Strong Communication and a Similar Vision Contribute to Success for Franchisors and Franchisees
In business, relationships are everything. This is especially true in franchising. One of the benefits of being a franchisee is that you are supported and trained by a franchisor, who has done the hard work of creating a successful, replicable business. This symbiotic relationship is a win-win for both parties when done correctly.
Thus, franchise businesses cannot be successful without strong franchisee - franchisor relationships. Becoming a franchise owner can change your life in positive ways but how can you ensure that you won’t end up at odds with your franchisor? Here are some ways to improve the franchisor - franchisee relationship.
Do What is Promised
The franchisor and franchisee relationship is governed by the mutual trust and respect they have for each other. Ideally, the franchisor and franchisee will each deliver what is expected of each other. Franchisor responsibilities include providing support and training. Franchisee responsibilities include paying royalty fees as outlined in the franchise agreement. Most franchisors and franchisees are successful when they hold up their end of the deal.
Have Open Communication
The foundation of the franchisee and franchisor relationship should be strong, open communication. If you have any questions about an aspect of the franchise business, the franchisor should be there to help you when you need it. For example, many franchisors have hotlines that you can call 24-7 and will also have your email address and phone number to ensure transparency and easy access.
Franchisors should also be consistent with communication and explain the reasoning behind changes or modifications to the model. Consistency builds trust in the franchisor and franchisee relationship and ensures that you and other business owners aren't frustrated and experience miscommunication. Since it is your business, you should alert your franchisor when something isn’t working in your market/location or if your needs aren’t being met.
It would also be beneficial if franchisors made a point of setting designated times to communicating with franchisees. The franchisor should be aware of how you and other franchisees in the system speak. For example, does the franchisor use the same terminology that you do? Do they use abbreviations when speaking with vendors and customers like you do? Is there slang that is specific to a region that will improve communication? This could help you achieve the ideal franchisor and franchisee relationship.
Share a Similar Vision
Having similar values - either in faith or mission - is also important. Before you invest in a franchise, make sure you have similar values and ideals with the franchisor. After all, it’s your business. With that in mind, you would not want to negatively impact the brand’s image by speaking out against the franchisor's deeply held beliefs or values. An example would be discussing abortion if the franchisor is religious. There should also be a plan to execute this vision. Plans that succeed are time specific, realistic, and measurable. It should also be articulately expressed to ensure everyone involved understands what needs to be done and what is expected.
Work Together for Positive Change
The franchisor and franchisee relationship is symbiotic, so don’t be afraid to voice a creative idea to your franchisor when you have one. As a franchisee, you can work together with your franchisor to brainstorm for positive change and growth. Oftentimes, franchisees bring the best ideas and innovations into the franchise. For example, if you notice that there are marketing or fundraising opportunities for the brand, talk to your franchisor about it. You will know your customers and market best.
Don’t Get Complacent
Investing in a franchise doesn't mean the business will run by itself. You have to work the business, make connections and go all-in to be successful. Same goes for franchisors because they have to keep up on trends, technology and the changing needs of customers. Feeding off of each other’s ideas will ensure that the business’ growth won't be hindered by complacency. Also, take the time to celebrate wins and learn from losses. The ideal franchisor - franchisee relationship cannot be achieved if either party is holding a grudge or harbors anger toward the other.
Franchisee vs. Franchisor: How to Achieve the Ideal Relationship
To achieve the ideal franchisor and franchisee relationship, communication and sharing a similar vision are key. Franchisors and franchisees also have to do what is promised including paying and collecting royalties. Both parties need each other in order for the business to succeed. With an expected $860.1 billion in economic output in 2023, franchise brands only succeed when franchisor and franchisees have strong relationships.