Being a franchisor is hard.
There are conflicting interests to manage and franchisees are a pretty demanding bunch. Add to this the fact that anything that goes wrong is your fault and anything that goes right would have gone right anyway so it’s clear why very few franchisors make it through to the BFA’s Franchisor of the Year finals.
So what does a franchisor need to do to be the best ever, in the whole wide world?
Well, lots of things, but I think I’ve had a bit of an insight. On Monday I was with a franchisor (one of our clients) and was listening to the Chief Exec who had come to have a chat over coffee with a group of franchisees who had been in the business for six months.
He was talking generally, shooting the breeze, if you like, but there were three top tips for franchisors that really stood out for me. Here they are:
1. Understand that you are a franchisor first and foremost. Recognise that you are in the business of franchising, rather than anything else, and it changes your decision making. All your decisions are based on what you can do to make your franchisees more successful.
2. Make sure you are continually improving what you do for your franchisees. You can stick with the core products that your business delivers but the way they are delivered should be made more and more efficient. Improve training, delivery and processes so that the network becomes increasingly profitability and never cease to strive in this direction – after all, your royalty will improve, too.
3. Take and hold the moral high ground with your franchisees. This includes doing the right things for the whole network, but also includes being firm with individuals for the greater good. Always apply your own rules consistently and never, ever deviate from this by doing something different for one franchisee.
All well and good. But the thing that made me prick my ears up was the result of applying these rules without exception… which I believe our client does.
The Chief Exec had been on holiday for three weeks and, as always he left his ‘phone on for franchisees to call if they had issues… a fact he advertised before he left.
He received one ‘phone call during the time he was off and that was from a franchisee who wanted to expand their territory to put in a second office.
The best franchisor ever..? Quite possibly!