While franchising’s prevalence in North America indicates that franchisees can succeed, it is important to recognize that there are also hundreds that fail each year as well. Some of the reasons can be due to poor communication, lack of funds, poor business models, and the list goes on. Although they may come across as very tedious reasons, they manage to find their way to the top of the problem list. So, yes, franchising can be hard and when there are over 1,000 franchise systems to choose from in Canada alone, it becomes very important to have a successful model put into place to thrive. When done right, franchising uses leverage to the highest degree – strong franchisors leverage other people’s time, efforts, relationships, experience, money, etc. and combined resource pool to grow strategically, and to continually improve their and their franchisees’ business processes and results.
You need to do a lot of things right in order to be a successful franchise owner. One of the first things the CEO of Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, Jen Hamilton said to me upon asking her how she got into this field was that she knew to market what she loved…yoga! It is always super important to first and foremost learn and understand the industry you are attempting to franchise. In addition to what you learned during your franchise research, you will be able to apply those skills once your franchise is up and running and be able to learn so much more about your new industry. It’s also vital to make sure that you’ve done everything in your power to make the right choice in a franchise. Another one of the ways to achieve this is quite simple- ignore all conventional advice of starting a franchise. If you know the industry you are wanting to get into and you have a strong passion for it (and you follow some of the advice listed below) you will be a strong franchisor.
Alright, once you have successfully accomplished researching your industry, the next plausible step to consider is choosing the right business plan/model. Now, as mentioned earlier there are many, many franchises that exist and not all of them are exactly alike. Therefore, it is important to remember that it isn’t about following a specific business plan, it’s about choosing a specific one that will suit you and your needs. As Entrepreneur magazine has stated in one of their popular articles on franchising, “A franchise without a business system isn’t a franchise. It’s a business at death’s door”….so yes, makes sure you have a business plan! As well as for those who are looking to take on a franchise, the same methods can be applied as well. Simply meaning that for franchisees whose skills are a good match for the business tend to do better than those who are not in their element. It is a process of studying the product or service you plan on selling and then aligning it with your skills and passion. The key element here is to follow a system. Study what it will take to run the business successfully and be realistic about the goals you want to achieve. Owning a franchise is rarely going to be a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme.
Never. Stop. Marketing! The great part of this advice is that it applies to both the franchisor and the franchisee. Although the way you go about your marketing would be quite different, for example, a franchisor will be attempting to market to potential entrepreneurs who want to own their own business. Whereas a franchisees job is first and foremost to manage the sales and marketing of the product or service they’re selling. The best way for both parties to market successfully is to remember that marketing is not a linear task. There are many different avenues to get your message across from online methods such as Facebook ads, to offline methods such as an ad on the radio. Always look for ways to be more innovate with your business model.
4. Good Communication
If you’re going to open a franchise, you need to feel confident about the business you’re about to run and the only way to achieve that is to get training. This will include good customer service. What this could look like is investing more time and often money in franchisee training. Teaching them about your vision, brand, and goals will help them understand how they can incorporate themselves into this picture. As the franchisor, it is your duty to remember to motivate your potential franchisee by expressing the flexibility, independence, and control over being their own boss will do for them. Maintaining a great relationship with your franchisees will be the key to staying successful and gaining more exposure to other potential business owners. Therefore, when picking potential franchisees, remember to pick people who have the same vision as you. When you manage to pick them yourself, rather than having an HR Team do that for you, you will find that they will have a strong sense of loyalty towards maintaining the brand that you set forth.
Last but certainly not least, another one of the key elements to look for in building your franchise is the location. There are many benefits that are primarily linked to the location sites for franchise stores. As expressed before successful franchise chains begin with researching the industry and creating the right business model, and a part of that must include scoping out the right location. Some questions to consider is who would be using your product/service? Can this neighborhood afford it? Does this location have great foot traffic? Often franchisors can go about following all the steps listed above and assume that it wouldn’t necessarily matter if some of those questions were answered and some were not. Remember: it does not matter how great the service you provide, or the product you sell is because it will never thrive if there are no people around! In your hunt for your location setting, check out your target market and make sure they’re in line with your business model and industry needs.
In conclusion, I truly believe you follow your instincts and back that up with thorough research. You will be able to own your own successful franchise!