My work has allowed me to meet the top-ranked franchisees from a variety of industries and brands. When you speak to enough of them, you see what they all have in common. Is it hard work? Yes, they work hard. But so do other franchisees whose rankings aren’t as high. Do they do a lot of marketing? Sure, but again, so do many others. Hard work and marketing aren’t the secrets to success. They’re the prerequisite.
Maybe top franchisees have great locations? Some do, but most have adequate locations. Many of them acquire struggling locations with no geographic/demographic advantages and build them into winning businesses.
Turns out there are three consistent behaviors all top franchisees have in common. The good news is that these are things YOU can do also, increasing the chance of you getting the same results.
Top franchisees keep a clear head.
A franchise is more than a business; it’s a lifestyle. You don’t just run your business; you feel it. It’s an emotional experience, and it can mess with your head. When you’ve left your job, borrowed money and invested your savings in a business, the stakes are high. It’s easy to succumb to your emotions. That leads to bad decisions.
Early on in my journey as an Edible Arrangements franchisee, another owner voted against us running our first television campaign. He told me, “There are already too many Edible Arrangements franchises in our city. If we advertise, it’ll make more people want to open locations. There’ll be more competition.” He believed the best way for us to promote our brand was to keep it a secret! His vote wasn’t based on data. It was based on fear. Fortunately, we got the votes to run the campaign and it was a huge success.
Top franchisees monitor their thoughts to ensure every decision is rational and driven by logic. They feel the same emotions as the rest of us, but they’re really good controlling them. And not just the negative ones. They also keep their enthusiasm in check to make sure their decisions are based on data and not just hope.
Many great franchisees have habits to help clear their heads. Some write in journals every day. Some meditate. Others take walks. Many participate in peer performance groups to discuss business issues and solicit other perspectives. They all figure out the best approach to ensure they operate not from negativity, nor from positivity, but from a point of clarity.
Top franchisees stick to the system.
The most successful franchisees don’t spend a lot of time creating. They invested in a franchise to outsource the innovation. They let their franchisor do the research, development and testing. As franchise owners, their job is to execute.
Franchisees who try to outsmart the system suffer for it. They rely on their background or local perspective and believe they know better than their franchisor. When they stray from company standards, it weakens the brand and increases their exposure to risk. Investing in a proven concept managed by an experienced team with the most information is a safer best. Chances are your franchisor has tested and replicated the system in a variety of markets. They’ve proven the concept, which reduces your risk. Deviating from their system subjects you to the vary risk you paid to mitigate. I haven’t met a franchisee who climbed to the top by going rogue.
Top franchisees do come up with new ideas and sometimes have concerns about what their franchisor proposes. But they always communicate and collaborate with them constructively to determine together what’s best for the entire franchise system. They know they’re part of something larger than their own enterprise. As the whole franchise improves, it helps their location and increases its resale value.
Top franchisees use their business to improve the lives of everyone it touches.
When you put value out into the world, it comes back to you like a boomerang. Top franchisees are obsessed with the impact they make on others and that comes back to grow their business.
They do more than manage their employees’ work. They actively develop them into leaders. They help them build their skill set. They boost their confidence. They instill in them a sense of purpose. They invest in their team members’ personal growth. These benefits engage employees more than financial payoffs alone do. Personal growth increases both motivation and loyalty.
Which translates to better customer service. Top franchisees focus a lot on the customer experience. They provide more than products, services or solutions. They work to elevate people emotionally. They know that what the customer gets matters less than how the customer feels. Good feelings lead to better reviews, more word-of-mouth and more repeat business.
Top franchisees also better their communities. They don’t “give back.” They give first. They volunteer their time. They donate products and services. They sponsor important causes. They’re in the community making a difference. That feeds their soul and grows their business.
Top franchisees aren’t extraordinary people. They’re normal people executing extraordinarily well. Everything they do, you can do, too. That means keeping a clear head, sticking to the proven system and working to better others’ lives. That’s really the secret to bettering your business.
I’m excited to announce the release of my new book entitled The Wealthy Franchisee: Game-Changing Steps to Becoming a Thriving Franchise Superstar being published by Entrepreneur Magazine. Order you copy now!