Think back to a time in the military when something you expected to happen didn’t go as planned. If you’re like most transitioning service members, you didn’t have to think hard to come up with a scenario. Unfortunately, owning a franchise can sometimes feel very similar, especially when the set of expectations you had don’t match up to reality as you know it.
One of the most important things to do when opening a franchise is to be very clear on the expectations you have for the success of your business. You might already be clear on how hard you’re going to have to work to ensure success. However, many first-time franchise owners are often disillusioned about the amount of communication you’ll have with your franchisor and the amount of effort it’s going to take to make everything gel and work together harmoniously.
It’s been said that the relationship which develops between a franchisee and a franchisor is similar to that of a marriage. That might sound a little off-putting at first, but the reality is that it’s a pretty accurate statement. In order to succeed, you’re going to have to lean on your franchisor. In much the same way, your franchisor has to bank on you being successful. However, neither of you are going to be there every step of the way. Your franchisor has given you all the tools you need to be successful, and you in turn have the skillset that’s needed to make everything work together. So in this way, the partnership that comes from a franchise is equally codependent and independent.
Dependency aside, it’s still important that you manage your expectations as a franchisee so that you’re not blindsided when something doesn’t go according to plan. Though, as a transitioning service member, you’re probably more accustomed to things going awry than following the plan.
Communication is key
Make sure you’re clear on how much your franchisor is willing to communicate with you, especially in the beginning. If you haven’t had a frank conversation about expectations and goals, it’s imperative you do this as soon as possible. Not only will it help you refine your approach to opening and running a successful franchise, but it will also provide your franchisor with a clear set of expectations for you. Most quality franchises will have a detailed three to six-month expectation plan for new franchise owners. But if you’re not clear, there’s no shame in asking additional questions. You only fail if you fail to plan, and running a business is no exception to this.
Ensure that you’re clear on when all quarter meetings are being held and make sure you’re tracking all of them. These meetings are designed as a resource to help you, so they shouldn’t be missed. Honest and open communication are a vital component to effectively navigating operating a franchise. There are already going to be plenty of other stresses that come along the way. Take the hassle of unclear goals out of the wheelhouse and have one less thing to worry about.