How can franchisors best recruit and retain franchisees? Evan Foster, director of established brands in UFG’s Australia office shares his insights…
What are the steps franchisors can take to attract the right franchisees?
Ensure that you have a comprehensive screening and recruitment process. At United Franchise Group (UFG) we have a lengthy recruitment process that goes through multiple steps and ensures two things:
- The candidate understands the business from the inside out by speaking with franchisees and visiting the business
- They meet with a wide number of people from our franchisor team.
It’s an approval process – and it’s your approval to give.
How do franchisors help motivate and support franchisees through their tenure?
I am a firm believer in ensuring franchisees learn from one another and associate with one another freely. Our role as a support office is to be the front-line support but also to act as a conduit between stores – helping share best practices and putting them together with their peers to learn and grow together.
What lessons have you learned about communicating with franchisees?
That it’s the toughest part of the role! Communication methods have changed so much, and we need to mix up the delivery all the time: emails, regional meetings and conferences, webinars, conference calls, our intranet and of course today social media (Facebook in particular) is a great way to share information.
What are the best ways to get franchisees to report and analyse sales data and ongoing financials?
Ensuring that you have a consistent method for collecting the information. There are great partners that can manage this function and provide benchmarking data back to franchisees and the franchisor team. As much as possible, you need to let the technology work for you. In 2018, there are loads of brilliant applications that make it easy for franchisee and franchisor alike to collect, collate and analyse information without much manual input.
What’s the key to franchise retention?
It comes back to recruitment. If you get the recruitment process right, you will introduce franchisees that are well suited to your business, your culture, and will want to stay for a long time.
Sometimes you have to say no if you don’t think someone is going to be a good fit for your brand.