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3 Avoidable Mistakes When Opening Your First Franchise Location

The task of selecting a franchise to buy is challenging enough – but now that you’ve finally made a choice, it’s time to hit the ground running. For many franchisees, the time between buying a franchise and opening your doors can be a bit ambiguous; you’re new to the system and you’re not sure where to begin. Unfortunately, this is a period where new franchisees often make some critical mistakes in their franchising endeavor before even opening for business. Below are a few samples of common mistakes within this time frame that can be avoided:

1. Advertising Before You Open. The inception of your franchise location doesn’t begin with the day you open your doors but rather the day you officially sign on to be a franchisee. Too often do people get caught up in the process of building out their location and forget to give some attention to everything around them. Your business has to have customers to survive. While your franchisor team likely has a system in place for marketing support, it will likely be up to you, the franchisee, to get the word out about your business. Link up with a PR firm. Fire up the social media accounts. Participate in community events. Let the public know you’re coming. Otherwise, when you officially launch, you could come up short.

2. Understanding What It Takes to Run the Business. Perhaps the most obvious of the mistakes on this list, not comprehending the full implication of what it takes to run your business is the biggest opportunity for franchise failure. Joining a new system will require that you take time to learn all of their processes. A good franchise system will have a quality training program to help educate you on the nuts and bolts of the business. However, if you aren’t proactive in laying out everything you need to do to get your business up and running, you will quickly get behind. A great way to make sure you’ve got your bases covered is by meeting with other franchisees and asking them for advice.

3. Selecting the Right Location. Location is key when it comes to franchising. You need to fully understand what it is that drives customers to your business and then hone in on that aspect. It’s not just about the traffic counts, its proximity to other businesses, or accessibility. While it is likely a combination of many factors, you need to work with your franchisor team to look at key metrics for the business and determine the utmost important factors that bring in customers. Tomorrow, we will be airing a Franchise Euphoria episode that highlights one franchisee’s story in overcoming a similar an issue with not selecting the right first location and what toll that took on her business. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to hear her story.

While this list doesn’t nearly encompass a full list of mistakes franchisees can make, these are a few of the most common. With a good support system in place, your chance for failure should be minimized. Be sure you truly vet every opportunity to the max before deciding to buy into a franchise, because once you’re in, its on you to make it a success.