Opening your first franchise location? Here are 3 ways to keep your sanity!

By Beth Caron Nilssen

Launching a new business can be challenging. An expert who has seen it all shares tips for making it easier on your wallet and your wits.

Libby Murphy is a Facilities & Purchasing Project Planning Specialist at Great Clips, Inc. In a previous post, she explained how she supports franchisees in three ways: site planning, build-outs, and ongoing customer service. This experience has given her a unique perspective for navigating the ups and downs of launching a new franchise business—specifically walk-in hair salons.

Libby offers these three tips for franchisees opening their first salons:

  1. Measure. Then measure again.
    Take time up front when you’re signing the lease to make sure everything is correct. Take an extra day to review the plans for accuracy—especially dimensions. This can save you time (and headaches) down the road when you realize the equipment that just showed up won’t fit because the space is a foot shorter than you thought.

    Bonus tip: Always field verify the floor plan and dimensions within your space. If the plans say an area is 10 feet wide, make sure your measuring tape says the same thing!

  2. Communicate with your franchisor.

    When in doubt, call and ask. The biggest mistake is to assume that your franchisor doesn’t have a standard for something. It’s pretty safe to say that in a franchise system, there are standards for everything—from how the carpet should be laid to how the posters on the wall should be hung. Make sure you know what they are.

    Bonus tip: Your F&P team is one of your greatest resources. Call them early and often!

  3. Keep your perspective.

Building out your first site can be the most stressful stage in the development of a new franchisee’s business. This is when it becomes real, if only because it’s when the franchisee starts writing out the checks—big checks! Keep in mind that money won’t always just be going out—soon enough, there will be money coming in as customers discover your great service.

Bonus tip: Value your staff as a helpful resource—this is just the beginning of what you hope will be a rewarding long-term relationship.

 

Want to read more about the process of becoming a franchisee? Start here. Or here. Or here.