Ask an Expert January/February 2018

Q. As a franchisee, how should my franchisor be supporting my business?

Franchising is an exciting way to pursue new career opportunities, but it’s imperative that a franchisee partners with a franchisor who will provide the ongoing support required to achieve their desired success.

Franchisees need to do their due diligence to partner with a franchisor who shares their values, and who will support their professional growth. A franchisor-franchisee partnership is a relationship that requires open, honest communication. A franchisor should also share the franchisee’s goals for the business and be prepared to offer reciprocal support to help in achieving them.

Prior to embarking on any sort of franchisee partnership, it’s also useful for a prospective franchisee to meet with current franchisees involved in the company they’d like to invest in, to learn about their experience with the franchisor. These meetings will highlight important information about franchisor support, corporate culture, and the resources in place to help the business operate successfully. They should also outline the number of franchisees who are multi-unit operators, as this is a strong indicator of the franchise’s overall success, and of how successful a franchisee can be under the franchisor’s guidance.

A franchisee shouldn’t be afraid to ask a prospective franchisor about their communication procedures. For example, do they have an open-door policy for inquiries? How often do they like to meet face to face with franchisees? Other communication channels a franchisor should have in place to support franchisees are access to annual conferences, smaller regional meetings, regular training updates, operations procedures, and marketing support —all of which will help a franchisee develop their professional skills, learn from their franchisor, and find solutions to any issues that may arise.

Franchisor support is key at any stage of the partnership, but it’s particularly crucial during the early stages, as a franchisee begins to build their business and familiarize themselves with the franchise’s procedures. The franchisor should conduct regular on-site visits to address franchisee concerns, and to make sure they’re successfully implementing procedures. These visits are also an opportunity for the franchisor and franchisee to build their professional and personal relationship, for the franchisor to provide constructive feedback, and for both parties to address any concerns head-on.

A franchisor should also conduct regular reviews of the company’s operational systems to keep the business running smoothly, and to provide ongoing operational support for their franchisee. Franchisors should also support their franchisees’ personal journeys, keeping them informed about internal promotion opportunities, helping them become multi-unit operators, and rewarding career milestones, which will help build morale and make sure the franchisee feels valued.

Franchisees should grow in tandem with the business, and a strong franchisor should work closely with franchisees to help them clearly outline and achieve their goals. It’s also beneficial to provide opportunities for the franchisee, encouraging them to seek out and engage in professional development, regardless of the stage of their career.

Franchisor support is critical every step of the way, and this support should be evident from day one. The more supported a franchisee feels, the more likely they are to remain invested in the business, to grow both personally and professionally, and to achieve long-term success.

Rick Villalpando
Senior Vice President
RAMMP Hospitality Brands

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