Release date: 9-Nov-2017
Business Doctors franchise partners provide a high-quality package to SMEs, supporting their varying needs and facilitating them to grow.
Established in 2004 by Rod Davies and Matthew Levington, Business Doctors is a network of entrepreneurs who are passionate about sharing their experience and skills with small and medium sized businesses.
What is the right mindset for growing a business?
You have got to have the drive and the determination to make it work. It is not that easy, it requires sticking it out and doing some things that are going to make you uncomfortable. If you have had a successful career in corporate, standing in front of a breakfast networking meeting when nobody knows who you are and doesn’t care who you were is quite challenging for a lot of people. You need the drive and determination to get through that. You also need to be motivated by wanting to help other business owners.
How important to a franchisee is the system and how should the franchisee approach using the system?
It is one of the things that makes Business Doctors different, it was something that initially attracted me to the network. We provide a framework, some paths we have generated to known success.
The people we bring into our network are bright business people, they generally don’t want a process for how to do every tiny thing. We tend to give guidance and support, rather than instructions and a set of rules.
What support should someone looking to invest expect and what do you provide at Business Doctors?
Anyone investing in a franchise needs to understand that there is a partnership involved. Success for both parties is mutually assured, as is the opposite. It is in the franchisors interest for you to be successful.
At Business Doctors we provide comprehensive training that is done onsite in a classroom and a lot of backup in the field. Seminar support, getting people comfortable with the content that we deliver and how we do it and how we get engaged with our local business community are all areas of support that we provide. One of the things that I quite enjoy is helping franchisees avoid making the same mistakes that I have made.
What are the common mistakes people make? What is the best way to avoid making those mistakes?
Generally people think that once they have made the investment that’s it, they just follow the rules and the money roles in. Frankly nothing could be further from the truth. In franchise businesses there is a gutsy slog to do for the first 6, 9 or 12 months, depending on how effective or lucky you are. There is sometimes a misunderstanding that you buy the package and that is it. Quite often people will look at the system and think that they know better, people with an attitude like that tend not to be successful. We find that people who are interested in learning and learning from the network, tend to do quite well. Those people with a mindset of curiosity do very well in our network.
What does the support look like from yourself and other mentors in the group?
There will be a planning session and then some weekly calls. Some of the guys I mentor don’t like the rigidity of that, they don’t have to have that if they don’t want it. In terms of seminar support, I would go with them and co-present at their first seminar. The first strategy engagements I do with them. If a franchisee is doing very well at engagement but not necessarily conversion, I can go with them to a meeting and help them understand what might work better. There is also collaboration inside the group that goes on, which I help to coordinate or get heavily involved with depending on what is most appropriate.
What services do Business Doctor franchisees provide to their clients and how does that work?
They are not on their own, people tap into the expertise within the network. There is a big log of who has done what and who has been dealing with whom. There is also more general advice available, you can ask others in the group what their experience is in specific situations. Ultimately what we do, is about making the clients businesses grow, if we don’t do that then we are not successful.
How is value demonstrated and measured by Business Doctors?
Ultimately it is a value judgement that the client makes. Usually we would set out an ambitious plan at to where they are going to get to, if we are on the roadmap to delivering them that we tend to stay working with them and if we are not then we won’t. It is not as cheesy as a guarantee, but the reality is that the client won’t pay unless you deliver value, they shouldn’t expect anything else. The heart of any coaching or consultancy agreement is clear contracting in terms of here is what im going to do and here is what you are going to do to support this process, because if that doesn’t happen neither of you can win.
What are the best tips you would give anyone that is looking to invest in a franchise?
The first thing is to understand what you would be doing, find out what a day in the life of a franchisee in X network really looks like. The only way to find out is to talk to existing franchisees, that is such an important part of the due diligence process I can’t stress that enough.
The second thing is to find people that you are culturally comfortable with, do they believe in the same things you do or do they do it for the same reasons you are, if you find that you will be able to manage a lot of other things that may or may not be perfect.
I don’t think any franchisor system is 100% perfect and you should probably avoid anyone who tells you theirs is. You should look for people who are honest about what they know they still have to improve and ask how the support staff feel about the organisation.
What is the process of discovery for people to find out more about becoming a Business Doctors franchisee?
At the early stage we have an information memorandum about the franchise, that we encourage people to read before they go a further step down the road. There is then a bit of prequal for them and us, we have a conversation with a prospective franchisee about whether they have got the bag of tools required at this stage. If that works for both of us, the next stage is a meeting with the franchisor.
At that stage if we are still serious about pursuing, we would begin to talk about available territories and who they would be working with, they would also have a conversation with the regional director. That process is driven by the prospective franchisee in a large part at that point, because although we will run some psychometric testing and share the outcomes of that with the prospective franchisee. It is an interesting process for a franchisee to go through, regardless of whether or not they finally choose us. Most of them learn something about themselves in the process
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