Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)

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Want to start your own franchise? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the process, from getting your companyís name out there to making sure youíve got a solid team that will propel you to success on board.

Considering starting your own franchise? Look no further than our definitive franchise start-up check list. This article is a follow up to Part 1 of the Official Franchise Start Up Checklist , so make sure you check that out if you havenít already.

Hereís what to do once your franchise business has been opened:

1. Marketing

Once your franchise business is up and running, you need to make sure customers are queuing to use your services. Marketing is an important part of running a franchise, as identifying your potential target market and making sure they are aware of you is the only way to get business.

Bigger franchise brands often take care of a lot of the marketing for you, as itís their brand name they need to put out there. However, in your local vicinity, itís your duty to get marketing materials out to potential customers and tell them why you are the go to service.

Effective marketing of your franchise business can be done in many ways, costing anything from nothing to thousands. Marketing methods include advertising with print media, through digital media, billboards and flyering and direct mail. Social media can also be a fantastic way to reach out to the local community, and itís often free marketing!

2. Customer loyalty

Once youíve got them through the door, you need to make sure your customers keep coming back. By offering your customers incentives to return to your franchise business, you can not only ensure continued customer loyalty, but also collect valuable data about your customers and their preferences.

Loyalty and reward programmes provide your customers with a reason to come back and you can gather data for improved, more targeted marketing strategies. Although the franchisor may run these schemes from above, you can always do more to make your franchise branch the one your customers are loyal to, perhaps with a refer a friend bonus or in store advantages.

3. Community involvement

In order to get the people living around your business to support it, you should consider strategies for community involvement. Perhaps your businessí venue could be used for an event? Depending on the nature of your franchise business, maybe you could offer workshops, taster-days, in-store opportunities and offers and perhaps even deals and discounts for the surrounding neighbourhood.

Itís also a great marketing plan to link your franchise business to its location, as taking part in local celebrations or occasions and shrinking the barrier between the locality and your brand are great ways to get the community on board. Welcome local customers through your door in every way you can, and your business is more likely to be welcomed and supported in the local community.

4. Continued recruitment

While running your franchise business, you need to make sure youíve got the right team to help you. Recruitment of your initial workforce can be done by yourself or you may choose to go through a recruitment agency. Think about what you need from your staff and formulate the strategy needed to seek out those qualities from the candidates. This could be through interview, trial shifts or online application.

Once you have hired your staff, provide them with the training to perform well in your franchise business. You want to make sure each and every employee is confident in his or her role at your company. Donít rush the process; you want to start by hiring motivated, experienced individuals, and then giving them time to learn their roles.

Depending on your staff turn-over, continued recruitment could be a regular part of running your franchise business. It pays to make sure you know what youíre looking for, and how to enlist the right team quickly.

5. Performance management

Performance management is a process of ensuring that sets of activities and outputs meets your franchise businessí goals in an effective and efficient manner. In order for your franchise businessí workforce to perform to the best of their ability, performance management tasks need to be done in light of your business needs.

If your employees have a clear knowledge of what the business is aiming to achieve, they can understand how their contribution is vital and be more engaged in their work. Feedback on performance should be continuous rather than restricted to specific times, such as an end-of year review. That way your employees will always be keen to impress and be more driven and hard-working all year round.

Ensuring all employees have a perfect understanding of their role and of the benefits for the business if they perform at their best is a solid start to managing performance. Keeping all parties in the know about your business operations also helps to make sure everyone genuinely cares about what theyíre doing, leading to higher engagement and productivity.

6. Vendor and partner management

A large part of running your franchise business will be interacting with the third-party vendors and partners who provide the goods, materials and services to your business. In order to maximise the value of the relationship with your vendors and partners, they should be strategic and growth-focused, rather than just going for the most cost-efficient option.

By proving your dependability as a franchise business owner and maintaining strong and regular communication with your vendors and partners, you can ensure that you are both working in the right interests.

Take time to select the right vendors and if you have the financial flexibility, its often wise to use it. You can buy in bulk and get better pricing but you will have more stock on your balance sheet, or you can arrange to pay a vendor earlier in order to get a bigger discount.

Sometimes itís better to pay a little more in order to secure a better service from your suppliers. In the long run, this can often pay for itself because you need to do less work to manage or chase your goods or services. The same goes with 3rd party partners you may be working with. Investing in and nurturing a mutually-beneficial relationship will always be helpful in the long run.

7. Finance management

Financial Management is the planning, organising, directing and controlling the financial activities of your franchise business. This means applying general management principles to financial resources, in order to see your business grow and to make sure your investment brings some healthy returns.

You may choose to employ an accountant or finance manager for your franchise business to help with this, although as the owner of your franchise business it will be your role to allocate funds into profitable ventures so that there is safety on investment and regular returns is possible.

8. Taxes

As a franchisee, youíll need to make sure you are on top of your taxes and paying exactly the right amount. The tax you must pay as a franchisee is determined by your trading status. If your business grows into a bigger operation, as hopefully it will, itís wise to register it as a private limited company.

This will separate your franchiseís assets from your own and will protect you in case anything goes south financially. It will also make it easier to manage your company and personal finances separately.

For a full guide on paying taxes as a franchisee click here.

Continued franchising success

If you use these pointers, as well as part one of our official franchise start-up check list, you should be on the right track to franchise success. Donít forget to make the most of free resources from reputable franchising associations like the BFA and QFA.

We have a section of our website dedicated to the steps involved in setting up a franchise with the corresponding articles. You can view it here.

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