Rules without relationship equals rebellion. Or perhaps we should say, it can lead to unrest or resistance. However you choose to view it, when a system is put into place without necessary or clear communication or any sort of reciprocal relationship, it will eventually fracture. Guidelines will fall flat without a conscious, engaged audience.
This applies to everyone—whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee, supplier, employee, citizen, parent, spouse, or child…the list could go on and on.
What does this mean in franchising?
For the majority of us, we are happy to follow rules and processes when the system or person behind it cares for our well-being. When the relationship part is dismissed or non-existent, this is normally when everything falls apart and rebellion begins.
As the franchisor, one of the most important things is our relationship with the franchisees. We want franchisees to be successful. The success of what we do as a franchisor is contingent upon our relationship with our franchisees and upon their success in their businesses.
Every day, we need to check the pulse of our relationship with our franchisees. When was the last time we took 30 minutes to call and see how they are doing? Nothing to ask of them. No new requirement to discuss. Just check some hearts.
Do franchisees have every resource they need to provide the best service for their customers?
Have we been transparent? Have we given context behind every rule or process? Are we being proactive in our communication?
As the franchisor, it’s our duty to show the path to success through our processes. However, don't miss the opportunity to help them understand the why behind operational decisions. Answer questions. Connect. Explain. It will continue to build trust.
No one wants to be blindsided. No one wants to be surprised in business. Sometimes it’s inevitable, but consistent and constant communication alleviates that irritation. Think about your everyday life. When we are caught unaware, it throws us off. Some of us fight, some get defensive, others need time to process the information. We normally aren't our best selves during this time. Give your franchisees all the information they need, explain the why behind those decisions, and provide clarity.
Franchisors: In the chaos of compliance and structure, don’t negate the time to connect with your franchise owners, especially early in the process. Uncover their desired situation, understand their why, and take time to get to know them. Authentically. It will pay off again and again and again.
Franchisees: Push past the resistance. We’re human. It’s natural for some of us to buck the system and the rules. Fight through it with the intent to understand. This intentional time matters. It matters to the growth of your brand. It matters to your overall success in your business.
Franchising is a gift. The best business model of our day. You're buying into a proven concept with a team to support your success. How awesome is that? Franchisees fight to understand more. Franchisors offer clarity and understanding…because rules with relationship actually equals reward!