15 Jan 2020

Man signing contract

​Sole operator of a new franchise? Congratulations! Owning a franchise is an incredibly rewarding experience that pays off in more ways than one. Of course, running a franchise takes a lot of hard work — with the right plan, however, you’ll be well on your way to success. The more you plan for the future, the better your end result.

Planning a Successful Franchise

Set Realistic Expectations

When you’re first starting out, it’ll be just you (and that’s a good thing). You’ll be able to craft your own franchise from the bottom up — every bit of what you build will be the result of your hard work. With that in mind, it’s important to set some realistic expectations. After all, you’re only one person! Owning a franchise is an incredible opportunity, but try your best not to work too hard.

Realize That Time Management is Paramount

For the moment, your franchise is just you, and maybe your spouse or a business partner helping you out. Without anyone else to pick up the slack, your time management skills are utmost important. Books, careers, training courses: the world of time management is a saturated one. There are a thousand different time management techniques and strategies out there, all trying to solve the same question — “How do I make the most out of my day?”

As a sole franchise owner, you don’t have the time nor energy to invest in personal experimentation. Stick with what you know: if little Post-it notes are your magic ingredient, go with that. If you’re struggling to find a time management technique, default to the simplest method of all: a list.

Make a list of your daily tasks. Knock them out, one by one. Some sole operators prefer to tackle quick and easy tasks first. Others prefer to handle complicated tasks at the beginning so the day becomes easier as it progresses. Whatever your method, stick with it: a simple plan beats no plan every day of the week.

Appreciate the Value of Your Hard Work

Granted, this should hardly be a surprise, but it’s still worth mentioning. Franchising is hard work: don’t expect to skip ahead and go straight to the finish line.

Yes, franchises have impressive success rates. As a franchisee, you’re working directly with an established franchisor — that means training, marketing, and technical help. That assistance exists solely to help you succeed, not perform the work for you.

As the sole operator of a franchise, you’re responsible for getting most things done. It’s the clearest form of accountability: either you perform or nothing gets done. Hard work and dedication to your investment must be your number one priority!

Know That People Skills Still Matter

Franchise ownership is, in many ways, an exercise in interpersonal skills. As a sole operator, you’re still dealing with people on a daily basis. On any given day, you might have interactions with your franchisor’s home office, dealings with local suppliers, and meetings with marketing and salespeople.

Improving your interpersonal and social skills is an absolute must for any franchise owner.

Follow and Trust the Model

It should go without saying, but franchises are a “plug-and-play” business model. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to executing a franchisor’s plan. If you’re the creative-inventive type, don’t worry — there will be plenty of opportunities for flexibility and creative ideas and execution.

When you’re first getting off the ground, however, take your franchisor’s plan to heart. Follow the time-tested method that’s quite literally handed to you on a silver platter: it’s there because it works.

Embrace Your Franchisor

Your franchisor is your new best friend (well, business partner) and your most valuable ally. It’s also the entity you’re legally attached to for the foreseeable future — and there’s a lot of money at stake.

As the sole operator of your franchise, it’s vital that you maintain a positive, healthy relationship with your franchisor. Follow instructions as given, offer input when appropriate, and do your best to be a good partner.

Make Full Use of Everything Your Franchisor Offers

Each and every bit of help and advice given to you can be very valuable. Many franchisors will offer “optional” (hint: consider these highly useful) training videos, online courses, and marketing support. Make full use of the information and help — you need you all the tools you can to make the most out of your business.

Put Your Customers First

For a new franchise, reputation is everything. Yes, part of what you purchased was the reputation associated with your particular franchisor — but it’s up to you to maintain that reputation.

Great customer service and excellent work will help you establish long, healthy relationships with your clients.

Additionally, consider offering seasonal incentives, or new customer price reductions. Do your best to reward repeat customers by offering value through price promotions, additional services and other methods that work with your franchise model. Referral discounts are another way of promoting your business to new clients. You’re creating a reputation for your local franchise — make the most of it.

Understanding the Needs and Wants of Your Business

Part of what makes running your own franchise difficult is understanding the needs and wants of your business. Without employees or a co-owner to turn to, you might feel left out in the dark.

Customers (Clients)

No business exists without clients or customers. Take the time to review your business plan, and market research documents to better understand your future client base. Familiarize yourself with the two following basic concepts:

  • Who your clients are
  • What your clients want

Without a strong understanding of how to make money, you’re not going to get very far!

Operations

Your franchisor will likely offer the training and assistance necessary to get you going, but daily business operations are an area where you will need to continue to focus. Necessary business skills include:

  • Financial management
  • Sales
  • Strategic planning
  • Day-to-day operations

Staffing

Staffing isn’t likely an immediate concern, but it’s something you need to plan for. Ask yourself what role you envision taking in your franchise down the road.

Do you see yourself as:

  • Hands-on for years to come?
  • Taking on a managerial role?
  • Willing to let others step up to the plate while you reduce your daily involvement?

Depending on the type of franchise, you may need to eventually hire a general manager to take care of the day-to-day operations. Plan for how you want to address staffing issues down the road — and ask your franchisor for help.

Bringing in the Right People

Eventually, you might need to bring in new people to help with your franchise. Most franchisors offer some form of assistance with the hiring process — after all, the franchisor succeeds when you succeed. Larger franchises might have corporate training programs, internal staff transfer mechanisms, or general hiring advice.

Happy workers—employees with the right mindset—are vital to the success of your franchise. You want people with great attitudes. The more your staff want to come to work, the better off you’ll be. And, of course, having the right people in place means you can take a step back from the day-to-day running of your franchise.

Take the time to interview multiple candidates for a position. Bring them in for a second interview, if need be. The last thing you want to do is jump the gun and bring on a candidate that is not a good fit for your business. Always push for quality above all else — if that delays the hire by a week or a month, so be it.

Franchising: Be Your Own Boss

Franchising isn’t easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to follow someone else’s system. The more you plan ahead, the better the end result. If franchising sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, WIN Home Inspection offers prospective franchisees a proven system in a winning industry. For more information, please call (800) 967-8127 or email us at franchising@wini.com and one of our experts will contact you promptly.

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