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"What is the best franchise to buy?" This is the most common question I’m asked; followed closely by “What is the hottest franchise?” Or, “What franchise should I buy?” That would be a great question – if it wasn't the wrong question. The simple truth is, there is no such thing as a “best franchise.” But there might be a franchise that is best for you. Just as each person is different, so is each franchise. The franchise that is a perfect fit for Joe might be completely wrong for Jane. Because, most likely, Joe and Jane are different from each other. There are many franchises where the primary role of the owner is to manage key employees. McDonald's comes to mind. Some of the key tasks for the McDonald's owner are to hire and manage the store managers. To be successful, the owner must be willing to work closely with a few key managers, to train, and develop them. It’s also helpful if this owner is good at watching the many, many details that have a big impact on a McDonald's, such as inventory levels or wastage. But not every franchise is like that. Some have very few employees, and maybe no inventory. You might never have heard of 101 Mobility, but it’s a leading edge company in the field of home modifications such as stair lifts or wheel chair ramps for people who have become disabled. This franchise requires only a handful of employees. The owner’s role is to develop relationships with key referral sources, and to ensure proper delivery and installation of the needs modifications. These are both excellent franchises. But the person who would make a great McDonald's franchisee has very different skills from the person who would be successful owning 101 Mobility. There are other considerations, too. Don’t only think about what your skills are, but also what you like to do. I recently worked with a man, Mario, who had spent 25 years selling restaurant equipment and managing restaurant equipment salespeople. If I never asked him about his preferences, he would have looked only at franchises where the owner’s role would be to sell. But as I questioned him, this man explained he had grown tired of selling. He had done enough of that. He was ready for a new challenge. In the business he eventually started, Mario was not at all involved with sales. Because he was able to enthusiastically tackle his new, non-sales, responsibilities, Mario has built a large, successful work-place drug testing business. What other criteria should you consider for a franchise? We suggest our clients think about: What kind of a work schedule do you want? Business hours only? Or are you happy to work nights and weekends? Your investment budget is an important factor. How much do you want to invest? Think hard on this one – you don’t want to lie awake at night regretting too large of an investment. Are you comfortable delegating to others? Not everyone is. There are many factors to consider in deciding what franchise might be right for you. Do your research, give close thought, and don’t be impulsive. There is no such thing as a “best franchise.” But if you do your homework, you just might find the best franchise for you.

Now What?

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Learn how to land a career you love

Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.