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Fabulous product or service? – check. Replicable model? – check. Intellectual property? – check. Management structure, processes and procedures in place? – check. Mindset?………errrrr, check??
If I was packing a would-be franchisor’s bags ready for them to embark on their own franchising journey, I’d be packing the right mindset as an essential item right at the top of the suitcase! All of the other boxes can be ticked and everything present and correct, but I firmly believe that the franchisor’s mindset is crucial to the success of a franchise brand – and that anyone considering launching a franchise brand should to take a careful look at their own mindset and the mental hurdles that they will inevitably need to overcome before they embark on the franchising journey.
According to Vocabulary.com the definition of mindset is:
a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
“Franchising your business will promote growth and expansion” says Cheryl White, the founder of Apollo Care Franchising Limited and franchise consultant at Mercury Franchise School, “It is vital that the franchisor is ready for this growth and has plans in place to support and manage the growing team. Mindset plays such an important factor – be prepared to think big, step up, and everything else will follow”
There are apparently 15 (or more!) types of different mindsets that a person can have – most people having a combination of several – but there are four particular mindsets that I personally believe a successful franchisor must possess to withstand the highs and lows of franchising a business, and that I see in other franchisors I know and admire.
A growth mindset isn’t just simply about possessing the desire to grow your own business. Having a growth mindset means that you believe that you are in control of your own ability and you understand that learning and improvement is a continuing process. A successful franchisor will start off with a sound franchise model and strategy but importantly will recognize that this needs to be kept under continuous review – continually working on the brand and keeping it moving forward based on customer experience and the experiences and feedback from franchisees working within the business. A growth mindset means that you are persistent and resilient (any emerging franchisor needs to expect lots of knock backs and hurdles on their way!), but also with the desire to help others grow and achieve their goals too. And as a franchisor (with the support of any management team) will take on the role of leader, mentor and coach, the growth mindset is clearly an essential piece of kit.
Social mindset is all about the people. I’ve previously written about the characteristics of a great franchisor, the importance of listening to your franchisees and creating a positive culture with open lines of communication. A social mindset is all about respecting other’s opinions, recognising the importance of the team, being able to accept advice and support yourself, supporting others and engaging your team through inclusion and positive action. This can be a difficult mental hurdle for franchisors to overcome – commonly having started the business alone and being used to making solo decisions and not having to account to others, it can be an emotional struggle to take the step to let others become involved with what is effectively your “baby”, to delegate to other team members and relinquish elements of control. However, a franchisor with a social mindset will be able to overcome this to grow a successful network where franchisees and staff are engaged, feel valued and are great brand ambassadors – the key to solid franchise growth.
“To start and build a profitable business you need to rely so very much on yourself. You really are on an island in terms of decision making and shaping the product, brand and concept” says Doug Williamson, founder and director of Esquires Coffee (UK) Limited “When the business becomes successful and everyone wants a piece of you it can easily go to your head, but to grow your chain to the next level you need to leverage the opinions and advice of other people. It’s a hard shift to make because up to that stage you built your success on your own, and therefore may not trust others to make decisions. I believe they call this founder-itus. I had it for a few years but was able to push it aside mentally until things started to go really well without me making every decision on my own”
An entrepreneurial mindset means that an individual can think strategically, can see opportunity in every situation presented, but also has the ability to remain focused on the goal in hand. A successful franchisor will need to have an entrepreneurial mindset to keep the business moving forward – we all operate in a crowded marketplace and it’s important to have the ability and confidence to take calculated risks and to recognize that the business model will need to change and adapt in response to consumer demands and market conditions. Without a franchisor at the helm with an entrepreneurial mindset, the brand is likely to stagnate and be left behind.
The franchisor who wants to be the leader in their field will need to have a creative mindset. I personally believe that a creative mindset is one of the most important attributes that a successful franchisor should possess. Creativity is of course about being an innovator and coming up with new ideas - but it’s also about being able to approach things from a different angle, being flexible and being able to put yourself in other’s shoes (your customers and your franchisees), and thinking outside the box when it comes to problems. It’s the creative mindset that is what will give your business a competitive edge, always a step (or two!) ahead of the game and is what makes a franchisor an energetic and inspirational business leader.
Although highly rewarding, franchising a business is not an easy road. I know when I started on my own franchising journey, I under estimated how challenging it would be at times. For those considering embarking on franchising a business, take valuable time to reflect on your own mindset and to make sure that you are mentally fully equipped for the rollercoaster ride!
January 25, 2019 at 06:46AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs