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Franchising is NOT a Parent Child Relationship

Let’s clear the air about what the franchise relationship really is about and if when franchising you are in a sense managing children. When contemplating whether or not to franchise your business you may be thinking that if you franchise you are entering into a parent child relationship. Well that is dead wrong!

Perception Change and Attitude Adjustment

If you have the attitude that managing franchisees are like managing children then bottom line you should NOT franchise. If you have the perception that franchising will equate to managing children then allow us to spend a couple minutes to enlighten you. Franchisees are motivated people who have a strong desire to own a business without having to go through all the mud puddles, challenges and headaches associated with starting a business. These people are entrepreneurs and are looking to you for answers, a coach and mentor. You role as a franchisor is to shepherd these newly minted business owners through the process of how to start up and effectively operate your business in their area (read more about your Role as a Franchisor). How many mentors do you know who motivate their followers by acting inferior or treating them like children?

Loyalty is not built on intimidation, fear or threats, but from trust, understanding and respect. If you are thinking of franchising your business then you must first accept that it is the franchisee who will determine your success and your relationship with them will determine their happiness. It all starts with how your franchise is built, how it is structured and how the relationship is laid out (learn more about How to Franchise) all of which sets the tone.

Set Rules and Empower Franchisees

The franchise relationship is spelled out in the Franchise Disclosure Document (known as the FDD) where expectations must be set and standards must be followed (learn more about the Elements of a Franchise Disclosure Document) . However, the key is developing a franchise structure that not only covers the rules of engagement but is also franchise friendly (read more about Creating Franchise Friendly Programs). Then is it is all about execution.  That’s right motivating these entrepreneurs, who are adults, have invested tons of money and time to learn your business, master operations and become successful. And if you have do this well, not only will you have solid franchisee operators who are happy but also create a culture where franchisees want to expand and open more businesses.  So franchising is about setting rules, having a common understanding and empowering franchisees to run their own business and experience success. Franchising NOT a draconian relationship built on threats, fear or intimidation.  Nope it is the opposite. A relationship built on mutual understanding, mentorship and support all geared towards helping franchisees excel.

Bottom line is that a franchise system is only as successful as their worst performing franchisee. Your goal must be to have each franchisee be a raving fan of your company. No matter how flexible or strict your franchise program, consistency and minimum requirements must be maintained. The trick is understanding how you are going to accomplish this without making these entrepreneurs feel like children while continuing to motivate and support them. It’s all in your systems and the culture you create. After all, it all starts with YOU.

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