Dave Pazgan | Crain's Philadelphia

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Dave Pazgan

Background:  

Headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., 101 Mobility is a full-service franchise providing accessibility and mobility equipment with more than 145 locations nationwide. 

The Mistake:

Underestimating the need to almost over-communicate to your stakeholders. I tend to be more of an introverted, introspective type of person, so telling our story and shouting to the rooftops over and over again doesn't really come naturally to me. I had this assumption that if I said it once that people would remember it forever or that we could communicate at a high level and that was enough. What I learned was, that's never enough.

As an individual, I tend to be a more data-driven, analytical type of person, but the reality is that's not how most people perceive situations. They don't usually say "Well, what did the data say?" They have emotional reactions to situations, and I've had a tendency in the past to communicate a much more data-driven set of information only to end up frustrating the audience. They understand the numbers, but it's not really about the numbers—it's really about how they feel.

Maybe you said that a month or two ago, but you have to say it again ...

The Lesson:

A big part of our growth is through adding franchise owners and systems, so part of the process includes having franchise candidates talk to existing owners about how their franchise is doing, how business is going. Making sure that I have happy franchisees that believe and trust that we at the home office are doing the right things for them every day is critical to the growth of the company because adding new locations and new owners to the system drives the longer term growth. If we're not communicating and not really telling that story, owners find it harder to add new owners to the system.

We're continually making updates and improvements to the system, and we feel like at the home office that we're doing everything to provide that maximum level of support and do all the right things for the franchise owners to help them grow their business. If you don't tell [your stakeholders] enough good news, they don't really think anything's happening. So it's just kind of a constant drumbeat about here's the things we're working on, here's the vision for the future, here's the places we're going. Maybe you said that a month or two ago, but you have to say it again and you have to keep telling that story.

Follow 101 Mobility at @101_Mobility.

Photo courtesy of 101 Mobility.

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