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A New Year - A New Resolve to Succeed: How to Develop a Plan that Takes You Exactly Where You Want To Go

Please don’t hate me. I fully understand how obnoxious this is going to sound.

I make resolutions and (mostly) keep them. And not just easy ones. I figured out a long time ago that this is because I like change. Especially positive strategic change that leads to a less stressful life and a more successful business. With so much change going on in our country, our industry and a brand new year upon us, it seemed to me, a timely topic.

If you don’t like resolutions or change, I want to lead you down this path gently. This path leads to greater revenue, higher profits, and opportunities to expand your ownership portfolio.

At least it did for me. I sold my franchise over four years ago and made a pretty nice chunk of change. (Pun intended). I attribute that, in part, to what I did annually when it was time to commit (resolve) to being a better, more strategically impactful franchisee in the coming year, i.e., to change.

I also attribute to having a supportive franchisor that allowed me to color outside of the lines --on occasion.

This Is What I Did

Planning started with a heart to heart meeting, with me. Kind of a full-body scan of the business. It included questions like, “What is keeping me up at night?” “What am I procrastinating on and why?” “What do I need to do that is hard or expensive that is going to propel my business forward?” In a short amount of time, it was down on paper. These are the things that I resolve to address and change this year.

Next, I evaluated three key areas that I call “The 3 Pillars of Franchisee Success”

These are the primary differentiators that help strengthen your business and your brand in your local market. They are Building Layers of Loyalty, Developing Money Metrics, and Strategic Leadership. What I found over the years was that most everything on my ‘to be addressed and changed this year’ list could be placed under one of these three categories. Over the years, I kept coming back to these same three pillars.

Last, I committed to the financial goals. How much money do I want to make this year?

How much new revenue do I need to realistically generate to do that? Assuming you have Level II or Level III knowledge of your money metrics, this should not be very time-consuming. (Please go to if you want more on this). I wrote the numbers down and then divided it into quarterly goals and monthly targets based on previous data I had accumulated and a little bit of research.

Only after I did those specific three steps, did I begin to fill in what plans and programs I would implement over the course of the year to generate the additional revenue and strategically tackle my change list. Keep in mind, some franchisors have programs developed to address these areas, and others leave it up to the franchisee. Most are somewhere in between. Check with your franchise representative before you color outside of the lines and ensure you are using all available resources.

The best part about the annual meeting with myself? Seeing what I had accomplished over the past year and deciding how I was going to reward myself for a job well done. Did someone say, David Yurman?! After that, I eagerly started my meeting.

This year, resolve to have a plan that gets you exactly where you want to go.

Christy Wilson Delk is a Franchise Speaker and contributing industry writer. She is a Business Professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and former 15-year franchise owner. Her book, based on The Three Pillars of Franchisee Success, will be available Spring 2017. For more information, contact her by calling 407.399.5554 or go to

Christy Wilson Delk Speaker | Writer | Educator
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