In a recent post, I discussed what prospective franchisees look for in a franchise. With a score of 6.7 out of 10, “Franchise Training and support” ranked second only to “potential earnings” as the most important item considered by a franchisee when evaluating a franchise. So it’s surprising how many franchisors are making no promises to provide franchisees with any support or assistance after a business opens, and a few mandatory days of start-up training. If you are considering investing in a franchise, you need to be on alert for empty promises from the franchisor. Unfortunately, franchise agreements are becoming very one-sided. While paying a hefty chunk of change, the franchisee gets nothing but the right to a trademark, a set of rules to follow, and a template-produced operations manual. Fair? Insist on a better framework, and look for a franchise the embraces a collaborative environment where knowledge is shared across the franchisees. Here are three things to look for in a franchise:
- Franchise Intranet: A franchise that understands the value of internal communications will put its franchise intranet at the very core of its business model. The intranet will house all the tools you’re looking for, from training modules, to ways of communicating with leadership and other franchise owners.
- Online Franchise Manual: Printed franchise manuals based on Word-Templates are a thing of a past. A well-structured, easy-to-navigate online operations manual will help your franchisee do the job better, faster – with more satisfied end-users as the outcome. Here is our issue-to-outcome based approach to operations manuals called WorkMap.
- Franchise Training Online: A franchisee will only be as compliant and process-loyal as the training received. Modern franchise operations not only provide training, but invest in online training modules and e-learning to boost the performance of their franchisees.
It’s been proven again and again: A franchise that provides better support using franchise software, will perform better, have happier franchisees, and ultimately, more satisfied end-customers. It’s a win-win. If the franchise informs you they are not obligated to provide any assistance and support, beyond the start-up training, odds are you are in for a rough ride. As difficult as it may be when you’re reviewing that 30 or 40 page contract, don’t be afraid to place demands on the support you’re receiving up front, and get it in writing. Insist on a better franchise agreement - Demand franchise knowledge and support to be at the core. Examples of franchise and retail chains that took the leap and went digital can be found here.