It’s dog-eat-dog. Let sleeping dogs lie. The tail is wagging the dog.
There sure are a lot of business-related sayings about dogs! If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a dog at home, there’s a good chance your furry friend can teach you a thing or two about franchise entrepreneurship.
1. Follow Routines
Most dog owners can probably tell you what happens if they feed their dog five minutes later than usual, or if they try to sleep in on a Saturday! Dogs are creatures of habit that live by their routines. As an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be quite this inflexible, but you should still make an effort to establish a routine and stick to it.
Time is the most valuable resource we have, and as a business owner, it may sometimes feel like there’s not enough of it to go around. A smart routine will help you maximize your time and efficiency, which will ultimately help the success of your business.
2. Trust Your People
Your dog probably trusts you more than anyone or anything in the world. This level of unconditional trust in your employees and suppliers would be a bit much, but it’s still important to trust the quality of their work, to delegate rather than micromanage, and to respect their expertise. Remember why you hired them in the first place: to compliment your skills, and to do things that you’re unable to do yourself.
If your business is in the franchise space, it’s also key to trust your franchisor. As a franchise owner, you’ve invested in a proven model, and your success will be collaborative. Putting trust in your franchisor will ensure that you triumph together.
3. Be a Good Listener
Dogs are ideally good listeners, although your experience may vary! As a business owner, it’s key to listen to all stakeholders.
Listening to your employees is a foundational leadership skill that builds trust, strengthens relationships, increases loyalty, and shows that you care. It's also a valuable tool for uncovering ground-level information about your business.
Listening to your customers is a great way to fully understand their needs, improve loyalty, increase retention, and most importantly, help them meet their goals with your products.
4. Enjoy the Journey
Ask your dog if they want to go for a walk... they’ll likely respond with some combination of hysteria, enthusiasm, and pure joy. Your dog probably isn’t thinking about which route you’re taking or how long you’ll be gone. They’re just happy to be headed on a walk. And when they’re on that walk, nothing else matters.
Although business owners can’t live in the moment quite like dogs can, it’s important to not get so caught up in your goals and daily tasks that you lose sight of why you started your business in the first place: working for yourself and controlling your own destiny. Take a deep breath and enjoy the journey.
It Takes All Kinds
If you're a current or aspiring business owner, feel free to take this fun quiz to see what "breed" of entrepreneur you are! Regardless of your results, there's a good chance that business ownership might be for you.
You may have heard that an old dog can’t learn new tricks. That saying is inaccurate, and so is the idea that older people can’t learn new skills. In fact, age may even be an advantage when it comes to starting a company for the first time; the skills and experience you’ve acquired in your corporate career can be major advantages as a new business owner.
No matter where you are in your career, if you’re dog-tired of working for somebody else, franchise entrepreneurship might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. If so, we’d love to connect with you. Our educational funding webinars allow current and potential business owners to learn about funding strategies in a casual setting.