After making the decision to open a franchise, investing money, time and energy, surviving the tough startup period and managing to create a business that is showing signs of success, franchisees face yet another difficult challenge. Growing a new business in order to make sure that your success continues well into the future is easier said than done, but with the right attitude and some expert guidance it can be an exciting time.
Running any franchise requires money and handling it well is essential in order to be successful in the long term. A franchisee may have taken out a loan to pay the initial franchise fee and they will need to make monthly repayments. But on top of this there will also be all the day-to-day costs of running the business and keeping it operating efficiently. These may include stock, staff wages, utility bills, advertising costs and so on.
It is therefore essential that franchisees get some expert advice on how to manage these costs to make sure they can meet all their financial requirements and hopefully have money to spare afterwards to help drive their business forward.
But it is not just being cash savvy that is a necessary tool in the growing of a franchise business. Knowing insider secrets and picking up useful information will also help to improve success.
One of the most valuable sources of information a franchisee can draw on is the knowledge of people who have been there and done it before. Those looking to grow their franchise business should speak to as many fellow franchisees as they can to gather hints and tips on what works and what is likely hinder their success, particularly from those who operate in the same area.
But as well as these people there are also plenty of professional bodies that can offer advice and assistance on financial matters, issues involving the hiring and training of staff and matters of customer care to name but a few.
Then there is advertising, and while the beauty of investing in a franchise means that most of this is done for the franchisee at a national level, it is essential that they promote their own franchise locally in a bid to drive up sales. They may be operating under a well-established, nationally recognisable brand name, but without understanding the needs of their local audience they will soon find their ambitions for growth are out of reach.
E-mail marketing could prove extremely valuable in this area. Franchisees can target specific customers with news of events, special promotions and store opening hours to successfully build up a loyal local customer base.
The local press could also be a great place to advertise. Franchisees should find out which publications their target audience are more likely to read and spread their message accordingly. This kind of local recognition is essential as franchisees cannot rely on their brand name alone to propel them forward.
Overall franchisees should take care not to strive for too much too soon. The key to success is building lasting relationships with consumers, and making dramatic changes or growing too fast will put them off. Working with customers to offer what they need and want is the best way to grow a successful franchise business.