“Franchising was so much harder than I could have ever imagined. Franchising in paper and theory is awesome but the actual reality is incredibly different from that.” So says Telstra Young Businesswoman Award winner Tina Tower, founder and franchisor of the Begin Bright franchise.
Tower spoke to delegates at a franchise management forum organised jointly by the Franchise Advisory Centre and Griffith University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence and revealed her top 12 points to franchise success.
1. Commit to excellence
Tower believes you have to be exceptional in your business. Set high standards and follow them.
2. Invest in your education
“I spent $14,000 on courses in my first year in business – I earned $3,000,” Tower reveals.
3. Leverage your money
“Money is such a psychological battle,” says Towers. She believes being educated about money is really important.
Instead of accepting a $200,000 investment for 50 percent equity, Towers refinanced the home loan, moved out and rented a granny flat and the family lived on $200 a week for two years. Now the franchise is growing at 400 percent, after year on year 130 percent growth.
4. Know your growth strategy
It’s important to focus on franchisee profitability and have a long term strategy. Tower is working to a plan to the end of 2018.
5. The power of PR
People love awards, and industry recognition is a good way to maximise your marketing spend and get publicity. And that’s important to business growth, says Tower. “Being top of mind is key to how we’ve grown,” she says.
6. Learn resilience
Business is personal and you have to develop a thick skin. This is particularly pertinent when your franchise network expands and the franchise system is no longer exactly what your first franchisees signed up for.
7. Focus on the important
There are plenty of things that come into your day that can distract you. Remember what’s essential and put your time and energy into those activities.
8. Get out of your comfort zone
“I’ve learned to be comfortable in fear,” says Towers.
9. Look after yourself
Don’t neglect your health and family time – it’s a short term response that doesn’t work for the business. “Look after yourself so you can drive your business as hard and fast as you can.”
10. Plan and reward
Everyone loves to be rewarded, so don’t forget to plan to treat yourself. Set regular small goals and celebrate the little wins, she suggests.
11. Define your own terms
Emulate the leaders you aspire to be but don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
12. Have fun
Do the people around you see the sparkle? You need to enjoy the day to day and show that business can be fun.
These are 12 actions that can help you achieve your goals. As Tower shares with the delegates one of her favourite quotations: “Success isn’t an accident”.