Two franchise founders share lessons they learned while growing their companies.
From McDonald’s to 7-Eleven to Great Clips, every successful franchise started as an emerging brand. In order to rise to the top, up-and-coming franchises need to gain experience, establish rapport, and learn from mistakes and accomplishments.
1851 Franchise connected with Famous Toastery founder and CEO Robert Maynard and Welcomemat Services founder and CEO Brian Mattingly for advice about overcoming challenges many franchisors encounter while expanding their businesses.
1. Grow with a purpose.
Maynard said it is important for growing companies to prioritize the prosperity of every location. Before opening another store, franchisors should make sure they have the time and resources to support all of their existing franchises.
“I’d rather have 10 stores that are doing great than 100 that are struggling,” Maynard said. “We are more focused on the success and profitability of each location and franchisee than the number of stores we have. Don’t take your eye off the prize.”
2. Establish a great company culture.
Mattingly believes Welcomemat Services has been able to attract franchisees dedicated to growing the brand because he and his team cultivated a company culture that revolves around helping others, which gives employees a purpose.
“As a company, our core focus is to ensure others succeed,” Mattingly said. “Whether it is our franchisees, our clients, our vendors or anyone else who encounters the brand, we work hard to go above and beyond for them. This allows us to prosper and build a great business.”
3. Time management is important.
When a company is growing quickly, some franchisors overextend themselves trying to manage employees, clients and customers. To avoid biting off more than they can chew, franchisors should manage their time and hire others who can help them.
“In the beginning, many entrepreneurs underestimate how much time and energy it takes to grow a franchise,” Maynard said. “You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t do everything yourself. I’ve seen some companies grow so quickly that they can’t keep up with demand, so you have to know when to grow and know when to slow.”
4. Hire the right people.
Mattingly thinks a franchise is only as successful as its franchisees. That opinion is why it is important to take the time to properly vet potential franchisees to make sure they are a good fit.
“As we were emerging, one of the biggest challenges was franchisee selection,” Mattingly said. “It can be tempting to allow anyone to get involved, but it is imperative that you are selective and find the best people for your system.”
Mattingly said Welcomemat Services is looking to partner with 12 new franchisees in 2018. To find the best candidates, the company created personas of people who would and would not be a good fit.
“While it might be hard to turn someone down, it ends up being costlier to bring someone in who does not share the same goals and values,” Mattingly said. “The whole idea of franchising is to find the right people who can help build the brand.”
5. Support your franchisees.
Famous Toastery involves its franchisees in important decisions and solicits their input.
“We are in the trenches with our franchisees, so we understand both their setbacks and successes,” Maynard said.
One of Mattingly’s favorite parts about franchising is working with franchisees to ensure that they build lucrative businesses.
“I love to see franchisees grow and prosper,” Mattingly said. “I’ve worked with our franchisees to expand to open multiple units and have seen people get promoted and grow into their roles to impact communities across the country.”