Having nine franchises with over 130 franchisees means we know a thing or two about how to make the most of a franchise business so we’ve drawn up this list of things you absolutely MUST DO to give your franchise business the best chance of success. We’ve seen franchisees come and go; we know what makes them fly and we know what causes them to fail. Read on and prepare to turbo charge your franchise.
Pay attention during training
We’d like to think this would be a given, but it is worth reiterating. Part of your franchise fee is paying for this highly focused training. This is a time you will have your franchisor’s 100% attention; ask lots of questions and give it your all. Potentially easier said than done but, try not to be worrying about things going on at home; focus on each day and the lessons you are being taught. Take notes, dictate notes to yourself at the end of each day; whatever helps you to absorb the information. By the end of it, you should have all the information you need to start running your business, plus a hefty franchise manual that contains everything you’ve been taught, to take home with you.
Follow the franchise model
There is absolutely no point in buying a franchise if you intend on doing it ‘your way’ the moment you get your hands on the business. Franchising works best when the model is followed. Every franchisor will be able to tell you stories of a former franchisee who insisted on doing it his or her way and ignored all advice and, unsurprisingly, was amazed when their business failed. It never works. Trust us. You have paid good money for our brand and our experience, use them, don’t abuse them. Good franchisors won’t hesitate to cancel your contract if you break the rules too many times. It’s not good for the company, for the brand or for our other franchisees. The model is the model for a reason. We’ve taken, sometimes, decades of experience and wrapped it up neatly into a franchise package for you. Just follow the model. We’ll always be happy to listen to feedback and new ideas but to begin with, just see, do, repeat.
Keep in close contact with your franchisor
Don’t imagine that the moment you step out of that training room you are on your own. Absolutely not. A good franchisor will hold your hand during the first few months, check in on you, be there to answer questions, have zoom calls or in-person visits to make sure everything is going well. From our angle we’d like you to stay in touch with us; in fact, we expect you to be our most frequent caller in those first few months. Ask us anything and everything. To begin with, it will be straightforward questions; further down the line, you may be thinking about offering discounts and amending the pricing? Ask us. Thinking about taking on your first member of staff? Ask us. Considering moving premises? Ask us. We will have seen and addressed every single issue you are going to come across, so before you make a move, ask us. That’s what we’re here for.
Keep up with your marketing and advertising
A common denominator in many failed franchises is that they didn’t market their business properly. Don’t be one of them. Your franchisor will tell you what percentage of your monthly turnover you should be spending on marketing/advertising – spend it. You need to keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds, be that via social media, flyers, adverts, ad words etc. Don’t have the best franchise in the world that nobody knows about.
Connect with your fellow franchisees
One of the greatest strengths of a franchise is its network and the other franchisees. There is a huge amount of knowledge wrapped up in the franchisee list. Use it. If there is an online group forum or WhatsApp group, join in, and use it. Ask for advice, float a new idea for marketing, and discuss best practice. The network is one of the most unique aspects of owning a franchise which makes the phrase ‘in business for yourself but not by yourself’ really come alive. Non-franchised business owners would give their eye teeth for a list of people that are experts at running their business and are willing to tell them, for free, how to do it! Use your network.
If it’s offered by the franchisor – say yes!
If your franchisor offers you a meeting, a review, or extra training – say yes, to all of them. No business ever failed because the owner knew too much. In time you may be able to help other new franchisees with the information you’ve picked up too. It also gets you in front of the franchisor, hearing about the latest news from the company. All useful information and a great place to be.
You’ll notice that many of the points above are around a form of communication, talking to franchisors, franchisees, and your clients. Your franchisor will never worry about you asking too many questions, only that you aren’t asking enough. We can build and design a great business but it’s your communication skills that will make it fly.