Staying connected: the importance of a network that networks

The modern franchise industry is built on the foundation of leaders sharing ideas and collaborating within their internal networks.

Staying connected: the importance of a network that networks

The modern franchise industry is built on the foundation of leaders sharing ideas and collaborating within their internal networks. Whether they are franchisor, franchisee or a member of the team, success today is forged by intuitive, proactive people who can identify when an idea deserves to be communicated and developed. In fact, Deloitte cites in The Digital Workplace that, to operate productively and to enable a team’s ability to work together, organisations need to seamlessly leverage knowledge with integrated, intuitive collaboration tools. Here, Frank Milner, the Global President of Tutor Doctor, discusses the importance of franchise brands adopting a culture of engagement to drive network success.

Nurturing engagement in modern franchising, put simply, separates quality brands and networks from their lesser counterparts. Today, franchise networks can share data, draw useful statistics and even implement new processes almost immediately by using real-time data. So, as the digital age continues to evolve, why is now the time for the franchise industry to recognise the importance of utilising the vast communication, engagement and collaboration tools at our fingertips?

We are all aware of the issues surrounding economic uncertainty looming over the franchise industry. In 2023, prospects are second guessing the viability of a franchise investment, franchisees are trying to streamline their operations to maximise their businesses’ efficiency, and franchisors are adapting their models to maintain their brands’ relevance. But it is for these very reasons that there has never been a more important time for networks, whether they are international, domestic or even regional, to rally together and navigate these challenges collaboratively. 

At Tutor Doctor, for example, our franchise is built on the foundations of intuitive franchisees that identify and leverage gaps in their local education markets, helping them remain relevant and in demand. But what affirms us as one of the world’s leading education brands is the network’s ability to communicate those gaps to the entire franchise. Through weekly team calls, consistent newsletters, regional calls (online and in person) and collaboration squads across regional, national and international networks, our lines of communication enable our franchisees to keep as up to date as possible in the education and franchise industries. With our head office prioritising collaboration with franchisee focus groups, we revolutionised the relationship local school authorities can strike with private, bespoke education providers in 2022 and introduced the UK network to an increased revenue stream of 30%. 

But maintaining a closely engaged network is not just for the benefit of Tutor Doctor, with substantial evidence supporting the need to nurture relationships within all franchise networks – for the good of the whole franchise industry! 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures, and up to 80% of businesses use social collaboration tools for enhancing business processes1. 2023 is the year entrepreneurs finally take back control of their lives. So, considering this evidence, it is vital that franchisors nurture and champion the opportunities their networks have to make a real impact on a business, all while cultivating a strong sense of purpose behind what they communicate and engage with. In the same research, 54% of employees said a strong sense of community (great co-workers, celebrating milestones, a common mission) kept them at a company longer. Championing brand culture with a strong communication stream not only gives teams a sense of purpose, but they also give people a reason to stick around.

Networking has been a central component of franchising since the model was established, and there are new opportunities for networking popping up all the time. Since the boom of the digital age, networking opportunities have developed many different faces – digital networking has opened a wealth of new opportunities, and meeting people in person helps to build strong, long-lasting relationships. Every aspect of a franchise business can be bolstered by strong relationships, and those relationships should be visible to a franchisor within their own franchisee network. If your franchisees do not see the benefit of internal collaboration, communication and networking, are their values really aligned with the ethos of the brand?

Teams reach common goals through a combination of individual and team-driven efforts. With a clear goal in mind, everyone within a franchise network can understand their role and the purpose of their work. An engaged network that opens themselves up to learning and being a part of the real-time development of a franchise not only improves workflow, but helps them strive to achieve a common goal. blog, 2020, 21 Collaboration Statistics that Show the Power of Teamwork!

Frank Milner
Frank Milner