As a franchise system, your job to support your franchisees for success doesn’t have an end date. Supporting franchise owners is ongoing and valuable at every stage of growth.
BUT — there is something very important about those first 6 months in business (anyone who has started a business can agree) because it sets up your franchisees and gives them the foundation from which to grow and thrive.
When your franchisees feel supported, prepared, and positioned for success in their first 6 months in business, their happiness, engagement, and profitability will follow suit!
So let’s dig into the things you can do as a franchisor or home office team to support your franchisees for success in those crucial first 6 months in business.
Have Proactive Field Coaching in Place
The first step is to establish proactive field coaching in your system if you haven’t already. This is active support for your franchisees that’s specifically designed to encourage strategic growth.
Instead of a reactive approach to support (putting out fires as they come up) a proactive approach to support is dealing with challenges before they happen.
This involves regular coaching calls to support goal-setting, mindset, KPIs, company culture, profitability, and projections. Have extra questions about optimizing your field coaching program? Connect with us!
Support Your Franchisees’ Mindset
If you’ve been working in a franchise system for a while, you may have forgotten the mindset your franchisees will have in that early stage of growth.
Franchisees may have decades of experience or zero years of experience, but investing tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands – into a business can often create a mindset of fear or stress.
They may feel excited, but the anxiety that can come with investing large amounts of money into a business venture is worth considering in those initial stages of coaching and support.
Mindset is everything — that’s not just a core value here at AC Inc! It’s foundational for coaching and supporting your franchisees.
Whether your franchisee is struggling with hiring, or not hitting the benchmarks they hoped they would be hitting… create space in your coaching sessions to check in on your owner’s mindset.
Talk through some of the anxieties or fears that may come up and work on creating actionable steps that will empower your owners to feel in control of their situation.
Even just listening to those struggles and letting them voice those concerns can provide a lot of support and comfort, and generally ensure they don’t feel alone during difficult (or just new and uncomfortable) situations.
Training Attached to Stages of Growth
Training is important before your franchisee opens their doors, of course. But as well as initial training, having specific resources/courses/training ready to share at different revenue points/benchmarks in their business growth is an amazing way to continuously support your owners for success.
We suggest that instead of saying “We have all franchisees take this course at 3 months” try having a course tied to a specific revenue number, stage of growth, or pivotal moment in their business.
One of the best ways to keep track of where your franchisees are at, and when it makes the most sense to have them take a specific training or course, is to have consistent calls with a field coach and franchisee.
Whether these calls are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly… Having regular check-in calls with a field coach will help franchisees stay in tune with their business growth and allow your coaches to provide added support and training as needed.
What Your Franchisees Should Focus On
There are so many things to focus on at the beginning of opening a franchise. But when it comes to how you can best support your franchisees with their first 6 months in business, there are three things that will make a world of difference.
- Track your data — take guesses out of your financial future!
- Follow the operations procedures — don’t reinvent the wheel!
- Build company culture — this is the foundation of your business
When you support your franchisees and encourage them to focus on these three key elements of their business, it will make their foundation strong and make their first year a more successful one.
To support data tracking, be sure to check in on data often in your coaching calls. Providing a handy spreadsheet to show them where to track data is also helpful.
For following the operations procedures, be sure to go over the WHY of investing in a franchise. Franchisees have invested in a franchise system for a reason — there are existing models for hiring, sourcing, marketing, selling, and more.
And last but not least, building company culture is a foundational part of growing a small business and you can support your franchisees in several ways.
Work on building out core values and a mission statement for your franchisees’ location and show how they can implement these values into activities like hiring, meetings, and customer appreciation!
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 who are 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!