Ask an Expert November/December 2017

Q. As a franchisee, how can I take advantage of the strength of the franchise network?

There’s nothing quite like being part of a group working together towards reaching common goals. This is one of the unique advantages of being part of a franchise network – you immediately have teammates who are already successful or are shooting towards the same success.

Here are four ways you can take advantage of your franchise network:

  1. Apply practical advice to improve your business by attending the franchise’s annual conference

Every franchise should have some form of an annual conference. These conferences exist to give the members of the franchise team a chance to get together to educate the franchise system as a group, and to develop the respective businesses to make more money.

At your annual conference, you’ll discover several avenues to gain applicable knowledge for your franchise business. These include:

  • Franchisor-planned agenda – The franchise support team will schedule sessions introducing new initiatives that support marketing, financial management, operations, and business planning
  • Franchise operator-led presentations and discussions – Whether it’s in the form of a panel discussion or individual presentation, a good franchisor will seek the participation of their most successful franchise operators to share advice and best practices in managing their franchise
  • Roundtable sessions – Typically, two to five hours of the planned agenda will be allocated to roundtable sessions. These six to 10 tables are comprised of a handful of franchise operators to discuss the topic associated with that table for 30-45 minutes. The topics can include new franchise programs, financial management, marketing, employee relations, operations, etc.
  • At the bar – No, seriously: the real discussions will happen at the bar, where you can absorb many of the best practices you will immediately be able to apply to your business. So grab a frosty one for you and one of your more successful peers, and talk shop for the night

It’s all about building relationships with individuals who have the same common goals as you do. Harness all the knowledge shared at annual conferences, and apply it to your franchise.

  1. Reap the benefits of regular discussions with your fellow franchise operators

In any franchise system, certain franchise operators will naturally gravitate towards one another. This could be a function of like-mindedness, geographic proximity, shared training, or several other factors.

Make it part of your general management practice to connect with one or a few franchise operators on a regular basis to discuss successes and failures in marketing, employee management, financial investments, franchise support, etc.

Remember, you’re not on an island by yourself; if everyone is open-minded about helping each other, this is a wonderful way to improve your business.

  1. Boost your morale by using internal sharing platforms

Whether it’s through an FTP site or social media group, many franchises have an internal communication platform to share news and updates within the franchise system.

Bin There Dump That uses a mobile app called Cluster to allow franchise operators and their key employees to share good news through the ‘Bin There Dump That Daily News.’ The BTDT Daily News is restricted to only sharing good news, making it a powerful way to build camaraderie between franchise team members. And, it’s not restricted to just franchise operators; franchisees’ employees are also invited to collaborate, as they are the ones in the field, providing the service or product to the customers.

  1. Benchmark against your peers in Peer Performance Group Programs

Peer Performance Group Programs (PPGs) gather similar franchises based on factors like geography, maturity, success, etc. to meet regularly (monthly, quarterly) to share key performance indicators (KPIs) with one another to help each franchisee benchmark against his or her peers.

Groups are limited to five to seven members, and the conference calls and webinars are structured around benchmarking through the sharing of KPIs and best practices to help improve their businesses.

The groups are moderated and facilitated through the franchise support team. If PPGs currently do not exist in your franchise system, suggest to the franchise support team that it implement the program, as it will be a significant boon to the franchise system.

If you’re part of a good franchise company, the power of the network is unmeasurable. Take advantage of it!

John Ferracuti (The Franchise Coach)
Chief Operating Officer
Bin There Dump That

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