With a booming franchise industry comes increased competition between emerging and established brands. One of the prizes franchise brands are competing for is a strong pool of franchisees. Among the things potential franchisees will be looking at in their due diligence process is franchise leadership.
Prospective franchisees look at a franchise brand's leadership team to know whether they're well-versed in franchising, enthusiastic about the brand and vision, have a clear roadmap for growth and know how to support franchisees with strong unit-level economics.
Here’s what your franchise leadership team needs to bring to the table of the franchisor-franchisee relationship and the reason why each is important for a strong leadership team:
1. Genuine Belief in the Purpose and Vision
No one cares as much about the success of a brand as the franchisor and the franchisees. They both make considerable investments to ensure that success. But, as an emerging franchisor, you will accrue many different responsibilities, and emphasizing the purpose of the brand and your vision to franchisees may take a back seat to other tasks. Therefore, it’s necessary to hire a leadership team that believes in the purpose wholeheartedly and is as passionate about the brand’s vision as you are. The purpose and vision is the heart and soul of your brand and should drive the company culture, including the founder, the board of directors, the leadership team, franchisees and employees. Potential franchisees can detect a fraud, so bringing on unenthusiastic and non-believing leadership members will not help your brand grow.
2. Regular Communication
Constant communication not only aids support for franchisees, but it’s useful for continuously driving home the brand purpose and vision. But, it’s only as effective as the person conveying it. The members of your franchise leadership team should be good communicators – by phone, in-person, email and text messaging. Everything your leadership members communicate should be thoughtful, honest and easily understood to avoid any major mishaps. Because franchisees want to feel valued and respected, good communication includes attentive listening. By listening carefully, your leadership team will be able to provide the exact support each franchisee needs.
3. Commitment to Ongoing Franchise Support
When you award the franchisee a franchise agreement, you’re both committing to helping each other succeed. For your end of the bargain, you’ve promised to deliver support, which may include grand opening preparation, training, assistance with site location, advertising and marketing, promotions and more. To keep your brand functioning well, your leadership team needs to provide ongoing support to franchisees in the areas stipulated in the franchise agreement. If they don’t, operations and reputation break down. Growth of a bad reputation will outpace actual franchise development, and your competition will award franchises to entrepreneurs who could have been part of your brand.
4. Experience in Franchising
Growing your brand through franchising is a simple concept, but the industry can be complicated. There are tricks of the trade, government rules and regulations, among other things that can be valuable to know when growing a brand. Each member of your franchise leadership team should have experience in the industry, as well as some knowledge of the segment in which your brand operates. They should be able to provide sound advice and know
how to effectively deliver support to your franchisees. You’ll also want an experienced team that can help steer the brand and its franchisees through any economic storms in the offing. You don’t want to head into an increasingly competitive industry with a leadership team that flounders because they are ill-prepared.
5. Respect for Franchisees
Your franchise leadership team should treat franchisees as partners with a common goal of growing the brand they believe in. Your leadership should recognize franchisees as essential players of the larger franchise system team, and that when one player goes down, the whole team suffers. By keeping your franchisees happy and healthy – through authentic belief in purpose and vision, communicating with them on a regular basis, committing to their business’s well-being and applying previous experience to help them succeed – the whole team wins.
With 30 years of franchising experience and more than 800 franchise owners representing more than 1,225 location for five brands, Winmark Franchise Partners can share more reasons why your franchise leadership team needs to be strong. Contact us here or at (844) 234-8520.