Franchising necessitates the regular transfer of franchisorâ€™s expertise to franchisees in running a franchise which is not possible without efficient communication. The success lies in selecting the right mode of communication at the right time in right
Effectiveness of communication entirely depends up on the medium through which it travels across the sender (franchisor) and receiver (franchisee). Franchising unlike any other business involves continuous interaction to achieve franchise goals. Choice of a medium has a high impact on the sustainability of any best franchise business. Franchising involves all mode of communication from face to face interaction, which is one of the most traditional modes of communication, to other mediums like telephonic interaction, technology enhanced communication, written communication and so on. This article highlights how franchisors perceive the availability of different modes and are using such modes to gain maximum benefits.
Most Viable Mediums of Communication
Before analysing the various modes of communication and the advantages of each medium, let us first take a look at the various modes of communication available today:
Face to face communication: It is also called as one to one interaction. It can be conducted in two ways: verbal and non verbal.
Written communication: It involves formal letters like applying for a franchise, franchise agreement, documentation, legal framing etc.
Technology based communication: It stands for online interaction, telephonic interaction, Interaction via internet or intranet, and video conferencing etc.
Selecting the Right Medium
Choice of medium of communication is vital in franchise opportunities as each medium acts differently in different situation. For example, use of face to face interaction is a convenient tool for selecting potential franchisees. Whether as, e-mails facilitate franchisors to maintain vigilance on their franchisees who are spread at different geographic locations. Every single medium serves a definite purpose. Highlighting the importance of purpose of communication while selecting the medium Govind Raj V, VP, Integrated Retail Services-Titan Industries Ltd utters, “To be clear on the purpose of the communication is important. The medium to be used should be based on the purpose.” Regarding choice of mediums for different purposes, Govind Raj further elaborates, “The choice of medium of communication will depend on what needs to be communicated. If the message is of great significance it may best be a face to face meeting, if it is a formal communication it would be written and if it is one to get an update it could be telephonic.”
Amount of investment required in utilising various mediums of communication is another factor that franchisors need to consider. The use of multiple medium requires huge investment. Investing in multiple modes is often perceived as a complete waste by some of the franchisors. However, regarding the importance of investment Nanette D’Sa, CEO, Brainworks says, “Thinking strategically and acting with a long term view of the business is paramount to maximising the investment made in any medium.”
Selecting Situation Based Mode of Communication
As franchise opportunities involve regular uninterrupted communication between the franchisor and the franchisees so all the communication mediums are relevant depending upon the situation. While face to face interaction is a convenient tool for selecting potential franchisees, e-mails facilitate franchisors to maintain vigilance on their franchisees that are spread at different geographic locations. Every single medium serves a definite purpose. Let us find out the advantages of different mediums in regard to franchising:
For Healthy Long Term Relationship
Face to face communication is one of the richest medium of human interaction. Franchisors today perceive them as the most reliable medium for generating information, as well as maintaining long term relation. Face to face involves both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal communication: Verbal communication lays the foundation of a healthy franchisee-franchisor relationship. According to Samit Lakhotia, Co-Founder & Director Strategy & Business Development, ClubLaptop, “Effective verbal communication is highly required in maintaining a healthy relation with the franchisees. Franchisor should always promote regular verbal discussions with the franchisees as it helps in passing on the message straight to the franchisees without creating any confusion. We have experienced that many franchisees are not good at putting words on paper or mail and they shy to communicate with us. Regular verbal discussions help in sorting out the discussions fast.” Thus, verbal communication facilitates relationship between the franchisor and franchisee on a long term basis.
Non-verbal communication: Non-verbal communication unlike verbal communication does not involve speech or words; rather involves wordless messages received through gestures, body movements, facial expressions, tone of voice, postures, clothing, and even hairstyle. Franchisors while looking for their prospective franchisee reply mostly on non-verbal cues. Lakhotia further says, “Body language of a prospective franchisee reflects his interest levels & his inclination to know more about the business model. We deal in service industry and we need people who are geared up to cater to the requirements of the service industry. A soothing, confident and calm body language helps us in judging whether the person is suitable for the service industry or not.” Non-verbal cues help the franchisor decide whether the franchisee is worth of his words or not.
For Authenticity and Safe Record Proceedings
Written form of communication is extremely vital for documentation, legal proceedings, and franchise agreement. Vishal Gulati, CEO, Laksh Staffing Solution says, “It is as important as 'salt' in any flavoured Indian cuisine, and one should not move ahead in any business without any written communication. Further Gaurav Aggrawal, Director, Laksh Staffing Solution states, “Written communication is the medium used mostly for formal letters and invitation etc., where authenticity is an issue or where documentation is mandatory.” Thus, written communication helps to have in place a safe record of all the verbal matter in a written form in the success of any best franchise option.
For Fast Communication and Instant Feedback
Technology-mediated communication offers wide range of advantages over other mediums. Like, any time anywhere communication and instant feedback mechanism are some of its advantages. CMC includes various aspects like interaction carried out via internet or intranet, video conferencing and so on. Aggrawal elaborates, “In this era of fast communication, the phone usually becomes the most convenient medium, but since long telephonic conversations may hamper productivity, it is usually better to put ideas or opinions through the internet, which apart from the fact that they look professional are also good for the sake of records and archiving.” Also, Gulati states, “Internet (email) being the most effective and used methodology these days, it helps to have a clear communication of thoughts/commitments and that too in writing.”
Using a single medium for carrying out multiple tasks takes away its credibility as well as its effectiveness. Thus, in order to ensure smooth functioning of any best franchise business, one needs to take an integrated approach towards selecting the most appropriate medium for carrying out various business operations. Mediums when used judiciously are sure to give its share of profits.