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November 2018

Tips on Building an Effective Quarterly Franchise Business Plan

By | Franchise Business Plans, Franchise Coaching

A good proportion of franchisors utilizing our franchisee field audit app also use FranchiseBlast for business planning purposes. We’ve had a few franchisors reach out and ask us what we thought was the best format for a business plan and, as such, created this guide!

To give you a bit of context, we’re not talking about the proforma business plan a franchisee would create to secure bank funding to open up their location. We’re talking about ongoing action plans or business plans defined by the franchisor’s franchise business coach during their field visits or phone coaching sessions. These are typically quarterly business plans in the context of a franchisor-franchisee relationship but their duration can vary greatly. One could create an annual business plan with their goals for the year and decompose this plan into quarterly business plans and then to very specific as monthly or even weekly action plans.

Before we explain what quarterly business plans typically looking like, let’s revisit the concept of SMART goals.

SMART Goals

Everyone has a slightly different definition of what the acronym SMART means in the context of a goal. Here are a few different interpretations from a project management site. You’ve most likely been introduced to this concept on a few occasions.

  • S: specific, significant, stretching
  • M: measurable, meaningful, motivational
  • A: agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
  • R: realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
  • T: time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, traceable

At FranchiseBlast, we favor the following interpretation and have included examples for each.

Specific: Be clear about what you want achieve do to improve your business.

Example: We want to increase off premise business or online ordering.

Measurable: You’ll need to be able to quantify progress or success. How do you define your goal in a way that is easy to calculate?

Example: Online orders should compose at least 10% of our total orders. (The key performance metric of “# of online transactions” / “# of total transactions” should exceed 10%).

Actionable: If you have this goal, you must be able to do something concrete to achieve it. This ties into it being attainable.

Example: It’s actionable because we can train staff to mention the program during every transaction or phone order. It’s attainable because we know over half of the units in our territory have achieved this goal.

Relevant: This helps you realize if you’re working towards the most impactful elements of your business, not just busywork that does not add to the bottom line.

Example: Our strategic initiatives this year have us working towards a 5% same store sales increase and we have a number of marketing initiatives in place to support this, including the launch in January of our online ordering program. It’s new in our location and we know it helps improve sales and kitchen efficiency.

Time-Based: Giving yourself a deadline to accomplish the goal makes sure something gets done.

Example: We want to achieve 10% of online orders by October 31st.

Overall, a SMART goal is something specific that is well-aligned with strategy, can be measured over the course of a time period and, at the target date, it can be determined if our action plan succeeded or failed.

Corrective Action Plans are not Franchise Business Plans

Users of our franchisee field audit app will know that the app lets you create a corrective action plan for any anomalies highlighted during a field visit. For any question within the field audit questionnaire, you can define a task that must be completed by a certain person by a certain date. While effective for course corrections such as the need to replace a chair they aren’t necessarily a great fit for business plans where you want to be more strategic.

A strong business plan elevates the discussion to key drivers in the business.

A Simple Action Plan

Now that we’ve established the context, let’s talk about what action plans can look like in the real world. The simplest pattern you can use when defining a business plan is to have two simple free form text questions:

  1. “What area of opportunity did you observe?”
  2. “Which activities are recommended to address this area of opportunity?”

This form is extremely simple but a great addition to any standard field audit questionnaire performed by the franchisor. Be sure to balance out areas of opportunity with congratulations for this unit’s strengths.

Although simplicity is key, there are better ways to help your franchisees think strategically. This is a good first step from moving from a cop to a coach relationship with your franchisee, but the value provided to the franchisee is highly dependent on the coach and their unique point of view on the business.

The SMART plan

If we’re willing to put a bit more work and become more strategic with our quarterly business plans, the next level up is the SMART plan, referencing the goals-setting strategy mentioned above.

This questionnaire will include the following elements:

What is your SMART goal?

You would write out a goal that matches SMART criteria above.

Example: Increase the % of online orders to 10% by October 31st.

Is there more information relevant to your goal?

When applicable, complement this with additional information about why it’s relevant or what the current standard is within the franchise. This goes deeper into the area of opportunity.

Example: Increase the % of online orders to 10% by October 31st. As you know, the franchise’s move to digital is a critical strategic objective & differentiator. The network average is already 20% and we’ve seen stores go from 0% to 10% in 2 months after properly marketing the initiative.

What activities/tactics will you perform to achieve this goal?

Example: Add post on restaurant Instagram channel with the hashtag #instagood 

What is the due date for the goal and each of the activities?

Due date to achieve target: Oct 31.
Due date for first Instagram post on online ordering: Sept 1. 

Who is accountable for the goal and each of the activities?

Target: GM of Restaurant 
Instagram: Supervisor 

When applicable, what is the budget for this initiative?

Target: $1,000 
Instagram: No budget 

Recommended Patterns

At FranchiseBlast, we see a number of different layouts for the above.  Here are some patterns to give you some ideas:

Pattern 1

  • Goal
  • Activities
  • Due Date
  • Done By

Pattern 2

  • What is your SMARTgoal?
  • How will you measure success?
  • Why is this an attainable goal?
  • Why is this goal relevant?
  • What’s your due date?
  • What activities will you do?
  • Who will be accountable for this?

Pattern 3

  • What is the area of opportunity, compared to our standards?
  • What is the SMART goal and related activity?
  • Activity 1
    • What is the activity?
    • By whom?
    • Due date?
    • Budget?
  • Activity 2
    • What is the activity?
    • By whom?
    • Due date?
    • Budget?
  • Activity 3
    • What is the activity?
    • By whom?
    • Due date?
    • Budget?

Overall, these are pretty much the same pattern of having a SMART goal.

Pattern 1 is the simplest approach.

Pattern 2 breaks down the goal to ensure they’re following a SMART philosophy.

Pattern 3 breaks down each individual activity so that it can easily be delegated to different individuals. We’ll often observe that Pattern 3 is interesting when you have a longer-term plan (say quarterly), and the activities break down that plan into more granular pieces (Month 1, 2,3).

Quarterly Business Plans in FranchiseBlast

Overall, the breakdowns that we have already presented in this article focus on a single goal at a time. Let’s bring the sophistication level up and move from Action Plans to Franchise Business Plans and talk about the broader process, not just the questionnaire.

Step 1: Review Data & Find Actionable Insights

The first step in the process is to acquire and analyze the data you have about this unit and discover where their weaknesses lie, which are the most impactful and how those align with the franchise’s strategic objectives. Tools like our Franchisee Scorecards simplify this process greatly helping the coach evaluate the business from a holistic perspective from a single dashboard view to decide if they should drill down on financials, customer satisfaction, food safety risks, etc.

You could execute flawlessly on your business plan, but if you haven’t properly analyzed the situation and determined the appropriate root causes of any issues, the intervention will not be as impactful.

To help determine root causes of staff behavior, some people go through a workflow such as:

What’s the problem?

Describe the problem in as much detail as necessary.

Is it important?

If not, ignore.

Is it a skill deficiency?

If the problem is based on skill, arrange different forms of training based on if training has occurred before and how often the task is performed.

If skill is not the challenge, is it a knowledge deficiency?

If so, they’ll provide different forms of information/feedback.

If not, then they’ll drill down to the root cause which could be removing obstacles or adding incentives/consequences.

Step 2: Define the Business Plan (Goals & Activities)

Now, pick a limited subset of areas of opportunity to focus on in the next quarter. If you try to focus on too many things at once, you’ll fail at all of them. For each area of opportunity, you’ll define an action plan for a single goal as defined previously in this article. There are a few different patterns to accomplish this but here we outline the main two.

Pattern 1: Pick Three

Some franchises will say: “pick three areas of opportunity and focus one those”. This forces you to make hard choices about what’s the most important for this unit’s future. Although we say “three” in this example, we have seen anything between one and six. If it starts getting larger than that, we start considering it an “anti-pattern”: that’s just too much to focus on. Personally, we believe that 3 is a good number.

The standard way most franchises do it is to have free form options where the coach enumerates the top three options he or she believes to be the most impactful. However, some franchises resort to using the concept of a checklist.  This checklist is a common list of ‘buckets’ under which areas of opportunity fall under. The coach and the franchisee talk about each bucket and jot down some quick notes and collaboratively define which ones they should be focusing on. See the checklist as just a guideline for the conversation.  For example, pick three out of the following list:

Team
  • Training
  • Staffing
  • Turnover/Tenure
  • Development
  • Bench Strength
  • Diversity
 Sales
  • Service Scores
  • Marketing/Events
  • Customer Traffic
  • Comp Sales
  • Salesmanship
  • Incentives
  • Contests
Product
  • Food Safety
  • Food Quality
  • Waste
  • Line Checks
  • /Receiving
  • Compliance
  • Best Practices
Profit
  • Food Costs
  • Labor Costs
  • Overtime
  • Misc Cost of Goods
  • Supplies
Facility
  • Cleanliness
  • Repair & Maintenance (R&M)
  • Inspections

You’ll notice that many of the items on this checklist are frequently found in field audit scores or franchisee scorecards. A few, however, require deeper conversations with the franchisees about their personnel and long-term vision.  We find this concept of a checklist interesting as it forces the stakeholders to, at least briefly, consider various elements that they may have forgotten about while in the heat of the conversation.

Pattern 2: Pick One or Two for Each Dimension

In a second case, some franchises choose to say that their business can be viewed in four different dimensions. For example, they could define themselves in the following way:

  1. People
  2. Product
  3. Service
  4. Marketing.

In the above example, it would be:

  1. Team
  2. Sales
  3. Product
  4. Profit
  5. Facility

The dimensions vary depending on the brand, but overall for each dimension the coach will choose one or two areas of opportunity Some will impose that there’s a maximum total of goals defined for all dimensions combined (say 1 or 2 per dimension, with maximum of 5 initiatives in all). This practice forces you to think a bit more about the business from a holistic view instead of always looking at attacking “improve sales” directly, but you have to be careful not to overwhelm the franchisee.

We find this an interesting approach as long as you keep the list to a minimum and identify what the real top three are.  It’s good to look at all facets of the business. Some franchisors address this in a different way by having some monthly calls with the franchisees where the ‘topic of the month’ is discussed. Each month, that topic varies from “Employees”, to “Marketing”, to “Food Safety”, etc. This is a nice complement to the more formal quarterly business plan.

Step 3: Continuous Review

During the quarter, it’s important to periodically review the plan and see if we’re performing the planned activities and if our goals are on their way to being met or if we need to course correct. This can be done over the phone, but it brings value to the fact that the business plan is a living document.

Step 4: Postmortem & New Plan

Once the quarter is done, it’s critical to review how you did against the plan. We won’t necessarily reach all our goals, but it’s great to learn from the activities we performed or didn’t perform. These lessons learned will help us guide the next quarterly business plan.

Final Example

If you don’t have a business plan template today, we’d recommend doing something as follows which we find simple enough to be easy to use yet extensive enough to be less dependent on the domain knowledge of each coach and easier to systematize.

Highlight of Successes

Area of Opportunity 1

  • Why it’s an area of opportunity and why it’s important (how it relates to sales or strategy, the franchise’s standards, your benchmark vs group, etc.).
  • SMART Goal around a measurable metric with a Due Date
  • List of activities with who’s accountable and due dates. (Breakdown into more granularity when appropriate.)

Area of Opportunity 2

  • Why it’s an area of opportunity and why it’s important (how it relates to sales or strategy, the franchise’s standards, your benchmark vs group, etc.).
  • SMART Goal around a measurable metric with a Due Date
  • List of activities with who’s accountable and due dates. (Breakdown into more granularity when appropriate.)

Area of Opportunity 3

  • Why it’s an area of opportunity and why it’s important (how it relates to sales or strategy, the franchise’s standards, your benchmark vs group, etc.).
  • SMART Goal around a measurable metric with a Due Date
  • List of activities with who’s accountable and due dates. (Breakdown into more granularity when appropriate.)

Postmortem (filled out at the end of the term)

When choosing your areas of opportunity, have a reference list of standard areas (as per the above breakdown in Team, Sales, Product, etc.) nearby to guide conversations and have your franchisee scorecard handy. If you don’t have a franchisee scorecard yet, take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Franchisee Scorecards.

Conclusion

A franchisee business plan provides another “arrow in your quiver” when it comes to driving franchisee performance. Integrating some concepts from the world of Project Management and ideas from leaders in the franchising community, can help set you on a path for success.



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Top 5 Reasons Why Franchisees are not Using your Fancy Analytics or Dashboard Solution

By | Franchisee Scorecard, Thought Leadership

In this information age, everyone talks about how you need to track everything in franchising. And you can! From click through rates (CTR) on your website to the cost per transaction, analytics are a great thing.

But even though we have the tools at our disposal and quite often even a dashboard with a summary of multiple facts of our business, we fail to really learn what they all mean. Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees.

All this data is wasted.

As a franchise owner, you probably have invested both time and money into analytics and/or a dashboard solution to help your franchisees. You did this because you understand the positive impact they can have on any organization.

Done right, they can ultimately have a positive impact the bottom line.

So why aren’t your franchisees utilizing them?

There are five main reasons that may be holding your franchisees back from using data to really enhance their performance.

1.    Too Much Data

Have you ever driven by someone’s front lawn at Christmas where there are a huge amount of decorations and lights? While individually they look good, everything together is way too overwhelming.

That’s how many franchisees see their dashboards – information overload.

They don’t know where to focus. Experiencing “data overwhelm”, they choose to skip over it rather than try to make sense of it.

Take email for example. Workers spend 50% of their time just finding and reading emails. And with today’s inboxes getting overloaded with work emails and a large variety of ‘junk’ they get disorganized very quickly. In fact, 26% of all people want to delete their inbox and just start from scratch.

Just as we need to pare down the information that is received into our inbox, you need to reduce the amount of information shown on your franchisee’s dashboard.

For analytics to really be impactful, you need to narrow the data down to a few key pieces.

Choose information that they can act upon today. Think back to SMART goals:

  • Specific: it should be clear what you’re reviewing.
  • Measurable: if you can measure it, you can improve it.
  • Actionable: the scorecard should guide action; if you can’t impact it, don’t include it.
  • Relevant: if it’s not related to your objectives, it’s not important.
  • Time-specific: they should vary over time.

Narrowing the selection of analytics included on your Franchisee’s dashboard those that meet SMART requirements, can go a long way towards helping your Franchisees utilize them more frequently. They will see value in the data, not just numbers.

2.    It isn’t Actionable

How would you feel if your fitness coach said only tracked the number of pull-ups you could do?

It’s like telling your franchisee they had X number of customers last quarter. What is he supposed to take away from that? It’s not actionable.

Just as a coach needs to give his trainee advice that they can use to improve their performance, you need to do the same for your franchisees. Give them something they can focus on for the next period, otherwise the franchisees can experience “paralysis by analysis”.

One example of an actionable insight is the metric ‘discount percentage’. When benchmarked against other franchises, if yours is higher, you can take steps to decrease it.

Give your franchisees actionable data and show top weaknesses first, the first thing they need to address before moving onto something else.

Keep in mind that not all franchises are alike. If you are doing a comparison you, need to do so with an equivalent group. If some of your franchises are located in a food court and others are restaurant style, they shouldn’t be compared against each other. Try to keep comparisons fair, apples-to-apples. If it isn’t a fair comparison it will be ignored, and they may start to distrust the system.

3.    It Doesn’t Inspire Change

Everyone has a growing list of things to do, and as a business owner yours is possibly longer than most.

Because of this it’s easy to let your franchisees swim alone once they’ve had their training and are up and running. You assume that they’ll know how to use the information they get via analytics.

But they also have that ever-growing list.

And that information they want them to sift through? It just becomes another “job” on that list. Rather than helping them enhance their operations, it gets pushed aside for more pressing tasks because they don’t realize, or can’t interpret, the value it holds.

A bunch of facts and figures isn’t very inspiring to many.

To make it inspire change – keep the lines of communication open with the franchisees, and “shine the spotlight” on best practices.

  • 70% of workers said that they would work harder if their efforts were appreciated.
  • Engaged companies out-performed unengaged companies by 167%

The bottom line? Engage with your franchisees in more ways than just sharing numbers, show your appreciation of them with the entire Franchise. For example, instead of just displaying the franchises with the top sales numbers, remembering apples-to-apples, give the smaller franchises a chance to shine by also featuring the best young franchises, food court franchises etc.

4.    It’s not Timely

How many times have you heard “hindsight is 20/20”?

As a business owner you know how important it is to have up-to-date information as soon as it becomes available. You would get it yesterday if you could.

As a franchisee, getting information when it is too late is very discouraging. If their dashboard is full of old data, it does nothing for them. Even if it is ‘actionable’ if it’s outdated it won’t help them improve their business and therefore their bottom line.

This can make them feel powerless. And there is no point in communicating something when they are powerless to make change.

For a business to flourish you need the lines of communication open.

Data should be flowing both ways regularly to keep the motivation going. Give them the tools and information to make better informed decisions and the ability to see where they are at in relation to their peers.

5. They don’t Understand It

Remember Shakespeare in High School? Back then, you had time to do a deep dive into the meaning, and maybe not even then. You don’t want your Scorecard to be Shakespeare, you want it to be simple and straightforward – think of the headlines of the daily news, or even Twitter.

Complicated metrics, with multiple meanings, can cause this same confusion. Leading to debates and arguments rather than solving a problem, they have the opposite effect of what you want.

“Fuzzy” or vague interpretations can have just as negative effect. People will not take the information seriously. For example, if you have a “stated sales number” but rarely collect, the better metric can be revenue, or money in the bank.

In short, when pulling together data, remember that many Franchisees do not love numbers. Think KISS: keep it simple, stupid.

In a nutshell…

Franchising is all about relationships – and that extends to reporting. If you really want your franchisees to grow, clear and helpful analytics is a great place to start.

Proper reporting, when done right, enhances transparency and increases engagement.

But you can’t just share any numbers that sounds good. You need to deliver actionable data that your franchisees can use to improve their business. Also, keeping it true by only comparing apples to apples can help strengthen their trust. If they stop trusting it, you are not in a good place.

With Franchise Scorecards, franchisees can customize their dashboards to the information that is most relevant to them, and you can better share data that is relevant to all. Helping you all to grow together.

Keep is simple. Keep it SMART.



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Auditing Your Franchise Audit

By | Franchise Audits
Auditing your Franchise Audit

Leadership author John Maxwell said:

“Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, and become more”

When it comes to your franchise audit, are you asking the right questions? After over a decade in the franchising community and working with hundreds of organizations and thousands of units, we came up with the following questions to make sure that your audit is the best that it can be – or to “audit your audit”. Outlined below, you can see sample items that we check, and what they all mean. Examples are given in many cases to enhance clarity.

The elements below shouldn’t be perceived as a complete list of potential issues but rather a simple checklist for a quick review of the health of your franchise field auditing process.

#1 Audit contains superfluous questions.

Having extra questions means unnecessary work for the auditor. In addition to obvious extra questions, you’ll find more subtle questions that are simply redundant.

Example: “Audit completed by” field then where the auditor manually enters their name when that that information is automatically added by your software tool.

#2 Some questions address multiple concerns.

A question that addresses multiple concerns makes it difficult for the franchisee to understand what needs fixing.

Example: “Walls and floors are clean and don’t feature any apparent damage and the marketing posters on the wall are recent and approved.” When faced with a failure on this question, the franchisee would not be sure what to fix.

#3 Inappropriate question type used.

Question type – such as multiple-choice or text-based or yes/no should be carefully considered when building an audit.

Example: Using a yes/no question when it comes to temperature meeting a standard instead of simply recording the temperature value itself. Another more subtle example is a yes/no question followed by a free-form text question to indicate the reason for failure, or simply a yes/no question phrased in way that asks to auditor to clarify the issue in the comments section of the question. In that case, a properly designed multiple-choice question should be considered.

#4 Some questions are not Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound (SMART).

The questionnaire designer should review the characteristics of each question to ensure the audits are objective and impactful. If a question is vague or addresses too many concerns, it’s unclear what is evaluated. If it’s not measurable, then the audit becomes subjective. If it’s not actionable, then even if you find a problem there’s nothing you can do to fix it. If it’s not relevant, it’s extra work that isn’t impactful. Finally, questions which aren’t time-bound are unclear as to what time period is being evaluated.

Example: Using terms such as “a reasonable amount of time” instead of simply recording how quickly the franchisee should perform the service in terms of seconds or minutes.

#5 Poor spelling or grammar.

Spelling and grammar errors can cause auditors and franchisees to lose faith in the system.

#6 The questionnaire is not structured to follow the flow of the auditor.

Matching the audit “flow”, starting outside the front door and ending with the coaching session at the back can save time and enhance the process.

#7 Documentation needs to be added to clarify the evaluation criteria for the question.

A question that refers back to standards should include a reference to the franchise manual or online standards guide.

Example: “Scheduling appropriate to sales volume” – the guideline outlining how many employees a franchisee needs for a given sales volume should be posted.

#8 Need to tag questions with the associated back-end process.

Audit scores are often represented by top-level section scores such as “Back of house: 80%” or “Cleanliness: 75%”. This is a good way to slice the information, but additional facets can be reviewed. It is a best practice to tag specific questions with the relevant process that drives that standard. When a set of standards fail and they’re all associated to the same back-end process, you can coach for the root cause rather than each standard. Learn more about questions and processes…

franchise field audit questions

Example: A standard such as “Smiling and welcoming guests” could be categorized as “Service” but a better way would be to tag it as “Training: Going above what’s required & wowing the guest”.

#9 The audit length is inadequate. 

The audit should only be as long, or as short as it needs to be in order to achieve its goals. Most long-form format audits in FranchiseBlast contain 2oo to 400 questions.

When shorter (ex: 50 questions), it could be perceived that the coach is performing a cursory visit and not going into detail. It’s normal (and desirable) to have short-form audits, but if your longest one is only 100 questions, you likely haven’t formalized your visit/coaching process.

When longer (ex: 600 questions), it could be perceived that the coach performing busywork and spending too much time filling out forms rather than coaching franchisees.  If you drill down into the data, you’ll normally notice a large cross-section of the audit never fails. These questions are candidates to be removed.

#10 Average scores are too high to drive change.

While at first it may seem like a good thing to have strong audit scores, scores that are too high will not drive change in the organization. An average score of over 90% will lead franchisees to lose motivation in terms of corrective actions as they see themselves as performing at an A+, where the franchisor’s view may be different. Solutions to this issue are complex but include:

  • Calibrating coaches to be stricter
  • Changing the standards to be stricter
  • Shortening the audits by removing questions which always succeed
  • Changing weights of certain questions/sections/failures.
  • Adding new questions aligned with the system weaknesses you know are present but aren’t fully reflected

Learn more about generous audits…

#11 Utilize question severity where applicable. 

There are some audit questions which are so core to the brand that they should have a “critical” marking – such as using unapproved suppliers. If questions are marked with severity, additional business rules such as “the audit should fail if any critical questions fail” can be easily put into place instead of a convoluted question weighting system.

#12 Use tasks when appropriate to define the corrective action plan.

When a weakness is recognized, it is a best practice to use a corrective action to get it followed-up on by the appropriate person. It’s typical to not start using the task system immediately when adopting a platform such as FranchiseBlast as it does require a bit of change management and expectation management with the franchisees. Once established, however, leveraging tasks can increase accountability.

Having a backlog of tasks indicates a lack of process or of training – it is a good idea to discuss expectations with the franchisees and coaches.

#13 Review processes and standards related to system-wide weaknesses.

When exploring system-wide weaknesses, sometimes there is a core process that is consistently not being followed.  To solve system-wide weaknesses it sometimes makes sense to include new practices such as recurring self-assessments.

Example: A consistent failure on exterior cleanliness may require a system-wide training or process reminder, perhaps complemented by daily self-assessments where pictures are submitted.

#14 Be a coach, not a cop. 

The franchise consultant role is evolving beyond simply being a “cop” who maintains standards. It is also a “coach” who helps the franchisee achieve their goals. The questionnaire should reflect this change.

Example: Having a “coaching” section in the audit is a fantastic first step towards creating at coaching culture.

#15 Use automatic KPI collection when possible to reduce the coach’s workload.  

We sometimes see questionnaires which include various number questions which need to be punched in by the coach. For example, what were last month’s sales, labour costs, etc. Automating this collection outside of the coaches visit, via an integration with the Point of Sale or other source system, can save the coach time plus enable them to have time to research ahead of the visit and prepare a proper action plan with the franchisee.

#16 Auditors are not well calibrated. 

When reviewing average scores among auditors, you may notice dramatically different scores. One root cause of this is an inconsistent understanding of what the standards are for each auditor. Learn more about auditor calibration…

#17 Completed audits have not been approved and/or incomplete audits are pending within the system. 

Having a backlog of pending audits could mean that completed work is not being used. Make sure to have an approval “rhythm” set up within the system and the appropriate auditor manager is aware of your expectations. Alternately, some questionnaires may benefit from being automatically approved.

#18 Not visiting all locations consistently 

Having locations “fall through the cracks” could be detrimental to the brand on many levels. Ensure that your visits are up to date as an important, but sometimes forgotten, check. We’ve often seen this in contexts where a franchisor expects each coach to visit each location quarterly but doesn’t effectively make the coaches accountable to do so.

#19 Consider adding new questionnaires.

The average franchisor in FranchiseBlast has 6 different questionnaires – is the set for your franchise complete? Sample questionnaires include:

  • Quarterly or Annual Business Plan
  • Weekly/monthly phone call business check-in
  • New store opening checklist
  • Food safety audit
  • Daily store logs self-assessments (openings/closings)
  • New marketing rollout assessment
  • New product readiness self-assessment

Learn more about strategic questionnaires… 

Looking for More?

If you want to download a version of the checklist, click on the LinkedIn icon from SlideShare below.

CFA: 5 Ways to Boost the Impact of your Franchise Field Audits

By | News

Canadian Franchise Association Logo

We were so pleased to be featured by the Canadian Franchise Association for our 5 Ways to Boost the Impact of your Franchise Field Audits. Here is an excerpt from the article.

When done the right way, field audits can foster franchisee development while highlighting needed business improvement areas

A franchise audit can sometimes seem like a hostile action. Franchisees might ask of field audits, “Why is head office policing the way I do business? Are they looking to find something wrong with my methods?” These are natural questions to ask – especially with the stress of running a business looming over a franchisee’s head. This mentality creates the picture of a franchisor being a cop, rather than coach, and represents the old way of performing audits. But field audits are far from hostile – in fact, they exist to empower franchisees and foster best practices within individual franchise units…

Read the full article here… 

 

 

IFA: 8 Tech Tips To Keep Your Franchise Hip

By | News, Thought Leadership

international franchise associationOriginally published in Franchise.org, FranchiseBlast recently shared with the community about 8 Tech Tips to Keep Your Franchise Hip.

The pace of change in the franchise space is picking up quickly. While experienced franchisors may dismiss these as passing fads they do so at their own risk as new entrants seize the market opportunity. Here are some keys to taking a forward-thinking view:

Pay Attention – New developments in tech are cropping up all the time. Keeping your staff aware and trained in the benefits of technology will help you adapt quickly.

“Keeping your staff aware and trained in the benefits of technology will help you adapt quickly.”

Embrace Technology – If you’re still not fully engaged with technology, you’re not getting the most out of your staff, or your franchisees.

Challenge Norms – Following trends doesn’t mean following the crowd. Don’t be scared to put your own twist on things. Remember, what works for one franchisor, might not work for you.

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Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop Improves Old-Fashioned Luxuries with New Technology

By | Press Release, Spa and Salon

For Immediate Release: PRWeb

November 1st, 2018, Toronto: Sometimes a haircut is more than just a haircut — it’s an experience – one that will now be bolstered by technology. Tommy Gun’s, a family-owned upscale chain of barber shops offering a 1930s aesthetic is employing mobile-friendly technology with human-centered workflows to further enhance their business model.

Supported by FranchiseBlast’s Performance Tools, Tommy Gun’s is enhancing its ability to track the metrics of success that each location relies on to thrive. FranchiseBlast, an Ottawa-based technology firm, provides a comprehensive suite of tools for franchises looking to streamline their field coaching processes. With this in their arsenal, the franchisor not only ensures operational compliance but also coaches franchisees to improve their performance.

The solution also allows Tommy Gun’s to aggregate data from Voice of the Customer tool, Listen360, Google Reviews and their point of sale into one convenient location for easy analysis. By incorporating these tools, Tommy Gun’s is looking for point-and-shoot efficiency on the business side, so they can spend even more time on their legendary customer service.

“We pride ourselves on providing a uniquely high level of customer service,” says Darcy Curtis, Director of Barbershop Operations at Tommy Gun’s. “By making the business management side easier and quicker, we can focus on the thing that matters most — giving our customers an exceptional barbershop experience!”

Through the aggregation of data, franchisee coaches are spared the lengthy and monotonous task of copy and pasting data into folders. FranchiseBlast’s Performance Tools saves them time so they can spend more time connecting with individual franchisees.

“A franchisee coach’s time is much better spent actually talking to people, rather than punching in numbers and copy and pasting,” Jason Kealey, President of FranchiseBlast, said. “Our tools make these processes more efficient, so coaches can get back to doing what they do best. Additionally, franchisees gain access to benchmarked data, guiding them on improving their individual weaknesses compared to the franchise as a group.”

About Tommy Gun’s

Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop is Canada’s largest family-owned network of barbershops, blending 1930’s vintage barbershop grooming with modern amenities, men’s unique grooming products and the latest styles. Our 60+ locations across Canada provide guests with the epitome of male grooming. At Tommy Gun’s, our mission is to ensure that every guy who visits walks away feeling and looking his best.

About FranchiseBlast

Since 2007 FranchiseBlast has helped franchises in their quest for operational excellence. Integrating best practices from some of the world’s best-known brands, FranchiseBlast combines elegant usability with turn-key quickstart programs. FranchiseBlast’s clients include brand aggregators such as Focus Brands and individual franchise brands such as BeaverTails, Pita Pit and Tropical Smoothie Café among many others.

Contact:

Stefania Sigurdson Forbes
Sr. Marketing Director
FranchiseBlast
877-567-5282 x709
ssigurdsonforbes@franchiseblast.com

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