When people consider investing in a franchise opportunity, they often envision all the benefits of owning their own business. However, those early months of getting a franchise off the ground can be stressful and require long hours and some skills a franchisee may not have. In this case, it is often worthwhile to consider finding an operating partner.
Finding a franchising partner is not an easy task and should not be done with haste. Unit owners will want to engage a talented individual with skills that complement their own. For example, an owner fresh out of college should look for an individual with experience in the field, explains Franchising.com. But even those business veterans with 20-plus years of experience can benefit from a partner with a significant business background.
There are three strategies the Web site suggests franchisees consider when seeking an operating partner. First, unit owners should make sure any business individual they decide to team up with shares the same goals and objectives for the franchise unit. One way to get a feel for individuals’ motives is to ask prospective partners about their business and personal philosophies, the hours they are willing to work in the beginning stages and if they are interested in long-term growth.
An operational partner should also possess complementary skills – unit owners should not seek clones of themselves. To begin determining what attributes and experiences the franchise could benefit from, owners will need to take an honest look at their own skill set. The Web site suggests considering areas such as marketing, managing, finances/accounting, customer service and technology. However, franchisees should also examine their own personality type, demeanor and operating and managing style.
‘You’ll want to identify the areas where you are strongest and feel most confident. Now, look for a partner that can fill the gap in the places where you are not as strong. Working together, you’ll form a well-rounded management team,’ Franchising.com writes.
Finally, franchisees should look for partners with a good understanding of the local market, including people, places and other factors. Deep market knowledge can aid a franchise in everything from site selection to marketing. This is particularly important if a franchisee is relatively new to the area – someone with good local knowledge will be able to help the unit attract employees and customers as well as work with local vendors and suppliers.
Once a franchisee has found an operating partner, he or she should make sure to create boundaries and job responsibilities to avoid conflict and tension when business inevitably becomes stressful. One technique the Web site suggests is designating a third party to help make decisions when partners hit a logjam.