BlogFranchiseesBuilding Strong Franchisee-Franchisor Relationships: A Practical Guide

Building Strong Franchisee-Franchisor Relationships: A Practical Guide

Men shaking hands in franchisee-franchisor relationship

Building strong franchisee-franchisor relationships is crucial for the success and growth of any franchise system, whether you’re in the food & beverage, retail, medical, or any other industry. For a franchisor, it can be said that the franchisee is the most important customer you can have. In order for your franchise to grow, the relationship and support you offer your franchisees can have a direct impact on the health and success of both parties’ businesses.

To help you in your quest to grow your business and maintain a healthy relationship with your franchisees, here are a few best practices for fostering a strong franchisor-franchisee relationship that we have heard from some of our many customers.  

Clear Communication

We all know that communication is crucial to the success of any relationship. For a franchisee-franchisor relationship, here are a few more specific ways you can enable healthy communication.

Set Transparent Expectations: Begin by clearly communicating expectations, guidelines, and performance metrics during the sales process, before the franchising agreement is finalized. This includes outlining the responsibilities of both parties, financial expectations, operational standards, as well as communication expectations moving forward. Transparency builds trust and minimizes misunderstandings, and setting the tone early on will help both of you, as well as minimizing potential risks.

Share Regular Updates: Keep franchisees informed about any business changes, be it in marketing strategies, product offerings, or operational procedures. Regular updates and communication create a sense of inclusion and shared vision, fostering a cooperative environment. Overcommunication can help to break down barriers and build trust, to ensure everyone is on the same page. Emails and newsletters are a quick and easy way to update all of your franchisees on a weekly basis, while in-person events can be more spaced out but offer great networking opportunities for franchisees to learn from each other.

Enable Feedback Mechanisms: Implement effective feedback mechanisms to gather valuable input from franchisees. Demonstrating a willingness to act on this feedback underscores its significance and shows that franchisees’ opinions are valued. Make sure your franchisees know who they should go to with questions or concerns. 

Training and Support 

Once the Franchise agreement is signed, your work is just beginning. Franchisees need to be trained and supported throughout your relationship, not just once when they sign on.

Develop Comprehensive Training Programs: Develop thorough initial and ongoing training programs for franchisees to ensure they are well-prepared to operate the business successfully and adhere to brand standards. For more seasoned franchisees, invite them to join the training programs again every few years as desired. More training is always welcome, and will benefit both parties, in addition to helping your franchisees build stronger relationships with each other during these sessions. 

Enable Accessible Support Systems: Establish reliable support systems, including online resources, a strong franchisee organization, and regular field visits. Proactive support can swiftly address issues, preventing them from escalating. Supporting and promoting participation in franchisee councils will help your franchisees grow together, so encourage participation.

Once these councils are operating, make sure your team is listening to those council members. You are giving your franchisees a voice to collectively work with you to improve operations, but you need to be an active listener with whatever concerns or suggestions they bring to the table. 

Improving Operations & Ensuring Growth Between Franchisee and Franchisor

If your franchisee is in fact your best customer, it’s important to stay involved in their operations to help them grow. Here are a few ways you can help:

Tools & Technologies: Provide franchisees with essential tools and technologies to aid their success. Whether covered by your technology fee or through a preferred vendor agreement, ensure franchisees have access to top-notch tools, and offer training and support for their effective use. New franchisees may not know exactly what tools are available to them or will help grow their business, so help them understand what you or your more experienced franchisees may already know.

Location Management & Assurance: One of the worst mistakes a new franchisee can make is forgetting a lease renewal date, permit expiration date, or other important date. And once the franchisee is beyond a handful of locations, remembering all of these dates can be cumbersome among all the other responsibilities the franchisee needs to handle. Offering your franchisees a recommended lease management software like Leasecake can help minimize the risk of oversights that could impact their locations, such as losing a location or missing a renewal date.

Remember, your franchisees are integral partners in your business, and success hinges on the strength of these relationships. By offering the right support, maintaining open communication, and providing essential tools, you pave the way for mutual success and growth within your franchise system. Be a guiding force, ensuring your franchise remains a successful venture for everyone involved.

Leasecake is a lease management platform built for restaurant and retail franchisees and franchisors. Our software is used by growing companies to track every date, dollar and document from all your locations, so you can save time and never miss a lease renewal again.

Would you like to learn more? Let’s schedule a demo to show you just how easy we can make lease management, so you never lose your best performing location.

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