In what ways should a franchisor support me specifically in the first year of trading - to help me get business off the ground?
A key reason why people choose franchising, rather than going it alone, is down to the support they’ll receive, not only at the start, but throughout the entire lifecycle of the partnership. However, the first-year trading is important to both parties, to ensure the business gets off to a flying start.
Franchise owners should expect an initial, comprehensive induction period, which can be anything from one week up to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of the franchise model. This should cover an overview of all areas of running a business such as Marketing, Accounting, Operations and IT. The purpose of this is to get you up to speed with the franchisor’s processes and procedures. This support should focus on ensuring the ‘basics’ are in place to deliver great service.
Depending on your existing skills, support should be flexed across the business areas, so you may require more Accounting training than marketing if your career history is marketing. Prior to the business opening, you should expect visits from head office to set up the fundamental business requirements, such as IT and telephone systems.
Once the business is officially open, you should expect regular visits to your branch location or calls from head office to ensure that things are running smoothly and effectively, and you are happy with how things are progressing. As experience is gained, support should shift to refinements to existing processes, structures, business and marketing plans to maintain stable and profitable growth. After that, support should then be on-going, and guidance offered as required.