We’ve said it before, but it’s worth re-iterating…franchising is not a get-rich quick scheme! It’s just as hard managing a franchise as it is any other business. Having said that, though, joining a franchise has advantages over running an independent start-up, so if you’re exploring the possibility of buying a franchise, are new to the franchising game or even an old hand looking for tips to improve your business, we’ve got some great advice right here…
Make Sure the Franchise Fits…
To sustain interest in your business, it helps to be in an industry you’re passionate about. But passion only gets you so far – you also need to ensure that there’s a good match between your skills set, competencies, training and experience and your franchise. That’s why choosing the right franchise for you is so crucial. The potential rewards of a particular franchise may be superficially appealing, but don’t do it if:
- You’ve never worked in the industry in which the franchise operates – a food franchise may seem lucrative on the face of it, but the long hours in a hot kitchen will soon put you off
- You’ve no love for the focus of the franchise itself – education may be a great game to get into, for example, but if you’re not into kids, a kids education franchise is not for you.
And the Franchisor, too!
To be a successful franchisee, you’ll have to work closely with your franchisor. If there’s any inkling that the two of you won’t get along, move on! Look for a franchisor who is:
- Genuinely passionate about their franchise business
- Energetic and interested in business and people
- Warm and approachable
- Knowledgeable and willing to share that knowledge
- Available and hands-on – someone who takes your calls, makes time to address your queries and concerns, and listens to feedback, suggestions and ideas.
Focus on the Customer
The secret to business success – customers! No customers, no business, so make customer-centricity a mantra to live by. Here’s how:
- Deliver on your promises – customers pay good money and they expect the goods. Don’t. Disappoint.
- Go the extra mile – an unexpected freebie, follow-up phone calls, a greeting card on your client’s birthday…it’s all the little things that set you apart from your competitors
- Smile – no one wants to deal with a sour puss, so make sure you’ve got your game face on every, single day!
- nvest in your staff – ensure they’re mentally switched on, emotionally present and properly trained
- Provide an experience, not just a product or service – people buy from people, not companies!
Brush Up on Your Business Skills
You may be an expert in your particular field – the best plumber, painter or landscape gardener this side of the equator, for example – but now that you’re running a franchise, you need some serious business nous in addition to those top-notch technical skills. Sign up for a short course, diploma or business degree and get a handle on:
- Financial management
- Marketing and sales
- Tax and legal issues
- Human resources
- Project management.
One of the leading causes of business failure – the inability to delegate. Recognising your own strengths and weaknesses, and when it’s better to bring in expert, outside help rather than muddling through it on your own is a characteristic of top entrepreneurs, like Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg. So take a leaf out of their business book, take a long hard look at yourself and if you’re not the right person for the job, hire someone who is! And if you think you can’t afford it, remember that time is money – your money is better invested when you’re free to do those things at which you’re truly talented. Trust us, it’ll make your business more productive and more profitable in the long run!