Every great franchise company has one thing in common—a crystal clear vision plan that everyone in the entire organization shares. However, as a potential franchise owner, you should also have your own franchise vision plan. It’s easy to “hitch your wagon” to a brand’s vision, but it’s important to understand how aligned you may be through some vision planning of your own.
When you look at the top-performing franchisees within any system, it is not a shared vision, prior work experience, specialized skills, or personality that sets them apart–but a clear, personalized vision plan for their own business and where they want their business to take them.
Personal goals drive and motivate each of us to do what we do every day. Vision planning is a great way to contemplate and uncover your needs, goals, values, limitations, and expectations.
Linking personal goals directly to business goals and then creating a clear vision for how to attain those goals requires careful thought, but when done correctly, the results can be powerful.
Below, we’ll discuss how you can create a vision plan for your business and offer a free and actionable, step-by-step vision plan template that you can use to get started.
What is a Franchise Vision Plan?
A franchisee vision plan is a tool to help you, as a franchise owner, achieve both your personal and business goals. It’s a clear, personalized blueprint for what you hope to achieve and where you want your business to take you.
Different from a business plan, which focuses on the specifics of getting a business from point A to point B, a vision plan is a higher-level description of what the business will look like, feel like, and act like in the future.
Business plans focus on the day-to-day, whereas a vision plan provides the big-picture details of what the business owner hopes to achieve. While both plans are important, having a longer-term vision plan in place will guide the shorter-term business plan and help ensure both plans are successful.
A good vision plan will incorporate both business and personal goals and include several pages of written narrative, as well as detailed financial projections.
Your franchise vision plan should include the following:
- Core values
- Size of the business
- Number of employees
- Work performed
- Hours worked
- Community involvement
- Personal goals (short-term and long-term)
- Your desired day-to-day role running the franchise in the future
Business projections should include the following:
- Capital requirements
- Gross sales
- Net income
- Debt service
- Cash flow
On the personal side, outline projections for:
- Discretionary owner benefits (e.g., retirement savings, insurance, car, club memberships, etc.)
- Personal debt repayment
- Savings and other asset appreciation
- Accumulated equity (estimated business value)
A well-written vision plan will create a vivid picture of the business you hope to build, and it will define exactly what “success” looks like for you. While franchisors can provide their franchisees (and candidates) with templates and outlines to create a business plan, it is critical that you prepare the plan specific to your personal vision and goals.
The Benefits of a Franchise Vision Plan
Creating and maintaining a vision plan offers many benefits for you individually as well as the franchisee community as a whole.
Franchisees benefit from vision planning in the following ways:
- A greater probability of achieving success by putting your vision down on paper
- Constructive outside feedback from individuals who see/hear the plan
- Sharing the vision creates more accountability for the plan
- Improved self-confidence in achieving defined goals
- Easier access to 3rd party capital
- Greater overall performance, profitability, and return on investment
- Higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and enjoyment of the business
The franchisee community benefits in the following ways:
- Better overall franchise relations
- Greater transparency and sharing of best practices
- Greater brand competitiveness in the marketplace
- Higher long-term business resale valuations
How to Create Your Franchise Vision Plan
Ready to get started? Linking your personal goals directly to business goals and then creating a clear vision for how to attain those goals requires careful thought and consideration; however, the time invested will help ensure you have set realistic expectations and defined a clear path to success.
Your franchise vision plan should inspire you and define your guideposts for your business plan. To help you create your vision plan, we created the Vision Plan Workbook, which you can download for free here.
To begin, you’ll want to think about what’s important to you and where you want to be in the next 5 to 10 years. From there, you can start to create your plan using the template provided.
If you have already decided on a franchise brand, your franchisor can be a valuable resource as you begin to fill out your vision plan. Set aside some time to review your current financials and goals, discuss how to bridge the gap between these and your future goals, and understand what they think you need to monitor and review on a regular basis.
And remember, this plan should be a living document. Revisit it regularly to evaluate your progress and reassess your priorities.