For any franchisor, Nirvana is a happy and productive network… every franchisor will tell you so, whether they have 3 franchisees or 300.

And yet many franchisors have trouble achieving this goal.

I was speaking at a franchise conference today and, for once, it was an entirely pleasurable experience… well, almost.

This got me thinking because, clearly, the franchisor I was working for was doing something right and I wanted to put my finger on it. When I analysed what was going on I was surprised to find five things they were doing which, when I think about other successful operations, are duplicated across the board.

Here’s what I found:

  • The franchisor had a clear sense of ethics. They know their responsibilities to the network and applies them rigourously. I guess another way of putting this is that they have clear values. What’s more, though, they live and breathe the values by telling everyone else about them. I was given very clear instructions about what I should and shouldn’t say and what I had to achieve.
  • The franchisor fundamentally knows that their success is based on their franchisee’s success. They want their franchisees to do better and better and are prepared to help them get there. They know what it takes to get there and, if a franchisee is under performing, they will support that franchisee.
  • The franchisor is very strong when it comes to protecting the brand and, although they support underperforming franchisees, there is a limit to what they’ll tolerate. If a franchisee is a danger to the brand (and therefore to their fellow franchisees, the franchisor won’t hesitate to use the franchise agreement to exit them from the network.
  • The franchisor is continuously innovating and updating products and services. They haven’t discovered one product that works for them and are staying the same. They have updated the product range and continue to expand the product line so franchisees can do more and more in terms of business.
  • The franchisor celebrates success. They keep brilliant stats on what each franchisee is doing and they reward success, not only in terms of the franchisee’s earning, but also in terms of recognition in front of their peers. But it’s not just once a year they do this, although there is a focus at their annual conference. They constantly talk to their franchisees to tlet them know how they are doing.

As I thought about these actions I began to realise that all the really good franchisors we work with do the same thing.

And the result?

Well, for each of our clients the result is exactly the same. A franchise network that works with them to develop the business. They have a group of like minded individuals who all want to do well and are prepared to work together to get there.

Now, this doesn’t happen overnight and I would encourage every franchisor in the world to adopt these principles. Of course, if the franchise has been about for a while and the network is slightly unruly it will take a little time to get there. If it’s a new franchise, then it is always best to start as you mean to go on and get these things in place from the outset.

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