5 Qualities of a Successful Franchisor

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Successful Franchisor Qualities

While there isn’t one right way to be a successful franchisor, many of the world’s all have a few key qualities that have contributed to their success. In this article, we’re going to look at five of the most common and reveal how you can adopt some of these qualities for yourself.

There are so many different franchises thriving across the country that it’s hard to pin down exactly what makes a successful franchisor (the person responsible for turning their business into a franchise network). But when you analyse the traits of a successful franchisor in a bit more detail, there are some qualities which you’ll notice again and again. We’ve looked at some of the world’s healthiest franchise networks and found five qualities that the franchisor, and franchise network as a whole, have in common.

Why a successful franchisor is vital

As a franchisee, you’ll be in control of your success most of the time. Your franchisor isn’t your employer and isn’t there to limit your growth or exercise oppressive control over how you run your business. However, you will have to follow the operational guidelines as set out in your franchise agreement.

If your franchisor isn’t a great businessperson, their misguided, slapdash or downright ineffective approach to business could be reflected in the franchise package and really limit your potential. It’s so important to find a franchisor that can help you and hundreds of other franchisees replicate their success reliably, rather than a poor franchisor that just got lucky.

1. They’ve succeeded in their own career

A franchisor should be a model example to their franchisees, many of whom are making their first foray into running a business. Whether they’re at the head of a child care franchise or sports franchise, the best franchisors have a proven track record as a business owner, or have enjoyed a great career in your franchise’s sector (ideally both). They should have overcome the challenges you’re about to face as a business owner and will have plenty of advice about how you can tackle them. And franchises that see sustained success even through tough periods are generally steered by franchisors that have braved similar conditions before, as they can give first-hand advice.

Many entrepreneurs choose to start a business through the franchise model because it is a less risky venture than starting a business from scratch. But if a franchisor can’t fulfil the role of mentor and role model because they lack experience and knowledge, franchisees won’t gain as much from joining their network. Try and find as much information about your franchisor as possible. It’s likely they’re going to be vocal about a great career, so you should find plenty of information on the franchise’s ‘about us’ or team members page. Alternatively, LinkedIn is a great resource if you’re delving into someone’s career history. A franchisor that’s overly coy about their success should be a red flag, or at least a sign that you need to do a bit more digging into their credentials.

Many large franchises are run by a team of franchising professionals, so it’s worth finding out more about the top team too. An experienced and knowledgeable franchise team will give you the best possible chance of succeeding, as they will understand how to support you throughout your journey.

2. They know lots about the sector

As with any successful entrepreneur, a great franchisor should know their sector like the back of their hand. Even if the franchise isn’t directly related to their previous career, it should be obvious that your franchisor is keen to keep on learning and makes market research and sector-specific learning a priority in their weekly schedule. And your franchisor shouldn’t just be constantly learning and reading – the most successful franchisors share industry research with their networks so that everyone can continue to grow.

Franchisors that don’t keep up with changes and trends within their industry risk letting their whole franchise fall behind. Of course, the best franchisees make the effort to keep up with sector-specific news themselves and do plenty of independent research into how they can make their business better than its competitors. However, a franchisor that doesn’t keep with the times can leave the whole network in the dark ages, as they’ll fail to spot new technology or methods that could give everyone an advantage.

3. They’re a brand champion

One of the most appealing things about a franchise for customers is that you know what you’re getting. Order a Meatball Marinara from any Subway and you’ll get virtually the same look/feel/taste every time. This consistency builds customer loyalty and satisfaction, as they’ll feel confident they can use any location of a franchise to replicate a positive experience. What’s more, it makes a franchise look like a slick, professional operation rather than a loose collective of entrepreneurs.

Franchisors should strike the right balance between protecting and championing their brand and being overly protective. Your franchisor should genuinely love the franchise’s brand – after all, they’re the one that created it! Even if they haven’t been with the franchise from the start, chances are they joined the franchise because they strongly agreed with what it stood for. Key aspects of consistency, like uniform, recipes, service procedures and the design of physical stores and websites should be enforced across a franchise. Fail to do so and the network will look too disparate and risk sacrificing that comforting consistency customers love.

However, a great franchisor gives franchisees the independence and flexibility to build their business on their own terms too. They should be confident they selected the right person/people for the job and the franchise’s core values are already instilled in them. Allowing each franchisee’s personality to come through as they provide the franchise’s service will make it easier for them to build genuine customer relationships, as each interaction will feel personal rather than corporate.

4. They make it easy to access support

Franchisees gain two main things from a franchise: a proven business model and guidance from the franchisor. The quality and quantity of support provided varies hugely from one franchise to another, but all franchisors should offer support of some kind. No franchisee will come on board with all the skills required to run a franchise – even if they have substantial industry experience, they will not be familiar with the business’ unique operational practices.

Franchisors should provide an initial training scheme. This should last anywhere between a day and several weeks. Outside of this established programme, franchisors could offer assistance with site selection, lease negotiation, site set-up, financing and recruitment. Some franchises are geared towards experienced businesspeople, so the support package may be more hands off, but any franchise worth investing in will at least have on-boarding training to welcome you to the network.

Truly successful franchisors will provide ongoing support with everything from business management to technical guidance and marketing. They should promote the resources and support services that are in place and clearly guide you to them, rather than making it hard to get help. As we’ve said before, franchising is a more supported route to business ownership. If a franchisor always leaves franchisees to fend for themselves, they’re limiting your chance to succeed.

5. They listen to and respect franchisees

Franchisees will work best when they know their franchisor respects them. Good franchisors should recognise that because franchisees work more closely with customers than they do, they can provide valuable insights. For example, the Big Mac and Filet-O-fish sold by McDonald’s were developed by franchisees.

Therefore, prioritising open and honest communication is a must for franchisors. This not only benefits them, as they gain ideas to boost profitability, but also franchisees, who will be instilled with a higher level of motivation and morale once they know that their franchisor will take the time to discuss any ideas or issues with them. If it is not possible to arrange meetings in person, franchisors could arrange regular conference or video calls.

The formula for success

While this isn’t a complete list, it’s a good indicator of what the best franchisors prioritise. Each person will have their own checklist about what they’re seeking in a franchise and franchisor. Some might prioritise ethical or climate conscious behaviours, while others put money-making potential at the top of our list. But whether you’re interested in a pet franchise or an automotive franchise or anything in between, make sure you keep this list in mind when looking at which franchise network to join. Take a look at our UK franchise directory and find the ideal opportunity for you.

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