Opening and sustaining a successful franchise is hard work. Keeping a positive attitude and being thoroughly prepared can alleviate quite a bit of frustration for a new business. A lack of coping skills can wear you down, and developing a proper support system is critical. A franchise support system can include the franchisor’s Field Support Representative, other franchisees, other local business owners that you meet through networking, EO (Entrepreneurs Organization), or a business coach.
There will be bumps in the road during your franchise journey. The most important rule to follow is this: When you see a problem, find an answer immediately. If you ignore it, it will get worse. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Do something; you may be right, you may not but at least you will learn from the experience. Ask your franchise corporate support team as well as other franchisees about how they handle critical issues and maintain a happy franchisee balance. They probably have experienced your concern and can provide quality advice and counsel. Here are some additional suggestions:
- Be sure to talk regularly with your front line, keeping in mind that you may yourself be the front line in many cases. You and your front line team should notice if traffic in your business changes dramatically, quickly, or if there is a rise in customer complaints, negative feedback or quality issues.
- Watch the numbers. If you are not seeing positive cash flow coming into your franchise, be sure to consult with your franchisor and a respected accountant (preferably one that knows your brand or industry).
- Foster a culture of openness so your staff feels that they can come to you problems. If there is an issue, you may be able to catch something early before it deteriorates into a disaster.
- Establish a culture of creativity. Have a system for solving problems. Stay in touch with your franchise corporate team and other franchisees for support. Your franchisor may conduct on-site visits. These are extremely valuable in helping catch problems early so they do not grow into fatal errors that could put your Franchise Agreement at risk.
Entrepreneur Joe Barbat has been referred to as one of the industries thought leaders in his effort to revolutize the wireless retail industry. Established in 1998, Southfield, Michigan-based Wireless Toyz has experienced exceptional growth since its founding, largely due to the innovative business model designed by CEO and Chairman Joe Barbat.
With 100 stores located throughout the country, including in Michigan, Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and other states, Wireless Toyz has achieved success stemming from its consumer friendly retail model. Independent cellular stores that have converted to Joe Barbat’s Wireless Toyz model experience operating a much more efficient business. Wireless Toyz’ marketplace growth has been carried by dozens of content franchisees.