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Franchisee: How to Build an Everlasting Relationship with Your Franchisor

Good business relationship

Good business relationship

When it comes to franchising, franchisee-franchisor relationship is often more important than the business itself.

In franchising, if you have a bad relationship with your franchisor, you will not run your franchise unit well. Not that your franchisor is subjective in giving support and assistance, but like it or not, you need to teamwork well with your franchisor to make the most of your investment in a franchise – A bad relationship won’t help you to achieve this.

A case study of franchisee-franchisor relationship gone bad

I remember a case, in which bad franchisee-franchisor relationship ruin a what-suppose-to-be successful franchise unit.

The franchise unit is located in a very promising territory. Unfortunately, the franchisee is seemed to be not the best-fit for the franchise company. I’m not sure where the problem lies – Is it because the franchisee had a wrong mindset about franchising, or because the franchisors had a stumble in franchisee-screening process pre-franchise agreement signing. One thing for sure: The franchisor recruits what turned out to be a wrong franchisee.

The franchisee nags, whines, complains and criticises the franchisors and the support team. Everything seems bad in the eyes of the franchisee. The franchisee seems not in need of a support team – He probably needs a concierge. An example: When a window is broken, he is calling the franchise support team to fix it (figures…)

Eventually, the franchisor has fed up with all the nags and complaints, and decided to have a word with the franchisee. The relationship gone badly: The franchisee is unhappy, the franchisor is unhappy. Everybody is unhappy. This is a bad situation where nobody wants to take a part in it.

I honestly don’t know the outcome of this, but what I’m sure is that the franchise unit, located in a prime location, is not performing well. What a loss to both franchisee and franchisor.

Franchisee: How to build a great relationship with your franchisor

A good franchisor has already figured it out – They have built a strong franchisee candidate screening system.

Unfortunately, many franchisees don’t know that business and professional relationship in franchising is much more important than in any other business opportunities.

Here are some tips to help you build a great relationship with your franchisor (no, you are not required to spend every weekend dinner with your franchisor):

  • You need to be a strong supporter (but not a yes-man)
    You have paid a fee to borrow your franchisor’s brand name, anyway. So you are obliged to support whatever causes that will enhance branding and value of the franchise.
  • When you have something to complain, offer a solution or a suggestion
    Most don’t and complains don’t solve problems. Solutions do. Offer solutions and suggestions that you think will benefit both of you.
  • Attend every meeting, take part in every event
    Franchise meeting is important. You may have other business (or a job) to take care of, but you should prioritise attending franchise meetings. Sometimes, meetings are the only place where you can network and socialise with your franchisor and other franchisees.
  • Take franchisor warnings like a man
    From time to time, your franchisor carries a quality and compliance control of the franchise units. When your franchisor spots some problems with how you run your franchise unit (there will always be a change of one or two non-compliance happens – Dozens of set rules are challenging to follow thoroughly,) deals with them like a man; don’t rant, because rants don’t solve things. If you feel you need to clarify, do it professionally – You are a business owner, anyway; act like one.
  • Respect your franchisor
    Franchisee-franchisor relationship, in reality, will never be a peer-to-peer relationship; It’s a parents-to-children-type of relationship, or at least an older-sibling-to-younger-sibling type of relationship. Respect your “parents” or “older bro/sis” and try to follow their lead as they know more than you do (that’s the main reason why you invest in a franchise, not starting your own business.)

Any other tips to share? If so, please share yours by commenting to this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Respect thy franchisor
Image by SashaW.

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