Growing Your Franchise Brand Without Losing Sight of What Matters
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse with Surveys
It’s inevitable. I’ve seen it happen.
You work at a small company. You work long hours, but you love it because it’s exciting. There are new ideas flying everywhere. People are open to trying new things and together you make it happen. Best of all, you love the culture: You love your co-workers. Everyone’s happy and engaged and working together for the good of the company.
And it works! You’re successful and so you grow your business. You add more people to the mix so you can do even more. And then you add more processes to the mix. And more technology. And all those things are supposed to help everything run more smoothly.
But somehow, somewhere along the way, things start to fall apart. Just a little at first. The office culture that you love – the annual ping pong tournament, your holiday outing, your Friday afternoon happy hour – start to feel like obligations rather than fun. The office politics start to ramp up. The collaborative atmosphere turns into one of “I’m in charge of this” and “That’s not your department.”
It’s happened to me. And ultimately I left my job because of it.
If you’re a growing franchise brand, losing the culture and passion – the things that first attracted your franchisees and your staff to the brand – is a real risk. And you probably won’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.
There’s so much going on in operations, development, marketing, etc. that you take your finger off the pulse. Not intentionally. It just happens.
But there is a way to make sure things don’t spiral out of control when you look away for a minute.
Ask your franchisees and employees what they think. Send them a survey. It doesn’t have a long or tedious (which probably doesn’t fit your culture anyway), just ask a couple of questions – maybe one or two a month – to take the temperature of your system.
What was your best personal news over the past 90 days?
How positive are you feeling about your business today?
How positive are you feeling about your association with [Franchise brand name] today?
What was your best business news over the past 90 days?
How optimistic or concerned are you about achieving your business goals in the next 90 days?
These are just ideas. Pulse surveys can be about anything. They are meant to give you a snapshot in time about how your franchisees are feeling and allow you the chance to change direction when needed. If you listen carefully to the answers, you’ll have a huge head start on identifying issues before they become problems.
If you make pulse surveys part of your regular operating rhythm ( which you absolutely should) it also gives you the 20,000 foot view. You can look at the collective data year over year to make sure you’re staying on track to be the company you envision in three years, five years, or more down the road.
Pulse surveys are easy to do. What’s hard is knowing what and when to change things to keep your system on track. But it’s better than not knowing until it’s too late.
The CEO’s Guide to Creating and Maintaining a Positive Culture in Franchising
Despite it’s critical importance, culture is frequently overlooked by leadership. This eBook provides practical advice for franchise leadership teams for creating and maintaining a culture that leads to greater productivity and profitability.
As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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.