As a new franchise owner you are probably keenly aware that you face all the same challenges faced by any new small business owner. Here are four tips that can help you be a better leader as a first-time boss, right out of the gate.

First-Time Boss – 4 Leadership Tips for New Franchise Owners

At the end of the day, the success of your new franchise might come down to leadership more so than any other factor, so here are four important ways you can improve your leadership abilities.

If you have just opened up your first franchise business or you are considering franchise opportunities that will allow you to become a small business owner for the first time, you probably have a fairly long list of priorities to accomplish. One “to do” item that might not have made your list yet is improving your leadership abilities, but we would like to make the case for putting this priority high up on your list.

Is leadership really that important? The CEO Institute sums it up this way, “Leadership is the major factor that makes everything work together seamlessly; without leadership, all other business resources are ineffective.”

While we have all come across organizations (and most of us have even worked in some) that managed to carry on and even grow with poor leaders in place, it begs the question: How much more successful could those businesses have been with good leadership at the helm?

As a new franchise owner, you probably have thought about the type of leader you want to be, especially if you have worked in an organization with bad leadership before. Though you might have the best of intentions, the pressures of acting as a leader for the first time (especially in light of all the other challenges you will face as a business owner) might cause you to revert to some of the negative leadership styles you have seen demonstrated before.

First-Time Bosses – 4 Key Leadership Principles for Franchise Owners

Focus and Vision

“The leader’s singular job is to get results.” Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, writing on Harvard Business Review

There will be many, many situations and problems that arise in the life of a franchise business that have the power to distract franchise owners from the goals they need to remain focused on in order to run a successful business. When focus is lost, and key goals are no longer the focus of day to day priorities, organizational vision goes by the wayside too.

The Big Picture

“A leaderless organization is like an army without generals.” The Importance of Leadership in BusinessSmall Business Chronicle

Franchise employees aren’t foot soldiers, but the analogy is worth evaluation. Soldiers on the front line don’t usually have the big picture; they see only a small portion of the battlefield. They can only be successful with leadership that understands how to effectively deploy all of the units, weapons and strategies to achieve victories in individual battles; and ultimately, to ‘win the war.’

New franchise owners – even those that find themselves fulfilling ‘front line’ roles within the business as so often happens in the early days of any small business – must also maintain perspective relative to the big picture. You have to know how all the parts of your franchise business need to work together in order to achieve the short and long range goals you have for the organization.

Self-Awareness and Empathy

“When good leadership is in place in a company, it can be felt throughout the entire organization… Bad leadership can also be felt throughout the entire organization – only not in a good way.” Good Leaders Are Invaluable To A Company. Bad Leaders Will Destroy It. Forbes Magazine

In the early days of a franchise business, the franchise owner might be the only leader. As the business grows or new franchise opportunities open up and are added to the organization, more leaders will be put in place. Franchise owners must be aware not only of how their leadership style affects the organization, but must also be empathetic to how their employees are faring under the other leaders and managers in the organization. Leaving a bad leader in place anywhere in the franchise will be a drag on productivity and morale.

Doing Things Right vs. Doing the Right Thing

“A leader is someone who does the right thing, whereas a manager does things right. Or to put it another way, management is an occupation, leadership is a calling.” Importance of Developing Leadership

There is no final destination on the journey toward becoming a good leader; it’s a constant evolution. Don’t be afraid to ask trusted peers, friends, and even the people who work for you how you can improve as a leader, and make it safe for them to give you constructive feedback. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to move people out of leadership roles they are not ready or suited for. Don’t be afraid to recognize and reward staff members who step up inside or outside of their regular roles. Hire smart people who are good for your organizational culture, equip them to move and be ready to take a few chances on their recommendations.

As you grow your new franchise or open up new franchise locations, remember that you will constantly be given opportunities to learn new things about yourself and others that can make you a better leader. The more you risk changing yourself, the greater your potential reward.

You might also like: Sole Props – The Rise of Independent Workers in the US – Infographic


Franchise point of sale equipment, card processing and cash advance financing:

One of the most important decisions you’ll make for your franchise is deciding on a franchise credit card processing solution. Our merchant services are transparent and competitive and seamlessly integrate point-of-sale equipment, loyalty marketing, gift cards and more, which can save you money, time and frustration. We also offer cash advance financing for franchisees who want to expand or need to meet a cash flow challenge in the short term.

Get a free, no-risk quote for franchise credit card processing or a cash advance: 

Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Interested in (check all that apply)
Field is required!
Field is required!

Franchise owners who want to capitalize on franchise-friendly consumer spending should take time to analyze their overall business strategy now, in order to get maximum benefit from increased consumer activity. Here are four key areas to consider.

Strong employment and economic numbers mean continued consumer spending beneficial to franchise owners, in particular. Employment strength in key segments including automotive and restaurants could mean continued good news for the economy overall.

4 Questions Can Help Franchise Owners Capitalize on Franchise-Friendly Consumer Spending

Is the Franchise Living Up to the Brand Standard?

Brand awareness could be playing a key role in the shopper’s decision to favor franchise businesses over competitors. This is an ideal time for franchise owners to evaluate their location and ensure that it is fully compliant with brand standards, not only in policies and appearance, but in the intangibles a brand may have come to represent, such as its values and attitude.

Is the Franchise Providing a Better-than-Expected Customer Experience?

Franchise location standards and policies set the stage, but it is still up to franchise leaders to evaluate the customer experience and find ways to make it better – better than the customer expected and better than the customer will experience at competitor’s locations. This could be an ideal time for franchise owners to:

  • invest in employee development and training relative to customer service
  • have their stores shopped for independent feedback
  • shop competitor’s stores to compare the customer experience
  • empower staff to solve customer problems as quickly as possible
  • upgrade credit card processing equipment and loyalty marketing software to better-serve local customers

Is the Franchise Contributing to Local Marketing?

Although franchise owners often benefit from brand name recognition, national and regional advertising and other marketing provided by parent organizations, that does not mean there is not more that can be done to help promote their own locations. In fact, supplementing the marketing done by the parent company with the same local marketing tactics that small and independent business owners employ could help a franchisee grow their own locations more quickly.

Is the Franchise Ready to Grow?

A franchise-friendly rise in consumer spending could represent the ideal conditions for a franchise to add additional square footage to its location, increase the number of employees, or expand by opening new stores. If a location is already fairly busy, increased consumer activity might even be difficult for the store to handle, so having a plan for hiring, growth and expansion is critical.

With U.S. shoppers sending signals indicating consumer spending will be adequate not only to sustain but to grow businesses in the months to come, franchise owners have a real opportunity to gain market share. By analyzing the customer experience and planning for future growth, they can quickly position their stores to grow and become more profitable.

Growth in Key Employment Segments Indicate Franchise-Friendly Consumer Spending

According to 2010 data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, just over one in 10 U.S. businesses are franchises. In 2016, franchise employment grew at an average of 0.4%, twice that of small businesses comprised of 1-49 employees which has enjoyed a 0.2% monthly average employment growth. 20,000 of the 205,000 jobs added in January 2016 were in the franchise sector. Among the sixteen sectors reflected in the report, nine showed net gains including:

  • 5% – Gas Stations and Auto Repair
  • 5% – Personal Services
  • 5% – Building Material and Garden Equipment
  • 5% – Manufacturing
  • 4% – Restaurants
  • 3% – Auto Parts and Dealers
  • 2% – Food Retailers
  • 1% – Professional Services
  • 1% – Real Estate

While rental franchise employment growth remained unchanged, five franchise employer segments experienced net job losses; including:

  • -0.6% – Business Services
  • -0.4% – Education
  • -0.3% – Accommodations
  • -0.2% – Leisure
  • -0.1% – Other

With growth rates of employment rates for U.S. franchises double those of the private sector, franchise owners should be paying attention to the reasons that might be bringing consumers in to their businesses vs. their non-franchise competitors. Given that one of the advantages franchise owners enjoy is brand name recognition, it may be presumed that shoppers are choosing to spend their money in establishments where they are confident of the customer experience and quality products and services they expect to receive.


We offer credit card processing solutions that are ideal for franchise businesses who want flexible point-of-sale equipment and software customized to the unique needs of their location. If you are ready to grow but lack capital, our merchant cash advance works seamlessly with your credit card processor to give you access to a line of credit with easy repayment options.

Get a free, no-obligation quote:

Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Interested in (check all that apply)
Field is required!
Field is required!