Supporting your network to enjoy downtime this summer

When franchisees invest in your business model, they do so for many reasons - first and foremost, they trust in your expertise and ability to support them to run a successful venture.

Supporting your network to enjoy downtime this summer

It goes without saying that one of the key benefits of investing in a franchise model, rather than going it alone, is that franchisees are relying on you – the franchisor – to have the systems in place to ensure success can become a reality. And if they’re utilising the systems correctly, then franchisees should feel equipped to enjoy some well-deserved downtime. With the UK summer break now well underway, Kevin Thackrah, Director of pet-care franchise Petpals, talks us through how he ensures his network of franchisees can utilise the systems and processes the brand has established to enjoy some time away from their business.

I’m a real believer in the value of a healthy work-life balance. Without sounding like I’m stating the obvious, I know that’s many franchisees’ motivation for investing in a franchise business model, rather than going it alone – especially those that choose to opt for a management model, rather than owner-operator. At Petpals, we offer both business investment options to our prospects – and we commit to ensuring both parties can benefit from the work-life balance that is synonymous with franchising.

But how do we achieve this? In a nutshell, it’s about making sure the correct processes and systems are in place so that franchisees can run their business as efficiently as possible. We do this by thinking like a business owner – how would we want to feel reassured and supported if we were running our own Petpals business?

The answer is simple: ensure there’s always someone available to offer guidance and insight on the nuances and components of running a pet-care franchise. That way, there’s no room for doubt and franchisees feel confident in the knowledge that support is just a phone call away.

Having recently increased the size of our head office team, we’re able to ensure the right specialists are in place to handle all manner of enquiries – from marketing support to the latest pet-care legislation. For us, recruitment is a litmus test for how successful a franchisee will be – bring the right talent into your business to operate to the same systems and processes, leaving you time to spend with friends and loved ones.

Since the launch of our management model last year, we’ve seen several of our franchise owners opting for this model, and they’re able to do this by putting a team structure in place whereby they have talented and supportive members to help manage operations for them.

Following on from feedback we’ve received from our network, and lessons learnt in a post-pandemic world, we have recently recruited a digital marketer to support franchisees with their online presence and marketing implementation. So, even during periods of the business owner taking some time away from the business, the presence of the brand can still be felt locally through social media and other marketing campaigns. 

We also lead by example, planning well in advance for any planned absence or leave. We encourage franchisees to share their plans with their staff, so customers – and the pets that have become familiar with certain members of staff! – are aware that someone else may be taking their visits for a short time. Instilling a sense of open communication within a business is paramount– ensuring that your own network is aware of any upcoming holiday and can therefore prepare accordingly.

Importantly, we understand that time away from the business isn’t always planned. In those instances, our franchisees can rely on us to help to support their own teams by thinking of us as a trusted resource and invested party. We would never leave our franchisees in the lurch, so to speak, as we know that real life and loved ones come first.

For us, a guiding principle is ensuring our franchisees feel they can pick up the phone to us – any day and any time. And this isn’t strictly limited to those weeks leading up to their annual two-week trip to Tenerife or a weekend in Wales, but all the time.

Kevin Thackrah
Kevin Thackrah