Starting your first successful franchise business can all hinge on properly sizing up the opportunity and recognizing there is power in numbers.
After 8 NFL seasons as a player and 4 as an NFL coach, Justin Griffith built his career on helping his team size up the competition on the gridiron. Now, he’s learning to size up the Xs and Os of the franchise game as a Famous Toastery franchise owner.
“The thing I really liked about franchising is that the hard work is already done. People have already tested out everything and most of the franchises have a system. They can tell you how to run it and what areas you need to be in. It’s similar to playing – when you bring college players in on a team, you are taught a system. You’re taught how to run offense and complete plays. Franchises give you a playbook and if you follow the playbook you have a chance to be successful.”
As he works towards a 2018 opening of his uptown Charlotte, North Carolina location, he knows he needs to rely on more than a playbook to build and sustain a successful franchise business.
Rely and trust on your team
As in sports, teammates are crucial to executing a game plan. Franchising is no different. Griffith relies heavily on the advice of his parents and in-laws who have extensive small business experience.
“My dad started a tire company in Mississippi behind his house and now owns a store downtown. I talked to him about the ins and outs of business. What to expect in slow months vs. better months…. My in-laws started 3 day-care centers in Charlotte.”
Griffith’s parents-in-law knowledge and network in the Charlotte area has proven invaluable for Griffith. They helped introduce him to the city’s Chamber of Commerce who will happen to be his neighbors at his upcoming uptown location.
Griffith also relies heavily on fellow Famous Toastery franchise owners, rookies and veterans alike, to ensure personal success and success for the larger brand.
“Now you can group text and email with the existing franchisees. We ask questions and get answers back. We’re all trying to grow the brand together. We want to keep each other accountable.”
Listen to your coaches
Mosquito Joe Chief Operating Officer of Mosquito, Lou Schager, advocates that when choosing a franchisor partner it is important to choose “a brand that best fits your long-term goals, financial position, compatibility and the expectation for support. An inexperienced franchisee can excel and succeed in any size brand, as long as they conduct their due diligence and identify a brand that fits them well.”
Once the right franchisor partner is found, don’t hesitate to rely on them and ask them (a lot of) questions during the buying process and during the setup of the location. A good partner will be there for you every step of the way.
“I got to know Robert (Maynard) and the team for months before I ended up partnering with Famous Toastery…. They are always working for you. They have your back,” said Griffith.
Buying and setting up a successful franchise business is hard work. Schager refers to the “drinking from a fire hose” analogy a lot with franchisees he works with.
“Therefore, be a sponge in learning all aspects of the business and strive to become ‘brilliant at the basics’ by remaining engaged with the franchisor, fellow franchisees and of course, your customers – all who can provide invaluable feedback to grow your business. Lastly and most importantly, be resilient and prepare to learn from your mistakes as everyone experiences ups and downs, especially in their first year.”