The Art of Driving a Franchise to Success

The Art of Driving a Franchise to Success

Charles Willis, president of Pinot’s Palette, explains how becoming a new franchisee comes with a tried-and-true roadmap that ensures a smooth ride to opening day.

You wouldn’t buy a new car without test driving it, weighing all your other options, and learning everything you need to know about the car from the dealership, right? Having that information helps you as the driver feel confident about owning that car. Investing in a Pinot’s Palette franchise is the same idea—there are a lot of franchises to consider buying, but not many of them come with as much support as we provide our new franchisee partners. It’s all in the startup process.

Learning to drive a new business together

I know starting a new business can feel overwhelming, and that’s exactly why Pinot’s Palette provides new franchisee partners with a clearly defined startup process—a kind of “roadmap” that covers all the details of opening a Pinot’s Palette studio. This eliminates much of the guesswork—it’s a turn-by-turn checklist that we’ve proven with over 150 successful openings, so we know your “car” is going to run exactly as planned.

Our startup process covers all the information a new partner needs when they feel they’re driving a hundred miles an hour towards opening day. The learning curve can be steep.  That’s why we make sure our new partners have expert advisors to lean on.  This allows them to focus on getting their business started successfully without worrying if they’re hitting all the marks. Our official process covers everything from big decisions, like lease negotiations, to small details, like how to arrange the tables in your studio.

You’re behind the wheel

New franchisee partners often tell us that they feel reassured knowing they’re driving, but they’ve got a co-pilot in the passenger seat. At the end of the day, we tell our partners that it’s their new studio. We’ll give them all the guidance and direction we can, but they get to enjoy the experience of driving. A franchise is the best of both worlds, as franchise owners, they control their future, but there is also a tried and true route that sets owners up for success.

Getting around the potholes

Using the startup process, we’re able to benchmark each new partner’s progress toward opening, and quickly point out if their “car” is going the wrong way. We know exactly what to do to steer our new franchisees back in the right direction if they hit a pothole. Our information is based on real-time data, so we can see what’s outside the norm. We know where the speed traps are, so we can ask the right questions, dissect the situation, and get back on the right road.

Within a short period of time, the business is open and franchisee partners are doing business in their communities. It’s important for new owners to spend the first six months to a year to learn and really fine tune the Pinot’s Palette process. As a business owner you must get a “feel” for your business just like an expert racecar driver knows their car and the track. Once a franchisee partner has encountered the seasons of business in the market, learned what the customers want and has an experienced and trained staff, that’s when it’s time to talk about ways to fine-tune the process.

Our philosophy at Pinot’s Palette is the only constant is change. The best ideas often don’t come from headquarters—they come from our people who are out there driving their businesses. We expect our new franchisee partners to follow our processes and really learn the business. Once they are expert drivers, we also expect them to be innovators and bring us great new ideas because we’re always looking for new ways to make this ‘car’ run more smoothly.

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