This article by Tom Spadea was featured in the March 2022 issue of Franchise Dictionary Magazine.
Did They Really Hear You?
Effective communication is not just about what is said or written, but how well it is heard, understood, and retained. As a franchise lawyer, we spend many hours with our clients, trying to turn their business model and vision into readable, unambiguous, and enforceable agreements. Everyone who has gone through this process understands how difficult it is to fill every hole and work out every issue.
Most entrepreneurs focus on the big picture of what they want to accomplish and don’t want to get bogged down in the details. However, when these entrepreneurs become a franchisor, their communication skills move up in priority in determining their success. Being a franchisor is all about scaling your business by teaching others how to do what you have done. The best teachers, coaches, and communicators are the ones who win big in franchising.
Nothing will derail a relationship quicker than poor communication. As a franchisor, it is your primary responsibility to ensure that what you communicate is heard, understood, and retained.
As franchise lawyers, it is our challenge to make sure a client’s legal documents are in alignment with their goals and assumptions about their own system. Getting the documents right is dependent on understanding the goals of the entrepreneur. Whenever your franchise lawyer asks probing questions or pushes you to clarify what you want to accomplish, seize the moment to hone your communications skills, and to get the key elements of your business model down on paper.
Most leaders have visions of the business model and the future in their heads, but vision without execution is just a day dream. Proper communication is what takes it out of your head and into the real world. If you find or suspect you are being misunderstood, own it and take steps to improve how you communicate. It’s what your franchisees want and need to execute your vision and to help you get your real life brand and system to resemble or even surpass your lofty expectations.
To see all of Tom’s featured articles on The Franchise Dictionary Magazine, visit this page.