Franchisees gathered together at Smith’s Azamino for the March Seminar held in the Kantou Area. We at head office are extremely pleased to see that the system has grown to the point where repeat seminars held at different locations are a standard fixture in our system. The main topics for discussion were largely the same but with the benefit of the input from those franchises who attended the Kansai Seminar in February, even though there was a different mix of faces here at the Kantou Seminar the material remained pertinent and clear.
One of the major themes for the seminar itself was identified to be Clarity. The events of the last 12 months system wide have really crystallized the direction we’re moving in as a team. These seminars are where we ensure every member of the team is aware of clarity as keenly as we are at head office. Sometimes it’s easier to see the system working from a central objective position. Sometimes the exact opposite is true. It’s the cooperation of those two sectors that makes this system so strong.
- Updates resulting from franchisee feedback
As always franchisee input if what really cleans the system as a whole and makes things better for teachers and students systems wide. After receiving another round of input on products we all agreed to finalize the design on the new polo shirts and Routine flash cards.
- Avoiding self defeating practices
In talking about the 5 things that can stop a good business we really focused on something that crosses the line into personal lifestyle: savings. Failing to make a conscious and deliberate effort to put money away is a bad habit that sets you up for a fall. Everyone needs a personal savings account for personal emergencies. Business owners need a business savings account to protect against business emergencies. Our franchisees make an effort to maintain both.
We completed a quick exercise to ensure everyone was up on the latest techniques for accurate and consistent file maintenance. This type of review exercise makes sure not only that we’re interpreting file format correctly (we are human after all) but that the training a franchisee receives at the time he enters is in fact still the most current method. The overall level of consistency and the types of questions that arise as a result of working the files together as a team are always interesting.
All franchisees know that they can contact Head Office or Smith’s training staff at anytime for clarification and support, but there’s plenty of potential problems that might not have come up for everyone in attendance. It’s the same problem with asking the question, “Any questions?” Often times people answer “No” simply because they don’t know what to ask. When we get together at seminars it’s our goal to not only spread answers out across the system, but to ferret out those questions owners may not even know that they have. That’s one of the major benefits of these periodic seminars and of franchising in general. Plus, we all get to have a bit of fun along the way.
- Calculating your asset value
We went over this topic with the Tokyo group as well. For details please refer to the related section in the minutes for the 2-25-07 Seminar. Nothing particularly new or outrageous to speak of here. Just going over some numbers regarding what it takes to build a school, what people expect to get out of a school once they’ve built it, what people expect to get out of a school they have bought after someone else built it, and what prices the market will currently bear at this specific time in Japan.
It was a nice seminar on a nice Sunday afternoon. We left off making a general pledge to make some lessons and thoughts in general available for use here on the soapbox. We wrapped things up at about 6:30 and headed back to our homes.