In our interview with Clifford Buchler, MD of the Mica Group, he talks about how franchisees can get the most out of the franchising experience.
What do you believe is a key ingredient in running a successful franchise store?
We’ve always promoted the importance of being a part of the community in which you operate. As an owner/operator, if you understand the community around you, you will understand how to advertise to them, which products to keep in stock (or at least more or less of), what they value from their retail experience, and how to offer them service that will benefit their lifestyle. Don’t operate in a vacuum, or think it isn’t important to care about your customers.
How important is continuous skills development?
Incredibly important. While the type of training may differ from industry to industry, you can never go wrong if your employees and managers are up-to-date with new product or offering developments, and can handle any customer requests or queries with confidence. One of our core focuses is keeping all our franchisees and their employees up to speed with skills development – it just helps the overall customer experience at the end of the day.
What should fellow-franchisee relationships look like?
Franchisees all belong to the same group, which means each store that does well contributes to the overall success of the group. Franchisees need to feel like they’re all members of the same team, working towards a common goal and supporting each other. This starts with the franchisor, but it’s the franchisees themselves who live and breathe the brand. We always encourage involvement, and our regional and national executive committees are actually franchisee-run.
Is there such a thing as the perfect ‘franchisee’ character?
There are so many different franchises, and different personalities will suit different industries, but on the whole we have found that engaged owners who communicate with their employees and customers well, are hands-on, entrepreneurial, energetic and able to have fun and enjoy what they do, tend to be the most successful.