There’s no doubt that visiting franchisees at their business is integral to the success of the brand. Taking the time to make these visits is essential for reinforcing culture and auguring operational excellence.
Good franchisors are business builders, confidants, motivators, coaches and guards. This is why you need a range of people with various skills to undertake the visits. Different staff will be able to identify certain issues and provide support based on their skill set, thus assisting the franchisee to grow the business in all areas.
Regular, quarterly visits to assess how the business is performing is all part of the franchise process – it makes the franchisee feel noticed and valued and also goes towards ensuring that they are meeting the standards. While most visits should be planned, we also believe it beneficial having some unannounced drop-ins.
Tracey Steinwand from Subway once told me, ‘One of the best things you can do as a franchisor is to catch your franchisee doing something well. Positive reinforcement is far more valuable than trying to trip them up.’ We wholeheartedly support this ideology and always seek to encourage rather than criticise.
As a franchisor, you are there to help – not ‘police’. Being supportive, visible and consistent with all your other franchisees are also critical elements in maintaining a healthy culture. Conduct your visits with your franchisees for the right reasons – make it a pleasurable experience for both of you and enjoy watching your franchisees grow and develop as a result.