The secret to being a successful multi-unit franchisee

14/07/2018 17:00 | Start a business

How to achieve multi unit franchise success

For many franchisees, the ultimate aim is to build a franchise empire consisting of numerous units. Within the franchise model, this is a perfectly reasonable and achievable goal. The entire system is set up to facilitate expansion and franchisors are often on the lookout for individuals who demonstrate the drive necessary to become multi-unit owners. However, becoming a multi-unit franchisee does require you to be highly skilled in many different areas. Here, we look at seven of the fundamental skills and qualities you'll need to begin building your franchise empire.

Multi-unit franchise success - how to do it

1. Ambition
Becoming a successful multi-unit franchisee doesnt just happen, it takes a great deal of dedication, hard work, and ambition. If your aim is to become a multi-unit franchisee, then its necessary to begin planning your approach straight away. In some franchise companies, opportunities to expand and open new units may be limited, preventing you from achieving your goal. Consequently, franchisees should begin mapping their route to multi-unit ownership before theyve even signed a franchise agreement. Its not easy to become a multi-unit franchisee and ambition is necessary if you're going to make it. Set your goals, work out how youre going to achieve them, and then work hard for them.

2. Service-orientated
One of the essential qualities of successful multi-unit franchisees is their emphasis on always providing the best possible service. Customer loyalty is incredibly important to businesses. Happy clients often mean word-of-mouth referrals and higher sales figures. When it comes to multi-unit franchisees, high standards of service can see customers visiting a new unit because they've been treated well at one of your older units in the past. In other words, customer allegiance can be transferred across franchise unit boundaries, if you provide a satisfying service. The best multi-unit franchisees understand this and work hard to foster strong relationships with those who regularly visit their store.

3. Good networking skills
Networking opens doors and presents you with unexpected opportunities. Business owners have to socialise, communicate, and network in various circles. They need to work hard to build a connection with their customers, peers, and other individuals in their industry. Without the ability to network and connect with people on a personal level, franchisees will find themselves without much of a support system. When you need to call in a favour, want to collaborate on a project, or need some honest feedback, your networking skills will determine the amount of help you receive. As well as being personally rewarding, developing relationships with those around you is hugely beneficial to your business.

4. Able to step back and delegate
As you open more and more units, youll gradually have a larger and larger workload. Theres no way that one person could handle all the responsibilities inherent in managing multiple units, so franchisees need to be able to step back, delegate, and trust in those around them to do the job well. This is often easier said than done. However, if you work hard to build a competent and trustworthy leadership team in each of the units you own, the job becomes a lot simpler. This means investing in your employees, widening their skill sets, and preparing them for the responsibilities of management. The franchise model is designed to facilitate expansion, so franchisees should be doing this regardless of whether they're considering building a multi-unit franchise empire.

5. Presence
While its important to be able to step back from the heart of the action, multi-unit franchisees also need to ensure that they maintain a regular presence at all their units. Not only does this demonstrate that youre maintaining interest in all your franchise units, but it also gives you the opportunity to check that high standards are being maintained right across your network. It also guarantees that your employees have a chance to speak to you in person, on a regular basis allowing them to ask questions, resolve issues, and build a stronger relationship.

6. Never get left behind
Successful multi-unit franchisees always ensure that theyre ahead of the curve and not falling behind the latest industry developments or trailing the competition. Whether its technological innovation, new products, or fresh approaches to sales psychology, good franchisees will keep abreast of developments and ensure that the information accumulated is passed on to their employees. This will require a great deal of franchise investment, but it's worth the outlay when you consider how multi-unit franchisees are positioned. If they miss a trick and let their competitors get the upper hand, they're not exposing a single business to risk - they're exposing numerous businesses to risk. As the profits rise with each new franchise unit, so to do the responsibilities and, ultimately, the risks.

7. Personal integrity
Finally, multi-unit franchisees also need to ensure that their integrity remains intact, even when faced with a series of challenging situations. As the owner of multiple franchise units, youll work with a wide range of people, youll be forced to make decisions that pit profit against principle, and youll need to plot your own course through the minefield of business ownership. If you maintain your integrity and stick by your moral compass, youre likely to earn the respect of those around you and at the end of the day win or lose, profit or not walk away knowing you did the right thing. This is also an essential factor when it comes to employees. Show them that you'll treat them well, and they'll respect you for it.

Conclusion
Multi-unit franchising is a challenging proposition. Individuals who want to build a franchise empire must demonstrate many qualities, skills, and abilities if they're to succeed in the role. The seven attributes listed above are the foundations upon which you can build yourself into an effective multi-unit owner. Foresight, an ability to delegate, and the necessary communication skills to forge long-lasting relationships are all essential qualities.

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