The franchise sector in South Africa is represented in 14 different business sectors, constituting the highest and most diverse range of entrepreneurial endeavours. But without possessing certain traits even the entrepreneurs who have carved a success for themselves in the franchise space would not be as great as they are today, says Marcel Strauss, Group Chief Operations Officer at The Franchise Co.
Strauss highlights seven characteristics that successful franchisees have in common:
1. Risk is part of the trade
As an entrepreneur you must be audacious, especially when it comes to risk. But this does not mean jumping head-first into unknown waters. Research and the weighing of risk against benefits and values is a given in any business. While the implied risks of starting a business are reduced with a franchise versus a start-up, to be successful, a franchisee must be comfortable with taking calculated risks to ensure their business grows.
2. Continuous learning
As the leader of a business, you will have goals that you wish to achieve. To get there it is vital to be flexible with your methods and to incorporate feedback into your plans and the way you execute them. You are continuously learning from your customers, staff members, suppliers and importantly, your franchisor. As no two days are ever the same, every experience negative or positive must be viewed as a learning experience to bolster the business.
Adaptability is not a trait everyone intrinsically possess but it is one anyone can learn. Things change all the time in the world of business. In franchising you are dealing with a host of moving parts, from suppliers to employees and customers. Should any problems arise, you need to be able to assess the situation and decide which level of approach will work to solve that problem because not all solutions can be found in the playbook.
As a franchisee your whole supply and value chain consists of people, from staff to customers and even suppliers. Without the necessary interpersonal skills, your stakeholders may find it difficult to approach you when problems arise, which can lead to a series of issues down the line. Being able to communicate openly and fairly is one of the most significant assets to successful franchise ownership.
5. Financial aptitude
Running a franchise requires financial knowledge, including understanding profit and loss, labour and materials costs, and accounting for the business. While most franchisors can assist their franchisees in this regard, it is still prudent for franchisees to know what to look for to curtail discrepancies in stock or profits. Successful franchisees are inclined towards effectively handling finances both personally and business-wise.
Even the best laid out plans can sometimes go array, but rather than throwing in the towel, successful entrepreneurs know that solutions emanate from a place of positivity. A successful franchisee maintains a positive outlook regarding their business, customers, staff and processes, despite what the current situation looks like. And because optimism is contagious, that positive outlook cascades into the rest of the business.
Passion is one of those words that get thrown around loosely when referring to business leaders that it has started to feel like a cliché. But despite the overused word, passion is one of the fundamentals required to create a successful business. Passion is what propels you to get up and keep going even on your lowest days, it is the spark that kindles ideas into a burning inferno and can be felt throughout the entire business.
“Zeal works in tandem with purpose, because when you truly believe in what you are offering as an entrepreneur, your mindset shifts from problem base, to solutions-oriented. These characteristics are embodied not only by successful franchisors and franchisees but by prosperous industry and world leaders as well. Having a desire to succeed and the acumen to work towards actualising that goal is a good starting point for any franchisee. When passion meets the correct support systems, success happens as a by-product,” concludes Strauss.
The Franchise Co. offers franchisees an opportunity to invest in the following food brands: Blacksteer, ChesaNyama, Mike’s Kitchen, Nyamalicious, Yami Pizza, Yami Rib & Burger, Yummy Fish and Chips, and Zebro’s.
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