Tag Archive: Bud Hadfield


Bud Hadfield

On Monday April 11th Bud Hadfield, a franchising legend died at the age of 87. A friend, a mentor and a leader.

I bet you didn’t know that in 1993, the Texas Senate declared Bud Hadfield Day due to his contributions to Texas citizens and involvement with civic groups and schools.

Maybe you didn’t know that in 2003 Bud was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame along with Bill Gates, Fred DeLuca and Mary Kay Ash.

You might not have been aware that Bud often met politicians and celebrities. As you walk toward his office, the hallways are filled with framed photographs of Bud with Ronald Regan, George W. Bush, Muhammad Ali, Chuck Norris, and Alan Sheppard to name a few. On my first visit with Bud I remember feeling very intimidated by the photographs. That anxiety didn’t last long. As soon as I sat down in front of Bud he immediately put me at ease with his uncanny ability to make me feel very important. In fact, Bud made everyone feel important.

Cyndee Perkins posted “The Road Not Taken Would Not Have Taken Us Here.” At the end she asks “What if Bud had not wanted to invest in the future? Invest in children? Invest in technology? We in COMPUTER EXPLORERS are grateful that the man who didn’t want to use a computer supported and nurtured us, and took us where we are today!”

Bud gave me an opportunity to grow as an individual and a leader, but he made me work for it. We didn’t always get along but those are the times I learned the most. He challenged me and enjoyed sparring–sometimes with the intention from the very beginning to approve my request! If we couldn’t come to an agreement, we would decide to continue the conversation another day and moved on to discussing our families.

A friend, David Handler, collected words of wisdom from Bud. His list is called “Franchising and other lessons from Bud.” There are a total of 106! Many I will always remember and some I have intentionally forgotten.

Here are my favorite top 15:

  1. When you have good people, don’t stand in front of them. Stand behind them.
  2. If you let it go, it will run away from you.
  3. Nothing is routine. We have an ongoing responsibility.
  4. Focus on the future. Plan ahead, not back.
  5. Do for them what they won’t do or can’t do for themselves.
  6. We’ve got to do the impossible now and then.
  7. It’s not the end result that matters. It’s what you did to help them get there.
  8. Never go into business that’s easy to go into.
  9. The most important call we get is from an owner with a problem. The second most important is a potential owner.
  10. When the mouse plays with the elephant, the mouse gets bigger.
  11. Sometimes we have to realize competitors are people too.
  12. Be an asset to their lives, not another problem.
  13. Don’t get your exercise from jumping to conclusions.
  14. Never create an expectation that can’t be met.
  15. There are some people in life you don’t want to like you.

Bud was someone everyone liked and whom you wanted to like you!

He will be missed but his lessons will live on.

Starting a franchise is not easy. In fact, it’s very hard. When I purchased my first COMPUTER EXPLORERS franchise in 1997 I was the typical new franchise owner and deeply afraid of failure. I received the usual good advice: do what you love, create a solid business plan, interview current and previous franchisees, review the FDD (Federal Disclosure Document) with a professional, etc.

Today, there is a plethora of business books available to help entrepreneurs get started. On the NY best seller lists are: Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits and Passion by Tony Hsieh and The Mirror Test by Jeffrey Hayzlett.

There are also very good business books written by two men, whom I consider to be franchise greats: Bud Hadfield and Fred DeLuca.

Bud Hadfield, Chairman of the Board of International Center for Entrepreneurial Development, a holding company which includes Kwik Kopy, COMPUTER EXPLORERS and several other brands and Northwest Forest Conference Center outlines the following as his “Business Dozen” in his book Wealth within Reach,

  1. Trust your intuition.
  2. Always Remember – No one is unimportant.
  3. If you wouldn’t buy it, then don’t sell it.
  4. You are more than the number on the readout of a bathroom scale.
  5. The problem with advice is that the person who has the answer doesn’t have the problem.
  6. Quit thinking about thinking to quit.
  7. Expect the unexpected.
  8. Never promise what you can’t deliver.
  9. Your worst employee – too good to fire and not good enough to keep.
  10. Winners feel like winners. Losers act like losers.
  11. Criticism is easy; achievement is more difficult. Winston Churchill
  12. Success comes to the man or woman who gives more than receives.

Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway shares the Fifteen Key Lessons in his book, Start Small Finish Big.

  1. Start Small. It’s better than never starting at all.
  2. Earn a Few Pennies. It’s good practice before you earn those dollars.
  3. Begin With an Idea. There’s probably a good one right under your nose.
  4. Think Like a Visionary. Always look for the Big Picture.
  5. Keep the Faith. Believe in yourself and your business, even when others don’t.
  6. Ready, Fire, Aim! If you think too much about it, you may never start.
  7. Profit or Perish. Increase sales, decrease costs. Anything less and your business will perish.
  8. Be Positive. The School of Hard Knocks will beat you down, but not if you keep a positive attitude.
  9. Continuously Improve Your Business. It’s the best way to attract customers, and generate sales and profit.
  10. Believe in Your People. Or they may get even with you!
  11. Never Run Out of Money. Its’ the most important lesson in business.
  12. Attract New Customers Every Day. Awareness, Trial, and Usage work every time.
  13. Be Persistent: Don’t Give Up. You only fail if you quit.
  14. Build a Brand Name! You’re your reputation.
  15. Opportunity Waits for No One. Good or bad, breaks are what you make them.

You won’t find Bud attending IFA (International Franchise Association) conventions or giving keynote presentations today. But he can still be found many days in his office at ICED.

Bud Hadfield

Fred, on the other hand does attend IFA and in fact last year participated in social media sessions! By the end of the convention Fred was “twittering away” and can be found today posting a tweet or two about Subway as @FredSubwayCEO (photographed below with his blackberry in hand after posting one of his first tweets).

Fred DeLuca, Subway

Starting a franchise is not easy but finding individuals to help guide you is. Become a member of IFA and network with some of the greats in the franchise industry. Whether you are considering a purchase, are a new franchisee or experienced franchisee there are always new things to learn in your journey to success!