This month I’m sharing some franchising advice that I’ve given to franchisers through the years. These tips are a result of my reflections on the industry, and are dedicated to both old and new franchisers.
o Walk, don’t run. Launching too many branches within a short period is risky. As a franchiser, you may be able to put up many branches, but that would also mean facing many concerns within your company and with franchisees. Protect your business and your brand by pacing yourself. Don’t be reckless by trying to grow too fast.
o Quality speaks louder than quantity. It’s much better to branch out with a few well-chosen franchisees. Selecting franchisees carefully and keeping their number manageable means giving them the support they deserve. Satisfied franchisees will only be too happy to convey their satisfaction to customers.
o By your fruits you will be known. Franchisers who persevere and focus on their products and services and provide consistent quality service will go a long way.
o Win with the mighty W-O-M. W-O-M stands for Word-of-Mouth + Text. Franchisers ought to exert all effort in communicating to employees and franchisees the importance of satisfying customers all the time. If you are a franchiser, start by asking yourself how your people answer the telephone. Are they doing it correctly?
o An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Being on top of day-to-day operations will stop your small concerns from turning into full-blown problems. Constantly check on your managers and franchisees to know what’s going on and provide a hotline for any serious concerns the raise.
o Seek and you will find. Finding the right franchisee is difficult especially if you keep looking in the same places. Participating in provincial trade shows may prove fruitful. In my experience, there are many passionate and qualified franchisee applicants in the provinces. Settling for people with minimal qualifications may be dangerous especially if they are merely investing.
o Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. The Golden Rule applies to all life situations, including business. Treat customers, employees, franchisees and suppliers honestly and respectfully. One franchiser I admire addresses everybody – regardless of rank or stature – with either a “Sir” or a “Ma’am” before their first name, which makes the person being addressed feel important. Of course, you have to be sincere when you do this; otherwise it will show.
o Kiss and make up. In a franchiser-franchisee relationship, there will always be moments of misunderstanding. It is best that you, the franchise, make the first move to patch things up to stop any problem from getting worse.