At long last we can start to put some of the challenges of 2020 behind us, and although nobody has a crystal ball to predict what lies ahead, there are now perhaps some reasons for us to be cautiously optimistic.
At long last we can start to put some of the challenges of 2020 behind us, and although nobody has a crystal ball to predict what lies ahead, there are now perhaps some reasons for us to be cautiously optimistic. The advent of a new, effective vaccine is very promising, and although business owners may still have to weather something of a rollercoaster ride in the first half of the year, by the second half I hope we can all hopefully look forward to the resumption of some sort of normality.
New Year is always a good time to reflect on what worked in 2020, what didn’t (quite a long list probably!) and to resolve to take any steps in 2021 that will help you to maximise all the opportunities that will become available.
A franchised business is already more resilient than an independent business, as franchisees have access to the support and back up that is provided by the franchisor. But are you making good use of all the support that is available to you? If not, I would advise that your number one New Year resolution would be to consider carefully any areas that you could capitalise on more, and make sure you are getting your money’s worth from the percentage of turnover that is paid to the franchisor. Here are some examples to consider…
Do you take every opportunity to network with other franchisees?
Whether this is in person or via Zoom, it is always good to talk with other franchisees and discuss any challenges you may be facing, initiatives that have worked for you, and ideas that you think might be helpful and could potentially be rolled out across the network. Sometimes we get so caught up in running our businesses that we don’t take the time to network, but this really is a key factor in the success of franchising. You are not in competition with your co-franchisees and can take advantage of what they have learned. It also helps you to realise that as a franchisee you are not working alone, and that can be invaluable.
Do you engage with your franchisor and the franchise support team?
A good franchisor will welcome feedback and ideas from franchisees to help attain further success. Be proactive within your franchise network, offer to get involved with trialling new initiatives, pass on any new concepts or technological advances that you think may be useful, and make time to join any working groups that are looking at potential new income streams.
Keep up to date with all the information that your franchisor provides.
Set aside time to check you have seen and read all emails, newsletters and other correspondence. Take advantage of any training that is offered to you or your team that will improve skills and efficiency. Even in a post pandemic world you may find that a lot of training is now being provided online, which can make it accessible, convenient and cost-effective.
Revisit your business plan.
If you have a business development manager that you can go through this with you it can be very helpful, as they make pick up things that you could miss because you are too ‘close’ to your business to be objective. Look at all areas of your business to see what can be streamlined, made more cost-effective and how you can improve your marketing, reviews and your ability to outperform the competition and gain more clients.
Consider opportunities to expand your business. Is 2021 the year for you to develop it further?
What help is available from your franchisor to help with business growth? It is important for any business to continue to evolve and to be able to position themselves so that they are able to respond to what can be fast changing and unpredictable situations.
Finally, make sure that you are getting the best from your team.
Can you introduce steps to improve communication, encourage staff to submit more ideas, take steps to enhance motivation and improve morale? Are there ways that you can recognise the achievements of individual team members? Do you need to employ new staff members, or consider taking on an apprentice? Creating and maintaining a good team is one of the main driving factors towards success in any franchise business.