5 Strategies for Avoiding the Common Mistakes Franchise Businesses Make

Besides being well-capitalized with sufficient cash reserves, there are five key elements for success that new businesses -- especially franchises -- should keep in mind. These positives could become pitfalls if they are not executed thoroughly.

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By Ray Titus

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Besides being well-capitalized with sufficient cash reserves, there are five key elements for success that new businesses — especially franchises — should keep in mind. These positives could become pitfalls if they are not executed thoroughly.

1. Communicate

I've always believed that good communication is the cornerstone to any successful relationship. It's critical that open, positive lines of communication are in place between management and employees, between the business (or franchise) and headquarters, among the staff and with your customers.

Not communicating — or thinking you are alone — is a recipe for failure or frustration. Communication is key in all business scenarios, and in the franchise world it is incredibly important.

There is a saying in our industry, "franchise owners are in business for themselves, but not by themselves."

Use the resources that are provided to you. If the company puts out a newsletter, read it. If they send out a streaming video, watch it. If they hold a conference, attend it.

For communication to be truly successful it must be a two-way street. It's not just a matter of pushing out information, it's a matter of engaging and contributing.

If you're asking people to accept a new way of doing things, it's vital to manage expectations by clearly communicating what that vision involves.

Clear communication from the top down is key to ensuring people know what is expected of them, as well as keeping morale high moving forward.

Remember that no matter what is communicated to you, there's always two sides to every situation. Uncover every angle of a story before you choose to act on something. My dad gave me that advice early on in my life.

Most importantly, listen. What you say matters, but my advice is to speak less and listen more.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Related: Effective Communication Means Business Success

2. Go back to the basics

At the core of franchising is a proven way to build and grow a business. Go back to the owner's manual of operations.

If you own a franchise, ask your franchisor to do a full audit of your business. Find out what you're doing right and where you may have gotten off track.

If you're a business owner or manager, and you get a visit from the company headquarters, and they have suggestions, embrace the feedback.

Make sure to set high standards from the outset, for yourself and others. Hold everyone accountable, especially yourself.

3. Embrace change

Many business individuals struggle with change and, unfortunately, we are living in a time when change is hitting all of us rapidly.

Changes in technology, SEO, jargon, social issues, cryptocurrencies and even "the metaverse!" It's hard to keep up, but it's important to embrace and make use of change.

While mastering and being aware of change is important, it also takes effort to align ongoing changes with your specific priorities. In my company, we have one customer: our franchisees. When they are successful, we are successful. Providing the right support to help manage change and implementing change benefits everyone.

Related: 5 Principles for Dealing With Constant Change

4. Call and visit successful stores

There will always be a natural tendency to fixate on complaints and faults, but franchise owners can benefit greatly by communicating and learning from other franchise owners who are running their operations successfully.

Ask questions and learn what they are doing to be successful. You may discover things you're not doing or might have missed.

In my case, one of my jobs is to be the facilitator of ideas that I mostly get from franchise owners. Each month I do a video to share success stories so owners can discover and learn the most updated ways and connect with other owners who are succeeding.

Related: 8 Traits of Successful Franchises

5. Have a positive attitude

Be your business' number one cheerleader. You have to be able to pump your team up from your management right on down the line.

Stay positive each and every day, especially when you lose an order or encounter an unfriendly customer.

The same with enthusiasm: it's contagious! Innumerable times I've seen how enthusiasm trumps almost every other attribute, hands down. The tone of your voice and smiling are of utmost importance.

In fact, all of these actions not only increase enthusiasm, but also lead to increased profits and satisfied customers.

It boils down to treating people the way you want to be treated. That goes a long way in building a successful business.

Related: Benefits of a Positive Work Environment

Ray Titus

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of United Franchise Group

Ray Titus is CEO of United Franchise Group (UFG), the global leader for entrepreneurs. With over three decades in the franchising industry and more than 1,600 franchisees throughout the world, UFG offers unprecedented leadership and solid business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

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