If you want great cookies… follow the recipe
I love to cook, it is one of my passions. When I can open up my schedule on a Sunday afternoon and prepare several meals it makes for a great day. I learned to cook by developing an understanding of the theory behind certain methods, what flavours go together, etc., and then experimenting. In fact, I experiment so much that I rarely cook the same thing twice.
Baking, on the other hand, is quite different. Some have mastered the art of baking and can create their own recipes, however, your average home baker must follow a strict recipe to ensure the result is not only tasty, but edible. Baking is far more of a science than cooking.
In running a business, you must treat it more like baking. First, you need a recipe and then you must follow it religiously, monitor the ambient conditions, use only the freshest ingredients and know when you’ve optimized your product.
When starting a business, the due diligence period prior to opening the doors is when you are creating your recipe. You determine, document and create structure around all of the pieces of the business like your sales process, marketing strategies, budgets, operational protocols, target market, revenue forecasts, expansion plans, etc. If you don’t know how to create your own recipe, that’s where franchising fits in. A franchise is a system that provides a recipe for success for a given business model.
The recipe for Driverseat franchisees starts with our brand promise: “Out care the competition”. Care and compassion are key ingredients in our recipe for success, because even if you are not on the right path or are challenged with some other element of the recipe, your network will rally behind you because you care for everyone you come into contact with. The recipe also includes important ingredients like our branding, pricing structures, financial modeling, networking strategies, online reputation management and most importantly, training and support. One of the prolific elements of a strong franchise system is the large group of other entrepreneurial bakers who are using the same recipe that you can draw on for help and support.
In our business, when franchisees are asked what makes them successful, they will most often reply by saying that they are ‘following the recipe’. In 100% of the cases where a franchisee is finding it challenging to succeed in some area of the business, we are able to determine that the recipe is not being followed, which is then simple to coach for success.
If you want delicious cookies, you have to follow the recipe. This is the case for an independent business and a franchise. The difference between the two is dependent on who is creating the recipe.
Luke Bazely is Co-Founder and President of Driverseat Inc.