Let me break it down for you in easy terms.
Net Neutrality DOES NOT mean that the internet will remain Neutral. Don’t be swayed by the clever names that the media and politicians use to mess with our heads. Net Neutrality DOES mean a significant change in the internet as we know it.
Up to this point, the internet has been 100% free of regulation. that means any one of us can create a website, an online business, a blog, a youtube channel, an ebay store, an etsy store, or even a pinterest board and facebook page
If Net Neutrality is approved and passed into law, the internet will be treated like a public utility similar to FPL or your water provider etc.
That means it is regulated and run by the government.
There are two MAJOR problems with this.
a) as we have seen most recently with obama-care (also known by the clever name of “the affordable care act”) ANYTHING run by the government becomes expensive, inefficient, and wildly unfair.
b) your freedom to do as you please with the World Wide Web will disappear.
Let me explain what that means…
ALL of you have been supportive of my music career and I love you for it. The reason I had any semblance of a career in the first place is 100% because of the power of the FREE INTERNET (I mean freedom in principle not in price) The internet is a free marketplace allowing me to exercise my rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Writing, recording, and performing my own music, with my own message and POV clearly injected into that medium of expression would be impossible under Net Neutrality.
Some of you know that I maintain several blogs on various topics, some are anonymous, some are not.
under Net Neutrality, the government could “decide” that I am not a legitimate journalist and therefore should not have the ability to blog and can shut me down…Shut me down?….maybe we should read that as …
SILENCING THE INDIVIDUAL
If you are a student of history (you all should be!!) Whenever a government seeks to silence the individual….BAD THINGS HAPPEN.
You were given a voice, cherish it and honor the Giver of that voice by using it.
Tell everyone you know to read history, use their voice, and to speak out against Net neutrality.
Be Strong, Be of Good Courage, God Bless America, Long Live the Republic.
PS – You can watch the government hearing on Net Neutrality here
When it comes to Franchising, there are only a handful of methods a Director of Franchise Development has at their disposal to develop candidates who may be interested in investing in their opportunity. These options range in cost as low as a few dollars to big chunks of the franchise fee; in some cases 50% of the franchise fee is common. One might find it interesting to know that you don’t always get what you pay for in these circumstances either.
As the Director of Franchise Development for a family of 6 international brands with over 1500 locations in 70+ countries, I have learned a lot of lessons over time about what makes a great prospect, where you can find those prospects, and how to engage them into the franchise sales process.
The first lesson I learned was the vast difference between Franchise Portals and Franchise Brokers as well as what options exist in the middle.
For the last 10 years or so, the Franchise Portal has enjoyed a relatively large corner of the market and they have produced many viable franchise candidates through the years. At an average cost of around $34 per lead, one would think that the cost per deal would be relatively low for these lead sources.
My experience has been quite different.
First, let me better explain how Franchise Portals work.
A franchise portal is a website that is populated by hundreds of franchise opportunities, organized as a directory, which is searchable by any number of filters, Industry and Investment level and universal filters among all portals. Each of these franchise pages houses a form aimed at gathering the contact information of a potential business owner who is interested in that specific concept. Upon submission, the franchisor is passed these details and, in some fashion, charged a fee for that information. Generally, these fees range from $20-$40 each.
Sounds pretty simple right?
When these portals first started to appear, their lead quality was actually quite good. The people who were internet savvy enough to seek business opportunities from an entity like a franchise portal were a higher caliber of investor who understood technology and had the means and the education to seek business opportunities and franchises online.
Over time, as the internet and technology became more accessible to the masses, the franchise portals were more widely exposed as well. This brought a tidal wave of tire kickers to the table and raised the blood pressure of every Franchise Development Director in the business.
What was once an inexpensive, high quality, lead generation tool, has now become a cumbersome, oversaturated time waster filled with unqualified tire kickers that have big dreams and have no real ability to buy a franchise.
At present, Franchisors have to buy a very high volume of portal leads to find the right candidate who actually winds up purchasing a franchise. This drives up the cost per deal, not only in acquisition costs, but also in resources spent weeding through all of the tire kickers.
In direct contrast to the franchise portals are Franchise Brokers or Franchise Consultants.
A Franchise Broker is someone who does the selling for the franchisor along with finding, qualifying, and developing the candidates to sell the brand to in the first place. For this service, the broker charges a percentage of the franchise fee or a flat, previously agreed upon commission. Depending on the brand, brokers can take upwards of 50% of the franchise fee in some cases. This makes them an expensive proposition for many franchisors.
Another issue that comes with using brokers is their lack of brand knowledge. Since they are independent, brokers tend to lack the intimate knowledge of the brands they are presenting as well as the enthusiasm that can only come from sales people who are directly involved with the particular franchise.
Do brokers close deals? Yes they do. Are brokers expensive? Yes they are.
Ultimately, they should be part of the overall marketing mix and franchise development directors should seek to develop relationships with a few brokers and help them become champions of their brand in order for them to be more effective at bringing viable, enthusiastic prospects to the closing table.
What other options exist besides brokers and portals?
While every Franchise Development department has internal methods of producing qualified inquiries through methods like pay-per-click and discovery pages, many are not aware of a new phenomenon known as Prospect Development Firms.
Prospect Development Firms exist in the space between portals and brokers and have quickly gained a foot hold in the franchising world as the ideal method of generating qualified candidates at price point that keeps the cost per deal in the ideal range that allows franchisors to maximize the return on their advertising dollars.
A Prospect Development Firm does exactly what their title describes; they develop viable prospects for franchisors. This differs from franchise portals in many ways, the most dynamic of which are that the Prospect Development Firm verifies all of the candidates information, probes their history and interests and, once equipped with this information, matches the candidate with ideal brands that fit not only their background and expertise, but their investment level as well. Prospect development firms go even further by exposing the candidate to the actual franchise opportunity instead of sending over a candidate with simply the industry vertical as a point of reference.
The advantage of working with a Prospect Development firm is that you get a very well qualified franchise candidate who is enthusiastically seeking more information on the specific brand without having to cough up a large commission.
These firms charge between $50 and $100 for these candidates which results in a considerably lower cost per deal than other, more well-known lead generation methods.
Another advantage of working with Prospect Development Firms is that they become intimately familiar with your brand and work in partnership with your program to develop a steady flow of candidates that are not only matches for your ideal candidates, but can also be geo-targeted to specific markets, often for no further cost.
Ultimately, my job as the Director of Franchise Development was made easier by Prospect Development Firms like FranchiseMart and their Executive Director Alex Titus, who has invested the time to understand what my ideal prospect looks like, what my sales goals are, and has never failed to produce some of the best candidates in the industry.-
I would recommend investigating Prospect Development Firms, like FranchiseMart further and would -encourage you to include them in your franchise sales efforts.
If you would like to get more information on FranchisMart, call 888-721-1020.
Both are “Must Have’s” in business, life, and are at the core of every relational paradigm in the world.
Mastering Leadership and Strategy is next to impossible. It is the rarest form of emotional, mental, and spiritual elevation in the world.
Leadership is at the core of character and character is at the core of integrity. We should all choose to lead a life that overflows with integrity. The tough question is:
A simple internet search provides this definition:
The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
Sounds simple right?
Being a leader is hard! It is a conscious and on-going decision to motivate and inspire. It is something some people are born with and something we can all learn to do.
Recently, I have been doing a lot of reading on Leadership and one thing I have noticed about great leaders is that they are, at the core, great strategists!
Well in my experience, a great strategist has a few common characteristics:
First of all, they are great readers of people. They have the ability to pick up on subtle undertones in someones voice or subtle changes in body language that most people don’t pick up on.
Secondly, they are able to connect the dots of someones life in a way that gives them a 30,000 foot view of experiences and circumstances that are not usually seen at such a global level by the individual or group
Thirdly, they are masters at making you feel like you are the only person in the world that has their attention in that moment. When a leader engages with you, you know they are truly connected with your story at that moment.
What are you doing to improve your ability to lead?
I have included a link to a book I keep on my desk and read portions of every day called:
Its pocket sized and I am pretty sure you can find a used copy on Amazon for under a buck!
Get yourself a copy!
(In the interest of full disclosure, the link to the book is an affiliate link and I do make a couple of pennies should you choose to order the book. Thanks for the ‘Abe Lincolns’!)
Momentum is defined as a measure of the motion of a body equal to the product of its mass and velocity.
It is one of the strongest forces in the universe. It is also one of the most difficult things to build and even more difficult to sustain.
Being a native south Floridian, it is not uncommon to see brittle pine needles that have been hurled with so much momentum by the winds of a hurricane that they become buried and embedded into the trunk of a palm tree.
That is momentum. It is a force that can take an object that is both breakable and fragile and turn it into a powerful projectile. It can literally change the physics of an object and allow fragile objects do things way beyond their tensile strength.
The problem is that slightest bit of resistance can degrade an objects momentum to the point where it no longer functions within this hyper-powerful state of existence.
We have all had at least one moment in our life when we had to push a car for one reason or another. The first couple of steps behind the weight of a vehicle at a complete stop is almost impossible to move. After a few steps, the momentum starts to build and it takes less effort to move such a massive object like a car or a truck. That’s the power of momentum.
A huge amount of initial effort at the start of some venture takes a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and builds enough momentum to move it out of the way.
People and subject to their own momentum.
We all have dreams, goals, and aspirations. We spend time meditating on our dreams, planning for our goals, and improving our selves to be better suited to our aspirations.
The better we are at dreaming, planning, and improving, the better we get at building momentum.
Let’s go back to where we were pushing the car for a second….
Suddenly, the momentum that you had built up over all those miles seems like it’s not enough. Getting to the top of that bridge becomes more and more difficult with each step you take to the point that it feels like we can’t take another step without breaking under the weight of our dreams, goals, and aspirations that we have worked so hard to push down this road.
This is when most people let the car roll backwards and over them in the process. They are pushed down into the dirt as they watch their dreams, goals, and aspirations slip away and all their hard work turns into a giant waste of time.
Most of us never realize that we were already at the top of the bridge.
One more step and we could have jumped into the driver’s seat of the car and let the momentum take us the rest of the way.
We could have steered the car to the finish line and reaped the rewards of all our hard work.
Momentum is also transferable. Let’s take time this week and evaluate how much momentum you have in your life, what you can do to sustain it when that pesky bridge shows up, and how to recognize the top of the bridge.
I would really love to hear your thoughts on momentum. Leave a comment below and share with everyone so we can all build more momentum in our lives!