Learn about why it is important to focus on the future when owning a franchise.
Owning a franchise business allows you to showcase your entrepreneurial acumen without the risks associated with starting a company from scratch. Like any business venture, however, owning a franchise isn’t a sure thing. To achieve long-term success in franchising, you need to plan well, work hard each day and focus on the future every step of the way. If you’re about to start down the path of owning a franchise, here’s a list of items to consider to help you in this endeavor.
10 ingredients for long-term franchising success
No. 10: Choose the right brand
Future success is contingent on the choices you make at the beginning of the journey. If you’re considering owning a franchise location, it’s crucial to select the right brand to invest in. Your best chance at long-term success is choosing a franchise system with a track record of proven success, a sustainable business model and a solid vision of the future.
Take the time to identify the right franchise system for you. As you research potential franchises, make sure to ask about each brand’s growth potential, financial stability and plans for the future. If a brand has experienced stagnant franchise growth, lackluster financial reports or little industry recognition, that says a lot about their future potential.
No. 9: Follow the brand’s system
Once you’ve selected the right brand, follow their system. As a franchise owner, you’re going to have to follow guidelines set forth by the brand. If you didn’t have a system to follow, you wouldn’t be a franchise owner; you would be an independent small business owner. But if you choose the right franchise system, rules are a good thing – they make up the structure that’s helped the brand shepherd hundreds or even thousands of successful franchise owners.
No. 8: Find a brand that supports you
Most of the top brands in the franchise world offer basic support like training, technology and marketing. But the best franchise brands cultivate a network of cooperative owners willing to support and help one another. Finding a brand with that kind of camaraderie is a great step towards future success owning a franchise. It’s important, however, to give as much as you receive by becoming an active participant in the support system.
No. 7: Choose the right location
Owning a franchise means your business will be one of many brand locations across the country (or world). While most franchise systems make sure not to oversaturate markets with locations, there’s a chance your service area could overlap with your fellow franchise owners. To make sure demand isn’t spread too thin in your community, set up shop in a location where there isn’t an abundance of businesses offering your products and services but still has a large enough population of customers that need them.
No. 6: Hire employees you can trust
Owning a franchise is a terrific way to run a business with the support of an established system. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to run every aspect of that business. Set yourself up for long-term success while shielding yourself from burning out by hiring employees you can trust and who care about your business. Staffing your franchise location with a solid group of loyal employees will allow you to delegate operational tasks so you can focus on the big picture (and, maybe even take the occasional day off).
No. 5: Support your employees
When focusing on the future of your business, hiring exceptional employees is just the beginning. The long-term health of your business is contingent on your ability to nurture those employees and provide the support they need to grow as individuals. To help with this, look for franchise systems that provide continuous training for employees, and reward deserving individuals with raises and promotions.
No. 4: Market your business
The long-term success of your business relies on nearby consumers knowing you exist. Focus on the future of your business by developing a holistic marketing strategy focused on:
- Generating awareness of your business – e.g., promotional tactics like coupons, mailers and free samples
- Providing local consumers with the information they need – e.g., marketing collateral like flyers and website landing pages to explain your products and services
- Engaging customers after they make a purchase – e.g., rewards programs and social media marketing to foster relationships between you and customers
Marketing is all about finding the campaigns and tactics that drive the most value for your business. Follow these steps to set your marketing campaigns up for success:
- Identifying your goals and objectives
- Devise a plan to achieve those goals
- Monitor the performance of your campaigns
- Optimize your campaigns based on performance
No. 3: Create long-lasting relationships
Building relationships with the community you serve is a critical step for long-term success when owning a franchise. When the people in your community know that you’re invested in them, they will be much more likely to support you. Get involved with your community by sponsoring little league teams, supporting local organizations or donating to local events.
Another terrific way to build relationships in the community is by supporting local charities. Many franchise systems have relationships with national charities that work at the local level. This allows you to embrace a major tenet of the franchise brand while also helping people in need in your community.
No. 2: Evolve your business
The ability to adapt and change is essential in entrepreneurship. The rapid pace of technology, variable economic conditions and evolving consumer needs are a constant challenge for any business owner. As a franchise owner, major operational changes – as well as innovative product and service offerings – will often come from the brand. Your responsibility is two-fold:
- Adapt to changes from the brand to provide your customers with the most up-to-date products and services
- Identify opportunities to employ innovative techniques at your location and share your successful efforts with your franchise system
No. 1: Deliver amazing customer service every day
Here’s why this is the No. 1 ingredient and the last item on the list: it’s the most important thing you can do to achieve long-term success and the most important takeaway from this post. If you’ve chosen a brand that provides you the support you need and offers products and services people want, exceptional customer service should come naturally. But it’s up to you as the franchise owner to make sure that everyone who walks through your doors receives the same amazing customer service.
If you deliver amazing service every day, your customers will keep coming back and they’ll encourage their friends and family to do the same. When owning a franchise or running any type of business, there’s no better ingredient for long-term success than happy and satisfied customers.