Aspiring franchise owners walk through our doors every week with the hope of becoming their own boss, establishing financial independence and building a business. It is undeniable that there are many pros to becoming a franchise owner. But years of experience have taught us that not everyone can be a successful franchisee.
Although extremely rewarding, being a franchise owner is not easy no matter what industry you enter. Before you lock yourself into a contract with a franchisor, you need to know whether or not you are qualified. At OctoClean, we take the process of qualifying all our franchise owners very seriously. Follow along as we go over what it takes to be a successful franchise owner.
A Leader Mentality
Do you work well under pressure? Have you ever managed a group of people? How will you qualify employees and delegate tasks? These are all important questions you need to ask yourself before becoming a franchise owner. Work ethic trickles down from the top to the bottom. If you work at your highest potential, your employees will follow your example. As a franchise owner, you are the ultimate influence of your employees’ behavior. Our most successful franchise owners are those who communicate their expectations and set the bar high. Remember, you are only as good as you tolerate. A great leader understands their employees and knows what motivates them. Don’t make assumptions, ask them. Use these motivators to incentivize your employees.
A great leader also has a “want to” attitude. You won’t know everything when you first start, but you need to have a willingness to learn. Not many understand all the science that goes into cleaning. For example, you need to know what chemical pH is appropriate for each surface. The wrong product can cause the wrong chemical reaction resulting in property damage or even bodily harm. We’ve learned these tricks of the trade through trial and error. If you make a mistake, it is important that you bounce back resiliently.
A major advantage to joining a franchise is that you can learn from your franchisor’s mistakes. Set your team up with the tools to succeed by training them the right way the first time. You don’t want to do everything yourself. You want to trust that your business will thrive even when you’re not there. Walk them through the same training the corporate office required of you. Your franchisor will have the resources to help you train your employees properly, but don’t stop there. Take them out and train them in the field. Go through the process and supervise. Once they’ve earned your trust, experienced employees can train new hires. Create a system that frees up time for you to manage your business. It isn’t up to the corporate office to make sure that you are a great leader. A franchise owner needs to be self-motivated. You need to put in the work yourself everyday.
Compliance with Company Standards
There is a common misunderstanding that becoming a franchise owner means becoming an entrepreneur. This is false. A franchisee is a business owner, but there are rules that need to be followed. So although you will benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset, being a franchisee is a balance between creative freedom and obligation.
A franchise owner buys into a system that already exists and has been proven effective. The franchisor has made a promise to their customers and it is your responsibility as a franchise owner to deliver on that promise. At OctoClean, we promise to provide the highest quality janitorial and building maintenance services available to our clients. That means our franchise owners and employees are expected to arrive on time, respect their customers, use quality products and techniques and leave every facility spotless.
Many fail to recognize that company standards are in place for their benefit. Company standards are often industry standards. They ensure that if there is an inspection or a routine walk through, your business will pass no questions asked. You won’t receive a large fine or worse, get fired by a client or be terminated by the franchisor.
Not complying with company standards may result in consequences. At one point, we went from 120 franchise owners to 40. We reduced our franchise base because they weren’t meeting company standards and it was affecting our relationships with clients. Saying goodbye to franchise owners is something that we never want to do. But when a franchisee has absolutely no intention of complying with our company standards, there aren’t many options.
Do you follow the rules? Were you a rule follower in your previous positions? The best way to establish the rules from the very beginning is to take your training seriously. If you take the time to understand why the company asks you to perform services a certain way, it is much easier for you to take what you learn and implement it. Taking training seriously isn’t only important for you, but for your employees. Ensuring that their work environment is safe and that you’ve provided them with the resources to succeed is very important.
Communicating Company Values
A client chose your business because of the company values communicated on your corporate website and social platforms. A franchise owner needs to communicate those same brand values. Make sure that there is an understanding among your team members of what that message is. To ensure that you are communicating company values, you need to communicate with the corporate office regularly. Attend weekly events and training seminars to stay up-to-date. Take notes so that you can pass the information along to your employees.
Upholding company values includes treating your customers with respect. A great business owner doesn’t make excuses. They find solutions instead. You will be frustrated at times, but always remain calm. Imagine a swan on the water. Above the water it is serene and the swan is graceful. But there is a lot of kicking going on under the water to keep the swan afloat. You may not have all the answers when something goes wrong, but you want to give off that graceful appearance of the swan.
Be proactive. If you don’t understand something, or aren’t sure how to handle a certain situation, ask questions. Odds are you aren’t the only one with those questions. If your corporate office knows where they are failing to communicate, they can improve in those areas.
Becoming a franchise owner isn’t as easy as signing paperwork. The money doesn’t just roll in, you need to work hard for it. You need to be compliant with company standards, have a leader mentality and communicate effectively.
One of the biggest advantages of being a franchise owner is that you are never alone. You always have the corporate office on your side. You also have the help of other franchise owners who may have more experience than you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice.
Do you think you would make a good franchise owner? Visit our website to learn more about our innovative approach to franchise ownership.