No one said running a business was easy. Beginning a franchise business is hard work no matter what type of product or service you sell. You’re putting your time, talent and money behind a new business venture, and it can sometimes feel very overwhelming. Yet with planning, focus, a solid network and the right training and support tools, you can position your business for growth and success. Below are four strategies to help your franchise flourish.
1. Have a plan and stick to it
For many franchise business owners, planning efforts can take a backseat to all of the day-to-day operations and management duties. Before you get too caught up in your daily routine, make sure to set short- and long-term goals for your business and have a plan as to how you are going to achieve them. Your business should always be evolving to meet the needs of your customers and the marketplace. Make it a priority to meet with key team members on a regular basis to discuss business objectives, results, and new programs, and to continually explore a plan to improve your business and meet your success benchmarks.
2. Focus on customer service and satisfaction
It’s no secret that your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Repeat customers and referrals are vitally important, especially in the beginning. Focus on customer service and satisfaction within all areas of your business. Make sure employees are properly trained to provide superior customer service. Allow your customers to provide feedback at any and all times to improve the overall customer experience. Listen to your customers when they have suggestions and incorporate these changes into your business. Provide pricing incentives for repeat customers and reward customers for referrals to build your business and to show appreciation toward your most valued customers.
3. Use all the of the tools and support offered by your franchisor
Utilize all of the resources provided by your franchisor such as financing, training, sales, marketing, technology and web support. Sign-up for any pre-opening training sessions, take advantage of on-site team trainers and franchise consultants, and participate in available mentoring programs. Attend annual events sponsored by your franchisor or join franchise committees where you can network with other franchise owners to advance your skills. Use any online training videos, DVDs, how-to manuals, webinars, and other programs and tools for lasting support. Leave no stone unturned. Most franchisors have a wealth of programs that only a percentage of their franchisees seek benefit from.
4. Network, network, network
Take your franchise business to a new level by networking with other business professionals. Join your local chamber of commerce, industry associations, small business owners and entrepreneur groups where you can meet with other franchise business leaders to share ideas and discuss success strategies. Your fellow business leaders are one of the best resources you have at your disposal when you need help, guidance, direction and insight. These business relationships can prove to be invaluable. And, don’t forget networking with friends and family. People close to you are often the most supportive and willing to refer you to others in their circle that you may not know.
Most franchisors will provide you with start-up training and lasting support during the life of your franchise business. Of course, much depends on you and no franchisor can provide you with everything you need to gain traction. It’s really up to you to pursue all of the resources available. By doing that and implementing some of these growth strategies you’ll be able to position your business for success.
This is a guest post from Bart Puett. He is the president and CEO of Maid Brigade Inc., the leading residential cleaning franchise and the only Green Clean Certified® housecleaning company. With more than three decades of management and operations experience, Puett has led Maid Brigade to being named a Top 100 Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and a Top 50 Franchise opportunity for both Minorities and Veterans by USA Today.