The Qualities Franchisors Need to Succeed in the Digital Age

A franchise model is only as strong as the partnership behind it. The success of a franchise owner does not only depend on their ability to solve problems quickly and actualize their business vision, but also with the alignment of their core values with that of the franchise system. When the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee is built upon trust and shared values, each party gains from the success of the other while also driving high returns for the business and overall brand.

In order to remain competitive in the ever-changing franchising industry, these are the specific qualities that franchisors need so they can at once run their business smoothly and provide support to franchise owners with the help of digital technology.

Communicative at all times

You are more likely to secure the trust and investment of a potential franchisee if you can quickly provide information about the business and respond to inquiries and concerns. Even after the franchising partnership has been established, there are challenges that could easily trickle down from the corporate level to individual franchises. Open and transparent communication with the franchisees allows them to make necessary adjustments in their finances and operations without having their business take the fall.

Improving franchisor-franchisee communication relies not only on face-to-face meetings but also on the appropriate tech for instant and real-time communication. It is important to establish both formal and informal communication channels so you can remain accessible anytime and anywhere, as well as distinguish when information can easily be conveyed through text or email or otherwise entails video conferencing for greater clarity and purpose.

Aware of oneself and the situation

Although a franchise system may have a blueprint for the entire network to follow, this does not mean the path is completely free of obstacles. Fortunately, being self-aware in business can help a franchisor navigate any scenario and make informed decisions even amid high-pressure situations. Aside from an internal assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a business leader, you can also utilize information technologies to gain perspective on external factors that may impact only one franchise but can still affect the rest of the franchising brand.

For example, predictive analytics tools can help you determine the optimal size of a franchise location based on customer service expectations, while real-time feedback from franchise owners via smart tech can help you manage risks before it disrupts business operations and performance.

Adaptive to new technology

The mark of a successful franchise also lies in adaptiveness and agility, whether it means adopting new digital trends or transforming tech to respond to unprecedented changes. Any franchisor knows how the pandemic demanded critical adjustments to the franchising ecosystem, and the franchises that thrived during this period were the ones that embraced digital transformation in creative and innovative ways. There are fast food franchises that reimagined their business models to include online ordering and contactless delivery, as well as home cleaning services that rolled out specialized products for a more targeted approach against the COVID-19 virus. Now that franchises are slowly recovering from the pandemic, there is still a great incentive to invest in current and future technologies to make operations more efficient and create a positive customer experience.

Open to research and development

With so many changes in the franchising landscape, franchisors must adopt a growth mindset and be open to research and development (R&D). R&D is key to capturing the current market trends and movements, as well as scoping out what competitors are doing and how you can get ahead of them. Taking the tech route is, of course, the best way to access a range of Internet resources and deploy research methods like surveys and questionnaires for both franchise owners and customers. But you can further step up your R&D efforts by attending franchise expos, where there are usually seminars and workshops that discuss the industry in detail and even provide networking opportunities.

Written by: Diane Summers

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