The franchise model provides an ideal business venture for entrepreneurs who have limited skills and experience in the business. When you buy a franchise, you are also paying for the brand name, the company’s business model, the existing systems in place, marketing, and other things that you would otherwise have to build yourself if you start a business from scratch.
That said, buying a franchise is a great way to enter the business world if you have limited industry knowledge and experience (although there are a lot of franchisees who are seasoned business owners). Nevertheless, self-improvement is still a crucial part of improving the business as a whole. After all, the franchisor is just there to guide you, and the majority of the business’ success rests in your hands.
Whether you are just starting out or are already a few months in, here are some of the most effective and efficient ways to become a better franchisee:
1. Spend more than enough time in the business
A business, even if it’s a ready-made one, can’t run itself. Franchisees still have to commit a significant amount of their time to the business, making sure that operations are running smoothly and that potential problems receive proactive measures. Too many franchisees make the mistake of letting the business run itself (i.e. leaving everything to the managers), only to end up with a lot of preventable problems in their hands.
That said, it is crucial that you spend more than enough time present in the business. Doing so can help you quash issues before they even occur, as well as know more about the ins and outs of the business. For example, if you have a fresh food franchise, spending enough time behind the counter can help you learn more about what the customers like; how your employees operate; and what aspects of the business need further improvement.
2. Review the manual thoroughly
When you buy a franchise, the franchisor will likely give you operations manuals that contain all the information you need to know about running the business. Unless you have unlimited time in your hands, you probably won’t read the entire manual right away. At the very least, you’ll likely skim through them and pay attention to only the most important parts.
While you definitely don’t need to be an expert on operations, it helps to read and understand the entire manual thoroughly. A great tip is to read parts of the manual whenever you have free time to absorb as much information as you can. This way, you have a good idea of what to do in case the business runs into a problem—you won’t have to call the franchisor right away since you already know that the potential solution is in the manual, and you can avoid wasting your time.
3. Be hands-on
One of the best ways to become a better franchisee is to be more hands-on. The definition of a ‘hands-on business owner’ may vary from business to business, but in general, what this means is getting involved instead of just watching from the sidelines.
Several ways on how to become a more hands-on franchisee include:
- Developing rapport with employees, especially those working the front lines
- Attending management meetings as much as possible
- Staying in the loop by checking communication apps frequently
- Offering constructive criticism and asking for feedback directly from employees
- Understanding major shifts in the market or industry, and then relaying them to the management
- Always checking updates from the franchisor
However, there is a fine line between being a hands-on leader and a micromanager. While you want to be involved in the business, know when to step back and let your employees handle it.
4. Never stop learning
Continuous learning is an essential mindset for every entrepreneur. Even though you may already know the franchise like the back of your hand, you will never run out of things to learn and skills to develop. Furthermore, industries and markets change frequently, and you have to be prepared if you want to always come out on top.
Here are several strategies on how to implement continuous learning as a franchise owner (or business owner in general):
- Utilizing learning materials from the franchisor
- Going to seminars, trade shows, and other business events
- Listening to podcasts, reading business books, studying market shifts
- Listening to feedback from the franchisor and your employees
Running a franchise business can be just as tricky as running a business built from scratch, and sometimes, you may feel a little inadequate. But by implementing these strategies, you can become a better franchisor, leader, and business owner in general.