Are your franchisees a thing?
As the number of franchisees increase, it is easy for a franchisor to attribute a number to each franchise (franchisee). Let us be clear: Being franchisee number 129 of a network is inadvertently being labelled a thing.
No wonder franchisee engagement is very low in so many networks. As a franchisor, YOU are responsible for creating an inclusive vision of your business partners, so you too can benefit from their wisdom, Entrepreneurship, dynamism, and pride.
Here are 3 reasons why franchisees are not engaged.
1. Everything is transactional
If franchisees see the franchisor as a service provider and not as a creator of added value (economic, inspirational, innovation), franchising is doomed to stagnate. Indeed, without added value, franchisees will not invest themselves proactively in the long term. Added value is the guarantee they need to invest their time, money, and personal resources to ensure their future.
WHAT TO DO
The answer is to get involved with them daily, to share, to explore solutions, and to create human wealth. With a bit of creativity, each franchisor can find their way.
2. The franchisor does not create excellence
Nothing worse for a successful franchisee to find that its franchisor acts laxly with non-performing franchisees. In truth, this is a reality that is too present within franchise networks. By failing to create a performance management system focused on excellence, the franchisor lets some franchisees tarnish their brand. The culture of excellence must start with the franchisor. Their performance and discipline management practices are indicators that clearly show the respect they have for franchisees and their most important asset: their trademark.
WHAT TO DO
1. Be credible and deliver the promised goods
2. Exude excellence as a professional franchisor (you are the example)
3. Train everyone on conflict resolution
4. Develop mechanisms for sharing best practices
5. Support low-performing franchisees towards a quick and honourable exit.
3. The franchisor manages changes without involving the franchisees
The 70s adage “My way or the highway” is now obsolete (at least I hope so!). Society has evolved, and an authoritarian approach to change and innovation simply no longer works. The franchisor has the responsibility to create the culture and appetite for change. Too often, franchisees do not understand the changes that the franchisor is imposing on them because it is being imposed on them, without explanation, without proof that it is quite simply the right thing to do! They then show a strong resistance that costs all network members dearly in missed opportunities and unnecessary debates.
WHAT TO DO
Establish a culture of permanent change. This way, franchisees will become experts in adapting and making rapid changes. Indeed, the more changes we make, the better we become at change, so the franchisor must regularly and continuously introduce changes.
Franchising is, above all, a human adventure. When franchisees are secure and feel supported, they can confidently engage in your projects.
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