These common mistakes can end your dream of being a successful franchisee
It’s a fact: franchises are far more resilient than non-franchise start-ups. While 58 per cent of non-franchise businesses fail in their first five years, 82 per cent of franchises thrive way beyond that time.
However, some franchises fail to get off the ground and flourish into long-term, income generating businesses. These are some of the reasons why:
1. You’re not taking the right action
One of the comforts of becoming a franchisee is that much of the work behind the scenes has already been done for you.
You’ve got the company’s generic website, much of the marketing is done for you and the brand is in place. This is when you can easily fall into the trap of sitting back and waiting for the sales to magically come flooding in. You procrastinate and spend time decorating your office, designing your business cards and tidying up your spreadsheets. None of this is going to build your business.
When it comes to getting your business up and running, you need to generate sales. You need to network, create opportunities, spread the word and chase leads.
It’s easy to justify why you’re not going to pick up the phone and speak to that potential customer. It’s not the right time or perhaps they’re having their lunch. You’ll never know if you don’t make the call.
2. You’re not following instructions
A benefit of buying into a franchise is that there’s a well trodden path, lined with proven strategies and tactics, to follow. Many people have taken that route to success before you and know what works and what doesn’t. The trouble starts when you veer off the path and do your own thing. Or you don’t follow it at all.
At Not Just Travel, we teach a proven way to build your network. We’ve created a business management tool that makes procedures and processes run smoothly. We devise marketing and social media material for our franchisees. It’s important they use them and follow our recommendations.
3. You’re not tracking return on investment
Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. How many of us do exactly that when running our business?
Once you start tracking what works and what doesn’t and recognising that your time is one of your most valuable resources, you’ll see that it’s essential to track return on investment on your efforts and how you spend each hour.
4. You don’t know the value of your own time
By doing a simple calculation, you can work out exactly what your time costs. That will help you work out how many networking events to go to versus how much desk-bound time to dedicate to making those sales calls. Here’s how to do it:
Work out how much you want to earn in a year, then divide that by 52 weeks. Next, work out how many hours you’re willing to work per week. Divide your weekly earnings figure by that number to get your hourly rate.
5. You undervalue your business potential
We all unknowingly place limits on ourselves. Or in other words, lack self belief.
Are you familiar with the fleas in a jar experiment? Scientists put a number of fleas in a jar and then sealed the jar for three days. After that time, the lid was removed, but the fleas had conditioned themselves to the level set by the lid, so none of them jumped out.
In a similar way, we’re prone to conditioning our mindsets to the perceived yet non-existent limits we place on ourselves. What happens when there’s no jar or lid and you recognise that unlimited income is something you can achieve?
For example, if someone earned £35,000 in their previous role, their goal is to replace that by becoming a franchisee. But why not £135,000? After all, a franchise is an opportunity to earn unlimited income. Who is placing the limit on what you can achieve? You.
6. You don’t take your franchise business seriously
For some, their business is a hobby, not a career. But it can easily fall by the wayside if they don’t take it seriously.
It takes time and energy for a franchise to succeed. Set yourself strict sales goals and work hard to achieve them. And once you’ve reached them, move the targets higher. Do this and you’ll soon find your hobby has become your career.
7. You feel too safe
Some people come into money, are backed by a wealthy partner or have sold a property so they can live off the earnings. They are the ones who aren’t hungry enough to fulfil their franchise’s full potential.
It’s the people who have sleepless nights about paying their bills and their children’s future who make sure they’re profitable - and fast.
8. You have a lack of focus
Some people are distracted by the next shiny object: another way of making money, a new project or a new job. If they don’t get instant gratification, they move onto the next thing. It’s an expensive attitude to have.
Building your own business is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes hard work before you can reap the rewards. The people who commit long-term are the ones who succeed.
9. You’re not willing to step outside your comfort zone
If you’re going to run a profitable business, you’ll need to step outside your comfort zone. I’ve had to do it countless times.
As a shy person who had a speech impediment when I was younger, standing up in front of a room full of people was a terrifying experience in the early days.
So accept you’re going to have to do some uncomfortable things. For some, that means picking up the phone. For others, that means attending networking events or public speaking. For many, that means closing a sale. So many people avoid it in case the prospective customer says no.
Acknowledge your fears and confront them head first in order to quash them. It’s the way to success. Trust me.
Steve Witt is co-founder of Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise.
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