Small Business Information
Franchise Company Operations Manual Sample Outline
Many companies wish to expand and a few wish to use franchising as a method of expansion. Not a bad idea, but one must consider the importance of the fine details. One book I recommend you read is the ?E-Myth? by Gerber it is available at all the usual places. You see when going from a small business to a franchise company it is important to make sure you take out all the mistakes you have made in the past in building your small business and insure that your future franchisees never make those mistakes themselves. After all they need not go thru the rigorous minefields and brick walls you had to in order to be successful. Especially considering you will most likely be charging them a substantial upfront franchise fee.
Does Your Company Have a Business Image Manual
Every business regardless of size needs a ?Business Image Manual? to protect their band. Even the smallest companies with only a few employees is well served when there is a business image manual in place. For 15 years I ran a small business, which I eventually franchised and later expanded to 23-states and 4 countries. What I had learned after franchising is that; I should have written my image manual 10-years prior. At first my business was just me alone; like most small businesses, but then due to my hard work and customer service, I had to expand to meet demand. Each time I added people to the team, I seemed to be rehashing over and over again my theories on business image. Often I would have to harp on the issue with part time employees or even summer help. What I needed was a manual. However, being a head strong entrepreneur in those days, I like many entrepreneurs of small businesses said; ?What do I need a bunch of manuals or even a business plan for that matter?? After all most of us know our businesses very well and we do not have to write it down. We just know thru intuition what will work and why and surprisingly we end up making few mistakes, but when we do they are usually quite large and costly lessons.
Community Relations Strategy for Small Business
Does your company have a community relation strategy? Have you even considered it? It is essential to have policies in place. Having run a small business for years which eventually turned into a multi-state franchise system, I realized early on that a business who is part of the community it serves can survive the ups and downs of the business cycles, making it somewhat recession proof. Nothing turns off the community more than a business which refuses to give back a little and gives some ridiculous excuse of; ?It is our corporate policy, sorry!? Many times a volunteer for a club or organization will come in and ask for a hand out. Rather than giving them an excuse, talk with them about what you can do, have a policy which helps them too. Do not just tell them sorry; ?No can do? offer them other assistance instead. For instance if they come in a are looking for a donation, you might say. We are not able to give a straight donation, but we are allowed to give you an item or two on the discount rack for a door prize or silent auction.
Employee Relations Manual Sample Outline
Most smart entrepreneurs and all large corporations have Employee Relations Manuals. Nearly all businesses with over five or more employees have some sort of employee manuals but not all have Employee Relations Manuals for their managers. It is important in today?s litigious lawyer trap to have a good policy in place to protect you from a bad decision or improper handling of an employee situation by a manager. All too often a minor incident can lead to a problematic situation and end up in court, union arbitration or a hefty fine from a government regulatory agency which often tend to side with the employee, regardless of fact.
Franchising Companies Relationship Strategies
Franchising Corporations need to maintain an iron fist when it comes to certain things in order to maintain absolute integrity of the system; Consistency, Quality, Cleanliness and Customer Courtesy or Service. Ray Kroc in his book; ?Grinding it Out? made that point perfectly clear, some called him a hard ass on the details and indeed it served him well and turned 11,000 franchisees into millionaires along with some 1500 executives early on. That of course is one side of the game and it is difficult to maintain control of such important quintessential items in an age of over regulations and constant lawsuits. The best strategy we have found after surveying many franchising companies at; Franchising.org is to have a strong franchise relationship policy, which enhances communications and prevents lawsuits, as litigation is the lowest form of communication.
Combating Over Regulation of Small Business
Many small businesses do quite well due to the blood, sweat and tears of their proprietors. Unfortunately in doing to well often you find that the competition uses the government to attack you. They do this by complaining to various local agencies about how you are not following certain rules, such as the dumpster out back has broken hinges on the doors or that your handicap spot in front of your store is fading? Often they will even make stuff up simply to get the enforcement folks out there who will start to go through your business with a fine toothcomb, we all know what that means, they will indeed find something wrong and you will get a fine of some type. This general harassment is so common that it takes its toll on the small businessperson.
Competition Relations in Auto Detailing
There is significant competition in auto detailing and car washing. Even more between types of cleaning businesses, as each company attempts to expand into other services which are the mainstay of similar business models. Many times the line blurs between a car wash, oil change business, truck repair, auto accessories business, electronics installers and auto detailing. What can you do? Well first let?s talk about what you should not do. You should not start a war against all your competition. Instead you should maintain good relations with them, even if you find them to be somewhat unethical by nature.
Equipment Maintenance Manual for Mobile Cleaning Business Outline
Service Cleaning Businesses must maintain their equipment in order to insure it is ready to go when the company vehicles reach their customer. It does not matter how many service vehicles or employees you have, a manual can save you both time and money. If your equipment is not running correctly you will find yourself in a position of having to make an excuse to a customer. Although if this happens only once you probably will not jeopardize the account, but if it becomes a common occurrence you will be sure that you will lose some accounts and be thought of as inefficient and unreliable. If this happens you can bet that if your competition shows up with a lower price and a few extra promises you will receive your walking papers and become a political casualty of the world of the cleaning business.
Accounting and Billing Procedures for Small Business
No matter how small your small business is, it is essential to have some sort of accounting and billing police and methodology. This will prevent you from making mistakes and upsetting vendors or even bouncing checks. Most sole proprietor and single employee companies do not have a plan of attack for accounting and billing procedures until there is a crisis. There is no sense in allowing a crisis to take hold, especially when a few procedures are set in place to prevent it. Remember Noah built the Ark before the rain.
Banking and Company Credit Card Policies for Small Business
Does your small business have a banking and credit card policy? If not, perhaps you might wish to think on it. Developing such policies and procedures is not a difficult task. It will not take you long at all to make a relatively simple operations manual to cover your banking and credit card strategies.
Below please find an outline or guideline to assist you in developing your own small business banking strategy.
Franchising and Royalty Payments
If you are thinking of turning your current into a franchising company you will need to determine a fair and equitable franchise royalty fee. There are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself in determining this fee such as what services you will provide to your franchisee team and what that will cost. You will also need to take a look at the competition to determine the amount that you can honestly charge without forgoing cost conscious franchise buyers.
Mobile Pressure Washing and Cleaning Scheduling
If you own a mobile car washing, pressure washing or auto detailing business you know that when your crews and machines are parked and working that you are making money. You also know that when those units and crews are driving or stuck in traffic you are losing your shirt in costs and inefficiencies. If you are to expand your mobile washing business to multiple units running in multiple cities you will need to have a strict scheduling policy and operations manual to insure that efficiencies are maintained. Today with the highest fuel costs ever in our nation?s history and the increased traffic over the last five years it is ultra critical that you plot out your routes, customer locations and time with precision.
Quality Controls for Franchising Companies Sample Outline
Quality control in franchising companies is paramount and all franchising companies must have strict guidelines to insure consistency. To insure this takes place throughout your franchise system you must make this a policy in your confidential operations manual. Your first step should be to make an outline of your policies and reasons behind them, since you might need help getting started please feel free to print this article and modify the outline below to best fit your specific business and vision for your company.
Carwash Manual Sample Outline
Car wash businesses are unique to other businesses. In fact they are about as unique as the many different type of vehicles one is asked to wash. Many vehicles are best cleaned using slightly different techniques. If you own a carwash or a mobile car wash you will need an operations manual to assist your managers in staying efficient.
Fleet Washing Operations Manual Sample Outline
In the Truck Washing Business every single type of vehicle is washed differently. If you are going to run a mobile onsite fleet washing business with multiple trucks in multiple cities you will in fact need a comprehensive manual to keep your crews and equipment running at an optimum. Below you will see a sample outline to assist you in constructing a washing procedure manual, which will include many different types of fleet vehicles.
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