The business world is constantly evolving. To make sure that your franchise brand stands the test of time it’s important to keep your mission and values up-to-date. In this ‘Franchisor Tips’ article, we show you how.
Technology is always improving. Customers’ priorities change. Unprecedented events, like the current COVID-19 crisis, spin business operations and customer behaviour on their heads. In a world that is changing rapidly, it’s crucial that you keep your business mission and values up-to-date. In our latest ‘Franchisor Tips’ post, we explain how you can adjust your values and manage the change smoothly. This could involve relooking at your environmental impact or your current approach to inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Whatever you decide to look at, you should be able to take these tips on board for the greater good of your franchise network.
Before you get started let’s quickly remind ourselves of what we mean by business missions and values.
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What is a business mission?
A mission statement provides the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your business, in other words, the guidelines by which your franchise operates. It is an action-based statement that summarises the purpose of your business and how you serve your customers.
For your franchise to stand out from the competition you need to make sure that your missions and values aren’t generic or obvious. You need to reflect on what truly makes your business unique.
What are business values?
Values can be thought of as the DNA or core beliefs of your franchise. They are the standards of how you run your business. But why are business values important? They guide decision making, inform customers what your franchise stands for and are important for recruitment. Everyone involved in the business needs to have a full understanding of the values.
Being unique to your business, your values are the fuel for how you and your franchisees should operate your business. Your mission and values should be at the heart of every decision that you make. They should also be customised to your culture so you don’t end up with values that are cliché or simply untrue.
“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.”– Tony Hsieh, retired CEO of online shoe and clothing company Zappos.
How to keep your mission and values up-to-date
1. Keep an eye on the latest trends
Make sure that you are regularly analysing the latest industry trends and how your competitors are implementing them into their business operations. If there are any advancements in terms of technology, or any other aspect that relates to your business, you need to reassess how this impacts your current mission and values. Are you still fulfilling your promises to customers? Are you still proving the best product/service you can? Are you still communicating your mission and values in the most effective way?
2. Communicate the updated values effectively with your franchise network
Once you have updated your values you need to communicate them with your employees and franchisees. One way you could do this is by holding a virtual meeting or creating a video that you can send round to everyone in your franchise network. The next step is seeing how your updated values impact your business when used in the real world.
3. Put your values into practice
Once you’ve updated your business mission and values, don’t just forget about them. You need to have a plan for how you will use them across the board. Make your values mean something and ensure they are taken from the page to practice.
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4. Know when it’s the right time
Waving goodbye to a value that has defined your franchise network since its existence can be difficult, and often, quite an emotional experience. However, lots of business owners believe that once a business mission or value has become too ingrained in the daily practices it is time to shelve it. VP of People at Reddit, Katelin Holloway, explained that it reinforced its “Listen. Debate. Ship” mission to streamline its decision making process, but then they eventually realised they didn’t’ need it anymore.
Process becomes culture. It wasn’t part of our language anymore…We evolved out of it. We established the pattern of behaviour that we wanted to see so we put it on the shelf.
With that being said, be careful not to make drastic changes to your business mission and values for the sake of it.
Resist the temptation to mess with stuff that works. If your employees know your values and are making good decisions, don’t touch them! – Patrick Thean, CEO and co-founder of strategic planning and growth strategy company Rhythm Systems.
Make sure you stay on top
Remember that every business has values, whether they have taken the time to figure them out and write them down or not. There is an unspoken culture and behaviour that can speak volumes of a workplace. But you should establish explicitly what your business mission and values are and stay focused on them.
Even billion-dollar enterprises can easily drop out of a competitive landscape unless they keep innovating, attracting new markets and staying on top of the latest innovations.
Use these franchisor tips to improve your business operations
Updating or changing values can be intimidating. But sometimes it is necessary to be more timely and applicable to the entire franchise network. It’s easier thank you think and if you do it well it can be incredibly effective.
Enjoyed these franchisor tips? You might want to check out our other articles for franchisors.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©