6 keys to being a successful franchisee

The idea of owning a franchise sounds especially appealing to many who want to be entrepreneurs but don’t have their own ideas. After all, a franchise sets you up with an established brand and product, so you’ll probably need to extend very little effort to be successful and reel in a large share of profits, right? Not necessarily. Many franchisees find out the hard way that owning a franchise takes a lot of hard work and dedication, as well as using important business strategies to ensure success. Keep reading to find out some of the methods successful franchisees have used to become and remain profitable.

1. Location, location, location

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new business or an already established brand, location still matters. Many franchisees are shocked when sales don’t meet their expectations, and one of the main reasons is because they just didn’t do enough research to realize their choice of a location was questionable.

Sometimes franchisees don’t have a choice; the parent company will choose a location for them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do your own research. Turning down a franchise location offer may seem like a crazy idea if you are eager to get started, but if your own research leads you to believe that the location isn’t a good one, then turning it down will save you a lot stress, heartache and cash in the long run.

2. Have pertinent experience

There are all types of franchises—some franchisees simply jump into one seemingly at random, possibly because they know the name, or maybe just because the opportunity came along at the right time. But if you don’t actually have experience with the type of product or service the franchise provides, you might be setting yourself up for a world of difficulty.

Don’t get involved in a fast food franchise if your only experience is in retail, and don’t think you’ll excel at a retail franchise if you’ve only had job experience in an accounting firm. Take the time to get some experience in the franchise industry you are interested in, and you’ll greatly increase your chances for success, as well as make your new endeavor a lot easier to handle.

3. Take on what you can handle

Some franchisees thrive on long hours, stressful, fast-paced workdays, and a heap of responsibilities. Others prefer a franchise in which their actual hands-on interaction with customers is minimal. Look for a franchise that suits your level of effort. Some franchises will require you to be there constantly, while others will allow you to take a more relaxed approach and perhaps hire a manager to handle many of the daily responsibilities.

4. Choose a franchise whose products are in demand

Many companies sometimes use their franchise locations to test the waters in new markets, and unsuspecting franchisees invest a lot of time and money into their new business only to have it fail. This is because the market may not be particularly interested in the products or services offered by that franchise, or there may be an overwhelming amount of competition in the same area.

Before choosing a company, research the market. You wouldn’t want to open up a frozen yogurt franchise when the area already has four established frozen yogurt franchises from other companies. The competition would be fierce, and customer loyalty with other franchises would already be established. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to open a fast food franchise in a market area that is predominantly focused on healthy eating.

5. Hire well

From choosing partners to hiring managers and employees, you’ll want to pick only the best you can find. You don’t want to continually invest in hiring expenses and training for employees who don’t work out or don’t stick around for long. This can eat away into your profits little by little, and cause the business to run in a less productive manner. To ensure good, consistent productivity and a well-rounded team of employees, take the time to interview carefully and thoroughly, even for minimum wage employees.

Once your staff is hired, be sure to treat them well and acknowledge their hard work. A business in which the employees are treated favorably and recognized for their effort is a business in which the employees are more motivated and enthused about work.

6. Work for a company you love

Love the company, love the brand, love the product. Many franchisees get into the franchise business simply because they love the income potential. But if they don’t actually love the product, they are doing themselves a disservice.

If you love the product, you’ll work harder, with more passion and enthusiasm, and do everything in your power to make sure the franchise is as successful as it possibly can be. You’ll remain focused during stressful times, and motivated and positive even when sales might be down. Your drive, passion and effort will keep things running on track and instill confidence and motivation in your employees as well.

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About the Author
Valerie Cecil writes on career advancement for Outbounding.com. In her spare time she’s quite handy and is currently working on a confined space entry certification.

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