The first year as a franchisee is generally seen as the most challenging. It’s both thrilling and difficult, as you navigate your way through the franchisor’s business model, hire your staff, and build your customer base. You’re learning new skills and, in many cases, making the switch from employee to business owner. This is exciting. And as a franchisee, you also have the advantage of a proven, built-in support system.
Even if you have not yet decided to become a franchisee, you’ll want to walk through what the first year might look like if you do take that step. Taking a deep look into this endeavor, in detail, is essential to helping you make the right decision. If the process excites you, then there’s a good chance this is the career change you’ve been looking for.
In the beginning
The first decision you will make, of course, is which franchise company to go with. This could be the most important part of the whole process. What type of business will be the best match for you? You’ll want to ask a lot of questions and talk to people who work for each of the franchisors you’re considering (particularly franchisees). Find out about the company philosophy, franchisee satisfaction, how their financing works, and how the future looks for the company as well as the industry.
Next comes the signing period. Once your financing has been worked out, you’ll pay the required upfront franchise fee and sign the franchise agreement. You will then, most likely, have some type of training program to complete. If leasing a retail space is required, this will be another step that involves a good amount of time, effort, and negotiation. Once you have your location, you’ll build it out according to the needs and requirements of the franchise. This is a big job in itself, as you’ll be overseeing the construction, filling out lots of paperwork, securing permits, and interviewing potential employees.
Open for business
You’re finally ready to open your doors — time to celebrate! It’s incredibly exciting to see your vision and hard work come to fruition. Although the first few days and weeks will be hectic — with the hiring and managing of staff, the creation of marketing strategies, and the unexpected glitches that are sure to arise — it’s all worth it, because this is your business.
As days turn into weeks and months, the day-to-day operations will begin to flow more smoothly. You’ll have a staff you trust, your days will be a little more predictable, and you’ll be able to appreciate the unexpected joys of running the place.
However, running your business efficiently requires skills that you may not have needed before. You’ll be required to take on administrative duties, respond to emails, make phone calls, order supplies, complete paperwork, among other tasks to make your business a success!
This is hard work and the days can be long. But as weeks turn into months, you’ll take pride in the achievements – big and small – that come with being an entrepreneur.
Keeping your edge
As time goes on, you may start to feel that you’re getting the hang of this. While being a franchisee isn’t easy, your day-to-day interactions with customers and staff remind you why you’re doing this in the first place. However, even if you experience early success, you’ll always need to stay on top of things, work hard, persevere through the rough spots, and expect the unexpected.
If it’s taking longer than expected to turn a profit, be patient and stay positive. A good franchisor will provide you with the tools and training you need to be successful. Just keep in mind that it takes time, especially if the franchise is new to the area. The more open you are to learning, seeking advice and embracing change, the more likely you are to thrive in your business long-term.
Year one in the books
The one-year mark is another cause for celebration, and it will come before you know it. You’re on your way now. Take the time to look back and appreciate what you’ve accomplished. Perhaps you’re even entertaining the idea of opening a second franchise location.
Remember to thank and reward your employees often. Let your customers know they’re important to you. Never stop learning. Continue to find ways to improve. Keep striving for excellence.
If you’re looking for a franchise with great work/life balance, comprehensive training and support, and high franchisee satisfaction, consider opening a Mathnasium learning center. Mathnasium has become an important resource for families around the world, helping their children excel at math, gain confidence and build a promising future. Franchisees have the unique opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing industry while changing the lives of children in their community.
Mathnasium is North America’s leading math-only supplemental education franchise. With more than 1,000 learning centers worldwide, Mathnasium has been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top 500 franchises 15 times since 2004.
To learn more, connect with one of Mathnasium’s Franchise Success Executives by clicking here.