One of the most common concerns raised by franchisees is that some franchisors “dump them” once they have signed on the dotted line. Here are some tips on ways to prevent your franchisees from feeling left out in the cold.
They feel it is all love and cuddles up to that point, but once the deal is done, the franchisor loses interest and moves on to the next potential franchisee or conquest.
This leaves a new franchisee feeling a little used and abused.
In some circumstances this is just poor management of expectations by the franchisor. The time is always going to come, where the franchisee will be operating the store on their own, without the continual input of the franchisor.
However, after all of the attention the franchisee has garnered in the courting process, the one on one training process, the excitement of taking over or opening the store and the constant supervision and input of the franchisor, the franchisee may feel dumped at the point where they just have to get down to running their own franchise business.
How to stop your franchisee feeling abandoned
So, how can a franchisor assist the franchisee in overcoming the feeling of abandonment at that point?
- give the franchisee a time line which clearly graphs what the franchisee can expect including the drop off of franchisor attention (yet making it clear the means by which the franchisee can obtain assistance)
- slowly taper off the attention rather than suddenly dropping the franchisee
- ensure all sections of the franchisor are talking to each other and are aware of the attention and assistance the franchisee is getting at any one time. If possible, spread that over a longer time frame more like a relay, for instance once recruitment has finished its job, then handover to training then hand over to PR and marketing and so on
- ensure the appropriate franchisor representative contacts the franchisee regularly to touch base and ensure they feel a part of a team
- ensure the franchisor lives up to expectations of availability to assist and provide support when needed.
The feeling of abandonment can lead to other and bigger problems in the franchisor/franchisee relationship. Relationship management can be key in avoiding disputes between the parties.
Can you suggest other strategies a franchisor can employ?