Becoming a top franchisee and successful in business requires hard work, drive, ambition and persistence.
These are the foundation stones of all robust enterprises, but to become a consistently successful and a consistently top performing franchisee you need more.
Working with the franchisor is a pre-requisite – not because they are ‘better’ than you but because the franchisor will have skills, experience and knowledge that you don’t have. Successful franchising is about a strong and long-lasting marriage.
Consequently, working with the franchisor means following the system – a business system that’s been created, developed, augmented, tested and proven to work. You would be mad not to follow it!
Working with the franchisor is not about blind faith – in fact part of the role of franchisees is to challenge the franchisor, to ensure the system is constantly being developed, that new tools are created, and that the franchisor is alert to customer and market changes.
I run mainly business to business franchises and the most important activity in B2B is marketing – in fact market, market, market and the basis of good/effective B2B marketing is thinking A, B, C, and D.
Awareness – making and keeping people aware of your brand, your business and you should be an on-going exercise.
Business Prospecting – there is a continual need to regularly re-fill the ‘hopper’ with new prospects. You will need to plan your activity to get new contacts and implement the plan.
Create Brand Value – brand value denotes who you are and what you stand for. For The Bardon Group brand value means being customer centric, providing value for money, exceeding expectations and earning trust.
Develop Key Accounts – in B2B particularly this is crucial. It is 5-6 times easier to keep a customer than to recruit a new one. However, customer intimacy requires hard work.
Whilst regular marketing is critical to building a successful business so regular customer communication is crucial and rest assured whatever you are doing today is not enough!
There are lots of ways of keeping your name in front of customers and you should be open to using a whole variety to maintain interest with the customer – from email to letter; awareness postcard to leaflet; catalogue to give-away – hey what about a mug with their details on one side (Sally Smith, coffee black, three sugars) and your contact details on the other?
More companies (even seemingly successful ones) fail not through lack of profit but by running out of cash. It is an absolute must to manage your cash flow.
I wouldn’t let most accountants run a bath let alone run a business, but I would pay good money for them to look after my money!
Running your own small business can be lonely at times so please attend all company meetings and take the opportunity to listen and learn, to mix and to share not just with the franchisor but more importantly with our franchisees.
Finally, I am a big fan of using PR to enhance your message and to reach a wider audience – so if you have a good story be it a big job, successful achievement, 1,000 customer, charity gig, a new hire or simply an anniversary then get the message out there.
Right, that’s it my top ten tips but there is one more thing: HAVE FUN!