Letting others share in your success makes good business sense

From your franchisees all the way down to your suppliers, collaborative working is a win-win for all involved

Letting others share in your success makes good business sense

As a hippy at heart, I spent some of the summer doing yoga by the pool or at a festival – it proved the perfect opportunity to think about the way we do business and what makes us different.”

My business is all about relationships, whether that’s with couriers, carriers, clients or franchisees. In the last 20 years I have only had to close the door on four clients who I felt I couldn’t work with. This is not to say that other stakeholder relationships have always run smoothly – bad situations in business happen but it’s my responsibility to problem-solve and make sure they all reach a positive conclusion.

This applies to our franchise recruitment process too. Franchisees help us to build our brand and we help them to build their business in their local area. As a consequence we reach and complete goals quicker and more effectively as my business interests are aligned with my franchisees’ interests.”

Before you say it – this is not hippy nonsense. It promotes a better way of working and stems through not just my management team but also my clients, their teams, my couriers and my franchisees. We have seen tremendous benefits as a result, including a more pleasant working atmosphere and a willingness by both parties to exceed expectations on joint projects. By making a business more efficient, you can increase your productivity and improvements in your productivity improve your bottom line. It’s just sound business practice.”

Here at Diamond Logistics, we’re about building bridges and partnerships, not burning them. We embrace that with the partnerships between Diamond HQ, Its clients, its suppliers and its franchisees. We call it shared success.

It is one of the reasons why I chose to expand my business through franchising. I was willing to accept a lower margin by letting people open a Diamond depot in their area as I knew they would truly care about satisfying clients and delivering great service. Why? Because their business success depends on it.”

Sharing success with franchisees should be at the heart of any franchise. It means everyone benefits. Diamond has recruited in key areas of the franchise including network support to help encourage and mentor our franchisees in turning their franchises into super successful depots. It’s about collaboration over a shared vision that I, my team and my franchisees all support.”

This is also true of Diamond’s supplier base. The suppliers that have stayed with us for the longest have been the ones that have had a truly vested interest in where we are going and what we are doing. These are the suppliers who are keen to work with our franchisees; not just Diamond HQ. I would happily pay more for a high quality service if I feel that they are invested in Diamond. The last thing I want to do is skimp on price as that would only damage their business. If my suppliers are successful, it means I can carry on using them for years to come, so helping them be profitable just makes good business sense.”

But not all business relationships are good relationships. We’ve had some bad clients who, as I mentioned, we cut the chord with. At the end of the day, you’ll only be wasting time and resources chasing payment from them. So what’s the point?”

It’s the same with franchising. Whether you are recruiting franchisees or investing in a franchise, there are certain questions you need to ask. Does the business have a vested interest in making me successful? Are these people really going to commit as much to my business as I am to theirs?

If you have already submitted your application for a potential franchise or are looking at potential franchises to invest in, have you been asking these fundamental questions? I would recommend you do.”

And, for any franchisors out there, how are the relationships among your franchisees, clients and suppliers? Are they synced with your business interests? Do your suppliers align to your goals, missions and values?

Shared success is not just about the feel good factor – although my inner hippy loves that too. It’s about boosting profit. And it really does. The improvement in my balance sheet is proof of that.”

Kate Lester
Kate Lester