Think you’ve got what it takes to make it as a franchisee? Are you sure you’ve got the skills to pay the bills? To make sure, we’ve compiled a list of 10 attributes a good franchisee will foster and develop over the years.
How to become a successful franchise owner
Franchisees need to bring a lot of energy to the job. When you first start out, it’s likely that you’ll be putting in the most hours you’ve ever worked. While this will ease off eventually, the role still requires a great deal of motivation and effort. As with any small business, people feed off others’ energy. If you can bring that sense of purpose and drive to the table, your employees will pick up on it and use it. Customers can sense it, too. They know when someone wants to be there and when someone wants to provide an excellent service. It’s this type of energy that can make franchise brands’ reputations.
Franchising isn’t a flash in the pan kind of thing. It depends on dedication and commitment. Good franchises understand this and look to formulate a long-term business plan for those franchisees that they think have what it takes to make a career with them. In most cases, franchises won’t turn a profit until they’re at least four or five months into trading. Some franchises take as long as a year to turn a profit. This means that franchisees need to be patient. It also means that they need to dedicate themselves to building the franchise through the good times and the bad.
3. Communication skills
Good communication skills are one of the most important qualities a franchisee can possess. You’ll need them to build a relationship with the franchisor, with your team, and with your customers. No business manager will succeed in running their own business for very long if they can’t communicate with those around them.
4. Confidence in your abilities
While arrogance is never a valued quality, franchisees do need to display some confidence in their own abilities. As decision makers and business owners, they have to make calls that can have an enormous impact on the future of the franchise. In these situations, self-doubt is not a particularly useful emotion. Self-confidence allows you to make necessary decisions in a timely manner.
Patience is a virtue. As we’ve already mentioned, franchises can be slow to turn a profit. This means that franchisees need to be patient and continue their hard work until the business does move into the black. Patience is also required when working closely with others. As a franchisee and business owner, it’s easy to think that you call the shots and don’t need to report to anyone. This simply isn’t true. As a franchisee, you’re part of a large organisation that depends on close collaboration. Not everyone will perform to your own high standards and patience will be required. Remember, being a franchisee means being a team player.
6. Business smarts
With most franchises, it’s not necessary to have industry-specific knowledge – though it will help. However, a certain amount of business acumen is nearly always expected. Despite the fact that you’ll receive training on the job, you can’t learn everything from the franchisor or the central franchising team and a basic understanding of how a business and operates, as well as fundamental accounting skills, will be incredibly useful.
7. Leadership qualities
As a franchisee, you are also a leader. You will be building your own business from the ground up and will need to populate it with individuals who you trust and can motivate, inspire, and manage. While you won’t be the perfect leader from the moment you step into the business, you will improve as time passes. The most important thing in the early stages is to remain calm and ensure that you’re out there setting an example. You need to live up to the standards you expect of your employees and you need to show them that it’s not one rule for them and another for you.
8. Ability to take advice
Some businesspeople/entrepreneurs are terrible at taking advice. They just don’t listen and they think they always know best. They don’t. When it comes to franchising, the franchisor is the main authority because they’ve accumulated years of experience and refined the model so that it’s easy to implement and gets results. If the franchisor gives you a piece of advice, it’s not because they want to interfere in your business, it’s because they want to improve its performance.
9. Willingness to learn
Great franchise opportunities are those that offer the franchisee plenty of chances to learn, grow, and develop their skills. This could be through training programmes, networking events, regional meetings, or seminars. However, to fully take advantage of these opportunities, franchisees must be willing to learn. It’s not enough to do the initial training, then sit back and relax. It’s not enough to just turn up to the odd meeting and not listen to or engage with the latest industry developments. You must be willing to learn new skills and consider new perspectives.
Finally, passion is an essential quality for all franchisees. Without passion for your business and for your chosen industry, you’re going to find it difficult to foster all of those other qualities. Passion is what drives your determination to succeed. It’s what inspires people when you talk about something. It’s what gives you confidence that what you’re doing is right. It’s what ensures you’re willing to learn and deepen your understanding of a particular subject. Without passion, you’ll never reach your full potential as a franchisee.
Hopefully, you’ll recognise at least some of the 10 qualities mentioned above in yourself. Though it’s likely you’ll be missing a few, what really counts is the desire to improve yourself and your franchise. In most cases, this will give you the little extra push you need to become an excellent franchisee.