Contrary to popular belief, buying a franchise from a successful business chain does not guarantee you’ll be printing money from the moment you open your doors… or at all for that matter. Sure, it’s helpful to have a tried and tested blueprint, but at the end of the financial year, it’s your business goals that will determine your level of success. So how can you ensure you aren’t setting yourself up for failure in 2017? That’s a good question. Here are a few more questions to help you along:
How are you choosing your goals?
You want to earn more and be the biggest and the best? Well, guess what, so does everyone else. Don’t thumb suck. If you’re not being specific about your objectives, you’re not really setting goals.
Look to more successful sister franchises in the chain for pointers – your franchise’s head office should be able to supply you with reports to determine which branches these are. Additionally, your franchise manager might also be able to give you some in-depth advice that you can refer to when building and benchmarking your goals.
Most importantly, don’t just look at your business as a piece of the whole. Imagine that you had never seen any of the other branches before, or even heard of the chain – this may be the case for some of your customers. Now, as an outsider, what is your isolated business doing right and what could it be doing better?
These strategies should help you to develop a list of things that you can try, whether it is replicating the success of other branches, or setting some unique business goals of your own.
Are your goals built around what you want to do, or what you can do?
Technology, digital business models and the popularity of social media are changing the landscape of business, but franchises don’t have as much room to cash in quickly on industry trends. The approval process is a long and complicated one, putting you behind the curve when it comes to this kind of stock-market-style success.
You’re going to need to be more selective with your goals. Do any of them conflict with the franchise’s standards of uniformity? In franchising, opportunities to break away from the mould are few and far between, so these are unlikely to get you very far any time in the immediate future. Which goals offer the greatest pay-offs? Don’t chance your head on the chopping block just for a feather in your cap. If you’re going to be pouring capital and resources into achieving these goals they need to be worth the risk. Finally, do you even have the capital and resources to spare?
Do you have what it takes?
There’s no such thing as an impossible goal… just one that’s impossible for you. That’s why you should be basing your goals both around your strengths and those of others you can rely on. Richard Branson is the archetypal example of this methodology, surrounding himself with people who can do what he can’t.
If you are unsuccessful at achieving your goal, will you be able to get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward? Or do you think you’ll be disappointed for putting yourself in an uncomfortable position that will set you back further than you expected? If it’s the latter, you might be better off passing on these goals for now.
Are you thinking too big?
Visionary goals aren’t achieved overnight, they can take years and sometimes even decades. However, economy and industry fluctuations have become more erratic in recent years, and that means your progress can be derailed at any time by outside influences, or in the case of franchises, even a singular policy change from the higher-ups. This is why it’s so important to view your long-term goals from a day-to-day perspective.
Segmenting a larger goal into multiple smaller ones with shorter deadlines increases achievability and measurability – think of increasing profits by 12% per year, as opposed to 1% per month – as well as providing wiggle room in case you need to change course.
Do you keep trying to get a different result while doing the same old thing?
Deadlines are your best friend. Set them and stick to them. If you’re not making headway when the time comes to reassess your progress towards a particular goal, you may have to shift the goalposts, but don’t simply give up. The three things you need to remember here are to be stubborn about your goal, but flexible about your methods, and above all… keep asking yourself if you’re being realistic.
Reference: Piece by Pieter Scholtz, Co-Master Licensee for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa provided by Clockwork Media.