Site Support Visits
Most franchisors consider periodic visits to the franchise location by qualified field representatives an integral part of a system of support. These visits have two primary objectives.
First, they provide an opportunity for the franchisor to observe how the franchisee’s business is being run and reinforce brand standards. But more importantly, they allow the franchisor to coach the franchisee in the field on ways to improve business operations.
It’s imperative that franchisees not only receive adequate support, but that they also feel that the franchisor truly cares about their success and their future. Perhaps one of the most common franchisee complaints in younger franchise systems is that they rarely see the franchisor and feel abandoned.
Another key benefit of many franchise systems is the franchisees’ access to purchase arrangements with key suppliers negotiated by the franchisor.
Purchasing programmes can provide very tangible benefits to franchisees and can have a substantial positive impact on both franchise sales and franchisee profitability.
Of course, franchisees with large purchasing needs can always negotiate with vendors directly. But it befits the prudent franchisor to take the lead in this area, both to build value into the services it provides the franchise network and to retain quality control over the goods and services its franchisees buy.
Approved and designated suppliers
Franchisors are likely to place strict controls on franchisees’ sources of supply. To the extent to which these decisions impact the quality of the product/service offered, franchisors are within their rights to control the specific products carried and, often, the sources of those products.
Advertising and marketing support
The best franchisors are constantly looking for ways to help their franchisees increase revenues, as this will impact both franchisee and franchisor profitability. Providing advertising assistance is perhaps one of the best ways to accomplish this.
Franchisees are paying for the right to exploit the franchisor’s market identity and reputation, and thus will typically rely on the franchisor to enhance the brand by developing national, regional, and local advertising programmes, as well as assisting the franchisee with neighbourhood or unit-based advertising and marketing programmes.
Other Forms of Support
Franchisors can also support their franchisees in any number of industry-specific ways. For example:
- Some advertising or publication franchises will provide editorial content, ad design and printing services to their franchisees.
- With hospitality or travel franchises, a major part of the value proposition is often found in the reservation system.
- In manufacturing and direct-sales concepts, the franchisor may provide assistance in the areas of consumer financing, with an eye toward helping their franchisees sell.