Monthly Archives

March 2020

Webinar: How FranchiseBlast Can Help in Changing Times

By | Events
franchiseblast help

Date: Tuesday, March 31st at 2:00 PM
Free Registration Link: Access Webinar

In this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Still comply with Food Safety legislation with drive-through or take-out only.
  • Roll-out new operational procedures related to COVID-19
  • Provide support on a remote-basis.
  • Enable franchisees to enhance cleaning procedures.
  • Do audits without using air travel.

Register here to grab your seat.



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Bringing Your Work Home While Supporting Franchisees

By | Franchise Coaching, Franchise Engagement
bringing work home

We are in a time of unprecedented change. There is no simple guidebook on what to do next. Even the most dedicated Franchise Home Office Teams and Franchise Business Coaches (FBCs) are wondering how to keep supporting franchisees. The first priority is to respond and be there to help franchisees as they are coping with changes in their stores or regions or complying with new regulations such as going delivery and take-out only. There are also some things that you can do to help ease concerns:

Check In More

As human beings, we are social by nature. Increase number of one-on-one video or phone check-ins with franchisees to increase morale. Even if they have temporarily closed down their location, or have changed their operations, checking in will help them feel motivated, and part of an extended group.

Build Chat Communities

In a time of social isolation, connecting in the digital space can be a welcome substitute. Create a chat community with your franchisees, region or training group using Slack or Facebook Groups. This helps strengthen connections, and some franchisors pursuing this find that the franchisees may already have an informal one. While you can chat about business, you can also take a break and chat about your families, share pictures, humor, or even share heartwarming stories of people coming together. This also helps facilitate franchisees supporting each other.

Get Creative

When we are afraid, it is easy to get tunnel vision but sometimes opening up a bit can help you in supporting franchisees. Get creative on keeping spirits up. Some  are trying to instill a sense of camaraderie, such as setting up virtual pizza parties or remote happy hours, where people share a cocktail on Skype or Slack. It may feel a little weird, but everyone feeling weird together can be a way to bond.

Provide the right tools

In a time where it may not be possible to send FBCs on field visits, creating self-assessments or polls with images and videos can help franchisees be prepared. Please see our COVID-19 post for more information.



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COVID-19 Franchise Preparedness

By | Food Safety

We are all finding ways to cope with COVID-19 and to protect our businesses and communities. In response to questions we have received,we put together some helpful information describing how FranchiseBlast can assist in your franchisee preparedness efforts.

1) Poll or Self-Assessment for Deep Cleaning Procedures

As part of health and safety procedures, franchisors are creating self-assessments and polls to make sure that locations have the proper set of steps required.

Until May 31st, 2020, we will activate self-assessments and polling at no cost to enable any franchise to setup COVID-19 preparedness assessments.

Sections of the assessment can include:

  • Crew member training (all crew members have reviewed proper hand-washing steps.)
  • Food contact surfaces (deep cleaning has been completed of food line, walk-in cooler and smallwares.)
  • Non-food contact surfaces (deep cleaning has been completed for areas such as the dining room and restrooms.)
  • Store hours (in some regions, hours have been affected based on local regulations.)

To help you during this time, you can access a sample poll by following this link.

2) Auditing & Coaching without Travel

As many franchisors are establishing non-essential travel bans, it may no longer be possible for the franchisor to visit the franchisee. Here are some tips to help you mitigate the impact of this crisis.

  • Self-assessments: Using self-assessments, beyond what was discussed above, can be a way to audit without having a live auditor there. Using pictures and videos throughout, can ensure that you have a “visual”.
  • Phone audits: Setting up a special phone coaching session is something your Franchise Business Consultants (FBCs) can do while at home. It also helps create some connections, and cope with unexpected issues as they arise.

Above all, it is not about fear, it is about creating a viable road map to navigate this situation.

If you have any further questions, we are here to help. Contact us using the form below for more information.

*Note: the sample poll is provided for illustrative purposes and does not constitute advice from FranchiseBlast. Please contact a Health and Safety specialist or epidemiologist to determine what is best for your franchise.

Top Franchisee Engagement Tools

By | Franchise Engagement, Franchise Technology
Franchisee Engagement Tools

Franchisee engagement is a term on everyone’s lips after the recent International Franchise Association (IFA) convention in Orlando. But, what does it truly mean?

Authentic franchisee engagement is about having your people truly feel like they are part of the organization. Not just on the piece of paper where they signed on the dotted line, but from deep inside of them.

But, it is easier said than done.

Below, are some tools and technology to help engage every person in your network.

Training

The first engagement touchpoint in the franchisee lifecycle is training. It starts with the road to opening, and then typically a live session at the Home Office. There are also sometimes certifications associated with the industry, such as a Certified Senior Advisor, for instance or franchisor staff may need to be trained as well. Many franchisors also find it worthwhile to pursue financial training such as Profit Mastery.

eLearning is also something that can be hugely helpful for ongoing training and even training around rollouts.

Providers

Program Rollout

Seasonal programs and rollouts are the bread and butter for franchisors. But finding a staff member who can do an effective rollout is like seeking out a unicorn.

Love it or hate it, e-mail is often the first go-to tool for franchisors to send out operations and marketing eBlasts. Measuring responses is a great way to determine engagement, when you are using the right tools.

On the other hand, franchisees “go numb” to communication when you bombard them with too many e-mails.

As a result, there are other ways to roll out programs, such as posting in the intranet, integrating in webinar and video communication and even adding in ratings system, for the brave among us. Having franchisees create their own articles on the intranet, or their own videos will go even further with the rest of the system.

Finally, to avoid one person in your office getting bogged down and overloaded with e-mail, you can invest in a ticketing system, with role-based responses.

Providers

Two-Way Support

We are in a collaborative world, nowadays. Today’s owners don’t want to sit back and passively receive information from Home Office. They want to connect back and forth. And, when you think about it, the franchisees wanting to roll up their sleeves and abandon the “employee mentality” is a positive thing.

At the heart of field support, is some of the following functions:

  • On-site training
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI) review
  • Ongoing business coaching
  • Financial review
  • Field audit visits

Field Auditors have the hardest job in franchising, but the more two-way communication they have, the stronger the relationship will be.

Providers

Convention

The annual convention is the most fundamental investment any franchisor can make. There are the formal learning benefit, then the informal social benefits (which, if you are doing it right will be a highlight for everyone).

Generally, conventions are the glue that holds everyone together.

To level-up your event, include an app, or even add in a gamification element to it.

Providers

Collaboration

The evolutionary version of 1:1 communication, is a 1:many collaboration! Collaborating, by building projects together with franchisees will enhance engagement and grow trust.

Instead of creating things in the Home Office vacuum, and hoping they will stick, try to collaborate “on the fly” with franchisees using the latest tools.

Looking to have some fun while collaborating? You can also utilize crowdsourcing for an engaging and collaborative experience, have design contests with many designers, and get franchisees to vote.

You can connect with franchisees, regionally, or by a special interest group, via text, a form of communication up to 500x more powerful than e-mail.

Finally, you can create business plans collaboratively with franchisees, which has been shown to enhance engagement and ameliorate outcomes.

Providers

Last Word

Tools will never replace the human touch when it comes to franchisee engagement, but they do enhance the experience, and spark the imagination. We will be updating this article regularly, so come back soon to see our most recent recommendations.



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