Avoiding Pitfalls – The Four Common Mistakes Franchisees Make
Buying a franchise doesn’t mean you have fewer responsibilities than any other business owner. You can’t rely on your franchisors to plug the gaps in your commercial acumen – you’ve got to be conscious of the landscape you’re entering.
Fact is, a franchisor’s success isn’t indicative of your own. Sure, you’re perhaps more likely to turn a profit than an average startup, but you’re not immune to industry shortcomings – or a lack of foresight.
So, to help keep you on the right track for franchise success, we’ve provided this guide on the common mistakes franchisees make.
- Not choosing a franchise based on genuine feedback
While most franchisors are perfectly transparent at the application stage, be conscious that you don’t take all testimonials at face value. When onboarding, your franchisor may cherry-pick its best franchisees as examples of what to expect.
This isn’t a problem in and of itself. But it can become an issue if online reviews show an undeniably different perspective on the franchisor. Obviously, online reviews should help you from making a mistake and joining an organisation you’ll be unhappy in. However, you should spend time with franchisees that are local to you or operate in a similar area for a more accurate picture.
- Forgetting to conduct research into the area
In order to get approved for a franchise, you will have already provided a business plan that included certain area-based opportunities and threats. However, you’ll need to do more than that to be confident your investment is on fertile ground.
Franchisors always want to grow and expand, but you’re the boots on the ground. So research your location heavily – the target audience, opportunities for commercial development, and so on – to get a complete understanding of the socio-economic factors present in that area. Essentially, ensure you’ll have a steady flow of clients for years to come.
- Not listening to the experts
Don’t make gut decisions. Franchisors can often leave franchisees to their own devices, but that doesn’t mean you should go it all alone. When it comes to expansion, client generation or self-promotion, it’s worth consulting your franchise team. Evidence of past campaigns or general tone of voice guidance (for example) can be hugely beneficial.
Franchises aren’t safer investments because of the model, but because of their well-known brand as well. By altering the tried-and-tested messaging of your franchise, you risk alienating clients in favour of attracting new business.
- Ignoring common business practice
It’s important to bear in mind that you may not be able to start hiring and acquiring a fleet in year one. Like any startup business, you’ve got to work on establishing yourself and refining your internal processes before you set your sights on expansion.
Your franchise business has to learn the lessons of growth in the same way as any other organisation. So find the form of management that suits you, get to know the patterns of your day-to-day, and hone the organisation until you feel comfortable bringing more team members on board or replicating your success in another territory.
At Rainbow, we ensure those seeking autonomy avoid all pitfalls when joining our family. We understand you want to do things your way, which is why we provide the resources and training necessary for you to sustain control of your own affairs. Interested? Get in touch today.