Category

Franchise Relationships

Franchise Business Plans and Other Artifacts

By | Business Plans, Franchise Relationships
Franchise Business Plans Artifacts

According to Franchising Thought Leader, Greg Nathan, “It doesn’t matter where business plans are held, as long as they are used and reviewed.” Unfortunately, business plans can sometimes live in isolation on an FBC’s hard drive or with a “set it and forget it” mentality of building it once, and never review it again. Integrating the business plans with other aspects of the franchise is a way to make them a “living document” that stays fresh and meaningful throughout the year. You can do this by connecting business plans to:

  • Scorecards
  • Field Audits
  • Self-Assessments

Keeping these pieces of the puzzle working together can make an integrated system to support your franchisees.

Scorecards

A franchisee scorecard is a limited set of about 15 key metrics defined by the franchisor. A business plan then selects a subset of these metrics for one of the following reasons:

  1. It is targeted for improvement for strategic reasons
  2. The franchisee that you are working with is weaker than others in the network.

Business plans expand on these metrics by adding more granular Key Results (KRs) that test the ideas, or hypothesis, you outline to drive up the main KR that the franchisee is targeting.

Metrics in the scorecard can also be a way to track business plan progress. For example, if you have a goal around check size, you can check those numbers together on the scorecard with the franchisee.

Field Audits

Imagine that you want to track the number of people who buy an energy bar with their coffee as a KR. Maybe you think that this will increase the average check size and you know that part of the strategy will be upselling.

You could track if the franchisee staff have done upselling training courses. But nothing beats observing ‘in the wild’ if the actions that they have been trained on are truly being performed. This is best done by listening to each transaction to see if suggestive selling techniques are used.

You can do this with a field audit performed by the Franchise Business Coach (FBC) or the district manager. That is someone external to the franchisee that comes into the unit and observes, marking things off a digital checklist. This helps evaluate if the franchisee is actually executing the strategy properly. Whether or not the strategy will work or not is still unknown, but you can at least measure the execution.  The final analysis is done during the postmortem.

Sometimes the KRs that you want to drive are related to your audit scores directly, such as increasing online review scores by improving unit cleanliness.

However, at times your audit questionnaire does not include any questions to evaluate if suggestive selling is applied.  If that is the case, and the need is common across all units, you can advocate improving the questionnaire by adding this new standard. This relates to the questionnaire continuous improvement process. It is a good practice to churn out old standards that never fail and add new ones, aligned with strategic initiatives.

Self-Assessments

In some cases, field audits are not a good complement to business plans. This happens in the following scenarios:

  • The problem is not widespread and really is localized to this individual franchisee.
  • You need to pay closer attention to this process, instead of just one or two spot checks during the period.

In these two cases, self-assessments are a better fit.  Sometimes these are designed as audits on the franchisee themselves, and some of them are simply asking front-line workers to record a number (such as the number of energy bars sold during the shift). By doing this, that number and goal remain top of mind and they can course-correct on the next shift.

Conclusion

Overall, the scorecard guides the key KR of the business plan. The business plan expands on that with a different set of KR representing theories to test. And you ensure you properly execute those theories/initiatives by doing audits or self-assessments.  During your postmortem, if you didn’t reach your goal, you’ll have a better idea if you need new theories or if you need to focus on buttoning up your execution.



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Proactive Vs. Reactive: The Franchise Support Spectrum

By | Business Plans, Franchise Relationships
proactive and reactive

Franchise business plans accelerate performance so more and more brands are encouraging people to use them.  This is something that we all strive for, but first, let’s take a step back and talk about franchise support from the big picture.

In a franchise environment, the Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) is the bridge between the franchisor and the franchisee.  They have the toughest job in franchising, having to balance emotions with pure numbers, compliance with coaching, and more.

If you think of their interactions with the franchisees on a spectrum from reactive to proactive, the franchise business plan is the most proactive element of their job.

Most Reactive to Most Proactive

The following list outlines the most reactive to the most proactive activities that can happen in the course of supporting your franchisees.

proactive reactive spectrum

Acting as a front-line employee

FBCs are often team players, and when they see a unit that is busy or otherwise needs help they just jump in and help, such as making sandwiches with the hourly staff. This sends a down-to-earth helpful signal, after all ‘no one is too tall to pick up the luggage.’

The downside of this approach is that it is highly reactive. The FBC is not utilizing their skillset, and not offering their true value to the unit.

Responding to problems

Getting calls, emails, and texts about problems can be a big part of the FBC role. While it provides excellent support, it does little to better the circumstance of franchisees. A business is like a project, and if you are not helping franchisees move forward, they will start moving backward.

Performing field audits to ensure compliance

Compliance-oriented audits are a core part of the FBC’s role. Walking around and finding problems to fix is important for a range of reasons, from health and safety to brand consistency. At the same time, this is reacting to what is not happening, and ultimately it is looking to past behavior, rather than on future actions.

Training staff and franchisee on compliance

Training staff on compliance and brand consistency, which is the baseline is something that is focused on future behavior. This activity is definitely moving towards proactivity and we know that it is the hundreds of little things that make support outstanding.  At the same time, training on the minutia of operations doesn’t give the franchisee the opportunity to look at the forest for the trees, like environmental or competitive changes, for example, which could be of great importance to their survival.

Reviewing the scorecard and coaching to improve performance

Taking a step back and reviewing KPIs, strengths, weaknesses, and coaching to bridge the gaps is one of the most proactive things that you can do as a franchise coach. On a scorecard, there will be leading indicators and lagging indicators, and a combination of both will help your franchisees.

Business planning

Putting a process in place to define the right goals and execute towards them is future-focused, so it tops our list of proactive franchise support activities. Business planning is working on the business, instead of in the business.

Balancing Act

FBCs, like the rest of us in business, can get”too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet.” Although the role will likely never be 100% proactive, balancing proactive and reactive activities is a great first step.



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Which Tool is Right for your Franchisee Comeback Plan?

By | COVID-19, Franchise Relationships

Much of the franchising world went on lockdown in the Spring of 2020. As franchisors set their sights on reopening the economy, we received a few requests on which of our modules (field audits, self-assessments, polls, projects, business plans, etc.) are the best to use for their scenarios in the new world.

Overview

Coach Interactions

If the coaches are driving a short interaction, call, audit or review with a franchisee, you should use a field audit. This is the baseline tool for coach-driven scenarios.

The exception is if you want to record an interaction and keep it confidential – meaning you do not want the franchisee to see it. In that case, you would use a comment in the info depot or on the franchisee’s record within your system. 

Franchisee Interactions

If the franchisee is the one who is initiating the interaction, then the baseline is a self-assessment – an audit where the franchisee is empowered to fill it out themselves.

Conversely, if the interaction is critically important and the franchisor needs to have visibility into the result for risk mitigation or other legal purposes, and you will be requiring all units to fill it out, you should launch the a poll. This adds accountability that everyone fills it out. It is especially helpful if there is an expectation to fill it out on a recurring basis.

Mixed Interactions

If you are doing an interaction that involves many stakeholders over a process that takes several months with a guaranteed outcome (such as a grand reopening), you should be doing a Project that creates tasks for accountability.

If the coach is defining a strategy collaboratively with the franchisee, and you can setup a process to review how they are doing versus this strategy over several months, you should use a Business Plan.

Sample Mini Case Studies

Protective Gear Installation

Problem: We want to make sure franchisees have installed new plexiglass and signage for reopening procedures. We are 100% sure that the franchisees can follow through with this.

Solution: A self-assessment if franchisees are self-starters and a poll if accountability is a top concern.

Operational Changes

Problem: I want to make sure franchisees are ready to follow the new operational procedures for online ordering and delivery.

Solution: A self-assessment if franchisees are self-starters and a poll if accountability is a top concern.

Remodelling to Support Online Ordering and Pick-up

Problem: Each unit will need to be remodelled to support online ordering.
Solutions: Self-assessment if your goal is check the completion of it. It could also be a Project if it is a lengthy complex process involving many teams.

Business Continuity

Problem: I want to make sure my franchisees survive the crisis. As a way to support them, we’ll be talking on a monthly basis.
Solution: If you just want to record the interactions and take the pulse of the franchisee, use a Field Audit. If you are willing to get more involved and formal, Business Plans are appropriate. The latter is a living document that is evolved as you progress through the various initiatives defined in the plan.

Last Word

Supporting franchisors and franchisees with different scenarios around opening in each system, and across region requires agility and flexibility. If this post has been supportive to your efforts, feel free to post on Social Media.



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How COVID-19 Shot Franchising Three Years into the Future

By | COVID-19, Franchise Relationships

Before the world was hit by a pandemic, I had been thinking about how franchising will evolve over the next five to ten years. In particular, I had been thinking about the evolution of the role of the Franchise Business Consultant (FBC), given how over 100 franchise brands rely on our technology for their franchisee coaching. 

In chatting with some franchise family, I realized that franchising had been shot three years into the future, figuratively speaking. I think the pandemic will accelerate certain trends and wanted to share these thoughts with you. That being said, I encourage you to challenge my ideas and help refine this projection of the future of franchising.  

Dynamic #1: Weaker Businesses Are Going to Close 

It is sad to say, but several businesses will not make it through the current quarantine. I’m an optimist with regards to what will come after this pause, but short term I am a realist that several businesses are just not strong enough to survive due to weak margins and poor cash flow management. This is especially true in the restaurant space, where over 11% of restaurant operators expect to permanently closed within the next 30 days 

However, with the government interventions, I believe this will be stretched out over a longer period. Several businesses will survive the quarantine, but the wheels will have been set in motion to force their closure within a year or so. Businesses that will be so strapped for cash will be unable to market or maintain operations to a decent level, gradually eroding their business. Not only will consumers be more cautious about their expenses (thus fewer customers to service), the ones which remain will visit the businesses marketing more aggressively.  

Dynamic #2: The Rise of the Multi-Unit Operator 

Multi-unit operators have been growing for years and now own more than half of all franchise units. Economies of scale help make them sustainable businesses even with lower unit-level margins. Well-capitalized operators will scoop up the units that are having trouble staying afloat but still have potential to turn a profit. This will accelerate. This is perhaps the most profound trend with regards to the future of franchise coaching. 

Cash will continue to be cheap with very low interest rates continuing to facilitate their expansion. Post quarantine, many entrepreneurs will be looking for an out and they will be acquired at greatly reduced multiples.  

For the franchising business model, the combination of dynamics #1 and #2 will be a positive as larger systems will be better equipped to assist their operators in surviving than the regular “mom and pop shop” down the street. The overall diversity in the ecosystem will be reduced, but out of all the units that weather the storm, the overall proportion of franchised and corporate chains will be increased.  

Dynamic #3: Changes in the Talent Pool and Discretionary Income  

Overall, with all these units shuttering, franchise businesses should see a return to equilibrium with regards to the current labor shortage. This will help them put better staff in place, should reduce employee turnover and thus improve margins due to less time spent retraining.  

However, over the next 12 to 24 months, higher unemployment means that there will be less discretionary income to spend and that may negatively affect certain franchise verticals. This impacts the strategies business owners will need to put in place to attract customers.  

Dynamic #4: Increased Focus on Operational Efficiency 

Businesses will be put under greater pressure to maintain profitability. They will look at ways to run a tighter ship by simplifying their operations, investing in technology and cutting costs where possible. The ability to secure loans at low cost will accelerate the transition to new technologies.  

As an example, the pandemic will speed up the migration to order ahead in the restaurant space. The consumer will have had increased exposure to the technology during the quarantine. Furthermore, ordering on one’s device is much safer in the context of a pandemic than utilizing self-serve kiosks such as the ones installed by brands such as McDonald’s over the past few years, while offering up the same reductions in labor costs.  

Overall, this is good news for suppliers in the franchise space who focus on operational efficiency. The next few months will be tough for everyone in franchising, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

What Should a Franchisor do over the Next Two Years? 

A franchisor should align their Franchise Development teams towards conversions and resales. There will be many struggling single-unit operators looking for a way out (both in your franchise and outside). Prepare yourself to be more appealing for multi-unit operators. In certain verticals where your typical franchisee was laid off from corporate America, then you may see growth in greenfield locations but otherwise net new development may be reduced.  

Franchise marketing should focus on being there for their franchisees with a big push once the quarantine ends. It is counter-intuitive but it has been demonstrated that those who market aggressively during a recession not only outperform their competitors during the recession, but also afterwards thanks to the market share they have gained. With all these unit closures, it’s your chance to capture the audience who cannot remain at status quo.  

Franchise operations will unfortunately be taking a big hit in the short term. The C-Suite will want utilize whatever funds that are available to keep the development and marketing engines purring for the long-term viability of the company, and ask operations to take a bigger share of the cost cutting initiatives.  Overall, we will expand on this further in this article but we’ll see some operations teams abruptly cut in half whereas others will want to utilize technology to cut travel costs and make their coaches more impactful. 

What will Happen to the Role of the FBC over the Next 5 to 10 Years? 

The role of the FBC today is twofold. First, the coach ensures operational compliance. Second, they help the franchisees to improve performance. A decade ago, most FBCs were simply auditors. Today, every franchise is on a spectrum from cop to coach. Over the next decade, we believe the cop part of the job will have been automated and drastically streamlined. 

Compliance is important to protect everyone’s investment (especially in an age where social media can instantaneously kill your brand), but franchisors realized that their long-term viability required franchisees to be profitable, not just growing top-line revenue.  

Additionally, it is interesting to note that the average FBC works with 30 franchisees; and that is franchisees, not units, because an FBC maintains relationships. In a system with a higher density of multi-unit operators, you will find the average FBC oversees a greater number of actual units. The more sophisticated the operator, the higher-level the conversations. They are not asking an owner who runs 50 restaurants to change a lightbulb, they are talking about talent development for his next 5 units.  

Where does that lead us over the next 5 to 10 years? 

Here is what the automation of the cop part of the role will look like so that coaches can focus on relationships:    

  • Why bother going to visit a unit to check temperatures of various equipment? IoT devices already exist that broadcast all of this information into a central cloud and alert you when a refrigerator goes down and can automate your line checks.  
  • You don`t need to visit to see proper marketing campaign roll-out or cleanliness in a unit as self-assessments and webcams solve this problem. 
  • Artificial Intelligence is already used to ensure restaurant quality, ensuring things like portion control and adherence to recipes with picture taking, especially in the pizza category  
  • You won’t be monitoring cashier transactions as much, as the orders will flow through the consumer’s devices – but those non digital transactions can still be monitored by a microphone and some AI to compliance to upselling procedures  

Overall, it is not far fetched to think you can automate the most important base compliance aspects of a franchise.  

The coach part of job will remain, and will be more impactful than ever before in the following ways:   

  • The emotional connection of an owner with their coach will heighten in importance. The coach will understand the deep underlying motivations of the franchisees on a personal level. 
  • Travel will remain for that personal connection, but will be greatly reduced and replaced with technology such as Skype or Zoom meetings.   
  • Less travel time implies more coaching time, which implies more franchisees per coach. Tack on the impact of multi-unit operator and you’ll end up with more units per coach overall.   
  • Coaching requires lots of data analysis to figure out the primary areas of opportunity. The good news is technology will have streamlined and integrated lots of these data signals into a single platform to make it easier to digest.  
  • Some new platforms will be born out of the merger of many point-solutions in use today (the POS company will handle your POS, your digital menu boards, your order ahead, your marketing campaigns, etc. ) to make it easier for the coach to gain access to metrics in a timely manner.   
  • Artificial intelligence will analyze each franchisee`s weaknesses and provide insights about action plans to help address those weaknesses based on effectiveness of past suggestions by other coaches for these same issues. In essence, this will bake in the franchise system’s best practices into an actionable platform.  
  • There will be a rise in specialists at the franchisor level to assist generalist coaches. The coach will be able to tap into franchisor resources that are specialized in certain things (marketing or finance for example). The overall complexity of these tasks has increased so much over the years that the job is better executed centrally by a pro than distributed onto franchisees who are running their businesses. Additionally, it simplifies the unit-level operations and improves margins to shift these responsibilities.   

What do you think the future will look like? 

The pandemic will have a profound impact on our lives. That said, I personally don’t believe doomsday thinkers that think that people will suddenly stop going to restaurants or out for snacks. I think fundamental currents that were already under way will be accelerated due to the pause everyone will see in revenues for a few months.  However, I humbly admit that this is just one point of view and look forward to hearing your opinions and counter-arguments.  



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Bringing Your Work Home While Supporting Franchisees

By | Franchise Relationships
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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Top Franchisee Engagement Tools

By | Franchise Relationships, Franchise Technology, Senior Care
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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5 Franchisee Coaching Tips for the Busy Holiday Season

By | Franchise Relationships

The holiday season is upon us and it is a fantastic time for family get-togethers and celebrating traditions closest to our hearts. Surprisingly, holidays can be a good time for franchisee coaching as well. It is a way for you to connect and engage the franchisees that you work with.

It is well known that social connections at work promote all kinds of positive things including:

  • Increased happiness
  • Less stress
  • Increased engagement and loyalty
  • Healthier life

Social connections and relationships with franchisees create even more of what they need to succeed, including motivation and adherence to the system.

1. Celebrate Accomplishments

The end of the year is a time of reflection. If you have a franchisee who has made a major accomplishment, why not recognize it? “Celebrating” can be a strong word for it, because recognizing accomplishments can be as simple as picking up the phone and saying “I just realized that you had your best year ever, congratulations.” Then, when the person is at the friend and family get-togethers, they will bring that feeling with them or maybe let the people around them know how good their business is going! You can also hand-write it in a card, or bring up an accomplishment on a group call.

2. Inspire Positivity

The holidays can be that breath of fresh air during a difficult period as a franchisor. This is an opportunity to turn that situation around. Model positivity in your demeanor and communications for the holiday, and the warm fires of holiday kindness could melt the coldest of hearts.

3. Cultivate Connections

Holiday get-togethers are a great way to create community. Although many franchise organizations are remote, you can encourage franchisees in the same region to meet, then share pictures with everyone else. You can also meet locally with the folks in your backyard.

4. Encourage Giving Thoughtfully

Secret Santas are an office tradition. Did you know that there is now the capability to do remote Secret Santas as well? Applications like Elfster can simplify exchanges like this, making it easy to manage, and create surprising connections. Having group goals to raise money for charity, with a matching promise from the head office for every dollar that the franchisees raise can also be a way to give thoughtfully.

5. Utilize a Wellness Challenge

Franchisors across the spectrum are embracing wellness challenges to bring people together. Typically done around the New Year, this can be a creative and motivating undertaking. This is not just something that your franchisees can be a part of, but staff and crew can be in it too. There are many ways to do wellness challenges, but here are a few examples:

  • Do a “step” contest where participants wear pedometers for a set amount of time.
  • Have a “menu” of activities that people can do to qualify, getting “points” for each one. For example, an activity can be walking up three flights of stairs, going to the gym, or having a salad for lunch.
  • Encourage walking clubs for sedentary workers. Have a “team prize” for the most dedicated group, such as gift certificates to their neighborhood athletic store.

Last Word

The holidays are full of rituals that differ by both family and tradition. But, the thing that all of them have in common is bringing people together. Creating these holiday initiatives with your franchisees can become holiday traditions before you know it!


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5 Effective Franchise Satisfaction Survey Goals

By | Franchise Relationships
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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13 Interesting Quotes for Franchisors and Coaches

By | Franchise Relationships
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 Relationships

“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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