Being your own boss comes with a whole host of achievements and goals – but how do franchisees continue to motivate themselves to achieve these? Without a line manager to answer to or a sales chart to refer to, how else do you monitor growth?
Goal setting has been a fundamental component of running a successful business since before American psychologist Edwin A. Locke formally developed the theory in 1968*. It is the litmus test that entrepreneurs base all their professional endeavours against and, in most cases, use to qualify themselves.
Here, Sarah Richardson, with the help of Nick Skinner, both long-term Business Development Managers for pet-care franchise Petpals, explains how they support franchisees to determine, reach and evaluate goals and how this strategy positively impacts focus and motivation.
Entrepreneurship is inherently diverse, spanning different industries, skill sets and personal aspirations. A personalised approach to goal setting recognises and takes into account the unique circumstances, strengths and challenges franchisees encounter on this journey. Through the adoption of a tailored approach, they gain the ability to align their goals with their specific vision. This not only fosters a sense of ownership but also cultivates motivation, enabling them to set objectives that resonate with their passion and purpose.
At Petpals, we embrace a metaphorical open-door policy – encouraging franchisees to seek interim reviews and support whenever needed. For new franchisees, goals set at launch – such as client targets, monthly turnover or staffing objectives – pave the way for a tailored growth trajectory. As franchisees become established, their focus naturally shifts to diverse goals like staff expansion, efficient time management or strategic business growth. Our strategies are carefully designed to align with these individual aspirations. We consistently monitor progress, conducting thorough goal analysis and resetting objectives when necessary.
Contrary to conventional metrics, a franchisee’s success should be monitored through a more comprehensive lens. Yes, we measure sales – but we have a strong enough working relationship with franchisees to find other ways to measure success or ‘failure’ (although we do not use that word!). At Petpals, our focus extends beyond sales to profitability, adaptability to market changes and a nuanced understanding of what suits each franchisee in a given year.
While sales are vital, a comprehensive set of goals should address diverse facets, including product and service enhancement, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and innovation. Such a multifaceted strategy ensures the business’s overall resilience, mitigating risks associated with market fluctuations and changing consumer behaviours. By diversifying these goals, franchisees can foster long-term success.
Goal setting aids franchisees facing hardships by providing objectives, direction and a roadmap for improvement. By working closely with franchisees to tailor these goals, they feel committed to addressing specific weaknesses. We integrate opportunities for training and support into the goals, establishing a system for regular monitoring and feedback. This includes introducing incentives tied to goal achievement, fostering a mindset of continuous improvement and maintaining open communication and transparency throughout the process. By periodically re-evaluating and adjusting goals based on evolving circumstances, we ensure a strategic and supportive approach – ultimately enhancing franchisee performance.
At Petpals, we understand that underperformance is not always the sole fault of the franchisee – sometimes, outside factors like the economy or personal issues can affect the running of their business. That is why we prioritise engaging with our franchisees who may face these challenges, offering a sympathetic ear and providing suggestions to navigate their difficulties. We recognise that there are moments when our presence alone is essential, guiding them on potential solutions and goals that can get them back on track.
A plan for the future
Whether embarking on a new life chapter later in life or venturing into entrepreneurship with dreams of a long and rewarding career, practical goal setting becomes the cornerstone for maximising the benefits of investing in a franchise. Crafting a successful strategy for the future demands a comprehensive approach that spans various career timelines and aspirations. It must recognise and cater to the unique needs of individuals striving to establish a lasting business or seasoned franchisees contemplating succession plans to reap the rewards of their hard work in retirement.
Our approach is finely tuned to accommodate the diverse needs and aspirations of entrepreneurs at different junctures of their professional journey – ensuring that franchisees derive optimal value from their investment. For those entering the franchise arena post-career, often after dedicating three decades or more to a corporate role, our goal-setting framework facilitates a seamless transition from the corporate realm and aligns with the commitment to establish a thriving legacy upon selling their business.
On the other hand, for younger entrepreneurs envisioning a flourishing business in the years to come, we synchronise these goals with their evolving ambitions – providing a robust structure for achieving milestones and realising their vision for long-term success.
Setting goals is non-negotiable when aiming for success. As you embark on your franchise journey, reflect on your motivation – what drives you? Consider the underlying reasons and connect them to your goals. Stay committed to your objectives over time, whether they involve pension planning or enjoying vacations post-retirement. Remember that your business is an asset you may wish to sell in the future. Focus on the end goal and, most importantly, use the support available!