Checklist for Starting your New Business
Helpful, Essential Business Information for Franchise Business Start-ups or any New Business
Every job has built-in challenges. Owning a small business increases the number and the importance of those challenges. As franchise business consultants, we know what challenges to expect. With any new business, smart owners want the opportunity to prepare for them. Dealing with a new challenge is far easier when preparations for handling challenges have already been made. These tips are part of what we offer in our franchise owners meetings. This checklist will help you avoid some of the speed bumps on your road to success.
1. Harness your passion. Most businesses are extensions of the owner’s personal interests. If you’re not passionate about food or automobiles, stay away from those two categories, especially, when choosing a food franchise business. In the course of time, the day-to-day running of the business may cause the passion to wane. Keep the passion alive by reminding yourself why you chose to start your own business. As problems arise, embrace the challenges and always have a support system within your franchise business.
2. Cash flow is everything. Starting a business is both art and science. The subjective, artistic component is your passion. The objective portion is your business model. It is important that you understand your own business model and ask questions from your franchise partners. Managing cash flow is critical to the success of any new venture. Monitoring the amount of cash coming in and going out will keep you abreast of your success and alert you if an infusion of cash will be needed. Consult with your franchisor when needing financial advice.
3. Hire as though your (business) life depends on it. That’s because it does. Hiring the right person for any job is crucial to your success. Don’t rush the hiring process. Conversely, if a new hire does not perform up to expectations, fire that person. You might feel like you can do anything, but it is unrealistic to think that you can do everything. Hire people who like to do what you dislike doing. As a franchise owner, work every position yourself. Nothing works better than walking in your employee’s shoes.
4. Stay in touch with partners. Partners can bring valuable experience and talent to your business. But just like a marriage, communication is the key to success. Make sure your franchise organization is constantly available and dishes consistent advice. It starts even before the partnership has been sealed. Create a "pre-nup" agreement that spells out expectations for each partner. Agree on values and guidelines that both parties will follow. Maintain constant communication with your business partner.
5. Plan for the unexpected. Every business encounters speed bumps along the way. Give thought to what could possibly go wrong, even if the probability is small. Keep a positive attitude, but prepare for the inevitable speed bumps. Tape into your network of fellow franchisees and ask them questions.
Even with sufficient preparation, things will happen that are beyond your control. With proper systems in place, you will be able to step away for your business without fearing that things will fall apart. Allow yourself the time and space to go on a vacation or take care of a family matter.
6. The buck stops here... but you are not an island unto yourself. As a small business owner, the decision making process often begins and ends with you (and a partner). It’s lonely at the top, so when it comes to making important decisions, seek input from others who have the experience and knowledge in the matters being resolved.
Seek out other entrepreneurs, or franchisees, in a similar business (outside of your trading area). Someone who is a few years ahead of you will have already experienced and overcome some of the challenges that you will face.
Sound Advice: We say..."Owning and operating a business is exciting and challenging. Balance your business responsibilities with your family obligations, while maintaining your own health and well being. At Nardellis, we say "Sundays are for family."
With good planning and the proper systems in place, operating your business can be fun. When you invest the time and energy to set it up right, and follow the Nardelli’s franchise guidelines, then you will have the opportunity to enjoy your success.
Author: Harvey Adelberg, Q Media Works