No two franchise owners are the same. People start a franchise business for a variety of reasons. Whatever your reason may be, there are a few things you can do to make your franchise work for you and your goals.

1. Grow at Your Own Pace

It is important to recognize that there is no rush. For many, the appeal of becoming a franchise owner is being your own boss and running a business. But it may take time before you are able to reach the level of growth that you want or to see returns in your investment. For others, starting a franchise isn’t about scaling a business right away. For them, the franchise is a part time operation to supplement their existing income. Some even entertain their dream of becoming a franchise owner after retirement.

Either way, it is important that you grow at your own pace. That being said, you’ll want to decide whether you are an owner-operator or an owner-investor. If you are operating your franchise yourself, which in this case means cleaning your facilities, there is a larger return for you in the beginning because you are relying on yourself to get the work done. To grow a business with employees requires investment into payroll, the proper insurance and other expenses that come with managing others. As the years progress and you secure more accounts and develop a system that works, you can reduce your overhead costs. It is all about what is most important to you and what you want to accomplish.

2. Hire Smart

If you want to grow your franchise, you need to hire smart. Hiring employees isn’t a set it and forget it process. You need to nurture your employees and give them the necessary attention to help them maintain standards. That includes hours of training and supervision until you feel fully confident that the work will get done, even if you aren’t there. Although you can seek guidance from your franchisor, it is up to you to qualify and interview your employees. Hire employees that are experienced, trustworthy and express enthusiasm for the position. Be diligent in the interview process to make sure your employees have what it takes.

3. Set Expectations

A franchise is no different from any other business. It will require long hours, focus and money to get started. Your franchisor will provide you with the tools and resources that you need, but the success of your franchise is in your hands. Failing to recognize this is what gets many new franchise owners in trouble. To someone new to franchising, seeing a franchisor with multiple franchise owners and locations makes it look easy. You need to develop a plan and set expectations for what you want to accomplish. Setting expectations for yourself is just as important as setting expectations for your employees. A good franchise owner makes sure that expectations are understood by everyone. Setting and meeting goals is good for moral and will keep you on track to succeed.

4. Plan Ahead

It only takes one mistake to threaten the stability of your business. In our industry, we’ve seen many unfortunate situations that put pressure on business owners. Avoid this altogether by planning ahead. Make sure that if something were to go wrong, you are prepared with all the right insurance policies. Keep track of when those policies expire and renew them on time. Plan for the worst, but also plan for the best. Saving money will give you the option to reinvest in your business for future growth.

5. Prioritize Quality Service

Running a business means balancing a variety of different responsibilities. At the top of that list should be delivering quality service. The golden rule of business is to keep customers happy. As a franchise owner, this means meeting company standards and regulations that are set in place for your benefit. A franchise is a proven business model. Standards have been set based on years of experience and lessons learned from mistakes. Staying compliant will keep you from repeating bad history.

There is no right way to start a franchise. Your franchise should be catered to you and your goals. You can do this by setting your own pace for growth, hiring the right people, setting expectations, planning for the bad and good and by prioritizing customer satisfaction. What strategies have you used to make your franchise work for you? Leave a comment below!