General

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When Is It Time to Expand Your Franchise Operations?

When Is It Time to Expand Your Franchise Operations? 1016 528 Sprockets

There are a number of important clues you should look for when you are trying to decide when to open the next franchise location. Expanding your franchise operations takes more than a desire to make more money. You have to make sure there’s a large enough customer base and strong enough demand for your product to make the new location a success. 

We have been providing franchisees with the staff they need to successfully expand their franchise operations for many years. We have the expertise and experience to help any franchisee get the staff they need to grow their business at just the right time.

Expanding Your Franchise Operations

Important Considerations

Expanding franchise operations is a major step. It’s one that should not be taken without taking several things into consideration. They include:

  • Are there too many customers for your staff to handle at your current location?
  • Can simply increasing the size of your shop or restaurant handle the overflow?
  • Is your customer base large enough to make a second franchise location profitable?
  • Have you identified the right location for your second business? 
  • Can you find the right people to staff it?

When to Open Your Next Franchise Location

Some of the key factors that can help you decide when to open the next franchise location and ensure it will have a high probability of being successful include:

1. You Have Several Regular Customers

If you have a large number of regular, loyal customers, and your customer base continues to grow, that means there’s a consistently increasing demand for the product or service you provide. No matter what type of franchise you have, repeat customers are the key to success. Don’t base your decision on expanding franchise operations on one sudden spike in customers at your current location. When you see a stable, recurring revenue stream year-round, you should seriously consider opening a second location.

2. Customers Often Ask You About Opening Another Location

If many customers that regularly spend money at your current location keep asking you when you are going to open a second location, it might be time to grow. Being able to better satisfy your customers should be the motivating factor behind expansion plans. Plus, if customers routinely travel a long distance to purchase your products and services, expanding into a second location makes good business sense if you grow based on customer requests and their consistent purchasing patterns. 

3. Your ROI Is Steadily Increasing

If the profit you make from your current franchise location is consistently increasing, it could be a sign the market can support your expansion into a bigger or second location. This decision should not be based on short-term success. However, if the size of your customer base, revenue, and profits show consistent, long-term growth, expanding into a second location could be a lucrative business decision. The key is to make sure that you see a pattern of consistent growth. If customers are satisfied with your products or services, a second location can enable you to profitably serve more customers in a wider area. 

4. Your Franchise Is in a Growing Industry

Before deciding to expand into a second location, study the trends in your industry. If your research shows your industry is growing, now might be the right time to open a second location. Opening a second franchise location is a great way to take advantage of the opportunity for increased income, growth, and stability. By opening up another location, you not only reap lucrative short-term benefits, but you can also future-proof your franchise by providing customers with new products or services.

5. Your Current Location Has Too Much Business

If your franchise is attracting much more business than you can handle in your current location, it might be time to grow. Don’t wait until overcrowding or customers having to endure very long wait times for service begins to hurt your business. If just expanding franchise operations to a second location will allow you to better manage consumer demand for your product or service and even bring in more customers, take action. We can help you hire the additional employees you will need to serve customers at your new location.

6. You Have Done Your Due Diligence

Opening and running a second franchise location requires funding, franchisor approval, potential structural changes, as well as assessing growth potential and possible liabilities. If you’ve done your due diligence, and your calculations look overwhelmingly positive for the outcome of an expansion, and the only real question is when to open the next franchise location, it’s time to open a second location and grow your business. Double-check the details, get professional financial advice, and take the plunge.

7. You Have the Skills, Resources, and Opportunity for Growth

Creating and growing a business requires a unique set of skills, abilities, resources, and opportunities. It also requires vision and courage. In business, there’s no such thing as “a sure thing.” However, if you have the skills, resources, and opportunity for growth, don’t let fear hold you back. Do an evaluation of your business skills, customer base, and potential market size and share. If they all are in your favor, the time is right for you to expand into another business location where new customers are waiting to spend money with you.

8. You Have the Right Team

Running a franchise profitably and successfully requires a team effort. You must have the team with which to share the burden involved in the day-to-day details of managing two business locations. If you have a team with the expertise, focus, vision, customer service, and time management skills needed for a second location to prosper, you are ready to grow. If your team is equipped to take on the challenge, delegate some responsibility as necessary and go for it.

9. You Have a Trusted Network of Outside Experts

Outside experts can give you the help needed for your growing business to prosper. If you have a network of outside experts to give you the help you need, you are ready to expand into a second location with your business. Being willing to listen to and follow the advice of the business experts you hire is essential for success when you expand your business to a second location.

10. You Have Help Hiring the Right New Staff

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platformYou know it’s time to open a second location when you need to hire several new employees to serve the large and growing customer base. We can help you to hire the right new employees you need to help your current staff with the increasingly demanding workload.

Sprockets empowers you to hire applicants that are such a good fit that it might seem like magic. However, it’s a result of combining technology, logic, and psychology to identify which job applicants are most likely to be as effective in performing the job as your best employees.

We interview your franchise’s top employees and use artificial intelligence to recommend employees that have similar characteristics. Our sophisticated solution makes expanding your franchise operations easier and much more likely to be successful.

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How to Maximize Your ROI as a New Franchisee

How to Maximize Your ROI as a New Franchisee 1016 528 Sprockets

If you want to get out of the nine-to-five rat race, become your own boss, and you have some seed investment money set aside, your best bet might be venturing into franchising opportunities. Let’s dig into it and see how a franchisee’s return on investment can be maximized.

Kick-Start the ROI of Your New Franchise Venture

Choose the Ideal Franchise

Once you decide your path is with a franchise, you’ll need to choose the right franchise brand for you. There are numerous franchises out there, so it is a big undertaking to choose which ones offer the most profitable opportunities. Of course, saying this is easy. Making the decision is not. There are several considerations before you find your match made in heaven. 

Conduct extensive research by completing these tasks prior to your decision:

  • Reach out to various franchisors for information
  • Talk to other franchisees about their experiences
  • Consider your initial finances
  • Research your intended location

Build a Business Plan

Preparation is essential if you want to maximize the ROI of your new business venture. While many franchisors provide new franchisees with proven business plans, you might be left to your own devices with certain companies. Don’t worry, though. Simply view our blog on how to build a business plan for a new franchise location. It features a step-by-step walkthrough to help you get started on the right foot.

Track Performance

You won’t be able to improve the ROI of your franchise business if you don’t track performance metrics. Set up a list of business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep long-term goals in mind while still focusing on the day-to-day operations that drive success. Note: always make sure you set measurable goals rather than abstract ones that are difficult to track.

Then, set aside time monthly, quarterly, or annually to identify areas that need improvement. Find out what went wrong, make a plan for how to get better, then put your plan into action. With hard work and little luck, you’ll stay motivated, surpass your goals, and be able to continuously set the bar higher.

Hire Applicants Who Will Drive Success

Two people shaking hands during an interviewDid you know that employee turnover can cost employers upwards of $5,000? This can drastically reduce the ROI of your franchise when you think about how many employees you might lose over the course of a year. Not only do you lose productivity, but you also need to spend time and money recruiting, screening, and training the replacement employees.

Avoid costly turnover with Sprockets’ sophisticated solution to hiring! We combine natural language, artificial intelligence, and over 80 years of experience to find applicants who are the precise fit for your needs — and are likely to stay long-term. It might seem like magic, but it’s not. It’s logic.

Two smiling women and text reading "10 tips for Creating a Positive Company Culture"

10 Tips for Creating a Positive Company Culture

10 Tips for Creating a Positive Company Culture 1016 528 Sprockets

Franchise company culture plays a large role in a company’s success. A positive company culture will encourage employees to work harder and stay with your company longer. Employees will also look for ways to help the business become more efficient and more profitable. When your people are happy, they pass the savings onto you. Here are some tips on how to create a positive company culture.

Here’s How to Create a Positive Company Culture

1. Prioritize Health

The world has recently come out of a pandemic, and health is more important to employees than ever. If you want to create a positive company culture, you need to make employees feel safe and healthy. Do this by providing adequate health insurance for full-time employees. People should get their insurance within 3 to 6 months after their start date. You should also encourage employees to work from home when they aren’t feeling well. Finally, you should make sure employees have plenty of physical space between each other. You can also install hand sanitizer stations and reminders on how to stay healthy. Healthy employees show up to work more and work harder. 

2. Use Standardized Metrics to Measure Performance 

Employees need to feel that there are fair metrics in place to judge their progress at work. You can gauge things based on productivity, sales, or a number of other metrics. Make them clear to everyone. You should also make it clear how you calculate the metrics so that employees understand what they need to do to help you gather accurate data. This helps you learn what your employees are doing every day and how much they can accomplish. You can use the data to adjust the metrics as you see fit. 

3. Get to Know Employees 

You need to make a point to get to know your employees on a personal basis. You can do this with casual meetings in both a group and one-on-one setting. You can have other meetings to talk about performance. These meetings should involve learning what motivates your employees and their thoughts about working for you. If meetings aren’t your style, make an effort to get out into the workspace to answer questions and help when the real work is going on. You will be able to show your expertise while getting to watch your employees in action. 

4. Request Feedback 

Running a company can mean that you focus on the big-picture ideas as opposed to the day-to-day operations of your organization. You may not be able to properly see the things that could use improvement. Who better to suggest improvements than the people who work there every day? Provide an anonymous suggestion box or anonymous surveys to allow people to express their thoughts. You can also establish an open-door policy that gives people the chance to voice any concerns to you in person when a certain problem comes up. 

5. Encourage Diversity 

People have struggled and worked for years to become equal to other people simply due to their skin tone, country of origin, gender, sexuality, or age. As the leader of your organization, you need to go out of your way to create an environment of inclusion. Start by hiring a professional who can consult on ways to increase inclusion in your business. If you do notice any form of discrimination, it needs to be taken seriously. Investigate all complaints immediately. Establish clear consequences for anyone who hinders your efforts of diversity and harmony. 

6. Recognize Hard Work

Many employees don’t feel adequately appreciated in their current position. When you see an employee doing a good job, you should make a point to celebrate their efforts. Acknowledge them in a public way. You can also give them some sort of monetary reward for going above and beyond. Hopefully, other employees will be encouraged to work hard, too. 

7. Create Clear Core Values 

When you clarify what your company stands for, these values can guide you in the right direction during your daily dilemmas. Make sure that all employees in your company know your core values, too. The idea is to get them to go through the workday with those same values instilled in them. Write your core values down, go over them during orientation, and reiterate them once or twice a year while also placing reminders around the workspace, whether it’s an office or a restaurant.

8. Promote From Within

Many employees don’t appreciate being at a job for years only to watch someone else come in at a higher position who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the company. You should only hire people that you can see promoting down the line at some point. Instead of hiring C-level employees, you can promote within and hire entry-level employees to train. Always keep your eyes open for who is truly making an effort at the company.

9. Set Standards 

You want your employees to like you, but you also want your employees to behave in an appropriate manner. Establish standards and hold people to them. If you let employees get away with anything, they will do just about anything. Some common expectations include regular attendance, proper customer service, and appropriate behavior in the office. Establish consequences when an employee does not meet your expectations, and stick to them. 

10. Have Fun

Just because you are at work does not mean you can’t have any fun. It’s okay to joke around with employees and let employees joke and laugh and have fun. Encourage social outings after work and allow people to be silly. For some workplace culture examples, you can even provide games in the break room or ice-cream socials once a month. These little extras can make an employee want to stay. 

Hire Applicants Who Will Contribute to a Positive Environment

Two men shaking hands at a restaurantOne of the best ways to create and maintain a positive company culture is to hire people who will help make it happen. Luckily, Sprockets empowers you to do precisely that. Our sophisticated solution to hiring combines natural language with artificial intelligence and over 80 years of psychological research to predict which applicants will succeed at your company and mesh well with your team. It’s not magic — it’s logic.

Schedule a demo today to see how the Sprockets solution works!

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How to Build a Business Plan for Your New Franchise Location

How to Build a Business Plan for Your New Franchise Location 1016 528 Sprockets

Currently, a lot of people are venturing into franchise opportunities. One of the many benefits of setting up a franchise location is that you will be riding on an idea that has already proven successful. However, just like any other business, setting up a new franchise location can also come with the same challenges facing any other business startup.

For instance, you’ll need a solid business plan. Building a good business plan for a new franchise location is essential. It helps you think through the obstacles you might face, strategies for overcoming them, and your intended investment’s overall sustainability. A good business plan is also essential if you need financing for your business. Most lenders and investors will demand to see your business plan before considering financing your business.

Building a Business Plan for Your Franchise Location

While some franchisors will help build your business plan or simply provide you with one, that is not always the case. Don’t worry, though. Below is an outline of a franchisee business plan example outlining the various sections included in a business plan for a new franchise location.

1. The Executive Summary

This portion of your franchise business plan should give a clear description of your business’ goals and its purpose in the short and long-term. This section includes basic information such as your business’ name, details of the founder, and location. It also consists of the mission statement, a list of products and services, and the target market. Please ensure you also state your credentials and experience in the field and an overview of your business success factors.

2. Business Overview

In this section of your business plan for a new franchise location, you must provide an overview of your business’ main aspects. For example, you might need to explain why your new startup is better and unique from the existing establishments.

It should be as forthright as possible so that anyone reading it will get a clear understanding of the scope of your business. This section highlights your business’ legal structure, the franchisor’s company history and success rate, and a complete list of all the products and services, inclusive of their prices.

3. Industry Review

Understanding the industry you want to venture into as a franchise is critical to your success. This section of the business plan can be divided into two parts: the industry’s general overview and the position your franchise intends to hold or fill in the overall industry. Consider current trends, the industry’s growth rate, major players, and national revenue.

4. Management Summary

The management summary section of the business plan should include a list of members responsible for running the business. These are the employees that will be mainly responsible for the day-to-day operations of your franchise location. Be sure to put as much of the members’ background information as possible. You can include past experiences, professional qualifications, past successes in the field, and any other information pertinent to their position. 

5. Consumer Analysis

The consumer analysis section of the business plan focuses on the target audience. In this segment, you must start by identifying who your potential customers are, express a clear understanding of the customers’ needs, and show how your products or services will meet those needs.

You need to be very specific when writing this section and exhibit a clear understanding of who your intended customers will be. For example, it would be too vague to say that your company is targeting middle-income earners. Be as in-depth and precise as possible. You might need to specify the exact range of income, age, and location of the customer, among other traits.

6. The Premises

Every business needs to operate from somewhere. You must agree with the franchisor on your business’ most appropriate location before writing this section. Some of the factors determining your choice of premises may include the location, expansion projections, cost, and planning consent from the property owner.

7. Sales and Marketing

In a franchise, strategies for sales and marketing are typically laid out by the franchisor. When writing this section, you will need to research their sales and marketing strategies, advertising, and any other kind of support they may offer you. You can also confirm with your franchisor if it’s alright for you to play a role in local advertising and marketing.

The following are areas you might want to consider when writing your business’ sales and marketing plan: marketing channels used by your franchisor, strategies for different business seasons, an overview of the sales process, and customer retention strategies.

8. Financial Projections

The financial projection plan is one of the most crucial business components; it is more of your business’ financial forecast and acts as a roadmap. Potential investors and lenders will look at this section more to determine their interest in having a stake in your investment. Most financial projection write-ups are appealing on paper. However, it can be of no value if actual returns do not justify it once the business starts running.

Avoid writing this section with the sole intention of impressing investors and lenders. Make sure you do thorough research to establish the real potential of the business you are venturing into to avoid losing money.

9. Financing

It is essential to prepare this section even if your venture is funded from your savings. This section describes the financial needs for starting up the business and how you expect to fund it. It is one of the last items on the list in your business plan. This segment is where you make your case to investors and potential lenders if you are trying to get funding from them.

Have a Hiring Plan

A man and woman shaking handsIf you are looking to hire employees and have difficulties identifying the right applicants, please feel free to contact us at Sprockets to learn about our AI-powered Applicant Matching System. We pride ourselves on helping companies hire applicants that are the precise fit for their needs, ultimately reducing costly employee turnover. Our sophisticated solution ensures that you hire people who will collaborate well with your other team members and stay long-term to see your company grow — and contribute to that growth.

Schedule a demo now to see how it works! It will be the best 15 minutes you spend on your business. Just ask some of our happy customers in a variety of franchise industries!

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Achieving Success: Tips for New Franchisees

Achieving Success: Tips for New Franchisees 1016 528 Sprockets

Are you ready to launch a new franchise location? Between now and then, you must overcome many obstacles. Luckily, in this day and age, the answers are easier to find than ever. By checking out the following tips, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. That way, finding success with your franchise business will be easier than ever.

7 of the Best Tips for New Franchisees

Let’s look at a few of the most common traits of successful franchise owners. Of course, everyone’s situation will be different. Nevertheless, by comparing notes, you’ll notice there are some core commonalities. When you are ready to start a new endeavor, doing the research is more than worthwhile. By putting in the time, you’ll reduce the odds against you. Then, success is just a matter of commitment. At that point, it might as well be guaranteed.

1. Ensure You Have the Starting Capital

Without the money, you can’t launch anything. Therefore, ensure you have the starting capital. Otherwise, your time would be spent better on other ventures. For example, suppose you have limited funding. If that is the case, we suggest you pursue finance partners rather than customers.

2. Choose the Optimal Location

Even though your business has a well-known brand name under a franchise, that doesn’t mean it can succeed anywhere. Any experienced business owner knows that location is a significant factor in success. In certain areas, poorly ran enterprises might prosper. However, in other locations, even the most efficient endeavors might fail. By researching different locations, you can find one that fits you best.

3. Network With Other Successful Franchisees

Who said that you could not learn from other people? Of course, not everyone can give you good advice. However, by speaking with successful franchisees, you can find out what they have learned. Over their career, they’ve made many mistakes. Since you can ask them what they learned, you won’t have to go down the same road they did. That way, you can skip over some of the bumpier sections of the journey.

4. Continuously Seek New Information

You can compare yourself to other people all day long. However, you would get better results if you were to look at people who were successful. Generally speaking, they are all fast learners. Because they can pick up on things quickly, they can also adapt rapidly. In the business world, that is essential. By adapting to new circumstances, their companies thrive while others fail. If you’d like to follow in their footsteps, then it would be best if you were to emulate that trait.

5. Grow Your Business

Both you and your business should always be growing. Every year, set new goals. That way, you can have something to use while you measure your progress. By doing so, you’ll have a reason to stay motivated throughout the year. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fall off track after they get started. However, a small bump in the road doesn’t mean the entire journey must be derailed. Instead, use this as an opportunity to find out what went wrong and improve. Then, get back at it. Otherwise, you’ll have to learn the old adage: Failure is only permanent when you quit trying.

6. Maintain a Work-Life Balance

Besides your new business, you must also focus your time at home. At its core, your home life helps motivate you in the morning. When you wake up, rushing to work on that new project might not be exciting. However, if you have a balanced life, then working won’t be so aversive. Instead, you will be ready to seize the day each morning. By living a balanced lifestyle, your efforts will be rewarded when you focus on work.

7. Build a Strong Team of Employees

Two people working at a restaurant franchise locationWhile you are central to your company’s success, other people make your business run. As you are building your crew, evaluate each individual for their talents. You should only choose applicants who will thrive in the workplace and mesh well with the rest of your team members. The stronger you can make your team, the more successful you can make your business.

Luckily, there’s a convenient tool that makes hiring the ideal applicants a breeze. It’s Sprockets, an AI-powered solution that quickly and effectively creates a “fit score” for your applicants, empowering you to see who will drive success and stay long-term. It’s not magic — it’s logic.

Schedule your demo today to learn all about how Sprockets helps you hire the right applicants and reduce costly turnover!

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What Are the Steps to Becoming a New Franchisee?

What Are the Steps to Becoming a New Franchisee? 1016 528 Sprockets

If you think the business world is hectic, overwhelming, and confusing, you are not entirely wrong. It is probably worse when you are inexperienced about your venture. The franchise venture is rapidly becoming more popular, and it is easy to see why.

Becoming a new franchisee eliminates the costly expenses that come with starting your own business from scratch. For example, you will not need to generate a business model or patent it for trademarks. Other perks include advertising and product promotion, staff training, and support services.

Learn How to Become a New Franchisee

But how much do you know about becoming a new franchisee? Restaurants are quite popular in the franchise industry, but you can also venture into other industries. You could opt into real estate, the education sector, health and fitness, pet care, just to name a few. 

Is a Franchise Enterprise Right for Me?

The purpose of getting into entrepreneurship is different for each person, and so is the capital investment. If you are not so excited about taking business risks, franchises offer a decent safety net. However, there are several factors at play, and success is not a guarantee. 

Here are some things you should consider before you start a franchise process:

  • Take time and weigh the pros and cons of buying a franchise location. Does it serve your purposes in the way you intended? What are the cons to such a goal, and how will it affect your finances?
  • The markets are a decent guide on where to put your money, but it is highly advisable to settle into something that matches your skills, personality, and goals. Money is a huge motivator, but interest and skills are what get you through the tough times.
  • In addition, think about the future. Is this what you want to be doing ten years from now?

Understanding the Franchise Process

When all is said, how do you get the job done? What is the process of becoming a new franchisee? What are the new franchisee requirements?

We will break down the process into seven simple steps:

Step 1: Research Franchise Concepts

As we had mentioned earlier, there are many more concepts you can look into that are not restaurants. The International Franchise Association has over a thousand registered franchise businesses you can look into. Alternatively, you can look up other opportunities at FranchisesForSale.com. Talking to a professional will help clear the air in terms of what you want.

This research is instrumental in finding business opportunities that fit your budget, geographical specifications, and skills. There are some websites that will help you narrow down your options based on these factors and other preferences. Alternatively, you can talk to a professional about it.

Step 2: Send an Application/Request for Consideration

Have you found a franchise concept that sets your soul on fire? Do you have several options you are seriously considering? Submit your request for information. You will hear back from the company within a week or so, either via phone or email. They will also link you to a representative.

Step 3: Consider Legal Obligations

Now you are getting more invested with your company of interest, so it is time to take it to the next level. At this stage, you are learning in-depth information about every aspect of the industry. This will include the company, the business model, and the roles of both the franchisee and the franchisor. This information is delivered in the Franchise Disclosure Document-FDD. Go through the document with your lawyer and accountant.

This is a legal requirement by the Federal Trade Commission, and it serves to elaborate on the relationship between you and the franchisor, including required fees and commitments. The FDD can be pretty detailed, but ensure you read through it all. Start with what interests you. The document will also guide you on your obligations, and it dictates what the company will and will not offer.

Step 4: Training and Support

This might be the best thing about the franchise concept — all the heavy lifting is someone else’s obligation. The franchisor has researched the market, developed the concept, and created the product and service. In addition, the franchisor gets to share their trading strategies, training, and marketing programs with you. Of course, this often comes at a fee. 

At this stage, your franchisor should outline in detail the support you should expect in terms of training, marketing, and operations. Depending on the company you are working with, you might have to travel for training programs while others will come to you instead. Also, some companies only offer online support to their franchisees.

The advertising and marketing strategies will vary significantly between franchisors, and some will offer online or phone support only. At this stage, you decide how much support you’re comfortable with and whether you can survive with what’s on offer.

Step 5: Review of the Franchise Disclosure

If everything is going smoothly, then it’s time to take it to the next level. You will have a serious conversation with the representative to review the FDD and territory issues.

Review every section of the document and make sure to ask any questions. A franchise will cost you time and money, so don’t be hasty. To be on the safe side, have an accountant look through the financial statements to estimate the accuracy of projected returns. 

Another important person you should see at this stage is a franchise lawyer. As a legally binding document, you want to ensure that your rights as an individual and business person are not tampered with or diminished. In addition, a lawyer will be able to identify any unfavorable clauses that might hurt you in the long run.

Step 6: Due Diligence

At this point, you understand the industry like the back of your hand. However, restrain from making any rushed decisions. Talk to different people at a corporate level and the other franchisees. Ask about the company and whether their expectations have panned out. Ask about any regrets or wrong decisions they think they have made. If your franchisor is hesitant to share a complete list of their franchisees, then perhaps it is better to take your business elsewhere.

Step 7: Finalize Plans

If everything has gone according to plan, then congratulations! You are at the final step of the franchise process. At this stage, you have completed the evaluation, and you are ready to sign the Franchise Agreement. Ensure your finances are in order, including management service fees and cuts to the marketing and advertising funds. Do you have enough cash to sustain your franchise until you start making profits? Also, you get to meet with executives and heads of departments who will be your close associates as you start on your new franchise business.

As an entrepreneur, it is crucial to create a business plan for your franchise. Even though it is not a mandatory accessory, it is an important tool that helps to assess your business. How is the progress of your franchise in comparison to your goals? Your accountant or franchisor could help you develop one, but ensure you stay in the loop and are aware of the figures. Review your business plans regularly.

Jumpstart Your Business With Sprockets

A new franchisee using a computerAre you ready to achieve success as a new franchisee? We’re ready to help you make it happen! The Sprockets platform empowers you to hire employees that are the precise fit for your needs. It combines natural language and artificial intelligence to determine, with absolute accuracy, the right new hire for your team (in a matter of minutes!)

Contact us for more information today or schedule a brief demo to see Sprockets in action!

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The Most Common Mistakes When Opening a New Franchise Location

The Most Common Mistakes When Opening a New Franchise Location 1016 528 Sprockets

Some people have always wanted to start a business, but they fear going through the daunting process of starting from scratch with an independent company. As a result, they set their eyes on a franchise opportunity with relatively low entry costs and helpful franchisors. They carefully line up their finances and prepare to hire a team of employees.

However, running a franchise unit requires you to consider a variety of factors to ensure success. Although it is crucial to abide by your franchisor’s conditions, there are several common mistakes people make with franchises. Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to help you sidestep these pitfalls.

1. Failure to Fully Understand the Franchise Business

You probably know what people say about those who assume. Many aspiring business owners assume they know everything concerning their chosen franchise and overlook important details. They fail to inquire with their franchisor about topics such as business plans and recommended hiring tools. As a result, they limit their success.

2. Failure to Use Your Franchisor’s Resources

Franchisors often have resources that can be helpful to you if you meet the requirements of their franchise. For instance, they have detailed information about particular locations, and they understand how their business has performed in different areas to help you select the ideal spot. However, many people rely too much on their own information-gathering efforts when opening a new franchise location. This can lead to you getting incorrect data about the market you’re venturing into.

3. Failure to Negotiate Leases

The lease terms of your intended location might be complicated. Many landlords have leases that are only favorable to them. You might fail to negotiate better lease terms that can favor your business more. In many cases, people end up signing lease agreements with hidden charges or those that require you to pay rent based on revenue. This mistake eventually becomes too costly, limiting your ability to sustain the business.

A woman looking out the window as she analyzes her franchise's competitors4. Failure to Analyze Competitors

It’s crucial to do a comprehensive analysis of your competitors to have a viable business plan and be successful. Take note of other companies selling similar products and think about how you can set yourself apart (while following your franchisor’s guidelines, of course). Simply setting up a business in an area with stiff competition doesn’t automatically mean yours will fail, though. Just make sure you do the proper research ahead of time.

5. Failure to Consider Your Target Demographic

Another common mistake with franchises is that owners don’t keep their potential customers top-of-mind when planning. Setting up a business in an area where people show no interest in your products is one of the worst things that can happen to your franchise. Take the time to conduct an in-depth analysis of your target clients in the area to understand their preferences.

6. Failure to Research Local Regulations

Opening a new franchise location requires you to agree to specific local rules and regulations, including tax and federal license obligations put forth by the area’s municipality council. These laws oversee the franchise’s registration and administrations, sales and offers, and the relationship between the franchisee and the franchisor. Conduct comprehensive research on these legal requirements. Be wary of high tax burdens and other expenses associated with owning and running a business in the area.

7. Failure to Contact Nearby Franchisees

Contacting other franchisees who have similar franchises in your target area is crucial. They can give you firsthand information detailing what they have experienced. You can ask them to give an honest opinion of what they think about the location to make sure you make the correct choice and plan properly.

8. Failure to Hire the Right Employees for Your Team

Two men in an interviewLast but not least, you’ll need an effective team to make your business operate effectively. In today’s day and age, more and more franchise owners and HR professionals are looking toward technology to do the heavy lifting for them. Consider implementing Sprockets’ sophisticated solution to hiring. It’s an easy-to-use platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to determine the best applicants for your business within a matter of minutes. It’s not magic — it’s logic.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about the Sprockets solution!

A woman looking at a tablet researching how to choose the best franchise brand and text reading "How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You"

How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You

How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You 1016 528 Sprockets

Buying a franchise location might seem like a shorter path to business success than starting from scratch. However, there is more to a franchise than the upfront costs. Franchises are available in almost all industries, meaning potential investors have an array of options. But how do you narrow your choice down and choose the best franchise for you? Here are a few factors to consider when evaluating a franchising opportunity.

Find Out How a Franchisor Treats Its Franchisees

The first step toward determining if the deal is right for you should be discovering how the founders of franchise brands treat their individual franchisees. Visit existing franchisees and discuss their experience with the founders before making your decision. Treat any franchisor not willing to let you meet its franchisees as a red flag because opting out of a franchise after signing an agreement can be challenging and expensive.

Consider a Coaching Program

Investors often overlook the importance of a well-thought-out coaching program before opting into a franchise. Successful franchises understand that their success hinges on the expertise of their franchisees. Thus, a reliable franchise will typically invest in a coaching program to make its franchisees savvy and entrepreneurial.

Consider the Costs of Buying a Franchise

Most franchise agreements contain hidden fees in addition to the marketing and training fees and royalty payments. Therefore, investors should read the terms of a franchise to determine if it’s the best opportunity for their goals.

Check Out the Business Model

A woman looking at the business model of a franchise

Everyone would want to invest in a proven business model. Any franchise opportunity that doesn’t offer a proven business model should be another red flag. A reliable franchise should have working systems ranging from marketing, payroll, upsells, and customer service. Find out if franchisees are taken through training or if they are left to figure out the system on their own. You’re about to commit to a serious business partnership. So, it is a decision that no one will want to take lightly. Understand the terms of the franchise and get ready to learn more about the franchisor.

The best franchises to own are those led by honest and focused people concerned about those who invest in their network. A trustworthy franchise will have genuine people behind its brand. Franchise brands with a healthy system will also respond to your queries with relevant remarks and not rehearsed referral scripts. Those interested in a franchise should understand their business partner to make sure a franchise opportunity is worth their time and money.

Ask for Proof of Success

Some franchises can’t succeed unless they get specific connections or talents. So, before you opt into a franchise, research franchisees who have already partnered and succeed with that franchise. Identify the common factors of success to determine if you are an ideal fit. Evaluating the profitability of a franchise can be tricky because the profitability of different franchisees tends to vary. 

A variety of factors, including location and season, can affect the profitability of a franchise. Get a comprehensive performance report from other franchisees and find out how the successful ones overcame challenges. It might also be helpful to see if some franchises have failed recently and to research the reasons behind their failure. Most new franchisees fail due to undercapitalization. Never commit your funds to a franchise unless the franchisor has demonstrated their ability to support your growth.

Seek Advice From the Successful Franchisees

Find out what other franchisees think about the brand. It is easy for a potential investor to get swayed by the fabulous information the franchisor espouses. It would be wise for a potential franchisor to seek advice from the franchisees who have succeeded. 

A reliable franchisor should be willing to train and mentor newbies. The franchisor should also be glad to help newbies align their interests with those of the franchise. Joining a franchise committed to connecting all its franchisees can increase your success odds. The best franchises to own give their franchisees territorial protection, making them confident to ask their peers any questions and share their insights. Other franchisees’ experiences can increase your odds of success.

Budget

Most franchises require their potential franchisees to have a certain amount of capital before their operations commence. It could be inventory, infrastructure, equipment, and other supplies needed to start a franchise model. The franchise will add these tangible items up and list them in a franchise disclosure document, which helps determine the amount of capital needed to join a franchise. However, it is recommended to have twice that amount before you buy a franchise due to future uncertainties. 

Most franchises require their franchisees to have a minimum 680 credit score. The amount a potential franchisee has borrowed should be 30% less than the amount available in cash. Your total net worth should also be at least 1.5 times the borrowed amount.

Consider the Latest Trend

No one wants to waste their time and resources in a fad. Instead, everyone wants to invest in a relevant and current franchise. Those interested in franchise brands should research consumer needs and look at what is lacking in the market. It’s a good sign if statistics show people are interested in the services being offered by the franchise you want to join.

Follow Your Passion

You can invest in a new or established franchise. Either way, your success depends on your passion for franchised networks. For example, investing in KFC would be the perfect move for someone passionate about fast-food restaurants. New franchise networks can be difficult to run, but they offer more opportunities than established ones.

Consider Competition

Lack of stiff competition is one sign that a franchise offers excellent opportunities. There could be fast-food restaurants on every corner, and if that’s the case, consider exploring other less competitive niches around you. Choose a franchise that encourages repeat purchases to ensure the growth of your business. Investing in a franchise with at least a 97% customer retention rate could be a worthwhile deal.

Final Thoughts for Your Franchise Decision

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platform

All successful franchises are typical in that they view their franchisees as their partners, and they are concerned about them as they are about their businesses. When a franchise is run well, it is hard to find an investment opportunity that can match the growth capacity, power, speed, and leverage that the franchisee and franchisor can have. Those who have been passionate about joining a franchise should consider the above tips to find the right investment choice.

Once you choose the right franchise brand for you, you’ll need to choose the right applicants for your team. That’s where we come in. Sprockets is an AI-powered solution to hiring that empowers you to build the best team possible, no matter what type of franchise you open.

Schedule a demo today to see how Sprockets sets you up for success!

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platform

SENTIO Becomes “Sprockets” as We Set Our Sights Even Higher for 2021

SENTIO Becomes “Sprockets” as We Set Our Sights Even Higher for 2021 1016 528 Sprockets

Big things are happening here at Sprockets! We recently received a $3.4mm venture raise after all of our success in 2020. This investment puts us in an even better position to serve customers in the new year with feature expansions and integrations with other major hiring tools that you utilize. During this time, we’re transforming ourselves to convey our mission more effectively: to harmoniously unite the right people with the right possibilities.

Whether you’re an applicant or employer, you can rest assured that Sprockets has what you need. We’re defining the future of the hourly workforce with our Applicant Matching System.

New Name, Same Mission

While our name has changed, our commitment to you has not. People need to get back to work, especially after such a turbulent year, and you need to find the best of the best for your business to achieve success in 2021. Our data-driven platform is still the go-to solution for matching the right people to the right possibilities with pinpoint accuracy. When you succeed, we succeed!

Change isn’t always easy, but this one is. We want to assure our current customers that this doesn’t affect how you interact with our hiring platform. You don’t need to do anything differently besides enjoy the new and improved look of our company. Use our platform, as usual, to continue finding the right candidates for your team. Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We’re always here to help, especially during transition. 

The Story Behind “Sprockets”

Have you ever really watched a relay race? It’s a thing of beauty to see a group of athletes working together, seamlessly handing off to one another with perfect choreography, moving forward in tandem toward the same goal. Like a relay athlete or a sprocket in a machine, the right employee joins colleagues to drive an organization forward in efficiency and harmony.

Simply put, “Sprockets” represents our mission more clearly. “Sentio” means “to understand,” but we go far beyond understanding workplaces and candidates. We determine if candidates will fit — and work harmoniously — with other coworkers, thrive in their unique environments, and stay long-term.

Exciting News and Plans for the Future

We’ve always been a forward-thinking company, and that remains the same as well. The updates to our name and appearance offer a taste of what’s to come as we shape the future of hiring. You can look forward to many more improvements and enhancements to your experience with our platform, especially since Sprockets recently acquired a $3.4 million raise from venture-capitalist investors. We’d like to thank the following companies for their contributions and confidence:

It’s rare for any South-Carolina startup to receive investments from outside the Southeast, which is why it’s truly remarkable how a company such as ours was able to attract world-class funding during a global pandemic. This invigorating news has us excited for the future as we look to make 2021 the best year yet for Sprockets and all of our loyal customers!

Sprockets: It’s Not Magic — It’s Logic

If you don’t currently use our platform and are interested in enjoying the success that so many satisfied customers have achieved, we’d love to help. Take a moment to book a meeting with one of our team members to learn more about how Sprockets’ sophisticated solution to hiring can reduce employee turnover, saving you time and money. It might be the best decision you make for your business!

Chefs in the kitchen of a restaurant

Four Tips to Engage Restaurant Staff Members and Reduce Employee Turnover

Four Tips to Engage Restaurant Staff Members and Reduce Employee Turnover 1200 600 Sprockets

Fostering a sense of team unity is an excellent way to make your restaurant the best it can be. Facilitating team activities, goals and a common vision are great ways to encourage employee engagement. With a strong team, you’ll see better productivity, retention, and profits. Encouraging team unity doesn’t simply mean playing a few ice breaker games at pre-shift meetings. It is a deep-rooted, multi-faceted initiative that should stem from a good deal of thought and planning that has a real impact on business. In fact, 86% of employees and executives state that workplace failures are a direct result of a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication. To strengthen your team, we’ve compiled four team building tips for engaging restaurant staff members and reducing employee turnover.

 

Encourage Informal Social Gatherings

If team-building is established as extra work, your staff members won’t be as apt to join in. But, promoting informal social gatherings on a day the restaurant closes early is a great way to encourage team building. When staff members can gather outside of pressure-filled shifts, they gain quality time to get to know each other. Gatherings could include a shared meal at your restaurant, or an outing to see how a rival restaurant operates and discuss what they see as working or not working. 

 

Encourage Employee Contribution

Every single person has been in a work situation or meeting when they have had the urge to voice an opinion or idea but chose to keep it to themselves for a variety of reasons. This can often lead team members to feel that their input and opinion isn’t valued.

A great way to foster a team culture is to encourage employees of all levels to contribute. A great way to start this process is to leave a specific time allotment for employee contribution during meetings or project discussions. Encourage leadership to actively listen and encourage the sharing of ideas. This doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing when it comes to team contribution. However, the simple act of encouraging employees to speak up builds up a strong company culture and helps people feel that they are an important part of a team.

 

Establish Clear, Open Communication Lines

The saying “communication is key” is especially important when one of your major goals is building a sense of team unity. Establishing clear, open lines of communication is the first step to ensuring the success of a team-building endeavor. Individual employees should have a common communication line, such as a team leader or senior team member, that they can go to with progress reports or questions. Employees should never be discouraged from communicating. However, it is also important to establish up-front what type of communication will be beneficial to work toward a common objective or goal. For example, complaining or going off-topic will only develop unnecessary traffic when it comes to communication.

 

Recognize Accomplishments

Did your restaurant recently meet its monthly sales goal? Identify staff from every aspect of the restaurant that had a positive impact on meeting that goal. That may include a server that went above and beyond, a bartender who stepped up and took open shifts, or a shift leader who got great reviews from a customer. Employees that receive recognition for their accomplishments will be encouraged to continue their work endeavors. While building your plan to recognize key contributors, it’s also important to outline how you can recognize and reward the accomplishments of the restaurant staff as a whole that contributed. This may include an extra bonus or a free meal voucher for them and a guest.

 

As you grow and engage restaurant staff members, check out the Sprockets platform. Our Applicant Matching System is designed to assist restaurant owners and managers in hiring the employees by matching applicants against your best people. 

 

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