Relationships Are The Core of a Successful Franchise Brand.
Our firm, Franchise Marketing Systems, works with a wide range of brands, types of businesses and industry segments. So many variables are unique from one client to another, there truly is very little that is common from one franchise to another. We work with brands to help them franchise their model and enter the franchise market segment, their businesses fit all shapes, sizes and types and make for an incredibly unique experience in our work every day. As we have supported the development of more franchises over the past 9 years, there have been more opportunities to examine and understand the dynamics of what makes for a successful franchise brand.
When a new franchise is developed, the first responsibility of the franchisor is to generate recruitment efforts and successfully sell the first 5-10 units. There are no franchisees to support in this first stage of growth, so the focus is 100% on franchise advertising and sales. Franchise Marketing Systems works closely with clients to manage this process and works with marketing channels such as Franchise Clique to drive leads and ultimately convert franchise sales. Once the first units have been sold, the Franchisor’s responsibilities shift to a combination of selling and support. The reality is that the skill set needed to do either one is unique and many times we’ve found that the franchisors who are good at selling, need help in operations and support and vice versa. Regardless of circumstance, what has proven to be essential to an effective franchise roll out is the franchisor’s willingness and ability to develop and maintain relationships.
What are the aspects of a franchise relationship that directly impact the success of the overall brand and development effort? First, the franchisor needs to understand and respect the relationship between franchisor and franchisee. The franchisee is NOT an employee, they ARE a business owner who is tied to the brand through a franchise agreement. The more the franchisor treats them like a partner and an owner as opposed to an employee, the better the outcome. Second, The Franchisor needs to understand and define how they will provide value to the franchisee after they have taught them the business model. The “easy” part of franchising is showing people value in how to operate the business and in the initial training program. Most franchisees don’t know the business they are buying into and will naturally see value in being taught how to run and manage the operation. Once they know the business though, the franchisor needs to find ways to add value to a mature and knowledgeable franchisee who many times will be paying higher royalties as their sales volume has increased and they are now an experienced operator. Things like a great franchise marketing system which leverages brand continuity, regional and national marketing funds and other tools to benefit each operator by being part of the franchise network will keep franchisees happy and engaged. Third, franchise relationships don’t have to be complicated. Relationships are generally simple and the same dynamics that make for a good personal relationship make for a good franchise relationship. As the Franchisor, you should know everyone’s personal interests, details about their families and be genuinely interested in what makes them “tick”. Good franchisors are engaged with franchisees like their own family members and spend the time, effort and investment needed to really have strong personal connections with their franchisees.
With this in mind, the franchisors getting into franchising for the first time, need to take a step back and understand whether they are comfortable with the responsibility of being at the helm of a potentially large group of different personalities who will need and want strong ongoing relationships. If you don’t get along well with others, you either need to hire someone to be your franchise director who will oversee your franchise system’s growth, or you need to find another way to grow your business. If you are a potential franchise investor and you are considering which franchise system to invest in, I would recommend spending time getting to know the franchisor’s who are behind the brands you are investigating. The good ones will be obvious in that the franchisees you call for references will show genuine connection to the franchisor, the responses to your questions will be genuine and you will feel like you’re calling people who look at the franchise system as a family and tightly knit group of people who care about one another’s success. You are in the right place with a platform like FranchiseClique – start broad and look at a wide range of franchises, then narrow your search with good questions, spending time interviewing and going to visit franchisors. The good ones will become obvious if you spend enough time and due diligence in your search. Franchising can be exceptional way to enter entrepreneurship and start your own business, but not all franchises were created equally and you need to determine who will make the best fit in your search for the right one.
Franchise Marketing Systems