Get Ready to Open a Franchise - Part 3: A Business in a Box | By Dina Dwyer-Owens, chairwoman and chief executive officer, The Dwyer Group, Waco, Texas |
Published in the July/August 2013 issue of print Search & Employ® |
For an entrepreneur, starting a new business and managing its operations on one’s own can be confusing, overwhelming, and stressful. Many people, especially those working in service industries, are more comfortable and knowledgeable about the technical side of a trade than with the business operations.
Thankfully, a franchisor can provide a ready-made business – a “business in a box.” The franchisor provides not only the materials and instructions needed to open a business’ doors but also the continuing support and training needed to promote its long-term success. Why do all of the hard work yourself when you can have an experienced team of people guide you through the process?
In my last article, I discussed how a lack of finances can be the number one barrier to starting a new business or franchise; and I passed along some advice given to me by my father, the late Don Dwyer, Sr., about the importance of creating a targeted action plan when preparing to open a franchise.
In this article, I will discuss how a buying a franchise differs from starting a business on your own and the importance of the systems that franchisors provide.
What’s the Difference?
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers Franchise Business Economic Outlook report, (http://emarket.franchise.org/News_Release/Franchise%20Business%20Outlook%20Report%202011%20final.pdf), as of 2011 the United States had almost 800,000 franchise establishments providing a diverse array of products and services. If you wonder why franchise ownership is so popular, consider the two primary differences between a franchise and a privately-owned and -operated business: the trademark and franchisor support.
When investing in a franchise, the new owner – the franchisee – buys the rights to use the name and trademark, and to offer the products and/or services of a much larger, well-established company. For the small business owner, this can be a great advantage in a competitive market. The owner benefits from the credibility and branding that come with a nationally recognized and respected company trademark.
Continuing Franchisor Support
Franchisors also provide their franchisees with a number of systems at start-up and throughout the lifetimes of their businesses. These systems give the owners knowledge and skill sets that help them grow their businesses, even if the owners lack experience in managerial or financial operations.
Following the system may be the most important part of running a franchise; in fact, having access to and following a consistent system separates businesses that thrive from those that don’t. A good system requires substantial discipline and dedication – making former military servicemen and servicewomen the perfect candidates to take full advantage of what franchisors have to offer.
At our franchisor company, The Dwyer Group®, our mission is “to teach our principles and systems of personal and business success so that all of the people we touch will live happier, more successful lives.” My father taught me to live by a system or a Code of Values® that has enabled me to truly live a R.I.C.H. life of Respect, Integrity, Customer focus, and Having fun in the process. Accordingly, we educate our franchisees about systems of business management that prepare them to succeed in both their businesses and their personal lives.
The franchisor that you partner with should provide you with the systems that you need to succeed. So, when searching for a franchisor, look for a company that provides a wide array of training for such systems as:
* Operations Management
* Human Resources
* Networking and Customer Recruitment
* Customer Service and Retention
* Technology Support
* Menu Pricing
* Management Support
* Marketing and Advertising
The Dwyer Group, Inc. (www.dwyergroup.com), is a holding company of seven service-based franchise organizations: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor in the UK and Portugal), and Rainbow International®.