What does being a franchisor mean? What are, not only, the responsibilities but also the method in approaching and coaching the franchisees?
Being a franchisor is not just allowing an individual (franchisee) to run your business idea in a specific location, but expanding your brand, maintaining the quality reputation through monitoring, protecting your trademark, and of course, editing your FDD. The main themes of being a franchisor are, for this discussions sake, networking to grow, trial and error feeding into efficiency and profitability, branding and connecting with support.
- You conceptualized a unique idea that is a proven business concept. Now, be excited to see your ideas grow and expand as your franchise network increases in numbers. Franchisees are a great way to carry out your business model and to develop lifelong business partners that share your common goals to drive your brand to the next level. They are your foot on the ground go-to team in learning how to tweak and grow your concept to become more successful. This is an extremely important tool: listen to their ideas, even when you believe they are way off track. On the contrary, franchisors also need to know when to step in if a franchisee has gone way off track and how to guide them back toward the right direction (without micromanaging).
- If you started with a company owned store and then expanded, you probably worked out a lot of the kinks before opening it up to franchise investments. Either way, franchisors are responsible for figuring out what works and what does not work for your franchisees. Franchisors go through the painful (or fun!) process of trial and error, of running into the brick wall, but still finding a way out- just so that the franchisees do not have to. Being a franchisor, you want to give your zees the best opportunity to become a profitable and successful business owner. Through this process, you give them all of the tools they need to run their business. While the FDD and Operations Manual are required, knowing the process, tools and supplemental support goes a long way in building their success. You want to make their job as easy as possible to provide efficiency and profitability. For example, if your franchise model is owner/operator, how are they able to answer inquiring new customer calls while also doing their daily tasks? Providing a Call Center would be one solution to create a professional and standard first impression, while allowing the franchisee to continue running their day-to-day business. Lastly, be open to change. There will be new tools and strategic innovations to help your franchisees in the years to come. What works today, may not in two years from now.
- After you’ve taken the time to build a foundation, you want to protect it. Franchisors should spend a sufficient amount of their attention on building the brand. The franchisees are paying you monthly fees, including one for a national marketing budget. As a franchisor, your job is to build your brand, not only for franchise sales, but also to create awareness for your actual product or service. Have a PR company to communicate your message correctly and get your business in the right publications. Do spend the extra money to be in the news, in the targeted national ads and having specific marketing campaigns- it’ll be worth it. Even McDonald’s spends money on marketing and building their brand, and I assure you, everyone knows who they are. While you are spending the time to build your name, keep the gas pedal on monitoring your franchisees to ensure that they are carrying out your brand that your spending time and money on. Every franchise is different in learning how monitoring their zees would be best, but figuring out a way is crucial in maintaining consistency in delivering a clear message. Having one franchisee that is unprofessional, unruly and unable to communicate their products/services, can be a huge downfall for the whole company. As a franchisor, you are responsible for your brand.
- Before official training begins, through the lifetime of a franchisee’s business: support, support, support. Franchisors are there to provide guidance and a support system for their business partners. They invested in your idea because they did not want to take a risk on building a business from the ground up. In the beginning stages, it is especially important to establish a positive, enriching and supportive relationship between the franchisor and the zee. This culture will allow the zees to be more comfortable in approaching you, excited about their business and have more of a drive to bring their business to its full potential. Take the time to know the franchisees on an individual basis and they will be forever grateful, knowing they are an important part of your network. Create bi-weekly conference calls to keep them up-to-date with anything new that’s happening on the corporate level, start annual conferences or schedule one-on-one calls bi-annually. Staying connected and providing an open door relationship only helps in increasing their motivation. Overall, provide a warm, enriching and positive environment to allow a franchisee grow within the system.
There are many more aspects that go along with being a franchisor, such as determining territories, doing market research, establishing a team of corporate employees to provide all the needed assistance, etc. We focused on only a few aspects to get the conversation started. Now we want to learn from you, what is your favorite part of being a franchisor? What does being a franchisor mean to you?
FlipFlop Dogs is a unique franchising opportunity. Offering a market-tested business that allows our franchisees to establish and manage their own successful business. Our franchisees are home-based, mobile (no storefront needed), have a protected territory and are coached by a management team with over 65 years of pet industry experience. The FlipFlop Dogs concept is based on Britain’s Franchise of the Year, Barking Mad. Bringing this concept to the U.S., FlipFlop Dogs is the alternative to kenneling your dog. If you love dogs and working from home, being your own boss and controlling your own schedule, a FlipFlop Dogs franchise could be a perfect match for you! Request more information by clicking here: Franchising Information.