If you own a few franchise locations, you understand the enormous task of managing operations across your locations. When you add locations there are a lot of steps to take and the process can be quite stressful, which is why we came up with these four pieces of advice as you add additional stores to your franchise.
1. Don’t forget about your current franchisees.
One of the most valuable things you do for your current franchisees is provide support for them with your field team. Make sure that you expand your field team at an appropriate rate to accommodate all of your franchisees. This not only benefits all of your franchisees by giving them a person with more time to work on improving their business and process management, but it also does not run your field team into the ground with too much work to do and things to worry about.
2. Have the right people starting new locations.
Just like a business that is hiring people on the ground level, getting the right franchisees is essential for managing your brand. There is a tricky balance in finding these people because the best candidates are true entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks by owning their own business, all while taking instruction and following a certain set of standards to meet performance metrics. One way to help ensure that you have the best candidates is having a trial period where franchisees have a limit on the amount of locations that they can own. Once they prove that they are going to be a valuable asset for your company, give them the right to expand.
3. Don’t forget what got you here.
Franchising is such a popular model because it is a fast way to grow businesses that work. There was something with the first location, or first few locations that really worked and made them successful. Whether the total has grown to 10 or 10,000, chances are that the original core competencies are still a living, breathing part of your franchise.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make shifts or changes in order to be more successful. Trees do not always grow perfectly straight up and in the direction they originally started. However, there needs to be a good root system that can support the shift and make sure that the tree can grow to its full potential, just like you want your business to.
4. Keep your consistency
A key to a good franchise company is consistency. If I were comparing two different locations of the same franchise, I would not be able to really see any differences (for most brands). Others have some variation, but usually that variation is not too extensive. Even if the seating layout is different, people still feel a sense of familiarity from store to store. One of the best ways to manage this consistency is to do a compliance audit, either on paper or with a mobile auditing tool. Establishing a list of priorities critical for your business, and following up to make sure that those priorities are met is going to be even more important. From those traits that made you great to the things that keep you ahead of the competition, franchising is about being your best in every location every single day. That includes the high level of customer service and experience that guests get at your location. This is important not only because you want customers to return to their usual location, you want them to visit the other locations when given the opportunity as well.