1851 spoke with five franchisees who made the transition from manager to owner to see what advice they had for others looking to do the same.
Taking the leap from being a manager to becoming an owner can be a bigger step than many would expect. Although management can include a wide range of responsibilities, in the end, the success or failure of the business is not ultimately on you. That being said, managers are in a great position to take on more responsibility, learn more aspects of the business and eventually take home more of the glory that comes with being a business owner.
1851 Franchise asked five current franchise owners who made the transition from being managers what their top tips were for others who are in the manager position looking to take that next step. Here’s what they had to say:
Aaron Carricato, Beef 'O' Brady's: Learn as many facets of the business as you possibly can in the manager role. What I don’t think I realized about being an owner is that you wear so many different hats. I went to school for business and focused on marketing. As a restaurant owner, you have to learn hospitality, finance, marketing and human resources. The biggest change was that as a manager, your responsibilities are limited, whereas when you’re an owner, you’re exposed to every facet of the business and you have to be responsible for everything.
Looking back, I would have liked to do more research and ask more current owners how they are successful and what their obstacles are before I got started. Instead, I figured it all out on my own. Talking to other franchisees within the same brand or from other brands would have been extremely helpful. The one advantage I had was that I knew how to do everything in the system already.
Jason Washburn, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK: Be patient, success isn’t going to happen overnight. There will be a lot of ups and downs along the way, and sometimes it will take months or even years to see the fruits of your labor. But having patience and being consistent will get you there quicker.
Have a vision. It is important to have a direction by deciding where you want to be in the next five years. What will your business look like? How is it going to grow? Set short term and long term goals and achieve them! When you achieve a goal, whether small or large, you get a sense of accomplishment which boosts confidence and drive.
Julio Chavez, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches: You have to have that passion for it and love what you do. I’m here every day and my employees see that. You have to have a heart for it and you have to be committed to being an owner.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was that I had no idea how taxes worked. But overall, it was very eye opening once I learned all of the other stuff you have to do to maintain the place when you are an owner. I had a lot of hands-on training, learned little by little and always learned from my mistakes.
Mike Conley, Pita Pit: Do your research and make sure that you have all of the resources you need. I’ve made sure to form personal relationships with all of the people I need resources from and now I know exactly who to talk to about any question I have. It’s best to start networking with people as soon as you can because everyone at the franchise has something they can help you with.
Make sure to account for taxes. Operationally, not much changed for me once I became an owner, but processing payroll and paying taxes was a change of pace. Be prepared for that and don’t pay yourself until everything is paid at the end of the month.
Caren Beckett, Sylvan Learning: You may think you know a lot about the business coming from the manager role, but there’s always something you can learn from fellow franchisees. We network a lot with those who do what we do. The biggest thing is getting to know the people around you and your resources. As a manager you may not know the corporate team as well and knowing how they can help you will make you successful.
Have knowledge or passion for the industry you are becoming an owner in. I can’t imagine not having the passion to keep me going. Being able to have that understanding has played a part in appreciating every part of what we do. Now that I’m hiring new employees and training, I feel like I have been in their shoes so I understand the learning curve.