Before I became a franchisee my list of “must have’s” included the latest brand of Kardashian handbag, Nine West shoes or Wayne Cooper outfits. My franchisee journey changed this perspective.
I was so excited when I began; nothing was going to get in my way. I was going to be a business owner! I knew I could do it, be in charge of my business and team, work the hours that suited me and still have an income whilst not working long hours. But I learned along the way that enthusiasm and business skills were just some of the “must haves” to become a successful franchisee.
- Must show leadership
I have always been a leader, but to be a leader in your business 24/7 is a different matter. Leading your team creates a positive culture. You can’t have a day off from the leadership. You can however, delegate duties – all good leaders do.
- Must understand your business and what drives it
When I analysed all my Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) looked at where I wanted to be in 12 months and set goals on how I was going to get there, my business performance improved. I started to hit the goals I needed to hit to give me more time, more money and a team who worked with me.
- Must love the brand you have bought into
If you love your brand it shows in everything you do; the way you work in store, the way you work with your team. Your enthusiasm leads to your success. You will create more sales with a team that will deliver great customer service and a good quality product. Be sure you are a brand ambassador as it reaps rewards.
- Must have excellent communication skills
To be able to talk is one thing, to communicate well is quite another. Communicating is as much about what you see as it is about what you hear. Knowing when saying nothing is sometimes more beneficial than saying something. Find your preferred communication medium and master it.
- Must have a real CAN DO attitude
No-one likes a negative Nancy. Starting each day with a “Can Do” attitude shapes your whole day, the environment you work in and your success.
- Must adapt well to change
The one thing that always stays constant is that there will always be change – retail is all about keeping up with trends and keeping customers excited therefore make change your friend.
- Must know your specific space
I was in fast food retail and still to this day you can find me hanging out in food courts. It’s exciting, it’s educational and it always helps to know what your competitors are up to so you can do it better.
- Must seek out information
Keeping up to date in of all areas of your business is a full time job – HR, employment agreements and workplace health and safety are but three areas that are always changing. And let’s not even start with technology changes. Feed your thirst for knowledge by attending your local business meetings and your franchisor’s meetings. The networking alone is valuable, as well as all the information shared at these functions. Being a franchisee is lonely so be sure you surround yourself with people in similar fields.
There you have it – your new list of “must haves” though I am thinking you can never have too many handbags or shoes.
*Elizabeth Gillam founder and CEO of Franchisee Success creates High Performance Franchisees. Having owned and operated three franchised food businesses; Boost, Healthy Habits and Bucking Bull; she knows what it takes to operate a profitable food franchise. In her recent book, Upsize your Profit – 6 steps to running a profitable food franchise she outlines how franchisees can ACE their franchised business unit.