After reading How to Franchise Your Business by Lisa Newton, I wanted to get some more insight into the franchising process and came across Marianne's book. Recently I've been giving a lot of thought into owning something that can be franchises and figured I'd better look into the process before jumping into anything. As always, there are plenty of things you can apply to a normal business setting even without wanting to franchise.
Marianne starts the book discussing her past with McDonalds. She grew up working at McDonalds and learned everything she could about their processes and what made them the biggest franchise chain in the world. From what I could gather, she started her own leadership program, teaching people about how to make themselves redundant and systematize the founders out of their own job. She calls it the McFreedom System and there are four parts to her process.
The McFreedom System
The four points of this book and of Marianne's system are Planning, Process, People, and Performance. Planning is all about your road map. You need to have a vision for where you want to go and clearly see the destination where you're headed. Process is all about the customer's journey. What happens even before the customer walks through your door? The process is each step along the path your customer takes. People is all about how to hire right and train correctly. This is the section that teaches the need for training "how we do things ‘round here". How do you get your people to deliver consistently high quality? Finally, Performance. How do you measure and track the performance of your team and make sure everything is running smooth? What should your track and how will you measure it?
Each of these points are discussed in the book quite thoroughly, but of course, it doesn't get into specific details about each section. I'm sure Marianne is saving the specifics for her actual leadership course. It does however give good insight into how McDonalds thinks about their systems and processes and how as a small business owner it would be very beneficial to think about things in a similar light.
Simple, Logical, Repeatable
The title of the book says it all. By this point, you probably realize that if you want to take your time back you need to systematize yourself out of your job. These three words, simple logical repeatable, are the keys to doing just that. Create a process for everything in your business and make sure it's captured in an employee handbook or an operators manual. As you create your systems, make sure to keep in mind the three words. Are the systems simple? Can you take a high school kid and teach them the system? The harder the process is to understand the higher likelihood of system failure you'll encounter.
Is the process you're implementing logical? If someone asked you, why do we have this process? Can you give an answer that makes sense and people will agree with? People don't like doing things "just because." Having a good reason for why you are doing something will help sell the people on the process and make it easier for you and them to accomplish the task at hand. It's important to keep in mind that the process needs to be logical to anybody, not just you. Being in the business means it's much easier for you to understand the logical reasons behind what needs to happen, but it is logical to that brand new high school kid that you just hired?
Repeatable is where the magic happens. Consistency is the key. If you can create a system that produces the same high quality product every time than that is success. You don't need to create a "how-to" for something that you're never going to do again. However, if you are going to do something again you need to make sure there is a process for it. Even if you only do something once a year make sure the process is recorded and easily accessible by your team.
Documentation is Everything
From reading this book, the most important point that I get is that documentation is everything. Your hiring process, your training process, your operating process, your financial process, your cooking process. Literally everything is in the documentation because if you can't document it than there is no way someone else will be able to accomplish the same tasks with the same results that you can do. I believe this concept is important in order to franchise your business, but it's also very important in just business in general. Even if you aren't looking to franchise your business and only work on things you like to do, you need to be able to document everything you don't like doing so that you can find a replacement. Your replacement isn't going to want to reinvent the wheel so it's vital that everything is documented in a way they can learn it and hit the road running as fast as possible.
The pros of this book are that it has cemented in my mind the importance of documentation and really getting checklists and how-tos and routines down on paper and organized. It's one of our powers as humans is the ability to communicate by the written language and it's vital to have a successful business without taking up your time. I thought this book was a little better than Lisa's book because it was a little more concrete in my head about what I needed to do.
The cons of the book are that it's a pretty general book. Marianne doesn't go into much detail about how to do certain things, but rather just the concept and why it's important.
This was a great book to really hammer the importance of systems and processes and it uses one of the best examples in the world, McDonalds, to teach the concepts. It's really great that Marianne was able to learn the systems at McDonalds and teach them through this book. I think that anyone with a business that wants to systematize themselves out of their job and save their time should read this book. Even if you aren't interested in franchising I think it will change your mind set on why these concepts are so important to saving your time working in the business rather than on the business.
I've mentioned a couple of times that How to Franchise Your Business by Lisa Newton is a similar book to this. These are the only two books on franchising that I have read so far so there isn't much to compare. For me this book gets an eight out of ten. I would suggest this book to anyone that is interested in the topic, but it would be better if it was a little more concrete on the specifics of how to accomplish what is being taught.