If you want to grow your franchise past the one man crew “I do it all” mindset, you have to transfer your skills to others. To grow your franchise you must trade in the quarterback position and become the coach. This positional change will come with some learning challenges. You may be a great deck builder but your teaching skills may need a little work. If it took a few years to learn how to build a great custom deck, don’t expect to learn the coaching role overnight. Reading a few books, asking other people for advice and trial and error will lead you to gaining those skills. If you have never been a boss, try remembering what it is like being an employee. Being a boss that respects his employees and listens to their opinions will be a good start.
The first job is hiring a new team member. A couple hours of planning time can lead to a job description of the new position. Do you know what the “market rate” for this type of work in your area is worth? Having a friendly competitor or being a member of an association can help here. When you are ready to write and run the ad, don’t be too frugal with your ad budget. You want to have a choice of good candidates, and not hire the only person who applied.
Now let’s assume that you are getting some calls from your ad. Ask all applicants to provide a written resume. This will show some of their written communication skills and will tell you how serious they really are. A portfolio of their work and lots of references are always helpful. On the first interview, you’ll want to ask some open ended questions: What is your best/worst quality? Tell me about your worst customer. What would you like to be doing in five years; ten years? What are you looking for in your next career?
On your second interview you might want another team member to join you. You might get into wage rates, hours per week, overtime and holidays. The third step is to check references and if possible to see some work. Do your research well here and you may save yourself some headaches.
Well, now you have hired a new team member. On the first day I would recommend a review of company procedures and training manuals, filling out all the government paperwork, reviewing safety procedures and setting up the training schedule for the coming weeks. Hire people on a three month probation period with ongoing reviews. Have in writing what the employee expectations of the job are.
The next part of growing beyond the one-man-shop is training, motivating and keeping team members. Team building is a challenge like all aspects of business but keep at it. Most people want more than just money in their career. Challenges, respect, working with good people, learning and career advancement are all on the list.
Good luck building your team.
About the Author
To learn more about successfully building a franchise in Canada and how a Canadian franchise could work for you, visit HickoryDickoryDecks.com. We have interesting tips on construction franchises and franchise opportunities in Canada.