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Running a franchise successfully

So you have finally taken the plunge and are either starting a franchise from scratch or have bought an existing branch. If you are thinking about running a franchise as a small business, you should have a good idea of what it takes to run it, from the day-to-day operations to the administration tasks. You should have also decided how involved you will be in the daily running of the business.

Running a franchise - People hangout together at coffee shop

Whether you have previous experience in running a business or not, there are still things you will need to consider to effectively run your franchise. Here are some tips to help you succeed in your franchise small business venture.

Staff management

Staff management is one of the key parts of running a business. When it comes to owning a business or running it, there is a difference. If you are running a business, you will be actively involved in the daily activities, whereas if you are just an owner, you will likely have managers taking care of the daily operations. If you are just going to overlook the business, and be an owner, then you will need to hire and appoint staff for the appropriate roles.

You will need to manage your staff well, even if you are not always present daily you will still need to build relationships with your staff. By having strong relationships with your staff, you can build a sense of loyalty which can help you retain good quality talent. There are also many ways in which you can motivate your staff, from early finishes to rewarding them for success. Look after your staff and they will look after your clients.

Work – life balance

One of the biggest workplace trends is the balance between life and work. This should be something that is encouraged in your workplace, for yourself as well as your staff. When you are running a franchise business you can be overworked and ultimately have a burnout. Your franchise may be your passion, and you probably want to give it your all but you cannot sacrifice your health and wellbeing in the process. So, make sure that you try to have working hours and stick to them, as well as regularly taking time away from work.

Franchisor relationship

It’s very important to maintain a good relationship with your franchisor, as it will be beneficial for both parties. The contact you have with your franchisor will vary for each franchise depending on their policies, however your franchisor can offer you expert advice and insight into running the business. Therefore, your franchisor can almost play the role of a business mentor, so it’s important that any problems are discussed and dealt with.  Your franchise agreement will highlight the length of the contract, and the involvement of the franchisor, and if they over step you should discuss the matter.

Delegation

A good leader will need to learn the art of delegation and how to do it effectively. From avoiding micro-managing your staff, to outsourcing when you need to, learning how to delegate is essential. You need to make sure that when hiring you are looking for long term quality staff. Once, you have a team that you believe in, you need to give them time, space and trust to carry out their jobs. If you are constantly looking over their shoulder, or going over their work, it’s counterproductive and will help no one. Learn the skills of delegating to build better relationships with your staff.

Budgeting and finances

Another major reason that small businesses go bust is because of poor cash flow and lack of funds. The key to maintaining a good cash flow is to budget and keep costs low wherever you can. If you don’t have a budget, then you will need to create one to keep an eye on your finances. Then you will be able to see all your costs, allowing you to see where you can implement changes to cut costs. You should regularly review your budget, always adding and updating. Make sure to have some contingency money, as disaster can strike and you may need emergency funds.

Customer service

Providing the best customer service should be at the heart of your business. The success of your business relies on your customers, therefore you will need to do everything to keep them coming back. The advantage franchise businesses have is that consumers may already be familiar with the brand, however you need to provide a good customer service to make sure that they keep a positive perspective on the brand. To provide great customer service, ensure your staff are fully trained and are going to project your business values and ethos. Make sure the service is personalised, and loyalty is rewarded.

Although franchising is a proven successful business method, franchises can sometimes still fail. The failure of a business can be because of reasons such as; neglecting staff, not following the franchisor system, running out of funds, poor customer relations, burning out or a bad relationship with the franchisor. Therefore, to avoid making any of these mistakes, act on the tips given to ensure a good chance of success.

More on franchising and the pros and cons of running a franchise.

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