Secret Weapon for Attracting New Franchisees Is Under Your Nose

We are all affected in some way by events around us. So you may have been concerned about the impact of recent gloomy economic forecasts on both the morale of your existing franchisees and the likelihood of prospective franchisees investing in your system. I am writing this tip from the USA where I am working with hundreds of local franchisor executives and I can tell you it’s worse over here. But I am pretty confident I can offer a solution below. I also have some news I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you.

Every franchise system needs high calibre new franchisees if it is to grow and replenish itself. As you probably know, the best way to attract new franchisees is to have existing franchisees actively recommend the business. With this in mind we have just analysed some statistics from our current Franchisee Success Study to see which factors most likely lead to this type of advocacy, or what is popularly referred to as a high Net Promoter Score or NPS. A solid NPS is critical to the growth of any business, especially in a cautious market.

The four beliefs that predict a high NPS

Looking at this new data from over 2,000 franchisees, we discovered that competent leadership, especially in the field, counts big time. Below are the four beliefs by franchisees that best predict whether they will have a higher NPS.

  • They believe the franchisor team are competent.
  • They believe the franchisor team are trustworthy in their business dealings.
  • They believe the franchisor team genuinely care about their success.
  • They believe the franchisor team has a clear direction for the future.
  • (Note that satisfaction with financial performance did not make it into the top four. It came in at number five.) These four beliefs create a feeling of optimism in the franchisee which we have also discovered has a huge impact on financial and customer service performance.

    Field managers, through the relationship of trust they build with franchisees, can have a significant impact on these beliefs. They do this by discussing goals, following through on commitments, communicating new initiatives and supporting franchisees with day to day challenges. However they do need to show the right type of leadership. For instance, an optimistic field manager who feels confident in their abilities will naturally infect franchisees with this sense of inner confidence. Optimism is caught not taught. On the other hand a field manager who feels neglected, burnt out or who is struggling with the demands of their role is not going to be able to inspire their franchisees in this way.

    Leadership in the field

    Now here’s the rub. If field managers are to stay on top of their game they need consistent professional development and support. This is because of the unique pressures of their job where they are interacting so intensely with franchisees on a number of fronts. It has been my direct experience that if they are properly supported they will deliver superior results in spades. The benefits to the company are more optimistic franchisees, more franchisee referrals, and ultimately, better financial returns for both franchisees and franchisors.

    Now please forgive me, as I would like to give a little plug at this point for the annual Field Manager Summit which was developed for this reason. If you would like to see which companies so far are sending their teams click here. If you have already registered your team, nice work. If you haven’t I encourage you to do so. Not only is it an entirely different program to last year, but we have also included a new innovation, an action learning process called The Learning Map, to ensure your team arrives focused and also puts its good ideas into action. It includes a very cool diagnostic and goal setting tool. To check it out click here and watch the short video.

    Your field managers. I bet you never thought of them as a secret weapon to help you attract fresh, new franchisees. But they are.

    Some news at FRI

    Now finally the news I mentioned. I am pleased to announce that we have brought some new people into the business as part of a merge with a company called Go Global, originally developed by ex-Gloria Jean’s Global Capability Manager, Karli Furmage. Karli and her team of Jason Travis and Rob Camm will bring additional high level franchise operations and strategic learning expertise into FRI, which we believe will help us serve you even better. As part of this restructure, our existing CEO, Anthony Cannell, will be leaving the business and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank him for the excellent work he has done in his time at FRI. We wish Anthony the very best.

    I look forward to soon introducing you to our new expanded team.

    Until next time,

    Greg Nathan

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