Do you want to build a successful franchise network?
The best way to do it is to learn how to motivate franchisees. Because a motivated franchisee is a profitable franchisee. To motivate your franchise owners, you'll need to think about their goals...
The first is simple, and pretty much universal:
Every franchisee wants to build a business which will make them money.
But more than that, they'll want to be able to do it quickly, and with as little effort as possible. In short, everyone wants the simple solution. The easy win.
That's the long-term goal though. What really motivates franchisees day-to-day? How can you help them to help you grow your franchise?
1. Give them a development planInformation is the friend of understanding.
If your franchisee is expecting to be rich tomorrow, they're not going to be satisfied with the slow, steady growth that you expect with your franchise model.
Make sure that your franchisees know how you expect their growth to happen. The more they know what to expect, the more they are going to understand that there's going to be a certain amount of grinding involved in order to achieve their goals.
The easiest way to do this is to...
2. Make a list of short-term goals
One of the key franchisee motivational factors you need to manage is expectation. By telling your franchisees precisely at what level and on what timeframe they should set those expectations, you're removing the chance of disappointment or disillusionment setting in later down the line.
Larger goals tend to seem ephemeral in the day to day work of running a business. That's why having goals which are set up to be targetable and achievable on a regular basis are vital. It's the same basic psychology that a huge number of systems - from distance learning courses to video games - are set up to take advantage of.
This means setting goals for your franchisees. Short-term goals which can be regularly achieved. These should be carefully set out in your development plan (see Tip #1) so that a franchisee understands how their efforts fit into their overall progress, and how close the rewards of achieving that progress are.
Whether this is on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily basis, having a clear progression plan laid out is exactly what most franchisees need.
Of course, the little everyday things which are part and parcel of operating any business are going to remain important. But by having a series of short-term goals to work towards, your franchisees will see something bright at the end of their daily grind tunnel.
3. Talk about any problems
Having good franchise network communication systems in place is always going to stand you in good stead. And rarely more so than when problems arise. Such as when one of your franchisees routinely fails to reach their goals...
Discussing issues like this can still be done in a positive, supportive way. Perhaps your franchisee has a gap in their skillset that your franchise training systems failed to identify? Maybe your new sales drive calls for them to implement a tactic which they have no experience with?
By talking supportively about the problem directly, you not only work to solve this problem - thus keeping this franchisee a profitable part of your network - you also make them happy to come to you before any issue becomes a serious problem next time.
Proper communication channels are a key part of optimising franchise performance.
4. Make tasks manageable
In Tip #2 we formulated a series of short-term goals as a way of keeping franchisee motivation high. Now we're going to consider how to break these down even further. The goal?
It can be immensely off-putting to anyone - let alone a new franchisee - to be presented with a huge monolithic goal to accomplish. By breaking this goal down, firstly into short-term goals, and then into daily activities, these goals become very manageable. They then become streamlined and, eventually, second-nature.
This can also help with resolving the problems discussed in Tip #3. Because if one of your franchisees is struggling with a certain responsibility, starting them off slowly - with proper support, training, and a low-level goal to accomplish on a daily basis - is always going to be better than simply demanding they achieve their targets without any of the above.
5. Make your system part of your brand
Remember that your franchisees aren't just buying into your franchise because of your name. That may be a part of it, but a much larger factor in their decision will be access to the proven and effective systems you've developed for the day-to-day running of an effective business in your industry.
Being able to follow a clearly laid-out plan that's part of the system they've bought into is a great way of enhancing franchisee commitment to your brand. As well as making their day-to-day operations more efficient, simpler, and therefore more profitable.
Most people like to do things the easy way. By making your way the easiest, you give your franchisees every reason to do things as you want them done - to the letter. At least in the beginning...
Once a franchisee becomes familiar with how your system works in relation to their particular market, they can then make some fine edits to improve its effectiveness if necessary.
Make sure your franchisees know that they should discuss any changes like this with you before implementing them. This gives you a chance to ensure they're cohesive with your overall brand.
6. Support new franchisees with a mentor systemThis can be an equally helpful system to help existing lower-achieving franchisees.
A mentor - in the shape of a successful franchisee who's "grown up" in your network using your system - is ideal for both new and struggling franchisees for a number of reasons:
- Less pressure - a franchisee facing problems won't feel like they're laying out all of their faults in front of the "big boss" if they have a mentor they can talk to. This will make it easier for them to be honest about what's going wrong, and get the problem resolved faster.
- More support - a new franchisee will get the support they need without needing to call head office every time.
- Tangible proof - any successful franchisee mentor you send to a struggling or new franchise in your network is concrete proof that your system does work when it's implemented correctly.
7. Reward success and give recognitionWondering how to inspire franchise owners?
Competition breeds commitment.
Set up a rewards system for your franchisees. Each system should be checked for fairness - so that everyone has a chance at winning - and designed with a goal that meshes well with and furthers your overall business goals.
Here are some solid ways to gamify your franchise system:
- One-off network-wide or regional competitions
- Achievement levels with rewards in place every time a franchisee "levels up"
- Competition ideas along the lines of "employee of the month" designed to be implemented by individual franchisees at their locations
By offering prizes - as well as that all-important recognition - you're giving your franchisees and their staff more reason to commit to your system.
8. Keep it simple
If your system is too complicated for you to easily explain, it's probably too complicated for someone else to easily understand.
With the amount of information that will already be bombarding your new franchisees every day, having a straightforward system to fall back on will be all the more valuable to them.
This means one thing above all else:
You need to keep your system simple.
Anything else, and you risk a franchisee either coming up with their own ways to perform a task, or failing to complete that task at all.
By doing things this way you're encouraging a franchisee to engage with your system, and you're also likely to save yourself a whole lot of time and money.
9. Commit together
As an experienced franchisor, you'll know that the relationships you have with those in your network are never a one-way street.
Encourage those on your network to commit to you, and discover how to properly motivate franchisees, when you show how much you've committed yourself:
Show them what the future has in store. Set short-term goals, and make sure those goals are achievable and manageable. Talk about any problems they have, and provide mentors to guide them along their way. Make your system part of your brand, and reward your franchisees when they achieve success.
Because when it comes to success, working together is the way to get there.
How to Motivate Franchisees - Build a Franchise That Works
Learn more about what really motivates franchisees:
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