Sylvan Franchise Blog

5 Keys to Start a Franchise Business Successfully

Posted by Susan Gunelius on Aug 15, 2016

When you start a franchise business, you’ll get a lot of help to make sure it’s successful. However, there are some key things you need to know and commit to or your success will be limited. Five of those key things are covered below to help you get on the right path to successful franchise ownership.

1. Understand it’s never the perfect time.

In business as in life, waiting for everything to be perfect before you take action is a recipe for stagnation. Whether you’re waiting to have the right amount of money and time to start your business or you’re waiting to have the perfect design and messaging to launch your business website, one thing is certain. You’ll never have a business that is capable of generating revenue if you keep waiting for that elusive perfect time.

Yes, you should plan and evaluate. Never take uncalculated risks, but don’t stop yourself by failing to act at all.

2. Watch your cash flow as closely as possible.

The number one reason that businesses fail is a lack of cash flow. With that in mind, you need to be mindful of the amount of cash you have on hand at all times. Overhead can grow very quickly. The cost of your workspace, equipment, supplies, technology, employees, and so on are necessary, but they can drain your funds if you’re not careful.

Watch your expenses extremely carefully and avoid overspending. Until you can cover your expenses with a nice profit left over, every effort possible should be made to reduce costs.

3. Find the right mentor and support system.

No one can start a business and make it successful without the right mentors and support system. Franchise owners benefit from a built-in support systems and mentors they can contact at any time to get help.

Mentors can help you evaluate opportunities and avoid mistakes. They’ve been there and can guide you through the confusing early days of business ownership. At the same time, you need a group of people who support your efforts personally and professionally.

On the personal side, this includes your friends and family. Without their positive support, it will be very hard to focus on building a successful business. On the professional side, this includes your peers and career network. Join professional groups and tap into your network offline and online through sites like LinkedIn and online forums, websites, and blogs.

4. Prioritize the boring legal stuff.

It’s easy to say you don’t have to invest in getting help from an attorney with things like contracts, trademarks, and so on, However, this is a big mistake. Never wait for things to go wrong before you get your legal house in order.

Review every aspect of your business to ensure you’re covered legally if things go wrong. For example, do you have the right business entity documents in place? Do you have the right employee documents and agreements? Are your vendor contracts complete? Do your estimates and invoices cover all possible legal issues?

Don’t get these documents from an online document services provider. You won’t get the full legal protection that you need. Instead, invest in a business attorney to ensure you’ve addressed everything that you should.

5. Don’t give up control.

If you hire employees or contractors to help you operate your business and make it successful, you need to train them properly so you can delegate responsibilities to them. Without training, you won’t be able to trust them to do their jobs. However, trusting your employees is very different from giving them control.

No, you don’t want to be a micro-manager, but as a business owner, you need to know what’s happening in every area of your business at all times. In other words, you need to trust people, but you can’t give them your blind trust. It’s up to you to steer the ship and make sure every part of it is running smoothly.

Topics: Branding Insight