It’s no big secret that business owners of all types get bored after a few years of being in business, doing the same thing over and over again. They plateau, and sometimes so does their performance. When it comes to franchising, it’s even more crucial to keep them engaged — especially the more senior franchisees.
These four tips will help you overcome some of the most common challenges affecting senior franchisees, get them engaged, and break out of their performance plateau.
Get inside their heads.
Franchisee satisfaction survey data is the most effective way to really help you understand the unique perspective of your tenured franchisees. Using FBR’s interactive reporting platform, you can easily break down your survey results to learn what your senior franchisees are thinking and what their specific issues are.
What’s cool about the analytics tool is that you can filter the responses to any question by franchisees who have been in the system 10+ years, and compare them to other franchisees in the system. It’s a quick and easy way to get a deep understanding of not only the overall challenges and benefits of your system, but what your tenured franchisees think.
Learn more about the insights you can gather using FBR’s cloud-based reporting tool and create custom reports in seconds. Check it out now.
Create a mentorship program.
One of the best ways to do this and help older franchisees get re-engaged is through a mentorship program. This is an opportunity to celebrate the experience of your franchisees and help leverage that across your system.
A mentorship program can be as simple as having a more senior franchisee spend a couple of days with a newer franchisee to help show them the ropes and share what they’ve learned about the business over time.
It’s also a great way for the more senior franchisees to learn what the newbies bring to the system. Let’s face it, your tenured franchisees went through training 10, 15, or 20 years ago and there’s a lot of new things that have come along since then. The newer franchisees can help them get up to speed.
Hire them as full-time corporate staff.
Some brands choose to bring senior franchisees on as full-time corporate staff. Depending on the franchisee’s situation, it could be an opportunity to sell their business and join corporate as training and support staff. In some cases, they may be able to maintain their business as an absentee owner and have someone else run it for them while they’re working for the corporate office.
Implement peer performance groups.
When you think about why someone buys a franchise, it’s typically to join a community of other business owners.
Many times, franchisees who have been in your system for a long time have lost those connections to other franchisees. Bringing them into a peer performance group can help reinvigorate those connections and help them raise their performance.
Peer performance groups usually are most effective with 5 – 7 franchisees. They work best when you mix them up geographically, by performance, by size, and by tenure.
Set the groups up so they’re meeting quarterly — typically two face-to-face meetings a year (once at your annual conference and once during another part of the year) and two meetings via phone. They can be led by the franchisees on their own, or they can be moderated by corporate staff or a third party facilitator.
Each meeting is usually an all-day activity. It takes a long time to walk through each individual’s business and the challenges they have. Not everyone wants to share each time but the more time you can give for a deeper dive, the better.
Your franchisees are all in the same business, but it’s amazing what peer performance groups can do in terms of facilitating learning from each other.
Franchise Business Review can help you analyze your franchisee satisfaction data, as well as assist in setting up peer performance groups. Contact us today for help and advice, and visit our Resource Center for free tools and information.
Photo courtesy of Two Men and a Truck
Related Content: Free Workbook
Increasing Franchisee Engagement Through Peer Groups Part of the Franchising by Design series, this step-by-step workbook is for franchisors who want to use this proven approach to begin, enhance, regain, improve, or maintain franchisee engagement in order to achieve measurable results and take your business to the next level.
Eric leads FBR’s research and consultants with clients in the area of franchise performance. He is an active member of the International Franchise Association (IFA), serves on the IFA’s VetFran and Franchise Relations Committees, and speaks frequently on topics related to franchise relations and best practices in franchising. Eric lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys spending as much time as possible on the ocean.
Franchise Business Review is the leading market research firm in the franchise sector specializing in franchisee satisfaction and employee engagement. Since 2005, we have helped more than 1,100 franchise brands drive better results. Let us put our insights to work for you.