Monthly Archives

October 2019

7 Strategic Franchise Questionnaires

By | Franchise Audits, Franchise Business Plans
strategic franchise questionnaires

Some franchises, when they start, they 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 12,500 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.



Request a Demo

Would you like to receive a demo of FranchiseBlast? We'd be happy to give you a personalized tour based on your needs.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Interested in receiving franchise news and tips & tricks? Sign-up for our newsletter.

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 



Request a Demo

Would you like to receive a demo of FranchiseBlast? We'd be happy to give you a personalized tour based on your needs.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Interested in receiving franchise news and tips & tricks? Sign-up for our newsletter.

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.



Request a Demo

Would you like to receive a demo of FranchiseBlast? We'd be happy to give you a personalized tour based on your needs.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Interested in receiving franchise news and tips & tricks? Sign-up for our newsletter.

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.



Request a Demo

Would you like to receive a demo of FranchiseBlast? We'd be happy to give you a personalized tour based on your needs.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Interested in receiving franchise news and tips & tricks? Sign-up for our newsletter.