Here are my 10 key activities in your first year to get your new franchise off the ground:
1. Take total responsibility for the success of your business. Whether you make the money you desire or not is 100% your responsibility and not the franchisor’s. The quicker you start to appreciate this the quicker you’ll reach your goals.
2. Get really clear on what you want to achieve, build a plan to achieve it, and follow it!
3. Know your strengths & weaknesses and use them to your advantage. Importantly find ways to plug the areas you aren’t so strong in, ideally by outsourcing them, but if money is tight find ways to manage yourself to ensure your weaknesses don’t hold you back.
4. Be clear on what marketing support you should be receiving from the franchisor and make sure you get it.
5. Don’t rely on franchisor marketing support alone. There are loads of different ways to market your business and you really should use as many as you can afford to. The best ones to use will very much depend on what you are selling and who your target audience is. Too many businesses fail to make their target revenue because they have stayed too much of a well-kept secret. Don’t be one of them!
6. Make sure you know what marketing you can do without approval from your franchisor. In most cases the franchisor will need to approve the use of the logo/brand so be sure to keep them in the loop, but don’t use this as an excuse to limit your marketing.
7. Things will be slow at the start but don’t convince yourself that this is a good reason to put your feet up. In fact do the exact opposite. Once the business starts to gather momentum you will quickly find that it’s difficult to carve out the time to work on growing your business, so use the quiet early months to do as much research and marketing as possible.
8. Implement systems for your key processes. This should be everything from when an enquiry comes in through to getting the cash in the bank. At the beginning when you have time on your hands it’s easy to make do without processes in place, but as you get busier you will start to make mistakes, overlook key requirements and spend significant amounts of time doing mundane activities like your bookkeeping. By putting simple processes in place at the beginning (when it’s easy!) you will save yourself loads of hassle later down the line.
9. Take continual action. When you start your business your main focus has to be on your marketing and getting your message “out there” as consistently and continually as possible. Too many businesses do a bit of marketing and stop because “it didn’t work”. Research has shown that people need to see your message multiple times before they will make a buying decision so short lived marketing campaigns rarely work.
10. The actions you take will govern the success of your business. Don’t put yourself in a position of regretting your lack of focused proactive effort 12 months down the line.