The Role of the Franchisee
Once you become a franchisee and part of a franchise organization, what are your roles and responsibilities?
The first function you have in your new endeavor is as an investor into your business. You will need to invest financially with an initial franchising fee, but also be prepared to pay any additional costs that are necessary to get the business up and running such as equipment costs. Also, there will be ongoing royalty fees that you will need to pay, and likely an advertising fund fee (sometimes called a brand fund fee).
Secondly, you will need to be sure that you can invest an adequate amount of time in the business. Although the system is basically set up in franchising, you will still need to spend extra time learning how the system works. The franchisor usually offers training and continuous support, hence the ongoing royalty payments. Like anything else, once you know the ins and outs of the system, the time investment decreases somewhat.
Leadership and Partnership
One of the most important skills you need to possess as a franchisee is the ability to be proactive and take the initiative. You should be able to assume a leadership role easily and be willing and able to learn new skills.
You also, of course, need to be able and willing to follow system standards. You are basically assuming a partnership role with the franchisor, and by signing the franchise agreement agree to fulfill four major responsibilities for the success of the overall franchise system:
- To protect the franchised brand by operating the franchise in strict compliance with system operating standards.
- To build a strong and loyal customer base by offering only approved products and services and by providing superior customer service.
- To ensure that all employees are properly trained, and the franchise is properly staffed at all times.
- To advertise and promote the franchise and its approved products and services according to the guidelines provided by the franchisor.
Therefore, you should be able to work together, share ideas, and resolve issues together. You may notice something that the franchisor was not aware of since you are much closer to the business. The franchisor would probably appreciate your bringing concerns or discrepancies to the table, especially if you offer possible solutions.
For example, you may come up with a great new idea you'd like to implement at your franchised location. The franchisor should have a protocol in place whereby an agreement may be reached to pilot-test your idea in your location before the franchisor decides whether or not to roll it out system-wide.
With all of the responsibilities that the franchisee holds, communication and organizational skills are key skills to possess as a franchisee.
You need to be certain that you understand how the entire system works and not be afraid to ask the franchisor questions. It is especially important to communicate with the franchisor anything that you notice that doesn't seem right to you.
You should also expect to report to the franchisor your sales and expenses regularly, and provide documentation showing that you are meeting the franchisor’s advertising requirements.
Also, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with your customers, employees, vendors, and other business contacts.
Furthermore, it can be quite beneficial to team up with other franchisees on a regular basis. It can help you run your business more smoothly if you share ideas and solutions to problems experienced by others in the same capacity.
In your role as a franchisee, you should be prepared to wear many hats. In operating the business, you will most likely have to manage all the daily operations involved in operating a business, including ordering supplies, meeting with customers and vendors, preparing payroll, resolving discrepancies, etc. These are just a few of your "sub-roles" depending on the type of business you are running. It is essential to be able to organize all of your responsibilities so that everything gets done accurately and in a timely manner.
In conclusion, as long as you understand your role as a franchisee and make every effort to carry it out thoroughly, you should be able to manage a successful franchise.