When you buy into a franchise there’s a lot to take into consideration. What is commonly thought of as an ‘easy in’ to business is actually an extremely complex process that can be heavy on financial, emotional and resource investment. In embarking on a franchise journey, a long term commitment is being made and ultimately, a large life event that can reshape how you think of success. But how do you know if you’re doing it right, or for the right reasons? Let’s examine the ins and outs…
The Process and The Systems
Within a franchise there are usually lengthy and strict processes and systems to undergo and use throughout the business launch and onward running. These should be reviewed and comprehensively understood as part of the due diligence process before any business commitments are made. Are you comfortable working within the franchise parameters? Do they fit with your expectations? Are you not just able but willing to work with the processes long term for a sustainable business survival?
If you are the kind of entrepreneur who prefers to work out processes for yourself and are likely to want to change them to fit your own way of working, running a franchise may not be a good fit for you. While being a franchisee does include working with prescribed processes this offers a great security blanket for those who don’t have the time to trial and error new ways of working.
Not all franchises are born equal and some involve more hands-on management than others. If you are a hands-on manager willing to jump in and get involved from the off, a management franchise could be any ideal fit for you.
During a franchise set-up, a good amount of project management, site management and technical business knowhow is required. With Refresh Renovations, this may include elements of quantity surveying, design and architectural services. Those looking to become a franchise owner of a management franchise must possess a growth mindset, understand the importance of building and nurturing a strong team and be ready and willing to invest in marketing and to maintain strategic relationships.
Buying into a franchise requires a degree of alignment with the parent company’s values, vision and goals. This is a long-term commitment and not just choosing to support a business because you like it at a single point of time. For Refresh Renovations, franchise owners must understand and fully believe in the Refresh 5 Step Renovation Process.
What’s more, the franchise owner’s approach to communication and customer service must fit with that of the parent company and be able to be consistent enough that customers and/or end users would not be able to differentiate it from any other franchise branch.
Running a franchise, even for a small business, requires a full time commitment – usually for considerably more than you’d expect to work a traditional job. A franchisee must, therefore, work at least full time hours.
Those who are only intending to work part time or to work elsewhere at the same time as running a franchise will need either to have hired a trusted full time manager for the business or to have an exit plan for their current role that sits in line with the launch and onward growth of the franchise business.
Communication Skills and Requirements
Those looking to run a franchise need excellent communication skills – not least for the reams of business documentation that will need to be completed in advance of launch.
Franchisees need to be fluent, verbally and written, in the language in which the franchise operates. For Refresh Renovations, this is English. Those running a franchise also need to have good interpersonal skills and political agility; that is, the ability to effectively communicate with people of all types and levels, both peers and customers.
Whatever a franchise focuses on, a franchisee will be best placed to make a success of it if they have a degree of specialist knowledge on the relevant topic. However, this must be balanced with business savvy and commercial expertise in order to best promote the company.
Those who have specialist skillsets and knowledge can input in their own way but this should not overshadow the business mindset required to run the firm and in the long term, can restrict growth potential. A balance must be drawn between both – and in the case of Refresh Renovations, we believe the model is best operated by those with a commercial background who are able to sub-contract technical knowledge.
Customer Service Standards
Exceptional customer service should be a key value for any business, and it should reflect the service expectations set by the parent company.
A franchisee must be positive and excited about building great customer relationships. For businesses such as Refresh Renovations, these relationships must be trusting, strategic and long-term with excellent communication. If a franchise owner does not see themselves as needing to be customer facing, or feel that service should be take a secondary place in business planning, they may not fit the requirements that the parent company dictates.
Just because a franchise draws upon the strength of an existing business does not necessarily mean that it’s an easy launch. Most businesses, including franchises, take over a year to establish and longer to make any money.
The franchise should be adequately financed right from the beginning and have plenty of cashflow to draw upon. If a wage needsto be taken or the business is expected to replace a wage quickly, a franchise may not be a wise decision. It will pay off – but this is a long-term commitment.
Successful franchisees know that they have to wear several hats at once and play many roles in the management of their business.
You will be the business manager, people manager, admin assistant and customer service advocate, hiring and firing as you go and always on-hand to make snappy and savvy decision. Franchisees must also be able to hire in an expert team to meet their own weaknesses and fulfil any unmet requirements.
Taking on a franchise is no mean feat but can be a fantastic journey and brilliant success if done right. So what are you waiting for? It’s time for the adventure to begin…
If you're thinking of starting your Franchise business journey, why not get in touch with one of our office team today to discuss our available opportunities!