Applying franchising principles to your own business

A franchise is a business that is built for someone else. Thinking about your own business in those terms can give you a fresh perspective on what will make your business more sellable when you’re ready to go to market.  And acting on that insight will make your business more productive and profitable in the here and now.

So with that in mind, and legal matters aside, imagine what it would take in franchising your business. Does it have a proven system of business success that is teachable, trainable, reproducible, and repeatable? Could someone step in and, with training, be successful in your business with you out of the picture? Would that success be sustainable long after you’re gone?  If your business lacks systems and relies on you then it also has less value.

I’ve seen firsthand business owners who fail miserably when they open a second or third location. Often the efforts that made them successful at their original store, restaurant, or office aren’t sustainable.

There are many good books on how to go about systemizing your business.  You can’t make it happen by wishing it so—it takes a plan and a small step towards implementing the plan each week.

It can seem daunting if you’re just starting out through franchising, but think of it like driving in the dark of night with headlights.  You might only see some 200 feet ahead, but you’re still able to navigate for the whole trip.  You don’t have to see everything at once to move forward. Likewise, test and measure one change at a time. Do a little and get it right.

Start by building the framework. Obtain the tools to do the job—documents, templates, check lists, that can help you standardize your operations and achieve economies of scale.  Develop procedures, a set sequence of steps to achieve required results for all key functions such as accounting, administration, marketing and selling. Get staff to contribute and make them accountable for following through.