There are many different circumstances that can and do impact on the leadership of a franchise.
Divorce, health, family incidents and life in general, can all contribute to the underperformance of a business.
It is not a conscious decision made by the franchisee to start underperforming. Sometimes a small problem left unaddressed can snowball into a bigger problem leaving the franchisee feeling helpless and out of control.
People also fall out of love and business owners fall out of love with their businesses, their teams and their franchisor.
Why, when, what and how does our franchise community pull together to support the brand leader to step into the next
stage of their business life with a set of skills which has made them wiser, stronger and driven with purpose to succeed?
Franchisors, is your system prepared to endure the falling out of love stage?
Do you have support staff that are dependable and equipped to live the pain, listen, add value and walk hand in hand with the franchisee to help them through this stage?
Success in these processes can be measured by a franchisee that is reconnected, re-engaged and ready to drive their franchise with passion and guts once again or a franchisee who departs with integrity and a willingness to look back and thank your system for everything it has provided, including the end chapter.
The average franchise system has a policy, procedure and program to manage under performance. This process is to manage the franchisee, however too often the process kicks in too late. The wildcard factor is whether or not the field coach kicks into gear when the warning signs are clear and well before despair. We know that we have to have a hard conversation but avoid doing so because we do not know how.
The signs are simple, the business is not delivering the results, the franchisee is nowhere to be found or cannot be reached, the staff are doing the bare minimum, the creditors are calling and finally, when you walk into the business, it is dead, no heartbeat and no care factor, just like an abandoned home.
You think something is wrong? Of course it is.
You need to do something, you need to start life support for the system but do you have a system plan in place to facilitate this?
It should not take a strong, well branded and equipped franchise system weeks or months to stand up and take action.
If it takes leaders of the brand months to sign off on a local area marketing campaign to support traffic, weeks to return the call to a simple sign off on sponsorship or where the operations team thought it was alright to not bother visiting a franchisee for thirty-eight months, you need to ask whether you think this is good franchisee citizenship and acceptable for your system?
Business dynamics can change in hours and days, not weeks or months. How out of touch is your system to your franchise?
The trick is to stay connected!
Call, write, visit, text; stay connected with your franchisees more frequently. Don’t do it out of obligation, but do it because you care and value their buy in with the brand you are growing and leading.
Stay connected with the care factor. Do you care about their lives, their networks, their business interest, their wellness, and the things that rock their world? Have you asked them what gets them out of bed each day and what purpose and goals they have?
It is not your audit tool, sales chart or analytics that is the motivation that drives peak performance. These are the by-products of owning the business. It is their purpose and their goal both personally and professionally that motivates them and this is why you need to show that you are interested and that you care.
FC Business Solutions can advise and assist in ensuring that you have systems in place to address and support underperforming franchisees.