Using AI to Build an Effective Franchise Development Team

Happy franchisees are successful franchisees, so team support is perhaps the most intimate and important work your franchise development team will ever do.

No franchise enters this world carrying an armload of guarantees. There are almost 800,000 franchise establishments in the U.S. alone, and if you’re going to swim in those crowded waters, you’ll need a franchise development team that accelerates your growth. As a franchisor, you’re expected to fulfill enough roles to cast a war movie. You must be a mentor, a leader, a strategist, and a business partner. Most of all, you must be an entrepreneur, but few people can fit all those personal assets into a single body. That’s where your franchise development team steps in. They’ll refine your process and help you create a model that lasts.

Vetting Great Franchisees

Your franchisees are more than just the face of your brand—they are your brand. Candidate selection is one of the most powerful phases of your process. You need to move beyond work experience if you’re to select a long-term partner. What personality type fits your model best? How much loyalty do they bring to the table? Do they have leadership experience, and will they be willing to invest more capital if needed? Natural language processing and AI can help you to detect resume fraud and diagnose skill deficits, freeing your franchise development team up for high-level vetting tasks.

Building a Franchise Model that Sings

Even the best Formula One drivers cannot win the race in a scrappy old Escort, and even the finest franchisees can’t succeed if your franchising model is deficient. If you rush onto global terrain too early, you’re at risk of creating losses big enough to steal your local assets. If you choose a master franchising model without offering the support required for its success, your entire brand may suffer. Co-brand with the wrong partner, and you’ll suffer similar effects.

Bread-and-butter elements like training and marketing support can become just as catastrophic if poorly structured, and that’s what your franchise development team should be built to avoid. In a lean model, their work doesn’t end with the final letter on your disclosure document. They must reassess your model across your brand’s entire lifespan, and that requires data. Their development software must churn analytics intelligently enough to reach for new growth constantly. It should track milestones, historical data, and progress, weighing it against your goals on a franchise-by-franchise basis. An intimate review must fit your objectives, timeline, and model precisely, so cookie-cutter software simply won’t do.

The Importance of Teamwork

franchise development team

In 2008, Subway was forced to cancel a profitable deal after their franchisees revolted en masse, drawing attention to an element that franchisors often forget: they’re outnumbered. Franchisees are part of a larger franchise culture, and that requires teamwork; collaboration is one of your greatest assets. How it’s carried out varies enormously from brand to brand, but your franchise development team can only build team culture with the help of strong collaboration software. Structured peer-to-peer support and regional meetings are powerful team-building habits, and brand behemoths are increasingly relying on digital tools to make them possible. Even your field sales consultants can cover more ground with remote tools to break up their travel hours.

Supporting Success One Franchisee at a Time

If your franchise model is the Ferrari in the race, your franchisee support is the track. Maintain it poorly, and it will develop potholes that spin your franchise into chaos. Happy franchisees are successful franchisees, so team support is perhaps the most intimate and important work your franchise development team will ever do. Give them the shiniest tools at your disposal, and they’ll carry your brand over the finishing line ahead of your rivals.