Cease Working Your Franchise Like a Circus!

Stop Running Your Franchise Like a Circus!

It could mean the difference between a second rate sideline show or the biggest show in the world.

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22, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Scott Greenberg's The Wealthy Franchisee: Groundbreaking Steps to Becoming a Successful Franchise Superstar will be released on November 17th via Entrepreneur Press. It can be precoded via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Bear your testimony with your own eyes: The wildest, most breathtaking, and most death-defying feat a human has ever done. I give you – franchise business property! "

This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that running a business is a risky endeavor without a great safety net. Because of this, a major reason for buying into a franchise is to reduce that risk by adopting a brand with proven, reproducible success. But even with these established systems, some franchisees are not getting the success they could. Usually it's because they don't lead like ringmasters, but work like circus performers, engaging in counterproductive behaviors that limit their results. Here are a few daring routines that are best left to literal big-top talent.

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Tightrope walk

Tightrope walkers work there all alone. You rely entirely on yourself. One bad move and it's game over. This happens when franchisees deviate from the tried and tested system. By straying from brand standards and becoming rogue, they are exposing themselves to the exact risk they paid to avoid in the first place. The whole point of buying a franchise is working with those you can protect. It's about working together, working for yourself, but not for yourself. It is best to stay on the ground with those who know what they are doing and are there to help.


With so much to do, it is tempting to do it all yourself. This shared focus makes it difficult to outdo yourself. If you do too much, you can't invest time in the areas of your business that matter most. The franchise model is all about systems and replication. It's about training a team to work in the company so that they can work in the company. A good owner or manager invests more time in fewer, more important things. Let others take care of the little things. Train them to run the business so you can focus on growing.

Taming the Dandelion

Many franchisees see themselves as lion tamers. You are always on the lookout for problems, threats and errors. Their negative, fear-based approach to business makes them blind to opportunity. It also prevents them from leading their teams well. They discourage and tame their employees into submission by focusing solely on what they are doing wrong. For criticism to be constructive, it must be combined with praise. Employees want recognition. Solve problems, but keep your eyes open so that everything runs right in your company. Look for good things and look for ways to make them even better. And instead of subjugating your employees, develop them into strong, fierce leaders who protect and grow your company.

Fortune telling

When things get tough, many franchisees make dire predictions about anything that could happen. They fear that sales will fall or the business will die. Psychologists call this "catastrophic". It imagines the worst things that could develop. While you must act on problems, your conclusions should not be based on what you guess, imagine, or imagine. They should be based on data. Instead of a crystal ball, look at your sales reports, income statement, and other data. Worry less about what might happen and focus more on what is happening. Keep your head clear and focus on the facts.

Fool around

After a while, some business owners run complacent. They break away from operations. You leave things to the staff with less supervision. You become familiar with the sale. By taking your business less seriously, you are making it vulnerable. We live in disruptive times. Things are always changing. The economic and political environment is changing. Consumer tastes are evolving. The competition always sneaks around and is innovative. To protect what you have, don't let your guard down. Keep investing in your company. Look for ways to improve this. Never let up, because business is not a joke.

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Your franchisor can give you the operations manual, but they have no control over how you work. Ultimately, you are the star of the show. If you want to be a leader in the bigtop, think about what you bring to your business. Be smart, be clear, and be serious. It could mean the difference between a second rate sideline show or the biggest show in the world.