7 Business Habits Franchisees Can Start (and Keep) in the New Year
At the beginning of every new year, franchise business owners vow to adopt better business habits and drop bad ones. I know this because I have done it every year for a very long time. What I have learned over the years is to give myself some grace and take a slow and steady approach to building business habits. Forbes reports that self-control, deliberate action, planning, and prioritizing are key ingredients to starting (and keeping) good business habits.
Although some things may be out of your control as a franchise business owner, starting good habits is something you can control. If you want to be a successful franchise business owner in 2023, here are seven effective habits to adopt.
Good Business Habits to Start in 2023
1. Own Your Failures
Yes, all franchise business owners suffer from failures and challenges. But how you handle them makes all the difference. Some franchisees can fall into the bad habit of blaming others when things go wrong. As a business owner, you are responsible for the outcomes, good or bad.
Look in the mirror and recognize that you must be responsible and accountable for those results Don’t blame others: It’s not your employees, it’s not your customers, it’s not the franchisor, it’s not your competitors, it’s not the landlord, it’s not the weather, it’s not anything else. It’s up to you as the franchise business owner to own your failures.
2. Get Connected with Your Brand
Being connected to your brand is a good business habit. Franchisees succeed when they are more engaged with the brand, with the franchise support team, with other franchisees, and with suppliers and vendors. Relationships are essential to being a successful franchise business owner.
3. Make a Call Every Week
Call another franchisee to check in and see how they’re doing. Share ideas and questions. Call headquarters to talk to someone on the franchise development staff about any challenges you are having. Call a vendor to find out about a new program or better pricing or training that they provide for your team. Talk to your manager or your staff, or others in your organization just to let them know you appreciate their hard work or give them constructive feedback. The point is to have intentional conversations. Make it a habit to make a call like that once a week, and you’ll see an improvement and better understanding.
4. Look for Another Source of Good Ideas
Whether it’s from a mentor, a business coach, or by attending an industry conference, always look for new ideas. New ideas and perspectives can help you see things differently and likely take your business to new levels. Doing the same thing over and over is unlikely to create breakthroughs. Trying something new and different with the appropriate focus might make the change you’re looking for.
5. Visit Fellow Franchisees
A field trip to another franchise owner in your system is a great business-building exercise. Visit more than one and learn from each. Connect with the past winners of the “franchisee of the year” in your brand or someone who has been with the brand for a long time. Resolve to plan a trip and visit in person.
6. Join a Peer Group
Join a peer group or run for the franchise advisory council seat (if there’s one in your system). These are the types of activities and engagement that help franchisees learn more and bring more to the brand and their own business. Resolve to investigate these opportunities and if they don’t exist in your brand, suggest they implement these programs for the benefit of everyone. You could be the leader or the instigator in making that strategic shift to benefit yourself and your network.
7. Improve Financial Analysis
Knowing your numbers and having real constructive feedback on where to make changes will drive your profitability. Have your headquarters give you feedback. Compare figures with another franchisee or a few in your brand. Look for benchmarks and compare various percentages and ratios, and other factors that you can measure in the business to see how yours compares to others or a standard of excellence.
Running your business by the seat of your pants and managing by checkbook balance is not responsible. Resolve to get a good accountant and spend time and money getting more familiar with your financials. Then use that material to make better choices over the course of the new year.
Being a Successful Franchise Business Owner Starts with Good Habits
Being a successful franchise business owner starts with building good habits. When building good habits in business, it’s important to be realistic and set attainable goals. Don’t be unreasonable or unrealistic. Whatever you resolve to do, talk about it with others around you; maybe they can hold you accountable and ask how it’s going. You can also track your progress — not perfection. Incremental improvements are valuable and should be recognized. Reward yourself as you are doing the right thing.
Stick with it; some people believe that habits take 21 days to become routine and six months to become automatic. Don’t beat yourself up; give yourself some grace and focus on the “why” you are interested in making those changes or trying these new business habits. Keep trying. Sometimes, it’s a day-by-day commitment.
As a franchisee, you get to choose many of the things that you do day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year. The best news is that you are a part of a system and network that provides support from all sides: the franchise support team, other franchisees, suppliers and vendors. Make sure you’re aware of that connectivity and engage with the brand at a new level or in a new dimension. You will see your results improve, and you’ll be able to help others improve themselves. Running a successful franchise system is a giant collaborative effort. When everyone does their part, franchising can be a powerful business model where everybody wins.
Wishing you the best of success with your new business habits in 2023!
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