The habits of highly successful franchisees

In business, adopting the right habits is crucial to the success of a company. Without positive habitual behaviour, many objectives in business will not be met, as no commitment will be exercised to any elements therein.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a habit as; 'a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up'. It goes without saying also that with the good comes the bad and many franchises struggle to unlearn bad habits that are detrimental to the company's health.

Habit number one; get the balance between hands-on and hands-off management right.

It has been evident in the past that franchise stores operate better when the franchisee is directly involved in the business. The premise leads that successful franchises are led by owners who are as involved in their stores on a daily basis as they possibly can be, thus being hands-on.

Hands-on management loosely refers to an owner who offers a pro-active presence in the store and continually encourages and motivates their team members to promote problem-free, productive operations. By keeping their finger on the pulse of the business, they are able to manage issues as they arise and solve these sooner rather than later.

The problem with this, however, is that this type of management often becomes synonymous with micro-management. At worst, employees feel that adequate support and coaching is not available and subsequently lack focus and direction and will not take responsibility in the management of the business.

Whilst it is very important to be very involved in one's business, it is also imperative to balance a hands-on with a hands-off business management approach to ensure growth.

By being a hands-off manager, one is able to put more responsibility in the hands of team leaders. This type of management style often relies more on goals and numbers to measure effectiveness and will assist in building team cohesion and responsibility.

By offering the staff sufficient training and allocating the right tasks for each, confidence and trust is secured and staff will be enabled to carry out their roles to the best of their ability with minimal supervision - leaving the business owner to also pursue other business areas.

Habit number two; treat staff like you would treat customers

Many businesses place so much emphasis on their customers and keeping them happy that they neglect their 'internal customers'. 

Employees play a pivotal role in the success of a company and when they are undervalued and treated poorly, they will simply imitate the behaviour. 

The first people in their line of fire will be your customers. As leaders in the business, those in management need to realise that they are the role models that evoke the best in the team - and the worst. If business leaders are weak in setting the correct examples, 'weakness' will trickle through to the rest of the team.

Once bad habits are formed in the team, a vicious cycle will ensue until a conscious effort is made to restore relationships. Only by taking action will trust and respect be regained. 

Cement the habit of treating employees the way you would treat customers; with respect and reverence. 

Habit number three; go beyond the call of duty

It is almost a cliché to say the customer is king. Every business knows this and advocates it to all its employees. Yet, are service providers really willing to go beyond the call of duty to deliver exceptional customer service - all the time? To be successful in business, stop considering customer service as a costly and time consuming exercise. Instead, view it as an investment in your goodwill. 

Not only does good customer service keep them coming back for more, but it also makes a business stand out from its competitors. When two rival businesses both compete with the same arsenal of weapons in the same environment, the one to reign supreme will be the one who won the customer's heart.

By going the extra mile, doing the unexpected and exceeding their expectations you will be entrenching your business into their hearts and will always be top of mind.

At the end of the day habits will only be changed by changing ones thoughts. Thoughts (negative or positive) influence your emotions. Emotions determine your behaviour, which in turn affects your habits.

In the end your attitude determines your altitude, and only once attitudes are adjusted, will actions follow.


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