Speaking Frankly on Franchising
and wholeheartedly with their franchisees. I think there’s a big difference.
The most fulfilling thing for me is
the energy exchange we have with our
franchisor clients. They are in business
to help their small business clients,
their franchisees, and I get such a buzz
knowing that I’m helping small businesses all over the country. Knowing I
can put some great small business franchise speakers in front of these audiences and change lives for the better is
a real passion of mine.
What topics interest the franchise world?
It’s a business message 80 percent of
the time. Franchisors want to give their
franchisees some sort of tactical takeaway. Yes, it needs to be delivered with
engagement, entertainment, energy and
enthusiasm, but it’s really about giving
these business owners actionable tools
and techniques to take into their businesses. That could be leadership, teamwork, customer service, staffing,
managing the numbers, time management or generational issues . . . anything that would support a small
business owner’s growth and success.
critical advice from hiring decision makers
Katrina Mitchell founded SPEAK! in 2008 to help franchisors find the right speakers to re-ignite, re- energize, educate and inspire their franchisees.
As a successful franchisee, Mitchell
experienced first-hand energizing and
compelling events, in addition to some
that left her feeling disengaged and disheartened. Being a natural "connector,"
Mitchell has been hunting down perfect
matches for her bureau’s many clients
Dan Janal: Why did you decide to
focus on franchising?
Katrina Mitchell: Actually, I was a franchisee myself. In the past seven years, I
have spent a lot of time immersing
myself with clients and leaders in this
area. I felt like there were no other
bureaus that had my level of franchise
expertise, so we became laser-focused
on what I know best.
What do you like most about working
I understand franchisees and they
understand me, so it’s an easy fit for
both of us. The fact that we only work
with franchise clients is a big deal to
our customers. They appreciate that I
absolutely understand what is going on
and the nuances in the franchisee-fran-chisor relationship.
I think this level of expertise creates
a different conversation. We are not
talking to a client about a speaker for a
conference as if they are the same as
any other speaker. We are talking to
our clients about a specific type of
speaker that will be able to deliver a
message that will resonate authentically
What advice can you give a speaker
who presents a franchise?
Don’t pretend that you know franchising if you don’t. I am really big on
authenticity and coming from that
heartfelt place of truth.
How does a franchise audience differ
from a small business audience?
When speakers pretend to understand
franchising and they don’t, a franchise
audience will know right away. It will
completely damage a speaker’s credibility.
When not busy matchmaking
speakers and franchises,
Katrina Mitchell, CEO of
SPEAK!, loves to backpack
and hike with Emmie, a ram-
bunctious Australian Cattle dog. For infor-
mation, go to www.FranchiseSpeakers.com
Dan Janal’s blockbuster
speaking and consulting pro-
gram “Keeping Customers for
Life,” helps sales and cus-
tomer service departments
add profits to the bottom line. For informa-
tion, go to www. Janal.com.