Yearly Archives

2019

Global Franchise: KPIs in Franchising

By | KPI, News
Global Franchise Logo

We are pleased to be featured by Global Franchise Magazine to discuss KPIs in Franchising.

In today’s business environment, which is both highly competitive and data rich, KPIs (key performance indicators) in franchising are becoming a must-have to succeed worldwide. The management style connected with KPIs is especially important in franchising. You are working with entrepreneurs, not employees. An entrepreneur, worth their salt, will be motivated to succeed and will draw on the “I’ll do what it takes” mentality. This situation sets the stage perfectly for managing via KPIs.

Traditional management talks about “the carrot or the stick” as the two sides needed to lead effectively. In terms of the carrot, KPIs motivate, especially when they are displayed together with leaderboards. Having regional leaderboards in a global organization can be especially powerful.

Read more now…



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Clean Juice FranchiseBlast Testimonial

By | Customer Testimonial, Franchise Operations

Chris Hammond, VP of Operations for Clean Juice recently sent us this amazing success story about their experience with the FranchiseBlast team for integrations with new systems to enhance operations as a whole. Thanks for the kudos Chris! We are so happy to work with a forward-thinking brand like you!



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5 Effective Franchise Satisfaction Survey Goals

By | Franchise Engagement
Franchise Satisfaction Survey Goal

Many franchisors do have a Franchise Satisfaction Survey, but often those surveys are simply repeats of previous years and lack survey goals, with a few extra questions peppered in there for good measure. As a result, the Franchise Satisfaction initiative can be a lot of busy work, with few results. While some opt to use a professional service such as Franchise Business Review  to stay current, others are actively exploring the process, which is likely why our Franchise Surveys Done Right post holds such wide appeal, it consistently being one of the most popular posts on this website.

The first step to changing how you survey, is to have a goal. 

If You Don’t Know Where You Are Going, Any Road Will Get You There

Starting your survey process without a survey goal, is like going on a long journey without a destination. In a franchisor’s very real world of limited resources, this approach simply makes no sense. It is okay for a survey goals to be broad.  According to SurveyMonkey, “Keep these top research questions in mind—they’re too broad to give you actionable information, but they’ll give you a good idea of how people feel generally. You’ll form more specific survey questions to ask about narrower topics.”

If You Don't Know Where You Are Going, Any Road Will Take You There.

Good questions to ask during the goal-setting process are quite straighforward. Sometimes it is a case where the answer is so obvious, it is hard to see.

  • What are we trying to figure out with this exercise?
  • Why do we need to know this?
  • What do we hope to do with this data once we are done?

Getting answers to this can also help you with getting responses, since you will ask the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) for the franchisees. Although goals differ by organization, it can be helpful to see sample goals to kickstart the process.

1. Measure franchisee satisfaction and compare it to previous years or benchmarks.

This is the franchisee satisfaction survey after all, so this is an obvious sample goal. Comparing it to previous years means that you will have to have some common questions, so you will not be starting from ground zero. Additionally, if you are part of a wider organization that owns a number of franchise groups, you may want to create some comparisons with sister or brother companies to create a benchmarking exercises and later trade best practices. There is a difference between robotically copying questions of others for no reason, and intentionally selecting specific questions for comparative purposes.

2. Establish a positive relationship with your franchisees.

When you open lines of communication in this way, it shows that you value what your franchisees have to say. Transparently showing your franchisees the results of the survey through an annual conference presentation by a senior leader, or a webinar will demonstrate to them that you have a real commitment to collaboration.

3. Receive feedback regarding the support services head office provides.

Some of the hardest working people are within the franchising community. But, sometimes we are so hard at work, that we have little time to see the impact that our work is having. Busy work is not the same as effective work. If there is a lot of effort going into something with little business value and little value to satisfaction, it may be time to discontinue it. Conversely, you may be surprised to see some more obscure initiatives creating a lot of satisfaction so it could be a good idea to explore those, and find more like them.

4. Learn more about what your franchisees want, need and like.

This goal is subtly different from the goal above as it takes a more global perspective on your franchisees. You are thinking about their entire experience, rather than only looking at the one head office provides. For example, their biggest need may be around local competition or recruiting in a hot economy. Head office could help with introductions to a franchisee who has had success already overcoming this problem, rather than creating an elaborate program.

5. Determine how flexible franchisees are and what supports they need for a planned change

A difficult reality of working in a franchise head office environment is that you cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube again. If you have rolled out something difficult and it has created frustration and even anger among franchisees, it is hard to reverse course. Understanding sentiment before-hand can help you see how flexible franchisees are to change and what supports that they need. Whether it is renovations or a new product line, sometimes change is inevitable. But rolling it out with appropriate supports, such as training and feedback loops, can make a huge difference.



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Ballard Brands Adds FranchiseBlast’s Mobile Tools to the Field as a Strong Catalyst for Growth

By | KPI, Press Release

Tools Empower Franchisees in 30 States and Three Countries

For Immediate Release: BusinessWire

Ballard Brands, whose portfolio includes PJ’s Coffee, WOW American Eats, New Orleans Roast, The Original City Diner, Boardhouse Serious Sandwiches and Ole Saint, among many others, recently signed a deal with FranchiseBlast for mobile Brand Consistency and Performance tools. The deal will impact over 155 locations.

“We are headed for rapid growth in 2020,” said Bill DiPaola, Chief Operating Officer of Ballard Brands. “Our field team will be utilizing enhanced Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and quality assurance tools to support our growing units. We’re looking forward to duplicating our most highly successful onboarding procedures for new franchisees as they enter the system.”

It is exciting times for Ballard Brands, as franchising brands dramatically expand their existing footprint. Although growth is fantastic, naturally that also comes with challenges. Managing the scaling effort is what the Executive team at Ballard Brands is focusing on with this investment.

“Putting mobile tools in the hands of field auditors will help them leverage the processes provided by head office,” said Dean Hatzitheodosiou, Sr. Business Development Director of FranchiseBlast with a strong track record of supporting companies through growth. “Benchmarking tools also utilizes the natural spirit of competition among franchisees and helps set everyone up for success.”

Benchmarking reports, measuring top strengths and top locations, for example, helps identify and encourage top performers. Top weaknesses, help drive coaching and training initiatives so that they are evidence-based, rather than improvised.

“FranchiseBlast will be a great partner for us,” said DiPaola. “They use technology to operationalize the processes that we have great confidence in.”

Ballard Brands signed with FranchiseBlast on September 26, 2019 and plans to roll out the technology in subsequent months. FranchiseBlast’s experience with the specialized needs of brand aggregators helped differentiate them from other solutions on the market.

About FranchiseBlast: FranchiseBlast’s Scorecards and Franchisee Field Audit Apps empower franchisors to achieve brand consistency across locations. The apps can be used by the franchise business coaches during their field visits or directly by franchisees themselves via self-assessments. Their user-friendly apps are used by over 14,500 locations including Focus Brands, Liberty Tax Service and Pita Pit.

About Ballard Brands: Ballard Brands is a hospitality and food service business formed in December 2001 by brothers Paul, Steven, and Scott Ballard after success in operating retail beverage franchises, Smoothie King and PJ’s Coffee, in North Carolina and Louisiana. After starting the company with one restaurant and two coffee house franchises, the company now owns, operates, and manages restaurants and food and beverage concepts in 30 states and three countries.

Their brands collectively total nearly 155 locations in both traditional and non-traditional models and continue to grow. Ballard Brands also operates wholesale brand New Orleans Roast Coffee, which is sold in grocery stores and featured in an array of locations, including restaurants, hotels, airports and convenience stores. To learn more about Ballard Brands, visit http://www.ballardbrands.com.

Contacts

Stefania Sigurdson Forbes
ssigurdsonforbes@franchiseblast.com
647-971-7524

Emerging Franchisor Roundtables: KPIs for New Franchise Systems

By | Events, KPI

Event: Emerging Franchisor Conference
Dates: November 19-21, 2019
Location: Nashville, TN

Being an emerging franchise is an opportunity to use the latest metrics to help you grow. At this roundtable, we will discuss:

  • What KPIs franchisors are using.
  • What types of KPIs foster growth.
  • How to get KPIs from existing systems (POS, Reviews etc.)

Join us at this unique session to learn how to grow effectively. Learn more about Emerging Franchisor Conference now.

7 Strategic Franchise Questionnaires

By | Franchise Audits, Franchise Business Plans
strategic franchise questionnaires

Some franchises, when they start, have just one quarterly audit – often driven by legislation such as food safety instead of having multiple franchise questionnaires. But did you know that the average franchisor in FranchiseBlast has six different questionnaires in the system? According to Atul Gawand, author of the book, The Checklist Manifesto, “The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably.”

In a nutshell, this means that even in fields like aviation and medicine, checklists are needed to pool the collective knowledge. In the world of franchising, this is particularly meaningful because franchise owners are buying into a system because they want to tap into expertise. Let’s take a look at some of the common franchise questionnaires we find in our system, representing over 13,500 franchise locations. To keep it simple, we separated them out into Operations, Training and Marketing.

Operations

Most franchise questionnaires we utilize are within the Operations team. Although the stereotype is of the ops person as a checklist wielding intruder, there are many ways to make operations activities helpful and even collaborative. See some ideas below.

Quarterly or Annual Business Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Business planning is a common questionnaire that is fantastic to build collaboratively with the franchisee, and one that you can come back to over and over again throughout the relevant period.

Pro Tip: Don’t make the common mistake of mistaking cash for profits. Profits is an accounting concept, while cash-in and out can make or break the business. See more business planning mistakes here.

Food Safety Audit

Food Safety is often driven by legislation thus is sometimes used standalone. Foodborne illnesses are preventable and safe food practices encourage longer lives, and a more resilient food industry.

Pro Tip: If you get your food safety assessed by a 3rd party such as Steritech or Noraxx, you can add it by integration to your Franchise Operations software. With this, you get the full picture of the franchise and create interesting comparisons such as cleanliness and customer service, for example, to gauge the customer experience as a whole.

Weekly/Monthly Phone Call Business Check-In

This is a simple audit, but helps you stay on top of communication with your franchisee. It simply records the call, and makes sure any follow-ups that you need get tracked in the Franchise Operations system.

Pro Tip: A picture can say a thousand words. Getting the franchisee to send photos for a phone check-in helps you know for sure that the topic of the call was actioned.

quick call audit

Training

Countdown to Opening Checklist

Taking a snapshot at a key time before opening will make sure new franchisees are set up for success. Countdown-to-opening is one of the most common terms in training but making it a clear checklist with follow-up tasks and built-in accountability means you won’t have surprises (negative ones!) on opening day.

Pro-Tip: Some franchisors like to take several “snapshots” such as 12-week, 6-week, 4-week and 2-week.

Trainer Arrival Checklist

Some franchisors choose to have trainers on-site for grand openings. To give customers the best experience possible, there are a lot of details to look after. While the food may be ordered, and the proper smallwares are ordered and sparkling, other details may be missing, such as giftcards at the cash or maybe employees are not able to clock-in yet.

Pro Tip: Seeing aggregate results of common issues found in openings, can help you emphasize certain things in in-class training for later groups. For example, if there is an issue across the board with franchisees not showing their grand-opening promotion in the window, you can emphasize the foot traffic that such a sign would bring.

Marketing

New Marketing Rollout Assessment

While it would be great to believe that as soon as the roll-out e-mail gets sent from the head office legions of franchisees march out and make the campaign happen, but in reality, that is not the case. Assessing a roll-out tells you about both perceived effectiveness of the marketing team from the franchisee side, and the compliance percentage from the franchisor side.

Pro Tip: When assessing a roll-out which requires specific training material on a recipe, for example, snapping a photo can act as a great proof point.

New Product Readiness Audit

When you are rolling out a new program, sometimes you need to assess the readiness of the team. This audit helps you assess where they are vs. where they should be.

Pro Tip: Training is the new marketing in many ways, as customers rely on reviews more and more for their food and entertainment options. Having training and a percentage of crew complete on your audit is a great best practice for a readiness audit.

Last Word

Once you have the right collection in place, you can build a franchise scorecard. Take a look at our Franchise Scorecard eBook here.



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MITCon Roundtables: Marketing Audits

By | Events
MITCon Marketing Scorecards

Event: MITCon
Dates: October 23-29, 2019
Location: Austin, Texas
Host: Dean Hatzitheodosiou, Sr. Director of Sales and Business Development

Franchisors are increasingly looking to Marketing Audits not only for brand consistency, but also to grow their franchises.

  • Why simply auditing signage is missing the mark.
  • How to audit franchise marketing campaigns to ensure seasonal consistency.
  • What is the “ultimate question” to help you grow your franchises.

Learn more about MITCon now.

13 Interesting Quotes for Franchisors and Coaches

By | Franchise Coaching, Franchise Operations
quotes for franchisors

If you are looking for words of encouragement in your career in franchising, take a look at some of the quotes to help you get through the day. Some of these quotes for franchisors will make you think… and some of them will make you smile!

“Leadership is a process, not a position, and is ultimately and always about producing results with and through others.” – Jim Sullivan

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou 

“If you want something to happen it will take twice as long as you expect, if you don’t want something to happen, it will happen in half the time.” – Jim Sullivan 

“It is not enough to do your best; you must first know what to do and then do your best.” – W. Edwards Deming 

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” – Chinese Proverb

“Multi unit leadership is like wearing a Speedo to the beach. Anyone can, but not everyone should.” – Jim Bueld 

“The people who truly make a difference in our lives are rarely those with the most hype, the most money, the biggest brains, or the largest accolades. The people who make differences in our lives are the ones who truly care.” – Unknown 

“Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” – Jim Sullivan 

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brene Brown 

“Advice is like snow – the softer it falls, the deeper it goes.” – Jim Sullivan 

“How well you communicate is measured not by what you say but by how well you are understood.” – Jim Sullivan 

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

“Business is like a Dylan song; you don’t have to understand it to like it.” – Jim Sullivan 



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7 Things You Can Do to Achieve Franchise Goals

By | Franchise Coaching

“A company – and a region or territory – has a lifecycle that apes a humans,” says Jim Sullivan in Multi-Unit Management. “Infant, youth, adult, middle age, maturity. Each stage of this growth curve brings with it different leadership, knowledge and resource needs based on a company’s maturity and growth stage.” Leadership is therefore situational, and like a player coach, the Franchise Business Coach (FBC) needs to have different playbooks for different situations. In the tips that follow, we will go through 7 experienced-based tips on setting franchise goals from leaders in our franchising community.

1. Think Big When Setting Franchise Goals

According to Harvard Business Review, “High goals generate greater effort than low goals, and the highest or most difficult goals produce the greatest levels of effort and performance.” According to Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, two of the best known academic researchers on goal setting, difficult, goals produce the highest levels of effort and performance.

2 Work Backwards From Your Goal

Visualization is a powerful tool in goal-setting. Imagine the world two years from now, where the goal is achieved. What steps would you need to get there? Some people see success as busy-ness, but so many FBCs are going 100 MPH in every direction. Sure, they look busy, but at the end of the day, they are not getting things done and worse, their regions are going nowhere, fast. Work smart and not hard. Figure out the end-game and determine the best path to get there.

3. Understand Your Franchisee’s Ecosystem

Are you an “environmentalist”? Context is key to help your franchisees in their goals. “To consistently be a goal getter, multi-unit managers should always consider how a policy or procedural change brought about by new policies, technology, competition, marketing, diversity and in-store leadership (or lack of it) will affect the internal “eco-systems” of each store,” says Sullivan. “An ‘environmentalist’ MUM clearly understands the unique inter-connectedness of people and processes at each store they supervise and how modifying one facet of its eco-system (equipment, training, talent, policy, procedure or resources) might positively or adversely affect other facets of operations.”

4. Hit Financial Targets by Conveying the Big Picture

Set your franchisees up for success by sharing the “why” behind the “what.” A real leader will help build their replacement, instead of trying to make themselves one-of-a-kind. Teaching others will create a culture of excellence and continuous improvement across the organization.

5. No Chipped Paint, All the Horses Jump

As Walt Disney developed his theme parks, he wanted to create a magical experience for people that came to the park, after a disappointing experience on a carousel with his own family with broken down horses and some of them frozen on the spot. “It is said he had a hand-painted sign over his desk that read ‘No Chipped Paint. All the Horses Jump.'” says Sullivan. “The little things mean a lot, don’t compromise your standards, know your non-negotiables, and never underestimate the importance of the mundane.”

6. Embrace Change

Changing with the times is a the hallmark of a FBC who goes for the goal. In this age of digital disruption, and “retailocalypse”, accepting and embracing the new is key.

7. Live Your Passion

According to Sullivan, “the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Customers want to patronize inspired companies, with leaders that “light the way with a blowtorch, bringing energy and fun to the experience.” Employees want to find meaning in their day-to-day. If that is not you, your customers and employees may find somewhere else to go that lights up their motivation.

Last Word

The best way to help your franchisees reach their goals is to measure performance along the way. Take a look at FranchiseBlast’s leading performance tools to grow your franchisees and make a positive difference in your system.



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How to be a Collaborative Franchise Coach

By | Franchise Coaching, Franchise Culture
collaborative franchise coach

The Collaborative Franchise Coach

Franchise coaches bridge a lot of gaps, including:

  • Franchisor and franchisee
  • Franchisee and key departments, such as Marketing
  • Crew members and training resources

The word synergy has fallen out of fashion in recent years, but the spirit of it of the sum of parts being greater than the whole is still going strong in the franchising community. Explore some of the ideas below to see how you can build more collaboration, and more effectiveness, into your role.

Look Below the Iceberg

As you take a look at a problem that you observe, you want to look into the root causes of each. Sometimes, the problem is shallow and a simple fix works well. But, other times, the problem is part of a something bigger – it is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, a franchisee may have their Holiday season promotion up in February – and who wants to see Santa when you are still paying the bills and losing the weight after an indulgent season? So – the simple solution is to get them to take it down and update it with the healthy winter promotion. But, what happens if it hits summer, and you as the coach see the February promotion sitting there? So – in this case, the wrong seasonal LTO is the top of the iceberg. Below the iceberg could be the following:

  • Maybe there needs to be training on obtaining and updating the promotion.
  • Perhaps the franchisee does not see the LTO as important – so it is a lack of priorities around it.
  • It could be that there is a weak relationship with the coach and they can say “yes” in the moment, but he or she does not respect the coach enough to actually follow through.
  • Finally, there could be a culture of “don’t care” going on in the case of a combative relationship between franchisor and franchisee.

There are many other things that could be under the iceberg. It is up to a smart coach and team to figure those out using both experience and intuition.

Focus on the Shift

Everything comes down to the shift – that is the simplest way to create more connections. Although many are “allergic” to math, connecting the math to the product can create a surprising level of motivation.

Numbers

Imagine you have a revenue goal of $5,000. Your crew can see that number, and maybe even remember it, but it may not translate into results until you give it meaning. To break it down, you can do the following:

  • Imagine you are a donut shop with a breakfast and lunch shift. In a month with 30 days, you can break that revenue goal down into $83/shift ($5,000/60=$83.)
  • Say your donut shop has a price for $11.95 for a dozen, 6.75/half-dozen and $2.35 for a large coffee. So – you could break it down to aiming to get 3 customers to buy a dozen more donuts, 3 to buy 1/2 dozen and 12 to buy large coffees.
  • Now, wheels can start turning. A guy who has a gift for connecting with customers, can recommend the delicious new cinnamon donuts for a customer who is getting snacks for a meeting – and boom! one of the dozens is complete. A crew member who is popular in the community invites a group of hockey moms to the shop for a coffee-chat – boom! the 12 coffee goal is complete. The guy delivering an Amazon order dwells near the donuts and is noticed by the associate at the counter – boom! another 1/2 dozen is sold. Accomplishing goals is better with everyone on board in a real way, and you can enjoy the victory together by offering recognition or even simple incentives.

Day Of

According to Jim Sullivan in Multi Unit Leadership, “many never consider the architecture of the revenue-generating shift and how managers need to vary their approach and style to effectively get the most out of each. It’s time our managers stop “running” shifts… and begin leading them. See the excellent video below for more tips on shift management.

Ask Purposeful Questions

Imagine you have a coach and a franchisee interacting. The coach imparted his knowledge at length, and came out of the conversation feeling like he had made an strong, meaningful change in the franchisee’s life. The franchisee, on the other hand, came out of the conversation feeling like the coach talked a lot, and he didn’t get a chance to share his biggest concern. The point is, no matter how brilliant or insightful the coach’s words were, they fall flat if the franchisee does not receive them. That is where purposeful questions come in. Here are some questions that Sullivan recommends:

  • What do you need to accomplish? Why is that important? How do you know? 
  • What do you think might be getting in the way of your success. How would you know? 
  • How would you know whn you were successful? What would it look like? 
  • Why do you think it is a problem? Have you noticed it before? If so, for how long? 
  • How have you addressed the problem? What happened? Why do you think that occurred? What if we can’t find a solution? 
  • How could you approach the problem differently to attain a different outcome? What are we assuming? 
  • What don’t you know that might be helpful to resolve the problem(s)?
  • What do you need from me to help you? How will you use that? 
  • What do your junior managers need? Why? What are their major obstacles? How do you know? 

This is not to say the coach is not to speak when there is a point to make. It is a balancing act between asking questions and speaking.

Last Word

The franchise coach’s role is known as the hardest job in franchising. While that pressure, sometimes there is a sense of needing to “know everything.” But there is a freedom to collaborating and connecting – it is the freedom to find answers and do the work together. It is also the freedom to share responsibility for the success that you build together as a team.



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