Monday, February 25, 2008

Best Practices

Subway is one of the top growing franchises in the world. If you were to invest in a Subway franchise, I imagine that your first question would be: What can I expect in terms of sales? Interestingly, if you take a closer look at their franchising brochures, Subway has a policy that 'no employee or agent of ours can provide you with projections as to your potential sales, earnings and profitability.' Instead, they encourage you to talk to other Subway owners. While this is largely due to legal reasons to be sure that they do not misguide you as an investor, their recommendation to talk to other Subway owners makes a lot of sense. In fact, it is the same thing I recommend all of the students and/or entrepreneurs that I work with - find some best practices and talk to them! You can learn a lot not only about what kind of sales projections you can expect, but also learn some great tips about what to do and what not to do. When you are looking for a best practice, look for another business that has a lot of similarities with you, but that are not necessarily a competitor. For instance, if you are going to open a mini golf course in a mid-sized college town, find a different mid-sized college town and talk to them! You may be surprised, as many business owners are more than happy to share their knowledge. And, who knows, you might just find someone to serve on your board of advisers and help you out indefinitely.

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