The relationship between franchisor and franchisee can be a complex one. It’s often been compared to a marriage because both parties are dependent on each other. Just like a marriage, successful franchisees rely on dedication, support and respect to thrive.
This is why the best franchises to buy are the ones where you can build a healthy relationship with the franchisor. Many other factors will have an impact on your ability to run a profitable business, but if you have a good relationship with the franchisor, the rest is much easier to achieve.
Here are our five top tips on how to create a meaningful relationship with the franchisor so that you have the best possible chance of succeeding as a franchisee.
1. Communicate openly and honestly
Poor communication tends to be the root cause of most relationship issues. If communication is unclear or inconsistent it can be easy for messages to become misinterpreted or misunderstood.
To avoid this happening, it's essential that franchisor and franchisee practice effective communications and always keep the lines of communication open. To achieve this, open and honest conversations must become the norm within the franchise. This is why the best franchises to invest in are the ones that embed processes and opportunities into the franchise system to encourage communication.
2. Never Lie
This may seem obvious but building a relationship with the franchisor based on trust is impossible if you lie. Rather than trying to cover up any mistakes or mishaps or denying that they ever happened in the first place, accept responsibility so the problem can be resolved.
Equally, if you’re struggling with any element of your franchise or you feel you need more training, the only way to improve the situation is to be honest with the franchisor. Pretending that you're coping will not only put a strain on you, but you're also misleading the franchisor. Successful franchises don’t happen by chance. They’re a result of franchisees receiving the support they need so shout if you’re feeling stressed or unable to manage. Honestly is always the best policy.
3. Make the most of the franchisee network.
One of the most significant benefits of starting a franchise is that you get support, not only from the franchisor but other franchisees within the network too. The chances are that the franchisor will arrange regular conferences and meetings which allow you to meet up with your peers and share stories, ideas and problems.
A great way to get the most out of your relationship with the franchisor is to offer your support for these type of events. Don't just attend them but be prepared to participate in them. You could present or speak at the events, or if that’s not your thing, you could offer to train or mentor some of the less experienced franchisees.
Of course, going above and beyond your responsibility as a franchisee is bound to win you brownie points with the franchisor, but it will also be beneficial for you as well. By being more involved in the business, you'll have a greater idea of the challenges that affect the franchise. This insight will help you build a better bond with the franchisor.
4. Be willing to learn
The franchisor will have spent many years growing their business before investing effort and money into developing their franchise system. They’ll have tweaked and improved it along the way so that franchisees can run their own successful franchises.
A great way to build a relationship with the franchisor is to appreciate the training programme that they have put in place. The success of the franchisor depends on your success, so they'll want you to learn from their mistakes rather than make your own.
Take full advantage of any training opportunity that you’re presented with. You’ll benefit from learning a new or improved set of skills which can be used to make your franchise even more effective. This is a great way to impress the franchisor while developing your knowledge of the franchise.
5. Have respect
The bottom line is that the franchisor and franchisee need each another. Franchisees are often unable to fulfil their dreams of business ownership without franchisors, and franchisors wouldn’t be able to achieve the growth and market presence they have without franchisees.
It's crucial that both parties recognise that it's this relationship that forms the foundation for any future success. Mutual respect is essential for the relationship to thrive. The best franchises to buy are the ones where you have an instant connection with the franchisor.
Although getting along with the franchisor is not a prerequisite for your franchise performing well, your journey to business ownership will be much more fulfilling and happy if you build a trusting and respectful relationship with the franchisor.
If a franchise relationship is really like a marriage then the ‘dating' period before the big day, or the signing of the franchise agreement, is the due diligence process. Without researching both the franchise company and the franchisor, you won't have an understanding of whether it is the right opportunity for you.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©