Archive for April, 2012


There are many reasons to attend networking events, seminars and conferences.  I always ask myself:  “What’s the ROI. What is the return on my investment (time and financially) to attend”? 

If you are involved in the franchising industry you may be very interested in the event to be held in Atlanta next week called FranCamp.

Below is a quick overview of the presentations for FranCamp. We have strong franchise industry leaders as speakers and/or round-table moderators. The list of attendees is equally impressive. The Goddard School, Learning Express Toys, Mr. Rooter and Nothing Bundt Cakes are a few of the franchisors that are registered to attend. There are several IFA Supplier Forum Members such as Engage121, Fish Consulting and FranNet that will be present.

There are seats still available. Registration can be found http://fransocialcamp.com/register/

Special thanks to AK Stout and FitDesk for the great door prize donation! If you are not familiar with the FitDesk, watch AK’s review by clicking here.

If you will not be in Atlanta for the event, watch the Twitter stream and tweets #FranCamp. We will do our best to share the information as we hear it live!


I mustn’t forget to mention the TweetUp! Thursday, May 3rd 7pm at the JW Marriott in Buckhead Atlanta! Open to the public so bring a friend and have a great time networking over cocktails. http://tweetvite.com/event/francamp

Every business or brand wants customers that are raving fans and social ambassadors. Some brands create their own social ambassador campaigns by enlisting bloggers or customers with a strong voice. The best social ambassadors are the average customers that sincerely love the product and/or service and willing to share their experience.

Become a social ambassador

Are you the type of person that likes to shout from the roof tops when you find a great product or service? Are you an influencer in your family and community? Do you enjoy blogging, tweeting, posting updates to Facebook or LinkedIn? Are you using the latest social platform, Pinterest? If so, then you can easily become a social ambassador.

Personally, I LOVE to share videos. Not necessarily videos of myself but videos where I am behind the camera sharing a great experience.

Squeeky Clean Service

While at work a few months ago the local Fish Window Cleaning franchise team were working diligently cleaning the second floor windows of our office building. I took notice of their lack of fear of heights and the care they took to get my windows squeaky clean. Personally, I would never venture that high up and I hate cleaning windows! I took the video below and shared on their Facebook page, Tweeted and sent a word of thanks to their corporate team. It took all of 10 minutes of my time to share my great experience and become a Fish Window Cleaning (franchise) social ambassador.  I received a note of thanks for the postings and exchanged emails and tweets with the Fish team.

A little Tasti Love

Another passion is networking and meeting new people in the franchise industry. Last week I had the pleasure meeting Tammy Friedeck at the Houston Social Media Club TweetUp hosted by Michele Price aka @prosperitygal. Tammy recently relocated to Houston to serve as the Communications Coordinator for the Mattress Firm. Tammy and I met for lunch a few days later and I was able to introduce her to Tasti D-lite. I asked if I could film her very first bite and if she didn’t like it, I wouldn’t publish. As you will see below, she did enjoy it and of course the video was Tweeted and posted to the various platforms.   We don’t expect the video to go viral but it does demonstrate how we are social ambassadors for Tasti. Our tweets were re-tweeted by @tastidlite and we received a note of thanks from the Tasti team.

Don’t be that company!

Earlier this month, I attended a wedding of one of my son’s best friends. It was superb! The decorations were beautiful. The food was outrageously delicious. The music was fun and I witnessed my grandson experience “getting down” on the dance floor. At 21 months the kid has some moves! The day after the wedding I sent an email to the wedding coordinator and copied the management team. I thanked them for a job well done and congratulated them on the event.

My next move would have been to post glowing remarks to their Facebook page or maybe blog about the facility. I did not. Why? I never received a response to my email. I know for a fact the email was received by all the recipients and was shared with co-workers. How difficult would it have been to reply to me?

Engaging with customers who could potentially do damage AND could be social ambassadors should be a priority.

Are you a social ambassador? What have your shared recently? I would love to know!

Promotion alert: Attend FranCamp in Atlanta and meet Fish Window Cleaning and Tasti D-lite. They will share their expertise on local marketing and building social ambassadors!

Last week I had the opportunity to work with Joe Mathews, Franchise Performance Group and a leading franchise system. One of the topics of the day was evaluating the current corporate culture and steps needed to create an “achievement culture”.

Joe says: “Whatever the culture is, whatever the organization values, will ultimately determine the overall behavior and therefore effectiveness of the organization. The culture of the organization can be best described by how the corporate executives and the franchisees answer the following questions”:

  • Would franchisees say the value of the tools and support they receive is greater than or equal to the royalty dollars invested?
  • Do franchisees, employees, and leadership of the franchisor trust each other and work towards crafting mutually profitable campaigns, offers, and solutions?
  • Do franchisees feel they are heard AND understood?
  • Does information routinely flow up and down the organization or just funnel down from the top?
  • Would franchisees say they are informed about issues important to them?
  • Would they say they feel like an integral part of a team or more like the low man/woman on the totem pole?

If you are a member of a franchise organization, how would you answer the questions above? Does your organization have an achievement culture that attracts and retains top franchisor executives, employees and franchisee talent?   If not, what would it take to move the organization to achievement?

The Dwyer Group out of Waco, TX is an excellent example of an achievement culture. They are not only an active member in the franchise industry but in my opinion one of the leaders. Dina Dwyer-Owens has served as the CEO and chairwoman of The Dwyer Group since 2007. She is past chair of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and recently appeared on Undercover Boss!

Like most organizations, The Dwyer Group has an official mission statement and vision. What stands out in The Dwyer Group is their  Code of Values. Employees and franchisees are encouraged to live by the values professionally and personally.

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Customer Focus
  • Having Fun in the Process!

Dina has published, Live R.I.C.H, where she shares how the company values are the roadmap to success of The Dwyer Group.  I highly recommend it.

Outside of the franchise industry is a company in Las Vegas Nevada that is well known for their service and their culture. That company is Zappos.  Tony Hsieh, CEO helped Zappos grow from very little to over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. That’s very impressive but what is equally impressive is their ranking  as “Best Companies to Work For”.  Tony and the Zappos team live by their 10 core values, listed below.

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

To learn more about Zappos, read Delivering Happiness by CEO, Tony Hsieh and request their recent Culture Book via this link http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values

What other franchises or organizations do you believe has an Achievement Culture?

Do you need help building an Achievement Culture? If so, connect with me!

My Tuesday “In Real Life” networking took me to a new location for the franchise, Nothing Bundt Cakes. Owner Josh Green was a pleasure to meet and shared his franchising story of how he and his parents moved from Dallas to open the Houston location. It was a “sweet” visit and I totally enjoyed their featured flavor: chocolate turtle!

Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded by two friends, Dena Tripp and Debbie Schwetz in 1997 in Las Vegas. Watch this great interview of Debbie and Dena (in 2008) where they share their passion and how their franchise began!

Dena and Debbie are extremely involved with IFA (International Franchise Association) and  it is  always  rewarding to work with them on committees. They share their delicious bundt cakes but more importantly they share their excitement and passion for franchising and business!

During the February IFA (International Franchise Association) convention Debbie told me that Nothing Bundt Cakes opened a new location in Houston.  I couldn’t wait to visit and introduce myself to the new franchise owners. I asked friend and  franchise peer, Kathy Muller to take a drive with me so I could introduce her to the delicious cakes. Kathy is now a raving fan of the product!

My real life networking ended yesterday with a small gathering of franchise friends with the local chapter of  the Women Franchising Network at the Brix Wine Cellar in support of the organization “Dress for Success”. Our donations of professional attire will assist the local chapter to provide a foundation for a professional wardrobe.

I had the opportunity to get to know the new Computer Explorers President, Carol Hadley and network with Camille Hamilton, a local CM IT Solutions franchisees as well as network with existing franchise friends.

My calendar is marked each Tuesday to step away from the computer and network face-to-face! I have some fun trips and exciting people to meet. I am open to suggestions and introductions!