The value of entering Awards in Franchising

Entering franchise industry awards offer a fantastic opportunity for franchises to showcase their achievements and successes

The value of entering Awards in Franchising

Who doesn’t love getting an award? Which of us doesn’t stop to look at the Oscars or celebrate a prominent BAFTA win? Or revel in the win at your child’s sports day? And now, with the award season upon us in franchising, we have the best awards in the industry ahead of us. We have the BFA franchisor and franchisee awards, the WorkBuzz Franchise Awards and the Elite Franchise EF100 awards all bubbling along after the EWIF awards in May.

It made me consider the value of entering, shortlisting for and winning an award. There is no doubt in my mind that the value of entering and winning accolades in franchising can significantly impact a franchise’s success and growth. 

The awards are typically open to everyone in a specific category, but not everyone enters for awards, and they are missing out on more than just that win.

Award entries require the candidates to review their business or personal performance. They have to look at the areas that make a business successful. In the case of franchising, it usually includes the number of ‘happy’ and financially successful franchisees, financial data, recruitment of new franchisees, marketing initiatives, support options, innovation, social connections and technology. When I was a franchisor, spending time reflecting on the successes was invaluable. Just reminding myself how far the business had developed in 12 months, and documenting that, was a win. This self-assessment can lead to operational efficiencies and better decision-making, ultimately driving growth and profitability – it encourages continuous improvement as businesses strive to win.

We are all encouraged to review figures against our plans on a regular basis – and most franchisors will have their finger on the pulse of turnover and franchise recruitment – but it’s the other bits when focussed into a few pages, that really bring home how the hard work has paid off. If you didn’t enter the awards but did this reconciliation anyway, I think it would still feel good.

And then there is a little bit of excitement as you send off the entry. It’s the time between entry and hearing whether you’ve made the cut that is your chance to dream. Like buying a lottery ticket – you buy a chance to imagine what it would be like – to spend the money or, in the case of awards, step into the spotlight.

Then the time of shortlisting arrives. Of course, it’s disappointing if you haven’t been short-listed – but you’ve had the chance to look at what you have achieved, and hopefully, it’s helped in setting different goals or revving the engines for next year.

If you are short-listed, the bragging rights begin. The very fact that you’re in the top tier of your industry peers should be shouted about. It’s the chance to say, “Hey, look at us, we’ve done good things, and we want you all to know that’. Your PR machine should be in overdrive to get every opportunity to tell people you’re nearly at the top. 

And then the award ceremony. OK, they can go on a bit! But it is a chance to get the team together – to reward those that made that win happen. Dressing up and having a night out to celebrate the industry’s best franchises, what’s not to love? A chance to network and, indeed, show off!

Finally -that moment of truth. And the winner is…

I can’t deny it’s crushing if you’re expecting to win and you don’t – but don’t forget the other wins along the way to this point. But what if you do win? I am delighted to say that, from personal experience, it is joyous! It feels like validation for all the work and effort, the late nights and early mornings, the innovation, networking time, mileage, and setbacks. It just feels mind-blowingly great. 

The subsequent PR is fantastic – and if you continue to display the win, it projects success like no other because a third party has validated your business. Prospect franchisees will see that, and it elevates your business in their minds. Future employees, too, will see that. And those already in the team will feel rewarded for their work and input.

This recognition can attract new customers, boost brand reputation, help in recruitment and create a positive perception of the franchise among the public. What’s not to love?

Louise Harris
Louise Harris