Q: What misconceptions do first-time franchisees typically hold about leadership?
Overall, it is typical for first-time franchisees—given they have bought into a business with a strong brand and demand in their local market—to underestimate the importance of paying attention to leadership.
Being aware of their leadership style as it relates to their employees will be critically important to their success. A franchisee should never disappear into an office and expect the business to run itself.
Q: What do franchisees need to know before starting their franchise and leading a team of employees?
They need to pay close attention to what it will take for their franchise to be successful, including best practices, how demand will fluctuate (both throughout a day and between seasons) and how to most efficiently deliver that franchise’s products and services. Once they truly understand their franchise’s needs, then they can hire employees accordingly to match those needs.
It is also important for franchisees to be clear about their expectations of their employees and keep the lines of communication open. There may be some barriers that need to be addressed, so it is beneficial to meet with employees regularly for their feedback and ensure they know their interests are being kept in mind.
It will all be a ‘watch and learn’ experiment at first, but building these bridges of communication early on will ensure any problems don’t get too far without being addressed. Trust is built by showing staff the franchisee cares. Different employees will vary in their motivations (e.g. job title, compensation or flexibility), but they all need to feel inspired.