7 traits of successful franchisees

FranchiseeIt takes a certain personality to be a franchise business owner, and even with enough capital, the end result isn’t guaranteed to be successful. Although many think franchising is similar to being an entrepreneur, there are certain characteristics required to become a franchising star.

How do you know if it’s meant to be? The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise development team formed seven key traits potential franchisees should embody for optimal franchise success:

1. Ability to follow a system: The most valuable component of entering a franchise system is that a time-tested road map has already been created for you. The process kinks have been ironed out, the methods have been tweaked, and the system has been proven. As long as you abide by the system and stay on course, success will follow.

2. Willingness to ask for help: As a business owner, you’ll find yourself in situations you haven’t experienced before. The franchisor is there to support and guide its franchisees. The willingness to ask for help is central to maintaining a healthy business partnership as well as aiding the franchise business to a healthy position. A franchisee’s staff can also be there to support the franchisee in their endeavors. The ability to delegate work when necessary will not only relieve stress from the franchisee, it will also foster team development as a whole.

3. Effective leader:  Individuals who have experience leading a team make model franchisees. The power to deal with people, to lead a team, and to communicate well with others are notable skills to have as the boss of your own business. The franchisee will train and manage their team, and it is essential they learn correctly from the beginning.

4. Excellent communicator: With any business, communication is key. This holds especially true in a franchise system. The franchisor will need to stay in contact with the franchisee to share updates and insights and the franchisee needs to communicate to the franchisor how their business is doing. Moreover, they need to consistently communicate to and connect with their staff.

5. Result driver: A good franchisee pays attention to results and realizes actions alone don’t guarantee achievement. Franchisees should concentrate on meeting objectives, focus on cost and quality, and hold performance to high standards.

6. Be reliable: Excellent franchisees tend to be reliable and all-around solid individuals who are careful but not necessarily risk averse. When a franchisor awards a franchise, they are entrusting the new franchisees to continue growing the brand and contributing to the system. The franchisee must have the skills to be consistent and the ability to manage the operation effectively.

7. Be resilient:Starting a business is full of challenges, and even the most prepared may face setbacks, but the franchisees who thrive learn from it and continue pushing forward. They see the big picture and know it makes them stronger as a person and businessperson. They realize the importance of staying motivated by relishing the long-term results.

Think you’ll make the perfect franchisee? Visit www.twomenandatruckfranchising.com to read more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and our ongoing growth and open markets.

There’s no you or me in we: Building a franchising business partnership for the right reasons

Business PartnershipSo you’re talking to your best friend of 10 years, and you have both recently read about the hot new roller derby franchise concept where people can live out their derby dreams for a day. You agree it would be much better than your high-paying corporate jobs, and your family, friends and former colleagues would all be your first customers. Of course, this relationship is one that maintains a high level a trust, and you’re both business stars, making a solid business team. You quit your jobs, buy the franchise, and a year later are so angry with each other you get into a brawl out on the roller derby track in front of all your customers and employees. To add insult to injury, your business is in the red. Perhaps this example is a bit extreme, so let’s look at another.

You’ve recently met somebody through a business networking group. You both talked about looking for an investment and franchising was of interest. You go to coffee and, after reviewing one another’s resumes, decide you have perfectly complimentary business skills. So you begin reviewing franchise concepts together and find a solidly performing moving franchise. You pick this franchise after weighing the pros and cons of each concept you’ve selected. Eventually you draw up a business plan and get awarded a franchise. A year later you’re both about to lawyer up and devise a plan to buy the other out. You can’t keep staff, and you step on each other’s toes constantly. Finally you decide you really annoy each other.

While there is some hyperbole here, situations like this do happen. I’ve seen them. Throw in more than two people, and it gets beyond interesting when things get tough. It doesn’t matter how well or how little you know your business partner(s). What matters is why you are going into partnership to begin with and how you structure it. I won’t get into legal structure here. Rather, I am focused on the structure created when people understand their respective roles in the partnership. It’s basic psychology!

Business PartnersWhile in both situations above, the partners made an attempt at figuring out why they should be partners; it was cursory. They were excited about franchising concepts and a new business opportunity without defining the overall goals of the partnership. In any business partnership discussion, you need a meeting of the minds relative to the goals of pursuing something together versus doing it solo. This can be a tough conversation, especially if you are dealing with partners that are family or friends, but if you don’t assess in detail the merits and goals of the partnership and subsequently get lost in the financial opportunity, you’ll likely wind up on very different pages. You’re not individuals running a business; a partnership creates a “we.”  And, if you don’t know your partner personally, you may need to spend a little more time getting acquainted. I’m not saying you need to be friends in a business partnership, but you must understand how your partner operates in life because you may be spending a lot of time together, at least as a longer-term colleague.  In addition to the “why”, you need to understand the “how” of the partnership.

I can’t think of a single personality type that is completely comfortable with uncertainty in a work environment. Professionals function more optimally when they know what it is they are supposed to bring to the table and what is to be accomplished. While it may be fun to have some chaos and change in business, it’s best to keep it there and not in your partnership.

After figuring out the partnership and business goals, partners need to figure out what roles and responsibilities each possess in order to achieve success. There also needs to be constant, honest communication on how each is doing toward achieving the company’s goals.

This also impacts your team greatly. The team belongs to the partners, even if one partner has more of a day-to-day role with team members. Teams also thrive when they know their respective roles and responsibilities and what success looks like. The partnership needs to lead by being an example of clarity and consistency. And if one partner is suddenly pulled into a different direction by personal matters, or you feel the partnership is no longer working, a proper plan at the onset will guide you as to what should be done. Let’s get back to the positive.

Partnerships in business can be incredibly dynamic, value-laden structures that support greater success which you or me alone could not achieve.  Keep in mind if you add additional partners, you still have to figure out the why and how; it just becomes more complex.  However, the tradeoff is you give yourself to the partnership (or you should!) and give up autonomy in decision-making and function. You are also betting on your partner(s) to bring their A game and contribute like they said they would.  If you spend more time at the front end figuring out whether this is the right path, you are more likely to achieve what you are going after. And you’ll certainly enjoy the journey all the more.

Engage in quality recruiting to reduce employee turnover

To create a thriving business, it’s important to surround yourself with team members who share your same vision of success. But how do you know if they’re right for the job?  With the help of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® human resources team, we came up with helpful tips for recruiting top-notch employees who will willingly stick around for years to come.

Search and select

When posting the available position, clearly label what you expect from the job, including specific tasks the employee will be responsible for. Companies who fail to do this may attract the wrong candidates for the job and end up wasting valuable resources and learn a hard lesson.

Phone InterviewAfter receiving multiple applications, begin weeding out weaker applicants by sifting through the resumes and separating those which best fit the job description and qualify for a phone interview. Phone interviews are an efficient way to get a sense of their communication skills and provide a time for questions regarding their work experience.  This first-pass conversation also ensures you don’t schedule an in-person interview only to quickly realize they aren’t right for the position or for your organization. Be sure to ask why they want to work at your company and why they believe they’re the best choice for the position. Don’t overlook small details during phone screens like the way the phone is answered, background noise and tone of voice. These convey professionalism (or lack thereof) before you see the candidate face-to-face.

Just as a candidate prepares for a job interview, the interviewer should prepare and rehearse, too. Before starting the interview process, set up a mock interview and go over your questions and scenarios, then ask the mock candidate for feedback. To ensure there aren’t any biases, develop a list questions to be asked at every interview. Throughout the interview, write down the candidate’s answers as detailed as possible for post-meeting review and reflection.

Interview like a pro

Now you’re prepared to succeed.

InterviewOnce you complete phone interviews, your next step is to determine which candidates are most qualified to move to the in-person interview stage. While interviewing, learn what is important to candidates on both a personal and professional level.  Ask them if they had to pick their top three values, what would they be? It’s crucial to find employees who are grounded and who have the same core values as your company. Also ask them what facts they know about the company and why they believe they would be a good fit based on that information. This is a simple exercise to ascertain how much effort was invested in researching the organization.

Behavioral interviewing is a popular technique where the interviewer asks questions related to past experiences with specific topics. Ask about scenarios other employees have experienced, and you’ll get a sense as to how they themselves would handle a particular situation. This is an effective way to establish fit within both the core team and the broader company culture. People might come prepared for the situational questions, so ask follow-up questions about examples they provide.

The best way to learn if someone is perfect for the job is to include something unexpected. For customer service representatives, it may be a typing test or a mock phone call with a customer. For a management position, challenge them to develop a short sample business plan. This will be an important indicator of both writing and strategic competencies.

After the second interview, have the candidates complete a DISC assessment. The DISC is useful for a variety of real-life situations. Many companies use it to screen potential employees with the assumption being a certain personality type is better suited for specific jobs or positions. Additionally, the assessment will demonstrate how well they might mesh with other team members. This is also the time to contact their references.

Happy wife, happy life

Careers at TMT header imageNow you have hired the best talent available in your market. What can you do to keep them engaged and happy in the long run? We all know the saying “happy wife, happy life”; the same goes for your work team. If they aren’t fulfilled in their working environment, it will influence how they perform and interact with customers and co-workers. Many employers think the way to make their employees happy is by putting more money in their pockets. This may be a reasonable short-term solution, but if you don’t have a positive work environment and company culture, members will continue to be dissatisfied and will seek other employment. Creating a positive workplace is attainable, and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Involve team members in planning company fun days. This could mean bringing in their favorite dishes for a potluck or embracing their creative side with dress-up or spirit days. Many TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations have created “employee highlights boards” for sharing photos of people around the office celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and employees of the month.

It is also vital to periodically discuss employees’ desired career paths and goals. Let them know you have a desire to see them grow professionally, so if there are opportunities for them to flourish, don’t keep it to yourself.

These hiring tips will give you a head start on constructing a powerhouse team!

3, 2, 1: Virtual Discovery Day Launches

You’ve done your research, and you realize a unique opportunity lays before you. But, you want to learn more about TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Most franchisors have a rite-of-passage event coined “Discovery Day” where prospects are able, and oftentimes required, to participate. Discovery Days are designed to allow the candidate and franchisor to meet face-to-face and to learn more about each other in order to move the deal forward.

Discovery DayTWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Discovery Days are very much an essential piece to developing business partnerships. Discovery Days at our organization are meant to be an interactive learning opportunity between all integral parties: the prospect, the executive team, the franchise development team and other home office departments who provide ongoing tools and ongoing support to franchisees.

Our special blend of Discovery Day begins with an executive-level discussion regarding a prospect’s business plan, their personal background, and their professional experience. The idea is to see if a “meeting of the minds” and culture alignment exists relative to what this long-term partnership might look like. Both parties learn so much over the two days, with any questions or concerns being fully addressed during the visit. The rest of the time is spent providing the prospect a much more comprehensive understanding of the tools, the service and support, and the day-to-day dynamic with the home office. Of course, we apply the brakes for lunch and keep it casual in order to get to know each other better outside of the structured sessions. At the end of Discovery Day, both parties are able to return to the table to determine whether the deal is poised to move forward.

A new, virtually delivered Discovery Day is now available! With Virtual Discovery Day, there’s no need to travel to establish initial contact with our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® business development team. During these hosted sessions with our franchise development team, our executives, and other franchisees, these sessions are sure to both educate and engage potential partners about what it takes to become a successful TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee.

Well, what are you waiting for? Visit our website today to sign up for an upcoming Virtual Discovery Day session!