You did it! You found an amazing franchise opportunity and signed the final contract. You’re well on your way to becoming a small business owner, being your own boss, and making a positive impact in your local community.
However, starting your franchise is where the hard work really begins and where it all starts to pay off. That’s why we’ve put together these five tips to succeed with your new franchise and enjoy your new role as a small business owner for years to come.
1. Have Enough Funding to Get Started
If you’ve made it as far as signing your franchise agreement, then you’ve already put a lot of time and money into doing your due diligence and preparing yourself for this moment.
But signing your franchise agreement is just the beginning. Becoming a franchise owner is an amazing, life-changing opportunity that requires discipline, leadership, and commitment if you want to succeed.
You’ll also need money and outside help to make your franchise dream a reality. While franchise owners typically see returns on their investment much more quickly than start-up entrepreneurs, they still need to invest in lease payments, equipment, permits, employee salaries, and other initial costs to get the franchise up and running.
Make sure you have access to enough money and professional help to maximize your chances of succeeding in your new franchise. Money can come in the form of a small business loan, a loan from a local credit union, a credit account, or an investment partner.
There are also special funding programs for women, veterans, Native Americans, LGBT business owners, and other minorities who want to start a small business or franchise.
That isn’t to say that your franchise should completely consume your life. A healthy work-life balance is a key to success for any franchise or small business owner. Always remember to make time for your friends, your family, and most importantly, yourself.
2. Be a Good Recruiter and a Great Leader
It’s not just about the money. The most successful franchise businesses are staffed by amazing, dedicated, and hard-working employees. If you want to attract the best workers in your area, be sure to offer competitive wages, a positive working environment, and good benefits.
During the interview, be sure to ask prospective employees how they will help promote the brand and provide excellent customer service.
Once you’ve put together a top-notch staff for your franchise, remember that it’s up to you to inspire good leadership and motivation in the workplace. Otherwise, all those amazing employees will go somewhere else for better working conditions. Here are a few ways to help keep good staff working at your franchise:
- Involve the staff when it’s time to create or update the shift schedule.
- Don’t pick favorites. Be fair when it comes to enforcing rules and disciplinary measures.
- Keep work stimulating. Rotate boring or undesirable jobs.
- Always respect your employees and don’t allow employees to treat anyone else with disrespect.
- Be proactive about getting honest feedback. Ask your staff about which procedures are working and which procedures are making their jobs harder.
3. Follow the Franchise System
As a franchisee and an entrepreneur, chances are you’ll be coming up with plenty of business ideas — some will be great, some not so great, and some will be completely innovative. The trick is to filter and implement your ideas in a way that’s consistent with the franchise brand and your franchise agreement.
First, keep in mind that the franchiser has already done a lot of the groundwork for you. When you open a franchise, you don’t have to worry about creating a brand, developing a successful product or building a loyal customer base. The franchiser and all the franchise owners before you already put in the money and effort to develop the working business model. Why reinvent the wheel? Running a successful franchise is all about working smarter, not harder.
Second, too many changes to your business can confuse customers who expect a consistent experience every time they visit a franchise, whether it’s your location or with another small business owner across the country. And too much inconsistency across franchises can hurt business for all franchise owners. You may even run into legal and financial trouble if you violate the terms of your franchise agreement.
While no company has the perfect business model, remember that franchisers put a lot of thought into their franchise packages. Instead of completely changing up the business, aim to work within the brand, uphold quality standards, and follow the mission of your franchise.
4. Become a Lifelong Learner
You probably already spent a lot of time researching and learning new things before starting your new franchise, such as how to start a business, how to improve your leadership skills, and (of course) how to succeed with your new franchise.
Don’t stop there. As you set up and run your franchise, the secret is to never stop learning. There’s always something new to pick up, whether it’s a new digital marketing platform or new local regulations that could affect your business.
Not only should you commit to lifelong learning, but your employees should be life learners, too. Here are a few tips to build a culture of learning in the workplace:
- Take advantage of all of the training opportunities offered by your franchisors. Franchisors typically offer training both for employees and franchise owners.
- Train (and retrain) all of your employees. Keep in mind that some training, like sexual harassment training, has very specific legal requirements and needs to be repeated each year.
- Look for training opportunities in your local community, such as from schools, clubs, community colleges and trade associations.
They say that healthy communication is the key to success for any business or relationship, and that includes franchises. If you want your new franchise to succeed, you’ll need to improve your communication skills with your employees, your customers, and even your franchisor.
Your communication style with your employees will set the direction of your workplace culture. When you reveal little to your staff, you’re more likely to create a workplace culture of resentment, internal conflicts, and burnout.
Even worse, you’re less likely to realize there’s a problem until it’s too late — all because employees aren’t motivated to be good communicators.
When you’re communicative, you’re more likely to motivate employees and understand the needs of your customers. You’d be surprised what people are willing to share with you if you let them know that you’re listening.
Franchise Owners Get the Best of Both Worlds
It’s great being a franchise owner: you get to combine the freedom and flexibility of being an entrepreneur with the security of working with an established brand and loyal customer base. At Confie, we want to give our franchisees the best possible start to create a thriving auto insurance franchise. That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help you succeed with your new franchise. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Confie, get in touch with us today or give us a call at (714) 252 2500.