The Edges of Lean — Episode 41 Continuous Improvement and Franchising with Steve Taylor

Many small businesses are franchises.  What is franchising, and how can lean thinking improve franchised businesses? Or Steve Taylor and I delve into the franchise world in this episode of the The Edges of Lean.



Steve Taylor has an extensive background working in large businesses and small, in both sales and operations roles.  In addition, he has owned and been partners in several business ventures and is passionate about spreading the “gospel of small business”.  He lives in Northern California with his wife and three children.





Key Topics in this podcast:

  • Steve’s career background
  • What is franchising?
  • What are the benefits or advantages of franchising over starting from scratch?
  • Understanding the importance of standards in the franchising industry
  • How to resolve the problem of misalignment of standards franchisors. franchisees and employees 
  • How are lean principles applicable in terms of building quality and standard procedures in franchises
  • What are the unexpected issues in franchise leadership – and how to resolve them?
  • Understanding the difference between leadership and management
  • What are the factors contribute to being a successful franchisee?
  • What is a multinational franchising and how does it work?



  • Franchisees usually pay the franchisor for permission to use their brand and a particular area, with McDonald’s being an example of this model.
  • The franchisee gets a proven business model, and the franchiser can learn from the success.
  • It is important to have standards and compare what actually happens with the standards –  you can’t improve if you do not know what needs improvement!
  • A franchisor and franchisee must be able to communicate consistently with one another.
  • Understanding management versus leadership is a struggle for many. Successful franchisees must be good at self-evaluation and reflection and understanding what defines each.
  • The reason why multinational companies license their brands is because franchising laws are different in other countries.


Memorable Quotes from Steve Taylor


  • ‘’Be gracious with people, be forgiving and understanding.You have two ears and  one mouth; listen twice as much as you talks and you’ll be fine.”
  • “Find your superpower and double down.”