Are You Feeling the Heat in Your Business?

It’s August, and that means hot weather. But it may not be the temperature outside that brings stress into your life. Spending all day putting out fires in your business could make you feel like the summer will never end. You’re not alone. For many small business owners, vacation time is replaced with worry and stress about what’s going on at work. Revenue, personnel, facility management, marketing, regulatory compliance, customer service—there are lots of moving parts and plenty of areas where friction can occur. Here are some common issues that make business owners break a sweat, and some ideas for how to keep your cool.

Staffing Issues

After choosing the right business opportunity, choosing the right employees has the biggest impact on success or failure. How many people should you hire? What skill-sets should you require? Who will be the right fit for the culture you are building?

Unfortunately, it’s tough to assess a person in-depth until they are hired. However, there are some clever ways that business owners can go above and beyond the typical interview and background check process to help identify qualified candidates. That might be as simple as telling a job applicant to call you at a specific date and time to set up their interview. If they don’t call, they are automatically disqualified.

Some business owners will even ask a promising applicant to work a trial day to see how they operate and interact with prospective coworkers in a real-life setting. Be aware, you must pay job candidates for their time in this scenario. Talk to your legal counsel about how to ensure you are abiding by employment wage/hour laws and not creating liability for your company. It’s money well spent.

Staffing companies can also help with vetting candidates if you don’t have time or this simply isn’t your area of expertise. But you need to be very clear on what you’re looking for if you want them to act on your behalf.

Extra tips:

  • Talk to other franchise owners and your main franchisor for ideas on the right staffing numbers.
  • Hire slow, fire fast. It’s worth the effort to get this right.

Brand Awareness

Naturally, many franchises already have a well-established brand presence (everyone recognizes the “golden arches”). But there are many new franchises being built out all the time—which is part of what makes this industry exciting. At FranNet DFW, we introduce clients to businesses that have a good track record and a sound financial model. But that can include emerging brands that need a boost to become well-known. Or, we might present an opportunity for a well-established brand that is expanding into a new geographic area.

In either case, there’s a pressing need to promote your business brand to make an impression on the community. Social media, community volunteerism, chamber of commerce membership, and carefully targeted paid advertising can all help new business owners generate positive buzz. Your franchisor’s marketing expertise will also be crucial during this phase. Find out how they broke open their own market and see which strategies and tactics translate well to your market. Don’t forget to look at what’s going on in related industries serving your target demographic. This is an area that’s changing all the time, and the hottest new trends may be worth exploring.

Time Management

It’s easy to tell someone not to sweat the small stuff. But making that work in your own business is a whole different story. Here are a few ways to stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  • Plan your days in advance. When you align daily activities with your short and long-term goals, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching those goals.
  • Block out your calendar to prioritize what’s most important. That’s a good way to prevent the little everyday “fires” from taking precedence. Remember: Not everything that’s urgent is important.
  • Hire people to do the things that aren’t your strong suit. Get laser focused on spending YOUR time on revenue generating activities.

Take a Deep Breath and Forge Ahead

Finally, remember that you are really close to your business and it’s hard to have perspective. You might feel like things are about to go up in flames when it’s just a minor fluctuation that will turn out all right over time. If you start to feel panicked, it’s a good time to go over the plans you made when you first selected your franchise. Remember why you are doing all this and that you really can handle it. At FranNet DFW, we’re always here to help connect you with franchise owners who have “been there, done that”. Reach out to us anytime you are feeling the heat!

Aug 11, 2017