The Franchise Business Coach (FBC) can make or break a franchise organization. As Jim Sullivan says in his seminal book Multi Unit Leadership:
“The best multi unit managers work wonders, bringing consistency to chaos, building bottom lines, wringing good things from bad locations, and strengthening the span of control between the owner and operations. The worst can just as easily bring the company down through inattention, inexperience and ineptitude, forgetting that all operation problems boil down to people problems.”
Like Multi Unit Managers, Franchise Business Coaches are key to helping franchises succeed, but finding the right one, and training them appropriately is not an easy task. Check out the tips below on recruiting the ultimate FBC, and setting them up for success.
Franchise Business Coach (FBC) Recruitment Process
Write a Killer Job Description
Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond still dream about the “killer app” but, what does it take to have a “killer job description” for a Franchise Business Coach? It is all about people. In a nutshell, in 2020, fashion mavens may tell you that sage green is the new black. But business experts will say that marketing is the new recruiting. As a result, recruitment has surprising similarities to marketing copy. Here are some tips for a killer job description:
- Do your research: According to Sullivan, “talk to people who have already ‘bought’ your product (your current team members). Find out why people want to work for your company; is it the culture, growth, people, pay?”
- Be descriptive yet concise: As an employer, it is important for your employees to understand their role from day one. It is better to overcommunicate than undercommunicate.
- Hire for culture: Are you a “sales first” culture? Then talk about that in your description. Are you driven by a deep entrepreneurial spirit at the office? Put that in there. You want to hire for culture, otherwise, the person could create some unwanted waves.
- Focus on benefits: If there was one nugget of information from a career in Marketing, it is to focus on benefits instead of features. For example, Uber’s job description focuses on money, flexibility and “no boss”. When people are seeking work, they are looking for “what’s in it for me” so empathy is a good skill to draw on when building your description.
Now that you have your description, you can begin screening Franchise Business Coach candidates. Traditionally, this starts with a phone interview, then gets whittled down to face-to-face. Since candidates will be remote, some opt for video interviews either as the first or second stage. Creating a team is like crafting a meal – you want to have all of the elements balanced for it to be delicious. So – for a “dream team”, you want to think of how the skills of the FBC connect with the Director of Operations.
Some people opt putting this dream team on paper, sketching out the skills of each team member. FBC candidates can come from inside or outside of the organization. The ones from outside may bring in new skills and a broader perspective; they will also bring both good and bad habits. So keep in mind that those outside hires may need less step-by-step guidance, but more indoctrination into the culture.
According to Sullivan, “people are not your greatest asset, the right people are.” You can never be too picky – the franchising community has long held onto the axiom “hire slowly, fire quickly”. With 90% of candidates C and D players, you want that A or B player urgently. Because realistically, a C or D player does not surround themselves with A players so a FBC with recruitment responsibilities will have an exponential effect in either direction. After the selection is complete, you can offer employment.
A widely recognized challenge in the world of FBCs is the lack of formal training available. An FBC is part coach, part manager and part auditor. This multifaceted role means that already defined training program will not reach. The sad truth is, that often people new to the organization will get a one-day driving tour a training binder and an org chart as their orientation. Then, it is trial by fire. Alternately, here are some best practices when it comes to onboarding:
- Assess both the knowledge base and the knowledge gaps of each new hire. Role plays, case studies, interviews and questionnaires can be used to test knowledge and motivation given the work setting.
- Executives should share their long-term visions giving the new hire the same information as the current FBCs have. This will give them insight into their future responsibilities and assess their own physical, mental and emotional abilities in the new role.
- Consider mentoring your FBC an ongoing process. The orientation process should start with a thoughtful 30, 60 and 90-day onboarding plan. Having both vertical (bosses) and horizontal mentors who have some coaching skills can also be a great help.
- With the supervisor, the FBC can review the following:
- Quarterly business plans: the good, the bad, and the difference between the two.
- Sample visit: review how much time the FBC is expected to spend at their stores and conduct a sample site visit using your mobile operations field audit app. Time should be spent afterwards debriefing and deconstructing the visit.
- Strategy: the supervisor and the new FBC should do a SWOT analysis on each location and discuss the idiosyncrasies of the location and the history of the surrounding market. Looking at analytics based on previous store visits is a great benefit, using your operations software.
According to Sullivan’s research, coaches that take outside training courses annually perform better, produce more and stay with their companies longer.
The Next Step
Are you ready to take the next step? Check out our eBook, 5 Ways to Boost the Impact of Your Franchise Field Audit.