How franchisors can help their franchisees to succeed

23/07/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Tips to help your franchisees succeed

The franchisor and franchisee relationship can be complicated and challenging to manage. In some respects, the franchisor and franchisee want the same thing. If the franchisee succeeds, the franchisor receives a more substantial royalty fee. However, this isn't always the case, and sometimes franchisors don't offer all the support they should. Here, we take a look at ten ways franchisors can best help their franchisees.

Tips to support your franchisees

1. Offer marketing support
Developing a comprehensive set of marketing guidelines that define how, when, and where your brand trademarks are used, as well as what tone of voice should be employed when writing content, helps both the franchisor and franchisee. For the franchisor, it ensures that everyone is on message and speaking from the same page. For the franchisee, it provides detailed information that as to how marketing materials can be used effectively. It also benefits both parties by protecting the brand and strengthening it through the communication of a coherent identity.

2. Provide financial guidance
As a franchisor, youre going to have a great deal more experience of how successful franchises operate and finance themselves. This is invaluable information to those just entering the world of franchising. As a franchisor, you can help your franchisees by providing them with financial guidance. One way of doing this is by offering them an established method for recording financial transactions and keeping track of their basic accounting activities.

3. Develop comprehensive training programmes
One of your key responsibilities as a franchisor is providing franchisees with the relevant training. Many of your franchisees wont have the skills required to succeed when they first enter into business, so you need to ensure that you arm them with enough to get them through the early stages of their ownership. Dont skimp on training investment and listen to feedback from franchisees who have passed through it. Your initial attempts at creating training schemes will almost certainly need fine-tuning and improvement.

4. Encourage expansion
Not all franchisees want to take on the responsibility of more than franchise unit. However, some are very keen to begin building their franchise empire and will bite your hand off for the opportunity to expand. A good franchisor will encourage this desire to grow and expand but will also be wary of putting too much pressure on them at too early a stage of their franchise development. In such a case, it's necessary to encourage and prepare, while also setting out what the franchisee needs to achieve for you to consider granting them an additional unit.

5. Work out where your goals coincide
The great thing about the franchise model is that, in most cases, the franchisee and franchisors goals are similar, if not the same. In other words, their interests are aligned. However, its worth talking to franchisees about what their goals and ambitions for the future are. Not only does this allow you to support them as they pursue their aims, but it may also turn out that they're in a position to help you.

6. Invest in technology upgrades
Modern technology can make life so much easier. When you're exploring ways to maintain the franchisor/franchisee relationship in as straightforward a manner as possible, it's a good idea to look at new digital technologies. Communication tools can allow you to check in more regularly. Collaborative software gives you more freedom when working together. Cloud storage facilities allow you to share information and resources. Helping your franchisee often involves removing the obstacles standing in the way of a quick, easy, and straightforward relationship.

7. Be honest
This might sound obvious but being honest is one of the key ways in which you can help your franchisees. The franchisor/franchisee relationship depends on a significant amount of trust. If you exploit this trust by being dishonest, the working relationship will suffer and can often become fractious and difficult to manage.

8. Maintain contact and close communication
All relationships depend on open communication and franchising your business is no different. To provide your franchisees with the help and assistance they require, it's necessary to maintain close contact and monitor their progress. Even if it's a quick, weekly check-in, its better than nothing. Regularly calling your franchisees ensures that theres always a channel of communication open and fosters a culture of open communication that will benefit your franchisees should problems arise.

9. Organise networking events
One of the best ways you can help your franchisees help themselves (and each other), is by organising regular networking events. Whether its an annual conference, regional meetings, or seminars and lectures from interesting and relevant educators, the opportunity to get together and learn from one another should not be missed. Many franchisees argue that franchising networking events are some of the most valuable learning experiences in their entire careers. Dont miss out on giving your franchisees the opportunity to bond, learn from their experiences, and have a good time.

10. Take an interest
Finally, you can help your franchisees by actually taking an interest in their personal development. While some franchisors are content to sit back and watch the royalty fees roll in, the best franchisors are those who understand that their franchisees are an integral part of their business and worthy of respect, assistance, and support. Many people can count on one hand the number of bosses that have taken a personal interest in their journey, so make sure you stand out from the rest and try to help them along the road to success.

To a significant degree, being a helpful franchisor is about aligning your interests with those of your franchisees. If you can do this, there's no reason not to help every member of your team. If this isn't possible, it's important to try and remain communicative, open, and honest. You occupy a position that many of your franchisees want to reach. Theyll look to you for advice and guidance and will demand a great deal from you. The best you can do is to impart as much information as you can, treat them with respect, and implement effective training, operating, and communication guidelines.

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