While running a franchise and running an independent business are two sides of the same coin, there are many differences between the approaches that each take, and each can learn from the other.

Here’s what the independent business owner can learn from franchisees.

1. Having Processes Makes Work Streamlined.

How the two types of businesses approach work is markedly different. On the independent side, entrepreneurs must create their own way of doing things, and without documented processes, this strategy may eat up a lot of time and make it challenging to train new hires.

On the franchise side, there are processes for everything from opening a franchise to completing a customer transaction. It may seem overly complicated to have so many processes and procedures, but having everything outlined actually makes it incredibly easy to replicate success at any store, as well as train new hires.

The Lesson: Entrepreneurs, take heed. It’s worth taking time to document how you complete a transaction or task. Then, when you need to train someone new, they can read the process and walk through it, step by step.

2. Do What’s Proven.

The thing that’s so appealing to new franchisees is buying into a tried-and-true brand. You already know that McDonald’s is a successful brand; investing in a franchise is pretty much guaranteed to thrive.

The Lesson: Independent business owners often spend a lot of time experimenting to figure out what works. But there’s a saying: don’t reinvent the wheel. Sometimes mimicking the success of another brand can mean profit for your brand as well.

3. Do One Thing Well.

You don’t see many franchises that try to combine industries or products. For example, you won’t see a Bath & Body/Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise! Every franchise company has zeroed in on the products or services that it can excel at.

The Lesson: Entrepreneurs sometimes diversify a bit too much in an effort to reach a wider audience, but the lesson is in finding your niche. Do one thing really, really well. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

4. Hire the Right People.

Few franchises are one-person shows. Most have a staff that keeps the business moving. Often, however, entrepreneurs feel the desire to “do it all” themselves. They think that they’ll save money and be more productive if they take it all on, but that’s rarely a successful strategy.

The Lesson: Hire help. You’re good at doing some things in your business, but not all. Your brain power should be reserved to work on strategizing to grow the business, not doing things like stocking the shelves and checking out customers.

Franchises have it all figured out … or nearly. At any rate, entrepreneurs and independent business owners can learn a lot from franchisees!

SOURCEAmerica's Best Franchises
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Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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