Essential Soft Skills for Franchise Business Owners

soft skills for franchise business owners

Six simple strategies for better business interactions

While experience with marketing, spreadsheets and P&L statement will help franchise owners run their businesses efficiently, there are also certain soft skills needed to make things work. As leaders, franchise business owners set the tone when it comes to culture, attitude and the general vibe of their business. Whether they are intentional or not, a franchise business owner’s actions are noticed by employees and customers alike and could impact the bottom line.

Not everyone is born with great soft skills, but they can be learned with a conscious effort. Here we look at six essential soft skills for franchise business owners and strategies to employ them.

#1  Have a positive attitude 

Attitudes are permanent; moods are temporary. When you are blessed with a great attitude it is exceedingly difficult to stay in a bad mood. Each is contagious. However, which would you rather be infected with – someone who has a great attitude – or someone in a bad mood? Right, I thought so. (And good answer!) The franchise business owners I have met who bring a great attitude to the table are the ones who are most successful. Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person? If it’s the latter, it’s not too late to change!

#2  Strive for balance 

Too much of one thing is never a good thing. Yes, as a franchise business owner, you have to work hard, but sometimes work/family balance tilts too much to one side. It’s great to be passionate about your business, but it shouldn’t take over your life. Up and out at 7 am (or earlier) and back home after the kids are in bed is not sustainable for the long term. Find a good balance between work and your personal life and success comes easier. The same goes for your employees. Burning the candle at both ends leads to frustration for you and burnout for your team.

#3  Show gratitude

Showing gratitude to your employees and customers tells them that you value their efforts. Saying “thank you” is always nice, but intentional gratitude goes an even longer way. How about acknowledging employees for their hard work with a day off or a thoughtful gift? Thank regular customers with a special deal or offer. A simple gesture doesn’t have to be expensive, but it certainly can be priceless.

#4  Use confident body language

Your face says so much without even a “word” from your mouth. How you hold yourself speaks volumes. Hold your head up high, stand up straight. Don’t fold your arms in front of you; it’s a defensive position that makes you look guarded. Body language is a forgotten art. Make eye contact. Walk tall. Put pep in your step. Let folks know you’re successful. Look the part. And don’t forget to smile!

#5  Take a business-friendly approach

What’s that mean? Well, business-friendly is what you want to be when you’re with your customers and employees. Business-friendly is the difference between being too cold and unfriendly and too over-the-top friendly. Franchise business owners should be warm and friendly, set healthy boundaries, and never play favorites.

#6  Hone your communication skills

The key to sales success and good customer service is communication. This includes being an active listener. Giving your full, undivided attention when someone is talking is perhaps the biggest compliment you can give. It says “what you say matters.” Whether you’re engaging customers or employees, how you communicate sets the tone for your business. Being clear, authentic and direct is the most effective (and respected) way to communicate in business.

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Nancy Friedman is Founder and Chairman of the The Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. A former franchisor, she is expert on customer service and is a frequent keynote speaker talking about customer services best practices. Her real-world, hands-on tips, ideas, skills, and techniques help both franchisors and franchisees take their businesses to the next level.
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