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What has Valentine’s Day and franchising have in common?

Written by Mark Scott on Thursday, 10 February 2022. Posted in Insight, Analysis

Well, nothing really, but Mark Scott does find a connection with regards to time of year and the development of new relationships!

What has Valentine’s Day and franchising have in common?

Well, nothing really, but Mark Scott does find a connection with regards to time of year and the development of new relationships!

With Valentine’s Day just a couple of weeks away, February could rightly be called the month of love. Indeed, my sister got married on February 14th several years ago. It’s also an interesting time in the franchising community and calendar, with a traditional burst of activity in January aimed at attracting new franchisees into the industry.

At this time of year plans are coming together for the first exhibitions of 2022, which usually take place in the spring. Therefore, as with Valentine’s Day, it’s an important time for franchising, with new relationships starting to take shape.

Franchisors and their budding new business partners will be swapping information and data about themselves. This is a perfect opportunity to start building a partnership which, over the months and years ahead, could even be termed as developing a ‘marriage’.

In franchising terms, this means a relationship governed by an agreement and an associated ‘brand manual’. Of course, not all relationships go well, so both the franchisor and franchisee need to be prepared for disagreements along the way.  

However, a British Franchise Association (BFA) survey sponsored by NatWest did show that most franchisees are happy with their relationships.

So what can both parties do to reduce potential ‘friction’For the franchisor I would recommend the following:

  • Be honest in all interactions you have.
  • Ensure you follow up in writing everything that’s been agreed, and do not agree different terms with different franchisees. This could lead to a general unrest further down the line.
  • Be consistent at all times.
  • Provide comprehensive training, both at the start and then ongoing.
  • Develop a system for every aspect of the business and include this in the manual. If anything is missing, franchisees may end up doing things differently to you. 
  • Digitise everything. This enables the franchisor to keep track of what their franchisees are doing, even down to ordering a pizza. 

And as for franchisees:

  • Be honest in all the interactions you have.
  • Accept that you have to follow the franchisor’s set of rules – and at all times. However, this does not mean you won’t have ideas to share with him or her. After all, the Big Mac was invented by a franchisee.
  • Attend training and conferences, and contribute to proceedings as often as possible. This will help new franchisees to learn about the brand and the industry.
  • If in need of support and advice, seek help ASAP. Don’t wait. And then take this advice on board.
  • Keep your business plan up to date.
  • If you identify a process for which there is not a system already in place, ask the franchisor to create one and ask to have it added to the manual.

There is no doubt new relationships will be forged this month, and some will last longer than others – for various reasons. And I truly hope that most relationships last for decades.

About the Author

Mark Scott

Mark Scott

Mark Scott Is an experienced franchise professional with over 20 years in the industry. Has worked with franchise networks at all stages of their development, including a number of established international brands. He is a BFA board member and currently the operations director of the Azura Group.

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