Running a Successful Franchise – A Quick Guide


Time and time again the same issues crop up in franchising and in particular what is the common denominator between successful franchisees and the less successful franchisee’s. All franchise owners who are running a successful franchise share certain common elements, however, before covering those it’s important to outline a few assumptions:

  • Assumption 1: The Franchisor has a genuine business format
    Often overlooked is this harsh reality of business life. Be sure that the franchisor has a genuine and profitable business format in the first place.
  • Assumption 2: You are using your skill set in your new franchise
    If you are a shrinking violet the last franchise you should be considering is one that demands a sales role. If you hate kids then it’s probably best you avoid that sector too, and if you are technically hopeless then we would suggest that you avoid a web design franchise too!! Let’s face it, you’re not going to succeed no matter how good the franchisors proposition is unless you are suited to the role.
  • Assumption 3: You have adequately funded the venture
    No matter which business you are running, franchised or otherwise, it must be funded correctly. Getting the right amount of funding in place allows your new venture to flourish and concentrate on making the most of the opportunity. Most franchisors will guide you on the right amount of working capital, but whatever is said to you we would suggest it’s a good idea to be pessimistic on sales and have plenty of financial headroom if things are slower or more expensive than you reckon for.
  • Assumption 4: You have checked that a satisfactory commercial environment exists within your geographical region you intend to work in.

So with those assumptions dealt with, what is it that makes a franchisee a successful franchisee, and what is needed for running a successful franchise? Well, here at Lime Licensing, consistently we have witnessed the following.

Adherence to the system

Franchisees that closely follow the system always do better than those that don’t.
Your franchisor provides the framework, training and support, the rest is down to you to implement the system and that requires hard work, dedication and your ability to follow the system that has been taught. Acknowledge that your franchisor has made a success of this business probably for many years so you don’t know better. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Follow the guidance and stick to the system and operational manual.


Franchisees that fully commit always do better than those that don’t.
You’ll only get the rub of the green when you commit. It seems to be a universal truth that when you are fully committed doors open for you, opportunities pop up, you get some good luck. Those that hold something back or go too cautious usually do worse than those that go all in and fully commit. This is true of any business, not just a franchise.

Financials and Funding

Franchisees that accurately measure the KPI’s in their business always do better than those that don’t. Understand what profit and loss are, e.g. knowing your bank balance has nothing to do with profit and loss! So calculate it monthly and pay attention to your key ratios. If you are in a sales environment how many cold calls result in a new client meeting? Is it 20 and if so then focus on doing another 20. What do those 20 cost to produce? What’s your average order value and how can that be increased? Know your numbers!!


Franchisees that align themselves with the most successful people always do better than those that don’t. If 150 strangers arrived in the same room and two of those strangers were psychopaths, then they would soon end up talking to each other. Birds of a feather flock together in franchise networks, but who really should you be buddying up with? Sometimes the nosiest franchisees are the worst performers, they are no good to you. Learn from the most successful people you can find, and those who are already running a successful franchise. Work as hard as they do, and in the same style. Mixing with the same people they do, hey, even dress as they do!

Remember that negative people are wasting your time and you might even catch something from them. The only people who have time to rock the boat are those who aren’t rowing.

Keeping it a Secret

Franchisees who are always selling and marketing always do better than those that don’t. No matter what business you are in you always have to be telling. You can’t sell if you don’t tell. Get the basics right, always have a business card to hand, everyone you meet could be good for you so even in non-business situations make sure you find out who it is you are speaking to and what they do.

The bottom line is that running a successful franchise is easier because you’ve got colleagues around you who you can learn from and in your franchisor you’ve got a coach and mentor who knows everything that you need to do to be successful. So keep your L plates on at all times and stick to what has been proven to work.

Our expert franchise consultancy team are always on hand to help you learn more about what it takes to run a successful franchise, and offer guidance and assistance on all franchising matters.