General

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!

People in a business meeting with text reading "What Are the Steps to Becoming a New Franchisee?"

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

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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!

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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. 

 

Recommended for you: Interview Questions for Cashiers and Front of House Staff 

A smiling woman explaing the importance of cultural fit for restaurant employees

The Importance of Cultural Fit for Restaurant Employees

The Importance of Cultural Fit for Restaurant Employees 1200 600 Sprockets

Many factors go into a hiring decision. For instance, hiring managers often consider applicants’ work experience, hard skills, and soft skills. In recent years, the importance of cultural fit has become even more apparent too. In fact, some businesses have begun to give cultural fit equal weight with other attributes or even prioritize it. What exactly is it, though, and why is it important in a restaurant?

 

Defining Cultural Fit as it Relates to Restaurants

In a nutshell, cultural fit is how well an employee’s mentality and behavior line up with the particular values and culture of your restaurant. Unfortunately, restaurant owners don’t always have a handle on what the culture is truly like within their restaurant. One scenario is when, on paper, the restaurant owner supports a philosophy of letting its employees be as independent as possible. In practice, shift managers micromanage the staff members. 

Now, a diner may pride itself on its family-oriented culture, particularly if it is a family-owned business. Or it may tout itself as lean and determined. It may emphasize that its employees need to be able to make quick, good decisions, or it may explain that its employees need to be well-versed in carrying out orders. Some restaurants, however, don’t fully understand what culture fit is and why it’s important. When they do hire, they don’t consider that aspect of applicants’ profiles, and that’s a big mistake.

Why is cultural fit so important?

Hiring for cultural fit is one of the important ways to keeping a company or brand’s reputation. Someone who does not fit the company culture tends to be disengaged from work. Therefore, screening individuals who do not fit your company’s culture in the recruitment process can save you significant time and money in the long run.

Everything Is Amplified in a Restaurant

From our experience, we’ve seen that practically everything is amplified in a restaurant. That is a major reason why hiring for culture fit is critical. There are fewer employees who work long shifts together and fewer channels of communication. More direct contact takes place between customers and every employee in the business. If something goes wrong, it’s liable to go wrong on a bigger scale.

Indeed, just one “bad” hire can do horrendous damage to a restaurant. The damage need not be anything as direct as an employee angering an important customer, although that can and does happen. Rather, it can be indirect like a long wait time, and build up to a devastating level over time. 

 

Consider the following:

Someone who doesn’t fit with the culture of the restaurant is hired. Let’s say this person resents following a rotating schedule and doesn’t really follow the dress code requirements and shows up with blue hair to your upscale restaurant.

This person’s attitude affects the morale of the other employees, who bristle at the new hire who comes in late, leaves early, and appears as they please. Employees’ productivity and morale drops.

Now, some restaurants are able to offer more flexible schedules to employees and have relaxed dress codes. However, not every restaurant is like this. Your employees need to be able to understand and follow the values of your business.

 

Limited Space to Experiment

A restaurant doesn’t have as much room as a large corporate to navigate and make mistakes. So, it’s worth investing additional resources and time to find a proper cultural match. In a larger business, someone who is a bad culture fit might affect the morale of the immediate team members, but that may be where the ripple effects stop. In a restaurant, it’s likely that everyone who works there and the customers could be affected.

 

The Ripple Effects

Earlier, we touched on a few ways in which bad culture can affect the business. Here’s a bulleted list that outlines a more extensive list of examples:

  • Bad work quality
  • Lowered productivity
  • Lowered job satisfaction
  • Decreased morale
  • Poisonous work environment
  • Higher employee turnover
  • Stressed, possibly resentful employees
  • Decreased profits
  • Lost customers

Say that Bob and Jane see their co-worker at a restaurant constantly arrive late and leave early. He calls in sick often and shows up with ripped jeans, not allowed in the dress code. He is slow getting to customers and doesn’t refill waters as often as others on the waitstaff. Bob or Jane (maybe both) may begin to question why they’re even bothering to be productive employees when this guy does what he wants and gets paid the same as them. They resent the employee and begin to think less of their boss for hiring this person. Bob or Jane leave the position, and the search must begin anew for another employee.

Even if your restaurant is laid-back, a poor culture fit can still be harmful. Take a coastal restaurant that encourages employees to wear T-shirts and shorts. A new employee is hired who checks off all the hard skills on paper. Everyone’s excited, but problems may arise quickly if this employee shows up each day wearing a button-down shirt and slacks. For instance, the employee may not mesh with other team members and lose motivation to work. It’s costly to keep an unproductive worker around, and if that worker leaves, to go through another hiring process.

 

Diversity Is Important

You can still have diversity in your small business while hiring for cultural fit. Actually, having a diverse workforce can help your business become quite successful. We want to emphasize that a cultural match does not equal hiring people from the same backgrounds and with similar experiences.

 

Nailing Down the Fit

To be sure, business culture can be tough to nail down. Since it’s important that everyone in the business aligns with its values, how can a business succeed if half of the employees are creative thinkers and half are more rigid thinkers? It’s because culture goes deeper than that. What type of thinker you are matters less than attributes such as self-awareness and ability to collaborate effectively. So, a business filled with employees who practice different methods of thinking/approaching problems can still be extremely profitable. These employees just have to align with a company culture of, say, respect, and collaboration. Having diverse people in your business is an excellent thing, but the culture fit still needs to be there.

 

Practicalities Matter

On the most basic and practical level, the right employees matter for restaurants because they don’t have as much time and resources to spend on hiring. When you hire the right type of person, you hopefully won’t be hiring all over again in a few months when that person leaves. On a deeper level, making several poor hires for culture (or even just one bad hire) may lead to a toxic work environment and hurt the bottom line of your restaurant. If the restaurant keeps hiring people who don’t work out, there may be a mismatch between the perceived (“on paper”) culture and the actual culture. Alternatively, hiring processes may need to be changed, and the people doing the hiring should become more aware of cultural issues.

Overall, making the right hire for a business is important to employee morale, productivity, and the bottom line. To ensure you’re hiring the best matches for your restaurant, learn about Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System.

A housekeeper cleaning

Housekeeper Interview Questions You Should Ask

Housekeeper Interview Questions You Should Ask 1024 512 Sprockets

When hiring housekeepers, you can’t be too careful. It’s important to hire the right people not only for your clients, but for your business. You’ll want to hire people that are responsible and won’t cost your business by using set housekeeper interview questions. Additionally, it’s important to hire people who will stick around, be a good culture fit with your business, and will work hard.

Being prepared with consistent interview questions is key to making the right hire. When hiring housekeepers, you should ask questions in the following categories; experience verification, behavioral, and competency questions. Additionally, you should supplement with any questions relevant to the position, such as requirements to be employed.

If you’re looking for additional data on who to hire, learn how Sprockets’ hiring solution can help you determine which applicants are the best fit for your business.

Housekeeping Interview Questions

Experience Verification

Experience verification is important in positions where certain certifications, training, or degrees are required.

Q: What experience do you have in the cleaning industry?
Whether an applicant has more experience in the residential sector or the commercial sector may play into which clients for which you pair them.

Q: Do you have a current housekeeping position?
If an applicant answers with “yes”, follow up this question by asking why they are seeking to leave their current company. Are they looking for more hours? Did they have a bad boss? Depending on their answer, this may help you determine if they will be the right fit for your business.

If the applicant answers with “no”, follow up this question by asking why they want to begin a job in the house cleaning industry. Perhaps they are seeking flexible hours or opportunity for tips. The applicant’s answer should enable you to gauge whether your business will be able to deliver what they are seeking.

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s fit with the role and duties it entails.

Q: Describe how you have handled a difficult situation with a client.
Some homeowners and business owners can be particularly stern regarding their cleaning expectations. While cleaners may follow the checklist to a T, oversights can happen. Get insights on how an applicant has handled a difficult client.

Q: Tell me about your most rewarding experience with a client.
An applicant’s answer to this question will let you know what they like most about the job.

Q: What motivates you during the workday?
Each applicant may answer this question differently. Answers may include getting off of work in time to pick up children from school, listening to music during a shift, or receiving a nice holiday bonus. The applicant’s answer allows you to determine which of your clients they may be the best fit to work with or if they will be a good fit for your business.

Competency Questions

Competency questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of the position and the duties it entails.

Q: What do you consider to be a clean house?
The way an applicant describes what their expectations of a clean house are gives you insight into whether they are detail-oriented and patient enough for this type of position.

 

It’s also important to weigh which category of questions is most important for that position. For example, when hiring for a caregiver, experience is very important. However, behavioral questions are always important to understand how someone will contribute to your team. When we hire people, so often do we say, “I feel like they’d be great for the job.” We base decisions off of how we feel about someone, because it is important.

Overall, it’s crucial to hire the best people for the sake of your business and your clients. Make the best hires for your business by being prepared with the housekeeper interview questions above. If you’re ready to take your hiring to the next level, learn how Sprockets can help you select the best hires, reduce employee turnover, and save you money.