At some point along the path to success, every business owner seeks out advice. For independent business owners, a franchise most likely will not be the first place you turn for inspiration or council. However, there are several key characteristics to the franchise model that every independent business owner can learn from in order to improve their own operation.
1. Utilizing Systems
In the franchise world, it is all about systems. Virtually every process, from point of sales to employee training is systemized. For some independent business owners, systemizing processes may seem like a limitation. Rather, the systems utilized by franchise owners provide a resource they can fall back on when they need help or guidance. Whether in day-to-day operations or in meeting quarterly goals, systems allow owners, both franchise and independent, to keep their plans and people in order. On top of that, for those planning to grow or scale a business, systems allow this process to happen much more efficiently and effectively because they have a “manual” in place for future partners, managers, or even owners to reference.
2. Keeping It Simple
Many independent owners start their business based on a simple concept—it’s easy to understand, easy to apply, and easy to deliver. However, over time, many owners lose sight of that original, simple concept. While a business owner may stick to the initial idea for a period of time, the concept can become complicated, leading the owner and business to go astray. Franchises, on the other hand, are required to have a clear business model if they are to be successful. If a customer base or target demographic does not understand that model in one or two minutes, then it is not fine tuned enough. Successful franchises have a proven business model focused on an original and simple concept. Reevaluating a business to focus on the foundational concept and communicating that concept more efficiently will potentially increase your sales and overall success.
3. Focusing on Core Business
When it comes to growing or scaling a business, many independent owners get distracted with multiple ideas rather than sticking with their core business. While adding to the core product or services is not always a mistake, it can easily lead to a decline in sales. Through the processes of scaling your business, you must retain focus on the core concept. For example, if you own a pizza restaurant, there is nothing wrong with adding new menu items like pasta or Italian sandwiches, but you have to not lose focus on your core concept: pizza. In the franchise model, owners are honed in and focused on the core business because they have to be. With defined business models and operations manuals, franchisees are required to stay focused on what the brand represents. When an owner has their core business in mind at all times, then they can begin to create other ideas or concepts that fit well with their existing business model.
Seeking advice, as a business owner, cannot be limited to businesses similar to yours. You may not consider yourself much like a franchisee, but changing the way you operate to reflect some of the best practices of a franchise can increase efficiency and set your business up for continued success.