Mistake #1: Not asking the right questions
The field audit questionnaire is a critical element of any field audit system. The questionnaire should reflect the franchise’s recipe for success (as defined in the operations manual) and its strategic objectives in order to reach its goals. Questions should be SMART. Questionnaires should evolve over time to clarify any confusing questions, add new questions related to recent developments in the franchise system, remove redundant or useless questions and, finally, to ensure the order of the questions themselves follows the flow of the auditor through the location.
Mistake #2: Not visiting frequently enough
Traditionally, many franchise systems performed annual reviews. However, today’s rapidly-changing business environment renders this practice obsolete. Franchisors should visit their franchisees at least once per quarter, if not more frequently. The goal of each visit can be different, but the frequency of visits has an obvious impact on the ability of a franchisee to course-correct.
Using a system such as the FranchiseBlast Franchisee Field Audits App lets you review your visit schedule and adjust it if necessary with the click of a mouse. You may also be curious to see our field audit benchmarks concerning coach to franchisee ratios.
Mistake #3: Not defining actionable tasks in order to improve
Another common mistake is to treat audits as an occasion to reprimand franchisees on their failure. Identifying problems is but the first element of a field audit. Defining concrete tasks which should be performed to solve these problems is where audits actually bring value. Solutions should be established hand-in-hand with the franchisee to ensure higher levels of engagement and, more importantly, achieving an improvement in performance.
Using a system such as the FranchiseBlast Franchisee Field Audits App lets the auditor define the follow-up tasks while performing their store visit.
Mistake #4: Not tracking follow-up task completion
As stated above, follow-up tasks are critical. However, if they are simply communicated and no system is in place to ensure they actually get done, the value of the audit quickly dwindles. Tasks are forgotten or fall through the cracks: the improvements are not made and the problem persists.
Using a system such as the FranchiseBlast Franchisee Field Audits App sends you daily reminders of upcoming and overdue tasks.
Mistake #5: Not taking a step back to discover systemic issues
Individual audits help evaluate an individual location. However, at the franchisor level, someone must take a step back and determine what are the most common failures and how these should be addressed within the system. This also ties into Mistake #1: asking the right questions. Someone at the franchisor level needs to be in charge of auditing the audit process!