Owning and/or managing a successful franchise requires you to stay on your toes and be constantly willing to learn, tweak, and re-evaluate processes to refine what works and eliminate what doesn’t. Not only are you managing your staff, but you’re also managing your franchisees. Obviously you want to do your best to help them succeed because their success is ultimately your success. Growing your franchise means implementing strategies that not only serve your customers well but also attract new franchisees for expansion.
Secrets to Success
It’s important to keep the big picture in mind at all times when running a successful franchise. Franchise models are valuable not merely because of a franchise fee you collect. They’re also valuable because you can grow them quickly, your management is highly motivated, and your risk is basically being spread around between you and your franchisees. Your partners are taking on some risks of their own, so it’s important that you offer them consistent and meaningful support designed to help them succeed. Rising tides raise all boats and all that jazz!
Keep Your Franchisees Happy
While it’s great to expand and acquire new franchisees, just like in any other business model, it’s also easier and more profitable to keep current franchisees happy and successful. Ultimately, the way you take care of your franchisees will result in the natural, organic growth of your franchise, just like the best word of mouth sales happen. When potential franchisees see your model and how successful others are in following it, they will be eager to climb on board with no heavy selling required on your part.
Planning Is Essential
There is no business model anywhere that doesn’t benefit from planning, including the franchise model. If you don’t invest sufficient time in planning and mapping out your strategies and goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your franchise system is a delicate eco-system and you’ll need to think one step ahead in order to keep your franchisees happy, successful, and focused on forging ahead instead of bailing out. That means out-of-the-box strategies and innovative ideas to improve everyone’s bottom line that franchisees can implement quickly and efficiently. McDonald's does this extremely well!
Don’t Shun Technology
There’s no getting around the need for technology today. Best that you embrace it and learn to use it effectively, otherwise it will hinder your franchise from being as successful as it could be. There are so many tools and systems available nowadays, there’s just no good reason not to be utilizing them if you’re serious about running a well-oiled franchise machine.
Don’t Shun Creativity
Welcome input from your franchisees! Of course, you are ultimately the one responsible for changes and innovation, it’s the only way to effectively protect your brand equity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t regularly solicit and invite creative feedback from your franchisees and implement strategies that fit the brand and make your franchise better. Not only does it keep your franchisees feeling more “invested” in the franchise, but you will also often get some great ideas!
Be a Partner and a Resource
It’s ultimately your job to continually assess what’s working and what isn’t so that everyone can be successful together. That means you have to really partner with your franchisees, solicit (and listen) to feedback on what they need from you and provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. You can help facilitate this by forging strategic relationships with outside vendors and contractors in the area that can be of added benefit and value to your franchisee. This makes your franchisee happy and ultimately keeps your franchise operation running smoothly and profitably.
Remember that managing a franchise isn’t just about collecting some cash. It’s about empowering and equipping franchisees you’ve already got so that you can organically grow your franchise and brand without constantly being on the hunt for “fresh meat.” That’s when it truly becomes a win-win relationship!