Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue II, 2017 - Page 18

MU LT I- BRA ND MANAGEMENT Business philosophy: To be a facilitator, coach, and mentor and give people the opportunity to do their jobs. Management method or style: I started hands-on, ran the restaurant. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to facilitate and manage on a higher level. Greatest challenge: I want everybody to be happy and I want the job to get done, so we have to meet in the middle to achieve both those things. How do others describe you? Passionate, energetic, and driven, and I hope they’d say tough but fair. One thing I’m looking to do better: To improve the businesses and tighten up everything so that we’re facing forward and operating on all cylin- ders for the second half of 2017. How I give my team room to innovate and experiment: Good ideas come from everywhere, so I have an open door. We encourage people to speak up and offer ideas. We’re pretty transparent. If someone comes up with a great system or process, we implement it to help everybody. How close are you to operations? In the beginning, I was very close. Now I’m closer to those in charge of operations. What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor? A great supply chain and the opportunity to develop if you’re do- ing what you’re supposed to do. What I need from vendors: Timely invoicing, timely responses if there are problems, and an open, honest relationship. Have you changed your marketing strategy in response to the economy? How? We’re always changing it. Right now, price is a huge deal in the world. E-commerce is a big deal, and if we’re smart, we pay attention to what customers are telling us. If we don’t, we’re going to run into trouble. How is social media affecting your business? Social media is alive and well, expanding every day. You have to evolve and understand that it serves a big purpose, but there’s still something to delivering inside four walls and great service. We keep it in mind, but it’s not everything. It’s another piece of the marketing/customer service pie. How do you hire and fire? I rely on our team to do this at the store level. I can’t overstep but I listen. I believe in letting them do their jobs. As for firing, we have our processes and we do it the right way by giving people no- tice and following through if they don’t follow through on their end. How do you train and retain? We have good training from our franchi- sors. We offer good benefits, fair work environments, and we’ve promoted from within from day one. How do you deal with problem employees? There’s a lot of docu- mentation and discussion, and if things aren’t working out, at some point we make the call to move on. We take it on a case-by-case basis. Fastest way into my doghouse: Being unresponsive and betraying my trust. BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: $15 million to $20 million. 2017 goals: We’re going to clean up, shut down the bad ones, take our lumps, get new ones open, and move offices. We’re going to give other people opportunities on the executive side and step back from running the business to concentrating on new ventures. Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? Track year over year same store sales. Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? In 5 years, I’d like to have my business firmly situated and running great. I’d love to be growing my original venture. In 10 years, I’d like to be on the inves- tor side looking to other, younger entrepreneurs to mentor and help. How is the economy in your regions affecting you, your em- ployees, your customers? Overall, it’s different in different pockets. It’s not news that the fast casual segment is pulling back, but that’s the time to get back to basics, work in the community, and get the best out of your partner- ships from over the years. Are you experiencing economic growth in your market? Things are flat. How do changes in the economy affect the way you do busi- ness? We do what we need to do, buckle down and keep hustling. How do you forecast for your business? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I see our business firming up and growing slowly. What are the best sources for capital expansion? I’ve gone 16 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE I SS UE II , 2 01 7 through every one out there. I started with SBA loans (six to seven of those), rolled into nontraditional financing, a bank out of Minnesota, and then wrapped up into GE Capital as the first Moe’s franchisee they took on. When I started with Experimac, none of that mattered, so I went back to the SBA. Experience with private equity, local banks, national banks, other institutions? Why/why not? We’ve gone down the path of all of these. Now I’m happy to bootstrap with traditional funding (versus private equity). What are you doing to take care of your employees? 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