How to become successful as a franchisee: top tips from an award-winner

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Jim Hawley, a franchisee with Car Care in Fremantle, shares his top tips for making a success of franchising. Hawley was named WA FCA Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff, in 2014.

He says despite working by himself, there are benefits to being a franchisee. There's a network of other franchisees to draw on, for a start.

"I picked Car Care because you can work on your own, but you can also integrate with a group of other franchisees so you can use each other's knowledge to help you grow and go further."

Key actions for success

"The key factor for me is the need to plan my activity. With a service business you can often find that your customers can start to control your work flow. While you need to be flexible you also have to organise your day in the most efficient way as, in my business, I am essentially exchanging time for money and there are only so many hours that it is possible to work.

"The great thing about our system is that I am in control of when and where I work so I plan my jobs to ensure I minimise travel time between jobs. I also need to build in some flexibility to allow for jobs that take longer than I might expect. 

"I see a lot of franchisees that cut themselves off from the franchisor and others in the system. I am always ringing up my franchisor with ideas and feedback on the system. This has two benefits:

  1. it broadens my understanding of the ideas from their point of view
  2. it let’s them see that I am engaged with the system and my own business

"As a result of this is, I am often asked my opinion on ideas that the franchisor has. As a franchisee you are at the ‘coal face’ so it is likely that most of the issues that affect the business will be more apparent to you than the franchisor.

"I find this keeps me motivated as it allows me to see my business as greater than just a car detailer."