Franchising: 7 Ways to Improve a Franchise Management Strategy
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time"
- Thomas Edison
Before getting into improvements it is important to understand. How can something that is not understood be improved? Right, it can't...
So back to basics: What strategic management? Business-wise, management is the administration of an organization's resources to succeed and achieve its objectives. Strategic management, is finding the best way to use the resources a business has.
As the first word states, it involves planning and a lot of analyzing (competitive environment, internal organization) so the company knows which path to take.
What is a franchising strategy?
Franchising is a great way for a small business to expand its market presence without accepting a large capital investment.
It works as follows: The business owner becomes the franchisor, granting another businessperson (the franchisee), the rights to use the brand's name, operational systems, etc... Basically is "I give you the required tools to make your business work, my idea, but your business."
Franchising provides the business owner more revenue streams (e.g. royalties) based on the percentage of sales generated by the franchisee. If its looked at from a marketing point of view, franchising is a tool that a small business has for creating an image in the minds of customers (present and future).
Coming back to our favorite word of the day STRATEGY. A franchise management strategy is structuring the franchise system, having a proper organization leads to success. IF the decision-making is sustained by previous analysis, then franchising strategy offers attainable goals.
Why develop a franchise management system?
When a franchise is sold, the franchisee is given guidelines, a business model, a certain structure , everything "solved" and many people say its easier than having a business from scratch because the franchisee has all the numbers figured out, he or she knows already the road that needs to be followed. Yes, having a franchise is awesome, but let me tell you, it is not as easy as it sounds! Many challenges come with it
"Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them"
- Paul Hawken
Now, imagine having 2.000 franchises around the world? How would you, as the business owner make sure everything is going as you planned? How would you know that your structure is being followed? Here is where the strategic management explained above comes in!
Having a franchise management strategy is crucial for any entrepreneur that wants objectives achieved. As stated before, strategic management is having the knowledge required to take the business the right direction. Another question pops out, How to know if the right job is being done? How do I know if the strategy being implemented will benefit the business? The easy answer is the trial and error, try and see but... is there another way that doesn't affect the business? Below you will find a list of 7 possible ways to improve your franchising management. It is important to note that this are only some of the many improvement techniques.
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7 Ways to Improve My Franchise Management System?
|7 Ways to Improve MS|
|1. Written Communication|
|2. Share Resources|
|3. Be accesible|
|4. Costumer Experience Training|
1. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Has it ever happened to you that you find the answer but don't remember how you got there? You get to the right place but forgot the way? Well, if this happened in the franchising world... it would be really really bad. Startups grow with trial and error. What happens if the path that took the franchise to success is forgotten? See? Franchisors would loose a lot of time tracking the roadmap, which wouldn't benefit the business to expand around the country or around the world. This is why written communication is of extreme importance, documenting everything, from the procedure and formulas, to the business goals. This will not only help the franchise management strategy, but it will be a tool for having better insights which could lead to a better franchise marketing management.
2. SHARE RESOURCES
As the saying goes "Sharing is carrying". As stated below, all franchises need to have the same "look" , if you go to a Mr Jeff franchise in Mexico City or in Singapore, it is necessary for them to have a unique essence, all Mr Jeff Franchises need to look, smell and provide the same amazing experience! In order to achieve this, the franchisors need to provide resources and tools that will help franchisees meet customers expectations. What resources are we talking about? They could be marketing support, operations, employee retention and recruitment guidelines, etc...
3. BE ACCESSIBLE
In other words, go digital. These days we are all connected, it doesn't matter on which part of the globe you are technology helps us stick together. An added value for your franchise is having different ways of being approached (brick and mortar & digital). Why the digitalization so important? Because as franchises are very likely to spread across different timezones, it is important to provide 24/7 customer services; by having this, the customer experience will have a great value as questions are solved faster without the timezone being a barrier.
4. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRAINING
The most important thing for a business? Its clients. A business needs to keep in mind that its success depends on the customer and not the other way around. Any business owner needs to have clear that it is selling to a person and not to a client. The way a person feels when going to your store is one of the most important things (maybe even the most) a business should consider, word-of-mouth is able to kill a business faster than you think. Remember that franchises are a representation of a brand.
Customers need to have the same experience in every location, they go to a franchise because of the brand, regardless of which franchise they're at.
As stated above, it is very important to keep track of every step of the process. Piloting goes hand on hand with written communication, as changes need to be tested before implementing new brand policies and processes. This is what Franchising and management strategy is all about, testing, writing, implementing and making it work. Piloting is an esencial part of a successfull franchise management strategy as many marketing and operational efficiencies have better results if they have been previously tested at company-owned locations. In other words... try before you sell.
6. VISIT YOUR CREATION
It is important to see for you to see if all the implementation, paperwork, excel sheets, trainings and numbers gave the expected results. For a franchisor to be sure that the franchise he sold has the brand essence he/ she needs to go and pay a visit. Conducting retail audits, ensuring that everything is working well and seeing the pain points on the franchise is the best way to have a god franchise business management. Why? Because it is seen in live, there is no miss-understanding in emails or any other problem related. It is like a general check-up, you don't do it quite often, but when you do, you revise everything, detect the flaws, and make another management plan to solve the flaws. Remember, there's always a way to make things better.
7. INNOVATE - RESEARCH! - KEEP ON DIGGING!
There is no end to have a better business management, things can always get better. As entrepreneurs do a lot of research when looking to buy a franchise, you as a business owner have to do the same. When the franchise is out there, good and running all over the country (or countries) it can still get better! People should not stop innovating and searching for more answers or ways to do things better. There is no end line in this process and it is very important for the franchise business owner to know this. There is always a continuous management strategy to be implemented and ameliorated.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRAINING
VISIT YOUR CREATION
Re-evaluate processes, innovate and keep on learning to gain better skills. This will lead you to attract new prospects, have happier employees, companions leading to better results! And remember, a good management resides mainly on communication, if everybody's in the same page, everyone will be happy :)