15 min read

Episode 83: The Gap Fillers: A Lookback of 2022

Episode 83: The Gap Fillers: A Lookback of 2022

2022 was a big year for a lot of people. So for the last episode of 2022 we are looking back on the year in the franchising industry and at Ask April Porter. I hope that this episode inspires you to look back at how far you've come this year, even if you are not where you want to be just yet.

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Prefer to read what we talked about in the episode? Read below

Welcome to the very last episode of the infinite franchisee show for 2022. We are so excited to be celebrating this milestone with all of you because we've been around now our podcast has been here for about 18 months, our company has just celebrated its two year anniversary. And we have a lot to celebrate. And I'm going to share a little bit with you of all the things that we've accomplished in 2022 In just our second year of business. And the purpose of this is to give you an update as to everything that we have going on, so that you can continue to get the most out of our offerings that are here on the podcast in our free franchisee community, on Facebook, in our free master classes that we host throughout the year. And of course, through our initiatives to the different ways that we are filling the gaps in the franchising industry. And we want you to be able to get as much out of it. But in addition, I want to inspire you, I want you to take a moment to celebrate you as well. So often we get really focused on what's next, we keep looking at the road ahead of us. And we keep thinking “Oh, I'm not there yet. It's not enough yet, I still have to do this, oh my gosh, I've been wanting to get this done. And, and I just can't seem to find enough time to get this thing done”. And we ended up beating ourselves up a little bit. It's just never fast enough. It's never big enough, right. But if you just take a moment, just take a moment and turn around and look at the road behind you. And I'm guessing what you're going to find is that you have come so far, you have come so far, that you can't even see the starting point any longer. You have hit so many milestones and you have accomplished so much. And you have impacted people in ways that you probably never knew possible. And it's okay. Not only is it okay, I want to encourage you to take a moment and celebrate that because through celebration, we tap into gratitude. And gratitude is an emotion that snuffs out all other emotions. What that means is that when you are truly in a state of gratitude; scarcity, and fear, and worry and apprehension, none of those things can exist. The only thing that can exist in that moment is pure gratitude, bliss, and joy. And when you can tap into that, you can tap into a higher consciousness that allows you to manifest more of that celebration, gratitude, abundance. So, that is my encouragement to you here as we sit as we face the end of the year is to take a moment, look back and really celebrate and acknowledge all that you have accomplished and the impact that you've made. And in that spirit, I'd like to share a few things with you that we have done here at the Ask April Porter company, and with our team to serve the franchising community and fulfill our mission to bring infinite possibilities for success to franchisees. So I'm gonna give you a rundown. And of course, if you have questions, you reach out to us, there'll be a link in the comments to get in touch with us. And what I'd love to hear from you is if we've made an impact on your life in 2022, please let us know and let us know what that was and what episode of the podcast it was or did you attend an event and get something out of it that moves your business forward? Or did you simply need a little bit inspiration one day and found it on our social media? We would love to know how you are doing and how your life is being impacted by being a listener of our podcast. And in addition, if you have questions or you want to see a topic covered or you're really wondering about something that's going on in your brand or in the franchising industry and and not quite understanding how it connects how the dots connect or maybe you're not satisfied with the way that the dots are connecting, let us know because I would love to talk about it here on the show. Because my or my guess is if you are struggling with something or if you have questions about something or even if you're celebrating something that is being overlooked by others, you're not alone. You are not alone and another franchisee or small business owner out there can benefit from your input. So click on the link inside the show notes and definitely connect with us and let us know what's going on in your life and what we can celebrate about you. 

So for our celebration, here are a few things that you may not know that Ask April Porter has accomplished in 2022. So number one, we have actually taught the Franchise Growth Formula to over 500 franchisees in 2022. Through free masterclasses. If you have not attended the Franchise Growth Formula free masterclass yet, then keep your eyes open for it in 2023, we will offer it at some point again in 2023. And you do not want to miss it because it has made a huge impact on those franchisees from 2022. And we want to help you find your SWAG as well. So jump in on the next registration of that. I also personally had the opportunity to do several speaking engagements throughout 2022 at multiple conferences serving the franchising industry. And I'm looking forward to not only doing more of that, in the future, particularly brand conferences, I've had the opportunity now to be tasked as a guest speaker, a keynote speaker at many conferences, and that allows me to come into brands, and really teach the strategies that can be game changing just a few little tweaks in your business and your mindset can really change the trajectory of your business and how fast you're scaling it. So I'm looking forward to doing more of that in 2023. And in addition, in 2022, I was a guest on over 30 podcasts. And I'm so honored that there's other hosts out there who are so honored that so many podcast hosts out there have found me believe that what I have to, and it's absolutely a joy to be a guest on podcast because whole podcast hosts work hard, you know, to create a show that is interesting for their listeners, and it's truly an honor that so many have found my message and the work that we're doing - of the caliber that they want to share it with their audiences. So that's been a joy to do. 

Speaking of podcasts, though, probably one of the things I am most proud about and celebrating to the highest degree for 2022 is the fact that we have been recognized by Spotify as being in the top 10% of all podcasts that have been shared globally. I mean, that's huge, because it means that all of you who are listening to our podcast, you get enough value out of it, and you believe that it can help others that you are inspired to share it. And I want to thank you truly for listening and for sharing our message and our strategies with the world. So thank you so much for that. Now, one of the really fun things that we got to do in 20 22 was attend multiple conferences in the franchising industry, such as the IFA annual conference in San Diego last year, or the multi-unit franchisee conference in Vegas, or the Emerging Zor conference in Nashville. And I cannot wait to attend more of those in 2023, and if you plan to be at any of those conferences, please reach out to us, I would love to meet you in person, grab a burger or a drink, and just talk face to face. So that has been a ton of fun, and I look more forward to more of that. And the last thing that we are celebrating in this area of business, which is really about extending our visibility so that more people -  we can serve more people and we can spread our mission faster, is that we have found now an amazing social media agency to work with who is helping us really curate more content and become more and more consistent on all the platforms. So we've been able to launch a Tiktok channel and a YouTube channel this year, in addition to really beefing up what we're doing on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. So if you haven't had a chance to check those out, you will find us and ask April Porter on those platforms on Tik Tok though I believe we are the April Porter. That's for another episode as to why that is. Alright. So a few of the things that we've been recognized for over the last year we've been named as some of the top 175 influencers in franchising globally. And when I say we, three of our team members received that honor last year it was me, Tanashe, our Director of Communication and Influence, and Lauren, who is our Director of Marketing. So if you've been in our public Facebook group, the free one for franchisees, you've had the opportunity to interact, both with Lauren and Tanashe’, and they are awesome ladies who are making a huge impact in the franchising world, through all of our initiatives. This past year, I also received the prestigious Bears of Excellence Award from my alma mater, Missouri State University. And that is awarded to those that are making a difference in big and small ways through their commitment to community, and the pursuit of excellence. And I had a very dear friend who nominated me for that award and was so honored that through those nominations they chose, they chose me as one of the recipients. So that was quite exciting last year, as well. And then super shocking is that in our second year of business, I was actually named one of the top 10 women in franchising, and that just blows my mind that we could receive such an honor so quickly. And I truly think that that is due, in large part to how needed, how needed what we are doing really is. There has not been anyone who has been dedicated to serving franchisees in the way that we have framed our company to do and also my team - my team is just amazing, and they're out there and they're doing their very best to meet each and every franchisee in this industry so that we can make a difference in your lives. And it's pretty, pretty cool to have people recognizing that. I think that again, that goes to the next award that I received, which was the Chairman's Award for Distinguished Service to the Franchising Community. And that was given to me by the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers. And I received that award alongside one of the great champions for franchisees, which is Illinois Congresswoman Schakowsky, who has introduced legislation in 2022, to enhance the franchisee experience and protect franchisee rights. So the fact that they felt I was worthy of being honored, in addition to Congresswoman Schakowsky and next to her was such a thrill. And I really do appreciate that and I appreciate everything the American Association of franchisees and dealers does for franchisees on the legal and the legislative side. That's a lot of amazing recognition, and truly, truly humbling to have so many people finding us and finding our mission and what we are doing valuable to that extent that they are acknowledging us with these high level awards. So we're very appreciative for that. And all we can say is thank you and that we plan to continue to do this work, and continue to serve at a high level. But our biggest honor, even though these awards are wonderful, the biggest honor doesn't come behind a podium, you know, giving a speech because somebody handed you a little glass figurine. What I'm most excited about celebrating is the wins - the wins that our clients have experienced by being part of the Infinite Franchisee Program, because what we're seeing there is we're seeing people who are coming to us and they are overwhelmed, and they are overworked. And they are stressed out, they're putting out fires all the time. They feel like they're short staffed, and when they are fully staffed, they're just not confident that they can rely on their team, they don't feel supported, they don't feel like people care as much as they do. And that's a really tough place to be. And that's that that's not what we want for people. We want people living in sanity and wealth and gratitude, and not this whole worry and chaos and fear all the time. So the franchisees that are working with us in Infinite Franchisee, and have committed to making some changes and to being open minded, and having those mindset shifts and doing things a little bit differently in order to really capture their dreams. They are seeing results and their wins are absolutely amazing. They're doing things like taking a vacation, and being completely off the grid and not only coming back to find out that the store did not burn down, but they're finding that their team grew revenues while they were away. They didn't just execute and operate, but they took initiative and they really treated the business with the ownership of their roles that is necessary in order to buy into the mission and the culture and to see a business grow. So that was huge, huge for our clients to have that experience instead of the alternative, which was being too afraid to even take a single day off. But we've had clients who've also been able to take themselves off the shift schedule entirely, so that their nights and weekends are their own again, they've become confident in their operations and leaderships to expand into more locations, within six months of joining the program, they've built revenues, so to the point where they have graduated into the top 10 of their brand for revenues. And they've beaten their revenue records from previous years. So our clients are having the biggest years they've ever had in the face of recession, which is huge. And we want to celebrate all of you because I know you're listening to the podcast. We've also helped some of our clients sell their businesses for a profit, expand to new businesses, and acquire additional revenue streams. And of course, there's been a lot of personal wins as well. We've had clients get married this past year and have babies and ultimately really start to embrace and live in sanity, wealth and gratitude. And so I want to celebrate all of you for those major accomplishments. 

In addition with 2022, we've launched several programs to fill other gaps in the franchising industry. We launched the Freedom Franchisee program because we had our first graduates out of our flagship program, and it was “okay, they've graduated, what are you going to do next?” Because they didn't want to leave and we didn't want them to leave of course, so we launched Freedom Franchisee and with Freedom Franchisee, not only are they able to start working on those higher level advanced strategies, but they're able to put a key employee into the Infinite Franchisee program and begin developing more of their team at a higher level, which is how they've been able to expand so seamlessly into more locations. We've also launched our Strategic Partner Syndicate, which is how we have started serving the supplier side of franchising. You know, there are so many franchise suppliers out there who have amazing solutions for the challenges that franchisees are facing, and they are saving franchisees not only headaches and time and energy, but they're actually saving them a lot of money and helping them ramp up those revenues faster despite the fact that “oh my gosh, they're trying to sell something, right?” Because they get a lot of flack for people who are like, “Oh, you're just trying to sell me something”. So what we've done with the Strategic Partner Syndicate is that we actually put suppliers through a very extensive vetting process. And then we choose to work with the ones that are on mission that are truly invested in helping franchisees succeed. And then through that we have a networking group and referral partnerships and different ways that we highlight those people that are in the industry truly here to make a difference. And you know, they're small business owners too. And it's important that when they make investments in the franchising industry, they are treated as customers and provided value for those investments and that is one of the things that we have seen lacking in the franchising industry that we are attempting to change with true value and true partnership when we work with suppliers. We also launched the Franchise Titan program, and the program fills that gap for new and emerging franchisors who have never been taught how to be franchisors and this is the crux of one of the big problems in the franchising industry. Did you know this statistic is that 300 businesses become franchises every year and in that same year 300 franchisors fail. So think about that, that is 300 in 300 out how sad is that? And I believe that that comes from the fact that no one teaches these new franchisors how to treat their franchisees as customers and how to build a foundation in their franchise that fully supports and champions their franchisees and so that's what we did with the Franchise Titan. We've created this program to work with franchisors to teach how to create a foundation that fully supports your franchisees because when franchisees are successful, guess what? Franchisors are automatically successful. We've also launched - the thing I'm probably most excited about for 2023, which is the SWAG Conference and it's happening in April 2023. You can find all the details on our website at AskAprilPorter.com. But the SWAG Conference is a gap filler in many areas of franchising. 

Number one, it is filling the gap for franchisees. There is no conference offered to franchisees specifically for business education and development outside of their brand specific conference. So what we've done is we've made this all about franchisees and what is in your best interest? What do you need to learn? What are the advanced strategies that are going to take you to your SWAG, your vision of sanity, wealth and gratitude. And we're doing it all in the conference in April 2023. But we've also discovered that emerging franchisors do not have the bandwidth or the budget to hold an annual conference. So their franchisees aren't even getting a brand conference, they're just kind of left out there on their own, within their own geographic location and units to communicate with the franchisor and kind of figure it out on their own. And we want to help change that. So emerging franchisors can partner with us. And they can adopt our conference as their conference, and get some time to talk about those brand specific things that are very important. But then they can lean on us for the professional speakers and the activities and the events and the fun and the high level, business education and agenda. So that is another gap that we have decided to fill. 

And the third gap is for those suppliers in treating them as customers because they come, they sponsor these events, they make these events possible for franchisees and franchisors to take advantage of and they're left with very often not receiving the value or the level of value they should receive for their investment. And we are trying to change that as well. So we have a amazing lineup of value for suppliers at our conference. And we are excited to work with them hand in hand to make this event a success in 2023. We did in fact, launch two more programs. Oh my gosh, as I say this out loud, I cannot believe we did so much in 2022. But we launched the MegaProfit Marketing Academy. And that is a it's a collaboration and educational subscription that really teaches franchisees how to think about local marketing, how to understand marketing strategy, how to leverage the opportunities that they have locally, with what the franchisor is doing on a national level in order to shrink the amount of time that it takes for someone to go from being a complete stranger to their brand to a customer. And that is something that just launched, you are not going to want to miss it, you are not going to want to miss in getting in on the ground level because we have introductory pricing right now. It's a subscription, you can cancel at any time, $99 a month and you get so much value and it is going to change the way you market and make it so simple and really take a lot of the pressure off of franchisees on trying to figure out this whole local marketing thing. And then finally, we just launched our Turning Point program. And our Turning Point program is really dedicated to those franchisees that saw a bit of growth in the beginning. And now everything has plateaued. And you keep doing what worked in the beginning, and you're working harder and harder and harder trying to get over the hump. And you're not seeing much movement. And what you really need is a turning point, you need someone to come and turn the key and unlock the door to the next phase of growth. And that's what the Turning Point program is. It's very structured. And we go through with very specific lessons that build upon one after the other to create the strategies you need in your business. If you want to take the growth you've experienced up to now and you want to double it. So how do you leverage your team in a new way? How do you leverage your marketing in a new way? How do you leverage your time in a new way? And how do you learn these strategies that are kind of stuck in this void place that we all refer to as the “I don't know what I don't know”. Right? So that's our Turning Point. And that's our latest program that we unveiled our next class for that is starting in January. 

All right, so what else did we accomplish this year with the last thing I want to celebrate is the fact that my team and I practice what we preach. Not only do we go out and we teach these strategies, and we encourage investing in yourself and we encourage professional development because that is the true pathway to sanity, wealth and gratitude. But we do that for our own company and ourselves. Back this past year I attended 4 in-person events with my business mentors throughout the country. And our team also, I invested so that they would attend for professional development programs as well. And they have taken what they've learned in their area of expertise, and applied it to our business, to enhance all of these things that we've talked about so far. Also, we've gone on vacation, right? I just came off an fabulous trip to Florida with my husband and my sisters and brother in law's and my niece and nephews and while I was gone, my team handled everything. And they did a brilliant job. And that is what it's all about, is being able to balance and being able to enjoy that life we're working so hard to create, right? But not just us, our team too. So although they were there for me while I'm on vacation, guess what, they get to take time off. And we don't bother them, we want them to have a fantastic time away. We've got it handled while they're gone. And then they come back and they slip right back in and we trudge along to the next big move in business.

And so, we are living in SWAG and that is what we preach, and that is what we do, we try to lead by example. So as we go into 2023, our plan is to serve franchisees at the highest level possible to continue living in our own swag, and to continue to find and fill the gaps in the franchising industry that ultimately allow every franchisee to meet infinite success and to discover infinite possibilities to attain their own swag. So, we hope that you will join us in 2023 as we share more here on the Infinite Franchisee show in strategies and guests and opportunities and solutions that will take you to your SWAG faster than ever. So, have a Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2023!

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