You’re confident that you’ve chosen the right franchise. Now, you’ll go through the signing process and pay the investment fee. But, once all the details are handled, what happens next?
When it’s time to open the doors to your new franchise, do you know what to expect?
The first few months of franchise ownership are critical to your success. To forge a path toward profitability and build a strong foundation for your franchise to grow, it’s essential to prepare for the first 90 days of running an open franchise.
So, before you start your journey, there are a number of challenges and activities you should anticipate.
Finding Your Customer Base
In an ideal world, you would open your doors and customers would flock to your new franchise location. But, let’s be honest: That’s not reality. Depending on the types of products or services you’re selling, getting the word out about your new location may be more difficult than you expected.
To start building your customer base, begin by identifying your customers. If you’re opening a fast food franchise, it’s likely that your products appeal to a variety of people. If you’re selling high-ticket items, you’ll be targeting customers with a higher income.
Once your customer base is well-defined, marketing becomes key to reaching that population. If you’ve chosen a supportive franchisor, they’ll help you with marketing efforts to spread the word about your newly opened business.
Honing Your Sales Skills
It’s likely that, in the beginning, your team of employees is going to be pretty small. It might be you and one other employee, or maybe your family is pitching in. Either way, you’re going to be doing the majority of the selling in the first few months of ownership. That means having sharp sales skills is imperative. After all, the only way you’ll turn a profit is by selling your products.
If you don’t have a background in sales, look to franchise training to hone your skills. Many supportive franchisors offer this training upfront or provide access to sales conferences for future improvements. If that’s not the case with your franchisor, seek out this training on your own, as it’s a valuable asset for the life of your business.
During your first 90 days as a franchise owner, you’ll have the opportunity to get a feel for effective sales methods. This experience will help you develop a successful sales cycle and learn which types of pitches resonate with your customers (and which pitches fall flat).
Committing To Proper Financial Goals
While you probably already have some long-term goals established for your future as a franchise owner, you should also develop short-term objectives. How much are you aiming to sell in the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
A major challenge after opening your doors is achieving those first financial goals. Don’t expect your franchise to turn a profit immediately, but use your first few months in business to build a profitable foundation for your future.
During this time, you’ll grow accustomed to managing your revenue and monitoring your expenses. If you have control over product pricing, you’ll need to keep an eye on that as well. For example, lowering your prices for special opening deals may attract more business and increase sales.
Your first 90 days as a franchise owner may seem like an uphill battle. You’ll be putting in a lot of long hours and doing a lot of hard work. But, when you develop smart habits and make the commitment, you position your business for long-term success.
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