In the old posting style: Coffee in a 1930's diner-style white ceramic mug, a lot of people laughing and talking over "It's All I Can Do" by the Cars in the background. Wow. Is the universe talking to me through music again? Is it telling me (as my mother hinted this morning) that I am already pretty (over)extended and taking on yet another project at this time might not be in my (or my business' or my family's) best interest? But then Annie Lenox comes on singing that "sweet dreams are made of these and who am I to disagree?" and so I must post on about my New Direction. I think it's finally time to bring the F-Word into my business model.
At first (as I wrote before), I didn't think I had anything to offer that would make someone want to F=word with me. So I decided to just write up a little e-how-to instead. But Dave remarked again last night how his boss--a very business-savvy man--thought I just should do the F-word, and for whatever reason, this time the idea really resonated with me. Dave also pointed out that you don't make any money writing about something (unless you're Deepak Chopra). Do or Do Not, but don't waste your time writing about for $10 a copy.
I even have the perfect candidate in mind for my first partner. She talked to me for well over an hour at the BMAC show in February about how to start. Then she called last week to see where I was on the e-how-to as she had been hoping to get it in time for her first anniversary next week. This morning I am going to call and offer her a different sort of deal.
So why has Franchising (Date Night in the Glass Studio) suddenly become so enticing to me? Two reasons: 1) I have finally begun to believe in the uniqueness and value of the business process I have created and the uses of marketing technology that I bring to the table (what's easy and obvious to me ISN'T necessarily to everyone else), and 2) I would happily pay someone else to give me this level of assistance, skill, experience and physical support to get up and running quickly, so it must be worth it.
Now I need to put it all together. What services will we offer? How much will we charge for them, and will it be a flat annual fee or a percentage of bookings? We will need to have a buy-in fee for training and initial materials, but there are advantages and disadvantages to flat fee vs. percentage ongoing. What about equipment? Marketing? Managing the calendar and sign-up? The picture upload system?
Even after over two hours on the phone with my proposed partner I still have more questions than answers. I also have a domain: glassdatenight.com. Now I need a nap.