At its finest, franchising allows people the opportunity to buy into an existing, successful business model that comes with a proven track record, a successful training programme, a reliable supply chain, and expert innovation and support – a far cry from the risks of starting your own business from scratch. David Truby, MD of Greensleeves, where 100% of their franchisees at franchise renewal stage with the lawn care company in the last 12 months chose to stay with the brand for another term, has some advice on how franchisees benefit from the significant investment, innovation and support from a franchisor.
There’s no doubt that starting and owning a business is a rollercoaster of emotions. From the highs of recruiting new staff, to the lows of losing a contract, the ups and downs are constant. Unfortunately, when starting a new business, failures will occur which cost money, time and energy, and, in some cases, can even lead to needing to close the business. However, when opening a franchise, the mistakes that lead to failure can be mitigated in most cases because the franchisor will have experienced most of these before you – and will have learnt from them. So, here are my top three benefits franchisees receive from the significant investment, innovation and support of their franchisor.
- Franchises have a higher rate of success than start-up businesses
One benefit of taking on a franchise is that you are more likely to succeed than if you were to start up your own business. Because you are being guided by a franchisor who has ‘been there, done that’, you’re exposed to proven techniques and innovative ways of operation.
A franchisor can help you succeed by giving you the tools to reduce wastage in terms of time, energy and costs. An innovative franchisor will map out a way for franchisees to streamline order processing, reducing overheads and maximising efficient employee time. In Greensleeves’ case, some of our benefits include providing franchisees access to the best equipment and teaching them how they can optimise their time working on each individual customer’s lawn. So, a franchisor like us is there to help you get the most out of your new business and build it into a going concern, Ultimately, achieving better profit margins, improved customer service levels and increased competitiveness.
When taking on a franchise, a franchisor’s input will also help you add value to your clients’ experience. This is an excellent way for your business to provide a service that the customer is prepared to pay more for, which helps a business differentiate itself from competitors. For example, does a franchise you are considering have an app to make products or services more accessible to customers?
- Franchisor support means you don’t need to be an industry expert
One of the key benefits of being a franchisee is the amount and quality of training and support on offer from your franchisor. It’s in the franchisor’s interest to invest in their franchisees to provide comprehensive training programmes right from the outset of the partnership and throughout the lifetime of each franchisee’s journey. For instance, at Greensleeves our franchisees and their teams deliver lawn care treatments, but no one needs to be a gardner or have previous experience in lawn care because we provide the required knowledge and practical guidance through staff training at our academy.
Franchisees are never alone while building and running their business, as advice and ongoing support should always be available. Having innovative training and support from a franchisor helps a franchisee to deliver better quality services and effective strategies for growing their business. Once training is put into practice, they will drive a franchisee’s business forward as long as the franchisee themselves invests the time and passion required from any successful business owner. A franchisor who is innovative in all areas of your business, including how to improve learning, marketing and efficiency can give invaluable insights that fill those skills and knowledge gaps you may have at the start.
A franchisor can also help franchisees navigate the legal requirements involved in running a business where they lack experience of the field. This could be a general aspect you find with any business like the need to reduce carbon emissions or could be an industry-specific compliance issue with product legislation. Greensleeves is part of the BASIS Lawn Assured standard which means we must demonstrate that we responsibly make use of pesticides when they are needed as part of a lawn-care process. By adhering to these standards and actively ensuring our franchisees have the training to do so, we support them to meet legal, regulatory and best practice standards.
- Immediate brand recognition
When starting a business there’s always an element of uncertainty. However, with face-to-face contact being limited in the current climate, having a strong online presence or being able to prove your brand’s good reputation is more important than ever. Trying to build a customer base and gain traction with your potential customer base is often the most challenging part when starting a new business. Becoming a franchisee can mitigate much of that risk as you’re joining a brand with an established reputation.Like many franchises, Greensleeves regularly tests new ways to widen our brand recognition. Our work to gather Trustpilot reviews from our thousands of customers across the UK was innovative at the time and now an everyday activity for our network. Most recently, we agreed to pilot a new digital marketing service centre managed by franchising experts at The Franchising Centre to help our franchisees maximise market exposure.
There are many reasons why someone would choose to partner with a franchise brand and become a franchisee rather than starting a business from scratch but it’s the strength in numbers and power to innovate that is often stated as the reason why our nearly 100 franchisees chose to join Greensleeves.
About the Author
David Truby is the MD of Greensleeves. Established in 1998, Greensleeves is a lawn care franchise with 96 territories in the UK. Greensleeves deliver an all-year-round lawn care service through a network of franchisees across the UK and in 2020 recorded a record-breaking year.