In the franchising industry there is an ongoing synergy between franchisors, who offers a franchise, and franchisees, who invest in a franchise. A good franchise concept consists of a solid business idea with a clear brand, an operational system and an attractive product range. Such a franchise concept can attract people from all over the world, no matter their background, market, culture or location. A franchisor which adopts this concept often gets energized by its rapid and organic expansion, which allows the company to sell more products and serve more clients. However, as franchisees come together from various locations, internal communication becomes key to making the network pull in the same direction. Here are five examples of helpful internal communication methods:
National franchise conferences: Make sure each country (or state) manager or master franchisee arranges one group meeting with all his/her franchisees at least once a year to discuss company news, services, products and receive education. This allows the franchisees to express their opinions, ideas, their everyday work situation and agree on solutions to joint challenges. This is also a good way for franchisees to get to know each other and create team spirit, which is important.
International master franchise conferences: Make sure all master franchisees (or country managers) get together once a year to receive company news and ideas from the franchisor. The franchisor sets the tone for the rest of the year and discusses company news, ideas and training material which will later be used during regional or national meetings with franchisees.
Weekly newsletters: Write about what is going on in your business on a regular basis. Inform people about new products, online widgets and other concerns or news your business may have. Also,let them know what other master franchisees and franchisees are doing to inspire, motivate and provide a sense of inclusion in the network.
Recruit bilingual staff in the head office: It is not uncommon that the majority of your staff will come from abroad and most likely from the countries where you conduct your franchise business. This is often necessary for international franchise concepts as you will need to provide service and support in the native language of your master franchisees or country managers. It also provides a great sense of belonging and trust in your franchise network.
Monthly webinars: All ethical companies value the environment dearly and we should always try to use modern technology to spare mother nature from our toxic long distance travelling. Thus, try to use different kinds of software such as Skype, Zoom, Webinar etc as a substitute to face-to-face meetings as much as possible. Arrange online sessions or training of some sort on a regular basis. This will encourage franchisees in their business and create a more engaged work force.
Also, remember that offering master franchisees and franchisees proper training in both theoretical and practical matters, along with a comprehensive operational manual, will be an excellent start in facilitating communication between you and your valued partners.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Biörck Eliasson is sales manager of Husse. Launched in Sweden in 1987, Husse is the world leader in home delivery of quality pet food and operates in more than 50 countries with over 1,100 franchisees/ distributors. An ongoing challenge for a vast franchise organization such as Husse is internal communication and making sure everyone pull in the same direction.