Franchisees are operating at the coalface, so working with them can be the best way to improve a franchise
Arguably, one of the most valuable USPs of all franchises is that they are a locally owned businesses run by people who care about their customers. Naturally, this means that they're constantly striving to provide the best service. This is why franchisees play a valuable role in influencing the way forward: they have a huge vested interest in making sure their customers receive a service that’s second to none.
I was reminded of this recently by two franchisees that are celebrating 20 years with etyres. Working as a partnership, Jon Coleman and Keith Deery have built a strong business together. Bouncing ideas off each other, running a tight ship and sharing the ups and downs, they've set a shining example to our nationwide network.
Reflecting on how we've evolved over the past two decades, Coleman told us: “What we like about etyres is the fact that although it's grown, we still feel we can work with head office to influence the way forward. I always say franchisees who have nothing to say must be millionaires, otherwise why aren’t they doing something to make things better? There's always room for improvement and we must work together because we share a common goal.”
This is precisely why franchising works so well: as an owner you're in business for yourself but not by yourself. By sharing our experiences in all areas, from best practice to tapping into new revenue sources, we can all benefit.
Of course, the role of the head office is key to the success of a franchise, from the way it trains and supports franchisees to the investment it ploughs into new systems and initiatives. However, franchisors would be mad not to embrace fresh ideas when presented with them. Not only does this keep the business thriving and evolving but it creates an environment where franchisees feel they're an integral part of the business.
Franchisees are perfectly placed to pick up on emerging trends or shifting expectations. In our industry, like many others, more emphasis is being placed on rapid responses and an ability to offer a same-day service. In other sectors, it's factors like convenience, accessibility, price or value. The sooner you spot a shift in consumer demand, the faster you can react to stay ahead of the curve and at the top of your game.
A good franchisor-franchisee relationship is not just about toeing the head office line; it's about sharing the same ethos and pooling all your resources to achieve and maintain success. If you can continually improve your business at the grassroots level, it will keep growing stronger and help you to build a more resilient future.