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Avoid the potholes of franchising

Written by Jane Maudsley on Monday, 18 July 2016. Posted in Franchise Diaries

Buying a franchise might be a safer way to start your own business but there are still plenty of obstacles to overcome on your way to success

Avoid the potholes of franchising

While I don’t like to focus on the negatives, it’s still important to consider all the potential risks and obstacles that could arise when building a franchise. Ultimately, this could be the difference between a successful franchise and an unsuccessful one. So what are the biggest potholes you could face when getting your business off the ground and, crucially, how can you overcome them?

Finding the right support

Of course your family and friends support you but they will have an emotional interest in you personally rather than a pragmatic, transparent and objective interest in your success. That’s why it pays to surround yourself with business mentors that will be there to provide impartial guidance, whether that’s a positive business advisor, a forward-thinking accountant or a legal expert.

And, as much as other franchisees in a network will welcome you with open arms, you need to remember that they have their own plans and agenda. It sounds harsh but very few are genuinely happy for the ones doing really well, as they secretly wish it was them. So be mindful of this at all times and don’t get caught up in it. A wise franchisee knows what goes on and will remain stoic, run their business professionally and stick to the terms laid out in the franchise agreement. Remember why you bought the franchise in the first place, what you want from it and stay true to this.

Taking care of your employees

The money will flow if you tap into the power of your employees; they will ensure the product or service is the best that it can be. Suffice to say, if they are not happy, the outcome for your customers will be devastating. On the other hand, if your employees are looked after, respected, supported and given responsibility, your customers will be happy and become loyal to the brand.

It is all about what your employees and your customers need to feel. If cracks start to appear and you don’t repair them properly, relationships will fall down. This will have a catastrophic effect on your bottom line. So if you become great with employees then customers success is sure to follow.

Overcoming the fear

Fear is debilitating, negative and gets you nowhere. We spend our lives looking for danger and avoiding risks but the problem is that when you look for them, they come your way. You can steer clear of this by looking ahead and focusing on what you want to happen. Look past the fear to where you want to be because there’s something bright and warm on the other side of that journey – experience, knowledge, empowerment, wisdom and success.You already know how to get there and what you have to do, so go and do it.

There are always going to be problems and challenges but look to overcome them. Don’t dip too low that you cannot recover. And look to the franchisor for help and support.

Following the rules

Do not go into or remain in franchising if you don’t like rules or if you want to be an innovator. Someone built this system before you: they have many more years of experience running it than you do. They have encountered potholes, overcome them and kept going. Franchising is not a great fit for everyone, so if it’s not for you that’s absolutely fine. Walk away from it. But if you are in it, make it work. Make the system bring you your rewards. Don’t go down the slippery slope of losing the faith and the drive you’ll need to succeed.

The franchisor started the brand and will do everything in their power to make it a huge success. This will involve some strategic decisions, changes and tweaks along the way. It will all be for the good of the brand and the company as a whole. No decision will ever be taken lightly. And that’s something I can tell you as a franchisor that really cares about its franchisees. Its all about shared success amongst our entire network and we have one very clear goal: to be the best. That is at the heart of our company and it’s what drives us.

About the Author

Jane Maudsley

Jane Maudsley

Maudsley is founder and managing director of Little Voices, a national performing arts organisation that nurtures talent and builds confidence through drama and singing; it’s something she knows a lot about as a former opera singer. Out of the office, Maudsley enjoys being mother to her young daughter, walking, running, cooking, learning and reading.

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