How do you maintain a franchisee’s focus on their business once the honeymoon period is over?
This has been a topic of debate and many Franchise conferences.
Two key themes which come up time and again are alignment and quarterly reviews.
One of the recommendations suggested, particularly from the more mature brands is to find out why the franchisee invested in the business in the first place and then to align their on-going business goals with their personal goals.
It was also suggested that financial modelling helps, particularly when linked to a franchisee’s original intentions.
Financial modelling can also work to help motivate ‘lifestyle’ focussed franchisees (as opposed to entrepreneurial franchisees) by giving them a plan to get a manager into the business so their business can reach full potential, while reducing their need to work in the business.
Quarterly Reviews, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Benchmarking
The other key theme which keeps coming up is around the importance of quarterly reviews.
Quarterly reviews help franchisees focus on shorter term goals, which are consistent with the overall goals for the year, to help keep the momentum going.
Quarterly scorecards around KPIs help to easily track franchisee performance while also building accountability into the process.
Comments in discussion include that a number of franchises have a ‘KPI for everything’, however the power is in identifying the key KPIs and using them to drive franchisee performance.
KPIs also feed into benchmarking.
In order for benchmarking to be effective, group KPI benchmarks need to be communicated regularly and effectively.
Often a franchisee may assume their performance is on par with the group and it’s not until the benchmarks come out that they realise there is a gap between what they currently achieve and the full potential of the unit.
When you link this back to their original personal goals the effect can be highly motivating.
It’s important that benchmarking also be used to celebrate good performance across the group and not just identifying gaps.
Another comment which was made by the group was the importance of having field teams trained to identify the performance shortfalls (which can be identified through the scorecard or other techniques), as well as then going one step further for them to also have the skills to know how to turn the business around.
This need has also been highlighted through research and also addressed in the Franchise Financial Management Essential workshops.
Training dates are set for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Other suggestions to help keep franchisees focused
Although alignment, quarterly reviews and the importance of KPIs and Benchmarking were the most popular themes, there were other suggestions also given to help maintain franchisee focus.
These included contractual requirements built into the Franchise Agreement requiring franchisees to work a certain number of hours in store each week, and/or having minimum performance levels also built into contracts with intensive care programs for franchisees not meeting requirements.
(These programs can be effective in either managing a franchisee up into acceptable performance levels or managing a franchisee out of the system in a mutually beneficial way).
Another suggestion was that a lack of focus can sometimes be caused by a franchisee no longer being challenged by the business so transitioning suitable candidates into multiple site ownership may be a solution.
Annual conferences were also suggested, along with a ‘buddy’ system to provide peer to peer, rather than just field team support to help coach and motivate franchisees, and finally the need to keep innovating to keep franchisees excited was also given.
How do you maintain franchisee focus?
If you are a franchisee, you may like to make some suggestions below on techniques you find useful to maintain focus? Or if you work in a franchise head office you may have other suggestions that work for you. Please share below.