Traits of a Successful Franchise Owner

We often get the question “How do I minimize risk when becoming a franchise owner?” and I have written about that several times, but what about the other consideration of how to hit home runs as a franchise owner?  Since we are just beginning the new year with great uplifting resolutions, let’s focus on the positive and look at how to maximize that franchise experience!

There are some very identifiable traits seen in most successful franchise owners.

Often at the top of the wish list for franchise companies is that they would like to see their franchise owners more engaged with the training and support teams as well as with other owners.  One of the lessons that too many people learn in their corporate roles is that they should not seek help within their own ecosystem to achieve greater success.  In franchising success usually depends on doing exactly to opposite, seeking help and assistance to hit greater goals!

Time and time again I tell the franchise candidates I work with that the franchise owner should call the franchisor at least once per week for as long as they own the franchise.  I assure you, no franchisor in the history of franchising ever got tired of hearing from their franchise owners. 

If owners have specific things that they need to get done they can talk to the appropriate people at the franchisors office to get those answers.  If, instead, they don’t have any pending questions, challenges or opportunities then call the support team or the marketing team and ask them what is new in their world and what they are working on, you might get first insights into a great new growth opportunity!

Another important trait of successful franchise owners is the desire to network and be involved in their community.  Field of Dreams was a lovely movie, but simply building out a store is not enough to make the cash register ring.  You can run ads and drive traffic at some level, everyone around you will do that.  The most successful businesses in your community are also involved in that community, people know them.  They may participate in school or sports fund raisers or organize their own events in the community.  Those successful owners tend not to consider being involved in their community as work, to them it is usually just how they have fun and get out of the office.

An old saying goes “people buy from those they like and trust”.  Go get out of the office, store or warehouse and go play a role in your community!

Current status consciousness and goal setting are another separator of big players and small players.  No sports coach dares enter a game without a plan for how they want to structure every minute of play.  Of course they make changes as they go so that they can adapt to new challenges, but they go in with a plan.  Business owners must do the same thing to find success.  Evaluate where you are, what tools you have at your fingertips and how you can use what is available to you to move the ball forward.

Using the resources offered by the franchisor is an important part of this process.  Part of what you are paying for is a support structure, use it to your advantage wherever you can.

If you have never focused on setting personal or business goals there is no time like the present to start.  There are a wide range of resources available, of late I have been using a journal from as a simple to use organizer that I can take with me anywhere.  However you accomplish it, figuring out the plan from where you are to where you want to go could make the difference to get you to a great outcome.

Reinvest… Another trait of successful franchise owners is that they reinvest in growth, both personal and portfolio.  Top owners know they are never done learning or improving; they keep looking for that next step in their understanding of business and life.  Additionally, they know that they have a need for some of the funds their business can generate but when they have excess profits that they can find long term security by growing and diversifying their portfolio.

Have you noticed that our expenses often rise to meet our income?  Growth is an important part of building both the empire you desire and the security you need in the future.  Franchising offers many ways to diversify and grow, the key is the strategy you build.

There are more areas that successful franchise owners excel at, if you get through the list above call me and we will figure out together what your next area to focus on improving.

One last thought on success, while it is not guaranteed in any franchise company and there are hotly contested sets of data floating around related to franchise success I do feel that owning a franchise is a strategic advantage if the buyer uses it fully.  Before you buy a franchise do a proper investigation, get help from someone like me if you need it.  Get to know some of the current owners of that brand and try to figure out if you are willing or capable of doing what they did to succeed.

At the end of the day a franchise is an opportunity to buy into a proven system with seasoned players supporting you.  If all the pieces line up on the franchisor side then the outcome tends to be up to the owner. Making the traits of successful franchise owners your habits too could have a big influence on your outcome.

What will your success story be?  Let’s go find it!

George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution. Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.

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