Editor's note: Whether you're an aspiring, emerging, or established franchisor, these basic tips on how to build and grow your concept still apply (always will). And for you development pros who know it all, reviewing the fundamentals every once-a-while is always a good idea.
Franchising your company is a great way to earn more revenue, grow your brand, and take on new and exciting opportunities. While many people assume their franchise's growth will just come naturally, businesses do not just magically start spreading and growing. You must be willing to put in the work to make sure that your franchise grows. Here are 10 of the top tips to consider when you are trying to grow your franchise and expand your business.
Have a teacher's mindset There are a number of reasons people decide to start and grow a franchise. No matter what your initial reasoning was, you must remember that you are a teacher above all else. You need to be willing to teach others how to run a successful business so they can copy your model for success and use it to create another duplicate establishment that is just as successful. If you don't have a teacher's mindset, you will not succeed.
Start by perfecting your business model The first thing you must do to successfully grow your franchise is to start perfecting your business model. You need to have a clear-cut, successful, and easy-to-follow business model you can share with others. And you need to always be working on your model. The stronger it is, the better your entire organization will run.
Let things happen naturally Do not force growth. Let it happen naturally. The success of the establishments you have should be what convinces others to open a franchise. If you force it, then you are only putting new franchises at risk for failing, which can do major damage to your brand name and reputation.
Foster franchise relationships For the entire organization to grow, the individual franchises must be successful. You need to create a positive culture of franchisee relations. The individual franchisees need to be able to operate independently, but still rely on one another for guidance and assistance.
Build a strong brand identity If you want a franchise to grow and succeed, you must have a strong brand identity, one that is recognizable throughout your industry. The stronger your brand personality is and the more recognizable it is, the better off your franchise will be.
Create a balance between local and national You may have a national franchise, with locations across the country, but there still must be a balance between your national name and the local establishment. Each individual establishment needs to stay in touch with its community, do local marketing, attend community events, and act as though it were a traditional small business. The individual establishment can't just rely on national marketing from the franchisor.
Put strong franchise owners in your establishments A franchise is only as good as its individual establishments, so you need to put strong franchise owners in each one. It is important to take the time to ensure that the right individuals are running these businesses.
Create a streamlined process Individual franchise locations need to have the personality of the owner shining through, which means they may do some things differently. However, overall, there must be certain streamlined processes throughout all of the organizations, whether it's the way you do paperwork, billing, or the formula you use for your sandwiches. Certain things must be the same to maintain continuity.
Offer resources and training Remember tip number one, that you are a teacher. With this in mind make sure that you're offering the right resources and training opportunities for individual franchise owners. You are there to make sure they have the tools to succeed and the resources they need to grow a business that follows your specific model and way of doing things.
Always emphasize customer service One of the best models to growing any business, no matter how big or small, is customer service. The entire franchise -- including individual establishments -- must always focus on doing things the right way and treating individuals the right way.
Keep these tips in mind and remember that some practices will work and others will not. You must be willing to work constantly on your business model and approach to ensure that your franchise growth approach is working with the market.
Jason Helfrich, D.C. and his wife, Vanessa Helfrich, D.C., graduated with honors from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2004. Later that year they co-founded 100% Chiropractic in Colorado Springs. Today they have 20 locations across 6 states.
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