The Business of People

Before you start a business, it is important to consider the things that will be required to be successful in that business.  This is especially true when the business requires that you interact with people, and it is pretty hard to find any business completely absent of that.  JumpBunch, for instance, is a business where people drive things from every angle, almost like the wheels on a car.  If one tire is low, it affects the performance of the vehicle as a whole.  A blowout of a tire stops you in your tracks.  By carefully considering what has to be done for success, considering if you are able to do it, and realistically asking if you will do it, the road to owning your own business can be one that leads you to where you want to go instead of where you simply end up.

Here are six areas a JumpBunch owner has to embrace the people side of things in order to be successful and happy.  While they overlap a great deal with many other business models and concepts, it’s a specific example of how whatever you are considering should be broken down outside of the gleeful thought of being a business owner and under the microscope of who you are.

  1. Let’s start with the big picture.  You are buying into a system that is made up of people!  It’s foolish to enter into a relationship that could last for ten years or more unless you are in full understanding that the franchisor and their staff will become an integral part of your business life.  Beyond that, the community of fellow franchise owners must be viewed as a resource you are willing to use and contribute to instead of tolerate.  If this is not what you are signing up for, then you might keep the pen in your pocket.
  2. You have to put yourself out there to market and sell.  This may not be a “sales” job, but make no mistake that unless you can sell yourself, promote yourself, and ask for people’s business, then this is going to be a slog.  People will certainly buy a product, but way more often they buy you.
  3. Service.  The JumpBunch product is not something like a paper towel that is used then disposed of until another is needed.  Perhaps here more than anywhere, you have to adapt quickly to whom you are serving, and that can change as many as four times within a single hour!  Can you go from your knees making sure a three year old loves your class to the office of a director who is concerned about the bottom line on their P&L?
  4. Can you recruit people to work for you?  Anyone can post a job ad, but if you don’t see the recruiting process as something way more than that, then pause here for quite a while.  Let’s double down on point number two and make it understood that recruiting is as much marketing and selling as is getting people to buy your product.  You must connect with people who are different and convince them that YOU can create an environment that they will want to be a part of.  It’s an endless process that can be an enjoyable one, unless you fail to consider and expect it to be.
  5. Getting them in the door is one thing, but training and leading employees is something entirely different.  No two people are alike, so it will be up to you to discover and nurture the individual strengths each team member brings to the table.  Your team may all have the same goal, but the eyes with which they look upon that goal will never see the path the same way.
  6. And finally there is growth.  Experience has a way of sometimes creating an auto-pilot mentality when it comes to doing things.  There’s something to be said for that at times, but it’s also a liability when the course you are on leads you right into the side of a mountain.  At some point your best way to grow comes with giving of what you know.  That means resisting being comfortable and consciously choosing to engage with people who are at all points on the same path you have been traveling.

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