On the franchisee struggle to embrace change

It’s not always easy to comfort franchisees into change. That’s the issue franchisors often experience.

Advancements in network systems (such as software updates, and new IT systems) or adjustments to common practices are changes that might rock the boat a little, but it’s the franchisor’s duty to smoothen out any concerns held by the franchisee.

While change is very important for any business, that sentiment doesn’t mean that change always translates well with franchisees.

There has to be some pushing and pulling from the franchisor: this is what we’re changing and this is how we’ll help you do it.

Perhaps it’s the idea of change itself – no matter how big or small – that truly triggers anxiety in franchisees.

So, how do franchisors help their franchisees overcome inertia?

One important part is being extremely clear with the change itself: i.e. a clear, to-the-point explanation on why the change is occurring and why it’s important for the business as a whole.

The thing is this: change is going to happen either way, whether the franchisee agrees with it or not. So it is the franchisor’s duty to comfort the franchisee and educate them on the change as best as they can. It mightn’t be easy, but it has to be done.

But if a franchisee just despises change? Motivate them, encourage them and inspire them to achieve bigger and better things with the business. Involve them in growth discussions and inform them that there are monetary gains on the horizon (providing we’re all on the same page as a franchising team).

Cost versus benefit: weighing it all up

This might, indeed, be the biggest hitch during a process of change. Franchisees often express their concerns on spending more than the change’s rewards will garner.

There’s a good chance it won’t be financially rewarding from the get-go but the change is likely happening due to positive advancements in the business. Franchisors need to reiterate the importance of change, and walk them through the process (from a growth perspective).

With a clear understanding of why operational changes are necessary, a franchisor will be able to effectively communicate with their franchisees and foster the transition itself.