Franchising is an attractive way to run a business because of the inherent consistency, structure, and reliability the franchise model provides.
As more locations open and the brand gains a higher profile, everyone benefits. However, sometimes potential franchisees assume those factors are guarantees of success, which can lead to disappointment.
No matter how great a franchise is, whether it has impeccable branding, elegant processes, or great support, the responsibility for driving success ultimately belongs to the franchisee. Joining a franchise is a more streamlined process than executing an idea from the ground up on your own, but there are still some common rookie mistakes that new franchisees should be careful to avoid.
Accept responsibility for your business unit.
Just because you buy into a franchise doesn’t mean success is a given. Franchises are fantastic at helping new and experienced business owners alike accelerate their success. However, it’s important to keep in mind that no franchise is a surefire way to achieve automatic wins. A franchise is a supportive template designed to duplicate a successful business model. Every franchisee has to take the process seriously and invest time and energy into learning and understanding the full operations spectrum their franchise offers. Some new franchisees assume they can buy into a business and then phone it in, but franchises function better when every player is fully invested in working the system a franchise is built on. Franchisees who find themselves lagging behind their business plan need to take an honest look at whether they’ve been following the system and adjust accordingly.
Follow the marketing plan.
One mistake some new franchisees make is going into business with an attitude of “if I build it, they will come.” That mentality may sound inspiring, but the attitude isn’t a realistic pathway to actual sales. Working to follow the franchisor’s plan as closely as possible will help new owners stay on track. The truth is, if no one knows what your business does or where it is, they are unlikely to come to your establishment. No matter how big or nationally recognized a brand is, every franchisee should expect to do some serious groundwork to introduce their business to the community and show people what they have to offer. Investing in a newer brand means a franchisee can have even more room to grow and more market share to consume, but it also means the franchisee needs to shoulder more responsibility for introducing the brand and concept to the area. Franchise concepts offer many advantages, but be careful not to think of franchising as a magic pill for business success; follow the marketing plan so future customers will know you’re there.
Focus on daily goals and sales objectives.
Success often boils down to achieving sales objectives, but it’s human nature to get caught up in the minutia of daily management and lose sight of the simple, repeatable tasks that lead to incremental sales activity. A franchise is designed to be successful when the operator plays by the rules of the system; when the system’s daily, weekly, and monthly goals are met, the business can thrive. Successful franchisees keep their focus on the most important task at hand—sales—and don’t let secondary small stuff overshadow those goals.
Be open to finding the root of the problem—and fixing it.
If a franchisee isn’t hitting their goals, there is a reason. Be patient, and be prepared to find the cause of the issue, even if it means looking in the mirror. Once you discover the root source of a problem, make a plan and take action. The franchisor is often a great resource in helping franchisees identify the problem and can offer solutions that have worked elsewhere within the franchise system. Franchises are built to enable success for everyone, and there should be supportive resources in place to help every franchisee find the root of any weakness and then overcome it. If franchisees aren’t willing to accept outside input and try suggestions, they’ll just keep repeating the same patterns, and the business will eventually suffer.
Lean on fellow franchisees.
Being a franchisee means being part of a big franchise family. This can be a massive resource that is unavailable to those that go it alone. Regular events, team calls, and social media groups should connect franchisees within and across territories so they can get to know one another, lean on each other when they have questions or need help, and share insights that helped them find success. Being able to connect with other franchisees in the same brand is one of the best perks of owning a franchise. When franchisees know one another, the entire brand becomes stronger and everyone wins.
Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, the health and wellness system with a focus on stronger bones, improved strength, and better balance in less than 10 minutes a week using scientifically proven and patented osteogenic loading technology. OsteoStrong introduced a new era in modern wellness and anti-aging in 2011 and has since helped thousands of clients between ages 8 and 98 improve strength, balance, endurance, and bone density. In 2014, the brand signed commitments with nine regional developers to launch 500 new locations across America. Today, the OsteoStrong brand is staying true to its growth towards a brand with global reach with the addition of more franchise sales and new regional developers.