Planning to grow your footprint within the next year or two? If your franchisees are getting the necessary support, they are most likely happy with you and will share the good news with any prospects looking to buy into your business. It’s for this reason that providing meaningful support to your franchisees when franchising your business is important.
As a successful franchisor, the ability of your individual franchisees to do well plays a crucial role in your ability to grow your brand.
It’s not too late to check in on your current systems to observe if they’re really working for the franchise owners in your network. Here’s what you need to look at and adjust, if necessary:
1. Communicate constantly
You don’t need to set up a formal appointment to check in on your franchisees. Just a phone call and reassurance you’re available when they need you is enough to set a nervous novice franchisee at ease.
If you don’t know that the problem is, you can’t help solve it, or anticipate it.
“Effective two-way continuous communication is critical for the success of the franchise network,” says Sasha-Lee de Bod, franchise consultant at Franchising Plus. “The franchisor can communicate through various methods – site visits, telephonically, email and through an online communication portal.
Setting these platforms up means you’re building an efficient franchisee support structure in your network. The result is often motivated franchisees who are open to change and have a stronger relationship with the brand.
2. Manage franchisee satisfaction
Unlike corporate KPAs, monitoring your franchisees’ satisfaction should not be an annual checked-box, but needs to be monitored regularly. Some of the best ways to do this is through regular surveys or focus groups.
IFA Secretary and CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. Catherine Monson advises the regular surveys review the following:
- The value the franchisees receive from training and support programmes
- The efficacy of marketing and advertising
- The quality of support and training you offer
- The quality of the scheduled field visits
- The value of the franchise relationship.
The frequency will differ per industry needs, and seasonality could be an influence, but ideally, franchisee satisfaction should be measured annually. This allows the franchisor to measure franchisees’ fluctuating perceptions and expectations.
3. Monitor your support system
While measuring satisfaction is effective in efforts to improve your relationships with franchisees, the key is what you do with the information to ensure their success and commitment during your franchisees’ franchise agreement period. This insight enables you to make better decisions regarding your support system.
“You will also need to make sure that your franchised business is structured so that your franchisees need your services on a continuing basis and, consequently, will want to go on paying you to belong to the network,” advises the British Franchising Association.