Are you, unknowingly, holding back your high-performing franchisees?

Have a think for a moment, about your highest-performing franchisees. Most franchisors I know have the one or two franchisees they wish everyone else in their network was like! Their ideal franchisee. The one who has made success of the brand their middle name. Can you picture the one? How often do you love to hear them share their success story? Or ask them to inspire others in the network to do as well as they are?

They really are an excellent reflection of your brand and your franchise model, aren’t they! And, they’re earning the most for you, as a franchise, right?!

But, what are you investing back into them?!

I’ve spoken with many high-performing franchisees who feel as though their business has plateaued. And because they are so driven and are doing well compared to the rest of the network, there’s a danger they’ll exit. Exit because they feel there’s nowhere left for them to grow. Exit because franchisor focus is on the middling franchisees to bring them up. Exit because there’s no investment in them as franchisees to help them reach the next level. Exit because they’re bored now.

Yet, there’s often an expectation for them to “give back” to the rest of the network, when they actually have a higher desire to focus on their business, improve their profit margins, and take their business to the next level. It’s a bit like in school, all over again, when teachers spend time focused on bringing overall grades up for the whole class, rather than allocating resources to help those already with high grades to achieve more.

Managing expectations

Due to the nature of franchising, there are expectations on franchisors, to ensure their model works, and is adequately scalable. So, whilst there are measures in place to help improve franchisee performance at the lower end, and support systems for those just starting out, as a sector we have a duty of care to those in the top 5% of any network. We can’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach to franchisee growth to work across the board, with franchisees at varying stages of their franchise life-cycle.

So, what can we do? Not all franchisees are born equal. Some will fly with what you’ve provided, but there will be others who are desperate for an implementation of a strategy which will enable them to soar even higher. Something I know from conversations I’ve had, not all franchisors had considered this, when their network started growing.

Peer-to-peer investment

Something magical happens, when like-minded people collaborate, especially an advanced group of high-performing franchisees. They share ideas, they re-imagine their potential, and refine the future of their businesses. They don’t feel like they’ve reached the end of their road, or like they’re giving out without anyone pouring something back into them.

To make this happen successfully, you need someone on the Franchise Support Team who can match the skill-level of your high performers. Someone who knows the right questions to ask, and can instigate intelligent business conversations. Someone who can ignite the passion and drive of your top franchisees, rather than allowing their original passion to be extinguished altogether. As you can imagine, this will take further investment, and may mean re-thinking the structure of your Support Team, to free up resources and time. Or bringing in a specialist with the education and insight to know what’s needed, and how to achieve it.

Further investment equates to further benefits, all round!

Having been in business for as long as you have, you’ll be well-versed in knowing when you make an investment, you will reap a reward. Not only will your highest-performing franchisees feel incentivised to stay in the network, but as their businesses grow even further, the financial impact for you doesn’t need to be outlined.

One thing most franchisors aspire to, is knowing their franchisees are happy and running strong businesses. It’s why we have the Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, from Workbuzz. So, investing back into your top-franchisees, without expecting them to invest back into the network so they can focus on growing their business, will lead to them feeling happier, too. Win-win.

Need some help?

I’ve only offered a brief outline of this, so would love to speak to you in more detail about your specific franchisees, and what you can do to invest in your high performers. Because I firmly believe not all franchisees are born equal, so a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works.

If I can help, I’d love to know about the challenges you’re facing, and how we can address them to improve relationships and supporting your high performing franchisees to achieve greater heights. Lets talk.