What it is
The use of franchising as a means of expansion has created an unrivaled environment for exponential corporate growth and the potential value of the brand; as a result, the management of the franchise network is a critical component of the strategy’s success. With franchising, the brand’s owner can replicate his business model in various formats and concepts for diverse markets and audiences, allowing for a closer connection to their product’s customers and so ensuring stronger brand memory in the minds of their target audience.
The major objective of the franchisor’s team is to operate a franchise network, a mission that needed to be updated in light of the new scenario that has emerged in the world. The franchising system, no matter how developed it is in the country, needs to undergo some important alterations from the epidemic to the resumption of operations after the pandemic had passed.
The management of a franchise network goes through some important challenges, such as engagement of franchisees with the business and according to the maturity level of each unit, constant and always updated training of the franchisee and his team, support in managing the performance of the network, ensuring the adequate support structure to meet all the demands of the network and much more – which makes it a complex task and in which the franchisor may often need the support of a specialized company.
How We Do It
Franchise Network Management Structure
In order to manage the franchise network well, it is necessary to know and align well the needs and skills of the franchisees and the franchisor. The focus should be on delivering the value proposition promised to the franchisee at the time of purchase of the franchise and on replicating to the letter the successful model of the brand in the market.
In terms of organizational structure, it’s vital to note that managing a franchise network necessitates a specific structure with clearly defined regions and adequately mapped and established processes in order for the company to meet the franchise network’s support obligations. It is usual for personnel in the franchisor to amass functions – assuming different responsibilities – at the start of the franchising operation; but, as additional units join the network, the structure must be appropriate so that franchisees have effective support for the unit’s success.
Network Management professionals must be trained in the formatted business model and the details of the operation, as well as have training and experience aligned with the culture and essence of franchising and use the management tools available to support and guide franchisees in the development and operation of their unit with excellence.
A great business concept, the perfect franchisee to operate the firm, and, most importantly, a well-structured franchisor are three crucial pillars for building a consistent franchising system.
All of this is supported by people qualified to play various network management roles; a franchisor’s culture and purpose ingrained in every action; well-defined and technology-supported processes; and a well-thought-out organizational structure and governance – where everyone understands the importance of what they develop and follows the company’s rules and policies.
In this process, technology plays an important role and today is almost vital for network management, only with accurate data and information is it possible to develop performance indicators and monitor the network’s results with greater precision. The technology must support all management processes both by the franchisee in its unit and by the franchisor in the network management process.
Franchise Network Management Processes and Tools
A successful franchise network is one in which franchisees who are engaged with the brand are able to achieve projected results and remuneration for the capital they have invested in the business. For this to happen, the franchisor must be actively involved in the franchisee’s success, promoting actions to improve results through assertive guidance in marketing, finance, and sales, as well as providing ongoing support.
More than just a desire to make it work, the franchisee must have all of the business model’s processes defined so that they may be multiplied in the operation. Simultaneously, a well-structured field consultancy, complete with visit plans, checklists, and the capacity to establish action plans with franchisees based on unit outcomes, is critical.
Manuals as a Franchise Network Management Tool
The network manuals make the franchisor’s know-how accessible to franchisees in a practical way. Its job is to keep the standard, quality, and everything else that helped the franchisor build a successful firm. Most (if not all) franchise networks include this tool to depict the reality of a franchisee’s routine operations, and if it isn’t updated on a regular basis, it will be of little use to franchisees. The manuals depict the materialization of the transfer of know-how in the franchise network management process.
It’s difficult to persuade franchisees to use this technology, so business advisors must support it and franchisees must realize the benefits it provides. The manuals’ primary purpose is to serve as a training tool for the team during day-to-day operations. People should be able to utilize it to address everyday doubts quickly and effortlessly.
As a result, it’s critical to be up-to-date and immediately accessible – preferably digitally so that it’s useful when you need it.
Business Consulting and Training Programs as Franchise Network Management Instruments
Field or Business Consulting, one of the areas that make up the franchisor’s organizational structure, with dedicated professionals to provide services to the network’s franchisees, with a clear goal of supporting them so that they achieve the projected results, using digital tools to monitor performance in real-time, is one way to keep a close eye on this.
Technology is critical in this situation because it provides unit management with data and reports that allow for both preventative and corrective intervention.
Encouragement of collaboration, integration, and engagement of franchisees in the network’s development are among its key responsibilities. With a clear goal in mind, the field and franchisees collaborated to make it work by closely evaluating franchisee and network performance and encouraging involvement.
The training sector, in addition to business consulting, supplements this support. Based on network shortcomings, business consultants and training specialists collaborate to fix these issues.
Both the business consultancy and the training area must work with a structured and personalized action plan based on the needs of the franchisees, the same remedy is not valid for different pains. According to the stage of development of each franchisee, services will be structured to increase the partner’s maturity as an entrepreneur and be responsible for the results of the unit under his command. Standardized and generic services will not have the necessary effects.
Franchisees usually receive training before starting the franchise operation, but this moment alone is not enough to keep them aligned and oriented to carry out the day-to-day activities of the operation, the training process must be continuous, with programs also targeted at the franchisee’s team.
And what is the role of communication in managing the franchise network?
The communication between the franchisee and the franchisor must be fluid, with a reaction time that fits the network’s and the franchisor’s needs. A good communication system requires an open and defined channel for the network’s relationship, which is used by everyone in complete transparency.
It must motivate employees, instill a sense of belonging in franchisees, create value for the firm and the network, provide an acceptable and transparent environment for relationships, and simplify the franchise network management process.
The network’s culture must be reflected in all communication actions with franchisees to ensure alignment between everyone who makes part of it.
SAF – Franchise Customer Service
Developing support tools to aid in the improvement of communication and relationship-building procedures with the franchisee network. Some franchise networks adopt the model, which must satisfy the purpose of providing an effective avenue for franchisees to lodge claims or complaints. It necessitates internal regulation, including set timelines for directing and fulfilling franchisee requests, as well as a quality control system for meeting needs.
SAF employs tools to manage network demands, allowing franchisors to automate answers, set service deadlines, and provide franchisees with an open channel to satisfy specific requests. It’s a crucial channel that needs to be well-structured in order to maintain a positive and cooperative relationship with the network.
Overcoming the challenges in Franchise Network Management
The great challenge for franchising companies is to sustain the franchise network over time, with engaged franchisees, being remunerated for their dedication to the brand and contributing to the success of the system as a whole. Practicing good management, taking into account all the aspects mentioned here, is the way and the guarantee for sustaining the franchise business.
Materialization of results and the power of franchising are revealed
Because the network and the brand are now driven by a good system of Franchise Network Management, all of the great aspects of franchising are materialized in outcomes for the network and the brand. This goes beyond the process of preparing a brand for franchise expansion.
The network management system brings immediate benefits because a good Franchise Network Management system is proportional to the level of organization and structuring of the franchisor company, which must be supported by the four pillars of success for any type of organization: A Organizational structure of the franchisor, the Processes, the Technology contributed and the competences of the professionals responsible for managing the network.