What do Nick Saban, Football Coach of the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, and Franchising Have in Common?

Jessica SarterSmall Business Lending

Saban Blog

By Michael Rozman, Chief of Strategy, BoeFly LLC

Last night we watched as Nick Saban led the Alabama Crimson Tide to yet another National Championship, in convincing fashion, nonetheless.  He is now the only active coach to have one four BCS Championships, three of which have been with his current team.

There is no doubt that Nick Saban has been a successful coach, but why would he owe his success, at least in part, to franchising?

The answer lies in both his proven strategy for success and his father.

Let’s start with Saban’s strategy for success: The Process.  The first thing you pick up on if you pay attention to Saban is that he is committed to keeping his coaches and players focused not on the scoreboard or the standings but instead what it takes to succeed.  “It’s not the end result,” Sabban advises.  “Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.”

Now let’s turn our attention to Saban’s father, Nick Saban Sr.  Saban Sr. committed his free time to the Pop Warner Football league in his rural area of West Virginia.  When he wasn’t on the football field mentoring coal miners’ kids, he was running the Dairy Queen that he owned with his wife.  Dairy Queen, going back to the early 1940’s, is a pioneer in franchising, the business format which allows independent business owners like the Sabans to use the brand and its proven processes as a path for shared success.  Core to the success of any franchisee is their brand’s process.  And those franchisees that rely on the value of the Process have and continue to enjoy great success.

The process for any franchise system is that mix of proven activities that will contribute to the franchisees’ ultimate success.  Leading franchise brands have time-tested systems for selecting a location, securing financing, successful grand opening marketing and handling employee payroll, just to name a few.  The goal for all business leaders is to understand the process that you and your team must follow with unwavering commitment.

Is it any surprise then that Nick Saban Jr’s philosophy for Alabama football is centered on the process when his dad’s Dairy Queen business was dependent on that same philosophy?

So come next year, when the weather’s warm and Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide are back in uniform, grab yourself a Dairy Queen Blizzard and remember that great success happens not by wanting an outcome, but by being committed to a process.  For football this means countless workouts, practices and watching tapes of competitors; for an ice cream shop in might mean picking the right location, getting financing quickly, using the best ingredients, and training the staff to give great service.  We can’t all coach in the BCS Championsip, but as we look forward to a new year, how is your business committed to a successful process?