HOW TO BE A king maker

Abstract:

Brands and businesses are making it past all kinds of barriers – geographical, language, regional traditions and government policies to spread their reach far and wide and seek customers in lands not their own. This has been made possible by a business policy called ‘franchising’. Franchising enables other aspiring entrepreneurs who love a brand or a concept and wish to benefit from the same to own a business in the same without having to start from scratch. Franchising has helped brands both global and local to maximize their reach, creating many businessmen and business women in the process. Every great franchise has a person who turns the keys right. That person is called a Franchise Manager. What he does and what he doesn’t goes a long way in determining the future of the brand, the business and the franchises. A Franchise Manager is a king-maker of sorts. This column is a look into the profile of a Franchise Manager and what makes a good franchise manager.

Main Article:

Franchise Manager plays a key role in a franchising company or a franchised business. Franchise Managers organize and plan the franchising department of an organization. The manager ensures that franchisees receive the organization’s message regarding business strategy, promotions and products. A franchise manager offers support to franchisees, which ensures the overall success of the organization. Franchise manager is also responsible for all new renewals and license enforcement. He is responsible for franchise contracts with franchise stores to ensure participation; Maintaining the company guidelines and cooperation in company values and agendas.


The Franchise Manager is the face of the organization and this manager should be empathic to the investor who is seeking an opportunity to become an entrepreneur by investing his hard earned money in a product or service franchise. Therefore the responsibility of the franchise manager to the highest order is to help the entrepreneur to choose the right fran-chised business. He should not sell a franchise for the sake of targets. The franchise manager should also be responsible to the franchisor by selecting the right investor for the brand. Valuating the investor before making him an entrepreneur seriously lies with the franchise manager. The skills of the Franchise Managers should be of a high calibre where he needs to know a bit of psychology to assess the investor and his seriousness in the business.

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In my long experience, I come across very often, investors with unblocked funds in hand wanting to invest the same in some business for their spouse who is sitting idle, or a relative who has not found a job yet and so on. Most of the time, this investor would be a learned person who is clear with his intentions to help either his spouse, brother or a relative and make them successful. But the fact is that if the franchise manager gets carried away by the looks and the knowledge of the investor without figuring out who is going to run the business, then it’s a bad choice of a franchisee.

If you see many franchising businesses fail, it is because the investor acts only as an investor and does not run the business. This not only affects the investor but it affects the brand too. I strongly feel the selection of the franchisee should have solid process to scrutinize the investor which will result in both the franchisor and the franchisee’s benefit in the long run. The franchise manager is like a middle man, in the alliance seeking activity for a man and woman to be wedded. All facts need to be laid on the table before marrying off the franchisor and the franchisee. The franchise manager needs to be honest to him self and the organization that he works for and needs to rise above all relations to be a thorough professional to help both the franchisor and the franchisee succeed in their business objectives.

The franchise manager needs to lay all the facts without any hidden agenda to the franchisee and should not promise the moon. Explain both the pros and the cons and help the investor to take the right decision.

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Once the investor who has the option to take any franchised business needs to take a well informed decision and since the franchise manager has been honest in his dealing to close a sale, the investor will decide mostly keeping in mind the returns that he will get as well as think of what the franchisor will do to help his business as a franchisee. He will remember all that the franchisee manager had stated and he will take the final decision. A franchise manager is one who helps the investor take the right decision for his venture.

Talking about the skill of good franchisee manager, he should first put himself in the investor’s shoes and think if he was taking a franchised business what will he expect from the franchisor and if he is convincedof the offer will he invest and buy the franchise. If he puts himself in that position and sells the opportunity, he will make the right choices of selecting the right franchisee by assessing the attitude and the financial capability to invest in the business, before signing up.

If the manager believes in his organizational capability to deliver what is promised when he is signing the agreement, then he will be confident to sell the concept to the franchisee with high confidence and motivation. Therefore empathy, communication skills, business acumen, coordinating skills, projects handling, event organizing capacity, operational skills, branding, training, marketing and PR skills are important for a good and efficient franchise manager. Beyond that he needs to have the grace to build a long term relationship with the franchisee.

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Many organization makes their franchise mangers to cut the relation off and transfer the job to the next set of people who have never built a relationship in the initial stages and many managers do not even pick their calls after the sales is over. This will not help a good franchisee-franchisor relationship in the long run.

A franchise manager is one who is a bridge between the franchisor and the franchisee. The manager understands both parties well and their intentions and should work towards the success of both parties. It should always be a win-win situation. The manager should look at the franchisee as a customer; therefore any decision taken should be along the lines of benefit to the customer and profit to the organization that he works for. If this concept is clear in the minds of the manager the relationship will be rock solid.

A franchise manager is one who will be communicating the organizational strategy to the franchisee and hand-holding him to success. He should understand the pain and the emotions of the investor to negotiate with the organization to ensure that the franchisee is successful by providing adequate help in the start-up stage of the business. The success of the franchisor is rated in the success of the franchisee. Therefore helping the franchisee being successful is the key to the success of a franchisor and the franchise manager.

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The franchise manager needs to look at the profit and loss account of the franchisee and suggests various marketing activities along with the marketing team. He has the moral responsibility to help the franchisee since he is one who inducted the franchisee into the brand’s fold; he is also responsible for all the training needs of the franchisee. He needs to understand what kind of training requirements for the staff and also for the franchisee. Since he would know while signing the agreement the background of these franchisees, all of them will not have all the required skills like marketing, finance, human resource, projects, etc., understanding the need the franchise manager should organise for the necessary training to help the franchisee become a better entrepreneur and brand custodian.

In a nut shell, the franchise manager is one who ensures a smooth transaction with the franchisor and the franchisee ensuring all payments are collected and a good relationship is maintained. The franchise manager should be loyal to the organisation that he works for and is a key person to build the brand along with the marketing or the brand manager based on the feedback received from the consumer and the franchisee. The franchisee manager is an important person in the franchising business, both for the franchisor and the franchisee. In the current scenario, there are not many who are looking at the benefit of the both the parties they look at their own benefit; finally the brand and the franchisees suffer.

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Therefore being an honest manager with high integrity will take you places and make the brand owners know and believe that the brand is safe in your hands. A franchisee manager should be part of the system for a longer period of time to establish stability to the organisation. That will ensure brand stability too.


BUDDING MANAGERS
MAY 2014 ISSUE

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Author:  buddingmanagers
Posted On:  Tuesday, 10 June, 2014 - 17:12

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