This can mean anything from setting yourself and your team sensible goals, using established processes, developing a routine, or simplifying how you communicate things
With 18 years of experience in franchising, both as a franchisee and as a franchisor, it has become increasingly clear that the key to franchising success is to keep things simple. Ironically, that advice sounds easy – but do not underestimate how hard it is to follow.
Keeping it simple can mean anything from setting yourself and your team sensible goals, using established processes, developing a routine, or simplifying how you communicate things. People with easy-to-follow procedures can operate faster and better understand what they are doing, which, in turn, leads to higher productivity and shortens learning curves, accelerating the time to mastery. Once this occurs, a company is ready for explosive growth.
Simplicity aids a great work-life balance
Your work-life balance will improve drastically if you simplify how you do things. Most business owners can only imagine the possibility of achieving a great work-life balance, especially if they are used to constantly missing the morning school run and staying after hours to get work done. However, there is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel in franchising because the franchisor has mapped out a tried-and-tested process for you to follow. These processes are designed to simplify your day-to-day tasks and help you maximise your time. Most people are stuck in the mindset that working long hours means you are being productive, but that does not have to be the case.
You can achieve far more when you have simple processes in place, when you are clear about your goals and when you stay focused on what needs to be done. Doing this eliminates the unnecessary activity that leads to stress and fatigue and also gives you more time for the other important areas in your life.
A simple approach offers clarity and helps people remain focused
One benefit to keeping things simple when running your franchise is that your productivity will go through the roof. However, it will not just be your productivity that increases. By creating simple, manageable processes, your employee’s focus will also increase, as will the quality of the services and products your franchise delivers.
A simple, easy-to-understand process will help employees appreciate the value of each step required when providing a product or service. Remember, simplicity aids clarity, so when your employees understand why something is necessary to accomplish and how they can achieve it, you will reap the rewards. When tasks are made as simple as possible, people in your network will stay focused for longer too. Most people can be distracted very easily. Keeping things simple will enable employees to pay attention to the most important task at the appropriate perspective and time. By itself, staying focused creates more output with less effort and time.
Believe it or not, some businesses sacrifice the quality of their product or service in exchange for quantity. However, skipping steps in a bid to accomplish more tasks tends to lead to poor quality and errors. An example of the importance of keeping it simple from Greensleeves would be if a franchisee turned up to do a job on a client’s lawn but skipped important steps because they were too complicated, or the franchisee did not understand the importance of them. This would result in them failing to get the results their client wanted, and the chances of them getting repeat business would be low. This example highlights why making sure the process is quick and easy to follow means a franchisee can produce quality and efficient results.
Simplicity improves consistency
When delivering a product or service, do not just settle for good; strive for great. And to do this, a franchisee needs to ensure they are consistent in what they deliver. To provide a consistent service, you must ensure you keep things simple.
Franchising is a collective effort, whether you are a single-unit franchisee, multi-unit owner or franchisor, ensuring your franchise operations are streamlined and delivering a consistent quality service or product is crucial. For example, if you have one franchise location providing a far worse service than another location a few miles away, both locations’ reputations will be tarnished by complaints. However, it is difficult to go wrong when a franchisee follows a simple process and understands what is required.
Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, I recommend taking time out each month to assess your service quality. Analyse if there is anything you can do to simplify the steps. This way, you can ensure that you provide a consistent service and boost profits.
David Truby is the MD of Greensleeves, a lawncare business that has seen a 25 per cent rise in the demand for its services over the past two years.