When running a franchise, it is easy to find yourself getting caught up in the day-to-day tasks associated with running your business and neglecting your own professional development. However, one man who knows all about developing his career in franchising is franchisee-turned-franchisor David Truby, the MD of lawncare franchise Greensleeves. David believes it is crucial to keep looking for ways to boost your career and gives his five top tips on developing your career in franchising.
Developing yourself both personally and professionally is a sure-fire way to succeed in any walk of life. It can create better job satisfaction and expand your income too. Whether you are a seasoned franchise owner or new to franchising altogether, ensuring you take the time to step out of your comfort zone and develop yourself is crucial to growing your business and progressing in your career. Of course, stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but wherever you are in your career journey, growth and change are inevitable, and it is good to have aims and aspirations. So, here are my top tips on how you too can develop your career in franchising.
Never stop learning
No matter what sector your business is in, learning new skills is the key to branching out and moving forwards. Franchising offers up the opportunity for people to develop their skills on the job because each franchise operation offers a unique level, type, and depth of training that equips franchisees with the tools they need to succeed. The very best franchise opportunities also provide their franchisees with ongoing support to ensure they can put their training into practice.
Of course, it is down to the franchisee whether they choose to take advantage of this training or not. Franchisees, especially the more experienced ones, can become complacent if they have been in a particular business for a while. However, customers’ needs, and ways of operating, are continually evolving. So, you should too. Training will help you develop staff training, financial management and business administration skills that will help you stay ahead of the game and broaden your skillset. Franchisees need to take advantage of this ongoing support and regular development course opportunities to develop their careers.
Listen to those around you
As the famous saying goes, no man is an island. This is especially true when you own a franchise. As a franchisee, you are part of a much larger network of people. Sure, you run your franchise and control many aspects of it, but you are never alone. As a franchisee, you have access to constant communication with your franchisor, fellow franchisees and your employees – not to mention your customers. My advice is that you should be willing to listen to their thoughts and learn how you can better yourself and improve how your business operates.
At Greensleeves, we are conscious of delivering the best customer service to our customers. Therefore, we provide franchisees access to the whole franchise network so they can discuss best practices. We also have an open line of communication with our customers. We ensure we take on board their feedback to evolve and improve our services, reflected in our 4.8/5 rating on Trustpilot. Ultimately, by listening to the customer, we have experienced consecutive record-breaking years.
Develop a great relationship with your franchisor and fellow franchisees
By developing a positive relationship with your franchisor, you will be able to openly discuss any issues you face, which should give you reassurance as you run your business. Your franchisor has ‘been there, done that’ when it comes to running your franchise successfully. Besides, part of the reason you became a franchisee with them was the success of the business model they have in place. Like in any relationship, an authentic and open channel of communication is the key to success, so do not feel shy about getting in touch.
Having a good relationship with your fellow franchisees is also a great way to help develop your franchise. The network of franchisees you are in can help to answer questions and share their lived experiences with you. This information is invaluable. For example, at Greensleeves, when a franchisee is on the lawn and needs help choosing a correct treatment, they have access to the team at the office or other franchisees who can support them and allow them to provide the best service possible.
Determine a solid (business) plan of action
Improving your career requires time, commitment and motivation. So, challenge yourself often by putting in place a business plan – and stick to it! A business plan is probably the most important thing for any franchisee looking to develop their career in franchising. Think of a good business plan like a road map. You can travel without one, but the likelihood of you getting lost is far higher. A business plan allows you to see where you want to go, helps provide a structure to your day, allows you to set performance targets and identify any challenges you may encounter so you can put measures in place should they occur.
Affording yourself time to establish your long-term and short-term goals can be hugely valuable. The chances are, your short-term goals will be much more actionable and specific, taking priority and leading into your long-term goals with target accomplishments. Most of your long-term goals will require you to have specific skills – for example, if your long-term goal is to become a business finance guru, you will only get there by completing a range of smaller tasks.
If you have an end goal and know how to get there, you will probably be more motivated to keep pushing forward. Having a solid plan is a key step to becoming a successful franchisee.
Review and improve
It is essential to ensure you are constantly reviewing how your franchise unit, or units, perform when developing your business. Look at how you have performed in certain tasks and analyse the mistakes you made and what you will do to make sure they do not happen again. This is where you can utilise franchisor, employee, or customer feedback. This feedback can help you to grow in specific areas and master the skills needed to improve. I would recommend asking your franchisor for any useful performance data, how you are performing against the rest of the network and their advice for boosting profitability.
Taking this time to evaluate your business means you can celebrate your achievements and iron out your flaws, which ultimately will lead to developing your career in franchising.