Practical Planning for your franchise

Peter Knight & Kate Groom, Smart Franchise

This article appears in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

Whether we think about it or not, we do a bit of planning every day. For instance, the urgent things that need to be done, the bills that have to be paid, shopping, groceries and school activities for the kids.

Planning helps with these short term things, and longer term things as well. For example, if you’re planning a party you would set a date, decide on a theme, invite people, set a budget, work out the menu, buy the food and prepare it.

So, you’re setting goals and planning all the time. You just might not have thought about it that way. Planning works out the order of things and breaks them into smaller chunks. This helps you focus on what needs to be done.

The same approach applies with your franchise. Planning is extremely helpful when you run your own business. In fact, your financial results depend on it! In a franchise, many aspects of business operations are set by the franchisor. However, the goal setting and planning are your responsibility.


When you’re creating your plan, the best place to start is with your goals. It’s well established that people who have goals are more likely to achieve them. If you run a business it’s important to decide what you want to accomplish. We’ve found that many who do this enjoy their business and have a sense of accomplishment.

We’ve seen goals produce extraordinary results. From achieving sales targets to improving profits, or winning awards. We’ve even seen franchises turnaround from struggle to success.

It’s best to start with goals that are achievable and realistic. It can be disheartening if they feel impossible to achieve. Perhaps you can find out what others are achieving and consider what you can do in your business.

Your plan

Your plan identifies your goals and the actions you‘ll take to achieve them. It’s critical to write all this down. Here are some points to include in the plan for your franchise.

Financial goals

• Write down how much money you want to make
• What level of sales you’ll need to achieve this
• Set targets for key expense items, such as Cost of Goods Sold and Wages Actions

Write down the actions you will take to achieve these goals. Examples might include local marketing activities and staff training. Local marketing is vital to the success of any business. Tie your local plan in with what your franchise is doing on a  national basis. You could run a workshop to improve staff sales skills. You can then set monthly goals for staff members and review on a regular basis.

As you can see a good plan will help you manage your business well. It doesn’t need to be complex. The steps above are the foundations for a really good plan for your franchise.

Peter Knight, FCPA and Kate Groom have created Get Franchise ready, a site to help with the business and financial side if buying a franchise. This article also appeared on their website.