The focus that franchisors place on franchise development is vital to prospective franchisees. This is particularly the case for those who have never managed their own business before.
Franchisees choose to join a franchise because they want to be their own boss, but they also want the safety net that comes from buying into a proven system, brand and processes. They want the reassurance of continual guidance and support that the franchisor will provide throughout their franchising journey.
As a franchisor, how can you best support your franchisees?
Your franchisees will pay their franchise fee and in return expect to be trained adequately enough to run a successful and profitable business. But the support that you provide should go deeper than this. There are many ways that you can help your franchisees reach their full potential, which goes further than the support detailed in the franchise agreement.
Here's a guide on how to provide quality, consistent and accessible support to all your franchisees.
>> Read more:
Help them to develop their business.
Franchisors tend to be very good at providing comprehensive training as soon as the franchise agreement has been signed and the franchise fee has been paid. However, franchisees don’t just benefit from the initial training package, but from ongoing franchise development too. This is particularly true for the more experienced franchisees who quickly become dissatisfied if their growing needs are not met.
There are many ways that your franchisees’ ongoing training needs can be provided for, which doesn’t have to involve them taking time out of their business and sitting in a classroom for hours on end.
You could spend time with your franchisees at their franchise sites, for example. Franchisees will appreciate your willingness to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into demonstrating your in-depth knowledge of the system. They will respect and admire a franchisor who takes a hands-on approach to ongoing training.
As well as shadowing your franchisees personally, you should also ensure that there are traditional field support resources available. Being able to place experienced and knowledgeable support staff into each of your business’ franchised sites means that the level of training and coaching can be tailored to the individual franchisees’ needs.
Through spending time with the franchisees, your team can identify skill gaps and focus on closing these to improve sales, profitability, market share and brand awareness. If you and your team invest time and effort into the franchisees that need extra support, they’ll be more likely to achieve their goals.
Hear what they are saying and take action
Never forget that franchisees should be treated like the business partners they are, rather than like employees. Nothing is more frustrating for a franchisee than operational changes being introduced that they have no prior knowledge of. Not only is this disrespectful to your franchisees, but you could also be missing a trick. After all, no one has more insight into operational issues than a franchisee.
Make sure that you implement transparent feedback methods so that your franchisees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas with you. Effective communication will ensure that you stay connected with franchisees, building strong relationships and a sense of community within your franchisee network. Most importantly though, when you receive feedback from franchisees, act on it. There's no quicker way to lose the trust that has been created than by ignoring franchisee feedback.
Offer them leadership
If you want to drive the performance of your franchisees, then gaining their buy-in to your mission, values and culture is critical. This is something that can't just be added to the franchise agreement. It’s more than words, rules and obligations. It’s inspiring your franchisees to be the best they can be by helping them understand how they fit into the bigger picture.
Demonstrate your leadership skills by being consistent, honest and fair. This will not only promote mutual respect between yourself and your franchisees, but it will also make them feel satisfied and motivated. In the absence of a leader, franchisees may feel unsupported and lack drive to grow their businesses, resulting in poor performance across your network.
Give them a chance to get together
Franchisees often mention the sense of security they get from being part of a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. In particular, they appreciate the chance to interact with other franchisees at meetings and conferences.
By organising regular opportunities for your franchisees to meet up face to face, you’re encouraging them to share their ideas, questions and concerns. This is crucial for their franchise development and helps confirm the sense of community.
Be mindful though, that the practicalities of being able to leave their franchise for a day or two to attend a meeting or conference can sometimes be difficult for franchisees. Make sure that the content of the events are informative, motivating and inspirational to make attending them worth their while.
Show them that you care
If you want to grow your franchise, then your franchisees play an essential part. For your franchisees to become your biggest cheerleaders and recommend your franchise to prospective candidates, they have to feel that you genuinely care about their success.
Invest time in their development, pick up the phone regularly, visit locations as often as you can and make sure that they know that your door (or inbox) is always open if they need you.
You'll benefit in the long run too
As a franchisor, you’ll have invested blood, sweat and tears into creating your brand and your systems. To ensure that all your hard work isn’t jeopardised by unsupported and poorly trained franchisees, you need to guarantee that they have access to the help that they may need.
Protecting your investment by supporting your franchisees is essential to your success and longevity. They are your brand representatives, responsible for following your system, and conveying your values to their customer base. If they don’t succeed then neither will you.
Our New Franchise Opportunities
Now we have more of an idea of how franchisors can support their franchisees, let’s look at three of our newest franchise opportunities.
This franchise provides childcare and activities for young people. Clubs Complete was founded in 2007 and has proven successful in both Spain and the UK. With parents now leading busier lives, the demand for extra-curricular and educational services is higher than ever.
Clubs Complete is a complete childcare turn-key business opportunity. The franchise is eager to share its proven business model with ambitious franchisees who want to provide a safe and fun environment for young people.
The franchise provides an abundance of services including breakfast clubs, lunch clubs, after school clubs, holiday clubs, summer schools, birthday parties, private tuition, babysitting, stage schools, gymnastic courses and more. The vast amount of services it offers means it can tap into a number of different markets, so there should always be high demand.
But why this business in particular? Well, firstly the package includes OFSTED registered and OFSTED exempt services. It also has a branded software that monitors how children are progressing and produces end of term reports. The franchisors have also won Natwest Young Entrepreneurs of the Year too, which just proves what potential the business has.
When you join this franchise, you’ll benefit from an initial three-week training programme where you will get to grips with the operational processes. It doesn’t stop there though- ongoing support is provided through three coaching sessions a year, as well as when it is needed.
Franchisees will need to make a minimum investment of £2,998 and a total investment of £9,995.
If you’re a dog lover and searching for a new business venture, why not become a Paws Retreat franchisee? The franchise vows to make the process as simple as possible so you can focus on being excited about your new business.
Paws Retreat was born in 2014 when the founders wanted to provide a dog grooming service using natural products, that prioritised dog happiness and comfort.
The franchise will help new franchisees every step of the way, including assisting them in finding an appropriate location, hiring staff, marketing the business effectively and more.
To be part of Paws Retreat you will need to part with around £15,000.
Train Learn Go
This franchise is a frontrunner in the personal training and nutrition industry. Unlike many other personal training services, Train Learn Go provides personal training in people’s homes. There are lots of people who want to get fit, but are deterred by crowded gyms and being watched when they work out, making Train Learn Go an ideal alternative.
Train Learn Go’s experienced marketing team is on hand to help you build your customer based in the first three months. This should get you fully booked for around eight sessions per day on average and see around 25 clients.
A benefit of this business is that once you have established a group of loyal clients, you shouldn’t need to spend much time and money on marketing your business more.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©