Franchising requires a franchisor to be tactful, empathetic and diplomatic in order to co-ordinate and manage his franchise business. Franchisor leadership is the single most effective factor that holds paramount significance in retaining, maintaining and growing his franchise network simultaneously. Thus, successful franchise business to a great extent depends upon the effective leadership qualities of a franchisor. In defining the leadership qualities of a franchisor leadership, Rod Young, ED, DC Strategy says, “A good franchisor is the one who believes that helping franchisees get what they want will actually help them (franchisor) what they want, which is a valuable asset.” Thus, a good franchisor not only leads, but also motivates, and nurtures his franchisees to attain maximum organisational goals.
Extensive research has been carried out in defining effective franchisor leadership. The six most essential elements of effective leadership are as follows:
- Keeping the big picture in mind: A franchisor must have a clear mission and vision of the company. When an aspirant starts franchising, franchisor must clearly communicate his vision and mission in order to create a complete picture regarding the development of his franchise business. In this way, your franchisees unlike you, can avoid the initial hurdles.
- Laying the base of a strong relationship: The duty of the franchisor is to follow certain franchise legal rules that will help him in laying the foundation of a successful franchise system. It is imperative for the franchisor to gain the confidence of the franchisees since they are the driving force of his franchise business. Persistent success of a franchise business is possible only if your franchisees feel that they can trust you.
- Strategic planning: Make sure that the objectives of your company, customers and the franchisees are in line. You have to be very clear and vigilant while making strategies for your business expansion and growth.
- Instilling perseverance: With the changing socio-economic scenario in the broader market, a franchisor needs to ensure that the franchisees remain in the system and adapt readily to the changing environment. As the franchising business network grows, structural changes take place, so being a franchisor you have to instill strong determination to sell smoothly in this fierce competition.
- Conflict management: Conflicts arise when a group of people work together as every individual has his own needs, goals and approaches. So, being the leader of a franchise network, you should be able to identify the various needs and objectives of the franchisees and accordingly manage the conflicts.
- Franchisor’s hat: Wearing a franchisor’s hat is not an ordinary task. Managing a franchising business network is equally important for a franchisor as building it. A sound franchise network not just clinches new entrepreneurs into it but also ensures good returns. A good franchisor thus, must organise, evaluate, motivate and guide the franchisees to achieve maximum benefits.
These six elements constitute the valuable headship of the franchisor. But if a franchisor fails to lead effectively then it can completely ruin the brand value and screw-up the whole franchise system. As Young says, “A good franchising is so much better than independent small business operations but a bad franchising is so much worse.”
In short, effective leadership qualities of a franchisor can bring committed franchisees to the franchise businesses network, thereby turning his mission and vision into reality.