In 1993, I had the opportunity to visit Don Boroian of FranCorp in Olympia Fields, IL. He had visited the Entrepreneurship class I was attending at DePaul's Graduate School of Business a couple years before. He invited the class to explore the benefits of franchising their business concept and predicted that in 20 years, 75% of retailing would happen through franchising.
When I asked him about nonprofits he said he never heard of that before, and it hadn't been done before, because the point of a franchise was to maximize owner profits quickly through replication. Part of me said, "What about maximizing THE GREATER GOOD through replication? There's got to be the first one."
Don talked about the operations manual as the secret to success of franchises...which was phenomenal at the time - a 90% success rate after five years, compared to 20% success rate for conventional start-ups. He said that the willingness to write an operations manual was the acid test for those who were going to make it and those who would be left in the dust.
I also liked Don's comparison of entrepreneurs and musicians. "Very few people can sit down at a piano and play a masterpiece by ear. Most musicians require sheet music to play the masterpiece. Margo, you are the one who hears the music and plays it by ear. You will help others play the masterpiece by writing the sheet music for them, the operations manual." I knew he was right. I knew there was "music" on the inside of me that wanted to express through a franchise, and there was a ton of sheet music to write. I just didn't know what at the time. And I needed support to write the sheet music.
"Come back when you have a profitable prototype and mother store," he said. He gave me a copy of his book, The Franchise Advantage, which I read cover to cover.
"I would like to franchise something good, if only for the thrill of it. Just for the joy of seeing it grow, just for the joy of hearing the music played. Something that only I can do." After nearly two decades, the music never left.
Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you have “music” in you, that if only others could hear it, the world might be a better place. I believe the time has come to rapidly replicate solutions to the world’s greatest problems in the form of a social franchise. It should be just as easy to find peace, for example, as it is to buy a cup of coffee.
Franchising still relies on brick and mortar to a large extent, but licensing, has really found a home in the virtual environment, so that is where we are starting! There are other advantages to licensing that make it more advantageous to us, which are far too lengthy to describe here.
If you are interested in becoming part of this replication of good in the world, there are several ways you can get involved now.
The easiest place to start is with a visit to our website www.peacecentersinternational.org where you can learn more about our licensing philosophy.
You can join the conversation on Twitter! @PeaceCentersInt
You can write to us about your experiences trying to replicate your own nonprofit enterprise at email@example.com
You can donate NOW to help peace grow FAST!
It is important that you You join our next training session to become a #Peace Donor! Here we describe all the particulars of the social enterprise business model.
Margo Ruark, President
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