"The Ostrich method" does not work well in business generally and particularly in franchising.
Burying your head in the sand and hoping your problems will go away will NOT WORK.
Being in denial of re-occurring issues in your franchise will only lead to a massive blow out of the issue....whatever it may be.
Remember, that since March 2008 when the new disclosure changes occurred, you must disclose
ALL YOUR FRANCHISEES' CONTACT DETAILS Past and present.
There's no picking the best of the bunch to act as advocates to franchise prospects as has happened in the past.
Typical "Ostrich triggers" for Franchisors are;
So how can these issues affect your wellbeing and your business? And what can you do about them?
These franchisees will affect the network morale.
Underperforming franchisees =unhappy franchisees. By being proactive in your network you can prevent many problems from arising.
Be aware of general underperformance and also of a sudden drop in sales figures. Are there extenuating circumstances?
Do you have systems for measuring and dealing with underperformance?
Most importantly do not ignore these people and hope the problem will go away. You do not want them to fail in their business as this will impact on the whole Franchise network.
Deal with their situation sensitively, effectively and expeditiously.
Complaining and negative franchisees
Meet with these franchisees individually.
They are often not so vocal without an audience.
Try and understand where the root of their dissatisfaction lies. Don't talk listen and allow them to vent their grievances.
These franchisees can be the bad apple that rots the barrel.
Once you have more insight into the franchisee's situation you will have to decide how best to deal with it.
You may need to seek external guidance from a franchising professional with mediation skills.
Out of date and inaccurate franchising documentation
Some franchisors have franchising documentation that was prepared by solicitors with minimal franchising experience.
This may not present a problem when all is going well (although is not ideal) but can involve serious risks for The Franchisor if a franchisee seeks legal advice.
Documentation should be as a minimum:
No growth in network numbers
Unless a Franchisor has reached his National capacity, this suggests underlying problems.
The longer between Franchise sales, the harder it becomes.
It is also demoralising for existing Franchisees.
Seek urgent advice and assistance to get your network rollout plan on track.
A Franchisor must lead by example. If the Franchisor doesn't plan, It is likely that neither will the Franchisees.
We all know the old adage "A business that fails to plan , plans to fail ".
Sit down with the decision makers in your business and work out your plan for 2010 and beyond.
If it's all too hard, seek help, but don't find excuses for not doing it.
I know that a Franchisor's role can be a lonely one at times. I've been there!
If you're a sole Franchisor with no business partners, you have no-one to confer with.
You can sometimes feel unappreciated or frustrated and have no sounding board.
Try to find a business mentor. An experienced business person who also understands the human psyche and the reality of being a Franchisor and the many roles you play in your business. Counsellor/diplomat/adviser/teacher and the list goes on!
So make this year a great one Franchisors!
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