How franchising can work for you
Not the other way around.
Starting a business from the ground up, or taking companies to the next level and getting the gears moving, takes patience as well as time for trial and error.
These days, there isn’t much time to allow for figuring out your business while making it successful. That’s where franchising comes in.
Companies across the nation that have been working through the kinks for decades can provide independent business owners with knowledge and resources to allow them to hit the ground running. The franchise model may be a strong resource for growth for the right candidate; the tools, information, networking and financial strength (buying power) in a franchise system may help business owners to be effective without unrealistic timelines, wasted monies and false starts.
How do you get started? Below I’ve broken down the most common questions I’ve received in regard to franchising.
How do you decide if a franchise is right for you?
Take a look at your market. Is it saturated, poorly represented or is there opportunity? If you see opportunity, take the time to research the different companies that provide franchising.
A few things to look for:
• How does that company serve the community, not only in business, but in philanthropy? In other words, is the company known for giving back to the community?
• What is their financial strength? Can they provide the support you need to run your business?
• Dig into what resources and training the company provides. As a franchisee, working with a company that can make your operation turnkey is crucial. You also want one that can bring differentiation of new products, features and training into the industry.
What’s the first step to join a franchise?
The first step is to take surprise out of the process and the business. Find out which companies can give you a behind-the-scenes look into their value before you sign on the dotted line. For instance, some franchisers have “Discovery Days” where you can meet current franchisees and learn more about the operation.
Another first move is to understand the financial burden. Some franchises require a substantial upfront financial commitment, especially brick-and-mortar operations. Once you’ve established what you’re willing to put into your business, see what companies align with your budget and goals. For example, franchises without traditional storefronts might be less expensive.
What recommendations do you have for a new franchise owner?
Embrace the training and information at your fingertips. You’ve elected to work as a franchise to reap the benefits of their knowledge — use it! Take advantage of every opportunity and resource the franchisor can provide. This includes surrounding yourself with good people, and employees you can trust who are aligned with your goals and with training; hold them accountable. A solid franchise may provide the training resources and opportunities for you to create and grow a stellar team.
However, as a franchise owner, finding talent and growing talent can be a job unto itself. With tools made available to you by the franchisor, the task may become simpler. They can provide you with the training necessary to get your business on its feet — fast.
How do you find skilled talent?
Sourcing field employees can be a big challenge given the current skills gap. There are record-low employment numbers and all service-based industries are looking for the same talent.
There are three general pipelines for recruitment: Recruit from your local competitors; hire from tech schools; and hire for character, train for skill.
The third path typically is the most successful. Hire people with character you know will do great with your customers, since customer service is more than half the battle in this industry.
As part of a franchise, you may be provided with the materials necessary to allow you to develop your own program to educate your hires in their job and grow their skill sets. This includes training on sales, communication, administration, finance, management and relevant technology. Most importantly, you’re growing their skill set without any “bad habits” that might have been picked up from competitors.
If you’re lucky enough to work with a franchise that offers unlimited training, you’ve opened up your opportunities for hiring. Not only may you spend less money to train your employees, but the consistent training may reduce sunk costs in the long run due to errors. Proper training can reduce callbacks from unsatisfied customers and can make customers for life, which reduces marketing churn.
Franchising with an established franchise system provides not only you, as the business owner, with the resources necessary to help expedite the startup process, but they also can provide resources and training that empower you. There’s a recipe to follow and many of the ingredients you need are handed to you. Why not take the guesswork out of your business strategy and utilize the benefits from decades of experience? RJ 2.0
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is not intended as an offer to sell — or the solicitation of an offer to buy — a franchise. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial advice nor should it be relied on as the only source for making an investment in a franchise operation. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Direct Energy.
Author bio: Dave Borowski is the director of technical training at Success Academy, which is an affiliate of One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating, Mister Sparky and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. More information can be found at www.ClockworkFranchise.com.