Want to buy a franchise? Check this advice from franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

What does it take to run a successful franchise? Franchisees pinpoint two key elements to getting it right in business.

Any franchise buyer will need to take the right steps to choosing a franchise that matches their requirements; that’s the most significant pre-purchase activity, and those steps include understanding the lifestyle goals, budget available, demands of the franchise and thorough research on the brand, the business and the sector.

Once a franchisee is installed in their brand new business however, there are simple ways to stay on top of running the franchise that will only serve to boost performance.

Time management

Franchisees on an FCA Franchisee Success Panel at the Brisbane Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo all agreed that time management is absolutely crucial to getting off to a good start.

But it doesn’t happen automatically. For long term franchisee Shannon Hickey, the lesson in time management was only learned once he married and had a young family. With a family background in retail newsagencies driven by a strong work ethic it is easy for Hickey to spend all his time developing his business; learning to cut back his hours to find time for his family, and to take holidays, has been a big step.

Gavin Tandon, a newbie franchisee with Smartline, is particularly aware of the challenges of time management and has been getting advice from his franchisor on how best to organise each working day.

And that’s a tick in favour of investing in a franchise, said Victoria Wilkinson, a First Class Accounts franchisee for 11 years.

“That’s why it’s good to buy a franchise rather than go into business by yourself. You can get that kind of help and advice from the franchisor and other franchisees,” she said.

Some franchise systems have a segmented day that makes time management easier, as Duane Collins pointed out. Collins is a franchisee with Jim’s Test & Tag, and his day starts early servicing tradies before addressing the corporate clients. Built into each day are blocks of time to manage the admin.

“You have to be disciplined. If you think, I’ll leave it till tomorrow, then it mounts up and you have a whole day to do at the weekend.”

High flying Natalie Kington is just 12 months into her first Laser Clinics Australia franchise and has already added a second clinic to her business, with her eyes on a third outlet.

Staffing

Kington pinpointed the need to effectively manage her time so she could work on the business, not in it. A second crucial part of her franchise success is due to good staff, she says.

Other franchisee panellists who have employees echoed her conviction that the biggest challenge can be managing staff but that this aspect of business is fundamental to running an effective franchise.

A franchisee with a strong team in place is able to step away from the day-to-day business operations and take a more strategic role that encourages growth, particularly through multi-unit expansion.

  • The FCA Franchisee Success Panels are a regular feature of the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expos and allow visitors to hear from franchisees first hand what it is like to run a franchise business. The next expo is in Melbourne, from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 August, 2015.