Being a franchisee will look a little different depending on the franchise, your number of units and your level of operational involvement. But there are some similarities for most franchisees who invest in brick-and-mortar business models. Being a franchisee means being a business owner. The autonomy provided by the franchisee lifestyle also requires hard work.
Before the Store
Before your store’s doors even open, there is plenty of work to get done. Communicating with your franchisor, reading and signing important documents and choosing a store location are all time intensive steps to getting your franchise off of the ground.
Many franchisors also offer (or require) franchisee training programs. The components of these programs vary, but often include a trip out of town to corporate headquarters.
Once you and your franchisor have picked the perfect site for your franchise, it’s time to get to work. Unless you are buying out another franchisee, it is likely that you will need to make some renovations to the building itself. This means hiring a contractor, supervising workers, and securing permits. Luckily, when it’s all done, you will be left with a shiny new store to fill with product…and customers!
The first few weeks are going to be hectic. As the owner, you’ll have to do a little bit of everything: marketing, hiring and managing staff, keeping track of inventory, etc. It’s a lot of responsibility, but also a great source of pride.
Ideally, as time goes on, your day-to-day operations will go more smoothly. You’ll hire a great staff that you trust to get your store up and running every day. But you still will have a lot of daily tasks.
Behind the scenes, you will be working on promotional strategies, ordering inventory plus keeping an eye on the finances. It is important for franchisees to keep a close eye on sales. Many franchisors have proprietary software designed to make the process easier. With or without the software, sales information has to be monitored closely. Reviewing the day’s sales is a nightly ritual for many franchisees and business owners.
Keeping all of the balls in the air requires organizational administrative skills. Keeping up with emails, ordering supplies and plenty of paperwork are all parts of being a business owner. Consistency is necessary to keep your franchise running, especially during the early days.
Any new franchisee should prepare for long hours and hard work. The pay off is the freedom of being your own boss in an industry you care about.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Franchisee?
With so many options for franchise industries, there is an option for everyone. Some people invest in a franchise with business partners, so they can share responsibilities. Others run franchises that only operate during traditional business hours, leaving the franchisee more free-time in the evening. Some franchisees hire a great team and are able to operate from a distance, giving them more daily autonomy.
Even with all of these options, many franchisees love going to their store every day to see their staff, customers and the business they’ve built. If you are willing to work hard to see your business succeed, franchising could be for you. Check out all of your options.