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When your right hand is missing

August 3rd, 2010 by Dan Archer in Franchise Sales and Development in the UK
Dan Archer - Franchise Development Director, X-Press Legal Services - Director, BFA

Dan Archer - Franchise Development Director, X-Press Legal Services - Director, BFA

OK so I admit it. After writing a piece for Venture Marketing Group’s Franchisor News on blogging I have been hoist by my own petard. In my “To blog or not to blog” article I advised that the art to successful blogging is regularity (amongst other things). I have since then not put fingers to keyboard in 3 weeks, a regularity problem which must now be fixed with the blogging equivalent of Turbo Lax TM.

The subject for this week is the team of people around you. If there is any defence for my wanton neglect in not writing for three weeks it is that during the summer holiday silly season, our business has like many others missed key staff. The impact on Aviva of employee number 2345 taking two weeks in Turkey is relatively light. For many small businesses coping when people take well-earned holidays is like having your right hand cut off.

So the crux of this piece is that when we recruit good people and empower those good people to make a difference to our businesses it is always going to be the case that when they are not around we are going to miss them.

Having read an excellent Blog last week by the BusinessGP Marc Lawn where he discussed the need for business people to look in the mirror first when considering business success. My extension of this would be to look in the mirror and realise what you are not good at, then recruit someone that is good at this.

The problem for many small business people is that the business oligarchy and decision making monopoly that comes from having created the baby can often lead control freakery that would make a public school headmaster blush. Being good at the business may not be the same as being good in the business and could also not be good for the business.

Mike Goddard the current Chairman of the British Franchise Association and Chairman of Belvoir Lettings refers to his art of delegation as finding people that do things better than him and letting them do it.

In franchising this is essential. Once the original business becomes a franchise it actually morphs into 2 businesses. Successful franchisors recognise that just because they are talented retailers or restauranteurs it does not mean that they will be best placed to recruit, train and support franchisees. The franchise side of the business has a requirement for resource and expertise and should be treated with the appropriate love to make it a success.

In coming back to my situation my right hand (lady) as it happens has now returned and all is well with the world. For the last two weeks I have been working with the sense that I have had my right hand cleaved at the wrist. It is amazing though what can be achieved with a bloody stump.

Dan Archer is Franchise Development Director for X-Press Legal Services and is a Board Member of the British Franchise Association. You can follow Dan on twitter by visiting

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