How to cr eate balanc e in the franchisor /franchis ee relationshi p It’s one of those areas that we know will never be perfect, and it’s one of those areas that if not right in the early development days of your franchise network it can spin out of control quite
quickly with some, all or usually with just a select few.
So how do you achieve balance within your franchisor/franchisee relationship and how do you close the gaps in your current foundations to ensure the existing network of franchisees and your new incoming franchisees experience that same or similar relationship and culture?
Th e power is in your house!
Have you ever really taken the time to look at a light bulb that’s turned on at your front door or porch? What did you notice? I’m sure you would see what I see, an array of bugs and moths flying and crawling around the light? Have you ever wondered why they do that? It’s simple. They are attracted to the light. The brighter and more powerful the light, the more bugs and flying insects you will see around the light. In other words the bigger and more powerful the light in your business, in your team
and in your franchise network culture, the more positive people you will attract.
All too often I come into a franchise group and see and feel too much negative energy.
When negative energy takes too much power from your light, not only do you fail to attract good things, you are also pushing away or rejecting or even leaving no room at all for the good energy. When you apply negative energy in your network or when you fail to recharge your network with positive energy, you become disempowered and you also disempower people in your network.
When you intentionally apply positive energy in your franchise network, you become empowered and you also empower your franchisees who are attracted to and want to tap into your positive light.
So how do you keep your light bright? How do you maintain that positive bright energy within you and your franchise network as a whole?
The main thing to remember is that you must stay consistent in being empowering with everything you do. Simply by being empowering, you are generating more positive energy and adding more power to your light. Empowering is not something you be, it’s something you do every day – that’s blended into every interaction you have with your franchisees, colleagues and more.
It’s your ultimate responsibility as a franchisor to make sure that your batteries are always full of power so you can keep your light bright. Always remember: it takes energy to maintain energy, so if you are not adding to your positive energy, it’s automatically seeping away. WITH GREAT POWER COME S
Understanding the three dominant relationship types
Before you can move into building and maintaining the ideal franchisee/franchisor relationship, it’s important to understand and identify with the three primary relationship types.
The dependent franchisee /franchisor relationship
By looking at the illustration, the two lines represent two people in the relationship – usually the franchisor and franchisee. The dependent relationship is where one person is constantly holding up the other person and when one person places responsibility on the other person to fulfill his or her needs.
Generally, in a franchise relationship, this is usually the franchisor holding up the franchisee and the franchisee placing full responsibility on the franchisor for his or her success.
The franchisee becomes demanding and negative and nothing ever seems to please him or her. Over time the franchisor discovers there’s just not enough energy (time, money and resources) to hold the other person up because the dependent person is disempowering. No matter what the franchisor does, the dependent franchisee will still always place the responsibility on the franchisor for their overall success.
The franchisor generally feels the need to move away from this situation as a result of continual frustration and overwhelm, and support the franchisees that have a better attitude, a better commitment to the network and more positive
The challenge with this is, if the disempowered franchisee remains in the system, they will eventually steal and drain the energy from others within the network. This drain usually impacts other franchisees which results in total unbalance – not just in the initial franchisee/franchisor relationship but total unbalance in the network. So what’s the solution with this type of relationship? It’s important for the franchisor to start adopting more ways to empower the head office team in order to help empower the franchisees who are dependent to take responsibility for their overall success and happiness.
It’s also a good idea to review your recruitment process and truly identify who your ideal franchisee is so that these naturally disempowering franchisees just don’t make it
through the recruitment process.
Now we know a dependent relationship is when one person places responsibility on the other person to fulfill his or her needs for success
What if both people in the relationship depend on the other person to make sure everything happens smoothly and everyone’s happy. This is a co-dependent relationship. The two figures in the illustration represent the franchisee and franchisor existing in a co-dependent relationship.
The challenge with being in a co-dependent relationship is that it doesn’t stay in balance. The illustration looks balanced, with each person holding the other up, but that’s not what actually happens.
One person is usually more demanding and needier than the other at different times. So
both sides are constantly drawing energy from the relationship, which is weakening it from both sides These are the franchisee/franchisor relationships that feel if they each give 50 per cent to the relationship, then their relationship will have 100
per cent. Here’s the problem with that: there’s still 100 per cent missing. What it really means is that there are two disempowering people in the same relationship.
To move past this stage of a relationship, you must again review your foundations of
expectations, the consistency of ongoing support and training and where the co-dependency started.
Perhaps it started with a lack of communication, perhaps a lack of follow through with regards to compliance or perhaps as a result of not setting the expectations and empowering each party to be responsible for the part they play in the relationship.
The empowering franchisee /
What makes a strong franchisee/franchisor relationship work is when you have two
empowering parties who take responsibility to make sure they are happy within themselves and are responsible for the part they play in the relationship.
The franchisor is responsible for ensuring they are empowering the network, fulfilling their responsibilities, following through on their word and their actions and ensuring they are coming to the party when it comes to providing the right amount of support, ongoing training, tips, knowledge and insights.
The franchisee, on the other hand, is responsible for the part they play in the relationship. They have bought into a system, it is their responsibility to implement and follow that system, take the necessary actions consistently every day to ensure their success and to achieve their outcomes.
Just because the franchisor has provided the system doesn’t mean that the franchisee will be instantly successful. The franchisor fulfills his responsibilities in that role and then the franchisee must fulfill his responsibilities in his/ her role. You will see in an inter-dependent relationship there is a connection, there is a balance and each individual is responsible for the energy, the attitude and the actions they bring to the relationship.
Each individual is 100 per cent responsible for their role, duties and obligations in that
relationship. By empowering yourself and then empowering others to be 100 per cent
responsible for the energy they bring to the relationship and for the actions they take which are necessary to create successful outcomes, the relationship becomes more balanced and sets a solid foundation for a long and happy journey.
So as a franchisor, how do you move towards creating more balanced inter-dependent
relationships? Well the only thing in the entire universe we have control over, is changing ourselves. So it starts with you.
Ti me to Ta ke Action
In order to move towards building and then maintaining empowering franchisee/franchisor relationships, it’s important you get started straight away, taking the right actions and steps in the right order.
If you are an established franchisor it’s important to look at this from two viewpoints. Firstly, in the franchisee recruitment phase when you first start to engage with your prospective franchisees and secondly, with your current network of franchisees. As a new franchisor this will be something you must embrace right from the get go.
1. Review what is! Looking honestly at your franchise network, it’s important you identify exactly what types of franchisor/franchisee relationships exist within your network. Once you have identified what is – it’s important to then;
2. Decide what it is you want! How do you see your future relationships with your franchisees? How do you see the dynamic between each franchise unit? How can you empower your franchisees more to assume responsibility for the part they play in the relationship? How can you do the same with regards to the part you play in the relationship? Be sure to write this down or pop it up on a whiteboard with your team.
3. The difference between what is now and what you want to exist in the future is what we call the GAP. Knowing your GAP is vital in determining what steps you must take and in what order, and at what time you take them.
4. Re-educating your existing franchisees and introducing a new relationship culture won’t happen overnight, it’s therefore important you prepare a 90 – 180 day action plan that incorporates the delivery of some new innovations, communication and support models that encourages responsibility, empowers and inspires action and reduces reaction among the network. Your action plan should also allow for a complete change in your recruitment process, to ensure the new incoming franchisees are developed in an empowering way and understand the dynamic and type of culture you have right from the time they first make their enquiry with your franchise group.
5. If you feel the GAP between where your current relationships are and where you want them to be is large, then give priority to revamping your franchisee recruitment process with a vision of getting it right at the beginning of the relationship for new incoming franchisees.
6. Once you have a plan in action for your new incoming franchisees and your existing
franchisees, then may I suggest you put in place a 12 month change management, training and support program to ensure you create a long lasting result. It’s not always going to be perfect but I guarantee that you will create more balance within your network as a whole. A balanced and more empowered network will
ultimately influence the net worth of your group, so it’s something that’s well worth spending some considerable time on this area.