How to run a franchise

ENGAGING your customers and setting standards for your business are some of the basic things one can use to run a successful franchise.

ENGAGING your customers and setting standards for your business are some of the basic things one can use to run a successful franchise.

John Baladakis, a Pick n Pay franchisee, says knowledge is power for anyone wanting to run a franchise store.

"By imparting one's knowledge, one empowers others. Information should be shared with staff, customers, the franchisor and fellow franchisees," said Baladakis.

"By interacting and sharing knowledge with your employees, you make each person feel as though their job is the most important one in the business.

"This gives the employee a sense of responsibility and accountability which in the long run keeps morale up as they feel a sense of ownership in the business and therefore it succeeds," he said.

Thabiso Ramasike, head of franchising at Standard Bank, says information should also be shared with the bank.

"One of the best ways to ensure that your bank remains your partner is to keep it in the loop with what is happening in your business.

He said Standard Bank was constantly updating it offerings to ensure that the business owner gets products meeting his or her individual needs.

Baladakis shared these lessons for franchisees:

l Engage your customer - the closer you are to the customer the higher your success rate. Excellent service should be seen as an investment because bad customer service looses you business and therefore profit.

l Set the standards - your business needs to be consistent and maintain the same standard you set on your opening day.

l Lead the team - leadership is more than just being a boss. Pick a direction and stick to it. Adjust the course when necessary to get there.

l Improve one thing daily - innovate. Find ways to cut costs, to improve customer experience and to run your business efficiently.

l Make excellence happen - find ways to push the goals further. Strive to make your success today bigger than yesterday's excellence.

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