Top Topics Franchisees Should Seek Advice On
Running a business is rarely an easy task. It’s busy and often demanding, with questions that don’t always have a straightforward answer. Regardless of your business’s sector or position, no one can be expected to know exactly what to do in every situation. Understanding the need to seek advice on business-related issues is the key to facing decisions or challenges in your business.
The value of others’ experience and expertise can have a huge impact on the success of your business. In fact, one of the main reasons many businesses fail is due to a lack of guidance and support. Save time and put your mind at ease by enlisting the help of people who have skills in specific areas. Here are the 3 main areas I’d suggest a franchise should seek advice on:
1) Financial planning and investing
You’re right in thinking the bank is a good place to start with this – specifically their franchise department. While most departments will probably be able to help you, the franchising section will understand your specific situation and business model more fully and be able to give more specific advice on leasing, capital expenditure, loans etc.
Even before you go to the bank though, I recommend you read your operations manual and speak to your franchisor to make sure you’re making the right decisions.
They should be able to understand your situation and advise accordingly. Not only are they invested in giving good advice as your success is their success, but it’s likely that the same query may have come up before.
They also should have insight on best practice as they’re the people who should know. After all, with the operations manual, they literally wrote the book on running your business! Speaking of the manual - most often, I find the most successful franchisees are the ones who follow the operations manual to the letter. It’s a proven route to success.
Another place to look for advice on financial issues is your accountant. Your accountant isn’t just for tidying up past finances – they can also use your figures to give advice and guidance to plan for and help shape your business’s future. They’re not a necessary evil; they should be a vital tool for your business’s success. Of course, with their financial knowledge, they’re also well-placed to advise on issues such as capital expenditure and
For any financial issues, your first port of call should be to talk to your franchisor.
2) Cost reductions
Every business can always save money in some way. Efficiencies can be made, and your accountant will be able to take a look at your figures and see exactly where these can be. They will probably have informed suggestions to help streamline your business’s finances and operations.
They might suggest you take a closer look at your payment terms with current suppliers. Perhaps you can negotiate a prompt payment discount – perhaps a few % discounts if you pay within 15 days, rather than the current 30-day terms you’ve reliably stuck to.
Who? Your accountant, your franchisor, your mentor.
Why? The first thing to look at is whether you’re using your money smartly enough.
Looking at your staffing is also important. Are you overstaffed? Make sure you’re utilising the full capacity of your workforce – look at their productivity ratios of billable vs payroll hours and try to keep them as high as possible.
Advice might also recommend (and often provide) services to help develop your efficiency – perhaps outsourcing payroll and bookkeeping rather than paying someone to do it is
Perhaps you’re considering taking on an additional territory. Perhaps you’ve got a large capital expenditure/lease coming up to pay for?
First port of call, as with the vast majority of financial matters, should be to talk to your franchisor.
3) Sales strategy
Making the most of people with the tools you may not currently have access to could be the catalyst for success you need.
There’s no substitute for the value of expertise and experience
Marketing, cashflow, recruiting, suppliers and sales are just some of the wide and varied issues you need to concentrate on
A good business mentor is perhaps the most valuable tool any business owner can have access to. If you have someone you can talk to who is impartial and experienced, this can be invaluable to the success of your business.