How to Implement Strategic Franchisee Coaching

AC Inc - How to Implement Strategic Franchisee Coaching

You’re ready to implement strategic franchisee coaching. You know that strategic growth coaching for your franchisees unlocks hidden profitability in your franchise system and you’re ready to begin.

The next thing to consider is: How do you implement strategic franchisee coaching? Not only that but also how do you implement this kind of franchisee support effectively?

AC Inc works with franchise brands across the world to help maximize the impact of field support and unlock hidden profitability. We have a team of former franchisees, franchisors, and field coaches and a proven methodology.

Read below to see the first three steps we recommend all franchise brands do to implement strategic franchisee coaching effectively and help you avoid a few foundational mistakes in the process.

Assess Your Current Franchisee Support

Before you dive into implementing franchisee coaching, start by analyzing what franchisee support your system currently has in place, and what kinds of results your owners see from these efforts.

Analyzing your current support structure should include both how happy and engaged your franchisees are, AND the results or numbers they’re seeing in their businesses. 

When you only look at the numbers, you risk missing out on identifying unhappy or disengaged franchise owners. 

Then, on the other hand, some franchisees are happy with stagnant growth or lower profits. Just because franchisees are happy doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement in your franchisee support system.

To audit what your current franchisee support looks like, you can use the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

Who — are you supporting? Who is supporting them? Do your current coaches or support roles have the right DNA and experience to support owners well?

What — are you doing for franchisee support? Is it proactive or reactive? What could you be doing better with your support structure?

Where — are you doing the support? Is it all virtual? Via phone calls or hotline chats? Are you doing field visits as well?

When — are you engaging with your franchisees? How frequently or infrequently do your franchisees receive coaching, training, or support?

Why — Ask yourself if your franchisees feel connected to their Why? Do your franchisees have goals of generational wealth, retirement, etc?

How — do you coach or support your franchisees? Are there systems/templates/sops in place to keep the support consistent and trackable?

Taking the time to slow down, assess, and truly understand where you’re at with franchisee support is key to creating improved support systems. It’s one of those slow-down-to-speed-up situations!

If you’re seeking support with this audit process, AC Inc does a Field Support Performance Assessment that brings a fresh, third-party perspective to audit your infrastructure, franchisee success, and create a strategic plan for maximizing the impact of your system. Connect with us for details. 

Buy In on the WHY of Proactive Franchisee Support

Coaching your franchisees for strategic growth directly connects to company ROI and improved shareholder value — that’s why it’s the hidden profitability in every franchise system.

To ensure that implementing strategic franchisee coaching in your brand goes smoothly, the next step is to get your team aligned on the WHY behind this initiative.

Most franchise brands already have operational support in place, and everyone is clear on the value and WHY behind this kind of support.

Operational support is the type of support that is required to operate the franchise. This includes tools, procedures, systems, resources, and opportunities that the franchisee can utilize.

Sometimes this kind of support is called “reactive support” because it can feel like putting out fires, or only engaging in support when it’s asked for (we sometimes call operational support roles firefighters).

Operational support is often the first kind of franchisee support put in place because – well – it needs to be, especially when you’re at an earlier stage of franchise growth. 

Strategic franchisee coaching is not operational support, its proactive support

Proactive support isn’t focused on the day-to-day operations of the business, instead, it focuses on strategic planning, skill development, goal setting, and making franchisees better business owners.

Strategic franchisee coaching falls under proactive support, and before announcing a new coaching initiative, it’s wise to align your entire company (franchisees and your home office team) on WHY you’re introducing this strategy. 

Take the time to explain what is currently in place, where you want to improve, and how implementing strategic franchisee coaching will improve franchisee happiness and profitability. 

It positively affects everyone in the company to have more franchisees who LOVE their brand and are successful in their business. 

But even still, we’ve found that bringing in a third party to explain this to the system can often be received better than the news coming from the home office leadership. Reach out if you’re interested in AC Inc supporting you in this step.

Implementing Franchisee Coaching for Emerging Brands

For early-stage franchisors, you may have someone on your team who is strong operationally and has the right traits and experience to step into a field coach role.

Having someone already on your team who makes a great fit for this role is great, and means your next step will be training them, and implementing a field support strategy: Read this blog for our guide to coaching call structure.

If you don’t have a great-fit person on your team and you have fewer than 30 units, hiring a fractional field coach may be the right step for you. 

AC Inc comes in as fractional field support to start coaching your owners, building your franchisee support infrastructure, and can help you hire an internal coach when it makes sense. Reach out if you’re interested in learning more!

Implementing Franchisee Coaching for Established Brands

If you have more than 30 units, we highly recommend hiring your first field coach to begin implementing strategic franchisee coaching. 

When hiring a field coach, the biggest mistake we see brands make is hiring someone with past field coach experience instead of someone with the right traits and experience.

Often the logic goes like this: It makes sense to hire someone who has done this exact role before and has the systems and habits already in place. 

The issue? How do you know the habits, systems, and strategies they used before will work for your system? How can you train them on an effective system when you haven’t had one in place before now?

So instead of hiring a past field coach and expecting them to lead the project without expert training and infrastructure, get an infrastructure in place and hire someone based on the DNA of a Field Coach to ensure the best results!

You guessed it — we help with hiring and training effective field coaches! Reach out if you’re interested in learning more.

Do you have more questions about how to support your franchisees? We discuss this and more in our free virtual AC Roundtables where franchisors gather on Zoom to collaborate and problem-solve together.

The AC Roundtables are a free resource we offer franchisors seeking collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. We’ve been running these virtual roundtables since 2020 and we always love to have new franchisors join us!

Try one of our free AC Roundtables