Ever wondered what the recipe for a successful franchisee is? There are lots of common franchisee traits that are found in those who start a franchise and truly succeed. In this article, we’re going to take you through seven franchisee habits and franchisee traits that could set you up for significant business success.
There are a few things successful franchisees all possess, from their outlook on life to their love for a challenge. If you’re looking to emulate their success, you’re probably wondering if there are any top franchisee traits or leading franchisee habits you can adopt for yourself. We’ve picked out seven of the most common characteristics the world’s most successful franchisees share and why they’re so important if you want to go far in franchising.
1. They thrive within the franchise structure
You might not have heard the term ‘intrapreneur’, but it’s a great way to describe the most successful franchisees. The word was coined by entrepreneurs Gifford and Elizabeth Pinchot in a 1978 whitepaper. It was created to describe managers in large organisations who approached their roles with an entrepreneurial mindset, which greatly benefitted their companies.
While franchisees are not employees and don’t report to anyone in the traditional sense, many are drawn to a franchise as there is more structure and support in place when compared to independent start-ups. They thrive as they’re able to reap the rewards of running their own business within the tried and tested structure of a franchise.
A 2002 study by Kasselmann and colleagues summed it up well, saying:
“Franchisees, much like intrapreneurs, exercise a unique blend of entrepreneurial and managerial characteristics by exposing themselves to a moderate degree of risk within a proven and established business framework.”
The point here is that, in order to be a successful franchisee, you have to thrive operating within a network and be willing to follow a few rules. It will vary between franchises how hands-on your franchisor is, and some will only set out a few strict rules and guidelines. You will still have plenty of chances to use your own ideas as a franchisee – you could get creative with your marketing and lead generation, for example. But if you’re a serial entrepreneur and want total freedom, you’ll probably waste time butting heads with your franchisor about small restrictions, rather than building your franchise to its full potential.
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2. They don’t rely too heavily on their franchisor
It’s true that your franchisor is there to support and advise you, but the most successful franchisees can make key decisions on their own. Your franchisor isn’t your boss and you don’t have to go to them with every problem you face during day-to-day running. If you’re going to succeed as a franchisee, you’ll need to be self-motivated and able to come up with solutions to make your business run more effectively.
The most successful franchises are full of franchisees who take a creative approach to problem-solving. They can overcome challenges or identify opportunities when traditional methods aren’t working. What’s more, once they’ve found a great solution, they share their findings with other franchisees in the network so that everyone has the best possible chance at success.
3. They’re not afraid to speak up
Even though they’re happy to follow their franchisor’s guidance, the best franchisees aren’t afraid to make their voices heard. Whether they’ve stumbled on a more effective way to carry out a set process, or have an idea for a new product, they won’t have a second thought about suggesting it to their franchisor. And it’s not uncommon for franchisees’ ideas to be implemented across the whole network.
On the other side, the most successful franchises are willing to take on board the suggestions and ideas shared by their franchisees. After all, franchisors are the ones that come up with an excellent business concept, but it’s likely they’re not an expert in every area.
Even one of the world’s biggest franchisees, McDonalds, has taken ideas from its franchisees. The iconic Big Mac was created by Jim Delligatti in 1967, after realising customers wanted a bigger burger. More than half a decade later and one franchisee’s humble idea is now the fast-food franchise’s most iconic product.
4. They constantly look for ways to develop their business
In our ever-changing world, it’s essential that franchisees stay up to date on changes in their sector. The most successful franchisees make market research a vital part of their week so that they’re always aware of what competitors are up to. What’s more, they’re always looking at ways to take advantage of new developments, ideas and ways of working to take their business to the next level.
Of course, your franchisor should also be carrying out research too, but every franchisee could benefit from reading relevant news sites, magazines and forums when they can. Try scheduling 15 minutes at the start of your day to catch up on what’s happening in your industry, or subscribe to newsletters from reliable industry websites to get information in your inbox. Learning as much as you can about business ownership and your industry will help you overcome any problems that get in your way.
5. They know how to lead a team
Even the most ambitious, dedicated and creative franchisees can be let down by one crucial thing: their leadership skills. And as the saying goes, you’re only as good as your team. The best franchisees can motivate, inspire and organise their employees and drive the whole unit towards incredible success. If your leadership makes your employees feel anxious, confused or unappreciated, your franchise will never succeed.
Effective franchisees take it upon themselves to get to know each member of staff and understand what motivates them. This will enable them to adjust their leadership style to connect and build relationships with employees based on the needs of each individual.
Most importantly, the most successful franchisees reward their team for their hard work. If your employees put in overtime, always offer great customer service and generally go above and beyond for your business, make sure their efforts are noticed.
6. They’re willing to work hard
Some people believe that buying into an established franchise system is like getting a fully developed business-in-a-box. While a franchise is a more supported route to owning a business than starting one from scratch, it takes as much dedication, determination and hard work as any other opportunity.
Franchisees that survive the difficult first couple of years as a business owner understand the workload and are prepared to roll up their sleeves and put in the required effort. Owning and operating a franchise often means working long hours, and potentially sacrificing weekends, holidays and precious family time for a while.
7. They know how to switch off
While you won’t find successful franchisees slacking during business hours, the best of the bunch know the importance of avoiding burnout. The first few weeks and months of your business will be exceptionally busy, and you might find yourself working into the night and on weekends. But after the adrenaline and excitement of your franchising journey wears off, it’s just not feasible to be switched on to your business 24/7.
The best franchisees, and the ones that enjoy longevity as a business owner, are able to mentally switch off after a day of working on their business. They work hard, but enjoy plenty of time with family, friends and hobbies too. If you don’t look after yourself, you might find that your franchising journey comes to an abrupt end due to ill health, or that you don’t enjoy being your own boss as much as you deserve to.
Many successful franchisees choose to employ staff to help with the day-to-day running of their business. It’s not necessary with every kind of operation, but if you’re running a restaurant franchise or takeaway franchise, you’ll find it tough to fill every role on your own. By hiring skilled, experienced employees, the best franchisees don’t have to do it all themselves and have enough vital downtime.
And if they don’t hire staff, successful solo franchisees are great at managing their time and ensuring they aren’t sat checking their emails at midnight. It is tough to adjust, particularly if you’ve never been your own boss before, but it’s a key aspect of success that many people overlook.
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A recipe for success
As you can see, many of the top franchisee’s habits are pretty easy to form yourselffas. If you’re committed to really succeeding, it’s worth spending a bit of time trying to implement as many as you can. Don’t get discouraged if you find it tricky at first – as they say, it takes (at least) 21 days to form a habit. Ready to start your very own franchise? Find the perfect opportunity from our UK franchise directory.
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©