As entrepreneurs who have owned and operated their franchises for more than a year, Checkers and Rally’s franchisee Guy Mace and Pool Scouts franchisee Tiffiny Consoli have learned valuable lessons they wish they knew as first-timers.
In order to provide advice to people new to franchising, 1851 Franchise connected with Mace, who has been involved with franchising since 2015, and Consoli, who opened her Pool Scouts location in August of 2016.
1. Take advantage of resources the franchise provides.
One of the most valuable lessons Mace and Consoli learned since becoming franchisees is to utilize all the resources that franchises provide.
“As an entrepreneur, I’m naturally used to figuring things out myself,” Mace said. “However, the real value of purchasing a franchise is the proven model and established system. Make full use of the resources available because they are there for a reason.”
Many franchisors want their franchisees to succeed, so they offer tools and training to ensure their businesses are profitable.
“Listen and learn from your franchisor and those that have gone before you,” Consoli says. “That is what they are there for. One of the reasons people buy franchises is because of the structure and plan the franchisor provides so that ultimately we can all be successful.”
2. Hire the right people.
For franchisees, hiring the right team is crucial because customers expect consistent service across all of the company’s locations. By finding people who reflect the brand and represent the company’s values, the business will be more productive and customers will be happier.
“Take the time to hire the right people the first time,” Mace said. “Make sure the shoe they’re providing fits your foot.”
3. Understand your market.
Consoli and Mace agree that it is important for franchisees to research their target markets in order to understand the needs and wants of their customers, competitors in the area, and trends that could impact their businesses.
“It’s important to develop efficiencies early,” Consoli said. “Find and market in the areas where you can grow deep.”
By understanding their markets, franchisees can develop a strategy to approach current and potential customers.
“Do your homework,” Mace said. “Franchises typically know their target markets and the markets they are not successful in. Take advantage of data.”
4. Have a vision.
Consoli believes franchisees should go into business with a vision to motivate them. She also thinks it is crucial for franchisees to stay committed to their goals and objectives.
“The most important thing is to deliver on is your vision,” Consoli said. “For us, it was great employees delivering great customer service, but you also need a strategic eye on the business side of things to ensure that you can be profitable and efficient each step of the way.”
5. Stay organized.
In order to ensure profitability, it is critical for first-time franchisees to learn to manage their time and keep up with their responsibilities.
“As a first-time franchisee, a lot of people come at you in a very short period of time, and it can be difficult to track and manage them when you’re not familiar with them,” Mace said.
6. Take pride in your work.
Although running a business can be challenging, it is helpful for first-time franchisees to take time to remind themselves that the work they do is meaningful and worthwhile.
“It is so rewarding to be able to cultivate and build customer relationships while also supporting employees and creating a positive work environment for folks who are working hard for you every day,” Consoli said. “There is a lot of hard work ahead for us as we continue to grow, but it’s all worth it at the end of the day when we are successful and feel great about the impact we are having on our community and staff.”