Becoming a small business owner is exciting, but there’s also a lot to do as you’re setting up. One of the benefits of buying a franchise is the infrastructure and tools already in place to help you become successful. When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know what you need.
Here are six things every franchisee can ask for from their franchisor:
You most likely bought into your franchise because of its strong brand. While that’s great for name recognition, you can also ask your franchisor about more marketing materials. A well thought out marketing strategy, as well as tools like point of sale signage and catalogues, can give you an edge in your local market. Plus, when campaigns are run from the top down, your franchisor can ensure consistent messaging and branding across the board.
The benefit of being part of a larger brand is access to metrics and analytics you don’t have as a one-person shop. Ask your franchisor for a benchmarking program that shows key performance indicators across all their franchisees. This will let you know if you’re business is doing well or if there are areas you need to work on. It will also allow you to gain valuable insights from franchisees that are performing above average.
- Communication across owners
Speaking of gaining valuable insights from other owners, you should ask your franchisor about conferences or workshops where all their franchisees can get together and share info. You can make these experiences even more valuable by asking your franchisor to provide time where you and the other owners can offer feedback and ask direct questions. It’s important to set up a proper feedback loop with your franchisor to deliver your insights from day-to-day operations.
- Making deals
There are few areas where collective bargaining is more powerful than striking deals with suppliers. When your franchisor puts deals in place, you’re often saving money and reducing your overall operating costs. When you buy-in, ask what deals will be put in place for you and what you’ll have to negotiate on your own.
- The big picture
Your franchisor most likely has a grand plan, and you can definitely ask what it is and how you fit into it. Knowing in advance that expansion is first and foremost, or if they want each of their individual properties to become more profitable, or if they plan on changing their brand in the future will all be helpful as you make decisions for your location.
- Good bookkeeping
Remember that benchmarking we were talking about? It’s easier to do when all the franchisees are using the same tools, including accounting and bookkeeping. Having everyone’s data going through the same place will allow for deeper insights into the business. Ask your franchisor who their preferred supplier is for bookkeeping and be sure to sign up. If they don’t have one yet, ask if they can set one up, preferably one who’s well versed in the needs of franchises.
When buying into a franchise you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and ask for things to help you grow your business. After all, if you’re successful, so is your franchisor. And if you’re looking for a bookkeeper with franchise experience, ask for a free consultation.