Operational vs Proactive Franchisee Support

AC Inc - Proactive Franchisee Support

The team here at AC Inc is a little obsessed with franchisee support, specifically the value of strategic, ongoing, proactive franchisee support.

And by obsessed, we mean we’ve built an entire brand and mission around getting franchisees access to more proactive support!

Why, you may ask? Well… we want more successful franchise systems to create a positive impact in local communities.

When we have effective, proactive franchisee support we get more successful, profitable franchisees. Profitable, successful franchisees lead to more revenue, more royalties, and more awarded franchises in your system.

TLDR; Supported franchisees mean more successful franchise systems, which means more positive impact in local communities.

Safe to say our team is all about franchisee support, and today’s blog tackles the difference between the two kinds of franchisee support: Proactive and operational.

We’ll get into the definitions, benefits, examples, and how to start implementing an effective support system for your owners.

Let’s get started….

Rather listen? Check out the Franchise Growth Pod episode on this topic.

Operational Franchisee Support

Let’s cut right to it — what is operational support?

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. 

The list of what falls under this category is quite extensive.

  • Ticketing System, Help Desk
  • Initial Training 
  • Operations manual
  • Tech tools like CRM and POS
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Field visits and audits
  • Resource library – marketing assets, templates
  • Meetings, team calls, conferences, webinars
  • Communication channels – newsletters, podcasts, videos
  • Franchise Advisory Council (FAC)
  • Vendor portals

When a franchisee calls with a problem, we react or support the best we can at the moment. This is operational support and is often the only form of support before there is more strategic, long-term planning and coaching in place.

There are many benefits of this kind of support, despite it being reactive it is still necessary and can be a vital element of a successful franchise system.

The benefits of operational support.

  • Satisfied franchisees because they are able to get help when they need it
  • Understanding of how to run the business
  • Tools to run the business
  • Increased Franchisee engagement.
  • Lower procurement costs (vendors) results in higher profitability.
  • Training leads to professional development

Proactive Franchisee Support

Chances are (at any stage of growth) your franchise system has many forms of operational support, but proactive franchisee support is something we see many brands seeking support on putting in place.

What exactly is proactive franchisee support —

Support measures that are proactively provided to franchisees on a regular and ongoing basis. They are designed to help them develop their skills to be effective business owners, help them grow, be successful and reach their goals.

You guessed it – proactive support is the other side of operational 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.

Examples of proactive support

  • Strategic Growth Coaching
  • Performance Groups, Masterminds
  • Marketing Planning 
  • Business Training 
  • Skill Development Opportunities – workshops, training
  • Collaboration Opportunities – roundtables, mentorship program, committees

When you coach your franchisees to become better business owners, and how to put out their OWN fires, you have higher-performing franchisees that will create more overall system success. 

More revenue, royalties, happiness, validation, and overall brand reputation. 

Benefits of proactive support

  • Improved franchisee performance
  • Stronger franchisee relationships
  • Increased franchisee success
  • Reduced franchisee turnover
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Increase in franchise sales

Creating the Best Franchisee Support Structure

It probably won’t shock you in the least that the best franchisee support system includes both proactive and operational support!

See below for a list of blog posts to reference for how to create an effective support structure for your franchisees — and specifically how to implement more proactive franchisee support into your system.

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