If business growth is on the agenda for 2019, one option for reaching new markets is to franchise your brand. This involves compiling a business package which provides everything that a franchisee would need in order to replicate your business model in another geographical location.
Within the UK, around 621,000 people* are employed in a franchise. Launching with a proven model, established processes, a known brand and a support network means that new franchises are far more successful than starting a business from scratch. This is evidenced by the fact the 97% of franchises being run profitably and a marginal failure rate.
If you attract the interest of multiple franchisees, it can be the route to rapid and sustainable growth.
Customer Service: An Underpinning Value
A starting point is to clearly evaluate the underpinning values, process and structure which has led to your current success. In many cases, a genuine commitment to customer service has been at the heart of operations. You’ve earnt a strong reputation by engaging with your customers, understanding their needs and reliably delivering exactly what they were looking for.
In order to ensure that this trusted reputation is built upon, rather than damaged, you need to ensure that the heart of the business can accompany the manuals, capital and branding guidelines. The package you offer must be appealing in order to attract interest and investment. Be sure that, in addition to having sufficient finances to take on the franchise, any applicant shares your values.
Whilst you can provide equipment, resources and support to anyone, you need to be selective in your recruitment of franchisees. Money in the bank is tempting, but consider the cost if they destroy your brand by not being as committed to quality, hygiene or customer service. A few exceptional franchisees are preferable to accepting everyone who is interested and seeing things spiral out of control.
A single interview is unlikely to determine if you have the best candidate, so consider ways in which you can really get to know them and see their approach in action. You’ve built your business up from scratch, so it’s a big deal to hand over responsibility to a new area Manager. It’s important that you trust them to excel.
Once you’ve found the cream of the crop, the next step is to invest in a comprehensive and on-going training programme. This will include practical ‘how to’ demonstrations and possibly work on industry-specific qualification. Customer service training should also be an essential part of the induction process.
Customer Service Training
Depending on the nature of your business, Customer Service training can include specific areas such as Confident Telephone Handling, Effective Complaint Management, Assertiveness and Supporting Vulnerable Customers. Helen Pettifer Training offers downloadable Customer Service Training Manuals that can support your franchisee development programme. Alternatively, Helen can run in-house training for your team of franchisees.
In addition to manuals and sessions, let them see you and your team in action:
If you are keen to become a franchisor or franchisee, advice, legal requirements and opportunities can be found at British Franchise Association and Franchise Futures
When you are ready to put together your induction programme, contact Helen Pettifer on 07704 221241 for support with Customer Service Training and resources.
*Statistics from the British Franchise Association and NatWest Franchise Survey.