For many franchisees the successful nature of their business depends on how they manage to plan for the future with the implementation of strategic business and financial plans. In order for the franchise business to be successful, it is important to concentrate on the daily activities of the business. Keep in mind the following points when you decide to invest in a franchise or business opportunity to ensure its long term success.
1. Recognise Strengths and Weaknesses
Recognising your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your franchise business will also have a very positive impact on your overall success. If you are great at organising but not so great at accounts, you should recognise your main strengths and replace your weaknesses by employing suitably qualified people to fill the gap in skills you need to make your business a success.
2. Maintain a Good Working Relationship
It is important that you establish excellent communication links with your franchisor and existing franchisees from the very beginning of the franchise investment. Maintaining this type of relationship for the duration of the business start-up will be demanding at times, that is why you should regularly attend all annual meetings and conferences; weekly and monthly coffee luncheons and all other events organized by the franchise operation.
In this way, communication links are kept open between franchisee and franchisor and in the event of a problem, open discussions at a franchise annual meeting will give you the opportunity to air your grievances. Maintaining a good working relationship will smooth over any tensions that may crop up as the business grows…
3. Listen to the advice of the franchisor
Some franchisees decide that they want to operate their franchise on their terms and tend to make business decisions that affect the franchise network in a negative way. Instead of a head strong approach to your franchise business, always listen to the advice of the franchisor when it comes to making important decisions. A franchisor will have many years’ experience running the franchise network and will have accepted or declined hundreds of potential franchisees. In other words, a franchisor knows his/her business inside out and is the best person to approach for advice concerning your business operation. After all, the franchisor has seen it all before!
4. Monitor Cash Flow
One very important aspect relating to the successful operation of a franchise is to monitor and maintain the daily, monthly and yearly cash flow of the business. Calculating expenditure and income in a thorough way will ensure you have enough cash resources for future eventualities and that you are prepared for any financial payments you have not budgeted for in your business plan. Be careful not to underestimate your working capital that is required to run the day-to-day activities of the business. Problems with cash flow can be avoided with careful planning and monitoring.
Effective networking is crucial to the long term success of your franchise business and it can be easily achieved when you attend annual franchise conferences, meetings, luncheons etc. Meeting with other franchisees will give you the opportunity to express any problems or successes you may have with the franchise business. You can discuss these issues at networking functions where other franchisees will provide you with inspiration, motivation and sense of community that will keep you going.
Also a franchisee should consider networking amongst its local community and business owners to pool together a crucial clientele and customer base. Needless to say your customers are vital to the success of your franchise and maintaining good networking links with your consumers will increase brand loyalty, customer satisfaction and repeat business.
6. Strategic Planning & Time Management
Strategic planning and time management are two aspects many franchisees find a chore if they leave it too long to prepare. When it comes to strategic planning, you should prepare a report every 6-12 of your business progress, aims and objectives and how you will achieve your targets both professionally and financially.
Time Management plays a central role is assessing and planning for the future success of the business and you must be willing to incorporate both elements in your written plan or schedule for the 6-12 months. You have to allow for time flexibility and events in life that are beyond your control. But a well though out plan will allow for these events.
Finally, the chances are that the reason you decided to invest in a franchise in the first place was because you wanted to enjoy being your own boss, having the option to schedule your own time and social events, and to reap the rewards of your own hard work and the profits you make. All this said and done, you should have fun…
Following the steps outlined above should help prepare you for minimizing risks and maximising the chances of operating a successful franchise…