The best among the world-class franchise leaders, there’s one thing in common, and that’s foresight. They understand the company’s direction and can communicate it so that the entire team is inspired. They constantly anticipate the future and reposition the company to maximize profitability for its franchisees.
A successful franchise leader listens to and learns from their franchisees in an open communication environment, and they understand and acknowledge that most of their successful ideas originate with franchisees. They’ve established a formal communication channel through a franchisee advisory council to act as a guide and sounding board for decisions. They’re willing to discuss issues informally to keep the franchise running smoothly.
Experienced franchise leaders have a thorough understanding of the industry. They have worked in the business’s operations side for a long enough time to understand the challenges franchisees face and the systems necessary to boost profitability and growth. They diligently keep system enhancements logical, trainable, and financially feasible for all franchisees.
Accessibility is a huge factor. Leading franchise developers take the time to travel to meet potential franchisees and to renew relationships with existing franchisees. Franchising is a partnership-based business. Personal relationships foster mutual loyalty and understanding.
Effective leadership establishes the attitude that permeates the organization. Successful franchise leaders treat their franchisees as seasoned business partners, justifying their decisions with data and logic rather than issuing ultimatums. When leadership refers to franchisees as “our franchisees” (rather than “those guys”), it demonstrates the mutual respect and integrity required to validate and sell franchises.
Successful franchise leaders are open to change. They are constantly looking for new ways to increase revenue for their franchisees. They scan the horizon to protect their group, thwarting threats before they strike. They are fearless in pursuing technological advancements that will save their franchisees time and labor. They evolve in lockstep with their customer base, conscious that consumers are a moving target and that paying attention to trends protects their customer base from erosion.
An accountable franchise leader completes their assignments. They continuously monitor the entire operation, ensuring that the financial balance between the support promised to franchisees and the cash flow necessary to provide that support is maintained. They have read the manuals, sat in on training sessions, read the most recent UFOC, and participated in the sales process to gain a thorough understanding of “the system” they are offering.
A successful franchise leader knows their audience, who to sell and how to replicate success infinite times. No buyers who are incapable or unwilling to execute the business’s tasks require a wise and firm boss (usually sales-oriented). To maintain effective communication and mutual respect, the leader must select management and support employees that complement the franchisees’ personalities. Finally, they try to avoid bureaucracy by empowering the support crew to help franchisees make decisions.
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