As your franchise evolves, so do the challenges that you face as a franchisor. In the excitement of creating new services and opportunities for both franchisees and clients, it can become difficult to keep your core values in focus. However, to have a successful franchise, your core values should remain at the forefront of everything you do as you build and develop your business offering. Petpals, the UK’s longest established multi-service pet-care franchise, has recently rebranded, and has included the launch of a new management franchise opportunity. Here, Director of Petpals Kevin Thackrah shares how although Petpals may have rebranded, the values that have helped build the award-winning pet-care franchise remain a key focus of the business.
You may reach a point where your franchise offering is ready to evolve. In times of business expansion, it’s imperative that you consider how any changes you make will impact the landscape of your existing values. In my experience, focusing on your key principles offers a powerful starting point to build the rest of your new franchise offering around. In the case of Petpals, we have launched a management model to sit alongside our existing owner-operator opportunity. This has created two different career paths and investment options for prospective franchisees. However, as we went through the rebrand, we decided that the ground of both these paths should be built upon the same core value – the importance of high-quality pet-care.
In our industry, there can often be a misconception that care is about being pet obsessed. It is true we want people who care deeply about the wellbeing of pets in our franchise network, but we also believe that care comes from highly skilled and capable people working towards the same goal. For instance, when it comes to our management model, whilst franchisees are still working in the pet-care sector, their skillset may be more suited to running a team of pet specialists who are committed to our core values and mission, so they can achieve the best outcomes for the pets and clients.
When you have a community of franchisees, it is important to keep them connected and on the same page. Despite the differences of approach in operating their business models, franchisees should still be following the same values and standards that are expected within your network. Consider utilising conferences, franchisee forums and ongoing training to ensure everyone remains united within your franchise. There is a danger that if a split in your network occurs it will have a lasting negative impact on your brand. As a franchisor, you must put in place strategies and initiatives to encourage ongoing collaboration. We found that offering subsidised business coaching was effective in supporting franchisees in running their business. Improved business management not only frees up time for franchisees to further build their business, but it also allows franchisees to focus on their core values and mission to deliver care of the highest standard.
Shared values are what inevitably make your franchise special. If you recruit, nurture and retain franchisees and staff who share the same values as your business, the impact will be great. One of the special things about being a franchisor is discovering some of the incredible work that is going on in your network as a result of your core beliefs. Franchisees throughout Petpals often raise funds for charitable organisations that work towards the betterment of animals. From rehoming dogs to Christmas food drives for animal shelters they often go the extra mile, and I’m so proud of the work they do. I believe it’s the core beliefs that we share that makes all the difference, and as a franchisor, it is your job to maintain these values in your network as you guide your franchise to new heights.