The Franchise E-Factor has recently been a popular topic in our franchisor training programs. Developed by FRI’s Founder, Greg Nathan, the model describes six stages franchisees move through in their relationship with their franchisor, starting with GLEE where they put the franchisor on a pedestal.
The FEE stage involves questioning the value they get for their fees, followed by the ME stage where they ask what the franchisor is doing for them. The next stage, FREE, is the most difficult for both parties as franchisees can start to push back, and an honest conversation to realign mutual expectations may be needed. If this goes well the franchisee will naturally move into the SEE and WE stages, characterised by mutual trust, empathy and collaboration.
In our Best Practice Insights below we share 10 tips for leading franchisees through the FREE stage. If you’d like to know more about the Franchise F-Factor, we cover it in our professional development programs, or you can read the book by Greg Nathan, who also did a fun song about it on LinkedIn.
|These 10 tips for leading franchisees when they are at the FREE stage were compiled from discussions by a group of 30 senior executives participating in a Franchisor Excellence Masterclass.|
# 1: Revisit mutual expectations. Revisit mutual expectations, and the roles and responsibilities of franchisee and franchisor, as these can get confused over time.
# 2: Success differs from profitability. Don't assume that profitability is the only thing that matters to a franchisee. Success means different things to different people.
# 3: Stay connected with your franchisees. Remind franchisees that you care about their long-term success. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
# 4: Be empathetic. Listen to franchisee concerns with empathy. Clarify and paraphrase back what they have said, to reassure them you have understood.
# 5: Stay open. Don’t get defensive when given honest feedback. Listen with an open mind, and take the time to gather your thoughts before responding.
# 6: Hold yourself accountable. Be accountable when something is a franchisor team mistake. Humility and honesty will go a long way to rebuild trust - and you’ll receive it in return.
# 7: Understand conflict. Accept that some conflict is normal and don’t take it personally. Persevere and maintain a long-term perspective.
# 8: Question where the problem originates. Consider whether this is a personality clash or something deeper. Sometimes changing the franchisee’s field manager can solve the problem.
# 9: Help franchisees leave if they choose to. If a franchisee can’t work within the system and makes the decision to exit the business, help them to do so with dignity.
# 10: Understand the strength of mentorship. Remember, franchisees who have worked through the process can be a network’s greatest asset and become great mentors for others.
Were you aware of The Franchise E-Factor before reading this Positive Franchising Update? Despite its popularity, recent polls in our training programs show that 43% of franchisor executives were unaware, or only vaguely aware, of this model before the training program. And all were grateful to be exposed to it.
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