It’s a great feeling being an owner-operator of a successful franchise. In your first two years of operation, your business demands your constant attention while it hits its stride, but you’re still high on the rush, so it’s no biggie.
But in time, a sign of a successful business is one that can operate without your physical presence 24/7. That’s when it’s time to start reaping the rewards and book a two week holiday. So how do you get to that point?
Franchises are already by nature systematised operations, so it boils down to how you as a business owner hire and train people to get the necessary jobs done.
If you can’t leave the store for one minute, you need to step back and assess how you’re working your business — or how your business is working you.
Here are four tips to work with:
1. Establish your default position
Benchmark where you are right now in your business in terms of your numbers and the different jobs in the business, including whom these positions report to. In the beginning you may be doing a number of jobs including admin, invoicing, sales etc.
You need to get an idea of how you can hire people to take repetitive or administrative tasks away from you. Ask yourself: “Do I really need to be doing this?”
2. Begin with the end in mind
You may have a clear idea of your brand’s vision, mission and culture, but if you do not you should clarify them for the sake of imparting this knowledge to your staff. If you think of it like a sports team, you are the coach and your staff the team. When everyone knows where they’re going, it’s a lot easier to get there.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your big picture objective?
- How will you make your vision a reality?
- What makes you different from other franchisees and business owners?
- What kind of team do you want to recruit and create?
- What type of behaviour and work ethic are you looking for?
- How does all of this deliver value to your customer?
3. Focus first on ‘buying customers’
A business can’t move forward until a sale is made, and this means consistently generating cash flow and profits.
Even though your franchisor will provide large-scale marketing, pay attention to tweaking your local and regional advertising to gain repeat business.
Target your top-spending and fast-paying customers, and establish a good relationship with them for long-term cash flow.
4. Keep your eye out for a good jockey
Start looking for someone qualified (or training an existing employee) to run your business based on the franchise systems.
Remember, franchising systems run the business, and people run the systems. So shift your mindset to one of delegation instead of doing everything yourself.
Once you do, you’ll be amazed by how many people with talent for managing show up on your radar. Give yourself the space to review, and even transform your business.
Time to review
Taking time away from your franchise is a great way for you to reassess and reflect on where the business is and where it’s going.
Think about how the current franchise systems are making your business tick over, how other successful franchisees are running their business more effectively than you, and how you can introduce your own systems to make things smoother, more profitable, and more efficient than ever. Cheers to that!