Whatever the issue that arises across a franchise business, communication will play a critical role in addressing it.
How do you get franchisee buy-in on system changes? Communication
How do you foster and cultivate franchisee innovations? Communication
What is one of the keys to retaining and rewarding staff? Communication
How do you manage the issue of rebates? Communication
Central to this was the myriad of tools now available in the modern communication toolbox, from email, text and phone to the cloud, internet, intranet and social media, and not forgetting good old fashioned face-to-face.
A warning, however. Don’t rely too heavily just on digital communication, particularly email, as it can be misinterpreted. Also, franchisees don’t take too kindly to shock announcements without warning, so it is wise to firstly run major announcements through a filter of peers and selection of franchisees to gauge reaction.
Getting Franchisee Buy-In
On the topic of getting buy-in from franchisees on franchise system changes, building rapport through open and honest communication is deemed essential to long-term success.
Likewise on innovation, it is important to keep communicating with franchisees, don’t let ideas drop off, and keep franchisees in the loop every step of the way to demonstrate just how much time and work goes into bringing a new product idea to life.
Clear communication on professional development opportunities, career progression and mentoring pathways is also crucial to retaining staff.
Open and honest communication is the key element in managing the hot topic of rebates. Communicate regularly and transparently with franchisees on what rebates are actually being used for. One major franchise system even openly shares supplier contracts with franchisees!
Communication can highlight to franchisees how rebates are actually being used to improve systems, rather than the perception of just going into the franchisor’s back pocket. There will be much better understanding and acceptance on the issue of rebates through good communication from franchisor to franchisee.