Franchising is a great way to expand your business, but it takes discipline and hard work to make sure that you have a concept that can be replicated in multiple locations. It’s also essential for franchisees that they can run profitable franchises while following your business model.
The best franchises enable aspiring entrepreneurs to start their businesses quickly and easily using the systems that you have created. As the franchisor, it’s up to you to develop the plan and provide the tools that allow your franchisees to become their own boss as effectively as possible.
And the UK is good at producing successful franchisors. According to the British Franchise Association / NatWest Franchise Survey 2015, 91% of franchisees are satisfied with their franchisors. With good reason too it seems, as 97% of franchisee-owned units reported profitability.
How do you know if your business concept is ready to be franchised?
Before you can become a franchisor, you need to determine whether your concept can be profitable in more than just one location. Your business may be performing really, but this doesn’t mean that it will be successful elsewhere. You need to be confident that your concept can work in other geographic and demographic locations without you at the helm.
As well as having a proven concept, you also need a business model that can be easily replicated. You must be able to document the franchise system in an operations manual which franchisees can use to run their own profitable franchises. If you struggle to achieve this, it may be that your business is not ready to be franchised or because you’re the reason why your business works.
Now it’s time to shine.
Once you’ve proven your business concept and you’re satisfied that you can offer prospective franchisees with one of the best franchises to buy, you can focus on being the best franchisor you can be.
Here are five simple steps to follow to become a fabulous franchisor:
1. Invest in yourself
You will have worked hard for years to build a successful business and undoubtedly made many mistakes along the way. The graft doesn’t stop either when you decide to franchise your business. Having to create a franchise plan, standardising your processes, developing your franchise package, and recruiting quality franchisees all takes time and effort. But this doesn’t automatically make you a great franchisor.
To become the best you have to be committed to improving yourself. By investing in your leadership development, you’ll reap the benefits by creating one of the most sought-after franchises to buy. Being a confident leader can help you to:
Share your vision and gain buy-in from your franchisees
Encourage open and honest communication
Create good working relationships by establishing mutual respect
Develop a positive workplace culture
Act decisively when confronted with a challenge
By becoming a strong leader, your franchisees will feel empowered to learn and grow in a stable, effective and attentive leadership environment. This will provide substantial benefits to your franchise, allowing it to grow from strength to strength.
2. Learn how to manage others
As well as being a great leader, you’ll need to be a good manager of people too. You may have experience of owning your business but suddenly needing to manage entrepreneurs who have a desire to be the boss can be daunting.
The best franchises are owned by franchisors who understand that there is a delicate balancing act to be achieved between nurturing franchisees while given them enough freedom to run their business. This requires good people management skills much of which needs to be demonstrated during the franchisee recruitment process.
If you develop a robust recruitment process you can select candidates who you’re confident will flourish under your management. If a prospective franchisee is willing to learn from your mistakes and follow your franchise system, you can support them to become one of the most profitable franchises.
3. Create a comprehensive franchise package
The more time you put into developing an excellent franchise package, the less time you’ll need to spend hand-holding your franchisees when they’re on board. The training and support network that you develop as a critical component of your franchise package will help franchisees to master the technical skills needed for the job, as well as the sales and marketing techniques necessary for promoting your business.
Not only will the strength of your franchise package ensure that existing franchisees are satisfied and supported, but it can act as a great way of attracting new franchisees. When considering franchises to buy, prospective franchisees will pay particular attention to the quantity and quality of the training and support provided as part of the franchise package. If your franchise offers better advice and guidance than your competitors, you’ll end up appealing to the types of candidates who want to develop and learn throughout their franchising journey.
4. Know how much control is needed
Franchisors must be able to exercise control over their systems for the franchise model to be effective. This is because the key to a successful franchise is consistency and so all franchise locations should look and feel the same when customers visit.
This uniformity drives profitability and loyalty because as customers develop a liking for a particular franchise, they’ll support that brand wherever they are. This means that as a franchisor you must monitor the actions of your franchisees to protect your brand.
You must remember though, that franchisees are business owners in their own right and so a level of autonomy is generally required to keep them satisfied. They may be happy to follow your system, but they also appreciate their opinions and feedback being listened to. It’s crucial that you encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of your franchisees in an attempt to improve your franchise system, rather than trying to quash it altogether.
5. Don’t forget to celebrate
Finally, don’t forget the importance of recognising successes. The best franchises celebrate even the smallest of victories which contribute towards the overall success of the franchise. Get all of your franchisees together several times a year. This will give them a chance to share stories, problems and ideas with each other which creates a strong support network.
During these get-togethers, make sure that you reward and recognise the franchisees that are achieving great things. Not only will this serve to engage the successful franchisees further but will motivate the rest of the network to try harder too.