Looking in the mirror: Are you ready for multiple ownership?


Successfully shifting from a single to a multi-unit operator depends largely on your personality and personal issues:

  • Are you a team player?  The more units you own, the more staff you’ll need, including some in managerial positions.  Be sure you can handle coaching a much bigger team.  Be sure that you are able to give up some decision making to employees whom you have hired, trained and trust.
  • Are you an operator or a manager?  It’s easy to say that you want 50 stores; it’s another thing to understand what it takes to manage that many.  Single-unit owners worry about opening the business in the morning, taking care of the events of the day, and closing at night.  As a single-unit owner, you might be used to greeting your customers, training your employees, and taking care of many of the hands-on tasks yourself.  Become a multi-unit franchisee, and you’re forced to be even more of a manager.  You’ll have to build and rely on a support organization.
  • Can you delegate responsibility?  No questions, it’s tough to let go; after all, the franchise is your baby.   Being in two places at once is impossible, so you must develop staff and delegate responsibilities – comfortably.  You’ll probably spend a lot of time nurturing each new unit, and then focus your attention- more or less-on your other franchises as different issues arise.
  • Are you organized?  You’ll have to be.  You might be at a construction site on Tuesday morning and a staff meeting at your existing location in the afternoon.  Assuming responsibility over different locations, with different problems and somewhat different obligations, will make you feel like a juggler sometimes.  Depending on the number of units, you’ll have to set up internal support systems, such as hiring a general manager, bookkeeper, and administrative support staff to free up your time to let you handle more than one location.
  • Is the timing right?  Look at your personal life, and determine whether you can devote time to another project and still maintain your desired lifestyle.
  • Do any family members want to get involved?   Perhaps your spouse wants in.   Perhaps you want your children to earn their own gas money, with an eye on succession.
  • Do you think big?  If you do, you probably won’t be content with a solitary site for very long.  But you also have to know your limitations.  You have to be able to expand, not just want to expand.

From start up assistance and training to ongoing operations support and full service marketing, the Hand & Stone franchise team is with you every step of the way.

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