Most struggling startups throw the towel in too early.
Not all, but most!
This is something I have seen repeatedly over the last 27 years in franchising. Despite all of franchising’s success rates relative to going it alone, owning a franchise is still no different to any other business when it comes to commitment. Commitment married to focus are key characteristics of successful business people in my experience. It’s worth saying too however, that if you’re going to fail, fail quick. However franchising doesn’t quite fit with that statement because the business format is already proven. What you’ve got to do as a franchise owner is learn how to replicate it.
Learning what works
All good franchisors will guide you on how to do it and provide the inventory and systems to allow you to crack on. They’ve already committed significant time to what works and what doesn’t. That learning curve is built in to every franchise from day 1. Outside of franchising if you’re lucky enough to have a mentor then they may do the same for you and lay it on a plate. As a result, listening and learning are the easy bits. However, it’s the doing that matters. When you are getting ready for franchise success you need to adapt your own personality and style to what works well. What works well in your sector, and what works well with your potential clients and stakeholders. Enthusiasm and determination matter. However, maybe more than anything else an alignment to what has worked for the franchisor and their other franchisees matters more. That will take time to learn and time is your friend when it comes to franchise success. The Franchisor has already optimised the way of working over a period of time. You now need to optimise your ability to clone that.
You’ve got to stay in the game
Knowing that others are making the business work should spur you on to do the same. Outside of franchising competitors doing well should also spur you on. What are they doing that you aren’t? In franchising this information is easily obtained, but outside of franchising, well, let’s be honest, a competitor is unlikely to tell you. Either way while you are learning the ropes the time you are committing to the venture is increasingly adding to your chances of success. You’ll never know how close you are to franchise success unless you stay in the game and keep on trying. Too many people don’t stay in the game long enough. A consultancy franchise we managed recently lost a franchisee in the West Midlands. Honestly, within 6 weeks two new clients had signed up with his replacement netting around £80k in the 6 months that followed. Was he unlucky? No, he just didn’t stay in the game long enough.
Sewing seeds for franchise success
Every month that rolls past in your fledgling franchise is good news. You’ll be sewing seeds each day. Or at least you will if you’re working hard enough. Each new person who finds out about you might be your next new client. Alternatively they might refer you to someone they know. As time goes on you are sewing more and more seeds, meeting more and more people. Every week that passes, you’re in a better position to turn a profit. Keep sewing those seeds. Someone who says “No” might actually say “Yes” later on. Leave the door open always for them to come back and keep in touch.
When you did your business plan it wasn’t for 6 months was it? Business plans should be 3 years minimum!
Honing & Improving
As the franchisor has honed and improved over the years, so too must you. Get to grips with the difficult parts. Are you doing what works? Are you giving your self the opportunity for someone to buy from you? If you’re not in the shop window you’ve got no chance. Remember you’ll get more “No’s” than “Yes’s”. There is no such thing as failure in a sales environment, simply that you learnt something that will help you next time. So analyse what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Benchmark your performance against those you know are nailing it.
Above all don’t give in too early, it’s usually a mistake. All that effort from the years the franchisor put into the model and now your own time gone to waste. Want to know the secret to making it? It’s often just a matter of time.