Leading a franchise is unique compared to managing any other business.
As a franchisor, you are responsible for a different class of employees. This is why some franchisees need serious financial and emotional investment.
Franchisees, thus, tend to stand out: as both leaders in their own right and as employees of a wider network.
Leading franchisees is like managing a team of equals. The occasional clash of ideas will happen from time to time. This is normal.
The franchisor should be able to find franchisees who display great leadership skills, allowing them to take a step back and watch their employees thrive.
“How can we expect our franchisees to give incredible customer experience if we don’t provide that to them? When nine out of 10 franchisees that are in your system got into your system because they wanted to give back to their community or wanted to make their community a better place. I can only describe our culture in one word…PERFECT.” – Tony Lamb, Founder & CEO, Kona Ice
Franchisors need to ensure that their franchisees are well empowered.
Employee engagement affects all aspects of a business including profits and customer loyalty.
The experience, business acumen and commitment of the franchisee have a great impact. Together they affect the outcome of the business more than any other factor.
Why Is Leadership so Important in Franchising?
Gallup shows that ineffective leaders impact employee engagement.
Bad leadership also results in low employee morale and reduced productivity. These are two key factors that drive employees on the front line.
In franchising, the effects of excellent leadership can manifest in different forms. For example:
- The longevity displayed by a particular location’s business model.
- How smoothly operations run.
- How much and how often employees are willing to make key sacrifices for the company’s benefit.
- How fast teams collectively respond to a challenge.
- How often new ideas are shared among franchisees and their employees.
Leadership is the balance of both soft and hard skills.
These are critical to gain the kind of employee loyalty you’re looking for. Loyal employees are the key to a successful franchisee team.
There are certain traits that make a great leader and a franchisor must embody these characteristics to empower their franchisees. These traits include:
- Open communication policies
- Strong delegation skills
- Deep understanding of the entire business DNA
- Strong desire for research
Use These Simple Strategies to Empower Your Franchisees
Help Them Develop a Clear Vision and Plan
Franchisees need the freedom to develop a vision. It helps them map out what they want to do with the business on their terms.
A vision is a mental chart that shows the franchisee what their operation could and should be. All businesses need a sense of direction. And great leaders know that big ideas excite employees.
No matter how small a company is, its employees need to feel like they are part of a great future. They should be excited about coming to work.
The franchisee should be able to outline the needs, threats, and future outcomes for the team.
Benefits of a great company vision plan:
- It guides the actions of employees. This frames their future thinking too.
- It’s simpler to create consistent performance standards and measurements. These metrics should also be transparent to all.
- It aids in finding the right talent. Company recruiters can use this information to direct how they question and assess new candidates
- Facilitates easier collaboration, especially between teams, clients, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders.
- It provides a stable company framework that outlasts changes in leadership and employee turnover.
Have Open Communication Lines With Franchisees
Studies have shown that happy employees perform much better in the workplace.
A franchisor should create a transparent process of giving and receiving feedback.
Businesses can be challenging for franchisees. Having a place to direct their concerns and questions can ease this burden.
Clear communication systems improve employee experience. In a franchise, they ensure the smooth running of operations, making for a better franchisor-franchisee relationship.
In a franchise business two communication links contribute to proper support i.e:
- Dedicated field support team members from the franchisor to the franchisees.
- Peer communication between franchisees.
By having open communication lines, a franchisor will see:
- Increased employee morale
- More enthusiastic team building
- A corporate culture of transparency
- Improved innovation and accountability
- Better conflict resolution practices
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Distinguish Between Leadership and Management
In some cases, excellent managers do not make excellent leaders.
There’s a key differentiator between managers and leaders. While managers have people who work for them, leaders have people who follow them.
A successful franchisee has to find the right balance between these two qualities.
By demonstrating strong leadership capabilities, the franchisee can propel their business forward. They will get their team to actualize the company’s vision of success.
Key characteristics of leadership that a franchisor should encourage include:
- Flexible thinking
- High level of communication skills
Strong managers can do the following:
- Execute the strategic vision they have already created.
- Create a clear roadmap that directs day to day work functions.
- Make resources available to employees to allow them to be the most productive.
- Determine what the business needs ahead of time.
- Keep affirming work norms, processes, standards, and operating guidelines.
Engagement and process implementation are the most important factors driving business today. Technology can be useful in fulfilling both these functions.
Today’s businesses rely on:
- Cloud-based applications
- A data-focused global community
- Constant, real-time interactions
- Increased accessibility via tablets and smartphones
Both the franchisor and the franchisee need to be aware of the latest technology in their fields. Franchise software can be instrumental for day to day business management.
Technology also assists in implementing the management, training, and development of employees.
With technology, a franchise can have a thriving workforce anywhere in the world.
The right platform allows the franchisor to achieve all the above goals. And, they can use the platform to track key performance indicators and conduct training, and development.
Learning management systems are a convenient way to offer ongoing training. They provide real-time tracking access to employers whilst maintaining the flexibility to learn at their own pace.
Technology can assist franchisees in these ways:
- Gathering, qualifying, and conversion of leads into repeat sales.
- Capturing and safely storing new contact information.
- Wider reach to customers using digital signage text messaging and social media campaigns.
- Well designed onboarding and continuous development programs.
- Automated reporting systems.
Support Your Franchisees and Offer Them Opportunities
As a franchisor, you don’t want any of your franchisees feeling overwhelmed.
You can offer help to franchisees in the following ways:
- Finance: Guide them on the best financial programs available for budding franchisees.
- Location selection: Some franchisors do not allow franchisees the flexibility to choose locations. It may be worth adopting this practice as it can further increase the franchisee’s commitment. Always look for a location that appeals to the franchisee’s goals.
- Training and operations manual: Provide a detailed operations manual. It should outline the rules, standards, and specifications required for the brand. This helps them to organize and define specific job responsibilities and tasks.
- Ensure that the franchisee has undergone intensive training on your operating system. Training can happen at the brand’s corporate headquarters. Follow up with periodic training and seminars in later months and years.
- Advertising: Assist the franchisees with initial advertising efforts. Share your understanding of what works with different forms of media.
Empower Your Franchisees Now
As a franchisor, you want to empower your franchisee onto a path of continued success.
A franchisee needs a system that allows opportunities to actualize their business goals.
World Manager is the right platform to assist franchisors. They can maintain compliance while offering ongoing support to their franchisees. Whether the franchisee requires:
- Human resources and accounting reference points
- Technical support
- Customer feedback
- Performance tracking
- Employee training and support
We individualize each platform allowing franchisees to include administrative functions besides learning and development.
Book a demo today and completely change how you do business.