Instilling accountability within a franchise system takes a lot of work, not just during the implementation phase but perhaps more so to maintain that level of accountability. The following are 3 ways to help develop, bolster and keep in place a perpetual system going that involves the franchisor and franchisee working hand-in-hand.
What are the 3 ways?
1. Transferring Knowledge
From the outset, the franchisor should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both parties and explain what franchisees can expect in the form of training, support and assistance. From company culture to operational procedures and even advertising opportunities, the franchisor must also ensure that the franchisee understands the brand promises and business model so as to effectively represent the franchise name.
2. Assistive Means
Once communal understanding about appropriate brand and franchise representation is instituted in the franchisee, the franchisor should start to execute their responsibility to expedite accountability in the franchisee. The franchisor must perform comprehensive guidance and coaching to the franchisee and their employees in order to establish acceptable management and operational standards, especially for line-level staff. An operations manual, written in an easy-to-understand format regardless of the reader's culture and background, should also be provided to the franchisee for reference when the franchisor is not physically present. But the franchisee also has a part to play and are responsible for asking questions where doubts are present. The onus is on the franchisee to initiate and utilize available tools and resources provided by the franchisor.
3. Quality Control
To ensure brand and operational expectations are upheld by the franchisee, the franchisor should conduct periodic field visits to the franchise unit. Furthermore, the franchisor could organize periodic collective meetings between themselves and franchisees to give attention to concerns while taking in feedback. Franchisees should also be encouraged to use these gatherings to discuss best practices and experiences while raising challenges faced.
Instilling accountability within a franchise system is like needing two hands to clap - both franchisor and franchisee must be involved in the process in order for it to work. But franchisors must lead by example and first display their willingness to accept their part of accountability during the development phase of a franchise unit, and continuing that by being reactive to franchisee's requests and feedback.