For a chief procurement officer (CPO), VP of development, or other managerial executive, the key to success is properly guiding and assisting the owners of each franchise unit in the company. It may be the most important aspect of franchise operations. However, keeping track of dozens of stores across an area and communicating with each franchisee in order to remain profitable is no simple task. Take a look at our tips on how to manage franchise owners.
Finding Growth and Innovation Opportunities
Each franchise unit needs to be aligned with your overall business expansion strategy. However, every franchisee is unique, just like their store location, employees, and customers. It is the franchisor’s role to ensure that each franchisee gets the right resources and systems for their individual needs. For example, one unit in a downtown area might have a bigger demand for the lower-cost products in its store, while another unit in a suburban area mostly gains revenue from higher-cost items. As a result, each unit will need different orders for new stock, shelving organization, sales and promotion strategies, etc.
The nature of franchise management implies that no two franchise units are the same. Finding where the units differ, and the profitable opportunities for change, requires a lot of information and comparisons. This is best performed with convenient software that lets franchisees easily upload data.
Regular, Balanced Communication
One of the biggest franchisor responsibilities is communication with franchisees. One serious mistake that franchisors can make is to dump too much information on the franchisee of a new unit through one long orientation or an impersonal brochure and then providing too little contact or instructions afterward. The best way to ensure franchisee success is by regular, more focused communication. Regularly contacting your franchisees to share information and discuss current trends and goals will help both you and them understand what is expected.
Encouragement of Company Culture
Officers in a high corporate position naturally understand the culture, attitudes, and philosophies of their company from an insider perspective. This culture will need to be conveyed to franchisees starting up a new store. Looking ahead and making plans to boost franchise performance is great, but if your franchisees don’t fully grasp what is and isn’t suitable to the brand and company culture, they might take sub-optimal measures.
Communication and management are not only about exchanging information and instructions, but also enthusiasm. Encourage the behaviors and ideas that mesh with your company culture to help franchisees better internalize what works best. As a CPO, you likely understand how to manage franchise owners from a numbers perspective, but don’t neglect the heart of what you are doing. You depend on your franchisees to carry out the goals of your business, so use your communication and management tools to give them guidance and confidence.
Synuma’s project management software makes managing franchise owners far easier than using traditional methods. Both you and your franchisees will stay on the same page thanks to a user-friendly set of programs for communicating ideas, royalty management, exchanging information, making assessments, tracking unit objectives, and more.
Image via Flickr by kenteegardin