Steps to become a multi-unit owner
Geoff Elias | General Manager - National Operations | Muzz Buzz Drive Thru Coffee
Franchising provides opportunities for motivated small business owners to control their own destinies. Franchisees who understand how to make a single franchise operate profitably often seek additional franchise business opportunities to grow their business and capitalise on the lessons they've learnt and increase their returns.
Muzz Buzz Drive Thru Coffee is an excellent example of how a franchise operation can achieve significant growth by encouraging successful single unit franchisees to become multi-unit owners.
Step 1 - Build a strong team around you
Whether you operate a single franchise unit or many, your ability to be successful depends on the qualities and skills of the people you employ.
This becomes critical when operating multiple stores as you need to delegate responsibility for the day to day operation of your businesses to your store managers. Empowering your managers to make day-to-day operational decisions in your absence frees you up to take a strategic view of your business. A strong team at store level affords the multi-unit owner the opportunity to work ON their business, rather than IN their business.
Trust is the key to a successful business relationship. Trustworthy, reliable and dependable store managers are essential to enabling a multi-unit owner to grow their business.
Step 2 - Franchisor relationship
Good relations between you and your franchisor are essential to ensuring you receive the best possible support and the opportunity to acquire additional franchises. As a franchisor, Muzz Buzz has seen many of our franchisees face various challenges individually, particularly in the early stages of growing their businesses. We encourage our franchisees to share their hard won knowledge and the experience with each other.
We've recently established a Muzz Buzz Franchisee Committee which represents the interests of our franchisees and gives them an opportunity to meet regularly to discuss matters that affect all franchisees. The Committee is fully supported by the Franchisor. This form of open communication, and the sharing of ideas and experiences, make our franchisees more confident, better informed and strengthens their relationships with the Franchisor and each other.
Step 3 - Prepare yourself for growth
If you can run one successful franchise, there's nothing stopping you from running several successful franchises. The key is to prepare yourself well in advance and develop your own personal business skills. Focusing on the development of skills such as learning how to delegate responsibility to managers, managing your personal time effectively and communicating clearly with your employees, will enable you to build a successful team around you and free up your time and energy to focus on growing your business.
Once again, having a good relationship with your Franchisor helps make the transition from single store operator to multi-store owner easier. You need to build that relationship, and demonstrate to the Franchisor that you have the drive and the ability to run a number of successful franchise businesses. If you can, the Franchisor will be far more likely to offer a new franchise to you when one becomes available.
Step 4 - Be prepared to take risks
No one ever made a fortune in business by playing it safe. To be successful in the franchising business you need self confidence and the willingness to back yourself by taking calculated risks. Some of these risks can be mitigated by seeking expert advice from professional advisors.
But in the end, you need to believe you can succeed and have the confidence and perseverance to stick it out until you do. Once you've proven to yourself you can be successful in one business, it's amazing how your self confidence and ambition will make you want to take on more and grow your business faster.
Step 5 - Communication & reporting systems
Although most people find it difficult to do so, delegating responsibility to your store managers is the only practical way for you to oversee the strategic growth of all your businesses. You can't be everywhere at once, so you must empower your managers to act on your behalf. They aren't mind readers so you also need to ensure your managers understand what you want them to do.
It's important to have management systems in place that set each manager weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual targets to achieve and to provide the tools necessary for them to achieve those targets.
Regular communication with your managers, praising them in front of the staff, supporting their needs and understanding the difficulties they face, helps make you a more understanding employer and enhances your staff's willingness to help you grow your business.