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Less is more and other lessons


It’s a running joke in our family, but I have advised sons Ben and Sam there are two life rules that will get you through most situations: 1) Less is more. 2) Timing is everything. For instance, don’t ask your dad for money when he is paying the monthly bills. That will generally irritate him, a lecture about frugality will ensue and you’ll probably be turned down. See? Timing is everything.

And when you are telling me, at 10 p.m., why the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight you witnessed last night was so special, remember I’m your mom, my bedtime is 10:15, and I don’t understand half of what you are describing. I’d like to, because I want to be interested in what you like, but I’m tired and at that moment I simply cannot process the benefits of the triangle choke versus a rear choke. Just give me the overview so I can understand and be enthused! See? Second rule: Less is more. (Seriously, I’m still playing catch up with the rules for football and baseball.)

When we run up against a situation at home, I like to joke with the boys, “Which life rule would apply in this situation?” They usually roll their eyes, and sigh, “Less is more, Mom.”  They are so good at it! I bet they could figure out this next one. Let’s see if you, our reader, can:

Executive Editor Nancy Weingartner recently interviewed representatives of the U.S. Commercial Service at the IFA Convention in February. We’ve featured those interviews in this issue.

Part of the U.S. Commercial Service’s responsibilities involve conducting international trade missions highlighting one or two countries per trip, escorting franchisor representatives and introducing them to potential franchisee candidates in those countries. Franchise Times and the International Franchise Association have teamed up to sponsor these trips.

The U.S. Commercial Service receives rave reviews from franchisors who’ve attended these trade missions. They’re cost effective, well organized and the candidates they meet are viable and have the money to invest. According to Nancy, these business specialists in the various countries are dedicated.

What I find ironic is that the battle cry over the last few months has been “less government is more.” But in this case, I’d like to advance the notion that “more government is more.” Especially when those government employees are dedicated individuals who are interested in (and rewarded on) the success of your business.  So, the answer, Ben and Sam, would be “more is more.” (OK, so maybe that was a trick question.) You’ll have to read Nancy’s article to get their insights on what works in their various countries.

Mary Jo can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at mlarson@franchisetimes.com

In other international stories, our cover article features franchisor Granite Transformations. Franchise Times visited its factory in Florida, and this isn’t just your average home-remodel product. The company was born in Australia, while the product hails from Italy (they even have an Italian villa where the product is showcased). And, the manufacturing facility is in Florida. It may be an international company, but does that make any difference to the franchisees? At franchise expos, some expo attendees liked the product so much they wanted to buy it for their houses. And, with a down economy where people are remodeling rather than building, it looks like timing is everything for these ‘zees.

We also talked to Wiryanti Sukamdani, who recently signed on as Johnny Rockets franchisee in Indonesia. She’s no stranger to franchising: Sukamdani and her partner operate about 200 Pizza Hut locations there, and she plans to add more businesses to her line up. While franchise concepts need to be flexible in cultures different than ours in the U.S., Sukamdani is like most of her business-owner counterparts here in the states who are successful: She’s educated, learns what she doesn’t know and is intent on growing.

Other stories this month, from topics such as the white-hot social networking site Pinterest, to capitalizing your business, give you the information that keeps you razor sharp to help you do business better. You need only to read one magazine, Franchise Times. So in that sense, less is more, right?

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