Ever felt like no matter how hard you try to move beyond a challenge you are merely beating your head into a wall that simply will not budge? Well, as many have experienced, in any business this feeling can be quite natural—in fact, par for the course, as the saying goes. Especially when considering construction projects to set up your location or compliance with local laws.
What can make the construction and local regulations compliance stage an uphill climb for franchisees even though they’re dealing with an established system? Aren’t established franchise brands supposed to have some kind of leverage or the experience to at least pull a few strings and get things moving faster?
The reality check: franchises are dealing with the same issues that many businesses are in terms of construction limitations and regulations. Nonetheless, operating a franchise removes a huge burden from the shoulders of the franchisee because of a dedicated team on his or her side and an existing blueprint. Of course, regulations vary from franchise to independently owned business, but many new to starting a business may not be prepared to face some of the more common associated struggles.
Even when buying a used business space or existing franchise, depending on the shape of the building and the previous operation, franchisees may be in for upgrades and installs to bring the building up to speed with the demands of the new business.
Why might franchisees come in with this lack of mental preparation? Perhaps it seems the franchise’s real estate team is primed to handle whatever comes their way due to having experienced different hurdles in the past with other franchisees or corporate run locations (if the brand is only recently franchising but nonetheless has experience opening different locations).
It may be said that the longer a franchise business has been around the longer it’s opportunity to learn a few tricks, better understand city and state laws in which it operates, and manage slow-moving real estate situations to effectuate positive outcomes. Yet no business is immune to new situations developing, altered local or nationwide regulations, or unavoidable delays in planned and hoped for milestones toward a location’s grand opening.
How are franchisees to circumvent construction and local policy compliance challenges?
Remain as closely connected with your franchisor’s leaders in the area of real estate and development as possible, asking plenty of questions related to ideals vs. realities in terms of when milestones will be reached and acquire a detailed understanding of construction process ahead of you. Managing expectations can go a long way toward alleviating anxieties during the first sometimes tumultuous stage of starting a new business endeavor.
Local policy compliance deserves its own mention, so in brief; working with franchisors that have experience selling successful franchises throughout any given geographic area is some indication of a reliable system to join forces with, especially if the brand is long standing. Even newer brands can quickly gather the stamina and knowledge necessary to help franchisees adequately tackle local regulations when they focus on specific regions and get to know the market well. This can of course take time so franchisees do well to ask plenty of questions in terms of how familiar the franchise system is with the city or state or region and how it handles challenges with local policy compliance issues that could potentially stand in the way of a franchise opening in a timely manner.