Don’t wait till the first of January: now is the time to start taking stock and planning your 2017 strategy
The New Year is traditionally a time when people reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future, whether it’s something personal like getting fit or a business-related resolution such as growing your network of franchisees. You may think it’s a bit early to be thinking about resolutions but now’s actually the best time to start the planning process so you’re refreshed and ready for action when January arrives. As your team returns to the office after the Christmas break, you’ll be ready to spring into action and hit the ground running.
I find that putting together a strategy for the year ahead makes it easier to stay focused. Spending November and December reflecting on how you and your business have fared in 2016 can help you achieve your long-term goals. This is the time to bring all those lingering issues that rattle around in your head late at night to the forefront, put new ideas on the table and think about how you’ll implement them.
Sometimes it takes a concerted effort to uncover underlying issues. Even the most organised franchise networks with a healthy reporting and training system can ignore certain aspects of the day-to-day operations of the franchised outlets. It’s very easy for busy franchisees to get so absorbed in running the business that they neglect to report problems back. Setting aside some time to identify those areas as the year comes to a close gives you the chance to put a system in place that addresses the root of the issues so you won’t be carrying them over to the next year.
This is also the time to review your overall support system, which includes looking into your training programmes and how your franchisees prefer to be reached. Does the way you share skills need a revamp? Do you have the right head office staff supporting your franchisees? Are your franchisees going quiet on you? If so, why might that be? It may be an incredibly hectic period but getting feedback from your franchisees now will allow you to develop an ongoing review system that will help maintain standards and reignite your franchisees’ passion for being part of the team.
Another aspect that can often be ignored, especially by smaller franchisors, is industry updates. It’s not easy to predict future changes that might affect your sector but it’s definitely worth looking into any pending legislation and emerging market trends to ensure you’re staying ahead of the curve. It’s also a good idea to spend some time looking at what the competition is doing. This research, combined with the feedback you’ve received from your franchisees, will help you develop an offering that truly sets you apart from the competition.
Franchisees rely on their franchisors to support the network and move it forward, so ensure you put the time and effort into business planning now in order to start reaping the rewards in the New Year.