Owning a franchise is difficult work. Just like any investment, there is a huge risk and franchisees must be willing to work hard if they plan to make anything of their business. However, there are several benefits to franchising, such as a higher rate of success, buying power and a support network. In addition, there are a few things franchisees can do to be successful as they invest in and grow their new business.

1. Participate in the training.

Many franchisers offer training for franchisees to help them understand the business, what it means to run a franchise and how to recruit employees. Take this training and take it seriously. In many cases, the franchisee or others in the business will be your biggest allies as you get going. These people want you to succeed and are there to help you do it. If you find there is no support system or training program, perhaps it's not the right company for your investment.

2. Get everyone on the same page and focused on the same vision.

As a franchisee, you must focus on the overall goals. Find people to focus with you. If you get everyone on the same page, communicating freely and working towards a successful business, you'll have a much easier time getting there. If you have employees or partners that are chasing money or worried about their own part in the business, it will be difficult to get very far. Make sure the goal of the company, the strategy and the tools are in place for everyone involved.

3. Be a problem-solver.

There will be problems as you launch and run your business. Be prepared for them and solve them as they come up. Do not ignore problems; do not leave them to someone else to be solved. You must take it upon yourself, as the franchise owner, to address problems head-on and make it your mission to be Chief Problem-Solver for each step of the process.

"In the always-evolving lifestyle of running your own business, no two days will ever be exactly same" said Adam Toren, Co-Founder ofKidpreneurs, a community that teaches kids the basic principles of Entrepreneurship. "As the owner of your own franchise, you will be handling and overseeing a multitude of diverse tasks. You will be in charge of everything from marketing and sales to handling financial details. You can count on some tough times that will involve some struggle which is why you will have to be flexible and ready to embrace change and solves problems as they arise."

4. Treat all employees well.

By treating employees well, you earn their trust and loyalty. This doesn't mean just paying them well, but that is part of it. Hiring and training costs money. Therefore, retention saves money. Keep the people you've hired by listening to them, empowering them to succeed, offering great benefits and motivating them every day. See them as an important part of the operation, because, in fact, they are. Just as your customers will flee to your competitors if they're not treated well, employees will, too.

"In a franchise model, especially a semi or absentee model, your staff are the ones that you're tasking to safeguard your investment and your customers. Pay them well. Heck, pay them better than everyone else pays them. Treat them well. Buy them lunch occasionally. Get them presents for their birthday. Listen to their opinions and concerns regarding the business. Ask for their input," said Michael Parrella, CEO of iLoveKickboxing.com. "These things will go a long way in creating a strong and long-lasting team. Remember, 'water only rises as high as the source'. If you're staff is not happy, what is their motivation or incentive to make your customers happy?"

5. Commit to the goal.

This should not be about getting money quickly, but about building a stable, successful franchise. You must be fully committed to your franchise because there will be ups and downs, gains and losses. It will take hard work and patience. If it's all about the money, it's harder to make smart, educated business decisions. You'll lose good people, loyal customers and opportunities to grow. Make your motivation about running a great operation, solving problems and empowering both your customers and your employees. Be committed to more than just money and your success will be greater than the money.