Owning a franchise can feel like the best of both worlds: you get to own your own business, but you also receive plenty of direction from corporate headquarters so that you don’t feel like a fish out of water as you start your journey. Of course, successful operation of any type of business requires strong leadership. Are you as effective as you could be?

Have a Clear Vision and Strong Model

The first rule for any leader is to be clear in your own vision and understand your own strengths. Before you ever open your business, it is important to have a strong leadership vision. What kind of business do you hope to run? What will you expect of employees? How can you take action to ensure you achieve these goals? Even more important, which type of action will work best for you? Some people learn well from behind a desk while others need a hands-on experience, and the same can be said for trainers. If you work better behind a desk, have someone on hand who can provide hands-on training. If you prefer to be out in the field, ensure you have a right-hand man who can keep things going behind the scenes.

Ask for Help When You Need It

Not everybody is a born leader, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be an excellent one. If you aren’t sure how to lead when operating a franchise, ask for help. This could be in the form of a mentor whom you know has great leadership skills or by using alternative resources, such as seminars or ongoing education that providing training and development for franchise owners who aren’t used to being in a leadership position.

Ensure You Have a Quality Team of Employees

Leadership doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a quality team to work with. While it can be one of the more difficult parts of owning a business, you are solely responsible for ensuring your employees are measuring up. Unfortunately, this sometimes means removing team members altogether. Other times, you may find that reassigning someone to a different part of the operation does wonders for his or her efficiency. No matter what, don’t be afraid to take the reins when creating a team that works efficiently.

Take Advantage of Technology

There is technology for everything these days, and leadership is no different. Tools that monitor your key performance indicators will help you learn where you can improve, where you’re doing well and what your team hopes to learn from you.

Whether you own one franchise, or you are the person responsible for bringing on new franchisees, leadership is essential for any successful business. Remember, improving your own skills will help those you work with to become better employees and partners as well.