Expert Interview Series: Melinda Emerson on How To Succeed In Small Business With Franchising
Every year in the United States, out of every three startups will fail, according to the Small Business Administration. The leading cause of failure is lack of experience.
Franchises can be a perfect way to get started as a small business owner. Most of the infrastructure is set up for you - everything from the back-end business software to the supply chain.
Melinda Emerson, also known as the SmallBizLady, is a small business expert who helps entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of being their own boss at SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com. We talked to Melinda about some common mistakes small business owners make, and some tips on how to succeed in small business with franchises.
Small business owners sometimes don't plan their finances effectively, especially when they're just starting out. How can the established infrastructure that comes with a franchise help small businesses plan accordingly for ultimate success?
The best thing about a franchise is that is comes with a system for success and a budget to run the business operations. You are not flying blind; you have a formula to follow. You can check your spending against a typical store budget and adjust accordingly.
While it is easier than ever to start a small business, many entrepreneurs don't have the necessary training to run a successful business. How can being a part of a franchise help a business owner get started and learn the ropes of the business world?
Not all franchises are created equal. Do your due diligence and speak to at least three other franchise owners about the training offered. Also make sure that you ask the other owners about what the follow-up training was like post-launch. You want to make sure the franchise program will be there for you if you run into any challenges once you are open for business. But the fact that you can get training to run your business is the best benefit of being a franchisee.
Poor management is one reason for business failures, even for franchisees. What management skills does an entrepreneur need to run a successful business? When do you recommend they consider hiring a dedicated manager?
There are 5 skills I think every entrepreneur needs. If you have these you'll be a great manger for your business.
1) Focus: you must be able to follow up, follow through and avoid distractions.
2) A sacrificial attitude: there will be days when you must make payroll for your staff and can't take a check, and no one should be able to tell. You must be willing to make the hard decisions and not take your frustrations out on your team.
3) Competitiveness: You must have a "winning" attitude. You must be willing to set your price and not back down or let anyone talk you down.
4) Patience: You will need to be patient to win in business. The money will never come as fast as you need or plan for it to. You will need to be patient with your staff, your customers and yourself.
5) Coachability: You must be willing to listen and learn from anyone, even the interns. Hire smart people and empower them to be great.
You will need to hire a manger in your business when you realize that you need more thinkers in your business, not just doers. As long as you have doers, you'll be doing all the thinking and directing everyone - and you're going to burn out and eventually hate your business.
To Find Out Which Franchise Is Right For You, Check Out Our List Of Franchises!
Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America's #1 Small Business Expert. She has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker. Melinda's small business advice is widely read reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week on the internet. A pioneer in social media marketing, she is the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners.