How to build a winning team within a franchise business

So, you've done months of preliminary research, made the decision to open a franchise business, successfully raised the funds you need and managed to find a suitable office?

How to build a winning team within a franchise business

So, you’ve done months of preliminary research, made the decision to open a franchise business, successfully raised the funds you need and managed to find a suitable office? Congratulations, this is exciting news! But the real work starts now.

Franchise or not, one of the most critical elements to a thriving, successful business is building a winning team and instilling a positive culture throughout the organisation.

This is no mean feat. Finding the right people at the right time, who are passionate and committed to driving your franchise forward, not to mention competent, can be challenging.

Get it right and your franchise will soar. Get it wrong and this can result in employees occupying roles they are unsuited or unqualified for, or not inclined towards.

This can significantly damage the launch of your franchise and hamper the chances of success. Remember, people can make or break a business!

Here are five top tips to building a winning team:

  1. Clearly
    define job roles and do not recruit prematurely:

    As a new franchisee, you will be busy laying the foundations of your business and probably have an ever-growing list of actions. Does this sound familiar?

    However, take the time to properly consider and define job roles to ensure candidates with the right qualifications, experience and personal attributes apply. This will save you an enormous amount of time and hassle trying to replace bad hires in the long run. Draft the job role, read it back to yourself and consult others before posting.

Seek recruitment advice and support from your franchisor. They may have ready-made job descriptions tailored from years of experience, can help with job adverts and will know the best mechanisms for recruiting staff. As a last resort, consider using a recruitment consultant, but fees can often be very high.

Have you implemented a structured hiring process? If you see a candidate you like, interview them several times and use psychometric testing to audit their skills. Let other staff meet them before hiring and ensure they complete a trial period.

  1. Develop
    and inspire staff:

    Encourage everybody to be the best they can possibly be and dedicate funds specifically for staff training and development to help build a winning team.

Why not ask individual team members, via regular appraisals, what areas they would like to improve in then tailor a selection of courses? You can offer advice and guidance, but give employees a say in their own future to earn their respect. Run joint training sessions when you can to make it fun and engaging.

Lead by example in order to inspire. If one of your team is struggling with something, for example client calls, then give them some one-to-one time. Coach them and make a few calls yourself to demonstrate how it is done, then let them take over.

Listen to your team and ask for feedback on their own development, as well as issues relating to the wider business. As people learn and take on more responsibilities, promote from within and reward with pay rises and benefits (e.g. extra holiday).

Try to be flexible and bend your own personality around individual team members’ needs to maximise their strengths, as well as mitigate weaknesses.

  1. Set
    clear goals and objectives:

    Setting clear goals and objectives gives your team clarity on what you expect from them. It also provides a framework upon which you can assess the progress of your business and make changes as required.

Goals and objectives allow staff to focus and prioritise day-to-day actions, as well as understand your business and how their role contributes to its ongoing success.

They also motivate employees, promote teamwork and increase morale because workers take ownership and pride in what they do. When they achieve one of their goals, why not reward them? They will love you for it! 

  1. Develop
    a positive culture:

    If employees are happy and motivated, they will be more productive and deliver better work. You will also find it much easier to retain them, minimising the disruption, time and cost of finding replacements.

So, develop a positive culture throughout your franchise operation that starts at the top. This could be as simple as taking the time to chat with your team and sharing a joke or two.

Any franchisor worth its salt will have a mission statement, which sets out the core values and beliefs of its brand. This is integral to your business, so have it printed and make it visible to employees in your office.

Encourage people to share ideas and communicate openly and honestly. Employee health and wellbeing is vital, so consider adopting some sort of wellness scheme. This should offer your employees all the resources, tools and benefits (such as health checks and free dental treatment) that they need to live healthily, both in and out of work.

  1. Show
    your appreciation!

How often do you say thank you? When employees do a good job, it is important to show your appreciation, highlighting extraordinary members of the team wherever possible. It will help them feel like they are working for a business they can be proud of and inspire personal pride and satisfaction.

Do not take your team for granted. Appreciate them for who they are, the jobs they do and what they contribute to your business. Why not create an ’employee of the month’ award, with a prize and certificate? Little initiatives like that go a long way to driving morale and staff retention.

Ultimately, being an ambitious entrepreneur is not the same as being a good team leader. Franchisees need to ensure they transition their mindset to ensure that when they have the right people in place, they can retain them.

David Glover
David Glover