One of the great aspects of franchising is how vast the industry is. Successful franchisees can come from various backgrounds and business experiences. However, there are certain skills pertaining to franchising that are universally beneficial to have when operating a business.
Here we’ll explore some skills that are useful to have as a franchisee. It is important to remember that these skills can be developed as you progress in the role, and you may need to rely heavily on some skills more than others, depending on your industry.
FINANCIAL LITERACY AND COST MANAGEMENT
Obtaining the knowledge and skills to make responsible decisions with your finances, also known as financial literacy, is valuable in franchising. Simply put, no revenue = no profit = an unsuccessful business. Therefore, as a franchisee, you must know how to keep track of your finances so that you can generate profit. For instance, knowing how to balance your costs vs. the revenue you receive on an ongoing basis can help you set and achieve your financial goals. Having the skills to “balance the books” is essential as a franchise owner.
By no means do you need to have an accounting background to be a successful franchisee. In fact, you’ll likely develop these financial skills while you’re in the role. However, having a basic understanding of the important financial elements of your franchise business and monitoring what you need to break even each month is essential when establishing your goals and processes.
In most cases, you’ll be able to make some financial predictions based on the information in your Franchise Disclosure Document, which may outline typical sales and other pieces of financial data regarding the business as a whole. Gaining insight directly from your franchisor can also be a great way to develop your financial skills, so ask general questions about expected profitability and the path other franchisees in the network have taken to success. This knowledge can be of great assistance as you navigate your own finances.
As you strengthen your financial literacy in the context of running your business, you can start to find areas to save costs, which can help you balance your budget. Are there parts of your franchise that are not working in your favor? Can you cut costs on some of your products/services? Can you add additional revenue streams? These types of questions demonstrate a financial skill that can be important to have as a franchisee.
If you have invested in a service-focused franchise and part of your role is interacting with the public, customer service skills are important. Despite the built-in brand recognition that can come with pursuing a franchise opportunity, attracting and retaining customers is still an important part of running a successful location.
Providing a positive customer experience not only benefits your business but also helps uphold the high standards customers may expect from the brand. Developing the skills to increase customer loyalty, deliver high-quality experiences, and create opportunities for your customers to develop a sense of trust with the franchise is key, since 67% of consumers say they have to build trust with a company to continue purchasing from it.
Remember, building a loyal customer base takes time. However, with the skills you’ve obtained from your previous work experience and your franchisor’s training, you can deliver an exceptional customer experience and bolster your business’s reputation.
HIRING AND LEADING A TEAM
Hiring a team of employees could seem daunting if you do not have prior management experience. However, this is a skill you can develop over time, and many franchisors will offer training on hiring employees before you build your team.
Depending on your franchise ownership model, you will likely be leading your team of employees daily as you navigate business operations, and various leadership qualities can be beneficial in your role. From the ability to delegate to practicing patience, knowing how to lead effectively will help your franchise business succeed.
FOLLOWING A PROVEN BUSINESS MODEL
The ability to follow a franchise business model is a skill that involves adhering to the rules and guidelines established by the franchisor and operating within a predefined structure, which requires adaptability and discipline. Although you are likely aware that you must adhere to the franchisor’s established business model, you must also effectively implement it once you are in the role. Maintaining consistency and staying on brand, as established by the business model, are essential skills for successful franchising.
Communication is key, whether with your customers, your franchisor, or your team. With customers, you must effectively explain the products/services you offer and prove you are worthy of their patronage. With your head office, effective communication skills can help you build a stronger franchisee/franchisor relationship, as you can better understand their expectations, ask for support, and ensure you are both on the same page. Effective communication skills can also help you manage your team, enabling you to provide direction and develop a positive rapport. Communicating effectively with your team can inspire them to share ideas and honest feedback, benefiting everyone involved.
FRANCHISING WITH DOGTOPIA
If you want to hone your business skills as a Dogtopia franchisee, we encourage you to review our Why Dogtopia? page to find out more about us as well as our Ideal Franchisee page to see if this role is a good fit for you.