How To Franchise: Tactics for Long-Term Success
- August 28, 2018
- By: Vonigo
Rhys Green is a franchise operations advisor who has made a career in fast-growing, profitable service businesses. In his time with 1-800-Got-Junk? he led a franchise to 70% year-over-year growth and won Franchise of the Year. With You Move Me, Rhys was a key contributor to its launch and led operations to build it to $24m within 4 years. He now leads the Vonigo Growth Program, which helps ambitious businesses accelerate growth.
How to Franchise: Think About the Long Term
Wondering how to franchise your business? Think about creating something better together than any one person could create alone.
When you franchise, you tap into a network of valuable experimental results. Learning from what tactics have worked or failed elsewhere makes the whole system more intelligent and better-poised for rapid growth.
The most successful franchise organizations realize the immense value that each operator has and they develop systems to leverage the collective insights and capabilities of each franchise location.
Feedback and Collaboration
In the 1-800-Got-Junk? franchise organization, formal and informal feedback systems are plentiful. Feedback is sought during regular calls with each franchise. From specialized committees discussing best practices, through system-wide surveys, and more.
Effective collaboration will help your franchise grow stronger, faster, and more profitably. Where can your collective learnings be most impactful? When you’re franchising your business, focus on collaborating around these three essentials for effective execution and long-term success:
Workplaces with engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%! Extrapolate that across a franchise network and engagement can mean the difference between your franchise failing or flourishing.
So where does engagement go wrong in franchise organizations and how is collaboration the magic pill?
The “Principal-Agent Problem”
In any organization, the principal-agent problem looms over aspirations of effective execution. The decision-makers and the do-ers have different needs and desires and this disparity drives execution off course from strategy. Both groups act in their interests and the interests of the company are compromised.
Improving engagement and battling the principal-agent problem is about creating involvement in the decision making process. It’s about the people who are going to be responsible for executing (In many cases your franchisee’s), having a meaningful say in what they’re executing on.
This can take many forms, from something as formal as forming a committee of GMs, to something as informal as encouraging corporate employees to have genuine conversations with franchise members whenever possible.
Keep Communication Flowing
The specific action is less important than the intention–it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. Find a unique way to express the sincere value of your franchisee’s input and create an ongoing, open dialogue about decisions that directly impact them.
Franchisees are investing in you. They’re investing years of their lives and in some cases, their life savings. They’re looking to you to keep your promises and live up to the expectations that you’ve established.
Accountability is about leading by example. As the franchisor, you need to hold yourself accountable to your commitments. And you should expect the same from your franchisees.
Have a Plan
In the early days of working at 1-800-Got-Junk?, we posted WDWBW on the back of each meeting room door. It stands for “Who Does What By When.” This set a clear expectation. If you were walking out of a meeting with no answer to this question, you had either wasted your time and not agreed to take any action, or the action you had agreed to wasn’t going to get done because no one was owning it. This held everyone accountable, every single day, to the commitments.
And when we missed, we were forced to own it and address it.
Don’t Shy Away from Conflict
Accountability is also about and not shying away from conflict. Welcoming your franchisees to hold you accountable can be really uncomfortable. Holding your franchisees accountable to the things they committed to can be even more challenging. But stepping up to the plate and having those hard conversations is in the best interest of you, your franchisee, and your customer.
According to a 2016 Gallup study, only 1 in 3 workers feel they received recognition or praise for doing good work in a given week. The result? When employees feel their best efforts are routinely ignored, they’re twice as likely to leave.
Recognition has an enormous impact on the long-term success of your franchise. Considering the fact that it’s one of the most enjoyable things a leader is responsible for, it’s a surprisingly overlooked essential. People will continue the behavior you reinforce. Recognition serves to reinforce the good behavior of delivering on commitments by recognizing people for their efforts.
Infuse your operations with recognition from the top down. Leverage those feedback channels to pick out individuals at every level of the organization who deserve public praise weekly. Annually, recognize top performers with formal awards and celebration. Encourage every single location to adopt these behaviors. It’s enjoyable for everyone and it makes a measurable impact!
Leveraging collaboration for long-term success
Engagement, accountability, and recognition are essential for any healthy business. You can gain an enviable culture, effective execution, strong leadership, and happy people. In a franchise organization, the benefits of these tactics can be accelerated and compounded by collaborating with a network of intelligent, driven owners and GMs.
If you have thoughts, questions, or challenges around these tactics, please write to me. I’d love to collaborate. And for more insights on how to franchise, visit the Rhys Green blog.
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