If you’re opening a franchise business, you don’t want to miss these tips for making the most out of your franchise opportunity.
There are many reasons why an entrepreneur may opt to open a franchise business, but profitability is often high on the list. While a franchise opportunity does alleviate some risk on the owner’s part, it isn’t fool proof. As in any business venture, the return will depend on what is put in from the very beginning. This includes thorough research and due diligence to carefully evaluate the opportunity before any contracts are drawn up and signed. Read on to learn how to choose the best franchise network for you and tips to maximize the opportunity.
Have Realistic Expectations
The first and most important point to remember is that no matter what franchise opportunity you decide to go with, success is never guaranteed. When opening a franchise business, there is a learning curve and a lot of hard work involved. While you shouldn’t allow that to discourage you, it’s important to keep in mind for setting realistic expectations. No business becomes profitable overnight. Do your homework and research how long it will take to start turning a profit. This could be a major factor in determining the franchise you select to partner with.
Research and Choose Wisely
Although you don’t need to be an expert in the field of the franchise business you choose, you do need to be able to learn it. A comprehensive understanding of the brand’s products and services will not only make your job easier, but it’s a must for proper marketing. Pick an easy—for you—to understand industry so that you can manage the business as it was intended. Keep seasonality in mind as well. Brands with evergreen products maintain profits year-round, removing the burden of off-season financial stress.
Choose a franchise that fits your personality. Joining a company that doesn’t match who you are or the career goals you have in mind can sabotage your success as a franchisee. Also, ensure the brand’s values and priorities align with your own.
Consider the brand’s strength and longevity. Partnering with a well-known brand not only helps you gain immediate brand equity, but larger and more established franchisors have a greater understanding of their industry and a business model built from experience. Following their guidance will give you the best chance at a good return on your investment.
Speak to existing franchisees before you commit to get an idea of what it’s really like to be a part of the franchise network. This can give you a much clearer picture of what to expect than just reading the franchise materials. Find out things like the accuracy of the start-up costs quoted by the franchisor, the adequacy of the training and support provided, if the business meets their earnings expectations and whether they would buy the franchise if they had it to do over again.
Learn the Ropes and Stick to the Plan
When opening a franchise business, it’s very important to follow the franchise procedures and resist the urge to innovate. Eventually you will be able to implement your own small nuances, but a well-run franchise has proven operating procedures and methods to optimize success. It’s in your best interest, especially at the beginning, to adhere to the rules. Following the franchisor’s guidelines for best practices gives you the greatest chance for the biggest return.
Absorb as much knowledge as you can from all opportunities the franchisor offers for education. Take advantage of all training provided and connect with fellow franchisees. Networking with other franchisees in the system and sharing ideas is a great way to push your business forward and make contacts in the industry. This type of collaboration to help one another succeed also helps to strengthen the brand, making it a win-win for everyone.
Hire the Right Staff
High turnover in any business is expensive. Not only does it impact day-to-day operations, but in franchising it can also damage how you may be perceived by the franchisor, making it even more important to pick the right staff. Select reliable and dedicated employees who are not afraid of hard work, can maintain productivity and are willing to follow the rules and guidelines that both you as a business owner set and those of the franchisor. Be transparent about what is expected and set realistic expectations for growth opportunities at your franchise and within the network as a whole.
In addition to these tips, one of the best ways to maximize your franchise opportunity is to simply take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Opening a franchise business allows you to go into business for yourself but not by yourself. It offers the independence of business ownership backed by the additional support of an already successful brand. Leverage the benefits opening a franchise business provides like brand strength, vetted products and services, training, guidance and ongoing support for achieving proven, profitable results.