The newly created positions pose challenges for the first to pioneer, but also offer the benefits of a blank page, a canvas on which the bright-eyed executive paints his dreams, in theory. This article is part of a Franchise Times digital-only Q3 series on “Lessons in Leadership.”
With more than 15 years of experience in product development and brand marketing with franchises, Deborah Potter was appointed in June as the first director of growth for FlannelJax’s and Metal Supermarkets, which bills itself as the “convenience stores for metal” and the world’s largest supplier. of metals in small quantities with more than 8,000 different types.
“The first thing I wanted for the next step in my career was to be involved with a brand that sold internationally, particularly in North America, rather than just in Canada,” said Potter, a native. of Canada and a graduate of McGill University. in Montreal, the largest city in the province of Quebec in Canada.
Metal Supermarkets fits the bill, as it has over 110 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Potter was also drawn to the brand’s essential business designation during the pandemic, as well as its strong guiding principles and clear value it offers customers, she said.
FlannelJax’s, on the other hand, uses the metal in a slightly different way. The ax throwing and recreational sports franchise offers “extreme” social experiences for corporate groups as well as individuals looking to let off steam with friends. FlannelJax’s has branches open in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington State, Colorado and Texas.
“I have a lot of experience managing and inspiring people to feel passionate and involved in the projects they’re working on” from his previous experiences, Potter noted – skills that have grown. will prove essential in his new role.
Next year, Potter will focus on expanding Metal Supermarkets’ e-commerce platform and creating and improving local marketing content to engage more consumers. Data from these marketing initiatives will indicate whether or not they are successful and how to move forward.
“We are also working to increase operational efficiency in terms of product supply,” she added. Potter has formalized internal processes and created a 12-month growth plan since joining. “Essentially, we’re laying the groundwork and building a team that can successfully and effectively execute our growth initiatives across both brands.”
Since Potter’s position had just been created, she had the luxury of taking her first six weeks to introduce herself to the company, the team, and to tour the brand’s facilities in the United States and Canada. to meet the franchisees. This allowed him to assess the roles of each member of the company’s team and redistribute their responsibilities, Potter said, which helped improve team efficiency and morale.
“Pioneering in a new role in a company requires careful listening, an open mind and a willingness to talk to people,” Potter said. “Before you can think about what the future looks like, you have to understand the current situation, hence the six-week period I was given to learn the ins and outs of the business.
“You can’t come into a new role thinking you know everything, and allowing yourself to learn will make the process easier moving forward.”
It costs between $228,500 and $437,000 to open a Metal Supermarkets franchise, and $126,000 to $395,000 to open a FlannelJax store.
Learn more about this digital series:
Zaxby leader shares how she’s pioneering a new role
Unleashed Brands’ first CIO shares what it takes to open a new role
Penn Station’s first franchise manager shares how he’s ushering in a new role
WOWorks Brand Managers Share How They’re Innovating in New Roles