For all of the franchisors, franchisees, suppliers and other attendees heading to the International Franchise Association’s annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona between February 10 and 13, there’s one speaker you won’t want to miss: Walter Bond. The former professional NBA player turned business speaker—who recently earned a spot on Global Franchise Magazine’s “Top 20 Keynote Speaker” list—is coming back to the convention by popular demand with a new workshop designed to help franchise brands achieve success by knowing who they are.
This isn’t the first time that Bond will address IFA members—his “Franchise Harmony” message that was delivered at the 2015 convention was an instant hit. And this also isn’t Bond’s first time motivating or guiding entrepreneurs. As a successful entrepreneur himself, Bond brings a unique perspective to the table that understands the importance of risk taking in a business landscape.
In a guest column for Entrepreneur magazine, Bond wrote, “Entrepreneurs can’t be afraid to fail or take risks in business, ever. If your plan is disruption and if you call yourself an entrepreneur, you must be able to take calculated risks and do what others won’t based on what others can’t see—consistently.”
To help ensure that the risks that franchise brands—and their local owners—are taking are the right ones to pursue, Bond is heading to IFA 2018 with a new workshop that helps brands determine who they are in order to jumpstart growth. He calls it “finding your mousetrap”—when brands have the ability to zero in on their core business, they can then find their specific niche and focus on the right vision and business plan for them.
Getting to the core of your brand’s mission and messaging may not take a conventional approach, as Bond noted in another guest column for Entrepreneur titled “11 Ways to Bake Innovation—Not Disruption—Into Your Culture.” Bond said that innovation often begins by staying inside the box. He wrote, “Sounds counter intuitive, but before thinking outside the box, ensure everything is in order inside the box. Don’t neglect your foundation. Who are you and what do you do? The answer drives everything, including branding, marketing and sales. Know who you are and where you’re headed. It’s indigenous to success.”
In addition to helping businesses find new ways to integrate innovation into their cultures, Bond’s IFA 2018 presentation will also highlight why most brands don’t have a clue about who they are as well as ways for franchises to find their “A” clients, attract more franchisees, energize customers, establish brand loyalty and master marketing. Bond will also drive home the fact that breaking away from the competition means creating something different that people want to be a part of.
“Without innovation, you either won’t get off the ground, or your competition will catch you from behind,” Bond wrote for Entrepreneur. “All great innovators can anticipate where the industry will be in the next five to ten years. Wayne Gretzky said you can’t skate where the puck is—you must anticipate where the puck is going and be there.”
Bond will be speaking at IFA 2018 on Sunday, February 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.