Why do franchises do it better?
Business growth that is…
All businesses follow the same path as they grow from start up to maturity. If you are not aware of this pathway, check it out the discussion on the results of a Harvard study done way back in the 1080’s here – What stage of growth is your business?
The thing is, that the Harvard researchers found that franchises do follow this path, (as do all of Ricard Branson’s start-ups – all business growth is fundamentally the same) but they do it faster and better.
There are a couple of reasons
- Franchises are usually developed by experienced business owners who understand they need to build their business by layering the technical business aspects in sequence. Note that points 1 to 3. below are usually completed before the business is franchised.
- Point 4 below done fully is the key, so often not completed with the intent to use, to creating a franchise group.
- At start-up the focus is on marketing to work out which product will be successful
- Once a product is proven, the focus is on managing the money so financial control becomes more important – especially managing cash
- At success, introducing a few key management roles is essential to help with business growth and to take some of the pressure off the business owner
- ONLY then if you want your business growth to take off – the final step is needed.
It is these systems which make the better franchise groups successful. Without them they fail.
And these systems involve so much more than just putting in a legal agreement and operations manuals.
You must be very clear first about what needs to be done consistently across your organisation and then add the processes which will ensure this consistency is the key to your business – franchised or not.
So, if your business has got to the stage where you feel you could grow it through one business model or other, but you just can’t get your staff to do the job your way without constant input from you, then it is time learn the steps to clearly letting others know how to make that growth happen for you so you can delegate responsibly.
This is what systemising your business like a franchise is all about.
These are the steps:
- Make sure you have the organisation structure of your business clearly established around the skills and personality of the people who are going to sell and deliver your product to your ideal client.
This will mean your sales and/or delivery teams will not necessarily do everything you want them to. People good at sales and delivery are not usually so good at running a business and so the admin, finances, marketing roles need to return to head office.
- Identify the tasks you need your sales and/or delivery teams to do consistently and set up clear, easy to use, well maintained operations and procedures manuals they are trained to understand and can follow at the click of a button
- Put in an effective support section which will look after your sales and/or delivery teams and which is responsible for building relationships, monitoring, inducting, training, and performance management.
- Every business I have worked with, be it single business or franchised, has had to put in this new business department or sector with new staff. You will not be able to break through the glass ceiling to business growth beyond a certain point without a clearly systemised structure supported by easy to use, well maintained operations manuals delivered by a strong support department.
This sophisticated level of systemisation which involves so much more than just adding the operations manuals is the foundation of business leadership in every business I know, franchised or not. It clearly sets out your expectations on why, what and how tasks are done and follows up to ensure the system is followed.
So, copy the best franchise success stories and systemise with panache to break through that glass ceiling.