Even a casual review of Entrepreneur’s running list of top-500 franchises shows a continuity at the top. At least as of late, you’re likely to see a combination of McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, The UPS Store, 7-Eleven and Jimmy Johns. While you could classify three of the five as QSRs, they offer a much different primary product from one another. Well-run franchise operations such as these get people thinking. What, exactly, are these brands doing right? What have they figured out in terms of operational success that keeps them at the top? During this week’s edition of the Proven Match blog, we’re going to look at four distinct elements of any successful franchise.
At the top of this list is the very definition of franchise attribution—brand consistency. Let’s circle back to McDonald’s. What they offer, how the stores look, the employee uniforms and price controls are always consistent. A Big Mac is a Big Mac in Duluth, MN, as well as in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Everything from their corporate colors to their ubiquitous mascot, Ronald McDonald, is the same wherever you go. And consumers simply love McDonald’s, rewarding the franchise with repeat business and a top-ranking week in and week out. That’s brand consistency at its finest. How does your franchise operation stack up when compared to legends such as this?
The manner in which consumers hear about your brand must be consistent as well. Many franchisors pour their heart and soul into making sure that the right consistent message is targeting their coveted audience on a permanent basis. That’s not to say that advertising doesn’t change over time, but think of Chick-fi-A for a moment. If the first thing that just popped into your mind was a Holstein Cow, then their marketing team has set an example for you. This kind of success can become a major selling point for recruitment efforts. It’s likely that in a similar situation, a potential franchisee will note your effort to establish message consistency and, in turn, that your product or service is in demand. And that makes you an attractive choice.
Another key component likely to predict franchisor success is the empowerment the brand offers their franchisees. Think carefully about these next questions—what type of voice do you give your owners? Do you have an advisory council? Is there truly a feedback loop? Would you consider your operation an inclusive organization? Solid franchise operations provide their charges with the right amount of leadership and tools to operate both independently—and successfully—within the prescribed framework. A culture of true collaboration is a very important aspect of empowerment.
While having a laser focus on operations sounds like a cliché, the best and brightest franchisors have systems in place to make sure that bottom-line profitability is well-defined along a road-map of success. Nary does an independent franchisee stray from the path and not meet its obligational goals without someone noticing well ahead of the problem. The guidance that leading franchisors offer their franchisees is constant and collaborative, often including high-level key performance indicator programs. These ensure that all cylinders are firing at once, creating the power that drives the brand forward. Oversight, oversight, oversight!
Whether your franchise is a perennial powerhouse like the aforementioned examples, or if you’ve just begun your zor operations, the keys to success are staring you in the face. And never assume that the building blocks of a solid franchise operations foundation aren’t scalable to your own organizational efforts. That’s why the keys to franchisor success are always distinct and will remain so.
As a franchisor, you’ll want to know which existing and potential franchisees best fit your business concept. Proven Match is the proven solution in determining those factors. Through our proven behavioral assessment techniques, predictive analysis becomes predictive success for your franchise concept. If you’re ready to show your leadership by getting started, give us a call and we’ll put you on the path to a more productive year in 2017.