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If it Feels Right, Just Do it, Rapid Refill President Advises


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The trouble for Rapid Refill began when the recession hit “and a lot of businesses stopped printing,” recalls Lori Kiser-Block, president and co-owner of the Minneapolis-based franchise.

“Overnight our franchisees’ business was cut in half. Big problem,” she told the audience at a recent Franchise Business Network gathering about leading a franchise system through change.

Rapid Refill focuses on refilling and retail sales of inkjet and laser toner cartridges for printers, copiers and fax machines. Kiser-Block’s strategy, among other things, was to encourage their franchisees to move out from the back of the store to get in front of customers—a long process that they tackled through a number of tactics.

For example, she instituted “30-minute Thursdays,” in which Kiser-Block would lead an open-microphone call for all franchisees, and if it was time to bring up a sensitive topic, she’d ask one of her supportive and credible franchisees to lead it.

Another tactic: they focused on the top third of performers, and enlisted them to help bring the middle and bottom thirds along.

She says a key indicator of their success is coming up, as many franchisees are nearing their 10-year renewal mark. The number of franchisees that renew will let her know how they’ve been doing.

Her lesson learned: “As an owner and a leader, if it feels right and you have the experience to do it, then just do it. Don’t let somebody talk you out of it,” she advises. 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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