Recently I wrote an article called “Stop Running Your Franchise Like a Circus.” I used circus acts as metaphors for counterproductive behaviors that limit franchisee performance. “Juggling” referred to doing too much yourself. “Lion taming” meant focusing only on problems. You get the idea.
The day after it published, I received an email from Chris Barltrop, professional circus ringmaster and founder of the Centre for Circus Culture in England. He took issue with my use of the circus metaphor, defending not only the dignity of the circus arts, but also the ways they exemplify business excellence.
“I would suggest your readers START running their business like a circus!” he wrote. “To run and continue running, a professional circus has to be among the tightest of organisations…Your headline is (I regret to point out) an inaccurate cliche, insulting to those involved in the circus arts. Please take a deeper look.”
So I did. I reached out to Barltrop to learn more about his industry. I discovered that the circus does, in fact, offer franchisees many lessons on how to run a successful business. Here are a few.
Be a ringmaster
“My job as ringmaster is to ensure what happens in the ring is the very best,” Barltrop explains. He manages the performers, hosts the audience and keeps the show running smoothly. He must charismatically inspire everyone in the tent. He needs to demonstrate this leadership in adherence to the vision and standards of the circus owners.
Franchisees must also manage their employees and delight their customers. They need to maintain a smooth operation. The must offer inspiration and support to everyone their business impacts. They own their franchise, but they must still work within guidelines set by their franchisor. And they need to make sure that what happens within their four walls is the very best…
Read the Full Article at Entrepreneur