Opening a Franchise: Goals to Hit in Year One
Buying and operating a franchise takes a lot of work and forward planning. But once you have the keys to it, what next? What objectives should you be aiming for?
Here, we’ve gathered some achievable franchise goals for the first year to help you measure your success.
They should help remove any doubts you may have over what you should do, why it matters, and what success will look like. Because to stay on track, it’s important to remember that one small target leads to another. Together, they prepare your business for longevity.
Hire your first employee
The lion’s share of franchisees are sole earners at first, before they build enough of a profit margin and customer base to bring more people on.
Chances are, you’ll be working solo for a few months – perhaps with a spouse or friend as a business partner. At the end of the initial year, though, aim for your first real hire.
- Never infringe on your cash flow too heavily. Wait until you can afford a full-time wage, in line with extra earnings projected for three or six months after they come on board.
- Have a unique skill to bring to your franchise business. Look for someone who matches up to you in some ways, yet has a specialism – either in accounting, customer care or equipment handling – that will add value.
- Find you easily via networking, job posts online, social media or in your local business community.
Check out our blog on hiring strategies to make the recruitment process easier.
Increase your market share
No list of franchise goals for year one would be complete without a commitment to corner more of the market.
So, who sells the same products or services in your area? What edge do they have over you? Are they reacting to your presence and, if so, how do you beat them for quality or a unique offer? Determine and act on this, and increased sales will follow.
You likely already possess acute commercial awareness – it’s a key trait of successful franchisees. Use it to your advantage. Strengthen the parent franchise brand further by employing clear, regional messaging and building good customer relationships.
Perhaps you could give clients rewards for leaving a review online, or tailor your services to an industry that’s gathering popularity in the local area. The franchise as a whole will be feeding their own advice into your branch, of course. But lead generation and marketing are two key ways of boosting your market share on your own.
Reduce your expenses
Another key objective you should consider as you’re setting goals should be to limit the factors sapping cash from your business model. That includes everything from rent to equipment, vehicles and insurance.
Consider these costs and expenses, all of which can be lowered with some firm solutions:
- The venue: If your office is too expensive, and you want to hold off building a workforce for a while, then see if you can downsize or work from home instead.
- Too many stock and tool investments: Over time, you’ll assess how paying for stock, equipment or the necessary chemicals may exceed the demand you have for them.Track costs and trim back those that go to waste.
- Vehicle expenses: Plan your routes or schedule better as you go, so you’re using less fuel to get from place to place.
- Other services: The franchise owner may allow you to give a discount on what you do for someone when they help out your business in some way. Try and test these methods, and then build an action plan to roll this out in your second year.
Take a break from your business (eventually)
According to a OnePoll survey, 76% of small business owners in the UK work through ‘typical’ holiday periods, and 17% of them don’t take any time off at all. Despite having ambitious business goals, try not to fall into this trap. Burning out is worse than taking stock of where you are, and coming back with renewed energy.
With that in mind, schedule a break when you can afford to, in order to make the goal more realistic. Earnings forecasts in your business plan should point the way. Or else you could time it after a big event for the business, like franchise exhibitions, landing a big contract, or hiring your first team member.
A week off can work wonders. Include an out-of-office signature for clients via email, and ask them to contact you on a mobile number in emergencies. Otherwise, don’t look at your inbox. It’ll leave you refreshed and ready for anything that next year throws at you.
Franchise goals for year one
To recap, here’s what many franchise businesses have as their short-term goals for their first year in business:
- Get your first employee on the books and expand the business
- Grow your market share and increase sales to help achieve long-term goals
- Track, measure and cut expenses, while maintaining product and service quality
- Take a holiday from the business for at least a week
Franchise opportunities are plentiful. But only the best, most successful brands can give you the support you need to expand your business on your terms. We’re one of them.
Take a look at our available territories for buying a franchise and speak to a Rainbow representative today. We can offer you a specialist cleaning branch that sets you up for great things from the start.