What's your new year’s resolution? To improve the relationship with your franchisees? Not a bad idea. I’ve written previously that 50% of Franchise Master Licensees are not satisfied with ongoing support from the Franchisors and want help to perform better. There are a few low hanging fruits that you can pick immediately to help improve the relationship with your franchisees, while helping your overall business perform better.
Communications – A real franchise leader understands the importance of equipping franchisees with the right knowledge, at the right time. Do your franchisees have visibility of what marketing campaigns are in the pipe for the first quarter (and are they on board)? Do your franchisees know what’s accepted of them, performance wise, compliance wise? How are you making it clear? There is no such thing as under-communicating – the key is how, and with what tools you communicate.
Compliance – If you don’t have a good operations manual or processes that everyone can understand, it goes without saying that your franchise will not deliver on its brand promise. Get your operations in gear, provide training and start sharing information in a way that impacts your bottom-line in a positive way. But dusting of that old operations manual may not be the best approach. Have you considered providing your franchisees with an interactive operations manual online? It is estimated that operations manuals developed with WorkMap™, a proprietary methodology that results in better operations manuals that require less administration at lower cost, can improve workplace efficiencies at a franchise by up to 50%. I guess the only question is: “Why am I not using that already?”
Collaboration – Working in silos never helped anyone in the long run. If your franchisees are operating independently with very little visibility of what’s going on across the organization, there is no shared learning, no distribution of ideas, and no sense of community. Ultimately you are not building a team – you’re just operating in parallel universes. What good is that? Get your franchisees online and start the conversation! Share the knowledge! Learn from experiences! Collaborating online means your franchisees will LEARN EXPONENTIALLY. If you don't have a franchise intranet in place, or if you have one that is barely ever updated, now is the time to make it sizzle. Whether you are a growing franchise or just starting out, the benefits of a connected and collaborative franchise are numerous. The New Year is just starting. Make 2014 a prosperous one: Connect with your franchisees more effectively and see your franchise thrive.