BY JAY CAPPERELLA | November 5, 2012
An old boss once said to me “sales, it is just the story you tell”.
My good friend and mentor constantly says: “when you disappear, they (the client) show up, and success is imminent”.
I have carried those thoughts with me through the years. Both adages are relevant to those who choose to get into professional services businesses. I am making this contribution so that you balance out the tactical and temporal search for the great fit, with the keys to winning as a small business owner.
Success is much more than just the right concept creating the best ROI formula. Success is also the gut check on why you are doing what you are doing (or what you see you will do if you sign on with a professional services franchise system).
The above adages are relevant because success for small business owners in services concepts must come from within. Here is my formula that you would do well in working through, beyond discerning just the physical role you play and the dollars you will earn:
1) Success comes from a deep desire to be in business
- . Ask yourself if you are ready to make an investment, and excited to start up your own business. Build out an early plan that accounts for both top performing success, as well accommodating any derailing circumstances.
2) Success comes from passion
- , the intrinsic value to help others regardless of the return. Can you feel yourself in this business; does it light you up?
3) Success comes from a no-excuses action plan
- to get deep into the grass roots of the community and meet as many people as you can, each day, to tell the story of your business and take a stand for true desired outcomes. Do you like talking to and helping others?
I am the director of franchise development for a young and passionate brand in the education sector. ABOVE GRADE LEVEL is a private in home tutoring franchise system in the field of supplemental education. I witness this success formula daily with our current franchisees. I saw it during my time with RE/MAX real estate company; successful Realtors connected to people daily. I saw it at BrightStar Care, an in-home personal and medical care agency franchise; there are dozens of in home care franchises and the winner was the one customers best related to – either owner or workers.
Above Grade Level is operating in a red hot market space, kids and kid’s education. We have the right tools, cutting edge systems and earned high marks from 10s of thousands of happy parents (our methodology has been around for 28 years). Also, we have the perfect business in a struggling economy: low investment, high margins and great delivery programming for exceptional referrals (helps to reduce constant advertising costs). Lastly, it can create a nice mid-to upper middle level executive salary.
That sells well enough. And yet what I love more than the tools and potential returns on the business is the stand that Above Grade Level takes. The company is causing a paradigm shift in perceptions of what is in-home tutoring. It is more than a quick fix model. And parents are agreeing and demanding this quality as a standard offering that other tutoring concepts just cannot fulfill.
It has a great story that has deep meaning to customers! And our owners and Tutors will say they disappear and the client appears (it ceases to become about selling anything).
In the end, the successful franchise candidates feel the business for themselves, and get what the brand offers beyond the tools. They are eager to relate a good story – from the heart – and listen deeply to the pain of their customers.
Do your research, know your goals, work the investigative process. But do not be sold! Professional services is about believing in the brand and yourself. It is about being in the community and connecting to others, telling your story, hearing theirs, and showing the path to success via making a true difference.