Much of what you come across regarding franchise advice is geared towards convincing you why buying a franchise is a good way to own your own business or how to go about choosing the right franchise for you. While those are certainly the primary topics you’ll find us writing about here on VFC, they’re not the only ones. Choosing and purchasing your franchise and receiving your training is one thing, but actually running it is a whole different ballgame. Below you’ll find four of the most important franchisee success strategies we’ve seen among our high-achieving clients:
Bone Up on Business Basics
While your franchisor company is providing you much of what you need to be successful in terms of systems and procedures, you still need a solid foundation in business basics to be successful – basic accounting, compiling and understanding financial statements, how to hire (and fire) employees, and so on. The better grasp you have on business basics, the more successful you’ll be, so make sure you set aside some time dedicated to sharpening your business skills.
Plan Your Work and then Work the Plan
Following the franchisor systems and procedures is key, but doing that is no substitute for a bona fide business plan. Putting together a business plan can feel both overwhelming and downright intimidating to a novice, but you’ve got to overcome those fears and preconceived notions and get it done, because the payoff can be huge. Simply put, a business plan describes where you want your business to go and how you’re going to get there. There are plenty of resources out there to help you with this. Get an idea of what’s involved with Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide available on the Entrepreneur website. And remember that writing the plan is only half the battle – then you’ve got to actually do the work of implementing it!
Marketing Matters Most
As interesting and worthwhile as it is to spend lots of time tinkering with systems and procedures in the name of efficiency, remind yourself that your new business lives or dies by sales – you need people to buy your product or service, which in turn means your primary focus must be marketing, over and above whatever your parent franchisor company may be doing for you. Maybe this will mean getting deeply involved in community activities so your company is constantly “out there” in ways that matter to people. Maybe it means sponsoring local sports teams. Bring your most creative thinking to marketing because it makes all the difference — this may be the most important of these four franchisee success strategies.
Superior Customer Service
Getting people to come and try out your product or service is one thing, but even more important is keeping them coming back for more. And the way to retain customers is by providing them with superior customer service. You’ve no doubt personally experienced poor customer service somewhere along the way and know how it makes you feel – don’t be the franchisee who misses the mark on customer service. Companies that truly commit to superior customer service will succeed where others fail.
Although the four franchisee success strategies listed here are not rocket science by any means, they do require a significant amount of time and effort. But they’re also worth it because the potential payoff is huge and what’s at stake is your success as a franchisee.