During this edition of FranNet’s blog, we’re going to explore the different kinds of support systems for franchising and why they’re a vital part of running a successful business of your own. In this instance, we’ll focus on two kinds of support—external (corporate) and internal (family and friends). It’s a good exercise for determining how your operation is—or will be—functioning with regard to the support you receive.
We’ll begin our focus with the kind of external support franchising offers. First caveat—the level of support you receive will vary widely and is contingent upon many factors. The size of the franchise, the popularity, its culture and the industry in which you operate are but several factors that will dictate the type of support you’ll be able to count on. Caveat two—you will be made well aware of this before signing on the dotted line. The franchise agreement explicitly details exactly what you can expect to receive from the franchise’s corporate office. In fact, you’ll likely be overwhelmed at the level of detail in which the support factors are spelled out. This is done so that there is no confusion down the line on what you’ll be counting on to run your franchise successfully.
Support from corporate doesn’t end when you’re handed the keys to your new franchise. On the job training, assistance and continuing education are three vital components in keeping with the times for your entrepreneurial operation. Many franchises pride themselves on how well they achieve program success for their franchisees. This vital information often comes across in the form of testimonials provided by existing franchisees during the all-important validation process. Make sure to pay attention and ask the right questions.
Here’s another key piece of advice—become an active participant within your franchise brand. Many leading franchise operations even run daily updates on internal Intranet communication systems. While you do have a business of your own to run, it’s best to keep as up to date as possible on informative news and updates provided by the brand and corporate franchising office. A lot of franchisors even hold annual or bi-annual meetings and seminars, allowing all franchisees in the system to participate in a show of communal support. Don’t be a wallflower or put yourself on an island. Get out there and engage with your fellow franchisees and management. These are excellent opportunities to speak to the ongoing challenges you face when it comes to their support.
The next type of support is your internal group and it’s an important factor. Franchisors have an interest in making sure that your family in on board with your decision to become a franchisee in their system. Without this level of family support, they may hedge their bets in determining your ability to make a successful run at owning your own business. Save for the semi-absentee business model offered with many franchises, they do take hard work—especially at the beginning. Not only should you require direct levels of support from your immediate family, but friends as well. We’ve spoken before in this column about the importance of a possible mentor in the small business world.
The two kinds of support necessary to run a successful franchise are equally as important. If you haven’t considered the role that support will play in your day to day operations, it’s time to double down on some real contemplation. That’s because we ultimately want you to be successful. And having a solid support system behind you from corporate and your immediate family can go a long way towards guaranteeing that success.
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