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Dec, 10 2012

Significance of a franchise manager

The role of a franchise manager is vital for an organisation as he sets the tone for the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. He empathises with the investor and helps him in choosing the right franchise business, even as he ensures tha

FRANCHISE managers are the ones who organise and plan the franchising department of an organisation. They ensure that franchisees receive the organisation's message regarding business strategy, promotions and products. The franchise manager offers support to franchisees, which ensures the overall success of the organisation. He is responsible for all renewals and license enforcement. He is also responsible for franchise contracts with franchise stores to ensure their participation, maintaining of company guidelines and in eliciting their cooperation so that company values are adhered to and its agendas are fulfilled.

The franchise manager is the face of the organisation and he should be empathic to the investor who is seeking an opportunity to become an entrepreneur by investing his hard-earned money in a product or services franchise. Therefore, the responsibility of the franchise manager is to help the entrepreneur choose the right franchise business. He should not sell a franchise for the sake of targets. He should serve the interest of the franchisor by selecting the right investor for the brand. The task of evaluating the investor before making him an entrepreneur lies with the franchise manager. The franchise manager should be a person of high calibre, which will require him to be familiar with psychology to assess the investor and his seriousness with respect to the business.

Professional to the core

Today there are many investors who have the money to invest and they want to invest the same in some business for their spouse or a relative who has not been able to find a job or for other reasons they want to own an enterprise of their own. In other words, the person who wants to take a franchise is clear about his intentions to help either his spouse or a relative. But, if the franchise manager gets carried away by the looks and knowledge of the investor without figuring out who is going to run the business, it might turn out to be a bad choice of a franchisee. Many franchising businesses fail because the investor acts only as an investor and does not run the business. This affects not only the investor but it also affects the brand. The selection of a franchisee should be based on a solid process so as to scrutinise the investor, which will benefit both the franchisor and the franchisee in the long run. The franchise manager is just like a middleman who plays a vital role in the alliance-seeking activity for a man and a woman to be wedded. All facts must be laid on the table before 'marrying' the franchisor and the franchisee. The franchise manager needs to be honest with himself and the organisation he works for and needs to rise above all relations to be a thorough professional to help both the franchisor and the franchisee succeed in their business objectives.

The franchise manager must reveal all the facts to the franchisee without any hidden agenda and should not promise 'the moon'. He should help the investor take the right decision. Once the investor, who has the option to take any franchise business, is in a position to take a well-informed decision, since the franchise manager has been honest in his dealing to close a sale, the investor will decide keeping in mind the returns he will get as well as think of what the franchisor will do to help his business. He will remember what the franchise manager had stated and will take the final decision. The franchise manager is the one who helps the investor take the right decision for his venture.

Essential skills of a franchise manager

The franchise manager should be able to put himself in the investor's shoes and think, if he were taking a franchise business, what he would expect from the franchisor. And if he finds the offer convincing, will he invest and buy the franchise? If he puts himself in that position and sells the opportunity, he will make the choice of selecting the right franchisee by assessing the attitude and the financial capability of the franchisee with regard to investing in the business, before signing up. If the manager believes in his organisation's capability to deliver what is promised while signing the agreement, he will be confident to sell the concept to the franchisee. Therefore empathy, communication skills, business acumen, coordinating skills, project handling skills, event organising capacity, operational skills; branding, training, marketing and PR skills, are important for an efficient franchise manager. Beyond that he needs to have the grace to build a long-term relationship with the franchisee. Many organisations make their franchise mangers cut the relation off and transfer the job to the next set of people who have never built a relationship in the initial stages, and many managers do not even pick their calls after the sales are over. This will not help the cause of a good franchisee-franchisor relationship in the long run.

Bridge between franchisor & franchisee

The franchise manager is the bridge between the franchisor and the franchisee. The manager understands both parties well and should work towards their success. It should always be a win-win situation for both parties. The manager should look upon the franchisee as a customer and take any decision keeping this in mind to ensure the customer is benefitted and the organisation the manager works for gains profits. If this concept is clear in the mind of the manager, the relationship will be rock solid.

The franchise manager is the one who will be communicating the organisation's strategy to the franchisee and handholding him to success. He should understand the emotions of the investor in negotiating with the organisation so as to ensure his success in the venture by providing adequate help in the start-up stage of the business. The success of the franchisor lies in the success of the franchisee. Therefore, helping the franchisee so that he becomes successful is the key to the success of the franchisor and the franchise manager.

The franchise manager needs to look at the profit and loss account of the franchisee and suggest various marketing activities, along with the marketing team. He has the moral responsibility to help the franchisee, since he has sold the brand. He is also responsible for all the training needs of the franchisee. He needs to understand what kind of training the staff and the franchisee will require in areas such as marketing, finance, human resource, projects, etc. This will pave the way for the franchisee to become a better entrepreneur to run the brand.

In a nutshell, the franchise manager is the one who ensures a smooth transaction between the franchisor and the franchisee. He ensures that a good relationship is maintained between both the parties. The franchise manager should be loyal to the organisation he works for and is the key person to build the brand, along with the marketing or the brand manager, based on the feedback received from consumers and the franchisees. The franchise manager is an important person in the franchising business, both for the franchisor and the franchisee. A franchise manager with high integrity will scale the heights of his profession and will also be able to build brands. The franchise manager should be part of the system for a long period of time to establish stability for the organisation. That will ensure brand stability too.

About the Author

Chackochen Mathai with over 22 years of rich experience in the Franchising business world, is a renowned franchising coach.

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