What to Look for in Franchises for Sale, Part 2
Steve Strangward| Franchisee of the Year | Kwik Kopy
Steve Strangward of Kwik Kopy Richmond, Victoria won Kwik Kopy’s Franchisee of the Year 2012. Kwik Kopy is a print and design provider that focuses on the small to medium business market. The franchisor has an extensive network of over 100 centres in Australia, providing a blend of friendly advice, design and print expertise.
Steve has been a franchisee with Kwik Kopy since 2004. To couple his small business experience, Steve has close on two decades of experience as an engineer. Prior to joining Kwik Kopy Steve was a consultant in information technology for seven years and also spent nine years as a Naval architect in ship building.
In this second part of a two part article on what to look for in franchises for sale, Steve discusses the importance of human resources (HR) considerations in executing the franchise business model.
A franchisor’s business model plays a major role in determining whether its franchisees will be successful. As a franchisee, to successfully implement the business model you will need to effectively harness the human resources available to you.
Your duties as a franchisee will include hiring and motivating staff to implement your franchise business model. If I had the chance to go back in time, I would have focused on Human Resources earlier. I can’t stress enough the importance of bringing in people with the right attitude to build customer relationships who have a commitment to customer service and quality. Another key consideration is determining whether existing and prospective employees’ personalities and skill sets compliment you and whether they have the ability to work in a team.
"It is your responsibility to research how the franchises for sale in which you are interested approach human resources issues. It is crucial that you get the human resources piece of the puzzle right."
It is your responsibility to research how the franchises for sale in which you are interested approach human resources issues. It is crucial that you get the human resources piece of the puzzle right. You should ask the following two questions of every franchise business you are considering:
- What do you consider to be the key roles of a franchise owner?
Franchises for sale that require you to hire and manage employees should demonstrate an appreciation for the human resources management role that you will play as a future owner. If the franchisor downplays the importance of this role, you may encounter a lack of support from the group office if human resources challenges arise (and they always will). The franchisor should be able to clearly define for you the duties associated with the human resources management role, and what kind of support you can expect from the group office. I have always found Kwik Kopy to be great in this area.
- What type of personality is most successful with this franchise model?
If the franchises for sale in which you are interested have significant track records, the odds are that they will have developed a personality profile which is characteristic of successful franchisees and their employees. For example, strong leadership traits tend to be useful in managing large numbers of employees. At the same stage there are many roles to play in a franchise business and your personality may be suited to some and not others, for example you may be great at sales but fall short in administration. Having access to personality profiling tools will help you to determine where you will fit into the franchise system and which types of employees to hire to complement your skills in implementing the franchise business model.
Once you are up and running, remember that you must invest in your employees by providing them with proper training, and then delegate to them the day to day business of running the franchise operation. This will permit you to focus on strategic matters, developing key client relationships and working “on the business”. Best of luck with your endeavours!