We will try to approach this subject from a different angle than the one regularly discussed by the specialized media, network creation consultants and other speakers at trade shows.
We will not talk about the importance of registering the brand, the attractiveness of the concept to attract a maximum of candidates. Nor will we discuss the need to draw up an operating manual that will serve as the basis for the training plan. Nor the need to present a DIP and a contract that is as fair as possible, and especially not the different methods for calculating the amount of the entry fee and the exploitation and communication fees.
In addition to these elements, which are essential for the successful development of a franchise, one must add the know-how of the network head in general and the manager in particular.
During our various missions, we were able to correlate the impact of this « human » parameter with the respect of a sustainable development plan.
During our first interviews with « future franchisors », we try to distance ourselves from their concept to better understand what motivates these managers to open their know-how to independent franchisees with all the constraints that this will entail in their daily life.
When the answer is oriented on a resale of the concept in the medium term, on a valuation expected by the shareholders or by a simple evidence of economic growth, we alert them on the radical change of profession which will take place within their structure.
But when the manager explains to us that he wishes to detach himself from the operational side of the business to devote himself to network management, we understand that he accepts to learn and to do a new job: that of a franchisor.
The leader is ready to move from the stage of operational technician, creator of his concept, to that of network manager-animator.
These profiles of leaders often have a certain ego, a strong self-confidence and a barely concealed need for recognition.
The best examples can be found at national conventions, where the network manager, like a movie star, takes the stage to introduce the opening plenary session. Alone, in front of his teams and franchisees, he will review the past year and present the objectives for the coming year before facing aggressive and destabilizing questions from some members of his network. Between humor and language, he will know how to valiantly defeat these attacks in public before making his detractors understand, during the break, that the general interest of his network could be served by mutual – and confidential – concessions on their disagreements.
On the other hand, we advise future franchisors who are too polite, delicate in their human relations and who lack that touch of madness to join forces or to surround themselves with a charismatic profile that will assimilate the meaning of the saying « an iron hand in a velvet glove ».
To conclude, we believe that to succeed in the development of a franchise, a manager should not rely on the performance and originality of his concept.
He must know how to surround himself with network management professionals whose objective will be the satisfaction of the franchisees and a daily support that will allow the network to increase its economic performance.
Each employee of the network head will have to have a little paternalistic side, a sensitivity to the other and, a devotion which will have no limits but the mutual respect with independent entrepreneurs who adhered to a concept to reach the repetition of success promised by the developer, before the signature of the contract.
To succeed in the development of a franchise brand requires a daily animation. Congratulate the successful franchisees and do not hesitate to clash – sometimes during heated exchanges – with independent entrepreneurs who are in breach of the contract they signed.
Without introducing this human dimension into the corporate culture of his network, even the best economic concept will encounter obstacles to a healthy operation and a successful development.