Window Fashion VISION

Run Your Interior Design Firm Like a Franchise?

Our company, Window Works, was originally part of a franchise system. It has occurred to me that while we have been profitable and successful for many reasons, not the least of which are the talents, skills and tenacity of the three of us as owners and partners, it is also because we were once part of a franchise. Franchises specifically have duplicatable processes and specific guidelines so that each new franchise can be successful.

3 Things You Should Do to Be Like a Franchise:

1. Determine your company mission and stick to it.

Do you know what you’re getting when you go to Ikea? Have you ever walked in and wondered,Is today the day I am going to find an elegant Swarovski crystal chandelier? Uhh, no…You go to Ikea for low prices on a specific style of furniture and accessories and it is not $10,000 chandeliers. Ikea knows its mission and it sticks to it. The same must be true for you. If you specialize in window treatments, your showroom shouldn’t look like an aisle at Home Depot filled with products that dilute your mission. Get clear on what you offer and make sure it’s easily understood by your clients. Do what you do and do it better than anyone else.

2. Create your brand.

Stand out above the noise.

Even before you walk into a Friday’s restaurant you know exactly what the décor will be inside, don’t you? A bike or a guitar hanging from the ceiling, the red and white stripes on the walls. They make it is easy for hungry diners driving down the road to decide between Pop’s Grub House and them.

If you haven’t already, develop your logo, your company colors, your fonts, and your stationary. Use the same branding in all of your advertising, your imprinted vehicles, your showroom signage, and your social media. In other words, put up your “Stripes” so potential clients find you and recognize you.

3. Develop a system for everything you do.

I’ll bet you 10 bucks a barista at Starbucks in California makes a double espresso triple mocha choco latte exactly the same way as a barista at a Starbucks in Maine.

Why?

Because they have systems. And the systems are documented.

They have determined the best, most efficient way to be an amazing purveyor. In order to do this, they have systems and guidelines for everything and everyone. And in order to attract loyal, repeat customers it is imperative they provide the same Starbucks quality and experience to every single one, no matter what state they are in.

If you want to be productive and you want loyal clients, you must create a system for every task in your business and for every touchpoint you have with your client. Train your staff to do things exactly the way you do them. Creating a customer experience that can be successfully repeated over and over and over is the probably the best and simplest way to increase your efficiency, your productivity, and your profits. Cross my heart, promise.

(By the way, Starbucks isn’t a franchise either, so if they can do it, so can you.)

LuAnn Nigara, Principal, Window Works

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