Part of the Team: Communication Between Franchisees

Part of the Team: Communication Between Franchisees
Like it or not, sometimes a good, old-fashioned sports metaphor is the best way to make a point. While searching for the best way to describe the importance of helpfulness and communication between fellow franchisees, I am inevitably drawn to a football team comparison.

As with a football team (or any sports team, for that matter), actual ownership of the franchise brand lies with the franchisor, not the franchisee. Yet, the brand lives and breathes through the team members. A place on the team must be earned, and a continued position is kept secure through hard work and diligent following of the playbook. And, like a championship team, a truly World-Class franchise has team members who are mutually supportive, and committed to the common good.

This analogy is underscored by hard data; in our 2012 World-Class Compilation Report, 92% of respondents gave a positive grade when asked, “How would you grade the helpfulness and communication between fellow franchisees?” The fact is that healthy franchise systems have franchisees that work well with one another. They don’t look to the franchisor to have all the answers, and they feel comfortable communicating with one another, sharing information, and assisting their fellow franchisees.

In my 28 years in franchising (as a multi-unit franchisee, area developer, and researcher), I have seen this valuable aspect of franchise success made evident time and time again. Franchise systems which enjoy a strong bond between franchisees are strengthened by it on a daily basis, but it is especially visible at gatherings like annual conventions. These ‘zees are not only part of a sum greater than its parts; they actually like each other. This is extrapolated into an atmosphere of cooperation and innovation, which is indeed, a winning formula. To be certified as World-Class, franchise companies must meet the following research requirements:

1. Access to every franchisee is permitted (including franchises “sold but not open”).
2.All survey responses must be confidential (no false positive responses out of a desire to gain favor or fear of retribution).
3. A minimum of 70% of their franchisees must complete the confidential survey.

In the world of franchising there are many, many stories of dissatisfaction, disputes, and litigation between ‘zors and ‘zees. This report provides empirical evidence that these World-Class Franchise® companies are, in the eyes of their franchisees, “doing it right.”

1: The combined score to this question encompasses all “A,” “B” or “C” responses but does not include “D” or “F” ratings. Remember there is no such thing as “above average Franchisee satisfaction”, but there is World-Class.

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