If you look at any hugely successful franchise operation you ask yourself what gives them the ability to continually grow? The answer has to be that they have developed a formula for success that they are able to rubber stamp into every store/restaurant opened.
How do they do that? Over time with experience, trial and error and man management a system of protocols, best recipes and management rules had been developed that worked to provide maximum return in customer satisfaction and income. This was transcribed a into franchise agreement.
If you went along to the golden arches food chain and agreed to purchase a store you also need to agree to operate the business using their defined strict protocols, prepare the food in a specific manner and provide customer service with more than a smile. So the franchise agreement is signed which provides for all these things and it is all these things that constitute the formula for your business success and ultimately the Golden arches head office success. You switch on the light to the golden arches above your new store and the customers walk in.
What would happen if the owner of a Golden arches Franchise decided to play around with the agreed protocols by removing a beef Pattie from a burger or reduce the volume of chips. I suggest that customers start walking out and if disgruntled enough they will complain to the Golden arches HQ. An inspector from the Golden Arches HQ would make an impromptu visit and as they leave turn the light to the golden arches off that sits above the store advising the owner that they have breached the franchise agreement. They have just turned out the lights on their whole business.
What has the Golden Arches Franchise got to do with opening and running a Toastmaster Club? In principle the same business rules apply.
Toastmasters is an international organisation with clubs around the world. Every club is an individual entity with a signed franchise directly with world headquarters. That franchise is a contract to which all members of the club agree to abide as it provides the framework for education, conduct, operation and governance, thus licensing the club to call its self a Toastmasters club. That franchise (club charter) is the club’s formula for success.
Regretfully over time, a significant number of clubs simply lose focus of the Charter document (franchise agreement), bury the document beneath a layer of ignorance due to poor training, expedience or self-interest. Their members do not understand what a club charter is, what it represents or the responsibilities and member rights it carries.
This is a major contributing factor to defining levels of success. It’s the level of commitment to the charter that controls club dynamics, member commitment and volume of buzz.
If your club does not have a copy of your original charter you can obtain a copy, any club officer may requesting one by emailing Toastmasters International firstname.lastname@example.org Club Quality and Service Officer.
Your club may have been chartered many years ago however regardless of when the original charter was signed the club is required to follow the current Toastmaster International Club Constitution. The document that needs to be reviewed by the club executive at least annually or if changes are made to meeting location and/or meeting dates and times is the Addendum which is used by TMI to update the club meeting and location information on the International web site.
If your club is in breach of the charter, like the Golden Arches Franchise agreement whose lights can be turned off, the title of "Toastmasters" may also be lost to a club.
The question then arises can your club exist without the word "Toastmasters" in it's name.