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Five Keys to Positive Franchise Relations

by Ed Teixeira

Positive franchise relations are a necessary component of a successful franchise system. Learn how to achieve positive franchise relations.

One of the most important attributes of a franchise system is to have positive franchise relations. Itís a subject often written about and yet the components of franchise relations are fairly simple.

There are five ingredients to a positive franchise relations program:

1.     Franchisee profitability represents the very foundation of a successful franchise program. Without profitable franchisees, there will be a lack of franchise growth, poor franchise relations and more likely than not an atmosphere of negativism surrounding the franchise system. From personal experience, I can say that without profitable franchisees all of the meetings, conferences and webinars will not lead to positive franchise relations, unless it leads to further action by the franchisor.

2.     Have a vehicle that provides franchisees an opportunity to present further complaints or concerns to senior franchisor management. There ought to be a timely response to franchisee complaints. Itís not a strict requirement to have a franchise advisory council or independent franchisee association, although it can certainly help. In fact a recent analysis of several hundred successful franchise systems revealed that half had no organized franchise association. The reason is most likely that profitable franchisees satisfied with the financial performance of their franchise have far less complaints than others.

3.     Communicate any impending or scheduled changes in franchise marketing, operations or advertising to the franchisees promptly. Donít let the news out via the franchise grapevine. A good suggestion is to have a franchise marketing committee that includes franchisor and franchisee representatives. The key message is to keep franchisees involved in the process.

4.     Recognize significant franchisee performance on a regular basis. Using newsletters, bulletins and conferences to recognize franchisees is an important component of a franchise relations program. Recognition shouldnít be limited to the annual convention. The benefits go beyond recognizing franchisee performance since it can motivate other franchisees and encourage them to contact the top franchisees for advice and tips.

5.     Put franchisor egos aside when needed. Iíve observed a number of instances when a key representative of franchisor senior management refuses to acknowledge or accept criticism of the system until a mini-insurrection arises.

The road to positive franchise relations starts with profitable franchisees and travels along a path of franchisor communication, a willingness to consider change and openness between the parties.

© 2015 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow.com and Chief Operating Officer, FranchiseGrade.com. He is a former franchise executive and franchisee. He can be contacted at 631-246-5782 or at  franchiseknowhow@gmail.com



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