It was only last June that Allison O’Kelly started offering Mom Corps, a staffing company, as a franchise opportunity. However, in that brief time, O’Kelly has learned a lot. In the life of a franchise, every year is important. However, there’s nothing quite as crucial as that first year in setting the stage for what’s to come. So what’s the secret to making it past Year One as a new franchisor? We asked O’Kelly how she did it, and talked to franchising experts about what sets successful franchise systems apart.
1. Choose the Right Franchisees – and Give Them the Right Kind of Support
O’Kelly spent much of the first year talking to and listening to her franchisees. She then used the feedback that she received to fine-tune the franchise program so it would better meet their needs. “We wanted to use that period to refine our program, to ask ourselves, ‘What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong?’” says O’Kelly.
In Year One, O’Kelly also learned the importance of choosing the right franchisees to represent the brand. “Don’t bring candidates on [just] because they are willing to buy a franchise from you,” she says. “Only let the right franchisees in.”