The Relationships That Will Be Key To Your Franchise Success

10/02/2018 08:00 | Become A Franchisee

Relationships for franchise success

Setting up a new franchise, or even taking on an established operation is the opportunity for you to run your own business, but with a little extra support to help you succeed. The most successful franchises depend on one key ingredient great relationships. Youll need to work as part of a team to ensure your franchise really takes off and develops into a strong venture with great potential for continued growth.

To do that, you need to understand the key relationships youll encounter along the way, from your first franchisor and franchisee meeting, to dealing with customers and staff.

The Franchisor

Your most important relationship will be with your franchisor. Remember, its not just a matter of whether the franchisor likes you, but whether you like them as well. Ask yourself some key questions when looking for the best franchises in your chosen area:

  • Does the franchisor have the same core values as you?
  • How do they work with other franchisees? (Try and talk to other franchise holders to find out what kind of a relationship they have with the franchisor)
  • Do they offer the support and training youll need to make your venture a success, or are they more of a hands off silent partner?
  • How identifiable is the franchise brand, and how does the franchisor promote their business? Is there room for you to develop your own marketing campaigns, or are you tied to a set format?
  • Does the franchisor have a short-term strategic plan (3-5 years) to ensure sustainability?
  • Who are your franchisors rivals, and what are they doing better (or worse!) than your potential business partner?

What your Franchisor will be looking for

A relationship is a two-way process, as is the franchisor and franchisee interaction. While you may have your own check-list of what youre expecting from the relationship, so will they. Theyll be looking for:

  • A franchisee thats committed and holds the same core values as they do
  • Someone who is willing to work hard from the outset, beyond the normal 9-5, Monday-Friday office hours
  • Someone who is passionate about the franchise, whether its a fitness and gym venture, a high-street food outlet, or any other kind of franchise
  • Someone with real business sense. You may not necessarily be experienced in running your own business, but if the franchisor feels you have that spark and the acumen for successful management, theyll be far more likely to consider you a good fit.
  • Someone who can work within an established framework, but is also willing to contribute their own ideas and innovative touches to really send the business to the next level.

The most successful franchises are achieved through a symbiotic relationship between franchisor and franchisee, where both partners are on the same page from the outset.

Your customers

The best franchises succeed because they offer customers something unique, something special, and, most importantly, something the marketplace wants. Without customers, your franchise will not succeed, no matter how much time and effort you pour into it. There are several key elements to ensuring your customers like your franchise, and keep coming back:

Brand awareness with a franchise, some of the consumer trigger points may have already been taken care of through the franchisors brand identity. For example, major food franchises may have a very high profile through advertising, and consequently have built up a strong following and a dedicated customer base. Your franchise needs to take advantage of that brand awareness and expand on it by delivering an experience the consumer expects from that particular brand. Fail to deliver that and not only will you damage your own chances of success, but you could end up polluting the overall brand as well, which will not please your franchisor.

The customer experience weve already touched on that briefly, but it is the one thing that all the best franchises have a great customer experience. A friendly, welcoming atmosphere from the moment the customer walks through the door, to the moment they leave is the only way to ensure they keep coming back and, just as importantly, tell others about their positive experience. By looking after every single customer who walks through your doors, youre solidifying your business foundation and creating a customer base thats loyal to not only the franchise brand, but to you as well.

Managing expectations Customers who are aware of a particular brand have what is known as learned behaviour patterns based on their previous experience of that brand. This means they will have certain expectations of any business carrying that brand identity. Your job as the franchisee is to understand what those expectations are, and manage your business so that it meets (and if possible exceeds) them.

Fitting in with other businesses and your community

Its important to recognise that no matter how big the franchise brand name, you are still a local business and as such you will need to establish good working relationships within your community. From the way you work with trades people to employing local people and how you interact with other similar businesses in your area will all contribute towards your success. The most successful franchises recognise that they have a part to play within a community, and will do everything they can to fit in.

A good way to show that youre not simply another big brand outlet is to become active within the community, whether thats holding open days or taking part in local challenges to raise money for a community centre or hospice. By showing the human face of a franchise, youll reinforce the fact that you are a local business. This in turn can do wonders for your reputation, and by return, your bottom line numbers.

In conclusion...

The most successful franchises are not just based on great advertising, killer business acumen, and a highly visible brand identity. Theyre primarily based on strong relationships, firstly between franchisor and franchisee, but also with customers and the community. Build strong relationships, and youll build a strong business.

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