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If there’s one thing we learned from this year's National Franchise Convention, it’s that a franchisor is nothing without their franchisees. The best franchisors will do what they can to support a franchisee so they can ultimately have success with their franchise. We got some great insights from some leaders in franchising during the panel session Op Central hosted, so we put together this article on how to help your franchisees be a success.
That doesn’t just mean the proper shop fitout or the literal toolbox required to effectively complete a construction job, it's about giving them resources, the knowledge and the systems and processes they need to operate on a daily basis. Even experienced franchisors may find their ‘franchise toolbox’ may have a few missing pieces in it, or that there are better ways to be doing things, so ensure you are frequently assessing what your franchisees need to succeed and updating that toolbox.
We’re sure you have a ‘roadmap to success’ for franchisees, but is it well outlined? And how do your franchisees find and access this roadmap? Explicit documentation always needs to be at the top of the list of resources new franchisees will need, as nothing can be left up to common sense or verbal assurance.
It’s also crucial to ensure that access to this ‘roadmap for success’ is really easy. Ask yourself: where is the roadmap located and will my franchisees be able to access it now and in the future should they need to refer back to it?
Amber Manning, Just Cuts CEO will connect up new franchisees with a top performing franchisee to help them start off on the right foot and really learn a lot from someone who is where they are.
While formal training is extremely important, learning from a peer can be really helpful for your new franchisees. You may be the expert at being a franchisor, but no one knows what it’s like to be a franchisee at your business better than your current franchisees.
A franchise buddy is able to give them real examples and advice without the pressure of their boss looming over them. Giving your franchisees a peer to turn to can really help them get off to a running start and help them with advice ongoing.
Franchisors may have created the roadmap, but the franchisees have been through it all before. If you don’t want to set your franchisees up with a buddy (and perhaps even if you do), you should be encouraging socialisation between franchisees with the goal of shared expertise.
This encouragement can come in the form of setting up discussion forums, Facebook Groups, Whatsapp Groups or something to that effect so your franchisees can have a space to connect and share their experiences or advice. You may even want to go as far as to set up events specifically for your franchisees to network. These spaces to connect can offer a world of good to both new and experienced franchisees.
This is a crucial point and most franchisors will know that strong communication ongoing, is one of the most important factors that contributes to franchisee performance. There is often an “us and them” mentality in franchising, so “break[ing] down the barriers between the corporate and the franchisee” is really the key, as Heidi Miller from Hertz put it.
At every level, effective communication is important. Whether that be within the franchisee network, between franchisee and franchisor or at the franchisee to staff level. Set expectations over how to communicate, where to communicate and the frequency of communication and encourage it wherever possible.
The success of a franchisee relies quite heavily on how you set them up, so make sure you’re doing all you can to maximise profitability and ensure that a franchisee will thrive.
All comments in the above article were taken from a panel discussion at the 2022 National Franchise Convention. Read more about the event here.