After taking a leap of faith to start his own business, Granger Forson shares what a day in the life of a BizSmart franchisee looks like
An engineer at heart, Granger Forson has always flourished at problem-solving and has led an impressive career, spanning more than 25 years.
Now the owner of BizSmart Gloucestershire, Granger first came across the fast-growing business support provider while working as an operations director for an SME manufacturing company. Having gained first-hand insight into the BizSmart scale-up journey in developing a strategy to drive profitable growth, he saw an unmissable opportunity to join BizSmart as a franchisee.
Proud to be approaching his first full year as the owner of BizSmart Gloucestershire, Granger highlights some of the key aspects and takeaways from life as a franchise owner and explores his normal working Tuesday.
How do you start a normal working day?
GF: I start my day around 6.00 am with a 30-minute exercise class. After exercise, I like to prepare myself mentally with a 30-minute Morning Miracle session, comprised of positive movements, meditation, vision boarding and a recapping of values and principles.
At 7.00 am, my life partner and business partner, Elaine, and I, sit down and discuss the day ahead over a cup of tea and start the SmartStart meeting.
Around 8.30 am, I complete my quick commute upstairs to begin the working day with a 30-minute focus on the 3s (sorting, sweeping, standardising) and improving. From 9.00 am to 12.00 pm, I begin BizSmart activities and log all notes in Ontaport. I then take at least two calls following my ‘Onboarding to Success’ plan for the week.
What activities does your afternoon consist of?
GF: At midday, I will have a catch-up meeting with the BizSmart central team, which is the perfect time to gather essential support, advice and guidance, and share what will be upcoming in Smart Matters. After catching up with the BizSmart team at 12.30 pm, Elaine and I spend some well-needed time away from the technology, sharing a bite to eat.
My early afternoon return from lunch consists of emails, LinkedIn reviews, sales calls and focusing on networking, reviewing, planning and referrals.
From 3.00 pm, I like to focus on coaching BizSmart clients, with individual client sessions and sales networking.
How do you usually finish up your day?
GF: At 5.00 pm, I begin end-of-the-day due diligence by exploring and answering emails and overviewing accounts. After this, I like to do some insightful reading or listen to a podcast.
I finish around 6.00 pm, and Elaine and I will take alternate days and turns to cook dinner and chat while cooking to digest the day together. We will then sit down to enjoy a home-cooked dinner together.
In my free time from 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm, I like to relax by spending time with Elaine, checking my messages from my two lean messaging groups, watching TV or continuing reading.
Is every day different for you as a franchisee, or do you try to follow a similar routine?
GF: The start, middle and end of each day, I try to keep the same as possible.
Monday afternoon I have a call with Kevin Brent and my sales company. Wednesday, I will begin networking early morning and explore BizSmart programmes later. Thursday is spent working with and coaching a client and is my SmartBoard day. On Friday, I attend three further networking events: monthly, fortnightly and weekly. Friday afternoon is reserved for working on the business.
Elaine and I decide what we need to work on next to improve some aspect of the business and we spend at least two hours doing this each week.
The only extra item I do is throughout the day – when I have a spare moment, I review emails and deal with them. My target each day is an empty email box!
What does a client session consist of?
GF: There are three types of client sessions.
The first type is a group zoom session while delivering a Flight Academy program. I run the session, present the training topic and encourage discussion and debate about the topic to make the peer group challenge session a success for all. From these sessions, our clients learn the first seven basics a business must have in place and start to implement them.
The second is a one-to-one coaching session through Zoom. Here we drill down into current issues within the business and guide the client on how to work through the actions needed, based on key topics from the Flight Academy. We also hold an accountability session to help them drive forward to reach their goals. Here our clients get support to improve key parts of their business and take initiative and accountability to get it done.
The third type of session is a long day or half day of SmartStrat face-to-face. Here we take a deep dive into the business to answer key questions, including ‘What is its core purpose and values?’, ‘Where does the business owner/board want to go?’, ‘What is the review for products, markets, marketing and sales?’. From this, we develop a SmartWeb action plan for the next three years’ road map. So, our clients now have their thoughts and strategies down on paper and can help guide their business going forward for the next year.
What is the most challenging aspect of your day-to-day as a franchisee?
GF: Initially, it was prioritising and understanding what the most important thing to do the next day, week or month is and what will deliver the best impact. Once I started my own default diary, with SmartStart, Smart7, Smart30 and Smart90 meeting structure, it came together.
However, the best moment was when Elaine started and I had someone to talk with daily and bounce ideas with.
What are some of the best parts of life as a franchisee?
GF: One is seeing my clients achieve what they wanted to achieve from working with me and more. We add so much more value to them that you can’t even describe a fraction of it in our marketing and sales process.
Another is completely managing my own time and being responsible for decisions to make the franchise successful. If I want to do something one day that is completely different, then that is fine, it’s my time, my focus, my energy.
Lastly, learning new skills and applying them every day.
Reflecting on your past year in business, what is your biggest takeaway?
GF: In life, you must take the leap of faith to change your life. As a business owner every day can have ups and downs, but starting with the end in mind and experimenting every week, you find a way through the fog and it is so much fun doing it.
As of 1 October 2022, BizSmart Gloucestershire will be one year old. We have made it past the 50 per cent failure rate of new business failures in the first year. On to the next target!