10 Tips for Building a Positive Business Culture for Your Franchise

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Building positive franchise culture

When you’re in the process of franchising your business, your main focus will be perfecting your operational model and recruiting franchisees. But to get ahead of the competition, you’ll need to spend some time considering the type of company culture you’d like to create. 

The best franchises concentrate on developing a shared vision and strong values across their networks. And if you start to think about your business culture early on, you’ll have the chance to make sure it’s ingrained in the company you build. 

When it comes to recruiting franchisees and employees, you’ll be rewarded for the time and effort you put in, as productive workers are attracted to a strong work culture. 

The importance of business values 

Why focus on business culture in the first place? Well, there’s plenty of research out there showing it could have a significant impact on the success of your franchise. Here are just a few statistics demonstrating the importance of a strong work culture: 

  • 88 percent of employees and 94 percent of executives say they believe a distinctive business culture is key to success (Deloitte)

  • Executives who rate their culture as “extremely healthy” are 1.5 times more likely to increase their average revenue by more than 15 percent over three years than other companies (Grant Thornton and Oxford Economics)

  • 48 percent of employees look for another job if their business culture is poor (Columbia University)

  • Businesses with a strong employer brand can reduce their recruitment costs by 50 percent (LinkedIn)

10 franchisor tips on how to build a positive business culture

1. Understand your goal

Here’s a common misconception: franchises don’t need to worry about developing a specific culture because franchisors and franchisees are working towards the same goal. Wrong! 

In reality, it’s probably even more important to establish a great culture in franchises than independent businesses because franchisors appoint investors and ask them to work under their rules. 

Without a positive culture in place, the consistency of your brand may be in jeopardy. But you can achieve uniformity across your franchise network by inspiring and recognising each individual. 

2. Put your plans into action

Everyone can throw about a few objectives; you won’t develop a positive company culture until you work to implement your ideas across the board. Create a mission statement and make sure everyone knows which behaviours and attitudes you condone and expect from your workers. 

If you find it tough to make sure everyone complies with your guidelines, try involving franchisees and employees as you establish your culture. They may come up with some brilliant ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. 

3. Take feedback onboard 

A positive culture is worthless if you’re the only person who values it, so stay focussed on your approach and make sure people stick to it over time. Good franchises are always asking for feedback from their franchisees and employees. It empowers your team and lets you improve your business - and, ideally, your revenues. 

4. Adapt when necessary

Becoming a franchisor is a long-term commitment and, as your business develops, the market and the economy will change. Sometimes, it will make sense for you to adapt your business culture to reflect the world around you and keep up with competitors. 

If you’re too precious about preserving it, you risk smothering it, so as long as your business remains true to its core values, change can be a good thing. 

5. Don’t be scared to start again  

If your culture isn’t working, continuing to operate in the same way is likely to be detrimental to your franchise. Sometimes, the best course of action is to go back to the drawing board and develop new ways of engaging your teams. 

Be sure to gather feedback from existing franchisees and employees and involve them in creating your new business culture. It will take time, but will be worth the dedication and effort. 

6. Adapt your recruitment strategy

When franchising your company, it can be tempting to hire franchisees solely based on their ability to perform within the business. Obviously, this factor is important - but it’s not everything. If you think a candidate may disrupt the culture you’ve established, it may not be worth taking a risk by approving their application. 

7. Lead by example 

Culture is created from the top down, so you should be dedicated to demonstrating the core values of your business at all times. After a while, they will filter down to your franchisees and, in turn, their employees. Never underestimate the importance of leadership when it comes to setting your business culture. 

8. Visit your team

Advances in communication technologies have provided the opportunity for teams to connect more regularly, but visiting your franchisees and employees in person will help you nurture a positive culture. You'll be showing them you genuinely care about their working experience and wellbeing. 

Plus, you’ll be able to keep track of any issues to crop up across your network. 

9. Communicate open and honestly 

Share performance data with your franchisees, whether it’s good or bad; it’s important you have a transparent relationship with the people within your business. After all, franchisees will uncover problems in the network sooner or later, but you can establish a collaborative, trusting culture by being honest from the get-go. 

10. Recognise your team’s efforts

In general, franchisees work hard and are just as committed to growing the network as you are. Don’t take their dedication for granted. Nurturing a positive culture can translate into simple, daily actions and a simple thank you often goes a long way. 

More franchisor tips

We know running a franchise network isn’t easy, which is why we’ve created a catalogue of franchisor guides. Type a topic into the search bar to find relevant industry data and advice, or browse our latest articles

You may also be interested in reading our guide to hiring new franchisees or our handbook for setting training programmes to enhance your franchising strategies.

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