What Makes you an Expert in Your Franchise Industry?
As a business owner, it's likely that you know more about your industry than anyone else. When someone has a question or needs an opinion, you're their go-to guide on sorting it all out. From sales, to repairs, to necessary equipment, and more, they come to you looking for advice.
Of course that makes sense – it's only logical that when immersed in an industry, you'd learn everything about it. What's less obvious is those who don't yet feel as though they are leaders in their brand. This can be true because they are new as a franchisee, because they opened a business outside of their first area of expertise, or simply because technology has changed the game and new owners are still getting their feet wet. This is normal.
When you first open your business, no corporate entity expects you to know as much as the veterans. But, your customers do. Even as you're learning an industry, patrons want to – and need to – see you as a field expert. It's a simple way to gain trust, but to also drum up business. Show your hand and you might risk turning others away.
So how do you become an expert before you're actually an expert?
Talk Big, But Admit What you Don't Know
No one likes a know-it-all … even once you do know it all. But they also won't take a business owner seriously who doesn't know their business. Talk what you know, and admit what you don't. Trust us, as a franchisee you'll learn incredibly fast. Simply say, "Let me get back with you on that. I'd like to do a little more research." Get their contact information and be sure to respond in a timely manner. They'll respect you for going the extra mile and admitting when you didn't have data off the top of your head. This is a good practice to come for years to come. Plus, you'll have learned something new about your franchising brand by the end of the day.
Study Your Franchising Business
Before opening day, you'll be well versed in all that your company has to offer. From reading materials and getting familiar with the company themselves, you'll naturally absorb important information about the company. Plus, you'll be talking about your franchise company on a regular basis. Just through conversation, marketing, and training your team you'll have learned a great deal about your industry.
Without even trying you'll have become a self-made smarty-pants in your industry of choice. This will be more than enough to tide you over until you achieve that expert level badge.
Take Cues From Other Experts
Who are the current experts in your franchise field? Aside from other franchise owners, there are authors, radio hosts, podcasters, television guests, and more. Listen to what they have to say and take insight in their advice. They've learned the hard way and they've been in the game years longer than you. Take a little time to heed their advice, even if it doesn't directly apply at the time.
Along the same lines, you can talk with other franchisees of your exact brand. Hear them out and learn their best tips to avoid any costly or time consuming mistakes.
Finally, listen to your franchising brand. They'll tell you what's most important in your industry. They'll let you know what questions are asked most often, what services will be most requested, etc. Keep this information in your back pocket and don't overlook its importance in the weeks to come.
The good news is, especially in your first few weeks, customers are feeling you out too. They're interested in the company, what you offer, and logistics at a basic level. By the time more serious inquiries come along, you'll have had some time as a franchise owner and will be better equipped.
Becoming an expert in your franchising field is something that happens as second nature. Is sneaks up on you all of the sudden so that one day, you're simply well equipped. Your excitement and hard work for the industry pays off in the form of information and having learned an immense amount of info on one subject. Use it to your advantage and allow it to help your business grow.
By Bethaney Wallace | Sep 27, 2019 | General Franchise Information