The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a franchise as “someone who has been given the right to sell a company’s goods or services in a particular area: a person who has been granted a franchise.” If this definition fits you…keep reading. Here are our top 8 tips on how to run a successful franchise.
How to Run a Successful Franchise: Our Top 8 Tips
#1. Follow the Rules
This applies to every single aspect of your franchise business. It is imperative that you are clear on all the regulations of your franchisor (think: infrastructure, staffing, and operations) and that you follow them to the letter. You will need to keep your franchise agreement handy and refer to it as often as needed, especially when it comes to making crucial business decisions. By doing this, you will avoid legal action, and you will give customers the same experience they have come to expect from the brand.
#2. Take Advantage of Your Franchisor’s Resources
Franchisors generally have several programs and tools that you should take advantage of on an ongoing basis.
These often include training, financing options, marketing, technology and web support. Communicate regularly with your franchisor about upcoming events so that you do not miss any opportunity to improve your franchise operations. Be sure to follow your franchisor on social media and ensure that you are signed up to receive any newsletters or other communications that are sent out.
#3. Seek a Mentor
A good mentor can act as a sounding board, offering sound advice to help you on your journey toward franchise success.Your mentor does not have to be a fellow franchisee or even a small business owner. The ideal mentor is someone who is successful and willing to listen and offer their expertise whenever they can.
National advertising campaigns put out by your franchisor can certainly help to promote your brand. However, these should not replace your own marketing. It should only serve to supplement it. Try to find creative ways to advertise your business locally.
Here are a few examples:
- Appearances on local TV and radio shows to discuss your product or service-Interviews/features in local newspapers or magazines.
- Renting an exhibit booth at local events that your target customers are likely to attend.
- Sponsoring events in your community e.g. marathon, fundraising for a charity-Offering discounts and coupons to nearby offices or schools.
#5. Never Stop Learning
In today’s ever-changing world, it is important to keep abreast of trends in your field, and also in the local and national marketplace. One way to keep up with news about your brand is to set up Google Alerts to be notified when your company’s name is mentioned online. This will give you access to information from a wide variety of sources on a myriad of topics related to your franchise. Some of these ‘alerts’ may point you to potential problems that you might be able to solve, or give you ideas that could be instrumental to the success of your business.
If you are pressed for time (who isn’t?!), take advantage of podcasts. These on-demand audio recordings will help you to access the precise information you need whenever you need it. The best part, is that this information is available at no charge. Podcast hosts are usually open to questions and feedback, so you may have the opportunity to have your specific questions answered on future episodes.
Even more importantly, you can maximize your time, by listening (and learning!) during your commute, or while you are doing chores and other mundane tasks. Here is a list of some podcasts that are specially geared towards franchisees:
- Automate your Franchise – hosted by franchise sales consultant, Paul Maskill
- Franchise Euphoria – hosted by franchise attorney, Josh Brown
- Franchise Interviews – hosted by marketing professor, Dr. Martin McDermott
- Smart Franchise Marketing – hosted by business consultant, Caroline Balinska
- The 5 AM Miracle – hosted by inspirational speaker, Hal Elrod
#6. Join a Club
There are many benefits to be gained from cultivating relationships with other franchisees. This type of collaboration can often help you to solve problems, and it can help others find answers to theirs. To connect with colleagues, consider the following ideas:
- Join a professional group such as the International Franchise Association and be sure to read their newsletters and attend conferences, if you can.
- Grab a cup of coffee with a franchisee in your community.
- Join active small business owner/franchisee private groups on LinkedIn and Facebook-Work with a business coach or franchise consultant.
#7. Consider Outsourcing
Look critically at all your business operations to see if there are any functions that could be outsourced to someone else. This will increase your productivity: by removing one item from your plate, you free up time to focus on the other important ones. Simply put, you will be able to work smarter, instead of harder. In addition, you could hire a professional to handle a task that you are not an expert at, or one that you don’t enjoy.
Here are a few examples:
- Hire a virtual assistant for a few hours per week to handle staff scheduling and social media posts.
- Lean on your franchisor to see if you can outsource staff training to them.
#8. Get a Good Handle on Your Finances
Aside from initial franchising fees, you will need to be aware of recurring and occasional fees such as royalties. These fees could be a percentage of your revenue; or it may be a flat fee, depending on your franchisor’s requirements. In addition, unless you are a bookkeeper by profession – doing your books yourself may result in serious long-term implications for your franchise.
Having accurate and timely books will allow you to make better decisions based on the financial health of your business. Our RQB team members are experts at franchise bookkeeping services. But don’t just take our word for it. See what one of our clients, franchisee, Craig Simon has to say about us, in this article.
Contact us today to see how we can best meet your needs!