Running a franchise is about more than giving investors an operations manual and collecting the royalties; to develop a thriving business, you’ll need to know how to support franchisees effectively. Here, we unveil the top five franchisor tips for setting franchisees up for success.
Franchising your business can bring a whole host of benefits for entrepreneurs, but you’ll need to put in the groundwork if you want to establish a network of successful franchisees. We’ve already written about the seven steps you need to take to build a franchise, but it pays to know how to set franchisees up for success from the get-go.
How to set franchisees up for success in five key steps
1. Standardise and document your business processes
You may think your business processes are fairly straightforward - but you’ve built your business from scratch, and your investors are essentially coming in blind. You’ll need to help them understand your mission, procedures and culture inside out before they get up and running.
The first step in the process is to streamline your operational systems. Make sure you’re working as efficiently as possible, and check investors will be able to duplicate your business in other locations and under different management.
Then, you’ll need to document all your systems and strategies to create your operations manual, which will help franchisees replicate your business successfully.
2. Consider franchisees when writing your franchise agreement
The franchise agreement is a complicated document; it’s legally binding and acts as the foundation for your relationship with your franchisees. For these reasons, it needs to precisely detail every element of your franchise business and the rights and responsibilities you and your franchisees hold. You’ll cover fees and royalties, expected performance standards, costs and training and support.
At this stage, it’s important you consult a specialist franchise solicitor. They'll help you avoid any future issues or conflicts by making sure the terms and conditions are clear and comprehensive.
The franchise agreement usually guarantees a good outcome for the franchisor, and investors have little opportunity to negotiate its terms when they join the business. A legal professional will be able to help you set yourself up for success, but it’s important you also leave enough room for franchisees to benefit significantly. Make sure you’re giving them enough opportunities to generate a good income and access a great work/life balance with a high level of job satisfaction.
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3. Recruit carefully
Your franchisees will be your greatest asset, so you need to make sure you hire the right ones.
You’ll need to be confident they’ll be able to collaborate well with you and fit in with the culture you’ve developed. And, from a practical perspective, they’ll also need to have enough capital, experience and passion to launch a successful business under your brand.
So, taking the time to recruit franchisees you can trust is crucial, particularly if you need specialist investors for a niche sector. During the selection process, ask candidates why they’d like to join your brand and what experience they have. You could also focus on their long-term goals, financial capabilities and work ethic.
Don’t be afraid to invest a significant amount of time, money and effort into developing a thorough recruitment process. Your contribution at this point should be more than repaid further down the line when you’ve set your franchisees up for success.
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4. Don't skimp on training
A comprehensive and tailored training programme will benefit you as well as your franchisees. They’ll gain the skills and knowledge they need to independently develop rewarding and profitable franchise units, so you can get on with growing the brand as a whole.
If you fail to build an effective training and support programme, you could end up with unsuccessful and dissatisfied franchisees, who ultimately damage your profit margins and reputation.
Of course, you’ll be able to refine your training materials as you recruit more franchisees, but you should put plans in place before you welcome your first investor. Make sure you can teach them how to succeed under your business model, and continue to deliver ongoing support throughout their contract term.
5. Be firm but fair to protect your brand
Your brand will be central to the success of your franchise. Customers expect to receive the same products and services, regardless of the location they visit, and consistency across your network will build trust in your business. So, it's crucial your franchisees understand the importance of uniformity.
There are several ways to make sure your franchisees uphold your standards when it comes to reinforcing your brand. A thorough operations manual and training scheme will help you teach franchisees how to represent your business. But you should also continue to offer guidance and monitoring as your investors market their products and services.
The second aspect of protecting your brand involves taking action if franchisees step out of line. Knowing how to respond to a breach of contract will help you resolve issues and discourage other franchisees from straying too far from the franchise agreement.
Although you might not think it, being ready to reprimand franchisees should actually benefit them in the long run. If you show you’re ready to safeguard your brand, you build its value and reassure investors they’re part of a high-quality franchise with a great reputation.
More franchisor tips on running a franchise
Becoming a successful franchisor doesn’t happen overnight. Most business owners need to work hard to establish a business model that offers a good return on investment and a high level of job satisfaction. Luckily, there’s lots of guidance out there explaining how to franchise your business effectively.
Check out our Franchisor Tips articles or continue your research journey with our guide, The Perfect Recipe for Franchising Your Business Successfully.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©