4 Keys to Managing Your Franchise Network

Feb 5, 2013 in QSR, Retail

The power of your franchise network directly depends on how you integrate feedback systems into your franchise management processes. A clear and open chain of communication between franchisors, franchisees, managers, and every other employee level requires specific parameters and roles. In today’s market, being armed with the right location and brand (especially for the franchisee) are still very important, but having the right systems in place to capture real time execution data follows close behind (especially for franchisor execution). Keeping a current and watchful eye on your growing network is the only way to measure compliance, consistency, and long term success.

In WSJ’s How to Succeed as a Franchisee, they make this very point:

“Don’t forget: You have to follow the rules, too. Franchises aren’t designed for the independent-minded. They depend on a by-the-book execution of a business plan, adherence to time-tested systems, and a willingness to follow directions.”

This poses a challenge to the franchisor; putting the processes in place to train, maintain, and scale their current operations and systems requires some hard work. The focus should always be on compliance and consistency. Franchisors must rely on the factors that drove their initial success and learn from their failed mistakes during these crucial growth stages.

The NY Times had similar notes in their piece, Franchise Success Means Doing Things the Franchiser’s Way:

“The nice thing about franchises is you have an entrepreneur who has a product or a service and they have proven they can be successful selling it,” said Lawrence J. Cohen, president and chief executive of Cookie Associates, which owns 27 franchise stores including Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker and TCBY outlets. “They don’t guarantee success. But if you do it their way, your chances of success are far greater than if you do it on your own,” he says.

But the formula has a human element to it as well. “A lot of people do not pay attention to the people part of the business,” said Aslam Khan, who started as a dishwasher at a Church’s Chicken in 1987 and now owns 165 of the restaurants and employs 6,000 people. “Chicken doesn’t move by itself.”  Khan talks about how the right management and the right employees are a necessary factor for growth and success.

Coupled with the right brand and location, the following factors are key to successfully managing your franchise network:

  • Consistent customer service
  • A strong employee network
  • An engaged and well managed staff
  • Compliance with the franchisor

Franchise success relies on a very strong network.  It is essential to utilize current technologies to facilitate communication, enhance execution, increase accuracy, and manage consistency across your franchise network.