The Power of a T-Shirt

“Never underestimate the power of a t-shirt.”

That was Robyn Brewington’s reaction after her Southern Las Vegas store was flooded with orders in the wake of the mass shooting last October that left Vegas – and the rest of our nation – heartbroken. In the days after the tragedy, Robyn and her team worked around the clock to produce “Vegas Strong” t-shirts and give them away to members of the community. That idea spurred another, and they then began selling the shirts as a way to raise money for the victim’s fund. With a direct 50 percent match from Zappo’s, the store has raised over $30,000 for the cause to date.

“It’s been incredible, everybody wants to have one because I think they want to feel like they’re showing, on their person, how they feel about this,” she said in an interview for KTNV Las Vegas (you can see the full story here).

Rebuilding Communities Far and Wide

The Southern Las Vegas Big Frog store wasn’t the only location that believed in the power of a t-shirt in 2017. With serious natural disasters in northern California and Texas, many stores in those areas also rallied together to support and help rebuild their communities. In Mountain View, California, Big Frog collected clothes for those impacted by wildfires. In Texas, almost two dozen stores created and sold #TexasStrong t-shirts to raise money after Hurricane Harvey.

There’s no doubt that it’s been a difficult fall, with serious tragedy directly impacting many parts of the country (and taking a toll on us all).  It’s these unfortunate moments that test our resolve – and make us even more reliant on the support of our family, friends and community.

From all of us, thank you for being a source of strength and hope in the communities you serve. We couldn’t be prouder to have you in the Big Frog family.

The Power of Teamwork

For those outside of the franchise industry, it may seem counterintuitive to open stores in close proximity to each other. After all, how can you be successful when you’re competing against your fellow franchisees?  Aren’t one (or more) of you bound to fail?

But the result isn’t always conflict and unhealthy competition…rather, it can be a community of like-minded business professionals focused on one thing: working together to build a better, more successful brand.

The Benefits of Froggy Fellowship

When showing how powerful this teamwork can be, there’s no better place to look than the relationship between a group of Big Frog franchisees in Texas. “One of the first things I noticed as a Big Frog owner, was that the top three stores in the country were all in the Atlanta metroplex,” Plano franchisee Joe Mock said. “This was also where Big Frog had the largest concentration of stores. This led me to the conclusion that rather than compete with one another, there was an obvious advantage to building brand recognition in a market that benefited all owners.”

Inspired by what he saw in Atlanta, Mock made the decision to embrace Big Frog newcomers in his Texas community- rather than compete with them. From loaning printing equipment when a store’s machines were down, to letting a new franchisee try their vinyl cutter before deciding to purchase their own, franchisees worked together to build each other up.

“Over three years, we went from being the #3 store in the system, to #2 and last year we were #1,” Mock said. “Clearly it took more than adding new stores, but it certainly didn’t hamper our ability to grow and prosper.”

Froggy Fellowship in Dallas

 

Today there are seven stores in the area and they continue to work together closely. In addition to lending a helping hand (or heat press) when it’s needed, the owners meet several times a year to discuss business issues such as special pricing, personnel and vendor performance.

And then other times? They get together for nothing more than a good meal and some froggy fellowship. After all, building a strong, supportive community is what Big Frog is all about.

Communicating Across the Pond: Big Frog Forums

“Communication – human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

Most franchise systems struggle with communication.  And that means communication on multiple levels:  within the franchise group itself, from franchisor to franchisee and from franchisee to franchisee.  It’s well known that great system innovations come from the field; have you heard of “$5 Footlongs” and the “Filet-o-Fish” sandwiches?  Those are multimillion dollar ideas that came straight from a franchisee.

In order for those game changing ideas to come about, communication is essential.  One of the first things Big Frog put in place to facilitate this (and by first, I mean around 10 open stores) was a complete intranet system with forums and libraries. This intranet allows us, the franchisor, to communicate quickly and efficiently with the franchisees and the forums allow the franchisees to discuss ideas with each other (and we sometimes chime in, too).  

Franchisees are very busy people.  Not only are they running their business, but most of them have spouses, kids, pets, hobbies and life happening all around them.  So sometimes it can be challenging to get them to allocate some time to the exchange of ideas on our forums.  So Big Frog did something a little differently; in return for participating in the forums, we give quarterly supplies/discounts away in a random drawing for anyone actively engaging in our system.  Last year alone the Franchise Group gave away over $2,500 in supplies and discounts to our franchisees.

We really are lucky to have such generous store owners that will take the time to comment on possible marketing strategies, new product testing, and customer satisfaction.   This mutually beneficial interaction is truly priceless with people “in the field” speaking to each other, conquering challenges and motivating others to great successes.  The intranet/forum system has been one of the best investments we’ve made, with priceless results.