While every franchisee is different—in terms of life circumstances, previous business and franchising experiences, and expectations—successful franchisees have more in common than you might first imagine.
What’s even more surprising is that franchising in general might require different personality traits than you first think of as essential franchisee characteristics.
That’s to say that one normally thinks of franchisees as entrepreneurial, type A personalities who are highly motivated to get the job done efficiently and under budget.
While a handful of adventurous franchisees demonstrate those characteristics, they’re not necessarily what most franchisees should be striving for. As you’ll see shortly with franchise tips, a track record of business success and personality traits like reliability and resilience tend to produce more solid, long-term franchise experience.
Although it might be unpopular to talk about in the context of franchising, people skills and emotional intelligence are extremely important assets for franchisees to bring to the table.
Without people skills, your ability to hash out a franchise agreement that capitalizes on your business background and unique skill set will be hampered, and you won’t be nearly as instrumental in inspiring your staff or customers.
This goes for single-site or multi-site franchisees: if this is your first foray into franchising, then you’ll need to know how to work amicably with franchisors, obtain startup capital, perhaps train your location’s staff, and ensure a responsive customer experience. All of that requires a great deal of people smarts.
Being a multi-site franchise owner could further underline the importance of being a people person since you’ll be tasked with coordinating more regional training and striking the right balance between the roles of overseeing manager and personable facilitator who knows how to handle the nuances of professional detail. This gets at another important franchisee characteristic.
Franchisees who strike the right balance between a big-picture, macro orientation and understanding that business benchmarks are also critical tend to make it all the way across the tightrope that is franchising success.
Too much of one trait is undesirable; you don’t want to be so big-picture oriented that you lose motivation for day-to-day franchising tasks, and drowning in minutiae can blind you to what’s truly essential to your success.
In other words, you want to be mindful of the short- and long-term repercussions of your business decisions while always weighing your efforts against tangible benchmarks geared around production, ROI, and cost cutting.
Regional economic dry spells can happen, as can shifts in customer expectations and changes in the industry itself. That doesn’t mean that you can’t gradually respond to capitalize on these changes, but it does indicate that you’ll need resilience and patience to see potential setbacks as long-term opportunities.
Especially with multi-site franchisees, realize upfront that you’re almost guaranteed to have certain locations outperform others due to potentially unforeseen factors like demographics and convenience for customers.
You’ll also likely face logistical challenges and setbacks with vendors at some point—and that’s okay. Planning for the occasional snag and working everything back toward your benchmarks will keep you cool, calm, and collected even amid adversity.
While franchising often means getting into the trenches yourself and letting your staff know exactly what you’re looking for, franchisees also have to remain open to coaching from the franchisor. Franchising, in part, means buying into a set of proven standards, then honing your craft to better serve customers.
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