How to Create Better Communication and Community Across Your Franchises
By Parnell Woodard
Whether you have a few franchises or a few hundred, prioritizing communication and community among your franchisees can be key to your success and longevity.
So, how can you foster strong communication and community across many locations? Start here.
Use an intranet solution
A centrally-managed intranet helps keep communication consistent across your franchises.
Ideally, your corporate intranet will house all of your franchisee-facing resources. This includes:
Marketing tools and best practices, etc.
It should also integrate with your learning management system (LMS).
Your intranet should also be the single source of franchise-wide messaging. That will minimize one-off communications.
Build a franchise-wide dashboard
Your franchisees will need access to reliable and actionable analytics. That way they’ll understand what’s working—and what’s not.
With your help, a franchise-wide KPI dashboard will keep franchisees tuned in to the metrics that matter most. They’ll also see how they stack up against each other, which can facilitate friendly competition and ongoing conversation between franchises. High-performers can share their secrets to success and initiatives that worked well in their market.
Before building your dashboard, define each metric at the corporate level and share the details with franchisees (this should be made available through your intranet).
Your data must be accurate and match any reporting that franchisees access. Otherwise, your dashboard will lose validity and thus, significance. Platforms like Intelli-Hub can seamlessly integrate data from various sources to maintain consistent dashboards.
Host video conference calls/ongoing webinars
Host monthly webinars to educate, collaborate, and/or discuss pain-points with your franchisees. Incentivize them to attend with new/helpful information in each meeting, along with actionable items they can implement within their businesses immediately.
By staying in touch regularly, you’ll ensure your values and guidelines are upheld. Face-to-face time, even through a screen, is invaluable.
Establish in-person and/or online regional franchisee groups
For larger franchises, regional groups are especially helpful.
Maintaining a regional focus will keep the discussion related to the tendencies and behaviors of clients within a specific geographic location and minimize “apples to oranges” comparison between different regions.
Once established, have your Regional Franchise Managers lead regular meet-ups to discuss competition, procedures, etc. Each manager will act as a direct liaison between the region and corporate.
Consider also creating an online community where franchisees can collaborate, strategize, and grow together. Regional groups within the community will help build even tighter camaraderie. Franchisors can create these dedicated groups in MINDBODY One, MINDBODY’s peer to peer community, to connect and collaborate together.
Hold an annual summit
An annual, all-franchisee summit creates enthusiasm and energy that will last all year long.
As a franchisor, it’s an opportunity to educate and communicate larger upcoming initiatives. It’s also a chance to recognize top-performing franchise locations.
As a franchisee, a summit is the perfect opportunity to engage with, and learn from, like-minded business owners. Of all community-building activities, a summit is incomparable.