The unique benefits of owning a franchise will help you do something you enjoy while making that all-important profit
If you’re looking to start your own business or change career, becoming a franchisee is a great way to minimise risks and improve your chances of success.
Whether you’re passionate about retail chains, fitness or cleaning, there are a huge number of franchise opportunities available that will help you do something you enjoy while making that all-important profit.
For those just starting out, you must do your homework on your franchise brand of choice. This includes evaluating all the options available to you, speaking to existing franchisees and meeting with the head office team.
While it’s important to do your due diligence, it’s also vital to remember that there are a number of unique benefits of owning a franchise business. Not only can you expedite the start-up phase of your new venture, but you will benefit from brand credibility, ongoing business support and the experience that’s on offer from the franchise network.
Power of the brand
One of the biggest benefits of becoming part of a franchise network is brand awareness.
It takes time to nurture a recognisable brand, but it can often be the difference between success and failure. By joining an established franchise, you’re in the right place to take advantage of a brand that’s reputable and well respected in the industry.
Customers come to rely on businesses and their products or services wherever they are located in the franchise network and this can be assumed when opening a new franchise.
No matter what the industry is, selecting a franchise with a recognisable brand will significantly reduce the amount of time needed to educate your target market on your service proposition. Customers will have already established awareness of the products or services on offer and it’s up to the franchisee to meet those expectations.
A powerful brand also has the potential to increase the value of the franchise. By building strong customer relationships and loyalty, franchise companies may experience increased demand for new locations, thereby increasing the value of the entire network.
Brand awareness is a great way to stand out from the competition in today’s crowded marketplace. A strong network will help new franchisees to differentiate themselves and their products or services and gain customer loyalty quickly.
Ongoing business support
When starting a new business, there are a number of issues you will face on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s extremely helpful to be part of a franchise network that provides guidance and extensive training to allow your business to prosper.
For a new franchisee, initial training is likely to include classroom and on-the-job instruction. In addition, franchisors may send members of its staff to assist in the opening of a new franchise and help train the franchisee’s employees on best practices.
Looking ahead, you can also expect to receive ongoing assistance from head office.
As a franchisee, you’ll be required to meet brand standards and procedures. This is why training is critical to help improve the business’ performance.
Training generally covers customer satisfaction, lead generation, new technologies and the profitability of your business. Franchisees should take advantage of this, which will allow them to focus on the things that matter most: customer service and building relationships.
Franchisees can gain guidance from the franchisor’s marketing specialists to build an understanding of what activity should be conducted when they first open their business.
These professionals will be available throughout the duration of the partnership, leveraging insights and expertise from the franchise network to make the most of the marketing opportunities available on a local and national scale.
Harnessing network knowledge
Running a franchise can be stressful and challenging at times. That’s why it’s vital to select a franchise that offers a strong support network to help you through.
On top of support from the franchisor itself, you will be able to access peer support from your fellow franchisees. You can pick up tips and tricks for success and learn from those who understand your situation best.
By speaking with other franchisees who are at various stages of their franchising journey, you can ask for advice and come up with a solution to any problem together.
As well as ad hoc communications, many franchisors organise regular events that allow franchisees to meet directly with others in the network, as well as members of staff from head office. These are great opportunities to network with your peers, share new information and support each other.
Over time, franchisees will be keen to give back to the network, echoing their experience and the knowledge they received when they first joined. As a network grows, a culture of peer support and collaboration will be fostered, benefiting the entire network and boosting long-term success.
Having a tight-knit network can motivate the people who are part of it. Those within the network will also treat the franchises as their own, which usually means higher sales and profit levels. As a result, the speed of growth can help develop the infrastructure of the franchise.
A model for success
Becoming a franchisee is appealing to many entrepreneurs. It removes the need to build a brand from scratch, establish business procedures and train staff.
When you choose to become a franchisee, you are buying into a network that has already shaped a model for success. There is a reputable and credible brand that customers immediately recognise, with marketing support to continue this momentum and spread brand awareness.
More importantly, franchising brings with it the benefits of ongoing business support and peer advice from others in the network.
Your franchisee peers may be more experienced and have important processes and systems figured out already. New and existing franchisees can take advantage of ongoing business support from head office across a range of functions, including sales, finance, operations and HR, meaning they can learn what they need to know very early on.
Jean-Henri Beukes is managing director of commercial cleaning specialist Ecocleen.
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