3 Mistakes to Avoid When Growing a Franchise Brand
- March 10, 2023
- By: Vonigo
This post about growing a franchise brand is authored by home services franchising expert Paul Baluch.
Your task is growing a franchise brand and you find yourself in one of two positions:
- You have a very successful single-location home services business and you are looking to see what it takes to franchise
- Or you just started to franchise your home services business and you have less than 50 locations
Franchising your brand can be tricky, so we’ve identified three key mistakes to avoid when growing your franchise brand.
Tips for Growing a Franchise Brand
It takes an enormous amount of effort to generate momentum in your business. To get your flywheel spinning faster and faster. Many times business owners achieve that momentum through trial and error. Through these tips, you will be able to leverage years of industry knowledge and skip the guesswork.
These tips are for executives, founders, and team members of franchisors, to help accelerate your growth and scale your brand.
A business mentor and friend, Brian Scudamore always told me, “It’s all about people.” That phrase has stuck with me throughout the years and has been a key pillar in every decision I make.
If you bring in the right people, they will take care of their team members, who will take care of their customers, who will then take care of their business. People in a franchise system fall into two categories: Franchise development and brand team members.
Finding the best franchisees is one of the most important pillars of a new franchise system. The founding fifteen franchisees will be some of the most important partnerships in a new franchise system.
This initial group of franchises will play a large role in establishing your brand culture, growth, and validation. It all starts with your six-step franchise development process. This systemized process is in place to educate candidates on your business, set realistic expectations, and determine if they are the right fit.
One of the mistakes made in emerging brands is awarding too many franchisees too fast, skipping through key steps in the process, and ultimately awarding the incorrect candidates.
One of the ways to improve your franchise development process is to follow the process step by step – exactly like an airline pilot would follow their takeoff checklist. You wouldn’t want a pilot flying a plane without using the checklist, would you? If you follow the process and you make sure the candidate is a strong culture fit, you will award strong franchisees to join your brand.
Brand Team Members
Not only are franchisees important when growing a brand, but your corporate team members are also a key pillar to your success. It is all too common for the founder to wear many hats during the business’ start-up phase. Once the founder outgrows some roles, it can be difficult to determine what role to hire for and who to hire for that role.
For example, when a founder looks to hire out for a role, it is important for that founder (or brand leader) to determine their own strengths and weaknesses, then look to hire someone who would complement their weaknesses. If a founder is a sales and marketing whiz, then they should look to hire an operationally focused team member.
The best way to support your franchise partners is to give them access to scalable systems and processes. That requires you to develop standardized operational processes that can be used in any location, at any time, by any franchisee. All too often, emerging brands overlook this. It tends to be very reactive — “we will develop this as we need it” — whereas instead, it needs to be very proactive — “let’s develop this before we need it.” This is easier said than done, but the brands that are able to develop standard, scalable systems prior to awarding franchisees, are the brands that tend to see the most success.
Franchisees join a franchise system because they look to partner with someone who compliments their weaknesses. In order to fill those gaps, a franchisor must have strong systems in place through the operations manual, playbooks, guides, technology, learning management system, etc. Without these key systems in place, a franchisee will not be able to grow and scale their business profitably.
This one is often overlooked because it doesn’t necessarily provide the immediate satisfaction of revenue or growth – which are often the perceived high-value KPIs of a new business. New brands tend to focus on rushing through franchise development to award as many locations as possible to make the business appear big and successful. Often what people forget is a key pillar of success: franchisee support. Franchisees invest in your brand because they are looking to partner with someone who complements their weaknesses – maybe they need help with marketing, sales, or operations. It is the brand’s responsibility to support franchisees in every area of their business.
As you build out your franchise brand, it is important to develop your franchisee support system in conjunction with your franchise development system. Franchisee support cannot be an afterthought. This means you need to have the right people in place to support franchisees through each stage of their growth.
For example, a franchise looks to a marketing manager for advice and strategy on lead generation, a sales center representative for accurate bookings, and a performance coach for accountability and perspective. These are key areas where each brand needs to build out a strong team.
Start Using These Tips for Growing a Franchise Brand
Whether you find yourself with a very successful single-location home services business looking to franchise or you just started to franchise your home services business, it can be difficult to scale. Using the tips and tricks from above will help you shorten the learning curve, skip the guesswork, and apply the correct pillars to help get you to your goals and vision much faster.
If you have any questions or want to continue the conversation, please connect with me at paulbaluch.com. I’d love to collaborate.
Want to learn more about growing a franchise brand using franchise management software? Read these nine customer testimonials from franchises using Vonigo.
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