• Eric Choronzy

4 Key Ways To Enable You To Work ON Your Franchise, And Less IN Your Franchise

Are you a franchise owner, struggling to find time in your day to actually run your business, and instead find yourself working IN your business? If so, this post is for you.

In it we'll discuss how to work more ON the franchise business and less IN the franchise business with some tips on training, time management and process optimization that will help save hours in a week and allow you to focus your attention on growing your business, without feeling like a full time employee. We all likely got into the franchise system to break away from corporate America, to fuel our entrepreneurial spirit, or to have autonomy in how we work. The trick is mastering your balance, processes, and efficiencies so you can focus on your franchise strategy, building repeatable processes, and enabling your leaders to operate full steam ahead for your franchise brand. Of the many reviews and conversations with other successful franchisees and brands, we've discovered there's primarily 4 key ways to enable you to focus your efforts ON your business.

Let's dive in and look at 4 ways to act more strategically, less operational, and make the most out of your franchise investment.

4 key ways to work ON your franchise business and less IN your franchise business

  1. Mastering your hiring, training, and onboarding

  2. Create Process efficiencies

  3. Enabling your franchise leadership team to operate autonomously

  4. Leveraging technology to create an efficient workforce

Mastering your hiring, training, and onboarding

It goes without saying that hiring the right people is key to success. However, having the best people in your business doesn't necessarily mean you are going to have a successful team. You need an orientation program that provides new employees with all of the information they need while onboarding them into their roles and your franchise system as quickly as possible so they can hit the ground running. But before you even get that far, you must first have a clear vision on your core values as a business and how everyone needs to adhere to them. Having a clear and concise vision will give you the ability to train your team on what is expected of them and how they need to act within the workplace and franchise system as a whole.

They should know that their time isn't just spent "working" but it's an investment in themselves, with some sort of career development roadmap to strive for. Consider why you got into this franchise brand, why you wanted to start this business, and share that vision with a passion. When people work for someone with a sense of motivation and passion, the buy-in is that much stronger, especially if you can find someone who shares that similar passion and values. Once you have that ironed out, recruit for folks who fit those company tenants, and mission statement. Then build onboarding and training processes so you can allow them to ramp as quickly and effectively as possible.

Create SOPs and process efficiencies

Taking the time to develop standard operating procedures and playbooks, and ensuring all employees follow them in your company is a great opportunity for everyone to stay aligned, understand their roles & responsibilities, and work efficiently.

Once you put these systems in place, they become part of your franchise's culture that every single person within your organization can get behind - from owner to staff member. You want people who are engaged and really understand their role within the business. And though your franchisor likely has guidance around this, it's your business, your core values, and your mission. When building your SOPs, take the time to really understand and research the following:

  1. Is there enough consistency in your franchise business to even begin documenting and standardizing processes? If so, you're ready. If not, think about how you can operate with more consistency.

  2. What's the "why" behind creating these processes? This is important because processes are usually adopted due to 2 main reasons. Either A). You're seeing success and want that repeatable or B). You're struggling in certain areas and realize the importance of course correction and putting the necessary tools and procedures in place to shift gears.

  3. Brainstorm and document all of the responsibilities, and involve your team so you're capturing all of the important tasks, events, and actions everyone is taking on a consistent basis. Do you use any sort of project management or task management in place? What are the key items or consistencies you see on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis? Take the time to understand what's happening now, and document that. Who typically does it? How often do they do it? How long does it take? Not only is this a good exercise for you to better understand what's happening to operate your business, but in doing so, you'll be able to more appropriate delegate roles and responsibilities.

Enabling your franchise leadership team to operate autonomously

The first two points above play a LARGE role in the ability to enable your franchise leadership team to operate autonomously. Enabling your employees to operate independently, will free up your time to focus on the things that only you can do.

It's easy to feel like you need to take care of everything yourself, but if it doesn't require your unique knowledge and expertise - let someone else do it! And more importantly, give them the sense of respect and training to allow them to try, and to succeed, and potentially fail at times. Allow them to be professionals and do the job they were hired to do. Providing the necessary tools, resources and training to your employees enables you to take these risks. It's not easy relinquishing control of your "baby". But it's required to a certain extent in order to succeed, and more importantly scale.

The most successful franchise businesses out there, are the ones that empower their team to work autonomously. They understand that they can't possibly be good at everything and without this approach, you miss so many opportunities! So take a step back and ask yourself - what is something that only I can do? What is my unique value proposition in the business that's something that absolutely requires my attention and no one else's?

Focus on those aspects and let the rest fall into place based on the people you've onboarding, and the processes you've put in place. You'll be far better off, your employees will appreciate you for it, your clients will love working with you because of it and before long - everyone is thriving!

Leveraging technology for an efficient workforce

When we talk about processes and implementing efficiencies through playbooks, SOPs, etc., the use of technology can be a game changer for franchise owners. Whether it's using the right technology to make sure employees are following your playbook, keeping people on task with project management or task management apps, or simply creating a culture where employees can work from home - leveraging technology for an efficient workforce will be the difference between success and failure as you develop your business.

You're likely guided by your franchisor with the common tools and technology to get you started, but just remember, so does every other franchise owner in the brand. And yet others succeed while others fail. Primarily because the ones who succeed have built rock solid processes, automations, and efficiencies that leverages technology for redundant tasks, or to streamline operations and free up time for more customer service, strategy, and creativity.

The franchise industry is growing at a substantial clip, and more and more owners are finding ways to test new products, leverage tools and tech to aid their business. Reach out to your peers, see what's working, what they've implemented, and what might be worth trying. Do your research and leverage your franchise community. If your desire is to grow and launch multiple franchise locations, this isn't a "nice to have", it's a "must have"!

Some useful tech we've either implemented, or seen implemented with success:

  1. - all encompassing workplace for task management, project management, collaborative documents, etc.

  2. ClickUp - similar to, this serves as a workplace hub for all things tasks, projects, documents, collaboration, workflows, and more. We've seen quite a few franchisees operate their processes through ClickUp with streamlined success.

  3. Google Docs/Sheets - workplace collaboration to keep things streamlined and collaborative and less fragmented.

  4. Zoom/Google Meet - we can't always be in one place at one time, so cloud based communication this day in age is key.

  5. Notion - all-in-one workplace where you can collaborate in real-time, create notes, build documents, create workflows, and much more. (this one is robust, and has a bit of a learning curve, so unless you're very savvy with tech, you may want to look elsewhere. But it's extremely powerful).

  6. Marketing Automation - (emma, mailchimp, activecampaign, etc). I would hope your franchisor sets you up with this, but in case they don't, this is key for engagement, scheduled marketing emails, thought leadership, and your overall marketing plan.

  7. CRM - Similar to the above, most franchisors will get you set up on a CRM to manage your customer relationships, but if, for some reason, they don't, invest the time and money into a system like Thryv, Zoho, Hubspot, etc., to get set up. The ability to automate your tasks, communications, and client's all in one place is paramount to your success.

  8. Digital Payment Solutions - customers like flexibility. The ability to pay using their phone, swipe their card on the go, etc., betters your customer journey with payment flexibility and caters to the needs of your clientele (square, stripe, etc)

  9. Gamification - apps and technology to gamify processes, training, onboarding, etc. These are crucial to make some more of the monotonous tasks fun, or to create a healthy competition and motivate your employees.

There are many ways for you to shift your focus to working ON your business, but also still IN the business enough to keep it successful and maintain a level of control. Focus on some of these key areas to work smarter and not necessarily harder. Top franchises around the country have implemented many of these tools and processes to better their brand and their business. And the good news is, so can you.

Remember, the better you take care of your franchise business, the better it will take care of you! Do your research, focus on what's important to you and your employees, and take the time to plan it out, and put it into action.

For more ideas, strategies, and systems, come check out a franchise community of owners and professionals contributing to the mission of support, community, ideas, and growth through shared-learning.

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