Greg Nathan's presentation at the Franchisor Executive Forum on How to Create an Optimistic Franchising Culture generated a lot of interest. Greg shared data from thousands of ACE Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys, which measures the extent to which franchisees are advocates for your franchise, committed to staying in the network, and engaged with your initiatives. FRI's data show that the biggest driver of the ACE Mindset is whether franchisees feel optimistic about their future in the franchise.
He then shared the specific beliefs that drive this sense of optimism. These include:
The presentation finished with the following tips to create an optimistic culture:
#1: Focus your team’s efforts on protecting franchisee profitability. This is probably the single most important strategy, particularly as margins continue to be squeezed by rising supply chain costs.
#2: Provide systems to help franchisees track their breakeven and KPIs. These include business planning templates, structured conversations with field consultants on the numbers that matter, and access to benchmarking data.
#3: Manage their expectations about the work that’s ahead. Franchisees may need to be reminded that, while you are all not yet out of the woods when it comes to navigating ongoing economic and social challenges, they will receive relevant support to help them get through.
#4: Communicate your competitive strategy, goals and achievements. During times of uncertainty it's important to constantly reinforce and repeat your brand's strategy, how you are implementing this, and the wins you are having as a group.
#5: Show you care about the group's long-term sustainability and success. Demonstrate you understand the personal and business goals of your franchisees, and link your strategies to how these will be good for their individual businesses and the network as a whole.
#6: Support franchisees with processes to reduce stress and long hours. As the biggest pressures are coming from staffing challenges, anything you can do to assist with recruitment, productivity and retention will be valued. Also coaching to ensure franchisees are taking time out to protect their wellbeing will be appreciated.
#7: Remind them of why they can feel proud of the work they do. Help them to see the bigger picture of how your brand and their businesses contribute to the well-being and prosperity of their teams and local communities.
#8: Remain calm, positive and optimistic yourself. One of the biggest influences on a culture is the attitudes and behaviours of the leader. So if you are in a leadership role, you need to ensure you are looking after yourself, and generating confidence and hope in others.
Building a healthy relationship with your franchisees takes time and knowledge. Whilst we can't give you time, we can provide you with all the necessary skills, tools and knowledge you'll need to build a profitable, healthy franchising culture. For more information about our range of courses and publications, or if you have any questions about this article, contact us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team would be happy to assist you.
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