Optimising franchisee performance
As a franchisor, you’ve seen in your own vision, drive for success and in your company owned operations that success is possible simply by doing the right things in the right order and at the right time. In other words by following the ‘system’ that has enabled you to create the success you have achieved thus far, there should be no reason why others cannot achieve the same level of success or more. After all, that’s the reason why you franchised your business in the first place, so others could enjoy in your success.
If you can do it, then why do some franchisees fall short from time to time and some more often than not? It’s rare for a franchisor to be completely satisfied with the performance of most franchisees. Too often, franchisees implement only portions of the franchisors system, take significantly longer to develop and grow their business and consistently fall short when it comes to financial expectations.
In extreme cases, under-performing franchisees are catalysts to dissatisfaction among other franchisees, which ultimately can undermine efforts to attract new franchisees into the system. It goes without saying under-performing franchisees can become a significant problem.
This article presents a brief insight and introduction to some ways you can optimise franchisee performance.
Your Franchise Recruitment Process
We all know the importance of franchisee selection. Select a bad apple and you will pay the price for a long time; select a good one and your life becomes slightly easier. So why do we see franchisors still falling short in this area? Having a solid recruitment process in place is generally a good place to start. Knowing who your ideal franchisee is, what their character traits are, what their goals are for the future and how they have operated in the past in their career and/or another business is a crucial element. By developing a solid seven to ten step recruitment process, it becomes a reliable system that will enhance the foundations right from the start. It will help you attract your ideal candidates, allow you to take them through the selection process and lead them into moving forward and you making a decision to grant a franchise to the ones who are a match to your defined selection criteria. Your aim is to get the candidates jumping out of the process and walking away so you are left with the good apples, the ones who see your system as a match for them and the ones who you see are a match for you.
Take some time over the next week to review your current recruitment process. Where are the gaps? Where could you improve and what could be removed altogether as it just isn’t supporting you. Oh and if you don’t have a solid well defined and documented recruitment process, then take some time to develop one.
The Franchise System - Does Your System Need an Update?
The core of any franchisor-franchisee relationship is the franchisor’s system for developing and operating a franchise. Effective franchisors have a consistent, repeatable system for operating a franchise. It is designed to produce franchisee success even if the franchisee knows little about running a business in general or that type of business in particular. This system usually consists of a comprehensive set of specific guidelines for everything operating the business effectively. Your system should comprehensively cover all key areas of the business including but not limited to administration, key operations, sales and marketing, HR, IT etc. Don’t forget to look at support and training.
The system allows the franchisor to grow by both attracting new franchisees and by enabling each new franchisee to be consistently successful. Thus, the system is the essential foundation of the franchisor-franchisee relationship.
Franchisee success is dependent on the quality of the franchisor’s system, among other things, so it is critical that the system is complete, easily understood and effective. While all franchisors have a system, as discussed above, its sophistication and comprehensiveness often lags at least a little behind their growth and, in some cases, may be substantially out-of-date. Anything less than a comprehensive, realistic and effective system undermines both the value of the training and the system’s discipline.
The best way to develop a great, widely accepted system is to combine the broad knowledge of the franchisor and the top franchisor team members with the knowledge and expertise of the high performing franchisees. Generally the high performing franchisees know how to make the system work. By combining the best of both the franchisor and franchisee perspectives the system will encompass the ‘real’ story of what it takes to develop and manage a successful franchise.
To a new franchisee coming into the ‘franchise network’ or an under-performing franchisee, the ‘system’ is a vital element in their success. Any gaps will result in the franchisee instantly blaming the franchisor’s system for their lack of results. I see this time and time again and yes, although all franchisees should be 100 per cent responsible for their success, what can you do to enhance the ‘system’ that enables them to create a certain level of success?
Training & Support
Providing initial training to new franchisees should be just the beginning of the ongoing training and development you provide your franchisees throughout the term of their franchise agreement. Training and ongoing development and support should be a significant element in your franchise system. There are modern-day ways to deliver ongoing training and support. Be creative and think outside the square so that your delivery methods allow your franchisees to learn in an environment that supports them and their overall effectiveness, and the delivery methods support you also as a franchisor. Ongoing training and support can include both offline and online programs and delivery methods.
Perhaps now’s the time to review your ‘system’ and see if there are any ways you could make improvements that could optimize your franchisees performance. Have a look at where your franchisees are possibly falling short, what are their challenges, and how can you
Consider system enhancement. Perhaps the creation of more online training videos or the development of an online group coaching and support program showing how to run the business consistently and more effectively may be beneficial to your franchisees. Whatever it may be it’s always a great idea to carry out a system review every 12 months to ensure your franchisees have every opportunity to maximize their potential.
As human beings not one is the same as the other. Franchisors can often fall into the trap of expecting every franchisee will run the business as efficiently and as effectively as you would. Unfortunately it’s far from reality so the best thing you can do as a franchisor is to support your franchisees in becoming more efficient and effective in what they do. We all know many franchisees are wasting time by focusing on the wrong activities.
To increase overall effectiveness, it’s important for your franchisees to know and understand how to accurately identify where they spend their time. Once they know where their time is being spent it’s easier to identify what areas and activities they can focus on and what areas and activities that really should be delegated to staff.
How To Get Started
1. Do a Brain Dump. Simply write down all tasks, business and personal activities that are done during working hours. This can be done manually or using online software such as Time Doctor or Yast.
2. Separate the tasks under headings daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly.
3. Circle the tasks that are repetitive, tasks that you don’t love or enjoy or is not worth your hourly rate.
4. The items that are circled should be the activities that can now be delegated to staff members.
5. If the process or procedure to carry out the task is not documented then create a system for this so team members can complete the tasks / activities efficiently.
6. Consistent Daily Action is the key to success.
Mindset is Key
Mindset can either make or break your franchisees. It has been proven that a mindset shift will pave the way for more consistent results. Based on this understanding, if we want franchisees to produce better results, we have to go to the foundations and make a change
within the mindset of each and every one of our franchisees. We have to change what they are thinking. This will then influence a change in their root beliefs, which will bring about a new sense of confidence and clarity and ultimately better results. Now I know what you are thinking, “I can’t possibly help every franchisee change their mindset.” That’s almost impossible. Here’s a mindset shift right now. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Using some simple belief altering techniques, you have the opportunity to help shift your franchisees mindsets quite quickly and effectively. Of course, they are responsible for their success, so ultimately it’s up to them.
1. Have your franchisees define what success means to them.
2. Encourage your franchisees to set goals regularly. Be sure they are written down and, more importantly, be sure there is an action plan in place so that they can take the necessary actions to achieve these goals. Ninety day cycle action plans are best for building momentum fast.
3. Have your franchisees commit to their success. Most people think they are committed and then contradict themselves by not being willing to do what it takes to reach their goals.
4. Hold them accountable to being 100 per cent responsible for their success. Put a plan in place for this to ensure it’s achieved.
5. Encourage them to say positive affirmations on a daily basis such as, “I am a confident and successful business person,” or “Each day in every way I am better and better,” or “Increasing my business comes easily to me,” or “I live each day with passion and purpose.”
6. Empower your franchisees to adopt an attitude for gratitude. You simply cannot get more of what you want, until you are grateful for what you have.
Tania Allen is the founder of Vision Alliance and author of Franchise Profits. Vision Alliance is a business growth and franchise consulting firm that helps franchisors and franchisees get more out of business and more out of life. For more information about how Tania and her
team can support you contact Tania Allen at: