Sweet Sweet Goodness - What does it take to be a good franchisee? | Business Franchise Australia

Sweet Sweet Goodness - What does it take to be a good franchisee?

Julia Camm, Founder of Corven

What does it take to be a good franchisee?  What does good mean anyway?  Is it happiness, satisfaction, doing the right thing, profit? It’s probably all these things and more.

We asked 1197 people “What does it take to be a good franchisee?”  I wish to share the results with you, along with my thoughts and a bit of tough love.

We surveyed 1106 prospective franchisees who visited the national franchising expos in 2010, along with 91 franchisors, current franchisees, field managers and professional service providers in the sector.  While the representation may be a bit lopsided, the results are nevertheless insightful.

The table below outlines the top three and lowest three responses of the two study groups in relation to the question “What does it take to be a good franchisee?”

Prospective Franchisees 1106 responses

HIGHEST 3 RESPONSES

Training provided by the franchisor [77%]

Franchisor’s support, Field Managers and Trainers [71%]

Maintaining standards and following systems [53%]

LOWEST 3 RESPONSES

Willingness to collaborate and participate in the franchise system [42%]

Access to professional, experienced advisors [30%]

Attending franchisor events [25%]

Franchisors, Current Franchisees, Field Managers and Professional Service Providers 91 responses

HIGHEST 3 RESPONSES

Integrity of the franchisor and franchise system [35%]

Ability to listen, relate and respond [34%]

Franchisor’s strategy and leadership ability [34%]

LOWEST 3 RESPONSES

Friends and family [15%]

Franchising Code of Conduct and Franchise Agreement [11%]

Previous work history and current competency [7%]

With clapping hands of joy, prospective franchisees showed me that they understand that training, in-field support, maintaining standards and following systems are essential to ‘goodness’.  Whereas participating in franchise system functions and events are less important.  I’ll be honest with you, I had an apoplectic fit when I read this bit about the lowest three responses.

There is much goodness that comes from collaborating and participating in the franchise system and attending franchisor events.  The free flow of information, support and insight you receive when networking and hanging out with peer franchisees is priceless.

You should never ever ever rely on the franchisor’s training programs and in-field support alone to give you everything you need to be a good franchisee.  You should never ever ever shut yourself off from the rest of your franchise community, thinking that you know it all and can do it on your own.

Franchise systems behave like communities, as everyone is focused on doing the right thing, so everyone can benefit from group achievement.  Franchise communities live long and prosper when everyone comes together to kick around ideas and determine solutions.  So to do better, be better.  Good franchisees are actually good franchisee citizens.  Let me explain.  As a franchisee citizen, you have rights, giving you freedom to act in certain ways and you are responsible for obeying the laws, regulations and rules relating to the franchise business as well as balancing the interests of the community with your own.  As a franchisee citizen, you:

                      have the right to profit from your contribution

                      expect that certain behaviours will be upheld

                      are accountable to doing the right thing

                      have the right to share in the spoils and rewards of that franchise community

All of these things are ramped up when you participate in the social and learning events of the franchise community.

As for accessing professional, franchise experienced advisors as a factor of goodness? SMACK!  You will save time, save money and get specific advice on franchising when you engage with experienced lawyers, accountants and bankers within the franchise sector.  Visit the Franchise Council of Australia’s website for a complete list of professionals.  Disagree? That’s okay.  But if you are not willing to invest in getting the best advice, then perhaps you’re not ready for franchising.

The 91 franchisors, current franchisees, field managers and professional service providers I spoke with came to the conclusion that integrity, listening, strategy and leadership are the core factors of franchisee goodness.  But how do you discover this when you are doing your research on a franchise system?

Let me share with you how to turn the insight from this little research piece into action.  In the table below you will find a series of questions to ask a franchise system that are directly related to these factors of goodness.

HIGHEST  RESPONSES

FACTOR

Training provided by the franchisor [77%]

 

What training is available to me throughout my life as a franchisee?

What will I learn during the induction program for new franchisees?

What is the structure?  How will I learn – workshops, on-site or a blend?

Franchisor’s support, Field Managers and Trainers [71%]

What in-field and online support is available to me?

What is the role of my field manager?   What do they do when they visit?

How do field managers add value to my business?  How do you measure that?

Maintaining standards and following systems [53%]

What are the benefits of maintaining standards and procedures?

Do you have clear, written standards to achieve and procedures to follow?   Can I see an example?

How is unacceptable behaviour and non­compliance managed?

How often do you monitor compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements beyond the franchise system’s rules?

Ability to listen, relate and respond [34%]

Does the franchisor listen well and respond? Provide examples.

Franchisor’s strategy and leadership ability [34%]

Can you give me at least five examples of when the franchisor had to make a tough decision?  What was the issue and the outcome?  Did the franchisor collaborate  with franchisees?

LOWEST  RESPONSES

FACTOR

Willingness to collaborate and participate in the franchise system [42%]

How can franchisees collaborate, participate and influence the franchisor?

What are their top five benefits of collaborating and participating in the franchise system?

Access to professional, experienced advisors [30%]

What will an experienced franchise lawyer, accountant and banker do for me that a general practitioner cannot?

Attending franchisor events [25%]

How will I and my business benefit from attending franchisee meetings, events and conferences?

What are the costs involved?

What are the challenges of attending these events?

Being a good franchisee is all about your attitude.  A current franchisee told me “franchisee attitude is the basis of their success and their responsibility” as it is “all about a focus on the big picture, the greater good and understanding that in a franchise sometimes things don’t go your way but that the greater good will benefit you more often than not.”  Is that you?  I hope so!

Julia Camm is founder and lead consulting academic of Corven.  Since 1995, she has juggled full-time training consulting in franchising with an academic career in workplace learning.  In 2006, Julia was appointed by the FCA to establish the Women in Franchising Network. 

Corven’s online franchisee community has sourced Australia’s best news, views, tools and links to additional resources available for free to prospective franchisees.

For more information please contact: Julia Camm

Phone: 1800 65 15 45

Email: community@corven.com.au    

Web: www.corven.com.au