Congratulations, you’ve opened your own business! But what’s next? Your first year as a business owner can be as exciting as it can be nerve-wracking and exhausting. It’s something Gretchen Bautista of Rolld Parramatta – a seven-day business with a breakfast, lunch and dinner trade currently in its first year of operation – knows firsthand. Bautista compares it to having a newborn baby: “It’s a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, every day is always different and challenging. It’s tough.” But she adds: “You also learn new things every day, so it’s quite rewarding and fulfilling.”

Here she shares some tips – based on her own experiences – to help get you through those first all-important 365 days.

Ask for help
“Being a franchisee you’re already part of a bigger network,” says Bautista. “At Rolld you’re treated like a family member, so there’s a lot of help – if you ask for it. The head office team are very helpful and happy to attend to your needs. I would advise a new Rolld franchisee to attend all the training provided for you and get very familiar with the processes.”

Strong support is one of the biggest perks of being part of a franchise family like Rolld. All our new franchisees undergo a comprehensive eight-week training program, which includes four weeks of training before the store is opened and four afterwards. For the first two weeks, you’ll have two Rolld support staff in-store and on hand to work alongside you and your staff. After which an area manager will be available to help you on an ongoing basis.

Hire well and don’t be afraid to delegate
As the franchise owner you may feel that you need to do everything yourself, but that’s bound to take its toll in the long run. While it’s important to know what’s happening across the business, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to trusted staff and build a strong team.

“Hire the right people,” says Bautista, “suited to you and the culture you’d like to create in your business. Then you can build a great team environment that’ll look after the operational side of things so that you can concentrate on customers and creating a system that works for your store.”

She adds: “Let certain staff go as soon as you recognise they are not in the ride with you, regardless of their skills.”

Look after your customers
“Get to know your customers, treat them well and they’ll pay you back tenfold and become your store’s ambassadors,” says Bautista.

It’s an obvious but essential piece of advice. Without your customers you won’t succeed, so listen to them, look after them and give them the best experience possible.

 Keep learning
Making mistakes is part of learning. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a few along the way in your first year of business. Identify what went wrong, make note of how to do it correctly and move on. The best way to grow with your business is to have an open mind and keep learning along the way.

“I have my certificate in Hospitality Operations and love being in a kitchen, I’ve been serving food and cooking for family and friends since I was nine. I learnt perhaps I should’ve stepped out of operations sooner and delegated tasks as soon as possible so that I can have more of an overview of how the entire store was doing,” shares Bautista.

“We also received a lot of advice and suggestions on how to run a business, I’ve learnt not to make a decision until we’ve tried them all, in the end choose the ones that produce the best results in the long term.”

Take care of yourself and celebrate your achievements
In the busyness of opening and running your own business it can be easy to overlook your own needs, but as Bautista attests she has learnt the importance of “looking after myself” because “if I’m not feeling 100 per cent, my results won’t be either”.

She ends: “Don’t forget to make sure you celebrate your successes –regardless of how small. Even if it’s with just a piece of chocolate cake and a fresh chai latte.”

Regardless of how far into your first year of business you are, keep at it, with the right approach you’re bound to succeed.

Thinking about joining the Rolld family?

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