The Power of Two-Way Communication in Your Franchise

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Franchise communication - two way

In any walk of life, effective communication can build trust, encourage ideas to be shared and help with the understanding of concepts and issues. Of course, as a franchisor, being able to communicate franchise information is key to your success, but equally as important is your ability to listen to your franchisees and their employees.

This is the essence of two-way communication and is defined as the process whereby two parties reciprocally communicate with one another. The franchisor and franchisee relationship should be built using two-way communication to make sure that its strong and based on trust.

Difference between one-way and two-way communication

When you're running any business, there are two types of communication systems that you can choose to use: one-way and two-way communication. Imperative in any franchisor and franchisee relationship is the transferring of messages or information. This is the element that both one-way and two-way communication systems have in common.

The difference occurs after this message or information is sent. In a one-way communication system, the flow of the message stops when the receiver has acknowledged the information that has been sent. Whereas with two-way communication, the receiver is encouraged to give feedback to the sender regarding the message or information they have received. This makes it a complete communication system as both parties have input and why the best franchises to own for ambitious franchisees are the ones where theyre able to play a part in the business.

As a franchisor, it may be that you choose to employ both one-way and two-way communication when sharing franchise information, depending on the circumstances. For example, when a relatively inexperienced franchisee joins your business, it may be much quicker and simpler to use one-way communication methods to ensure that they understand your franchise business model and systems.

However, as franchisees become more established and confident, using a two-way communication system is much more effective. After all, your franchisees may have some great ideas about improvements that can be made based on customer feedback. As your franchisees interact with customers day in and day out, theyre in a perfect position to offer valuable insight and opinions about your franchise.

Encouraging your franchisees to share their ideas, opinions and concerns with you can make your business opportunity one of the best franchises to own in the eyes of prospective franchisees. This is a great recruitment tool and gives existing franchisees a sense of job satisfaction. And there are also many benefits for you too.

The benefits of two-way communication

More and more franchisors understand the importance of two-way communication in the workplace. Here are just some of the ways that the exchange of ideas, opinions and issues can benefit your franchise:

  • Trust is built: Its clear that trust enables two parties to communicate their views, emotions and thoughts openly. The ability to provide both positive and negative feedback will strengthen relationships and result in mutual appreciation. However, without trust, conversations cannot be open, and honest and so the relationship is doomed to fail. By encouraging two-way communication throughout your business, you're more likely to develop a franchisor and franchisee relationship that is based on trust and forms the foundation of your franchise model.
  • Issues can be identified quickly: When open and honest conversations take place, youll become aware of any problems within your franchise system sooner rather than later. Knowing about any problems early enables you to act immediately to right the wrong. Being able to restore stability and overcome challenges so promptly will provide further reassurance to your franchisees that you listen and take action when necessary; therefore, increasing their trust in your leadership abilities.
  • Feedback opportunities are created: Many businesses use a top-down' approach to management which means that employees are given minimal opportunity to make any suggestions. But as a franchisor, you must remember that your franchisees are not your employees, but rather your business partners. Their feedback should always be taken on board and, where relevant, changes made based on their comments.
  • Franchisees feel valued: For many franchisees, the best franchises to own are the ones where they feel appreciated. Making money and running a successful franchise can be motivating on its own, but without the feeling of being valued, job satisfaction can be hard to find. Remember to praise good ideas and give recognition to franchisees whose feedback is the catalyst for change.
  • Removal of misunderstanding: Franchise information can be complex and confusing. If you solely rely on one-way communication methods, such as emails or memos, how can you be sure that your franchisees have truly understood the message? Using two-way communication techniques like team meetings or telephone calls to relay information removes doubt and uncertainty, making it a much more effective tool for your franchise.

When the entire success of your franchise relies on the relationship that you develop with your franchisees, effective two-way communication is the only way to create trust.

Making two-way communication work in your franchise

So, its clear that two-way communication is crucial to the success of your franchise, but how can you incorporate it into your business? Its simpler than youd think. Start by taking an interest in your franchisees as individuals instead of just a franchise outlet. By getting to know your franchisees better, you'll have a greater understanding of what motivates them and help them feel valued.

Once you've developed a deeper understanding of your franchisees, you can adjust how you communicate to get the best out of your team. Do your franchisees find it easier to give feedback face to face or over the phone? Do they like to discuss any issues or concerns with their fellow franchisees in a group environment? What is the best way for ideas to be generated and shared? When you have the answer to these questions, you can put events and processes in place to encourage feedback and the sharing of ideas and opinions.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of a simple thank you. Whenever a franchisee has the courage to give you feedback, good or bad, thank them for their honesty. Likewise, if a franchisee has an idea that is implemented which results in improved performance, recognise their achievement. Not only will your franchisees know that their opinions count, but youll also encourage innovation and honestly throughout your entire network.

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