What It Takes To Build Long-Term Vision

If you're looking to enter into or start a franchise, there are a few key things to consider when trying to determine to long-term success of your endeavor.

For example, when I first started MonkeyMedia Software, I was running a thriving restaurant business that needed software support to manage and handle the growing number of catering orders we were receiving every day. It was no easy task to get all of the components aligned, but I had a clear sense of direction and purpose even before this new company was built.

Having a clear sense of direction, well-defined expectations and a focus on the future is something every potential new franchise business owner should have in place prior to making any short- or long-term decisions.

Building a franchise business is not an easy task, which is why it requires solid determination and a firm plan.

When it comes to the development of your long-term franchise goals, here are three rules that must apply:

1. Have a clear sense of direction.

This should be the easiest of the three steps. Obviously, when you start any new venture, or become a franchisee in an existing one, you have a sense of what you want to build and why. Write down where you want to be in one year, three years or five years as a way to better understand where you are headed and how you are going to get there. Look at the long-term plan of the company you're considering and whether their goals align with yours. Have a clear sense of direction that will give you the leverage you need to make decisions based on your long-term vision and that will keep you and your system in alignment. This is especially true if internal or external pressures are working at cross-purposes. Even in times of struggle, every decision to be based on a clear sense of direction.

2. Have realistic expectations.

No venture experiences an easy ride, especially if expectations are unrealistically high. Set your sites on the development of clear and simple goals that everyone can execute. If your goals are to join with a franchise group, be clear about your expectations of what the parent company can provide. If your goals and expectations are too high, people will fail to deliver and chaos will ensue within your organization. Develop the level of expectations and goals early on, but after you know your sense of direction. In business, setting the right course and establishing expectations is a crucial element needed for success. Everything flourishes when both are working together.

3. Continue to focus on the future.

It is important to note that as you work on your long-term vision, you constantly keep an eye toward the future. That does not mean that you disregard your sense of direction. Instead, you focus on the future with your sense of direction and your goals and expectations in mind. Think about your expectations in terms of the business you are thinking about becoming part of. If a business you are considering isn't right for you, look for another. Just don't give up. While external forces may put pressure on the long-term plan, those pressures will ease if you continue to look ahead, aware of the dangers and the road to follow.

Once you have these three items in place, you are better positioned.