Investing in a franchise that holds you accountable

When investing in a franchise opportunity, it's essential for prospective franchisees to carefully consider how the franchisor supports and monitors how their franchisees run their businesses.

Investing in a franchise that holds you accountable

A good franchisor setting these standards for its franchisees empowers them to take accountability whilst giving them the tools to reach their goals. Justin Nihiser, CEO of kids coding franchise Code Ninjas, discusses the importance of creating a culture of accountability among a franchisee network and offers his tips on what you should look for in a franchisor who encourages this supportive culture.

What is a culture of accountability?

Accountability is about the willingness to take responsibility for your own actions. At work, that may look like owning up to a mistake or sharing in a success. All franchises should foster a culture of accountability with their franchisees, as it is essential for productivity and ensures everyone is accountable for completing tasks and reaching goals – together and individually. This collaboration is one of the major benefits of investing in a franchise model.

At Code Ninjas, we have the systems in place to alert us when franchisees might be struggling. The only way we can do that though is by having goals set in place to measure against. A franchisor not doing this with franchisees as standard would be a warning sign for me. Once goals have been set, then it’s time for a regular discussion about how the business is progressing and whether the franchisee is willing to take some accountability for that progress. Have they engaged with all the support available to them or have they investigated what could be the source of any problems? As the franchisor, we are bound to maintain standards and would be accountable for any underperformance on our part too.

What are its benefits?

  • Accountability builds trust between you as a franchisee and your franchisor – it produces an environment of mutual respect between you. It puts you as the franchisee in the driving seat yet strengthens the relationship with the franchise support team as they are utilised alongside your commitment to do your best.
  • Without clear responsibilities and expectations, you could be left floundering – sometimes without the franchisor ever knowing and therefore unable to support you.
  • Creating a greater sense of control and autonomy – a franchise that values individual accountability will cultivate more significant commitment and happiness from its franchisees. It is typical for a franchisee to feel more comfortable to take greater responsibility as the business establishes itself, needing less and less support.

For prospective franchisees, it’s valuable to see that a franchise is backed by a robust set of consistent operating standards that shows how the franchisor monitors its success. At Code Ninjas, we expect our franchisees to obtain 40 sign-ups for their coding sessions before they can open their doors. This target demonstrates to our prospects that we expect our franchisees to perform at a certain standard, that we set clear goals for them to achieve this, but we are also confident they can achieve this thanks to our proven business model.

Tips on how to recognise this culture in a franchise brand

  • Setting goals – franchisees should be involved in developing clear, challenging, yet attainable objectives whilst the franchisor gives them the support and resources they need to accomplish them. 
  • Two-way feedback – whether positive or negative, exchanging feedback is an effective way to help franchisees examine their choice and make operational decisions on the way forward. Franchisors offering a regular feedback mechanism will be setting you up for long-term success.
  • Enable learning and growth – franchisors should be committed to helping franchisees learn and grow from accidental mistakes and create a culture of support for those who are struggling. This encourages you to take on new responsibilities with the confidence that the franchisor will support you on your journey.
  • Accountability is practised by the franchisor first – franchisees should be able to look to those in leadership positions in the franchise to learn how to act and be successful. A franchisor who also takes accountability for what they should be delivering on behalf of the brand and for its network, will encourage everyone to practise accountability within their business. Can you see a culture of productivity, honesty and respect at all levels when you start on your due diligence journey?

A franchise brand is only truly successful when franchisees, franchisors and their customer are all winning. Setting expectations is key to every part of these relationships. In business, cultivating a culture of accountability fosters a mutual understanding of what is expected between each party. Everyone then knows what constitutes a win and communication can be open whether you are experiencing winning ways or still need support to share the spot on the winner’s podium.

Justin Nihiser
Justin Nihiser