As incoming business owners – or potential business owners – come to the table, we often hear a common theme: They don’t think they have experience. The right experience, enough experience … it’s often said in different ways. They don’t have what it takes, they don’t feel condiment in certain areas, they are worried their location will fail. And so on. One of the biggest things that holds franchise owners back is that they are worried they can’t or won’t be able to provide the business with what it needs. And we get it, it’s a big step. One that’s scary and hard to overcome.
But just because you have the fear of being unprepared doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes. In fact, going in thinking there are things you can improve upon are a sign of maturity. It’s more concerning when business owners assume they know it all, that there is nothing they can’t do. In contrast, having a fear of not being able to move forward shows humility and that you are fearful of what you lack.
But here’s the thing: much can be learned on the job. Simply having passion for what you do can get you a long way. It fuels you to learn more and to find a viable solution for your brand. You’re learning in the moment, but you are still providing your franchise with everything it needs, and then some.
However, you can also improve your own skills. This is a step that leads your franchise better prepared, and you ready to take on any number of scenarios that might head your way. Including:
The more folks you know, the more people you can ask when you have a problem. Gain trust in others and allow them to feel comfortable in asking you for business advice, too. Creating this relationship allows you to learn more as a franchisee and gives you better resources to lean upon if and when you have a problem.
2. Go By the Book with Your Franchise
No really. Your franchise company will provide you with any number of documents that will teach you how to better run the brand. Use them. And keep them on hand, re-read them, study updates, and more. You’d be surprised how many franchise owners overlook these important pieces of information, and just what can be lost from forgetting the obvious.
3. Listen to Your Advisers
You have professionals who are there to help – from your franchising team, as well as those you hire. There will be CPAs, lawyers, etc., each of whom you hire to help your business thrive. Listen to what they have to say. Will their word act as the end-all-be-all? Of course not, it’s still your business. But they are experts in their field, and it’s beneficial for you to take in their opinions.
4. Educate Yourself in Franchising Practices
If there’s something that intimidates you as a new business owner, find out more about it. Narrow in on the subject that seems the most unattainable as a new franchisee. You don’t have to become an expert over it, but it can help to learn more and better understand what’s available on the topic. Even if it just helps you have easier conversations with the person you hire to cover that area, it’ll be worth your time. The rest you can continue to learn as you go.
5. Immerse Yourself in the Franchising Market
Listen to all things franchising, including those that aren’t specific to your industry. Choose podcasts, listen to radio shows. Tune into books on tape, and more. Even when not honing in on your specific franchise industry, you can learn more about the market as a whole. Ultimately, this will help your franchise business grow and thrive, just by you being better informed and more confident on how markets will change over time.
6. Study Your Franchise Industry’s Niche
Next it’s time to learn all you can about your particular franchising industry. Learn the specifics and minor details about your niche, including what the competition is doing. It may not pertain to you now, but maybe it’s something you can add later. Or it might be a question that customers will have for you in weeks to come. Whatever you learn, it will make you more prepared to take on your own location and all that it has to offer. Read books, follow news headlines, and more.
7. Narrow in on Your Franchise Market
What your franchise excels at and who your best customers will be will all vary based on your franchise and location. This is known as your franchise market, and it’s your job to know it and know it well. Understand what trends will do best in your area, and how you can better appeal to your own customers. Each of these steps can create a better prepped franchise owner, and one who profits simply by being aware of what the market wants.
8. Attend Speaking Events … And Speak Yourself!
Learning from others can be a great tool in your belt as a franchisee. Tune into local events that feature key speakers, as well as online events from which you can learn. There is certainly more variety online, but something is to be said for being able to attend live, in person, and feeling the energy of the room.
If you’re so inclined, sign up for a speaking event of your own! You can share what you’ve learned with others and meet new people along the way. This can be a great way to network and make new business contacts.
9. Remain Open to Learning at All Times
You don’t know what you don’t know. And that means you need to be willing to learn along the way. Keeping your mind open is the best way to take in new information. If you’re always available to learn, you can greatly expand your mind and your business tool set for the better. Consider this step every day for new opportunities to learn and grow your franchise location.