SET­TING UP FOR SUC­CESS

Inside Franchise Business - - Contents - DAMIAN PAULL

Use the help avail­able to get your busi­ness up and run­ning.

Be­com­ing a fran­chisee is a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion. There are no short­cuts to suc­cess, but there are steps you can take to en­sure your fran­chise busi­ness has the best chance of re­al­is­ing its po­ten­tial and that you, as a fran­chisee, achieve your goals for the busi­ness.

Ask ques­tions, re­search, seek ad­vice – you are not alone once you de­cide to take up a fran­chise, so use the help avail­able as a

step­ping stone to suc­cess.

Next to buy­ing a house, be­com­ing a fran­chisee may be one of the largest fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments you are likely to make. Run­ning a small busi­ness, in­clud­ing a fran­chise busi­ness, also in­volves a huge time com­mit­ment that will have a ma­jor im­pact on your lifestyle. Are you pre­pared and able to take on these re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and obli­ga­tions?

Re­search starts with ask­ing your­self such ques­tions. Ex­am­ine your rea­sons for be­com­ing a fran­chisee, try to choose a fran­chise that ties in with your in­ter­ests and pas­sions, and know what you can af­ford fi­nan­cially be­fore mak­ing any com­mit­ment.

There are many ad­van­tages of be­com­ing a fran­chisee, es­pe­cially for those who are new to small busi­ness, as your fran­chisor will pro­vide train­ing and on­go­ing sup­port. On the flip side, fran­chisees sign on to fol­low­ing the fran­chisor’s sys­tems and pro­cesses. If you are more in­clined to fol­low your own path than the tried and tested one laid out by a fran­chisor, maybe fran­chis­ing is not for you.

As­sum­ing you have been through the

self-assess­ment process and gained an un­der­stand­ing of the fran­chis­ing busi­ness model, the next step in the re­search phase is to thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate any fran­chise sys­tem that in­ter­ests you.

CODE OF CON­DUCT

It is worth not­ing that Aus­tralian fran­chis­ing is gov­erned by the Fran­chis­ing Code of Con­duct, which pro­vides for dis­clo­sure of key in­for­ma­tion about the fran­chise sys­tem by fran­chisors to prospec­tive fran­chisees. Part of this in­cludes pro­vid­ing con­tact de­tails of current as well as for­mer fran­chisees, and it is im­por­tant that you talk to fran­chisees who have been in the sys­tem to find out what it is re­ally like.

If you have ticked all the boxes here and sought ad­vice from ex­pert fran­chise lawyers and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors, you have taken the first steps to be­com­ing a suc­cess­ful fran­chisee.

Once you’ve signed your fran­chise agree­ment, paid your fran­chise fees and other costs, and held your breath for the seven-day cool­ing off pe­riod, it’s time to start. At this point, you can ex­pect the fran­chisor to pro­vide you with com­pre­hen­sive in­duc­tion train­ing to teach you about the fran­chise busi­ness and the es­sen­tials you’ll need to know as a small-busi­ness owner.

The time­frames for this in­duc­tion pe­riod vary from a few days to a few weeks, but this train­ing is vi­tal to your suc­cess. It is here the fran­chisor will im­part the sys­tems and pro­cesses that un­der­pin the fran­chise. Ab­sorb all the in­for­ma­tion you can, and don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions to im­prove your un­der­stand­ing.

You will also be pro­vided with an op­er­a­tions man­ual that will be your es­sen­tial guide to ev­ery­thing you need to know once you have com­pleted your train­ing and are open for busi­ness. Your job from here is pri­mar­ily to fol­low the fran­chisor’s sys­tems and pro­cesses and put in the hard work that is nec­es­sary to make any small busi­ness, fran­chised or not, a suc­cess.

NOT ALONE

Other spe­cific re­quire­ments for fran­chisees in­clude pay­ing fees, mar­ket­ing con­tri­bu­tions and roy­al­ties on time; un­der­tak­ing their own lo­cal-area mar­ket­ing to pro­mote the busi­ness; and keep­ing ap­pro­pri­ate busi­ness records.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that while you are run­ning your own small busi­ness, as a fran­chisee you are not on your own. A good fran­chisor will be ac­ces­si­ble if you have any ques­tions or need ad­vice, will pro­vide help to build and pro­tect the brand, and will visit you from time to time.

As a fran­chisee you will also re­ceive vis­its from a field man­ager, busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager or fran­chise man­ager. What­ever the ti­tle, this per­son will be your first point of con­tact for ad­vice and to talk through any busi­ness is­sues.

It is com­pletely nor­mal to face chal­lenges in your busi­ness. What mat­ters is that you ac­knowl­edge any chal­lenge and ap­proach your field rep­re­sen­ta­tive or fran­chisor about it, and put steps in place to move for­ward and re­solve the is­sue. Other fran­chisees in your sys­tem may be able to of­fer you ad­vice or help based on their own ex­pe­ri­ence.

Open­ing your own fran­chise busi­ness is one of the most ex­cit­ing, daunt­ing, in­vig­o­rat­ing and ex­haust­ing things you are ever likely to do, and like any­thing worth do­ing, it is worth do­ing prop­erly. So take your time, do your re­search, ob­tain pro­fes­sional ad­vice, fol­low the es­tab­lished pro­cesses of the fran­chise sys­tem, and build a solid work­ing re­la­tion­ship with your fran­chisor.

As US states­man Colin Pow­ell once said: “There are no se­crets to suc­cess. It is the re­sult of prepa­ra­tion, hard work and learn­ing from fail­ure.”

CEO, Fran­chise Coun­cil of Aus­tralia

If you are more in­clined to fol­low your own path than the tried and tested one laid out by a fran­chisor, maybe fran­chis­ing is not for

you.

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