Higher customer expectations, lower brand loyalty, and pervasive consumer technology have created a dynamic landscape for companies looking to differentiate and win. But for today’s franchisees, the ability to adapt will ultimately determine which locations thrive and which disappear.
In this ever-changing landscape, what sets the winners apart? I believe that today, franchise success depends on conquering the 3 Ts: Team, Tools, and Transparency.
Historically, franchisees have underutilized a not-so-secret weapon – the field organization. The field holds major responsibility as they funnel information from corporate to individual franchise locations, yet today they are not being used effectively. District managers are poised to be advisors for your stores, so making the most of your time with them to share objectives and goals can have a strong influence and impact on the success of your franchise. As the brick and mortar experience evolves, district managers are an essential asset to help franchisees better understand corporate objectives and how to turn them into reality at the store level and should be relied on to help convey what’s working and what’s not back up the chain.
Despite the guidance the field can offer franchise locations, few retailers are setting them up for success when they meet with stores in their district. We recently conducted a national survey of district managers and 65 percent of those surveyed said that having enough time in-stores is somewhat or extremely challenging. As a franchisee, making the most of your time with your corporate representative is vital to helping you meet performance goals and implement strategies to help your business succeed.
To win in today’s ever-changing retail landscape, franchisees need to better utilize their field team to help their locations drive operational improvements, increase store performance, and cut costs without cutting headcount.
Across industries, the use of data has become essential for success, but today, most companies are still stuck chasing data. A recent national report revealed that while many employees cite spending up to 20 hours per week collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data, nearly 1 in 3 companies fail to act on it.
Data effectiveness is often limited by outdated and segmented tools, resulting in siloed views of the business and limited insight for decision-making. Within retail, 40 percent of respondents cited a lack of tools needed to act on data collected across their organization. It’s likely your stores are still using antiquated tools and bulky binders filled with hundreds of pages of printed materials to train employees and track store data.
In the fast-paced retail environment, the ability to learn, adjust, and act quickly can determine whether a brand will survive. The right tools are necessary for your franchise to succeed, but when these aren’t in place, you’re left making critical decisions based on gut feelings that can leave precious money on the table. As a franchise owner, you should push your company to update tools to help you better distill company-wide insights and drive effective action.
Purpose-built tools like store relationship management (SRM) software enable data-driven decision making to help power agility, uncover pain points and areas of opportunity, and ultimately ensure long-term success. Implementing tools that allow faster training and access to corporate information can make sharing and measuring your franchise performance metrics a simple and seamless process.
Tapping into existing resources and employing the right tools is key, but it’s all for nothing if everyone isn’t marching towards the same goals. Empowering real change starts with aligning the entire team – up, down, and across the organization – around a common set of goals and a common language for measuring success.
Providing company-wide visibility of performance data – and more importantly, tying that data to action plans – helps ensure that every action taken by a franchisee is driving the business forward. It’s hard to succeed when your team lacks insight into the roles that fit into the larger picture. Making sure everyone understands how their achievements contribute to overall corporate goals can make the road to success smoother. What’s more, franchisees can share best practices and lessons learned with each other giving all locations the ability to increase performance and be recognized for success.
Franchising is evolving much faster than most brands can respond. But franchisees that master team, tools, and transparency will be able to adapt, build customer loyalty, and outgrow the competition.