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Franchising has become increasingly popular in recent years, and rightly so. There are two main reasons for franchising: It allows you to partner with another company to share resources, customers, and brand recognition. Second, the franchisor and franchisee rely on each other for growth – one cannot grow without the other. Thus, this creates an incentive for both to strengthen their relationship and keep each other happy.
Things are rough. It’s a struggle full of discomfort, pain, blurriness, unpredictability and uneasiness. When I consider all the pieces of this business puzzle, the biggest realization I have is that I need to build a team. By working with other entrepreneurs, we can go to the “war” together and become stronger because we have built a support network for each other.
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Having worked with over 20 franchises, I’ve learned so much about collaborating with other entrepreneurs. I have found many similarities between building a business partnership and getting married. In either case, you commit to working with someone else toward common goals, sharing resources, and dealing with the good times and the bad together.
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In business, we often talk about partnerships and franchising as if they were marriages. And in many ways they are. Both require constant communication, trust, honesty and commitment from all parties involved.
Just like in marriage, these relationships can be incredibly rewarding and full of challenges. But if all parties are committed to making the relationship work, it can be a very successful venture.
Here are some key lessons I’ve learned from franchising and partner relationships in business:
1. With more franchises, you have less time to give them
If you only have a few franchises, you can devote more time and attention to each franchise because you can keep up and meet their needs. However, it is important to understand that as you grow in partners, the more difficult it becomes to provide the necessary support and attention they need.
If you’re just starting out and only need to manage a few franchisees, you can get to know them personally and understand their business goals. But as your franchise network grows, it becomes more difficult to provide that same level of support and attention.
2. You need self-sufficient partners
As your franchise network grows, you need self-sufficient partners who can support themselves without holding your constant hand. These partners clearly understand the franchisor-franchisee relationship and know how to run their business independently.
Communicating and meeting your business partner’s needs is important. However, letting them be self-sufficient takes a lot of the pressure off you and your team, freeing you to focus on other important things.
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3. Franchisees should feel like part of the family
Just like in a marriage, both partners should feel like they are part of a family. For a franchise relationship to be successful, franchisees must feel supported by the franchisor. They need to feel that they are part of a team and that their success belongs to the franchisor.
As a franchisor, you must provide adequate training and support so that franchisees can succeed. But more importantly, you need to create an environment where franchisees feel they belong.
4. Disagreements are inevitable – it’s how you deal with them that matters
As in any relationship, there will be disagreements. It’s important to remember that how you handle these disagreements will determine the success of the relationship.
In a franchise relationship, both parties must be willing to compromise and find a middle ground. They need to be able to see things from the other person’s perspective and be open to finding a solution that works for both parties.
5. It’s hard to keep everyone happy
In any relationship, it is impossible to keep everyone happy all the time. And in a franchise relationship, there will always be franchisees who are dissatisfied with something.
The key is to listen to their concerns and find a way to address them. But ultimately, you must make decisions that are in the best interest of the franchise as a whole.
Related: How to Launch, Grow and Thrive in Franchising
6. All relationships require work
All relationships – whether marriages or business partnerships – require work. If you want your relationship to be successful, you must be willing to put in the time and effort. You need to constantly communicate and work together towards common goals.
The relationship will suffer if you are not willing to put in the work. And in a business environment that can cause major problems later on.
7. Focus on the opportunities
Having a successful franchise relationship comes down to focus. You need to focus on the opportunities the relationship presents. You have to understand that this requires hard work, but it is a very rewarding experience.
You have to see the potential for growth and expansion. And you have to be willing to work together to make it happen. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to a successful franchise relationship.
- 1 1. With more franchises, you have less time to give them
- 2 2. You need self-sufficient partners
- 3 3. Franchisees should feel like part of the family
- 4 4. Disagreements are inevitable – it’s how you deal with them that matters
- 5 5. It’s hard to keep everyone happy
- 6 6. All relationships require work
- 7 7. Focus on the opportunities