In a franchisor-franchisee relationship, both parties work together to achieve success. The importance of a positive franchisor-franchisee relationship is high, and every aspect of the business can be impacted by the strength of this central relationship. But how can franchisees build a strong relationship with their franchisor?
Your franchisor will play a key role in your business, as you work with them to make your franchise location a success. They’ll offer you training, support and guidance. Having entered into a legally binding agreement together, the success of your relationship will be absolutely vital, and will affect the day-to-day realities of running your own business under the franchisor’s brand umbrella.
In this article, you’ll discover the true importance of a strong franchisor-franchisee relationship. We’ll also share our top four franchisee tips to help you build a strong, sustainable relationship with your franchisor, which will work for both of you in the long term.
The importance of a strong franchisor-franchisee relationship
First and foremost, your relationship with your franchisor will have the best chance of success if you’re certain that this franchising opportunity is the perfect one for you. If you enter into an investment with passion for the brand and a suitable skill set for the things required of you, you’re more likely to get off on the right foot.
Running a franchise successfully is all about partnership. Neither you nor the franchisee is the sole person responsible for success, failure, or decision-making.
Franchising is not an autocratic method of doing business; it is a collaborative method of doing business.
—Harold Kestenbaum, Franchise Attorney
A strong franchisor-franchisee relationship matters deeply for two key reasons:
1. Trust is make or break
Both the franchisor and the franchisee need to trust one another, or the business will never be able to function at full strength. Trust is the cornerstone of all successful business relationships. In a franchisor-franchisee relationship, the franchisor must rely on the franchisee to accurately and competently represent their brand, follow their guidelines, and achieve their company-wide goals.
2. Shared information leads to business growth and success
If both parties can get along and communicate effectively, information shared from one to the other will positively impact the business. For example, franchisees can benefit massively from access to information about performance across the entire business. On the other hand, franchisors can learn a lot about their customers from franchisees, and develop a more accurate picture of industry trends.
There are many more reasons why a strong franchisor-franchisee relationship matters, but it all comes back to this central point: A franchisor and franchisee who can work together effectively are more likely to create a successful, profitable franchise.
Four tips for building a strong relationship with your franchisor
Above all, you have to get on well with the franchisor, because by signing up you are entering a long-term relationship.
—Brian Lewis, Cash Generator
A recent survey has discovered that 91% of franchisees’ satisfaction levels have never been higher, and 78% would recommend their franchise to others [Proactive Marketing]. Although the odds are in your favour in terms of cultivating a successful and strong working relationship with your franchisor, many sources of franchise conflict can arise, and managing these conflicts will be essential.
The best way to manage a conflict is to stop it at the source before it can grow into a larger issue. The best way to do this? Ensure your relationship with your franchisor is strong enough to handle disagreements. Here are four tips for building a strong relationship with your franchisor that’s able to withstand conflicts and survive the tests of business partnership:
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1. Establish good channels of communication, and keep them open
This tip isn’t just the responsibility of the franchisee, of course. Good communication goes both ways, and both parties should work together to ensure that they open channels of contact, and keep them open. Either party should be informed if an issue arises which will impact the other.
When channels of communication are open and flowing, it’s the franchisee’s responsibility to ask for support and help when it’s needed. Be proactive, honest and clear about anything you need, but feel you aren’t getting, and give your franchisor a chance to make positive changes, rather than letting resentments quietly build. Running a franchise should always be a process of collaboration, not alienation.
2. Ask the right questions
Your franchisor should be making regular site visits to you, and communicating with you between face-to-face meets. Any communication that you have with your franchisor is a chance to ask the right questions. Questions which are:
- Targeted to extract expert knowledge
- Well-thought out and considered
- Specific, concrete and focused on tangible data or expertise
Don’t waste the opportunity that the expertise of your franchisor offers you to learn and grow in the business space. Get some new, helpful information, and show your franchisor that you’re engaged and on the ball too.
3. Show your desire to succeed
A franchisor is always searching for a franchisee with the same deep desire to succeed. A franchisee who will be invested in the continued growth of the business, just as they are. Prove that you’re that kind of franchisee, and strengthen your franchisor-franchisee relationship, by:
- Showing up consistently, working hard, and proving your reliability
- Demonstrating strong leadership skills and delegating responsibilities effectively to employees/team members
- Being open and willing to learn new things and complete ongoing training sessions and programmes
- Investing time and energy into marketing and networking with a view to growing the franchise and raising the profile of the entire company
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4. Honour the wishes of your franchisor
There are key differences between running your own business, which you built from the ground up, and running a franchise, which you invested in in partnership with a franchisor. The biggest is that, as a franchise owner, you’ll need to honour the wishes of your franchisor, and respect their overall brand vision. Follow any operational and marketing guidelines given to you, or risk damaging your working relationship beyond repair.
Build something incredible with the power of teamwork
When the franchisor-franchisee relationship is working as it should, it’s an amazing, collaborative experience for both parties. Find your industry, find the right opportunity in Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory, and find the right franchisor, too. Your working relationship could end up lasting a lifetime.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©