This article by Tom Spadea was featured in the February 2023 issue of Franchise Dictionary Magazine.
Top of the Class
As a franchise attorney, I have witnessed some clients go from a few locations to hundreds in a surprisingly short amount of time. All of them have strong brand name, great unit economics and solid systems, but the primary factor that seems to set them apart is the quality of teaching, advice and coaching the franchisor furnishes to its franchisees.
A franchisor should be continuously focused on education about their core business and values, but also about business ownership itself. Many franchisors get frustrated with their franchisees if they lack basic business ownership skills. At the same time, they seek to recruit new franchisees who have never owned a business. If they want to be a best-in-class system, then they need to make their franchisees best-in-class business owners.
Franchisors should also recognize that different franchisees have different needs. Should your coaching and teaching for a newly formed single-unit franchisee be the same as someone adding their fifth or even 10th location? Have you taught the teachers properly? Do they have the skills, materials and mindsets to make your franchisees better? Just like your franchisees are the frontline brand ambassadors to your end customers, your trainers and field coaches are your frontline brand ambassadors to your franchisees.
Franchisors should continuously be taking a deep dive into the curriculum of their training programs with feedback from the franchisees. These programs shouldn’t be static; they should change and evolve as your brand grows, to not only teach the franchisees how to deal with today’s issues but also to prepare them to deal with unforeseen challenges ahead.
Franchisors are essentially in the knowledge transfer business. You became a franchisor to teach others how to run your business model in their geography. The better you are as a teacher, the more effective your franchisees will be in running their units. This creates a positive feedback loop and flywheel effect on your growth. The more value the franchisees get from you as a franchisor, the more they will feel interdependent and part of your ecosystem. It will also drive validation as those looking to join the brand will be told of the franchisor’s expertise in teaching the business and keeping them sharp.
To see all of Tom’s featured articles in The Franchise Dictionary Magazine, visit this page.