Food for Thought: Tips for Starting a Franchise

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Branching out into a new business venture is never an easy process. Exciting and offering plenty of room for growth, sure. But it’s also a process that can be stressful and seemingly unpredictable. Especially without the right types of preparations and research. New restaurant owners who jump in wholeheartedly – but without experience – are far more likely to struggle through the opening process.  They may also struggle to become and stay profitable.

However, by doing a little prep work, those same events can be streamlined and offer direct success. To get started the right way with your upcoming or potential franchise, remember to follow these proven steps.

Research, Research, and Research

Whether you’re interviewing current restaurant owners, quizzing your franchise development contact at corporate, or chatting with community officials what they have to offer, find out what your market holds. That means population density, how well a brand has gone over with certain demographics, and how much room there is for growth.

It might not be the most glamorous aspect of opening a restaurant, but it’s the best way to ensure success. Ask others how they did the same, or start looking anywhere and everywhere for information that’s to be gained.  The more good questions you ask the better decisions you will make on which franchise model works best for you.

Take Advantage of the Franchise Team at Corporate

These guys have opened restaurants a time or two. It’s what they do, and they’re good at it. So let them help you in any way possible. They even want you to succeed. Make friends with the high ups (without being too overzealous) and let them give you advice as often as possible. They might even stop by for the occasional visit. Whatever types of personal help or programs intended for growth, grasp on and grasp tightly. It’ll prove for better business tactics from day one.

Hire Hard Workers

Be choosy with your employees. Call references, give trials, and ask difficult questions. The only way to find those who are of strong character is to put them to the test. Then, once you’ve found said hard workers, the business can flourish with their ongoing help.

Personal relationships can certainly be considered, but shouldn’t take precedence over what’s best for the brand and for your wallet.  In fact, in the majority of cases, you will be much better off NOT hiring anyone related to you or that you are close friends with.   A no nepotism policy ensures that you can manage effectively and not worry about losing a friend over a business decision!

Be Realistic

Everyone wants to grow and to grow quickly. Just make sure that your goals are attainable and there’s enough to back them up. For instance, liquid equity, real estate, and an available customer market. Forcing any of these aspects will only hurt you down the line, while taking one’s time and flushing out necessary variables can create a successful branch with plenty of room for growth.

Strive for Goals

All successful business owners set goals for themselves and have a plan to execute to achieve them. Set sales numbers, encourage employees to stay on for the long term, plan out future location rights, or whatever else it is you’re after. The important thing is to set goals and then to create a sure-fire path that allows you to get there.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Guessing is a good way to encourage failure (or at minimum, a setback), while taking the time to research or find out straight from the source can offer a concrete way to improve one’s business from day one.

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By Bethaney Wallace | August 05, 2015 | Food Franchise Blog