Franchising takes a lot of the risk out of starting your own business, but that doesn’t have to mean that you don’t have a say in what you sell. Katy Gennai from Bedshed Watergardens shares her top tips and tricks on how you can get involved purchasing decisions with your franchise.
Voice your opinion
If you feel you have something to say, don’t be shy - speak up! You’re on the front line, talking to customers every day, so having the confidence to voice your perspective constructively can add a lot of value to the purchasing decision making process. Find out who is in charge of these decisions in your franchise, for example the General Manager, head of a division or CEO, and share your thoughts. More often than not they will appreciate you taking the time to offer your opinion.
Buying trips – get involved if you can
Certain franchises give you the option to participate in and contribute to the decisions about what products will be sold by the franchise. At Bedshed, franchisees are encouraged to take part in annual buying trips overseas, where we meet with suppliers and inspect new products. As a franchisee, having the opportunity to get involved in this decision making processes is invaluable, and I would strongly recommend considering getting involved if you have the opportunity to do so.
When suggesting your thoughts, keep in the margins of what’s rational and makes sense for the business. It may sound obvious, but pushing ideas that are too outlandish and not in keeping with the brand are likely to be considered irrelevant and dismissible.
Never underestimate the value of teamwork. Listen to other franchisees, talk to head office staff. Compare experiences and customer feedback to understand the bigger picture. Remember that what’s going on in your store might be unique to your area and not reflective of the broader business landscape.