8 Scary Franchise Practices to Avoid This Halloween
While I’m long removed from putting on a costume and asking for candy, I still enjoy the Halloween season because it brings out the inner personalities of my friends, colleagues and family. It’s also a good time of year to watch out for the business practices that could morph into scary nightmares if left unchecked. Dust off your operations manuals and clear out the zombies: Here’s a list of eight items that you can use to help chase the business operations “ghosts and goblins” away.
1. Update your Franchise Disclosure Document. The annual update of your FDD is due within 120 days of the end of your fiscal year. For franchises with a fiscal year ending Dec. 31, the due date is April. It may be earlier depending on your company’s fiscal year. Waiting until the eleventh hour increases the chances that a badly worded phrase makes it into the final version.
2. Provide training opportunities. There’s no magic with this one: Train and retrain your personnel. Your franchise system is only as good as the training that you provide to franchisees and employees.
3. Finish year-end projects. For some people, ignoring the issues that they don’t want to address is like a reflex. Don’t let the problem balloon into a monster – even if you need to solve problems one at a time.
Avoid Skipping Steps
4. Do your due diligence. You’ve heard this phrase before; now apply it to your existing operations. What could you do better or more efficiently? How many tasks are done in a certain way “just because that’s how it was always done?” Try to view your business at the thousand-foot level, as if you were a new employee who just started working for the brand. You may just find something you didn’t see before. Hopefully it’s not a black cat or witches standing around a cauldron!
Avoid Being a Ghost
5. Keep your franchisees and employees in the loop. This is especially important as the holiday season gets into full swing and group schedules start to resemble a patchwork. Transparency in business operations is one of the issues that is near and dear to me. It’s not just the right thing to do – it can help your business run like a well-oiled machine.
6. Empower your franchisees and staff. The opposite of being a ghost is excessively checking in with your franchisees and staff. You hired them or brought them into your franchise system for a reason. Don’t call unannounced on Thanksgiving Day, or any holiday. Put plans in place so that your staff – and you – can take a break while your business still runs. Otherwise, you may end up sounding like Frankenstein.
Avoid Going It Alone
7. Get some help. Have a business problem? You could either smash a pumpkin (and see how that goes) or use experts from one of our IFA supplier companies to help get things done. Need a lawyer, accountant or marketing expert to help launch a new initiative at your brand? There are hundreds of IFA suppliers eager to help across many specialty areas. Find out more.
Avoid Missing Out
8. Register for IFA 2019. Wouldn’t it feel good to have your IFA Annual Convention plans in place before the holiday season gets into full swing? Learn more here.
Avoid these scary practices and you’ll get through Halloween – and the rest of the year – free of fear, with many more treats than tricks. Happy Halloween to all our great IFA members!
Robert Cresanti, CFE
President and CEO
International Franchise Association