Drop the notion of blending in and aim to be the best, starting with your franchise business opportunity…
There is a stifling and pervasive theme in today’s culture that downplays the importance of being the best and favors the inclusion of all people in all endeavors as equals. The idea can be painted like a rainbow of kind-hearted inclusion but in reality, the race is on to identify your strengths, your passions and use that knowledge to discover the best way to make money doing something you absolutely love. If you have decided that you have what it takes to own a business, but would rather not gamble on an untested independent venture, then the choice to enter the franchising arena is a wise one, indeed. Still, you really don’t want to jump into such a promising pool of entrepreneurship only to tread water and “get by”. You need to know what it takes to be the best franchisee in the world and find a franchisor who can best help you get yourself there.
Bob Heimbuch, Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International for Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia and Pittsburgh regions, addresses the issue head-on by handing the chance to build an enviable, growing franchise where it belongs, in your hands. He emphasizes a few of the core reasons some franchise owners are at the top in their industries, sharing, “The best franchisees are the ones that appreciate the value of the franchise proven method of doing business and are not looking to reinvent the wheel. The best franchisees are the ones that understand that buying a franchise does not exclude them from working hard at their business. A good franchise will give you all of the tools, training and support for a successful business but it is still up to you as the franchisee to make it happen.”
Don’t go into anything, especially franchise ownership, half-heartedly – Be the best with obstacle-clearing determination.
Being the best is a theme that should never be downplayed, especially in business. If you’re about to sign a franchise agreement, you should remember that franchising isn’t prepackaged, guaranteed profit, so being typical is aiming too low. In fact, franchise failure rates prove that not everyone has the unrelenting drive combined with the ability to adapt to and apply the potent package that a franchisor provides in the form of a trusted brand and proven system, even with local support. Of course, there is always the middle of the spectrum, those who open their franchises and are content with modest gains and comfortable living – but is that enough for you?
If you have done your homework, you already know that there are winners and losers among franchisors and the winners have usually been around for a long time and have fine-tuned a system that you can take and apply to your own journey, one in which the extent of your success is arguably only limited by your own ability and intention to be the best franchisee.
Assisting new entrepreneurs as they evolve from the routine typical of the workforce into the far more dynamic demands and rewards of becoming accomplished franchisees is something Matt Peretz, Minuteman Press International Vice President in New York World Headquarters, does on a regular basis. Matt refers to his observations to help illustrate some key traits that can help you attain your greatest heights. He explains, “Our ideal franchisee needs to be flexible and motivated. As an employee, you have bosses whose job it is to keep you motivated and on track. When you work for yourself, you have to constantly make the choice to do the right thing for your business or the easy thing. The franchisees that choose to do the right thing find themselves outpacing their colleagues by leaps and bounds.”
Matt’s advice expands to include needed flexibility as your business gains momentum. He elaborates, “Typically, when you become a franchisee, you are getting into a small business with few employees. Your role changes as the business grows, thus you need to be flexible enough to change with it. In the beginning, you will spend some of your time working in the business. As you hire more people, you will replace the tasks you were once responsible for and enter into more of a management role, making sure that all jobs are being done and systems adhered to. Again, as you grow, you may hire a manager or team of managers, changing your role once more.”
The best franchisees know that even the best franchise system doesn’t deliver instant wealth – but they are adept at using that system to actively build success over time
Too many entrepreneurs dive into a franchise opportunity with impatient appetites for profit because of a basic truth: franchising is designed to give you tools that offer your investment a chance at accelerated growth for your business. In reality, those folks become either frustrated or they fail to thrive because a franchise, even a prime franchise, requires time and dedicated effort in order to truly take off and become something lucrative. If you appreciate the fact that wealth and security isn’t going to fall instantly onto your plate, you will have a realistic appetite for lasting success and a greater chance to make it happen.
Dan Reeves, owner of Minuteman Press in Burnsville, Minnesota, is among the best franchisees in the digital print, design and marketing business and thanks to the world expos and conferences that his franchisor hosts regularly, he has come to know the great diversity present among his fellow franchise owners. He helps us understand that while they may come from different professional backgrounds and demographics, the very best share certain traits that help deliver success. Dan explains, “I have seen some very successful franchise owners coming from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds: Landscapers, bankers, sales people, and corporate managers among others. While their backgrounds may differ, the successful ones share many traits. They work hard and usually long hours; are able to juggle many moving parts involved in running a print shop, are willing to diversify their product offerings such as promotional products, manage their staff well, and are active in their clubs and community.”
Hopefully, you are a franchisee that is part of a proud and longstanding tradition, led by an industry-leading franchisor, much like Dan Reeves and his compatriots. Yet, even the top tier of franchisors with all of their time and money-saving resources and support cannot help you evade the process of putting all of your effort into actively promoting your own business and generating your own sales. It is an ongoing process and the best franchisees start out managing the ups and downs of their decision with an abiding sense that if they stick faithfully to the plan provided to them, they will steadily build a loyal customer base and from there, the limits start to fall away with each hard-working business day.
If you can tap into the high level of self-assured determination that led you to start your own business in the first place, you will be well-equipped to focus on the vitally important long-term plan, rather than getting lost in emotions connected to day to day challenges that all businesses face as they go forward.
The best franchisees decide that their greatest days are yet to come. They know that their ultimate success relies on their own ability to “stay the course” through the bad days as well as the good.
Frank Brown, owner of Minuteman Press in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was recently a finalist for the 2016 “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” by the Neighborhood Development Center, and he is not reserved about telling new entrepreneurs what it takes to join the ranks of the best among franchisees. Frank shares, “The best franchisee would be someone with vision, tenacity, and has business operations experience. In my industry, knowing about printing is definitely a plus, but not necessary if the other characteristics are there in abundance because the training and support we receive cannot be matched. You can always hire skilled and knowledgeable people to handle the technical aspects of the business, but it is the franchisee that must run the business.
The expectation that things will not always go as planned accompanies the days of the best franchisees and they greet each scenario with perseverance. Frank speaks boldly, advising, “An additional thing that would be great to have is a network of people that can be accessed for your market. Networking is the key to marketing as sales cover-up many mistakes. Believe me, you will make mistakes.”
“A franchise is simply a proven system of business. The franchisee is the driving force that makes it successful.” – Matt Peretz, Minuteman Press International Vice President in New York World Headquarters
Do not shy away from becoming the best franchise owner in your industry and let everyone know it by virtue of the value you provide and how you present your brand with every interaction you have. There is rightful pride in busting beyond the herd and standing out and if you are a franchise owner, this pride can translate to a healthier bottom line when merged with perseverance and an ever-present, supportive franchisor with an unmatched, proven system. Learn to love promoting your business and solving your clients’ challenges because if the passion is there, even your busiest business days will be more likely described as inspired rather than tedious. The very best franchisees truly enjoy their lives and the prosperity of their businesses are, as the saying goes, a labor of love.
Monica Moody, co-owner of Minuteman Press in Coventry, United Kingdom, offers a final word on an essential thread that must run through your entire career as a franchisee if you want to become the very best, sharing “The sales and marketing side of the business is a full time job by itself and it is vital. Digital marketing is big these days, but good all-style selling is still a tested and proven system, so just do it all with a bit of thought process (marketing plan) and something will always work.
As Monica wisely concludes, “Just keep trying and never stop.”
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.