Anyone can own a franchise, but not everyone can make it successful. However, David Truby, the MD of Greensleeves – a lawncare business that has seen a 25% rise in the demand for their lawncare services over the past two years – believes a sure-fire way to have the best chance of success in any business is to keep things simple.
With 18 years’ experience in franchising, both as a franchisee and as a franchisor, it has become increasingly clear that the key to franchising success is to keep things simple. Ironically, that advice sounds easy – but do not underestimate how hard it is to follow.
Keeping it simple can mean anything from setting yourself and your team sensible goals, using established processes, developing a routine, or simplifying how you communicate things. People with easy-to-follow procedures can operate faster and better understand what they are doing, which in turn leads to higher productivity and shortens learning curves, accelerating the time to mastery. Once this occurs, a company is ready for explosive growth.
Simplicity aids a great work-life balance
Your work-life balance will improve drastically if you simplify how you do things. Most business owners can only imagine the possibility of achieving a great work-life balance, especially if they are used to constantly missing the morning school run and staying after hours to get work done. However, there is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel in franchising because the franchisor has mapped out a tried and tested process for you to follow. These processes are designed to simplify your day-to-day tasks and help you maximise your time. Most people are stuck in the mindset that working long hours means you are being productive, but that does not have to be the case.
You can achieve far more when you have simple processes in place, when you are clear about your goals and when you stay focused on what needs to be done. Doing this eliminates the unnecessary activity that leads to stress and fatigue and also gives you more time for the other important areas in your life.
A simple approach offers clarity and helps people remain focused
One benefit to keeping things simple when running your franchise is that your productivity will go through the roof. However, it will not just be your productivity that increases. By creating simple, manageable processes, your employee’s focus will also increase, as will the quality of the services and products your franchise delivers.
A simple, easy-to-understand process will help employees appreciate the value of each step required when providing a product or service. Remember, simplicity aids clarity, so when your employees understand why something is necessary to accomplish and how they can achieve it, you will reap the rewards. When tasks are made as simple as possible, people in your network will stay focused for longer too. Most people can be distracted very easily. Keeping things simple will enable employees to pay attention to the most important task at the appropriate perspective and time. By itself, staying focused creates more output with less effort and time.
Believe it or not, some businesses sacrifice the quality of their product or service in exchange for quantity. However, skipping steps in a bid to accomplish more tasks tends to lead to poor quality and errors. An example of the importance of keeping it simple from Greensleeves would be if a franchisee turned up to do a job on a client’s lawn but skipped important steps because they were too complicated, or the franchisee did not understand the importance of them. This would result in them failing to get the results their client wanted, and the chances of them getting repeat business would be low. This example highlights why making sure the process is quick and easy to follow means a franchisee can produce quality and efficient results.
Simplicity improves consistency
When delivering a product or service, do not just settle for good; strive for great. And to do this, a franchise needs to ensure they are consistent in what they deliver. To provide a consistent service, you must ensure you keep things simple.
Franchising is a collective effort, whether you are a single-unit franchisee, multi-unit owner or franchisor, ensuring your franchise operations are streamlined and delivering a consistent quality service or product is crucial. For example, if you have one franchise location providing a far worse service than another location a few miles away, both locations’ reputations will be tarnished by complaints. However, it is difficult to go wrong when a franchisee follows a simple process and understands what is required.
Whether you are a franchisor or a franchisee, I recommend taking time out each month to assess your service quality. Analyse if there is anything you can do to simplify the steps. This way, you can ensure that you provide a consistent service and boost profits.
A franchisee perspective:
Richard Howell, Greensleeves’ Eastbourne franchisee, joined Greensleeves during the pandemic in 2020. Despite the struggles many businesses faced during this time, Richard went on to thrive and pins his success largely down to following the franchise processes in place and keeping things simple.
“Before joining Greensleeves, I worked as a sales manager for a tour operator. So, it is fair to say I wasn’t exactly a qualified lawncare expert before joining. However, I wanted to pursue an outside job and after a bit of looking around, I chose to invest in a Greensleeves franchise,” explained Richard.
“Following the processes and putting what I learnt over my two-week training period into practice has been vital to my success over the past two years. The best thing about joining a franchise is there is always someone to talk to, whether that be others in the network, your support manager, or the team in head office. This is something that is not readily available when setting up your own business.
“My advice for others looking to pursue their dreams through franchising would be to trust the system and the products provided by your franchisor because they work – even if you do not think they will! Your franchisor helps set you up to succeed with simple, easy-to-follow processes. You just have to put in the hard work and follow them. Of course, there will be bumps in the road and difficulties, but if you have the right mindset, you can do it.”
About the author:
David Truby is the MD of Greensleeves. Established in 1998, Greensleeves is a lawncare franchise with 108 territories in the UK. Greensleeves deliver an all-year-round lawncare service through a network of franchisees across the UK and in 2021 enjoyed a record-breaking year.