Opportunities abound for continuing franchisee education.
There’s no rest for the wicked, and there’s definitely no rest for the successful.
Franchise owners need to perpetually build and maintain their momentum, and part of that comes through continuing education.
Here are five pointers for staying at the top of your game:
If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, consider getting one via night school or online classes. The thought of the extra workload may make you choke, but educational credentials increase your value and representation. You can also check out noncredit courses available at area community colleges or universities. Again, it’s all about adding value to
Take advantage of any educational or training sessions made available by your franchisor. Tint World® franchisee life begins with an intensive three-week course at the Boca Raton, Florida headquarters, but don’t stop there – you’re literally just getting started. Attend every industry conference you can, and make sure you attend the annual Tint World® You might be amazed at what you can learn from your fellow franchisors, many of whom took the same risks and face the same challenges.
Beyond conferences, Tint World® offers franchisees ongoing support that includes online training; regional workshops; research and development support; online learning; certification; specialized training sessions and supplier support programs. We will never stop teaching if you never stop learning.
Embrace your competitors and learn what kind of continuing education their corporate offices offer. Then pursue the same training and courses.
Read up on your industry and best business practices, or maybe biographies of business people you admire. Keep a book in your car so you can knock out a few pages while eating lunch or another piece of infrequent downtime. You can also get books on CD or via streamed devices. Here’s a list of famous franchise titles that are considered must-reads in the industry.
One more thing: Good leaders will share their knowledge with their employees. Let your best and brightest attend some conferences or workshops with their bosses. Learning is contagious, and learning is important to your business and personal growth.
It’s not uncommon for franchise and retail businesses of all types to slow down soon after the retail rush of the holiday season subsides.
January, February and March are traditionally slow months for sales and customer traffic, but there are ways to boost business before the brighter days of spring and summer.
Lengthen the holidays. Maintain the holiday momentum as long as you can. Customers may return gifts soon after Christmas. Sell them new products with targeted markdowns.
Step up your social media game. Get creative. Consider hiring a professional public relations firm to handle your social media platforms. Lure customers to your shop with one-day specials or other promotions you can trumpet on social media.
Keep advertising. Don’t let your brand fade during the winter. Start advertising now to ensure good spring sales and build toward a profitable year.
Plan ahead. You know when your business is up, and when it’s down. Prepare for the short-term financial downturn ahead of time with a rainy-day fund and possible staffing shifts.
Tout new products. If one of your vendors rolls out a new product, especially early in the year, promote it to get customers to your store.
Get involved. The slower winter season is a good time to step up networking with local chambers of commerce and other business or trade organizations. Attend conferences to promote your brand.
Get personal. Call some of your best customers of the past year and thank them for their support and invite them in for a cup of coffee. Based upon their prior purchases, gently pitch some new products they may be interested in. Some of our Tint World stores have had great success hosting or being involved in their local cars and coffee outfit.
The most important advice: Stay positive. Slowdowns are part of business, and should be part of your planning process. Remember: This too shall pass. Click here for more information about Tint World® franchises or download our franchise kit today.
Striving for new goals is a way to motivate yourself out of the current economic funk. For many people, these goals include the desire to start their own business and become the master of their destiny. Franchising can fit very well into that picture.
Here are the top 10 reasons to pursue a franchise opportunity if you want to own your own business:
Track record of success. Any good franchise company has developed a method of doing business that works well and produces results. Even better, they’re required to provide you with a great deal of information in their required disclosures so you can investigate and verify the results with existing franchisees prior to making your final decision.
Strong brand. One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you’re trying to attract.
Training programs. A good franchise company has training programs designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. The company should also have reference materials to assist you in dealing with whatever comes up while you’re running your business.
Ongoing operational support. Franchise companies have staff dedicated to providing ongoing assistance to franchisees. You’re not alone when you’re building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.
Marketing assistance. The franchise company has marketing assistance to provide you with proven tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers. Usually, the staff helps you develop the actual marketing plans and budgets for your grand opening as well as your ongoing efforts to market your business effectively.
Real estate assistance. Most franchises have manuals and other documentation, as well as staff, to help you find the right site and negotiate the best possible deal. This is a very important advantage that can hold costs down and provide the best possible chance of success in any site-driven business.
Construction assistance. Franchise companies can also provide a benefit in helping you design the layout of the business and selecting the right contractors to do your build out, as well as making sure you get the exact mix of furniture and equipment you need to maximize the efficiency of your initial investment.
Purchasing power. A good franchise can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator. This applies not only to initial furniture and equipment purchases, but also to the supplies, inventory, uniforms and everything else you’ll need on an ongoing basis.
(and 10) Risk avoidance. This one is so important that we’ll call it both 9 and 10! The biggest reason to buy a franchise is that, if you’re smart, it will help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business.
Huge car show offers fun, thrills, networking and innovation
Car enthusiasts, buyers, dealers, franchisors and fans are revving up for the 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, set for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This is the largest private car, parts and accessories show in the world, and last year’s SEMA show attracted some 70,000 people. It is not open to the general public, so attendees get a private and personal look at the hottest trends on the market today.
Here are five reasons to attend the SEMA show this year:
New products: Learn about the hottest new products and innovations on the auto market at the popular New Products Showcase. Twelve sections of displays last year featured 3,000 new parts, accessories and tools.
Build your business: Showcase your products, knowledge and brand with the vast crowd of auto enthusiasts. Meet others in the industry and build relationships. Trust us, you want to be seen at this event. It could help build your bottom line heading into 2018.
Indulge your passion: If you are a fan of cars – and motorcycles and trucks and virtually anything else with wheels and an engine – you can see the rides as well as the products that enhance them. At least 1,500 vehicles of all kinds will be on site for demonstrations – or just sitting around looking pretty.
Get smarter: 50 business seminars are set throughout the duration of the show. Trade war stories, compare products and get tips on further enhancing and building your business and its products.
Be entertained: While Las Vegas is not lacking in entertainment options, your fun can be enhanced by multiple vehicle demonstrations, ranging from drifting to professional racing and precision demos. The SEMA “cruise” is always a hit, as more than 1,000 vehicles of all shapes and sizes and types exit the conference en masse at its conclusion.
SEMA also offers a chance to build your team and enhance cooperation through this amazing shared experience.
Get fired up. SEMA’s almost here. For more information or to register, go to the SEMA site.
You better be on your game, because there’s a lot more to operating a franchise than hanging out a shingle and watching customers pour in like liquid gold. If only it were that easy.
But a successful franchise can indeed be built to great heights– if you have the will and work ethic. The most successful Tint World® franchisees already know a few of these facts, but here are five challenges unique to franchising. Master these and you’ll indeed be at the top of your game.
Sustaining commitment. Franchising works because the best franchises come with a tried-and-trusted model. It is important you remain committed to the franchise model. There is little room for independence in most franchise agreements, and there’s a reason for that.
Managing personnel. As a franchise owner, the buck stops with you. That means you have to manage from top to bottom. You are responsible for ultimately overseeing all members of your team, from laborer to manager. If you aren’t a people person or natural leader, a franchisee future may not work for you.
Brand focus. You must be committed to building your brand, selling your brand, and being your brand. Keeping a tight geographic and demographic focus will make promotion and marketing easier.
Building relationships. As noted above, there is not a lot of wiggle room for free spirits in the franchise world. You need to maintain and cultivate positive relationships with both your franchisor and your customers. Your franchisor wants you to succeed.
Leadership skills are important, but first you must have a staff to lead. Unemployment across the U.S. is approaching historical lows, and that puts a crunch on employers, especially those in the service industry. One solution: Never stop recruiting. Make your expectations clear, but promote a culture and reputation that will make your franchise attractive to potential employees.
Do your own due diligence before inking a franchise deal
It’s kind of a big deal to enter into a franchise agreement. There are hours of interviews, franchise disclosure documents, reams of financial statements, and days of discovery.
And that’s largely for the benefit of the company determining whether it wants to sign you on as a franchisee.
But it’s advisable to turn the tables somewhat, and see whether you want to work with them.
Here are seven things to do before you enter into a franchise agreement, be it with Tint World® or any other national franchising operation:
Contact other franchisees within the company and ask about franchise support, especially getting the store up and running.
Inquire about the franchise’s marketing and advertising plans, and ask other franchisees how effective they are, especially if you are required to stick to a company marketing template.
Make sure you know what any upfront fees are covering, including legal and CPA services.
Ask the franchise you are considering courting whether they have testimonials and client success stories they are willing to share. They should, and if they don’t, that could indicate dissatisfaction among franchisees.
Examine the all-around track record of your company. A lot of information should be available in the franchise disclosure documents companies are legally required to release. Look for litigation; what states they are allowed to operate in; and the overall franchise approval and closure rates.
Talk to customers or clients of the franchise you are considering. How would they rate the company? Were they pleased with the services received?
Stalk your company’s online presence and reviews to gauge client satisfaction. Reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau website should give you a feel for whether customers are happy with the franchise.
The franchise world is not for everyone. It involves a substantial investment and extreme vetting on both sides of the negotiating table. So make sure exactly what you’re signing up for when you ink that franchise agreement. It’s kind of a big deal.
For information on franchising opportunities within Tint World, a national leading provider of window-tinting, vehicle accessories and electronics, download our franchise kit today.
Avoid rote, articulate goals and apply new skills quickly
Franchisees and their staff perform best in a coach-‘em-up culture, but training techniques and their effectiveness vary from company to company. Tint World®, for instance, works closely with its new franchisees to ensure they can execute the company mission at the local franchise level.
There are some basic concepts that can improve training results across the board. Here is a quick look at ways to get the best bang for your coaching buck:
GET TAGGED: Staff members should know your mission statement and tagline forwards and backwards. One simple training technique: Ask your franchisees and their staff to recite your mission statement to ensure they understand what your company represents and what it offers customers. If any of them struggle, that’s an obvious training point you can expound upon.
AVOID LECTURES: Nobody, especially busy employees already hurting for time, wants to hear a manager drone on about best practices and why they are important. Most people are much more receptive to hands-on training, so turn kitchens into laboratories and workspaces into classrooms. Have your employees stand in for customers so workers can polish their pitch and customer-service skills. Are there new items on the menu? Coach up while they cook them up. Is there a new inventory system? Have your employees actually execute the process.
ACT: If your training consists solely of reading material and reviews of processes, it’s going to lose its luster quickly if not put into place immediately. As stated above, hands-on learning is the best approach, but make sure the new skills are put into place quickly lest they fade from memory – and they will if you don’t make the training immediately applicable to your business goals.
REINFORCE: Make sure a process is in place to review both the efficacy of the training and ensure staffers, managers and owners (they should participate in the training so they know what is expected of staff) are carrying through on their training and implementing the newly articulated protocols and processes.
Every individual learns differently, and training should be tailored accordingly, but if you follow these four steps you already have a solid foundation for training and should soon be reaping the benefits of a well-coached staff.
At Tint World®, we offer a variety of opportunities and training for entrepreneurs interested in taking control of their life and owning their own business. Whether you’re interested in automotive styling or just want to invest in a niche market where profit can be made, we have the system for you.