Every franchisor knows that the success of their franchisees is dependent on their ability to properly manage them.
It’s important for you as a franchisor or part of the franchise management team to understand what makes each franchisee tick, what they need from you, and how best to communicate with them so that they are happy and successful within the system of your brand.
Here are some tips on how you can effortlessly and effectively manage your franchisees without confrontations:
Establish a solid relationship
One of the keys to managing franchisees is building relationships with them. Establishing and maintaining good relationships with your franchisees is critical to the success of your business. If you have a solid relationship with your franchisees, then they will feel more comfortable approaching you with any issues they may be having within their stores or with other members of their teams at any given time. This will allow them to feel like they can come to you instead of going straight to corporate or another manager who may not be as understanding about their situation as you are likely to be.
That way, when you need them to do something different (like change their marketing strategy), they’ll be open to it because they know that you’re looking out for their best interests as well as your own. Few initiatives can be done to establish solid relationships with them.
- Create Regular Meetings. Meetings give everyone a chance to share important information, ask questions and discuss common issues. This helps keep everyone on track with the same goals in mind.
- Hold In-Person Events. In-person events allow you to interact with your franchisees in person, which is much easier than trying to communicate via email or phone calls all the time. These events also give you a chance to meet new people and get feedback from them as well as from existing franchisees who may not have had a chance to speak with you before.
- Share Knowledge Through Digital Training Sessions. Digital training sessions accessible anytime and anywhere allow you to educate your entire network of franchisees at once about topics like marketing strategy or customer service best practices that they might otherwise not learn until they’ve been on their own for several years (if ever). The more knowledge they have now, the more successful they’ll be over time.
Regularly monitor routine tasks
You need to know how well each of your franchisees is performing on a regular basis without any lag. This will help you identify areas where things aren’t going as planned and give you an opportunity to address any problems before they become major issues.
For franchise managers, it’s also important to stay involved in the day-to-day operations of the franchisees. Even if you don’t need to be involved in their day-to-day operations, it’s still important that you stay informed about their progress so that you can provide feedback when needed.
There are certain tasks that have to be done regularly by all of your locations — like ordering supplies or as simple as observing proper staff hygiene — but often go overlooked because they’re not time-sensitive or urgent. Make sure these routine tasks get done by creating a mobile-friendly digital checklist that can be completed by each franchisee, then set up regular check-ins with each store to make sure they’re completing their tasks on time.
This will help you identify any issues early on so that you can resolve them before they become bigger problems. If possible, get together in person periodically to discuss more complex issues face-to-face without making them feel that they are being held up.
Are you there for them?
We’re sure you’ve heard the expression, “no one cares about your brand but you.” While this may be true, it’s also very limiting. Your franchisees do care about your brand, and they want you to be a part of their success.
It is not a suggestion that you should abandon your responsibilities as a franchisor, but if you’re not engaging with your franchisees, then they will feel like they’re in this alone. This creates stress and increases turnover — two things that are bad for everyone involved.
If you want to manage franchisees effortlessly, you need to have a “be there for them and help them succeed” mentality. Franchisees need a lot of support, and they need it to be consistent. They are longing for a leader, not just a manager. Even if they’re not asking for help, they’re still looking for it. They may not always know how to ask for help or what kind of support they need, but they know when you’re not there. Be proactive and reach out when there is an issue or problem that needs addressing.
Your goal should be to create an environment where your franchisees feel inspired and comfortable talking about any concerns they may have with their business or relationship with you and your company as a whole.
It is especially important to document everything — whether it’s meetings and communications or brand standards and policies. That way, there’s no room for miscommunication or misunderstandings about what was said or agreed upon.
You’ll want to keep track of your communication with each franchisee and any changes that need to be made in the future. This will help you avoid confusion and misunderstandings later on.
If your brand has certain standards and policies (like food safety), this is especially important because it will help protect both the brand and the franchisee from liability issues down the road. Make sure that these standards and policies are clearly communicated and can be drawn out any time so that both parties are aware of what’s expected from them. Also, make sure that any changes to these standards and policies are communicated in real-time as well so that everyone is on the same page moving forward.
Make use of a digital manuals library for all your documented meetings and standards and policies that you and your franchisees can access easily from their own devices whenever they need to refer to them. Find a tool that has a built-in interface and email notifications every time you cascade documented meetings or update a specific standard and policy to notify necessary parties you wish to stay on track.
Use a franchise management software
Running a franchise can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many tools available that can help you manage your franchisees and keep things running smoothly.
The most important tool you’ll need as a franchisor is a franchise management software. It is a digitally integrated franchise management system that allows you to optimise franchise-wide performance through systematic Operations, Training, Audit and Onboarding implementation across multiple outlets and multiple territories.
When leading franchisees towards success, it’s best to find a comprehensive franchise management platform that features a wide complete set of tools that can support you train and onboard franchisees from different location, helps you create checklists and run audits, and allows you to capture and store standards and policies.
And to create an environment where your franchisees feel inspired, a software that features a franchise scorecard is the answer. It serves as a go-to data sheet that presents all relevant performance areas for all stakeholders in the franchise system viewed on a dashboard. Franchise scorecard presents financial and non-financial factors to track indicators across time periods and different performance areas for franchisees, franchise managers, and franchisors to understand performance from a more holistic point of view and identify areas of concern as well as opportunities quickly.
Of course, every franchisee is a little different, which further complicates things. But the tips above should give you a good idea of how you can improve your relationships with each of them through better franchise management—and in turn, make each one’s experience more satisfying. And once you do that, then everyone wins.