10 issues (that no one dares talk about) for 80% of franchisors (part 1)
Did you know that 8 out of 10 franchisors in America have less than 100 units and more than 35% of these have less than 20 units? Why is this? Some reasons are self-evident for example; the wrong business model does not create value, the franchisor is underfunded and neglects their existing franchisees in favour of the new ones, but let’s go further and explore the other real reasons why franchisors under-potentiate their potential for creating value; the one issue we don’t really dare talk about:
1. Not understanding the franchisor profession and not equipping yourself adequately.
The mission to help franchise partners succeed in their business project is complex. It’s a bit like coaching a football team with athletes from other sport disciplines. It takes time, assertive communication and positive leadership.
Basically, every day the franchisee asks himself 3 questions:
.1. Is my franchisor competent in franchising and not solely in the original franchise field of activity? Becoming a franchisor is a new profession for all emerging franchisors, and there are many facets to master. Competence as a franchisor is mainly due to 3 factors:
- The capacity and intelligence to grow the network in quality and quantity
- The ability to allow franchisees to operate their franchise with competence and ease
- The production of a satisfactory ROI according to the investment
.2. Does my franchisor “connect” with me?
Being a franchisee means being part of a team where interactions occur practically daily. This connection is an essential need that is too often overlooked.
It is expressed in several ways:
- Various Communications, Periodic Meetings, Round Tables, Committees, Contests, Performance Audit, etc.
The takeaway here is to understand that the connection happens between individuals, and the quality is paramount. Positive leadership is the key to developing a connection. Therefore, the wise franchisor will not neglect the message’s clarity, transparency, and real intent while keeping an open and respectful exchange. All in a catchy tone that gives the desire to adhere to the message.
.3. Is there trust between us?
Trust is a feeling that is very difficult to measure. However, in franchising, trust cannot be neglected because it creates that invisible bond that ensures that franchise partners strongly adhere to the brand and that the franchisor can carry out the initiatives they undertake. This trust goes both ways. However, it is not easy to develop and maintain. Perfection does not exist; trust is quickly lost, but it can be regained.
3 basic principles support the development and maintenance of trust
Commitment: “Walk the talk” is an expression that should colour all mutual commitments. Delivering the goods is a generator of trust. The best way for a franchisor to respect their commitments and only commit to what they know they can achieve is with realism. Too often, for fear of disappointment, the franchisor promises a lot and does not deliver. You can only imagine how the franchise partner feels in this instance.
Compassion: Franchising is a human adventure above all, knowing your franchise partners well, showing empathy and open-mindedness, practicing sincere listening, highlighting victories and not just sales figures, recognizing their contribution within the network. The community and acting with them as true partners is the essence of compassion in franchising. To be compassionate is not to be soft but rather to show courage. Nothing beats the powerful message of a CEO who takes the time to go and help a franchisee succeed within their franchise.
Consistency: Leading a franchise network means leading a set of partners connected together but not all having the same ideas, mindsets, objectives, experiences, abilities, etc. Therefore, it is essential to remain constant and avoid creating chaos either by a rapid or poorly crafted change of direction or by a wait-and-see attitude that creates a sense of urgency. In franchising, the franchisor is the one who dictates the pace. There is only one tool to accomplish this: The Plan. This plan is the general alignment tool of the network that must guide everyone’s actions and dictate the pace.
Remember: 0 Plan X 0 consistency = 100% turbulence