Have you stopped to consider the benefits that are available to you because you’re part of a franchise brand? Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you are not alone…and that is a powerful proposition!
As a franchisee, it can be easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day work of running your business that you forget that you’re part of a larger franchise organization, which can be a powerful network. It’s a business model that provides a number of advantages to the franchisee – none of which would be available to you as an independent business owner.
Here are a few key ways you can use your position and situation as a franchisee as an ADVANTAGE to help grow your business:
1. Get to know your franchisor. As we discussed last month, your franchisor can provide a great deal of support in helping you grow your business. Attending training sessions and making yourself known by the corporate office are a few ways you can better leverage this relationship.
2. Talk to other franchisees. Within your organization are other franchisees who are running a business just like yours – and who are likely having similar experiences, problems and solutions as yourself. Pick five other franchisees in the organization that you can connect with occasionally. Not only will you become a source of support for each other, but you’ll also have an opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and failures.
3. Become a franchising expert. Franchising is not really an industry – it’s a way of doing business. Learn all you can about this business model by reading industry magazines and attending conferences. Through this process, you’ll take away some great ideas that you can bring into your own business.
4. Share costs with other owners. When you have other franchisees in your market, you can band together to split the costs associated with advertising, recruitment and the purchasing of general office supplies. In fact, some go so far as organizing a co-op for purchasing leverage. By taking advantage of this “Cluster Effect,” you’ll cut your expenses and boost your profits.
5. Join a peer group. If your franchise organization has a peer group, find out what you need to do to become a part of it. Through this group, and working with other franchisees, you’ll develop the relationships needed to provide support and share best practices with your fellow business owners.
There is one thing you do have to worry about as a franchisee that independent business owners aren’t so concerned about, however: that is the damaging effects of another franchisee who isn’t performing at the level needed to succeed. Since these “bad apples” can reflect badly on your shared brand and your local franchise business, it’s sometimes okay to take it personally. Push these individuals to improve their performance, or if they don’t want to do that, push them to either sell and move on, or close their poor performing franchise business instead.
Despite this issue, however, the benefits of owning a franchise certainly outweigh the negatives. In fact, when it’s done well, franchising is a win-win-win: The franchisor wins, the franchisee wins, the suppliers win – and so do ALL the customers!