By Pete Gilfillan, author of Amazon Best Seller HIRE YOURSELF: Control Your Own Destiny Through Franchise Ownership
When you become a franchise investor, many aspects of your new business come to you tried, tested, and ready-to-operate. Your franchisor will likely set you up with proven systems for marketing, bookkeeping, ordering, training, and day-to-day operations—all reasons a franchise investment takes much of the guesswork out of becoming an entrepreneur. There are some things, though, your investment can’t buy, and the capacity for leadership is one of them. In this arena, you need to rely on your own experience, skills, strengths, and character.
Your ability to motivate, lead, and support your employees will drive your business forward, day after day and year after year, so it’s important to get this right from the start. Here are 5 tips for becoming the kind of entrepreneurial leader who inspires both hard work and loyalty:
1: Hire the Best. As a franchise owner and an employer, the people you hire will help make or break your business. Your team will dictate the level of customer service you can provide, and they’ll determine how confident and happy you can be about your operation when you’re not personally on the job. If you invest the time and energy in hiring “A Players”, the best possible learned the lesson that, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is a failing leadership strategy. If you want people to believe in you and look to you as a leader, you need to demonstrate the characteristics you value most. If you set a great example by doing your best work and demonstrating the values and work ethic that define the way you want your business run, your employees will follow your lead.
2: Seek Solutions. Henry Ford once gave the wise advice, “Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” As a business owner and as an employer, this is a bit of wisdom to take to heart. Every entrepreneur—even those starting the most streamlined of franchises—runs into roadblocks and unexpected glitches from time to time. When problems occur, don’t expend your energy trying to establish accountability—spend it leading the charge to find a viable solution. Be the most proactive member of your own team.
3. Look Ahead. Great business leaders share a capacity for envisioning possibilities. Part of what defines you as an entrepreneur is the vision you have for your company and how you convey that vision to your employees. Inspire the people who work with you to embrace your dreams for your company’s success and feel invested in it, and they will share your commitment to making it happen.
4. Foster a Culture of Respect. Part of what defines the way you lead is how you interact with the people who work for you. Strive to create a work environment where mutual respect is evident across the board. This kind of atmosphere is built from the top down: if the boss treats the accountant, the manager, and the cleaning crew with equal consideration and regard, other members of the team will do so, as well.
5. Connect. Above all, remember that truly great leadership is the kind that makes your employees share your goals and believe in the success you are creating together. Sam Walton once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Connect with the people around you. Be mindful of their potential and of how you might encourage them to achieve it. In doing so, you’ll demonstrate your commitment not just to your business, but also to the team members who will author its success.
For more information about opportunities in franchising and the qualities that define a successful franchise investor, visit WWW.HIREYOURSELFBOOK.COM or email PeteGilfillan@FranChoice.com.