Working with an existing business model through a franchise is both a good thing and a bad thing. The upshot is that you have a strong support system. Moreover, you have a rich business knowledge base that you can draw from when making important business decisions. On the other hand, the downside is that you are also restricted to acting according to certain established rules and methods, because you cannot deviate completely from how the other franchisees work.
One of the things that will really take up your time and energy is knowing how to manage your employees as you build and expand your operations. Most franchisees work with only a small team of professional detailers, and if they’re lucky, a handful of support staff that handle the administrative side of the business. Oftentimes, they don’t have a good deal of employee depth. Moreover, they must also abide by the parent company’s rules regarding selection and employment of workers. Your franchisor will also provide you with certain guidelines on human resources management. Every detailer must likewise receive trainings according to the parent company’s standards so that the company brand is preserved.
Manage Employees – Ramp up your people skills
All these guidelines and instructions mean nothing unless you’re able to apply them appropriately in real-life situations. Managing team members in a small business environment requires sound people skills and a dash of common sense, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Larger companies will have an entire department for human resources management, but a franchisee who’s both boss and employee will have to deal with his team members directly. You should follow the rules as laid down by the parent company, but you should also make sure that you “do your own thing” when dealing with your employees.
Do you know your employee’s birthdays? What about their favorite color, or the movie that they want to watch next week? These small things will help you turn them from work mates into real friends; ones that you can count on to pull a double shift when another employee phones in sick on a busy weekend. Your employees will not feel as though they are obliged to put in the extra work hours because they know what they are working for and with a team that will do the same thing for them.
Open your communication channels
Labor capital management books will tell you that you’re supposed to listen to and act on your employees’ thoughts and suggestions. This is even more true and important when you are working with an existing business model as a franchisee. While you are bound by certain business rules and philosophies, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change the way things are run. You can be the bridge between the parent company and the team on the ground, and be the catalyst for changing the organizational structure from the bottom up.
Remember that you’ll be working with your employees in close quarters, and you want to make sure that everyone is satisfied with their roles and tasks. Making your employees feel like they are apart of a family instead of a business establishment is the first step towards good people management. Manage your employees with a personal touch, as it were, and watch your employees become highly motivated, efficient, and productive people. Your employees will be grateful to know that you are always listening to them.
Understand How the Business Works
Your employees look up to you as the captain of the company. They know that they are part of a bigger business, so they want to feel how that translates to their everyday work. At the same time, however, they want to know that they are part of a closely-knit group of professionals.
You can be a good captain only when you know the ins and outs of the car wash industry and how your parent company works. Moreover, you know what each employee’s roles and responsibilities are and how the levels of accountability works. You are aware of their skills, strengths, and weaknesses, and are not afraid to call them out on work-related mistakes so these are not repeated in the future. Managing your employees is all about being surefooted as you build and grow the business, so your employees grow with you, too.
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