you are the real deal:

Way 1

HONOR THE EFFORT

Seek out opportunities to connect, credit and celebrate individual contributions to driving the bottom line. Give credit to others and they'll credit you right back.

Way 2

ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES

Participate in the processes you've asked others to adopt. Your team wants to know that what you've asked is achievable and that you're willing to do it too--show them you are.

Way 3

MAKE MODELING A HABIT

Do something once and you may get some attention. Do it continually and you'll nurture the behaviors you seek.

ANALYZE AND MODIFY

Let go of your ego. No plan survives contact with reality. Continually review your progress and always be open to change. Adjusting your goals or admitting a goal wasn't right to begin with is an act of strength, not weakness.

Always remember that your staff won't see goals the same way you do. Just because you've seen the numbers and have a sense of what needs to change, it doesn't mean your staff will. More importantly, it's likely that the numbers don't tell the whole tale and your staff may have insights and perspectives you haven't considered. It's also important to remember that individual contributors often struggle to make the connection between a big goal and what they do every day. Annual goals take a long time to achieve. You can shorten the time between goal-setting and goal-getting though periodic check-ins.

TIMEOUT!

Integrated into competition at every level is the chance to take a break, regroup and adjust to changing conditions. Sports such as basketball and football have breaks built in; at the quarter, intermission, half or even a few timeouts that can be deployed as needed. Why do so many business owners allow themselves to be driven through entire business cycles without taking the time regroup, refocus and recharge?

It's too easy to get caught up in the flow, to let the world set the pace of your business--but you call the plays in your business and one of the most productive plays a franchise operator can call is timeout.

MIDYEAR REVIEWS

Gain ground on your competitors! Midyear is when many owners and managers take vacation and tend to take their eye off the ball. Midyear meetings can reignite your operation while your competition is coasting, adding 30 days to 60 days of productivity--it's like printing time, do it!

Avoid your own mid-year doldrums. Almost all businesses struggle to keep employees engaged during the summer. The heat, family vacations, seasonal downturns and back-to-school distractions generally diminish productivity.

Midyear reviews aren't just downers, it's likely that you'll find lots of goodies in the mix. When you uncover great performance or find someone doing the right things--celebrate! Midyear reviews are a tremendous opportunity to uplift your team, recognize individual contributors and get your staff back in the game--even when it seems like there's lots of game left to play.

Re-energize yourself. Yes, you are human, too, and subject to your own ups and downs. Midyear reviews can be just what the doctor ordered; helping you refocus and revitalize your own performance.

By Jerry Akers

Jerry Akers is a Great Clips franchise owner. This article contains excerpts from Akers' upcoming book, Livelt2Ownlt. Find out more about Great Clips at franchise.org/great-clips-inc-franchise.

Make the time to ask the tough questions:

* ARE WE ON PACE TO MAKE OUR GOAL?

* WHAT'S WORKING AND WHAT'S NOT?

* HAS ANYTHING IN THE MARKET CHANGED?

* ARE OUR ANNUAL GOALS STILL RELEVANT?

* WHAT ARE OUR PAIN POINTS? (STAFFING, CASH FLOW, INVENTORY, ETC.)
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Comment:I Remember MAMA, Do You? Letting go of your ego, timeouts, printing time and other secrets of the master franchise operator.
Author:Akers, Jerry
Publication:Franchising World
Date:Aug 1, 2018
Words:898
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