Attracting and Motivating Franchisees: Strategies for Franchisor Success

Franchisee satisfaction and engagement are critical for the success and sustainability of any franchise system. So how do we, as franchisors, find and secure the right franchisees for our brand, maximise our partnerships with them so that they thrive in the franchise system, and motivate them to perform at their best for the benefit of both their outlets and the brand?

This was the question asked by Mimi Masala, divisional director at Cashbuild, who speaking at a recent franchisor mentorship breakfast hosted by Nedbank in partnership with Franchise Coaches.

Having spent 22 years in franchising – as both a franchisee and playing various franchisor roles at McDonalds, founding a franchising consultancy and now holding a directorship position at Cashbuild – Masala says that unlocking the potential of your franchise network requires a comprehensive strategy focused on attaining, retaining, and motivating franchisees.

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Finding Ideal Franchisees: Personal Attributes and Skills

Masala says that the ideal franchisee possesses a combination of personal attributes, professional and practical skills, alignment with the franchisor’s values, and access to finance. ‘Personal attributes cannot be underestimated. The embodiment of the perfect franchisee is someone with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a strong desire to own and operate their own business, combined with the willingness to take calculated risks. You’re also looking for passion and enthusiasm, particularly for your brand – do they use your products, for example? Resilience and determination; integrity and trustworthiness; and adaptability round off the personal attributes that the ideal franchisee requires to make it in the game.’

Successful franchisees also need a strong inclination to provide customer service excellence; leadership and management skills; a basic understanding of financial management; proficiency in sales and marketing; and managing day-to-day operations. ‘Coupled with this, you’re looking for individuals who share the franchise system’s vision, values, and commitment to maintaining brand standards, and an openness to working collaboratively and maintaining constructive communication,’ says Masala.

While finding these individuals may sound impossible, Masala says they are out there and outlined various marketing strategies to attract them. ‘The bottom line is that the onboarding process should be as thorough and methodical as possible. At McDonalds, for example, part of the onboarding process included on-the-job orientation, which exposed potential franchisees to the nuts and bolts of being a part of the McDonalds family. This enabled them to make an informed decision about buying into the franchise system and helped us establish whether they were the right fit for the brand.’

Building Relationships: Retaining Happy, Successful Franchisees

‘I cannot emphasise enough how important relationships are to the franchise partnership,’ says Masala. ‘If you, as a franchisor, aren’t a people’s person, hire someone who is. If you say you have an open-door policy, make sure you’re available. Remember that your franchisees are your partners in this journey – it’s important to establish and maintain mutual respect and understanding.’

Practical examples of how to create a supportive environment include scheduling regular check-ins; providing anonymous feedback options to encourage honest input; establishing franchisee advisory councils to discuss issues and suggest improvements; providing regular updates and training; and creating a community culture through online forums and in-person conferences and events.

Masala says that the secret to truly unlocking your franchise system’s potential lies in motivating your franchisees. ‘By implementing incentive programmes and acknowledging franchisee achievements publicly – even internationally if your brand is international – goes a long way to encouraging excellence. Equally important are involving franchisees in strategic decisions, encouraging them to suggest improvements and allowing a level of operational flexibility,’ she says.

More ways to thrive and not only survive

Assuming you have implemented these steps to create the right culture and environment for your franchisees to thrive, Masala says your franchisees are likely to want to remain in your system, and hopefully even expand. ‘Providing pathways for multi-unit ownership to encourage franchisees to innovate and expand means that you’ll be growing your brand in partnership with proven, successful operators, which is a win-win all round,’ concludes Masala.

 

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Franchisee satisfaction and engagement are critical for the success and sustainability of any franchise system. So how do we, as franchisors, find and secure the right franchisees for our brand, maximise our partnerships with them so that they thrive in the franchise system, and motivate them to perform at their best for the benefit of both their outlets and the brand?

This was the question asked by Mimi Masala, divisional director at Cashbuild, who speaking at a recent franchisor mentorship breakfast hosted by Nedbank in partnership with Franchise Coaches.

Having spent 22 years in franchising – as both a franchisee and playing various franchisor roles at McDonalds, founding a franchising consultancy and now holding a directorship position at Cashbuild – Masala says that unlocking the potential of your franchise network requires a comprehensive strategy focused on attaining, retaining, and motivating franchisees.

- Advertisement -
Brazen Head franchise opportunity

Finding Ideal Franchisees: Personal Attributes and Skills

Masala says that the ideal franchisee possesses a combination of personal attributes, professional and practical skills, alignment with the franchisor’s values, and access to finance. ‘Personal attributes cannot be underestimated. The embodiment of the perfect franchisee is someone with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a strong desire to own and operate their own business, combined with the willingness to take calculated risks. You’re also looking for passion and enthusiasm, particularly for your brand – do they use your products, for example? Resilience and determination; integrity and trustworthiness; and adaptability round off the personal attributes that the ideal franchisee requires to make it in the game.’

Successful franchisees also need a strong inclination to provide customer service excellence; leadership and management skills; a basic understanding of financial management; proficiency in sales and marketing; and managing day-to-day operations. ‘Coupled with this, you’re looking for individuals who share the franchise system’s vision, values, and commitment to maintaining brand standards, and an openness to working collaboratively and maintaining constructive communication,’ says Masala.

While finding these individuals may sound impossible, Masala says they are out there and outlined various marketing strategies to attract them. ‘The bottom line is that the onboarding process should be as thorough and methodical as possible. At McDonalds, for example, part of the onboarding process included on-the-job orientation, which exposed potential franchisees to the nuts and bolts of being a part of the McDonalds family. This enabled them to make an informed decision about buying into the franchise system and helped us establish whether they were the right fit for the brand.’

Building Relationships: Retaining Happy, Successful Franchisees

‘I cannot emphasise enough how important relationships are to the franchise partnership,’ says Masala. ‘If you, as a franchisor, aren’t a people’s person, hire someone who is. If you say you have an open-door policy, make sure you’re available. Remember that your franchisees are your partners in this journey – it’s important to establish and maintain mutual respect and understanding.’

Practical examples of how to create a supportive environment include scheduling regular check-ins; providing anonymous feedback options to encourage honest input; establishing franchisee advisory councils to discuss issues and suggest improvements; providing regular updates and training; and creating a community culture through online forums and in-person conferences and events.

Masala says that the secret to truly unlocking your franchise system’s potential lies in motivating your franchisees. ‘By implementing incentive programmes and acknowledging franchisee achievements publicly – even internationally if your brand is international – goes a long way to encouraging excellence. Equally important are involving franchisees in strategic decisions, encouraging them to suggest improvements and allowing a level of operational flexibility,’ she says.

More ways to thrive and not only survive

Assuming you have implemented these steps to create the right culture and environment for your franchisees to thrive, Masala says your franchisees are likely to want to remain in your system, and hopefully even expand. ‘Providing pathways for multi-unit ownership to encourage franchisees to innovate and expand means that you’ll be growing your brand in partnership with proven, successful operators, which is a win-win all round,’ concludes Masala.

 

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