There are many articles extolling the virtues of being a franchisee, and showing potential franchisors what to spot in the perfect franchisee, but what about becoming the perfect franchisor?
Whether your business is growing or already established, franchisors need to devote greater time and effort into finding and managing their ideal franchisees. Franchisors often look for someone to replicate their initial success, but getting the right alchemy is hard.
Developing a proven system
Let’s subvert the rules of franchising and apply them to franchisors. Will you as franchisor have a willingness to work hard and the keen interest in your franchisees required to make franchising work for you?
You will have previous experience of running a business, but perhaps not of managing others who also want to be in charge. But these skills can and should be learned by all franchisors, if they devote sufficient time to it.
To get the best from your franchisees, it’s worth taking time to seriously consider your franchise training package. It will need to teach franchisees not only the technical skills required by the job, but also the marketing and leadership skills necessary for promoting you and your products. A good franchisor will help facilitate the franchisees’ business by guiding them without seeming too overbearing, think a little less Donald Trump.
A good franchise system will be easily replicable. When setting up your system you should assess whether particular franchises are right for the business, even if you are itching to take their franchise fee and get the on board.
The degree of control
Trying to ride the wave between too much and too little control of franchisees can be tricky. No one wants to stifle creativity....unless it is affecting sales. With an auto motive franchise you could consider standardising your services, order- book charges (subject to state taxes) and uniforms, but should you also designate maximum labor hours and demand that every mechanic wears his branded cap?
Likewise, in a bar franchise you will no doubt want a set food menu and standard branding , but not all promotional events need to be staged in the same way or on the same day for all of your franchisees.
You may assume that this doesn't apply to you, that you're a great franchisor. But we note below that franchisees are not very happy with their franchisor's level of control and support of their business.
Take a look at the graphic highlighting the most recent US-wide survey of franchisee satisfaction and output for some worrying statistics:
Documentation & Training
A franchise requires a documented infrastructure so that each franchisee maintains your high standards and delivers the right product. Just walk into any Starbucks or MacDonald’s around the world to see this in action.
The franchise system requires structure, training - including manuals, and if possible, time spent by franchisees in different departments – understanding the business.
Franchisors should also consider being upfront about what training they give, whether it is for months or merely one week, and developing good franchisee rapport is an ongoing process.
For those considering franchising - developing a brand and hiring staff dedicated to the franchising of the business isn’t cheap. But invest in the right managers and they will find the perfect location for your next outlet and negotiate the deal with franchisees, taking weight off your shoulders.
Investing in your own skills
Lastly, franchisors must invest in their own self development. Of course you already know how todeal with customers and stakeholders of all backgrounds in various business and social settings - but have you trained to be an excellent leader? Do you have people salesmanship skills, i.e. the ability not to over-promise and under deliver in franchise negotiations?
Ultimately, people decide to become franchisees because they want to be the boss - and they often need nurturing into taking the lead in running their business. The perfect franchisor will hire and manage franchisees that flourish under their tutelage – growing both their own and the franchisor’s wealth and success.
To find out about a new franchise opportunity utilising this franchisor model, click here.