Brandau: Getting down to business
Brandau: Getting down to business

I greatly admire franchisees, but I could never be one.

Franchisees are the men and women with an appetite for risk that I just can’t handle. Even if I did every part of due diligence, learned the operations of a brand on the job and raised the kind of capital needed to go into business for mysel.....

I greatly admire franchisees, but I could never be one.

Franchisees are the men and women with an appetite for risk that I just can’t handle. Even if I did every part of due diligence, learned the operations of a brand on the job and raised the kind of capital needed to go into business for myself through franchising, I still wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger and take that leap.

But in my own way, this week I took several risks to chase the big payoff in business by joining the 1851 Franchise Project and the No Limit Agency. Prior to my new role as managing editor, I worked for more than nine years for Nation’s Restaurant News. After starting out on the copy edit desk, I worked my way up to a senior editor position covering the biggest brands based in the Midwest — including McDonald’s, Yum! Brands and Domino’s Pizza — as well as the marketing and advertising beat.

I learned what felt like everything about restaurants, but in order to keep growing I wanted to keep studying more industries.

Which brings me back to my admiration for franchising: It touches nearly every part of the economy, from foodservice to health care, fitness, education and dozens of retail segments. Franchisees need to understand and improve every aspect of their companies, from HR to real estate to finance, but they are not afforded the luxury of being “jacks of all trades, masters of none.” Being in business this way requires constant learning.

That’s the mind-set I will try to bring to my post overseeing content at 1851. While I may not have the entrepreneurial temperament to have created a magazine like this, I nonetheless leapt out of my comfort zone to immerse myself in everything related to franchising and to put in the long hours necessary to move somebody else’s vision forward while building a bigger future for myself.

Like a franchisee, I’ll take seriously my accountability to my teammates and to the people I get to develop. I’ll always be thinking about ways to grow the business, to serve more readers and to innovate in ways that ripple through the whole organization. Somebody else may own the brand, but I own my responsibility to that brand. Like a franchisee, I’m all in.

As fun as it was just to write about business for my whole career up to now, it should be even more rewarding to be “in business” a little bit more, connecting the readers of 1851 with the best practices from proven franchisees, the biggest issues facing the business and the breakthrough ideas that ought to get us all advancing forward.

And any rewards worth having require somebody to take a risk. So here I go, and I’ll see you all here every day at the 1851 Franchise Project.

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