Refurbishment and Equipment Roll-Outs: Achieving Franchisee Buy-In
In any franchise, the network of partners is a broad and diverse group of people. Despite the common ties among them, their decision-making processes and business choices can all be very different. This can make achieving franchisee buy-in for network wide initiatives difficult and can slow down the process of getting things such as store refurbishments or new equipment roll-outs across the line.
So, what steps can franchisees take to achieve high adoption rates of roll outs, new menu items, brand refreshes and marketing initiatives? Well, the process starts with trust. Building the relationship between the franchisor team and the partner network is important and for both party’s trust is a vital element of this relationship.
Without trust, franchisees may be hesitant to take on new initiatives and ideas, and this can slow growth. Increasing trust and communication is the steppingstone to achieving buy-in and even ambassadorship from some within the group. As a good rule of thumb, you cannot ask people to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself. Using corporate stores during an initial trail period is a great way to prove to franchisees that the head office team truly believes in the project. This can also assist in getting hard figures around sales and marketing KPI’s to help quantify the impact that making the proposed changing can have on an individual’s business.
If your network already has a group of ambassador franchisees, this concept can be taken one step further by asking them to be involved in the trial period as well. Gaining the endorsement of franchisees who are active in the network, performing well and take on a mentorship role for others is an excellent way to gain advocacy. Further, taking a collaborative approach and involving franchisees in the process shows that their voices are heard in the decision-making process, which can increase trust and adoption rates.
A collaborative approach is also a great way to help mitigate the impact that disengaged or unhappy franchisees can have in the change process. Disgruntled partners can have a significant impact on the dynamic of the network and can encourage similar behaviour among other franchisees. Whilst it is important that the head office team address the core reason for their disengagement, it is also important not to let their grievances impact other activities of people.
Overall, whilst each franchise group may take a different approach, trust is the foundation of effective change management. Taking the time to ensure that the network feels involved and confident in the decision can make all the difference to how it is received.