4 Steps to Get Your Small Business Franchise Ready
The decision to franchise your small business is far from a simple one. While some franchises are quite lucrative, many don’t sell. There are several sizable factors to consider from legal to financial that will impact your business for years to come. One of the first things to look at when considering franchising is the current state of your business. The success of your business doesn’t always translate into a successful franchise. For a franchise to be successful the business needs to be able to replicate its processes at each franchise location. If the process has nuances that only you know how to complete, you have a problem. You aren’t going to be available in every situation to do everything. It will be critical to establish and simplify all the processes. So how do you determine processes in your business?
Running a business has a lot of steps. To initiate the process, over the course of a few weeks look at your day, step by step, and write down what you do. Use a secure cloud-based program so you can organize the information and quickly access it from the shop, from home or on the go. It’s best to spread this out over a couple of weeks in case things come up so that they won’t be forgotten. The best solutions will have Break down the steps into time frames such as pre-opening, opening, mid-day, closing and post-closing. Include any partners or employees by having them add their processes to your document as well. Over the course of a few weeks, you should have all your steps written down, and organized by order.
You want to be sure that your processes are clear, so be as specific as possible writing out your procedure. If you are mixing dough, list all the ingredients, what they are mixed in, the order they are added, how they are mixed, using what tools (spoon, stand mixer) and for how long. If you have a personal approach, include it at this time. When your employees or partners have added their work to the document, format the information so that everything reads consistently.
Once you have all the steps in place, now is the time to sit back and examine them. Look for redundancies and ways for to simplify your processes. If your goal is to duplicate your success, you want to make it as easy as possible. If you see any areas to improve upon, detail the change and try out any modifications to your process to determine their effectiveness. If the change was effective, keep it in the finalized process. If you find that it didn’t make a difference, or made your process worse, then delete the change.
Work with any employees and partners to get their feedback on your current process and any suggested changes. Are they working more efficiently or are they bogged down? Are they using multiple apps through the day to manage information and communication? It may be time to simplify with an all-in-one solution that meets your needs more completely. Single-source solutions, such as a digital work hub may simplify your day. In addition to the time saved by not having to search through emails and texts for a conversation, having a single service means having a single cost, which saves money.
Once you have your processes in place, you’ll want to talk to an attorney to work on the specifics. There are many nuances to franchising, and an experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the details of how much to charge and how to handle intellectual property. Each state has different laws regarding franchises, so depending on how far you want your franchise to reach it could take varying amounts of time and money. Then all you’ll need to do is get ready to work on selling your franchise.