While you’re already looking forward to all the rewarding work (and profit) you’ll have once your franchise launches in a few months, you’ve still got plenty of work to deal with before you even open your doors. Use this as your checklist to ensure that you’re ready to operate when you open your franchise.
#1. Choose Your Business Structure
It’s not a good idea to operate a franchise as a sole proprietorship (the business structure your franchise will be if you elect no other status). In fact, many franchisors may require you to choose a more protective structure like a corporation or LLC.
The benefits in incorporating or forming an LLC include protecting your personal assets, should your franchise ever be sued or you dissolve the company, as well as some tax incentives. It can take several weeks or even months to process your business structure paperwork, so start this process ahead of time.
#2. Secure Business Permits
Every business needs at least one business permit or license, and without the appropriate one(s), you could get your franchise shut down before you even get started. Check with your city, county, and state to find out what permits you need.
If you’re opening a health care, child care, or restaurant franchise, know that you especially will have stringent protocols to follow to get the licenses you need to operate. Again, plan ahead, as you’ll need to have your licenses and permits in hand on opening day.
#3. Hire and Train Staff
Getting your employees lined up before you open will ensure that you’re ready to serve new customers. It can be easier to hire all the staff you’ll need to get started all at once so you can offer one round of training for all new hires. Make sure each employee is comfortable using your point-of-sale system, serving customers, and understanding your products.
#4. Do Your Pre-Marketing
Even with a little boost from your franchisor when it comes to marketing your franchise, you’ll still have your work cut out for you to let people in your community know you’re there. Start by creating social media profiles for your location (checking first with the franchisor to see if there are any guidelines you need to follow) and start connecting with people in your area.
Consider printing up coupons or flyers for your grand opening a few days before you launch and introducing yourself to businesses in the area. You can also partner with local community groups like baseball teams to let them know you’re available for group events, or that you want to sponsor a team.
With a little advanced planning, you can ensure that you’re not scrambling come Opening Day to get your business ready to roll.