By F. Georges Sayegh
F. Georges Sayegh, A.S.D, C.ADM, FCMC of Quebec and Ontario, is a consultant in franchise and technology transfer and author of 18 books on franchising and associated businesses. To reach him: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel.: (514) 216-8458.
Any entrepreneur wishing to start a business through franchising will leave nothing to chance to ensure success, regardless of the field he chooses, whether it be a pet shop, automobile, hotel, daycare or homecare services, elderly care, dental care, or fast food or family restaurants, just to name a few.
Despite all the advantages that franchising brings to the future franchisee, not all franchisors are the same. There are excellent franchisors, and there are those who are less so. Needless to say, this future businessman (potential franchisee) will not necessarily want to enter into an agreement with less talented franchisors. In his search, he will be on the lookout for specific characteristics and a good leadership model. In this article, we describe the main characteristics of a successful franchisor.
He sets specific goals, both short and long-term. He thinks or plans ahead with imagination and wisdom. He has a strong ability to lead progress and change. He has the leadership skills to instill his vision in his franchisees and employees, thus inspiring them. He gains their trust for new ideas. He defines concrete steps to bring a vision to life and then leads his team (staff and franchisees) in that direction to achieve the established and desired goal and objectives.
He introduces new methods, ideas, products or services. He is a true pioneer and innovator who is always pushing his limits and following his visions. He is open to change and to questioning his initial ideas and the direction of his project. Through continual reflection, the franchisor's staff and franchisees alike may comment on new information that is potentially important to the project. Like a radar constantly scanning the environment, he has a particular mindset that everyone is eager to adopt.
He has the ability and social influence to enlist the help and support of others (his staff and franchisees) in achieving a common goal of satisfying and retaining customers, thereby increasing revenues, making business more profitable over time and ensuring a return on investment.
He is always willing and able to take immediate and practical action to deal with a problem or situation. He has a strong sense of immediacy, focuses on the task at hand and sees it through to completion. He ensures that his staff is more creative, action-oriented, and efficient.
He is committed to initiating, guiding and maintaining the behavior of his franchisees oriented toward a common goal. In other words, he is the driving force behind achieving desired goals. He is the reason that pushes and manages franchisees to advance the network as a whole.
He has the skills to cope mentally or emotionally with a crisis situation of intense stress. He adapts and thrives despite adverse circumstances.
He creates a positive organizational culture. He clearly defines and communicates his core values and beliefs which become the critical factors in the network’s success. He focuses on discovering, sharing and developing the strengths of his staff and franchisees. He praises and helps his franchisees learn to grow, contributing substantially to their career success.
He firmly adheres to a strict code of conduct, values which are moral, ethical, incorruptible and honest. These moral principles guide all of his actions and assist him in making proper choices no matter what situation he faces.
9. Team spirit
He actively contributes to his group (staff and franchisees) to accomplish tasks, achieve goals or manage projects. He actively listens to his franchisees, respects their ideas and seeks to improve the products or services they share. He understands that the success of the franchisees contributes to the success of the network as a whole, and he shares responsibility when the network encounters difficulties along the way.
He has the ability to develop interpersonal relationships to reduce inner conflicts and personal tensions, to eliminate the need for assistance in adjusting to realities, to develop identity and self-perception, and to facilitate decision-making.
The successful franchisor creates trust that allows for feedback about his franchisees, his organization and the team around him.
12. Valuable training
The successful franchisor conducts needs assessments, identifies the appropriate learning approach, designs training materials, collaborates with stakeholder programs, and provides his franchisees with the appropriate support, customer service, and new processes that improve productivity and performance as well as increase their knowledge base.
He creates key performance indicators. He focuses on improving the operational aspect of his franchisees and creates an analytical basis for decision making to help his franchisees concentrate on what matters most to achieve their goals: i) revenue growth, ii) revenue streams, iii) revenue concentration, iv) profitability over time and v) return on investment.
He has the ability to maintain stability and equilibrium within the franchise network in static and dynamic situations, even after being slightly unbalanced. Ex: How can the franchisor react during a pandemic to keep the network balanced? By determining a viable royalty, keeping costs affordable, aligning royalties with services provided, monitoring franchisee debt, evaluating their training skills and providing profit coaching.
In conclusion, the successful franchisor is able to act as an orchestra conductor that ensures the sustainability, inseparability, innovation and value creation of the group (network as a whole). He brings a personal touch, ensuring the achievement of the objectives of any entrepreneur who chooses franchising as a vehicle to start a business.