How to prepare for expanding a franchise fleet, according to Buffalo Wings & Rings CEO Nader Masadeh.
Hooray, you’ve conquered your first franchise! Let’s not pop the champagne quite yet, though; now is the perfect time to consider upping the ante and becoming a multi-unit franchisee. Before jumping into that brave new world, it’s important to take a few crucial steps towards becoming a more savvy and prepared franchisee. Here are ten things to do before becoming a multi-unit franchisee.
Lay a solid foundation. “The hardest thing is about franchising is starting with the first,” Nader Masadeh, CEO of Buffalo Wings & Rings said. “It becomes easier as you grow.” Blowing through the opening of the first unit may seem tempting, but it’s crucial to jump all of the hurdles that come with running a franchise.
Build your dream team. As more units are added to your franchise fleet, having a stellar team in place becomes more vital than ever. Eliminating weak links and encouraging superstar staffers to shine will strengthen morale and bring productivity to an all-time high.
Hunt for the perfect location. An infallible business plan and exemplary staff mean nothing if your franchise’s location isn’t optimal. Before signing a lease, analyze the area near the prospective location and take note of traffic patterns, competing businesses and possible deterrents.
Develop a game plan. Having management issues? Fine-tuning a shaky marketing strategy? Hoping to increase your social media presence? A foolproof and scalable modus operandi should be in place well before making the leap to another unit.
Groom the staff. “If you have the right control in place, you become more of a leader versus a manager,” Masadeh said. “You lead the management staff and disseminate your vision.” By imparting a clear vision upon ab adept staff, you can divide time between units without worry.
Network with locals. Building a solid web of local business owners and residents is integral to strengthening your franchise’s overall presence. By allying with community members, your brand will flourish with the help of word-of-mouth marketing and civic support.
Optimize the business model. With several units under your dominion, adapting your management style and point-of-view is essential. “You’re running a company not a restaurant anymore,” Masadeh said. “Consolidate processes and maintain efficiencies throughout the operation.”
Open the lines of communication. Maintaining honest and open communication with your staff will ensure a smooth transition into multi-unit management. An open forum must be sustained as you begin to split your time between locations and the staff learns to be more autonomous.
Encourage feedback. Opening another unit is a commitment that demands more time, effort and sacrifice from both franchisee and staff. Internal and external feedback will be crucial during this transition; be open to any input you receive throughout the unit’s development.
Consolidate as much as possible. Streamlining business components like social media, special promotions and staff training will create a more efficient operation for both franchisee and staff. Uniform operational procedures will make work more consistent and easily enforceable.