Before you open your doors to the public, it’s important you have everything behind the scenes in your franchise well prepared and ready to go. To that end, make sure you can check off everything on this list.
1. Choose the Perfect Location
You can’t spend enough time trying to find the ideal location for your franchise. You want to ensure that you get enough foot traffic to support your business, and that it’s easy for people to park near your business. Real estate prices will factor heavily into where you can afford to set up shop, but be aware that saving a little money on rent might cost you in the long run if your location doesn’t make it easy to attract new customers.
2. Review Your Franchise Manual
Franchises have a lot of rules, so you want to make sure you’re familiar with all of them. If you only gave a cursory glance at your franchise manual, now is the time to really spend reviewing it and taking notes so that you’re compliant with the franchisor’s policies.
3. Hire and Train Your Staff
You want to make sure each and every employee is confident in his or her role at your company. Don’t rush the process; you want to start by hiring motivated, experienced individuals, and then giving them ample time to learn their roles.
4. Stock Up on Inventory
First, establish relationships with the best vendors you can get, and begin to develop rapport with them. You want assurance that your stock will be delivered on time each week before you rely on it to serve customers. Then, assess what you’ll need to get started, as well as what your regular shipment should be. It may take some trial and error to get this right once you know what kind of demand you have.
5. Choose the Right Business Structure
It’s a good idea to incorporate your business or form an LLC to provide a layer of protection between your personal assets and those of the business. Should you be sued, your personal assets can’t be touched with one of these business structures.
6. Get Your Business Licenses in Order
Your city, county, and state require certain business licenses in order for you to operate. Make sure you have all that you need. This is especially necessary if you plan to run a restaurant, since you’ll need to have each of your staff go through health safety training and certification.
7. Develop your Business and Marketing PlansEven if your franchise has suggestions for how to run and market your business, you’ll want to develop your own strategies and goals. Keep on track with those goals and ensure that you’re making strides toward achieving them once you get up and running.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.