Nobody gets paid when the investment answer is “no” or “not yet”

October 25, 2010

Until quality matters, honesty does not pay in franchising.

Creating a demand for investor discernment is what regulation does and the only valid reason to have a civil service.

Publicly mandated membership :: privately-run revenue streams.

Make franchising a license-able activity, please.

ThisIsntHappiness.com


WikidFranchise helps experts classify franchise systems

September 21, 2010

On a Scale of 1 to 7, How predatory is this system? Or that one?

Due diligence (mandatory, from a certified service provider) is necessary if you are entering a franchise agreement because of the many hidden business risks.

Source: Wikipedia


Les Stewart Consulting: franchisee leadership development

September 11, 2010

While my work has, up to now, been for free on the internet (here and at WikidFranchise), I too need to charge for my services. I have invested in a technology that franchisees can access to improve their situation.

One thing I have learned about franchisee/franchisor relationships is this:

Power never takes a back step — only in the face of more power.

Franchisees are not powerless. It is a lie that franchisees cannot improve their situation, although an unthinking, passive legal-only strategy will almost always fail.

Franchisee champions that call me require a willingness to learn: to accept an education, advice, training, leadership development and coaching that quite frequently moves them outside of their “comfort zone”. After an initial interview, we customize a plan to protect the leaders and start re mediating the damaged/broken franchsie relationships.

I teach a PhD course in franchisee empowerment.

I choose my clients carefully because these are long-term, highly confidential trusting relationships. I am available 24/7 and have many resources to draw upon (see LinkedIn). Franchisor over-reaching (opportunism: self-interest with deceit) is a chronic condition that goes for as long as anyone is a franchisee. There are very few short-cuts or quick fixes.

Call or LinkUp if you like.

  • 705-737-4635 Tel

Coffee Culture: likely legit or a FranWhack?

April 29, 2010

Nothing is certain in life and that goes for franchising, too.

Coffee Culture Café & Eatery sure looks like a winner. Very rich-looking, solid, many happy-smiling faces.

It is important to look past the flash, however. In the growth phase, who sells the offering says a lot about the credibility of the offering.

CJ Woodburn and Associates appears to be the 3rd party sales agent and lists the investment qualifications as:

“- Store hard costs start from $175,000 (this varies depending on size, conditions, landlord and location).
- Franchise Fee (10 years) $20,000.
- Royalty (weekly) 7%.
- Ad Fund (weekly) 2%.”

Weekly (not monthly) payments and no mention of head lease, equipment or product maximum margins.

When I asked a few central Ontario current, multi-year, coffee franchisees about the offering: Does it…

  1. look like a good deal  or
  2. is it what Richard Solomon defines as a FranWhack?

They were unanimous in their opinion.

Solomon’s The New Franchisor Scampaper in his Franchise Fraud series is good investment reading. The old bastard sums up:

If you think you can outsmart professional swindlers all by yourself, you really are not smarter than a fifth grader.

Don’t get me started who’s papering this… (ie. “special relationship” CSBFA-based franchise lender)


Breaking up the chains is hard but inevitable

April 24, 2010

I believe in fairness and choice.

Franchisors have a simple decision to make when I show up:

  1. take the generous, confidential offer that is on the table from your revolting and anonymous franchisees or
  2. be blowed up real good.

Second City TV (1976-84) was a comedy classic.

Eugene Levy as Neil Sedaka is just the best.

John Candy and John Flaherty were just fantastic.


Are there franchisor collaborators in your midst?

April 23, 2010

Absolutely.

And they’re probably the highest volume, most profitable franchisees.

Talking about “the” franchisees or “our” group is a dangerous over-generalization when franchisees start planning a prison break. Franchisees are either ok, stumbling by or hemorrhaging cash: usually in 1/3 measures. The very best systems are 40:40:20.

The motivations of each individual franchisee depends on their relative ranking within each tradename system. Their personal weaknesses are the franchisor’s control mechanisms.

Beware the “managers” clothed in franchisee wool: his or wife’s family money will betray real franchisees all the time.

Highest volume franchisees almost always act as if they were franchisors. And in my experience, they’re the highest volume because of favours given. But the greatest obstacle is between their ears: They perceive themselves in a favoured spot (ie. top dog on the steaming heap) and will not relinquish this ego position. They cling to informal influence by failing to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Their only job is to sabotage any productive discussion, let alone realistic planning.

See Franchisee associations: House versus field negroes. Every group needs an outsider to point out the wolves in sheep’s clothing.  This is my paid services to serious, honest field negro franchisees. I help individuals franchisees work out situations in franchising in the most cost-effective, anonymous and safest manner possible. I will always return any phone call, whether or not I am being paid.

Want a great hint as to who is likely to go Judas-on-your-ass?

They will acknowledge the need for reform but urge a “middle path”.

They will tell their “peers” that they can never become franchisors themselves, notwithstanding the histories of Dave Thomas, Ron Joyce,  and Ted Gorski. They need to be the smartest guy in the room, even if it means dumbing everyone else down. Too smart for me?: keep him outside.

Be fooled by the quislings if you want:

One franchisee makes a majority in the proper franchisee-led, consultant-coached/trained and specialized lawyer-negotiated independence plan. A co-operative not a slaughterhouse.

Ever heard of a hostile, but confidential, takeover of a predatory franchise system by current and former franchisees?

No?

Good luck with your plan then…


Pizza Pizza founder dies of cancer at age 70

April 10, 2010

I never met Michael Overs but am familiar with his work.

The Toronto Star reports on the death of Pizza Pizza founder Michael Overs in Everybody Knew his pizza Chain’s number.

Reporter Danny Gallagher states:

Michael Overs’ legacy started to take shape on New Year’s Eve in 1967, when he opened a 300-square-foot pizza joint at Parliament and Wellesley streets. He called it Pizza Pizza.

From that modest beginning, Overs turned Pizza Pizza into a quick-service icon and one of Canada’s leading chains for people on the go.

WikidFranchise.org was created to help franchisee investors improve their decision making: It helps “connect the dots” regarding business risk. I provide additional services as well.

WikidFranchise exists because of the generosity of the owners of the already-published documents.

Franchise relationships are more complex than they appear to most mom-and-pop investors. These links would be a start in assigning the likelihood of experiencing opportunism in a franchised relationship:


Power never takes a back step — only in the face of more power.

February 21, 2010

The first month that an independent franchisee association survives proves that franchisees are more powerful than any franchisor.

Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.

Maybe a little help with tactics and training…


Go ahead and choose your executioner: call a franchise expert

February 2, 2010

Rules of franchise groups:

1. A dead association is worth more than an alive one.

2. The owner of the logo pays someone else if they cannot execute themselves. The hooded one is either the charming outsider or the loud insider.

3. Franchise lawyering insists on a quick kill rather than a future, recurring cash flow/life cycle.

4. As an association executive, you’ll go along with the game or become a defendant.

5. A token truth added, infinitely strengthens the Big Lie.

6. 99.5% of visible U.S. independent franchisee associations are Potemkin villages (valuable to the status quo as franchisee false hope, example: FranchiseeAssociationManagement.com).

7. Leaders act as a doctor would because franchisees are in a type of daydream. Democracy is a noble concept but achievable only when debtors break their chains.

8. There is a narrow path but it requires patience, self-reliance, trust and one franchisee.

Call for a meeting.


If you’re not on anti-depressants, what kind of stunned franchisee are you?

December 16, 2009

To help someone in their business life, I’ve learned that they must 1st be physcially healthy.

Franchisng can make people physically ill via the body’s natural mind/body linkages.

Stewart’s Rule Number One of Franchisee Consulting:

100% of my clients must have seen their family doctor within the last 3 months.

My spidey-sense goes off big-time when a franchisee (especially a man) says: “Don’t worry Les, I don’t need to because”

  1. I’m as healthy as a horse,
  2. I jog,
  3. Eat properly and
  4. Take my multi-vitamins each day.”

Not only do hate them for (1.)  doing what I should be doing myself or (2.) suspect them to be a huge liar but most of the times they have their head so far up their ass that my advice is likely to be lost on them, anyway. Their thinking is clouded with misplaced pride or hubris.

Reality Check: Their thinking got them on the phone talking to me in the 1st place so maybe they should learn to be a teensy-weensy less sure of themselves and their cognitive abilities? No consultant can help if their clients insist on being Unskilled and Unaware of It (Dunning-Kruger effect on Wikidpedia) of their blind-spots.

Your self-assessment abilities may be off-kilter so Go see you doctor and tell him what you’re going through.

Look for changes in these symptoms:

  1. sleep (lots more, lots less, interruptions),
  2. irritability,
  3. sex drive,
  4. property damage,
  5. long-term relationships (bring your partner along to cut through the BS), and
  6. weight.

Don’t let ignorance or stigma about your mental health prevent you from solving your “real” problems.


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