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Posted on Mar 17, 2011

5 Tips to Fast Track Your New Franchise

quick franchise launchThe first 90 days is a critical time in starting up a new franchise.  Franchisees that have a quick launch can have a higher probability for success. It happens quite often. A franchisee completes training and is ready to go, but they have a delay in the start of their new franchise. Although the delay can be due to various factors, the start up doesn’t take place as scheduled. As a result, precious new sales are lacking and this set back can force the franchisee to fund additional working capital.

Here are some suggestions to get your new franchise off to a fast start.

1.      Pre-Select your location. If you’re operating from a fixed location and moving along in the franchise process, start your search for your location in advance of signing the franchise agreement. Utilize a real estate broker to start looking for locations. Work with your franchisor and push for conditional pre-approval so you’re ready to go once the franchise agreement is signed. Line up your contacts for equipment and leasehold improvements.

2.      Start Marketing before you open for business. Whether you have a home based or brick and mortar franchise you can start to market your business before your official opening. Request some literature from your franchisor or develop your own with franchisor approval.  You can contact local businesses and organizations to pre-sell the benefits and features of the new business. Identify your target market and do some pre-marketing to try and generate a buzz. If its business services, join a local organization or trade group so you become known to the members before your launch. Contact local media and do a pre-opening announcement.

3.      Have your suppliers ready to go. Most franchisors have a list of recommended or approved suppliers for its franchisees. You may need to use a combination of suppliers you identify and those provided by the franchisor and franchisees. Before you plan on opening your franchise have supplier arrangements in place.

4.      Hire your franchise staff in advance. Unless you’re operating a one person franchise you’ll need some employees to operate your business. Start your recruiting efforts in advance so that you can remain on schedule. By recruiting earlier in the process you’ll learn how difficult it will be to find staff and what the labor costs are like.

5.      Be sure that your franchisor provides support. You should rely upon your franchisor to assist you with fast-tracking your start-up. Although there are some activities you may not be able to perform until you’re a franchisee the ones we’ve indicated shouldn’t be problem. However, before your franchisor devotes time to your pre-planning they must be confident that you will sign the franchise agreement. Otherwise you’ll be on your own. Finally, if you’re not getting the assistance or cooperation you need from the franchisor it could be a sign of things to come.

When it comes to starting up a new franchise operation, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to get your franchise started the more challenging the task. There will always be unanticipated occurrences when starting up a new franchise and with proper pre-planning you’ll minimize the impact from these unplanned interruptions.

About the Author: Ed Teixeira has over 35 years of franchise industry experience as a franchise executive and franchisee. He has served as a franchise executive in the c-store, manufacturing and home healthcare industries and has licensed franchises in Asia, Europe and South America. He has spoken on the subject of franchising throughout the world. Ed operates  FranchiseKnowHow which provides information and advice to prospective and existing franchisees and franchisors.

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