The most crucial steps down the path to franchise success, as told by an account executive.
There are ten simple steps to becoming a great franchisee; though “simple” can be a fairly subjective term. Although I have not been a franchisee myself, I’ve worked with hundreds during my time at No Limit Agency and have noted ten steps toward success that transcend industry and stage of a franchise.
Plan. Planning is one of the toughest aspects of being a great franchisee, but it is a paramount step to success. When most prospective franchisees assess a franchise, they often look at the total cost to open a location and don’t factor in the cost to keep the business up and running if they end up in the red.
Losses happen more often than not in the business world, but that doesn’t mean that you have to close up shop. Planning for a downturn with additional funds to help keep you afloat can save your business. This tip applies to multi-unit owners especially. If an operator has two locations, there is the possibility to double sales. On the flipside, though, losses can be doubled during a given time period.
Use your resources. As a new franchisee, you need to trust the system that you’ve invested so much of your time and money into; use the resources that are provided. This is not limited to the marketing materials that your franchisor offers up—there is also a vast network of current franchisees at your disposal. By connecting with the top franchisees in your system you can formulate a list of best practices that you can use for your own location.
Reach out to the community. If you’re not involved in your community, then how are people going to notice your business? A sign out front is simply not enough. By giving back to your community by fundraising events, giving sponsorships or even offering gratis services, you can forge a genuine connection with your community.
Never settle. If you’re always looking for ways to improve your business, you will not only be a great franchisee, but you will also be a model for other franchisees to look up to.
Patrons are friends, not customers. Another step to becoming a great franchisee is to treat every customer that walks in the door as a friend. When you and your staff treat customers with conviviality and respect, you will see an increase in repeat customers and local brand loyalty.
Bring a great attitude to the table. If you’re not excited about your franchise, then how are your employees going to get fired up? And why would your customers get support a brand you’re not committed to? Morale and sales are more interconnected than one might think.
Stay inspired. What motivated you to become a franchisee? What drives your manager to increase sales every day? What keeps the line cook hustling back in the kitchen? Finding what motivates your individual team members can boost your bottom line and hike up team morale.
Quality is key. No matter what product or service you are offering to your customers (who you're treating like friends, remember?), it should always be of the highest quality. By upholding high standards for your products at all times, your customers will get exactly what they expect to receive every time they make a purchase from you.
Keep your team topnotch. Knowing your personnel is vital to not only your business, but also your reputation. It only takes one employee to make a gaff on social media and damage your business for months—if not years—down the road.
Find the perfect balance of powers. Managing is another word for “oversight.” To be a great franchisee, you need to be great at drawing the line between managing and micromanaging. No one likes to be micromanaged, but in some cases it’s needed in order to train employees quickly and effectively. After this point, the managerial focus can shift to placing employees in positions most conducive to their strengths.