After a very challenging 2022, where it has been one thing after another (following a difficult couple of years dominated by the pandemic) I think we are all hoping for more stability in 2023. One thing we do know though, is that there will be plenty of challenges for businesses of all sizes, with higher inflation and energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis hitting the headlines.
And yet, despite the negative press around these issues, many franchisees are continuing to thrive, building and growing their own businesses locally. With support from their franchisor and as part of a network of other franchisees, they have a much stronger chance of success than someone in business on their own.
So, is 2023 is going to be the year you take control and start to build your future your way? Buying a franchise can be one of the best ways to start a business, whatever is going on in the economic, political and global environments we are part of.
Here are my ten tips to help you become a successful franchisee and, spoiler alert, there are no short-cuts or easy options!
Know yourself and what you want to do
Franchising covers a wide range of business sectors and types so there is something for everyone. You can buy a franchise in a children’s play activity business or offer business coaching. Or you could join a big brand fast food franchise, a coffee shop or build a business offering home care or cleaning. It is worth spending some time working out what is it you want to do in this new phase of your life.
Choose the right one!
It sounds simple but this is the stage where you need to do plenty of research. This should include looking at the projections the franchisor may provide and understanding how the business works. Talk to existing franchisees, they will often be able to help you gain a better understanding of the support and training offered. As you do your research, you can start to prepare your business plan, a vital part of the process. Many franchisors will expect you to present your business plan in order to gain acceptance as a franchisee.
Research is key
As well as researching the franchisor, you should look closely at the territory or area that you will be buying. What does your potential customer base look like, is there plenty of business available to help you build your franchise? What does your competition look like, can you do some mystery shopping to find out what they offer and to check what typical pricing in the area looks like? Do you need premises to operate your chosen franchise? If you need staff at the outset, how will you recruit them?
Make sure you have enough capital to invest
This is where your business plan and projections will help you to work out initial and ongoing cash flow requirements for your franchise. Your business plan will help you obtain any bank funding you might need and will give you a framework to track your cash flow and sales when you launch your business.
Listen to your franchisor
Not just during the initial training but as you build your business. They’ve been here before and know what is needed. Ask for help if you are struggling.
Focus on customer service
Think customer first at every step. Get the basics right, it isn’t just about saying all the right things, you must do them too! Ask for reviews and feedback and act quickly if anything has gone wrong.
Look after your staff
Build a strong team, get them to understand and commit to your values and ambitions. People want to be valued, so look for opportunities to praise and to help them develop their skills.
You are in it for the long term as most franchise agreements are for a five or even a ten-year term. Keep working to build and grow your new franchise, focusing on the training you’ve had and doing the basics really well.
Have ambition and plan ahead
Talk to your franchisor about what you want to achieve and get their help to plan your growth. Having a longer-term goal in mind will help you to focus on how you need to build your business.
Working for yourself, even with the help and support of a franchise, involves hard work, uncertainty and risk, so make sure you are doing something you love.
Is it time for a change in 2023? Get started now and find the right franchise for you!