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Franchising offers a journey with many twists and turns

Franchising offers a journey with many twists and turns

Most franchisees achieve a certain degree of success. However, there are always outliers who outperform the average and those who struggle to achieve results

When it comes to franchising, an outside force may affect the level of success, but usually it can be tracked to the most predictable of subjects - the franchisee.

High flying franchisees share similar qualities

The franchisees with the highest-grossing franchises share similar qualities. Committed franchisees focus on getting everything they do right 100 per cent of the time. When they make mistakes, they own up to them and make course corrections.

They don’t give up easily, as persistence and resilience drive them to keep going despite setbacks. Curiosity and self-discipline are the motivation to improve their skill set. They are coachable and know that training is like bathing - you have to do it daily.

Successful franchisees stay focused on starting and building a business for the future. The end goal is a constant in their mind, as they work towards the business they want to have four to five years in the future and beyond.

A focus on the future changes a franchisee’s approach to quality, execution and keeps them concentrated on building a business they could sell in 10 years.

They work diligently to apply the proven business model. They apply the systems, tools and coaching that’s on offer to them. Successful franchisees know that building a business is hard work, but the fruits of their efforts will result in a sustainable business that provides cash flow, while building a company they can sell for a significant sum.

Dynamic and learnable skills

The good news is that anyone who is willing to be trained and coached can be a successful franchisee. The qualities aren’t static, they are dynamic and learnable. If a franchisee is open to feedback and coaching, they can build new skills.

You get what you focus on. For franchisors, their focus should be on building successful franchisees. It would be a mistake to expect franchisees to know everything they need from day one. They need training and measurement. Franchisors have to manage their own expectations and hold franchisees to standards, retraining and recoaching for the life of the relationship.

While a prospect’s background and experience is important, it’s critical for a franchisor to determine if a potential franchisee can be a successful one.

You want your franchisees to be happy and successful, as those are the franchisees Carewho will achieve their goals. There are moments before signing a deal when speaking with a prospect to get answers to your biggest questions about the franchisee. The first answers they give will always be superficial. The prospect may give answers they think you want to hear. It’s imperative to keep that conversation going until you find out the true nature of the prospect.

I look for people who are motivated, coachable and personally accountable. I also look for people who are curious and eager to learn new skills. It’s the job of franchisors to share their best practices and business operations, to show new franchisees how to model the most successful franchisees in their system.

Assisting underperforming franchisees

Even after a franchisee is in the system and begins to struggle, there are ways to bring them back on the path to success.

Some franchisees decide to do what they think is best and ignore the tools and guidance from their franchisors and other successful franchisees. They choose to ignore the wisdom available to them from those who have come before. Franchising is a system. You follow the system to achieve results. It’s illogical that there are franchisees, regardless of what they have promised or the success they see others achieving, who willfully do things their own way or, sadly, cut corners. Some even expect results without applying the energy it takes to achieve them.

A franchise isn’t an ATM machine that spits out results - the franchisee has to focus on their success and follow the system every hour of every day.

Every franchisee in the system is supposed to be doing exactly the same thing every day. Even so, there are some who require handholding, to recognise their errors, learn from their mistakes and recommit to following the best practices set forth in the system and operations manuals. When a franchisee can do that, they become successful.

Work directly with struggling franchisees to assess their challenges. From there, you will be able to provide focused and specific guidance to get them back on track.

It really is simple to be successful in franchising. Success leaves clues, so always model the most successful franchisees in the system by looking at their metrics and do what they do. A franchisor should measure everything and then share the data.

Generally, franchisees struggle because of a lack of focus, dedication and passion for building a business. If they’re willing to put in the energy and work and apply the coaching on offer, they can achieve their goals. Franchising is not a business for anyone who suffers doubt, self sabotage, insecurity or struggles with anger issues.

You buy a franchise because it’s a system. The business comes with a proven model and operations plan. It’s a road map to success. Starting a business is a journey. High performing franchisee embrace the journey and franchisors give them the map.

The big question is whether a prospect is willing to adapt to the needs of the business and challenge themselves to succeed. That is the real determining factor in success.

The authors

Dan Rowe is CEO and founder of franchise development company Fransmart.

Craig Bass is president and owner of Golden Heart Senior Care.

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