Staying on top

Owning your very own business is exciting, new, challenging, rewarding and, most of all, a lot of hard work. With franchising, however, it’s proven that hard work does pay off. We remind you of what things to remember to ensure you stay focused and not get overwhelmed in your first year of business


Often when you make that final leap into franchising and sign your name on the dotted line, you are immensely excited; excited what the future may bring, how your life will change and dreams of what you would like to achieve. Unfortunately some of those dreams carry us into the clouds above; we forget the reality of what is actually in front of us and it’s not until we are working in the business every day in immense detail, that we realise the level of work actually involved. You may start to feel the pressure to work fast and achieve results quickly, resulting in flippant decisions. You have work coming at you from every angle, you find yourself working late into the night and at the weekends forgetting your targets as you become overwhelmed in the work that lies ahead. Here we explain what things to remember and how to help you keep your head above water in your first year.

Focus

Every time a new customer pops up, or a new project or meeting drops into your lap, you may feel the need to jump up at the new piece of work every time. However, it is better to prioritise your workload and items that are not urgent, can wait and be planned into your week, without essential tasks suffering. Not every new opportunity or client is a great opportunity. Before working endless hours on something, evaluate if this particular opportunity will really benefit your business, take into account the time and money you will have to spend on everything. In your first year, time is precious and it’s important to use every free moment you have wisely, otherwise you can easily find yourself working flat out. Overall, try and achieve one thing perfectly rather than 10 things poorly. Trying to juggle 10 projects at once will spread you thinly and limit your productivity and effectiveness on each project.

Be healthy

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and its important to remember that really your business is you. If you don’t look after yourself, it will be more than just your health that suffers. Looking after yourself is also looking after your business, as productivity will be at its best.

Enough is enough

Sometimes we let our emotions and passions for something get in the way of logic. One can often become so carried away of what is important to them personally, that they do not care what it’s going to cost them. However, stop, reflect; ask yourself is this really going to make money and if the true answer is no, throw the towel in and move onto something that is worth the work and attention and will generate income.

Be financially savvy

When quoting to customers and prospective clients always ensure your proposals include all of the detailed required costs and ongoing expenses. Thoroughly understanding the costs of your products and services will ensure you make a profit and you charge what your worth and the client is also quoted fairly.

Seek help

As a franchise owner you have the advantage of constant help and support from the franchisor. Even though you may have pride and targets to hit, don’t be afraid to ask for help and additional training. The franchisor is likely to be happy to hear from you and would rather you ask than hide and suffer in silence. Also, as part of your Agreement, it is essential that the franchisor provides a comprehensive Operations Manual. The manual should outline all aspects of running the business but, in the beginning it may be easier to ask a direct question, than going through the manual not knowing what section to refer to. Many franchisors provide guaranteed, efficient means of communication via a hotline or an 0800 number. This, however, is dependent on the size of the network. You will also find some franchises will provide additional training and education as company policies and procedures are updated.

Know how you’re going to reach your customers

All good franchisors will provide marketing assistance and advice on running and promoting your franchise, you should focus on how you will target your audience locally and what is going to specifically work for your franchise. Delivering your message to your intended audience is vital. Be clear of your plan and what platforms are going to get a response from your market, your messages and of course, your budget.

Stay passionate

With working long hours, sacrificing your personal time, and perhaps seeing less of your friends and family in the first few months when you’re getting to grips, things can easily bring you down and make you feel less enthusiastic about what you’re doing. Just remember that in the long run, all of the strategy and hard work you put in now will pay off in the future and keep that end goal in sight. The reason why franchising is so appealing is that many sectors are so flexible and in the future the luxury of having your own business means you can work around you and your lifestyle. Staying focused, keeping passionate about your product and committed to the business are the ingredients to ensure your success. The beauty of being a franchise owner is that you will always have a whole team of people to support and see you though.