You did it. You got through the process of buying a franchise, and you did everything you needed to do to open your franchise on time. You are officially open for business as a franchisee.
So, what now?
Now that your franchise is open for business, you will need to consistently operate your franchise in compliance with your franchisor’s system standards. The Operations Manual will be your primary guide, but you can expect to receive recommendations, instructions and mandates from your franchisor as well. Keeping this in mind, here are five mistakes you will want to avoid as an early-stage franchisee:
Mistake #1: Deviating from the Franchise System
As a franchisee, you need to stick to the franchise system. As you’ve been working toward opening your business, you may have already found ways you think you can improve on the franchisor’s system standards. But, you signed a franchise agreement stating that you would comply with the franchisor’s system standards, and if you deviate, you could find yourself in trouble.
Mistake #2: Doing Too Much To Go “Above and Beyond”
In this same vein, early-stage franchisees need to avoid doing too much to go “above and beyond” what the system requires. While franchisees can—and should—devote as much time as they think is necessary to build a successful business, they must still do so within the confines of the franchise system. Even though you may be trying to impress your franchisor, if you aren’t careful your efforts could end up having the opposite effect.
Mistake #3: Relying Too Heavily On Your Franchisor
While franchisees need to stick to the franchise system, they also need to avoid relying too heavily on their franchisors. Franchisors are supposed to provide support, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. Most likely, your franchisor expects you to be able to run your business independently, and it expects you only to seek support when you have high-level questions about system compliance.
Mistake #4: Failing to Devote Adequate Time and Resources to Compliance
At this point, you may be sensing a theme. Compliance with the franchise system is one of the keys to being a successful franchisee—not necessarily because the system is effective, but because non-compliance can put you in breach of your franchise agreement. As an early-stage franchisee, you need to devote adequate time and resources to compliance. This includes not only making sure you know how to remain compliant, but making sure your employees are familiar with your franchisor’s requirements as well.
Mistake #5: Expecting Things To Stay the Same
Finally, while staying focused on complying with the franchise system, it is important to be prepared for the system to change over time. Franchisors regularly make mandatory updates and modifications, and when they do, franchisees must generally comply at their expense.
Questions or Concerns about Operating Your Franchise? Contact Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein
If you have questions about your legal rights or obligations as a franchisee, attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein can help. To request a free and confidential consultation, please call 202-293-3947 or tell us how we can reach you online today.