The Business Brokers from around the world gathered in Orlando Florida last week and the Restaurant Brokers, Eric and Robin Gagnon were there. Here are the highlights from the IBBA 2016 Spring Conference held May 2-7, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
The theme of this year's conference was: THE EXTRA DEGREE: FIRE UP YOUR PERFORMANCE! The focus was on that single extra degree in life and business that separates the good from the great.
Gary Hoover, Founder of Hoover's Inc. was the Keynote Speaker. His presentation was titled, "8 Keys to Building and Leading Great Enterprises." We were struck as restaurant brokers by several things Mr. Hoover stated, including his position that technology isn't the latest widget, app or code based function. Instead, technology, in his words, is “any better way of doing things." That struck a chord with us as restaurant brokers since we were attending a conference full of business brokers and have invented our own "better way of doing things" in the industry which is the focus, specialized practice and disciple of handling restaurants only. That system, along with our proprietary platform for handling business brokerage, the BOSS or Broker's Operations and Sales System is our technology.
Keynote Speaker Gary Hoover wasn't the only first day guest to strike a chord with the restaurant brokers. Donatella Arpaia with her discussion of Bringing The Heat: Lessons In Business, Life & Cooking" was our tweet worthy speaker with her lessons ranging from a story that has to resonate with any parent or child about her placement in the "Snail" versus the "Swan" reading group and one counselor's assessment of her potential. This star from Food Network, successful entrepreneur, Iron Chef and more definitely outperformed an early read by a counselor who's gauge of a child's potential was obviously pretty far off target. In fact, that counselor may have done her a great favor by focusing her effort on overcoming those early words. The restaurant brokers are pictured here with this restaurant industry icon.
In addition to speakers, there were also a number of Mastermind sessions. These peer-to-peer sessions are conducted in a sharing format that allows attendees to tap into decades of expertise by learning the best practices of others. Eric and Robin Gagnon, the Restaurant Brokers led two Mastermind sessions at the conference including "Establishing Yourself as an Expert in Your Field" and "Building Google Juice for your Business Brokerage Practice." The two sessions were heavily attended by the business brokers where they learned tips from the restaurant brokers including how to use content marketing to establish yourself as an expert in the first session and why even your listings should be search engine optimized in the second.
Optional courses were also offered during the weeklong event and the Restaurant Brokers taught their popular Franchise Resales Course where other brokers learned how to launch a successful franchise resale practice. Their course was desribed as a way for brokers to "Learn their tips for a revenue stream no business broker can ignore."
The IBBA conference concluded with the Awards Luncheon and Guest Speaker John Warrillow, Founder of The Value Builder System and Author of The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry. HIs closing thoughts were on "Built To Sell" and the seven traits of companies that are in fact, "Built to Sell." He covered items such as reducing reliance on any one key customer, supplier or employee as adding value to a business along with looking at how easy it is to grow a business model to five times the size through either acquisition, new geographic markets or product lines. Lastly, he covered a key metric in the measurement of customer satisfaction, which is the "Net Promoter Score." This score is derived from asking customers a key question which is, "On a scale of 0 - 10, how likely are you to recommend us (company name) to a friend or colleague." Clients that answer 9 - 10 are raving fans while those answering 7 - 8 are passives while anything below that number is viewed as a detractor. The net of those scores is seen as the "Net Promoter Score" and is often used by those acquiring businesses to gauge the customer service success of the business.
In addition to great comradery, workshops, presentations and speakers, the IBBA Conference also hosted a Main Street Marketplace, where vendors and the industry’s top solution providers could provide information about the latest products and services.
The Restaurant Brokers left the IBBA conference energized and excited by the business brokerage industry and connected to others in the field that are seeking to expand their knowledge, education and stay abreast of the latest trends.