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If you are a successful franchise of a large franchise brand or chain, chances are you will wish to expand. The most important thing to do is make sure you are on the most positive terms with your franchisor. You should tell your franchisor at the earliest point of your plan to expand. It is important that you ask the franchisor for help when you are expanding. Growing your business is not an easy task. It requires systematic checks of your business. The kind of checks your car does electronically such as sensors telling you:
Your alternator is charging
As long as the little warning lights are good, everything is ok. Right. Wrong. As you know, those are important indicators. However, what about the warning buzzer that says; Your door is ajar. Your door really isn't a jar. It's a door, not a jar. This sounds funny but think Machinery about it. There are warning lights in a car but they may mean more than they say or they may be a false alarm.
For instance, when you turn on your engine all the lights are on. Most modern cars display malfunctioning lights packing machine at least once during their life. These lights are great for idiots, as a matter of fact they are often called idiot lights, but they are bad for do-it-yourself mechanics. Some cars display lights automatically at a certain number of miles. The check engine light goes on. The dealership is the only one who can reset the lights. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and have maintained the car yourself, the light still goes on and stays on. Later, when something does go wrong, the do-it-yourselfer doesn't know because the light has always been on. Whoops.
Like a car, franchisors have built safety switches into there business models. They have out all the mistakes for you before they happen. These set of idiots lights will help you, but make sure you are interpreting them correctly. An erroneous reading of a warning light will create unnecessary hardship for you as a franchisee. An example of an erroneous reading would be:
Your sales are up 50% and you just signed a huge one year contract. You should expand because you are doing 1.5 times what a normal franchise does right.
Most would say yes, business is up, new contracts coming in, you are good as gold. On the surface this may look good. But any good franchisor will tell you this is a typical sign of a cash flow issue. Sales are up, but how are receivables? One year contract is good, but are they also net 90 days? If you do not have proper cash flow funding you could wind up waiting for a check in the mail the day the bank comes in and wants to repo your entire store? This is why you need to talk with your franchisor and have a game plan, pay attention and use their expert advice? After all that is why you bought a franchise in the first place. Think about it.
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