Sometimes franchisors and I are not on the same page. When that happens, it is mostly because the franchisor is looking at a problem and looking for a solution from the franchisor perspective. Whereas I look at things from the franchisee perspective.
However there are times when franchisors and I are on the same page.
Recently I had that opportunity when I spoke with a franchise consultant of a franchise. If you are unfamiliar with who a franchise consultant is, they are a corporate employee of the franchisor who helps franchisees internally understand the model and optimize the operations within each unit. That way, the franchisee can reach the highest level of success possible using model tactics.
While we were talking, the biggest obstacle to a franchisee’s success came up and in this regard, we actually agreed!
It’s the “I don’t know what I don’t know” factor.
Now, this is not the only obstacle to a franchisee’s success and this phrase has been overused for decades, which makes it lose some of its impact.
What this article will cover is:
a deep dive into what the phrase really means.
how it impacts your business.
And how to overcome the idk what idk factor.
Opening a business of any kind is hard. Confidence that you will succeed is the foundational belief of every new business owner.
The average person is not going to make the type of investment to purchase a franchise fee, open a store front, complete a build out, hire employees, etc. especially if they believe they are going to fail.
After all, franchisees make up 0.2% of the population in America.
So future franchisees and small business owners go into their business very competent and have the utmost faith that they are capable of succeeding.
Many times, franchisees are not experts in the industry of their business, they just have experience. For instance, a lot of people who open a tutoring company, have a background in education, perhaps they were teachers, or administrators of a school.
So they are an expert regarding what it takes to interact with children, how to teach curriculum, and probably even the basic subjects they will be teaching the children. Which plays into their confidence of opening a tutoring company.
I am another example of this. When I owned my fitness franchise locations. I had been a fitness instructor, and before that, a dancer. All of that played into my confidence in teaching and training people through physical fitness.
Franchisees know that they can provide the best service to their future clients because they most likely already excelled or had experience doing it in the past.
Now, what the franchisees don't know, well… that's what the franchisor is for. Right? Those topics will be covered in the proven model and they will provide all of that.
This line of thinking results in a pretty big ego for franchisees.
“I don't need to do much other than be myself, and wait for the franchisor to give me the special sauce.”
The problem is, that ego is constantly looking at situations based upon how they've succeeded in the past. An ego is confidently attempting to replicate the results of the past.
Well, the whole reason why people become business owners is so they won’t have the same results as the past. To do better than the day before, be their own boss, and reach SWAG™ - Sanity, Wealth, and Gratitude™, the lifestyle that fills our daydreams.
When ego is involved in business, the business owner ends up playing the blame-game.
Regardless of where the blame goes, when ego is involved at this level, it's going to result in blaming certain things for the lack of success from what was expected.
“So, how do I get out of this blame-game?” Is normally the first question.
Well, you’re stuck in the blame-game, because you don't know what you don't know. You don't know how to look for something or someone to fill in the gap of what you don't know.
The only choice is to keep implementing tactics in your business that you believe will work based on the fact that they’ve worked in the past. If they don't work the way you expect, or to the standards that you want, then the vicious cycle starts.
You don't know what or how to change the tactics to make them perform better, you might not even know what other options are out there.
So, you just tweak the tactic that isn’t performing, and tweak and tweak some more.
Ultimately, this is how you can spend years feeling like you're on a hamster wheel or a plateau.
Because you're taking what worked at some point in the past or in another person’s business that you read in a book, and you're making small adjustments thinking that eventually, it’ll pay off and change the trajectory of your business.
Meanwhile, there's this entire void of I don't know what I don't know. And there are a million answers inside that void. There are:
strategies that top business owners are using
there are communication skills and leadership opportunities that billionaires are using to run their organizations
Mindset shifts to allow a new way of thinking when faced with tactics that aren’t performing
So, how do you access the answers in the void if you don't know where to look? or who to turn to?
This is the biggest obstacle to a franchisee’s success.
Now, franchisees don’t just get stuck in the blame-game, but rather, continuing to take action based upon where the business is at today.
Instead of taking action on where the business will be in the future.
The only way to grow a business is to take action based upon where the business is headed, not where it is.
Let me give you an example of this.
I participated in a mastermind with one of my peers, Christine. She shared that she needed to hire a salesperson who is really hungry for the commission. The job will offer a lower base pay with a high commission percentage because she can only afford to pay this salesperson X amount for their annual salary.
I challenged her thinking and said, “Christine, what I hear you saying is that today, you can only pay X for their annual salary. But the whole point of getting an amazing salesperson into your business is so they will generate 10x the revenue that you're experiencing today.
If you want the person who's capable of bringing in 10x the revenue of what you have today, you can't hire someone on a salary meant to only bring in the revenue you're experiencing today.”
Business owners do this all the time.
Making decisions based upon the facts as they currently are, not based upon the strategies put in place and the results they’ll produce.
The “I don’t know what I don’t know” is a hard thought pattern to break.
So how do we fill in the “I don't know what I don't know” gap?
First, you have to understand that, “I don't know what I don't know” will always result in acting based on subconscious assumptions. When the business is operating just fine you will not be looking at changing anything.
Why would you change something that's working?
However, just because the business is operating great for where it’s at today, does not mean it's working for where you are forecasting the business going.
Secondly, you have to surround yourself with people who have businesses at the same caliber as where you want yours to go.
You have to find people with more experience than you. People who can see the patterns which are working without any problems currently, point them out to you, and show you the strategies to replace them with. Bringing you to your goals faster.
These people can expand your perspectives and thinking, can teach you how to evaluate situations with a completely different perspective and knowledge than you've ever had before. I’ll leave you with a warning and an invitation.
The red flag for franchisees to avoid: looking to your fellow franchisees and saying, “Well, what are you doing?” “What’s working for you right now?”
The majority of those franchising peers are at the same level your business is. Even those in the top 10% can’t give a magic strategy that worked for them and that will in turn work for your business.
In order to get where you want to go, it takes looking at your entire business with the perspective of, “how do I fill the gaps of what I don't know that I don't know.”
Starting to think in this new way is the hardest part of the puzzle. So if you are ready to start thinking in a new way, diversify the people you are surrounding yourself with, and learn a few strategies you've never heard of before, join for the free “Release Your Business Beast Bootcamp.” And make this year your best year yet in business!
Click hereto find out when the next bootcamp is being hosted and join the waitlist.
Until next time, I'm wishing you infinite success!