When running a franchise, the day-to-day operations can take all of your focus. This is especially true when you are starting out in the business. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture, however, especially as it relates to your team. How well you lead should be foremost in your planning from the beginning; your team members look to you for guidance from the moment they come on board. While you should follow your own path, you can’t go wrong by embracing the following leadership steps.
1. Show Vision
Your business needs to be profitable, of course, or it won’t last long. However, if making sales is your primary emphasis, your team will lose motivation and focus over the long run. You need to develop a deeper vision that is meaningful enough to publicly promote and that your team members can strive to fulfill. Make it clear, and present action steps that further sharpen everyone’s focus.
2. Provide Encouragement
If your franchise involves public interaction—and most do—your team members may often have to deal with unpleasant or even angry customers. Let them know you have their backs. Showing support and encouragement can do more to motivate your workers than even external rewards since you can offer a pat-on-the-back as often as necessary.
3. Give Responsibility
Team members who show initiative and aptitude should be given the chance to step beyond entry-level work. Find ways to give these individuals weightier tasks that will provide a sense of growth; your encouragement and the intrinsic rewards they experience will pay huge dividends.
4. Make the Tough Team Decisions
Even while you encourage individuals, you have to look out for the team as a whole. Occasionally you will find a worker who threatens the harmony of the group by actions or words: displaying a surly attitude; avoiding work; pushing aside responsibility; or stealing from your company. If you have shown strong leadership traits in other areas, other workers should look to you at this point to remove the person from the group; such negativity can bring down the morale of good workers.
How you choose to interact with your franchise team can be a huge factor in your success. Too often, such businesses are run by those whom the teams view as bosses. This top-down model does not always result in a positive work environment. By choosing to be a leader instead of a boss, you can create a model workplace whose employees grow along with the business.