In many cases, folks think that owning a franchise location means being on-site every minute the brand is open. That becoming a business owner means being married to the business, being in charge day in and day out, rarely allowing them time to leave or have free time that is away from their franchise business. This is, unfortunately, a common misconception that keeps potential franchisees from ever moving forward with their dream of business ownership. Sure, it can happen this way. Business owners put too much responsibilities on themselves and fail to take the much needed personal time that they deserve. But that certainly isn’t the standard, it’s definitely not expected/required, and there are many better ways to frame your brand.
In fact, you can even become a franchise owner from a distance. While living miles, states, or countries away. It’s possible, and it’s done by many successful franchise owners. It’s a myth that you have to be on site to become (or remain) successful as a business owner, and these trailblazers prove that it can not only be done, but that it’s a viable way to maintain your business ownership.
The Cause Behind Remote Franchise Ownership
When getting set up with your franchise business, you know early on that you will be away from the business location. For whatever reason, your life has you living elsewhere. Perhaps you live in one state but see an opportunity elsewhere. You could have moved after establishing a business; moving does not require you to sell! Maybe you have another full-time job that keeps you traveling. You might be in the military where you regularly relocate or spent time overseas. Whatever the reason doesn’t so much matter – simply know that you don’t have to be on-site at all times in order for your franchise business to find and maintain proper growth.
How to Operate Your Franchise Business Remotely
By setting a few safeguards in place, your business can thrive, even without you being there. Start by creating a plan. This can be as you’re buying the franchise, if you know you will be a remote owner. Or it can take place years down the line if you choose to move or put your efforts elsewhere.
One of the most important steps is to put someone you trust in charge of daily operations. This person will manage your franchise location hands-on, while you offer a hands-off approach. Your on-site manager can be a co-owner of the business, or simply someone you pay a salary to do their job. Work out the logistics based on what works best for you both. However, there does need to be paperwork on what’s expected of them, what happens in the event that they are to move themselves, and options for growth, such as a raise or higher position. Steps like these help cover your bases, and they show the manager that you are taking care of them and their best interests.
You will also want paperwork on daily operations, company training, and more. The easier you lay out these logistics, the better your workers will be able to follow them.
Visit when possible, and have different workers who are in charge of various aspects. This can keep a balance and checks system in place, rather than leaving one individual in charge of the whole operation. (You can also trace the source of a problem, in the event that one takes place.)
Meanwhile, just because you’re gone doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with what’s going on. Communicate with workers via email – send out regular emails thanking them and reminding them you’re still involved, even from a distance. This will ensure their trust in you, and allow them to feel more comfortable speaking up, should an issue arise.
Schedule regular meetings with your manager(s) and keep them in the loop about policy changes, etc. Whether you opt for phone or video meetings, they should be comfortable talking to you and letting you know about what’s going on within the walls of the franchise location.
Keep Your Finances in Check as a Remote Franchisee
Finally, even when far away, you will want to remain heavily involved in the business’s finances. Whether you choose to run them yourself or hire an accountant/bookkeeper, keep an eye on what goes out vs. what comes in. Your manager will have to be able to spend to some extent, but that doesn’t mean their spending habits go unnoticed. The better you keep an eye on how the finances are sitting, the better prepared you can be for how your location is doing. It can also eliminate any potential surprises ahead.
Stop financial dangers before they arise by keeping your franchise location tight and efficient, even when you’re not on site. Make yourself available to be contacted by others, and remain involved from a distance so everyone can remain on the same page. Taking these steps can ensure success for your franchise location, no matter where you’re located.