Would your business fail if you didn’t go to work today? For many hardworking entrepreneurs, the thought of playing hooky at work is almost unimaginable. Their businesses rely on their presence, leadership, and direction on a daily basis, but one of the main reasons that many people choose to become an entrepreneur is to run a business, not for a business to run them, and yet, first time business owners tend to spend more time on their businesses than they originally anticipated. While in the beginning, it is natural and normal for a start-up to take a significant amount of time, new owners should aim to allow their business to be relatively self-sufficient. In order for a business to become self-sufficient, businesses need clear and defined systems.
Why are systems important?
In a business, systems act as the backbone of daily operations. They provide structure, promote consistency, reduce uncertainty, and help to form positive habits of behavior for all employees. As a result, business owners can be reassured by knowing that no matter what situations arise their employees will always respond in an effective manner by following the system. These business systems are about more than simply how to perform a service related task, they can include everything from how an employee should answer the phone to dealing with dissatisfied customers. Having a consistent set of systems and responses can provide guidance for employees when they would otherwise turn to a superior for instruction.
What makes a system successful?
Some business’ systems develop over time through trial and error, but when determining which systems are best for your business you should consider the following characteristics. Good systems should be:
- Customer focused: Business systems should not only meet the customer’s needs but delight them with how those needs are being fulfilled.
- Simplistic: Systems should be simple to understand and simple to enact. Complicated systems are difficult to teach and hard to maintain.
- Accountable: Whatever systems are implemented should have some way to be measured and monitored to ensure its success.
- Adaptable: Businesses need to be able to adapt to new opportunities. Within a business look for systems that may be out of date, that need to be updated or changed to meet the changes in supply and demand, and make it a point to reevaluate those systems on a regular basis. Many times they will not need adjustments, but business owners should always be open to the possibility of change.
What if the system doesn’t work?
If a system doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up, and don’t be discouraged. Instead, identify the problem, and search for possible solutions. Be aware that some trial and error is a natural part of the process for finding a system that works for your business.
Franchises provide a variety of services and systems as well as accountability partners that can help ensure entrepreneurial success. For more information about the services and systems provided by The Dwyer Group’s franchise programs that can help you succeed contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504.
In small businesses and franchises, recruiting and hiring employees can be an overwhelming process, and sadly, many employers believe that good people are hard to find. However, the best people are everywhere working for dozens of other businesses; the hard part is recruiting them to work for you. After 37 years working in the franchise industry, Robert Tunmire, the executive vice president at The Dwyer Group®, has decades of first-hand experience recruiting the best employees for your business. In this article, Robert will share the importance of recruiting and the 7 keys recruiting the best people for your team.
What is recruiting, and why is it important?
When it comes to gaining new employees, Robert explains, “You don’t hire the best; you recruit them,” and recruiting is defined as, “creating an experience that causes people to want to be on your team.” When you compete with other businesses to draw customers, you create an experience or a product that is more attractive or of better quality than what your competitors have to offer, and it’s the same with recruiting the best employees.
When searching for the right employees, you’re competing with other businesses for the people who already have the qualities and skills that would make them a great addition to your team. The catch is that they are probably already working for someone else. So how can you draw them to your business?
According to Robert, there are seven keys to recruiting the best people:
Key #1: Do not prejudge someone. Learn to see people as they can be, not as they are.
Unfortunately, studies in psychology have shown that people naturally tend to judge others by first impressions. However, first impressions are very rarely accurate and can even cause interviewers and potential employers to miss the best qualities in a candidate simply because they made a bad impression. When considering a new employee, see who they can become if only given the right tools, training, and opportunity. Do you best to see beyond the first impression whether good or bad, and see the potential that they have to offer, even if they did not show up for the initial interview.
Robert claims that “some of the finest people that I have ever recruited did not show up for the first interview.” While we naturally tend to assume that someone who fails to show for an interview is unreliable, it might simply be a fear of failure or of change that causes the missed opportunity on the part of both the employee and the employer. So, the next time someone fails to come to an interview, reschedule the interview as soon as possible. Make your decision about the person only after you have had the chance to talk to them face-to-face.
Key#2: Recruiting is active, not passive. Always follow up.
When you find someone that you want to join your team, follow up as long as it takes to get them on your team. “The better they are, the more effort they’re going to take to get on your team,” says Robert. He remembers one of the best technicians that he ever hired took him almost a full year to recruit, but his persistence paid great dividends for years to come. Hiring great people takes time and persistence, but great people are worth the investment.
Key#3: Recruiting has to be done every single day.
If you only recruit new employees when you need people, you are putting yourself in a dangerous position, and your employees know that you need them more than they need you. However, Robert claims, “You cannot be held hostage in your business without your consent.” So if you are actively recruiting the best people and have a list of potential employees, then employee turnover is simply a small inconvenience rather than a detrimental loss.
Key#4: Would you work for you?
Ask yourself these questions, “Are you a people builder, or are you a people user? Do you see people as a means to an end, or do you see your role with people as to help them accomplish their personal financial goals?” If you want your people to go above and beyond for you, you have to go above and beyond for them. Invest in your employees lives. Show them the respect that you as their boss have for their skills and for their goals.
Key#5: Is your business the place of choice to work in your industry in your community, yes or no?
When answering this question, consider what your business looks like, and what people see as soon as they walk up to and through your company’s doors. Is your work space clean and orderly? How do people speak? Are your employees smiling? Remember, you want potential employees to be impressed by the work environment and by the other members of the team so they will want to be a part of it.
Key#6: You can recruit anyone you want if you show them that they can accomplish their personal and financial goals by being on your team.
Make it a point to understand the motivations and goals which drive the people who work for you, and find ways to help them achieve personal success. The key is to show your employees that you are interested in their success. Here are two questions that you can ask to help you identify and understand the goals of your employees:
- What type of income do you want to have?
- Why is that amount important to you?
Key #7: Tell the whole story when you’re recruiting.
If you want the best people, you have to sell them on your company by giving details about how work is done behind the scenes. Letting someone know about your leadership styles, your expectations, what makes your company unique, and how your team works together can be one of the best ways to draw people into your company.
So, remember that the best people aren’t hard to find, just hard to recruit, and when you begin your recruiting process again, remember the 7 keys to recruiting the best people. For information regarding franchise opportunities in your area, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
For the small business owner, a website can be a great way to increase business and recruit new customers, but without proper management, websites can also become lost in the hordes of other businesses that are competing for the top spots on the Google search engine.
Last month, Google AdWords reported that the word “business” was Googled approximately 101,000,000 times. If your business is at the bottom of the Google search results page, well…you have some work to do. Think about it, when was the last time that you scrolled to the bottom of the page to find a link?
Thankfully, there are some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies that can help you raise your visibility when a potential customer is trying to find a product that you offer.
What is Search Engine Optimization? SEO is a type of digital marketing used to describe how accessible or visible a website is to the general populace. Think of SEO as the online version of television commercials or billboards. Simply by being seen and drawing attention to a product, they drive foot traffic into the store.
Your overall goal as a business owner when it comes to your website should be to drive traffic to your website by getting it to the top of the results list in local search engines. According to Paul Hagan, Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Dwyer Group®, there are two major Google algorithm updates that recently impacted where websites rank on the search engine listings: Panda and Penguin.
What is Panda?
Panda is a series of search algorithm updates used by Google to reward high-quality websites. The more you do right, the closer to the top a site moves on a Google results page. To be on good terms with the Panda updates, you should:
Create Lots of Content and Include Keywords: Using the most relevant keywords or phrases in your content is one of the fastest ways to increase your rankings. Try using Google AdWords to help determine what words would be the best to use in your SEO. Don’t forget your website description or title tags. Using the proper keywords in these areas can be just as if not more important to your site’s SEO.
Getting Your Link Out There: Search rankings are influenced by how many times a site is listed and linked to other sites on the web as well as how often your site links to the websites of other relevant material. Inter-site links are based on a point system, and the more reputable the other site is the more points that your site gets for being linked. So, don’t be selfish when it comes to sharing links and web content. Helping out other sites is equally as helpful to promoting your website, but there’s a catch…beware of the Penguin.
What is the Penguin? The Penguin is another Google search algorithm that punishes sites for cheating the system by using cheap SEO tricks. This can include sites with irrelevant links, unoriginal content, or content cloaking. For instance, link farms are sites which act as portals to an endless series of different sites. They serve no purpose other than to drive up SEO standings. If a site is reported on a link farm it will be demoted in the search engine rankings.
Protect yourself with the Google Disavow. If you discover that your website is listed on a link farm, and you don’t want it to decrease your rankings report the link farm by using the Google Disavow tool. Reporting an unwanted link ensures that the link will not count against you if it is discovered by the penguin.
So, be proactive about your online marketing by taking advantage of the Panda updates to optimize your visibility, but don’t forget to protect your website from Penguin updates.
One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the variety of web development and SEO consulting services that can help you get started increasing exposure for your website. For more information regarding franchise opportunities in your area, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
One of the best ways to grow and expand your business is to have and maintain quality employees who are dedicated to helping your business succeed, and while a steady turnover rate is both natural and even healthy for many businesses, excessive employee turnover can be an expensive and time consuming waste of valuable resource especially for the small business owner. According to an article published by the International Franchising Association® written by franchise owner Harold Jackson, employee turnover can cost the small business owner anywhere between $700-$1,000 per employee.
Between uniforms, tools, and hours of training, each employee becomes an investment of both time and money that are lost as soon as an employee walks out of the door. Not to mention, any unhappy employee leaving on poor terms, can be counterproductive to your business and advertising. According the Global Development Learning Network, every dissatisfied customer expresses their frustration to anywhere between 9 and 15 people. However, the frustration of an employee can be even more detrimental to a business than a customer’s opinion in the eyes of prospective new customers. Therefore it is critical that when employees leave, they leave of good terms and not at an excessive rate.
So, how can small business owners avoid the costs associated with high turnover? According to Robert Tunmire, executive vice president at The Dwyer Group®, there are three main ways that the small business owner can reduce the amount of high employee turnover in their business.
Recruit the Right People:
Hiring the right people for the right position, the first time, is the first step in reducing employee turnover, and ultimately, it can save a business owner a substantial investment of both time and money in the long run. While it may be tempting to fill a position as soon as possible, business owners should carefully consider not only the candidate’s credentials and references but also their long-term potential in the company. Ultimately, supervisors should evaluate the fit of the potential employee with the personality of both the specific position that they are being considered for as well as the company that they will be representing.
When evaluating a potential candidate, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Does this individual exemplify the image that I want to promote in my company?
Will this employee be able to connect with other employees well?
Is this person a team player?
Fairly Compensate Your Talent:
Compensation and benefits plans are a consistent way to show and reinforce how employees are valued in a company. Forbes Magazine recently published an article entitled, “The Only Good Reason to Quit Your Job.” Topping the list of complaints that may encourage people to leave their positions included both feeling underpaid and undervalued. So when structuring payment and compensation plans, keep the following tips in mind. Compensation plans must be:
Simple- Complicated compensation plans are difficult to understand for both the employer and the employee causing errors and fostering distrust amongst staff, and a lack of trust can lead to increased levels of employee turnover no matter how much employees are paid.
Transparent- Be clear and honest about an employee’s paycheck. Allow your staff to easily see how you itemize any deductions or bonuses.
Motivate your staff:
Motivate your employees by implementing a fair a compensation plan.
As discussed earlier, paychecks and benefits are one tool to reaffirm an employee’s value to the company. Whether it be a technician or an office assistant, if an employee feels as though they are being undervalued through a low pay check or poor benefits it can influence their decision to search begin applying to other businesses.
Motivate your employees through team dynamics:
Motivate people using goals and small wins by establish monthly targets and focusing on beating your company’s previous records. When setting your company’s goals, both short and long-term, keep the following acronym in mind: S.M.A.R.T. All goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Motivate employees by rewarding performance at every available opportunity. You should reward your employees in small ways throughout the year whenever possible. Rewards don’t have to be large or substantial, and they come in many amounts, shapes, and sizes. Free company paraphernalia such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, and mouse pads, can be more motivating to employees if regularly distributed throughout the year than even an annual bonus because they are consistent reminders of both future goals and past achievements.
So to be proactive about keeping your best employees, remember: recruit the right people, fairly compensate your talent, and motivate your staff.
To start applying these management tips to your new franchise in the near future, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
In 2012, Dina Dwyer-Owens, Chairwoman and CEO of the Dwyer Group®, donned a cap, a wig, and a set of pearls to go undercover in her very own company. Faith Brown, Dina’s undercover alias, was an ordinary office assistant who was ready to trade-in her desk for a drill to get hands-on experience as a technician. As Dina received hands-on training in four different branches of her franchise, she not only received valuable insight into the front-line operations of her company, but also met some of the extraordinary people who make The Dwyer Group a leader in the service industry.
Deeply dedicated to her employees, her father’s vision, and a strong advocate for the company’s Code of Values®, Dina continuously demonstrates the qualities of an “epic boss” even after her experiences on the original episode. As such, Dina is scheduled to appear on a special episode of “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses” airing nationally at 8 p.m. EST, Friday, May 17 on CBS.
Be sure to tune in with Dina as she reflects on the impact of her experiences as Faith Brown, and how The Dwyer Group has grown since last year. In the meantime, Dina shares her wisdom and experience for being an epic boss.
“The best tips I have for being a great boss is to focus on the 3 things that help a boss be great,” says Dina.
- Be your Best Authentic Self- in my case it’s living my faith and leading the company by living R.I.C.H.:
- Customer focus
- Having fun in the process
- Surround yourself with a great team, both professionally and personally.
- Have clear systems for success and train to those systems.
To learn how to apply systems for success, recruit a strong team, and implement the Code of Values® into your current business visit www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or call 1 (866) 656-1504 for more information.
PART TWO OF SIX: THE FINANCE QUANDARY
By DINA DWYER-OWENS
Most Americans desire to become financially independent and have a career that meets their personal and professional goals – but few have the discipline required to get there.
Although 54% of adults aged 18 to 34 want to start a business, only 8% currently own one, according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This means that half of the next generation are looking to entrepreneurship as a fulfilling and sustainable career choice, but have not been able to take the proverbial leap.
The number one barrier to starting a business cited by participants in the study was access to loans or credit. In today’s lending climate, business financing is available, but not to the extent that it was before the financial crisis. Increasingly, therefore, future business owners need to start planning and saving in advance to make sure that they are financially capable of securing financing and having capital available for startup costs.
Other top obstacles cited in the Kauffman study were the following:
- not knowing how to run a business
- not having the necessary skills or knowledge
- a lack of role models
The training and support that a franchise provides address all of these obstacles head-on.
My father, the late Don Dwyer, Sr., founded The Dwyer Group® of franchise companies with the vision of creating a business system that would help individual entrepreneurs reach specific goals in their personal and professional lives. Part of his personal system of success was called targeting. He had a saying, “Goal-setting is a win/lose proposition, while targeting is a win/win proposition. Targeting provides the flexibility of more than one way to be a winner.”
If you don’t create a targeted action plan now, life will get in the way of your dreams. Here are a few tips to help you save up for opening a business or franchise.
- Describe your targets in writing. Write down your target date for opening a business and the amount of money you would like to save. Think big, but conduct research so you can set a realistic target.
- Choose a target that excites and challenges you. When you research franchise and business opportunities, look for something that you have a passion for and that will stretch and challenge you as a person.
- Visualize your targets. Do you dream of a big house or vacation for your family? Print a picture of your dream and put it somewhere where you will see it.
- Never underestimate the power of a sticky note on the mirror with some motivational words.
As chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group, one of my greatest privileges is teaching incoming franchise owners – many of whom are veterans – how to reach personal and professional goals. Already opening a business, they have surmounted the obstacle of financing and are on to their next challenges – growth and financial independence! You can read some of their stories at www.vetfran.com or www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com.
FRANCHISE FINANCING RESOURCES
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Although not technically a lender itself, the SBA is still the best place to start for new business owners seeking financing. Learn more at www.sba.gov.
Community Banks and Credit Unions
In the wake of the financial crisis, small community banks and credit unions need new customers—and they’re targeting small business owners. Don’t forget to check with local institutions in addition to the big banks.
Many franchisors offer in-house financing to help their franchisees get their business off the ground. For example, our firm, The Dwyer Group, can finance up to 70% of the franchise fee in-house. Franchisors also maintain relationships with external lenders who can help prospective franchisees through the process.
Crowdfunding is online fundraising through a large number of micro-investments, often fuelled through social media. Although still in its infancy, crowdfunding is likely to pick up momentum in the next few years. Check out www.sprigster.com, a crowdfunding portal for veterans opening franchises.
Dina Dwyer-Owens is chairwoman and chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group, Inc. (www.dwyergroup.com), a holding company of seven service-based franchise organizations: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor in the UK and Portugal), and Rainbow International®. The Dwyer Group is based in Waco, Texas.
This article appeared in the May ’13 issue of Search and Employ magazine, a publication of Recruit Military.
It is to the advantage of every business owner to build relationships with vendors. These relationships are mutually beneficial, providing value to both the business owner and the vendor. For example, perks may include discounts, building rapport with customers, and improving each other’s product/service.
While necessary for business, these types of relationships take time to build. It requires an owner to research potential business contacts and communicate with them. A business owner must establish a mutual exchange of value with their vendor for the best deals. Business owners who are able to build trust with a vendor and who contact their vendors regularly are able to retain positive relationships with them.
For a small business owner, fostering and growing relationships with vendors requires a great deal of time, patience and work. Read more
Dina Dwyer-Owens, CEO of The Dwyer Group®, will tell you her company’s success stems from an established set of values with a reputable system.
That system and those values seem to be working well for many of the company’s franchisees. Read more
“If you never price right, your business will never be right.” -Mike Hawkins, The Dwyer Group®
Most business owners set their price based on competition. However, setting the right price should have little to do with one’s competitors. How much will it cost you to do the following: provide the right technicians, have the right marketing, the right operations, the right management? The answers to these questions are the cost of doing business (CODB), the basis for setting the right price.
One of the best aspects about The Dwyer Group® franchise company is the unique experience of having seven related service brands under one roof. The franchises are able to share best practices and serve the same customer base through cross-marketing. The cooperation between the brands takes economies of scale to the next level, enabling franchisees to run more successful businesses and deliver greater value to the customer. Read more