How Much Time Should You Spend at Your Franchises?

By Brian Harris


If you’re a franchise operator who feels like you’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately, you might be told to “join the club.” Maybe your fellow managers say it, but hopefully that’s not the overall attitude of the corporate team. After all, who would want to join a club where the members feel exhausted and overwhelmed on a regular basis?

A franchise manager can’t be everywhere at once as a network grows. In fact, management should become less complicated over time – not more difficult. If you feel increasingly overwhelmed and short on time, it’s time to take a step back and look at your process.

“Focus on being productive instead of being busy.”Timothy Ferriss
Author “The 4-Hour Workweek

Consider how you might simplify franchise management. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:

  • What are your current tasks in managing your franchise?
  • What are the goals you’ve wanted to accomplish, but haven’t had time for?
  • Which of your tasks can you absolutely not delegate at the store level?
  • Which of your tasks can you possibly assign to the store level?
  • What are your current productivity tools?

You may begin to see redundancies in your schedule, as well as opportunities to delegate and refocus your energies on a new initiative.

Take advice from New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek.” Ferriss tells his readers how to “DEAL” with a packed work schedule, or “DELA” if you have a regular job like a franchise manager.


Set clear and attainable goals for yourself, your management colleagues and your franchisees.


Focus only on those tasks that contribute to the majority of results, and delegate the rest. It’s the 80-20 rule, where 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts.


Free yourself from any one geographical location.  Ferriss talks about liberation as a lifestyle change, but from a franchise manger’s perspective it’s important to not be stuck behind a desk or constantly on the road. Let your store managers be your eyes and ears in the field. This kind of freedom will greatly reduce stress.


Ferriss talks about generating automated sources of income. However, this principle can also be applied to store operations. Automate your processes to save time and be more effective.

Coincidentally, Ferriss is a critic of technology and advocates hiring personal assistants from developing countries to free up even more time. However, unless you’re a solopreneur like he is, this may be rather difficult. If you need to stay connected, make sure mobile technology works for you and eliminates redundancies.

For instance, a series of emails to a store manager regarding a retail report might look like this:

  1. Did you get the store audit form?
  2. OK, here is the store audit form. Please see attachment.
  3. Did you complete the store audit form yet?
  4. I received the store audit form, and this is what I need you to do.

With the right mobile tools, these tasks can be consolidated onto one platform that identifies incomplete tasks and tracks progress.

So, how much time should you spend at your franchise? You’ll never have a four-hour workweek in retail, but you don’t have to have a 14-hour day, either. It’s a personal question and responses may vary. Before attempting to answer, though, take that important step back to look at your processes at the store level.

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