The Ingredients for a Strong Franchise System

02/05/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Ingredients for a strong franchise system

Franchising allows entrepreneurs to grow their business rapidly without huge overheads. When done correctly, franchising leverages the time, effort, experience and money of franchisees who are prepared to work hard to become a success.

But have you ever stopped to wonder what the recipe is for creating a strong franchise system? While there are over 900 franchise brands to choose from in the UK, it doesnt mean that theyre all good. If you want to make sure that you choose only the best franchise opportunities, here are some of the critical ingredients of a strong franchise system to look out for.

A dollop of proven success

A franchise system gets stronger with time as the franchisor continually develops and improves essential elements of the business. If a franchise has been established for many years and has helped lots of franchisees achieve success and profitability, then it's a pretty good indicator that the franchisor has perfected the model.

A less established brand can also be the best franchise to invest in for you. Remember that the franchisor wont have a proven track record of success to share with you. Instead, ask to see the results of the pilot franchise. This should have been run for a year, or two if possible, and should give you a good sense of how robust the system is. Positive pilot results can the assure you that the right elements are in place to potentially become a profitable franchise business and you get the chance to be involved from the very beginning.

A sprinkling of strong leadership

The role of a strong leader should not be underestimated in a franchise. The skills required of an effective manager can be learnt but becoming a good leader comes from within. Your franchisor should inspire you to follow their vision of success. They should be honest and act with integrity at all times and always communicate openly to keep you informed. Your franchisor should treat you like the business partner that you are rather than an employee, which is how a manager may make you feel.

A large pinch of training and support

The best franchise opportunities are the ones that prioritise the training and ongoing support for franchisees. The quality of the initial training is crucial because this is what allows you to quickly and effectively get your business started. But equally as important is the ongoing training, coaching and support. This can often be overlooked by franchisors, but its what enables you to improve your skills and optimise your performance continually.

Training and development extend further than just the classroom though. As valuable as the sales, marketing, and other business-related training is, opportunities should also be available for you to learn from other franchisees in the network. Good franchisors understand how powerful it is to get all franchisees together to enable peer to peer coaching to take place. New franchisees can learn from their more experienced counterparts by sharing ideas, opinions and discussing concerns.

A smidgen of culture

The culture that a franchisor creates has a significant impact on the franchise system. It may be an intangible factor, but a positive culture can mean the difference between being happy and profitable compared to being dissatisfied and struggling to perform. As a prospective franchisee, you should be able to sense the culture of a franchise quite quickly from the way that the franchisor treats their franchisees.

Another indicator of a thriving culture is when the business model makes it possible for franchisees to achieve their financial goals while the overall profitability of the franchise enables the franchisor to develop and improve the system. After all, a franchise is a business model which should benefit both franchisor and franchisee, so the best franchise to invest in is one that can sustain this.

A spoonful of effective recruitment

The recruitment process that you go through to become a franchisee should tell you a lot about the effort that the franchisor puts into finding the right entrepreneurs to become part of their business. A franchisor has a lot to lose by selecting the wrong franchisees. Their brand and reputation are on the line, and so the recruitment process needs to be robust.

To secure the long-term success of their franchise system, franchisors will often develop an ideal franchisee profile. This helps them to find candidates that have the right skills and personality traits to become a successful franchisee. Throughout the interview process, other factors will also be considered, such as the passion and determination of the prospective franchisees and whether theyll fit well into the existing franchise culture.

A thorough recruitment process may not seem like such a good thing when you're going through it, but it is in the best interests of the franchise overall. If the franchisor is prepared to recruit anyone to invest in their business, the status and consistency of the franchise are jeopardised which will impact other franchisees too.

Bake until franchisees are happy and fulfilled.

The best franchise to invest in is the one that prioritises the happiness of their franchisees. When youre performing your due diligence be sure to meet with several existing franchisees from within your chosen franchise network. If the franchisees that you meet are satisfied with the profit, they are making and the work/life balance that they achieve, it's a good sign that the franchise system as a whole works well.

Of course, the best franchise opportunities may be missing the odd ingredient but if they follow this recipe for success, then chances are youll benefit from investing in their franchise business. When you find the right franchise to invest in youll discover that you can have the freedom to run your own business while enjoying the support of an established franchise system; you really can have your cake and eat it!

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