Franchise owners offer their top pieces of advice for the new year.
With the new year officially underway, the franchising industry is filled with opportunity. Some of those biggest opportunities, however, involve reflecting on the past year and learning from decisions made in 2018. That’s why 1851 spoke with franchisees to learn more about the biggest lessons they learned in 2018 that they’re bringing into the new year.
Grow at a steady pace and follow the system.
Pool Scouts and Grout Medic franchise owner David Muirhead owns more than six franchise locations throughout Virginia. From his perspective, his biggest goal for 2019 is to control each location’s growth.
“From my experience, you shouldn’t start too quickly, jump out there too quickly because that can hurt you. You want to find the rhythm, get the system down and control the growth. Don’t get overwhelmed because I’ve done that before. When I started my first franchise, it was ‘throw a bunch of money at it and grow it as quickly as possible,’ but when you do things like that, you don’t have the people in place and you can waste a lot of money,” said Muirhead.
Seek guidance from other franchise owners.
Arguably one of the most under-utilized resources used by franchisees is each other.
“If I had just started up my own mosquito spraying company, I would just be out there on my own. When you buy into a franchise, you’re really buying into a family of other owners that end up being great resources for you. We help each other out. We share ideas with each other and we’re all in the same boat. We all want each other to be successful,” said Mosquito Joe franchise owner Sloan Black.
Train early before things become bad habits.
It’s easier to spend the early weeks of the new year training staff than to consistently be correcting bad habits throughout the year.
“We need to make sure that people are clear on their goals and keep them focused on what is most important. It is easy to get side-tracked by all the noise and distractions. Going back to the basics and making sure people are able to use the tools and technology available to us to do better a job of delivering great care outcomes,” said Right at Home franchise owner Ben Soloman.
Interact with happy customers for a confidence boost.
It’s no secret that unhappy customers are the first to fill out customer satisfaction surveys. While it’s important to note their concerns, don’t forget about your happy customers. As a franchise owner, you may not always be the one directly interacting with your customers.
Black took over an existing Mosquito Joe franchise location which in turn, came with an established customer base. Black said that by accompanying his technicians, he’s been able to learn what services long-time customers like and which ones they’d like to see added.
Soloman said that his goal for 2019 is to spend more time out in the field with his clients. This effort to get out into the field lets his clients and staff know “that they have the power of Right at Home behind them.”
Set aside a few days at the beginning of the year to accompany staff, and note the positive comments said by satisfied customers. This affirmational feedback can provide you with enough positive momentum to carry you through 2019.