Franchisers, are you ready for introspection?

“Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” ― Sun Tzu

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

“To grow yourself, you must know yourself.” ― John C. Maxwell

 

These great philosophers agree that the key to success is in knowing yourself. But for some, these words of wisdom may stir fears: fear to learn what we would rather not admit to or fear to reveal the deep truth about ourselves. However, since any company is the extension of the individuals who run it, these statements of infinite wisdom should be taken to the word for the benefit of your network! This is even truer nowadays…

The risk of a massive retirement crisis due to aging population, a multigenerational workforce with four generations working side by side (a never before seen phenomenon), globalization, the light-speed propagation of information, growing competition, social media, new technologies… Ooph! In this fast-paced, chaotic XXI century, it can be so easy to lose track of your reference points, your vision and your foundation. So, how do you make sure you are on the right path?

Introspection…

Even if the term can give you a headache, it is possible to complete an effective introspection exercise with these three simple questions: 1) What are you? 2) What do you wish for? and 3) Where are you heading? Of course, we are talking about your franchise network…

What Are You?

The question refers to your franchising business. Mission, vision, values… You must have heard these terms many times. But have you ever considered their significance, defined them, and made them known and understood across your network? In fact, these three concise terms are the pillars of your network, the foundation of its success.

The mission and vision terms often get confused. A corporate mission is the raison d’être, purpose of the organization, while a vision is the aspiration, goal that the organization would like to achieve in the future. Values are the principles that guide your organization and are the basis of your corporate culture, the DNA of your franchise network. What is the key message you want to convey across your franchise network? Is it performance, respect, integrity, teamwork, customer service? They are the core guidelines to help franchisees shape their relations with the other franchisees in the network, with their employees and especially with their customers. Your values must be shared across your network, they must be consistent with the customer experience you wish to build.

A Columbia University study showed that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with a rich company culture is a mere 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4%. The same applies to franchisees who will be more inclined to stay affiliated with a banner with a strong culture and the same values as them.

Your mission, your vision and your values must be clearly communicated and shared throughout your network. They must be known and fully understood by your franchisees and their employees. They must become your reference point, your informal code of ethics, and your guidelines in decision-making, hiring and recruitment of prospective franchisees, to name a few. In a sense, they shape your network. So it is now up to you to decide what your network will be like.

What Do You Wish for?

Have you done your evaluation lately? In order to measure your progress you must start by identifying your current position and setting your objectives. What are your strengths and your improvement opportunities? Have you achieved your previous targets? Have you even set goals before?

As a manager and a business leader, have you set your personal objectives, prepared a personal development plan? Do you know the aspirations of your franchisees? Did you take them into account?

Where Are You Heading?

Now that you know where you stand, the next step would be to set the course to ensure the sustainability of your network. Where do you see your network in one year, three years, and five years? Have you quantified it using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely)? What are your top priority challenges in achieving your goals? How do you intend to tackle these challenges? Will the external opportunities help you reach your goals? Will the desired customer experience change? Will your products and your market be the same? Will you add points of sale?

It would be much easier to achieve your vision if all parties involved understand it and adhere to it. Strategic planning with your team is a key to success. It allows to pinpoint how and where to invest the efforts, and who is to do it in order to reach your destination.

According to Harvard Business School, 95% of a company’s employees are unaware of, or do not understand, its strategy. So, how would they help their organization implement its strategy if they don’t understand it?

Above all, we are moving away from the B2B and B2C business models towards H2H: from now on, business is human to human. Respect for the individual must be at the very heart of your activities, whether it is your customers, suppliers, franchisors, employees or franchisees.

Good luck!

Your FlagFranchise team