And how to overcome it …
An effective franchisor will offer ongoing support and training to their franchisees as a matter of course and ensure they have everything they need to run their businesses successfully …
However, there will be times when, regardless of how much time, effort and money you’ve invested into your business, you’ll find that some franchisees just aren’t delivering to your expectations.
“Underperforming franchisees can compromise your brand values and drain resources!”
It’s important to identify the reasons why they’re underperforming as quickly as possible so that you can guide them back onto the right path. Supporting struggling franchisees during tough times reinforces company values and should, therefore, always be your priority.
Your first step, before reacting, should be to try and understand the reasons why a franchisee is underperforming. Unfortunately, some franchisors tend to spend more time firefighting without stopping to think about whether there is an underlying issue.
It may help if you revisit the franchisee’s recruitment file and review any notes you made during their application process. Did you highlight any weaknesses that could be the reason for their underperformance? It could be due to the fact that they were not fully engaged with the training you provided.
If this is the case, talk to the franchisee and ask them if they feel they could benefit from some additional, refresher training to address these issues.
You should also review your franchisee’s performance history and any communications you’ve had with them. As you look at past reports, action plans, letters, emails and phone logs, you might start to see a pattern emerging.
How did you deal with each issue at the time? Did you do enough to help or could you have done more? Find out what worked, what was less successful, and think of new ways to provide feedback to your franchisee.
It’s also possible that, in some cases, the franchisee’s poor performance may have something to do with a personal issue. Having to deal with family troubles or an illness can affect enthusiasm or focus and, in cases like this, your franchisees need lots of support, encouragement and motivation.
“It’s a great idea to set up an online forum, where franchisees can support each other and share best practice tips and advice!”
Above all, make an effort to ensure the franchisee feels included, tell them you’re there for them and show them that you’re willing to give them the time and space they need to get back on track.
If you concentrate your efforts on improving your training programmes and communications processes, as well as finding out the reasons behind a franchisee’s poor performance, you will not only help them but also reinforce your business’s values to the entire network.
By being supportive, your franchisees will know that you’re dedicated to their individual achievements and wellbeing, as well as the success of the business as a whole.
Lastly, be aware that, although we do our best as franchisors, we have to accept that sometimes a franchise may still fail, for various reasons. If this happens, you may be able to come to an amicable decision but, if not, I recommend you always seek legal advice.
“It’s sad when it happens, but it
If you’d like more advice about helping underperforming franchisees, do call the Approved Franchise Association on 0208 088 2400 or click here to send us an email enquiry and let’s see how we can help you.
Until next time …
Why not visit www.theafa.org.uk and find out more?