• Jennifer Callender

Why Project Managers Make Great Franchise Business Owners

Many business owners think of themselves more as the person who does the work, instead of the person who leads the people doing the work.

But if you’re not in charge, who is?

The absence of leadership in a business creates a lot of frustration and challenges from financial to client issues. In my work with small-business owners, I notice that once a business owner gets into the mindset of “I’m a leader,” a lot of progress starts to occur. But this can’t simply be a mindset, it should be a discipline. Franchise business ownership success requires a certain skill set that’s directly aligned with project management. There are many skills that small-business owners need to have to successfully lead their business and project management offers that solid footing. Here's why:

1. Leadership Experience

Great leadership skills allow owners to develop solid growth, motivate their employees and deliver strategies that impact the success of their business. Project Managers are often more prepared to take on the responsibility of supporting the numerous needs of their business and staff. Their leadership decisions build trust and value to any high-performing team. Project Managers inherent ability to lead lends to their ability for solid delivery and problem-solving.

2. Strong Discipline and Focus

The truth is... working for yourself means nobody is looking over your shoulder to ensure that you stay focused. Business owners are often wearing many different hats and need high levels of discipline to stay on target and accomplish everything a growing business requires.

Discipline and focus are inherent qualities that come to mind when people think of successful project managers. Applying this discipline consistently can translate to greater productivity and faster growth for any small business.

3. Ability to Build and Lead a Team

The latest statistics show that one of the top three reasons small businesses fail is because they don't have the right team at the helm. Besides building and leading a team from a strategic perspective, project managers also manage from an operational point of view. An effective team manager excels at administering and coordinating groups of individuals by promoting teamwork, delegating tasks, resolving conflict, setting goals, and evaluating performance. Leadership is about inspiring others to walk with you while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. With teamwork being a key component for successful project implementation, Project Managers have a clear advantage in this area. They are trained to operate within a team dynamic. Their success often depends on how well the team performs. Bringing this attitude to a business creates stronger bonds and encourages higher levels of performance among other team members - all of which leads to better results.

4. Ensuring Performance Under Pressure

For new business owners, the pressure is a reality. They react to emergencies, delegate tasks, and make quick decisions that channel the business into a particular direction. Many Project Managers face enormous levels of pressure and responsibility while dealing with aggressive timelines, limited budgets, and challenging stakeholders. So they're often well-equipped to handle the stresses of entrepreneurship while remaining functional and effective.

5. Strong Communication and Negotiation Skills

Regardless of the importance of teamwork, many business owners struggle with effective communication and the ability to relinquish control. A lot of this communication has to do with negotiating the use of resources, budgets, schedules, budgets, and a variety of other compromises that are unavoidable. Knowing how to negotiate well so that all parties are satisfied is a key skill for any successful business. Given that 90% of a project manager’s time is spent communicating and level-setting expectations, this skill easily transfers into business ownership. These are just a few of the major strengths project managers have when pursuing franchise business ownership. Their experiences and perspectives give them a unique set of tools for turning their business aspirations into successful projects and ventures. Franchise business ownership is a job that requires a varied and vast skill set. As a Professional Project Manager (PMP), I can confidently say that these skills offer a solid foundation for any successful franchise business owner.

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