How to find success as a first-time franchisee
When you decide to go into business for yourself, you have two options. One is that you can start your business from scratch, where you will have to figure out the smallest of details and learn by trial and error. If this does not sound appealing to you, your next choice is to purchase a franchise of an already successful business. By doing so, you will not only have a firm foundation at your fingertips for business success, but also plenty of support from corporate personnel. Should you decide to go this route, you may think it will be a cakewalk. Yet even with all the help you can expect from the corporate offices, there will still be plenty of things that will fall on you to determine the success or failure of the business. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and become a franchise owner, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Type of Business
When deciding what type of franchise to purchase, always make sure it matches your interests, skills, and abilities. For example, if you enjoy cooking and have a knack for interacting with people, owning a restaurant may be your best option. However, if you love being around kids and working with them in various ways, it may be better to select a business that focuses on children. Whatever you decide, always make sure it will be something you will enjoy day after day.
Don’t Mess with Success
When selecting a franchise, it is important to remember that the business has become successful for a reason. Therefore, always follow the system established by the business and don’t attempt to mess with success. Should you decide to become a rebel and implement changes on your own, you may not only see your profits fall substantially, but also potentially put yourself at risk of losing your franchise altogether. Therefore, if you think there may be a better way of doing something, always take your ideas to the corporate offices before trying anything on your own.
Gain Additional Business Skills
Even if you have plenty of business skills upon purchasing your franchise, always try to learn as many new things as possible along the way. For example, if you have plenty of experience in sales but lack a good knowledge of accounting practices, make it a point to become well-versed in this area. Whether you do so by taking a class at a local college or working with your local Small Business Administration Office, it is much easier than you may realize to gain a variety of new business skills.
Always Market Your Business
While having a franchise will get you immediate name recognition for your business, that does not mean you should get lazy about your marketing efforts. While your corporate office will help you with many aspects of marketing the business, you should also be heavily involved in this area as well. For example, whatever methods you use for marketing the business, always carefully analyze their effectiveness, and never be afraid to offer suggestions to corporate personnel as to how improvements can be made in various aspects of marketing. More than anything, how your business is marketed to consumers will play a very large role in ultimately determining its success or failure.
Learn Your Industry
While you will learn plenty from corporate personnel upon purchasing your franchise, don’t let that be the end of your learning experience. In fact, it should really be just the beginning. By learning as much as you can about your industry, you can become an even more successful franchise owner. To get started, look around your local area. In addition to having a Chamber of Commerce, there are likely trade groups and associations of people who are in the same type of business as yourself. By joining these groups and networking with them as well as with other franchisees in your area, you are certain to learn many new and innovative methods to make your business a long-term success.
Get Along with Others
While this sounds like common sense, it is an important part of being a franchise owner. Along with working well with your employees and being kind to customers, also remember that you need to have good working relationships with corporate personnel. Since they have plenty of knowledge about what makes this type of business successful, being respectful and listening to what they have to say can help you and your business will be very successful.
Written by: AnnaBeth Rouse
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