Franchisors play the role of a leader, there are no two ways about it. The franchisor has to lead a group of people towards success and the type of leadership displayed will surely make or break the system. Here are 4 ways that could help franchisors adopt a more desirable franchise leadership style.
1. Communicative Management
Top of every franchisor’s concern is to ensure there is consistency throughout the franchise system, from product/service offerings to customer experience. Sometimes, franchisees may come up with suggestions that they think would be a good complement to the current business model. Listening to franchisee feedback is the easy part and unfortunately, franchisors may need to dish out rejections. If a “no” has to be said, don’t just say “no”. Show franchisees the appropriate respect and explain the thought process behind the decision. More importantly, let franchisees know they didn’t join a dictatorship.
2. Understand Franchisee Concerns
Every franchisee will have different needs and wants, and even expectations from the franchise system. Furthermore, these may change over time. To remain up-to-date on the current situation, try holding periodic meetings or talks with franchisees for them to air their views. Franchisors must demostrate they genuinely care for franchisee success. Unfortunately, this is often neglected. If money is the only common interest holding both franchisor and franchisee together, what happens when revenue gets rocked?
3. Protect The Brand
In today’s world, selling a product or service to consumers also requires selling the brand name too. Invariably, this means brand reputation comes into play when consumers make a purchase decision. However, brand reputation is a really fragile entity and could be destroyed in the blink of an eye by the careless actions of just one individual. So if something comes up that could potentially be harmful to the brand name, deal with it immediately. Besides, there is no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to protecting brand reputation.
4. Adapt To Market Changes
While franchisees run their own franchise business and focus on developing their designated territories, franchisors look at the overall picture and determine the best direction forward collectively for everyone under the franchise flag. Most often, this means making sure there are sufficient financial returns for all parties within the system. However, consumers could be fickle and jump ship once they see newer (not necessarily better) pastures elsewhere so look at the market and see what is happening - look at what competitors are doing, look at what consumers prefer or dislike. What once worked doesn’t mean it will always work so start planning.