Whenever you try anything new, it’s only natural to expect a certain amount of trial and error. Mistakes are a part of the learning process and new franchise business owners can expect to make their share. Nevertheless, a little knowledge is power and if you know some of the more common mistakes, you’ll be less likely to make them.
The following are three of the most common mistakes that new franchise business owners make and some tips on how to avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Underestimating the Time Commitment
One of the reasons that many people consider business ownership is the fact that they won’t have to punch a clock. But being the owner/operator of a franchise often requires long hours of hard work – especially in the early stages. And when you’re not busy with the day to day operations of the business, it’s a good idea to spend time reading and reviewing training material.
When you start a franchise business, start with the understanding that it’s going to involve some hard work. If you can, spend time with another franchisee and see what goes into making the business run successfully.
Mistake #2 – Getting Discouraged in the Early Stages
Every successful franchise started out as a fledgling business that had to go through a period of growing pains. It can take weeks or even months before you really start seeing your franchise starting to reach its potential.
To avoid discouragement, it’s a good idea to have a specified amount of working capital set aside before you start your franchise. Ensuring that you can pay your bills and afford groceries will relieve a lot of the stress involved with starting your business. You should target having at least three to six months of expenses saved up, so you’ll be more relaxed and focussed on your business.
During your launch period, you need to focus on getting out in the community as much as possible and promoting and growing your business. Joining your local chamber of commerce or other networking groups are good ways to accomplish this.
Mistake #3 – Not Heeding the Advice of your Franchisor
Confidence is a valuable trait in an entrepreneur, but arrogance is not. You shouldn’t go into a franchise business thinking that you know all there is to know. The advice and guidance of a franchisor can prove incredibly helpful in getting a new business off the ground – but only if you follow it.
Remember, your franchisor has successfully helped many other franchisees – they have a lot more experience with the business model than you do and they know what works and what doesn’t. Besides, it’s in their best interest to help you too. Following the coaching of your franchisor can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.
Bonus Advice – Don’t Fret About Your Mistakes
Remember that as a new franchise business owner, you WILL make mistakes – but it does no one any good if you beat yourself up over them. The important thing is to own them when you recognize them and work on correcting them.
If you are not afraid to face and overcome your weaknesses, you will make a wonderful entrepreneur.