“Many challenges in franchise systems can be avoided if franchisors and franchisees have more open and frequent communication, mutual respect and transparency.” Charles S. Modell
Like any other relationship, your relationship with your Franchisor has to be nurtured and work on. A Franchisor needs to believe in your ability to run the business he or she is entrusting you with. The biggest hurdle faced is that of trust. A psychologist and an international expert in franchising relationships, Greg Nathan, shares “If you are responsible for franchise sales, assume most franchise buyers will be somewhat wary when first dealing with you. Not only is this normal, it is probably a positive sign you are dealing with someone with sound business acumen.”
Here are some pointers to ensure you are doing what needs to be done to build your bonds of trust:
- Clear Line of Communication: Like any other relationship that is new, here also, use clear lines of communication. You might be tempted to make amendments or alternations, but best is to clearly ask, consult and converse with your franchisor or the representative. Remember, your franchisor needs to feel rest assured that you are going to maintain the brand integrity.
- Respect and Gratitude: A lot of sweat and blood has gone into building what the franchisor is offering you. Have the attitude of gratitude here, and accept that you will probably be building over and above the structure that has been given to you; with restrictions that come with the Franchise, you have bought.
- Nurturing and More Nurturing: Keep in constant touch with the Franchisor. Get to know him and the business he is in. You should be aware of the brand philosophy and ensure that you are keeping a close watch on the developments in the related area of business. Attend the monthly meetings and development sessions to give the feeling that you are not on your own but working alongside the brand’s larger vision.
- Restrained Leadership: A Franchise is a unique model of leadership. Here you are the master of your own show, and yet not completely independent. The best advantage is that you are not might not be bothered on a day to day functioning but a Franchisor may wish to see your standard operating procedures, peep into your pedagogy usage (if you are running a preschool) and so on and so forth. Be always ready for such surprise visits and inspections. Remember, you are actually looking after someone else’s baby on that person’s behalf. So while you might feel possessive, your open attitude will go a long way in strengthening your long-term association with the brand and the franchisor in totality.