When You’re Green You’re Growing

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


When you’re green you’re growing. When you’re ripe you rot. – Ray Kroc

When owners talk about sales not being what they used to be, the quick question to ask is whether they are doing the same things that they used to in order to drive sales. It’s a simple question. If you are still doing what you have always done to drive sales and your profits aren’t what they used to be, then we need to find out what changed. It’s one of three things: Marketing Driver, Customer Tastes, or Message.


Marketing Driver

If you are “old school” and still using mailers to drive sales, the post office and the printing industry love you. Your customers are ignoring you since they read about sales at their favorite stores on their phones. The way you market didn’t change but your customer’s focus did. I still see people agonizing over whether to use TV and radio to get the word out about their brand. Why? Commercials are deleted with the tap of a button or ignored by changing the channel. You have to go where your customers are and they have a whole new home. Pewresearch.org states that 30% of the general population get their news from Facebook. That’s 30% of everyone!! Are you now getting the idea that a coupon postcard isn’t going to cut it?


Customer Tastes

If you have been in business for more than five years, then you have noticed that some of your best sellers when you opened are not selling nearly as well. Why? It’s because your customers are evolving. Do you speak with your customers or do you just sell to them? If you aren’t regularly asking your customers for their input on what they like, you are already in the process of going out of business. When you started, you were interested in what was driving your customers to buy from you and you wanted to give them what they were asking to buy. Somewhere along the timeline, you got lazy. What do you know about your customers? Are you doing tests with new products for good customers? Do you even know who your good customers are? Tracking sales from each customer is going to be more vital as you grow your business. Everything gets tracked online. Why aren’t you tracking things offline as well? Ask, learn, change and grow your business.



What does your message say about your business? There are great big businesses that fall down on message. Billion-dollar brands lose customers all the time because they aren’t connecting their message to what their customers want to hear, read, or see. The story you want to tell about your products or services is up to you to get across to customers. the tricky part is making the message relevant to the people you want giving you money. Is your message old, sloppy, or does it really explain why you want them as customers? Does it connect your product or service with the customer’s life? Is it an invitation to buy? Everyone wants to know they are invited to the party. Is that what your message does? Does your message have a call to action? I see marketing every day that is missing the call to action. What is it that you want people to do?

When you are green you’re growing. Are you green? Do you still actively look for customers or do you keep doing the same thing and expect the same results? Change happens with your input or without you. Embrace the change!


Bob Griffin
Chief Bulldog-in-Charge
Business Bulldog, LLC

Top 10 Myths of Franchising

Every workday I am struck by the number of people who fight against the system (franchise) they bought. It’s like balling up all the money you worked so hard to earn and rolling it down the street. If you did roll it down the street, you’d at least be able to know you weren’t on the hook for thousands more because of all the contracts you sign when you buy a franchise. On second thought, forget rolling your money down the street. Tie it to fireworks and blow it up. It’s more spectacular and your crummy neighbors won’t be bothering you for more money.

The ability to lose common sense when it comes to making money is amazingly fast. From the time you sign the Franchise Agreement to the time when you want to change things breaks the sound barrier. Why buy something you want to tear apart and not use correctly? It’s like buying a car and then taking it apart to make a skateboard. Just following the system that made you want to buy in the first place.

Here are is my top 10 myths of franchising that I have seen in my years as a consultant. If the guy selling you a franchise mentions more than one of these, even in passing, he is probably an OK guy to buy from. The best franchises try to discourage you a little from buying.

Top 10 Myths about Franchising

  1. I can buy a franchise and let it make money.
  2. Hiring a manager will take care of most of the work.
  3. I manage people in my day job.I can handle a few hourly/contract workers.
  4. I have a Masters/ PHD/ Doctorate in Accounting, Marketing, Management, etc. This will be easy.
  5. I can teach the franchisor a thing or two with all my knowledge and skills.
  6. I can buy a poorly run store and turn it around for a profit.
  7. I can jump in and sell out fast.
  8. I can buy a franchise for my wife, son, daughter, etc to give them a career.
  9. No one can teach me anything I don’t already know about business.
  10. I like the product so I will be the best marketing person for my franchise.

Do any of these myths sound familiar? We all want to see the best in the things we do. It is human nature. It is also human nature not to want to fail, but we seem to set that fear aside in the “knuckle-headed view” that you can buy a franchise, open the doors, and make huge amounts of money without doing any heavy lifting. You have to work at whatever business you buy.

Hard work, building on success, building a business for yourself first, and many more lessons are hard learned when you get in business the right way. Why start out on the wrong path?

I ask the classes that I guest lecture what kind of businesses they want to buy. Not one, so far, has said they want to buy into an existing franchise. Some of them have mentioned wanting to start a franchise but none want to buy a business with a track record and a reputation. Absolutely none of them have mentioned the work that goes into being a business owner.

Ask anyone how much money they think they will earn in the first year in business and they will gush with profit margins that would make Bill Gates blush. The misunderstanding about the cost of doing business – more than money – is where most people fail to be honest in business.

Take my list my happy franchise friends! Pass it around to anyone interested and especially those who are blind with new business bliss. Don’t follow the myths.

Bob Griffin – CEO

Twitter: @BusinessBulldog
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