What staff a franchisor needs to control and grow the franchise network?
When the expansion begins and till whe have one or two franchises, we can still operate with some people that we already have within the company. But when we begin to grow, excellence can not be achieved with people who also have to attend to other tasks within the company. We should not forget that the franchise channel is basically one of the channels the company has to sell its products and services, but should not be the only, and nor the only business performed by the company. This is basic strategy. Frequently, franchisors are small business who have a great success with its concept, and is ok to think of franchising as a tool to expand it and build a strong brand. But they should not forget that being a company is something much bigger than merely succeed with a single business.
How many people should the franchisor have related with the franchise business? This depend largely on the nature of the business and the distance between franchises and headquarters.
Generally speaking, the following positions should be covered, with the corresponding job description. Each franchisor must dimension the staff according to the company's needs and according to the feedback the company is receiving from the franchisees, related to satisfaction and profitability.
Responsible for the franchise system overall operation. Compiles the information generated by the chain, process it and return it with the appropriate interpretation, so that everyone can profit from it. Plans every six months sales objectives, communication campaigns, new products launching, training, new franchise openings. Contacts external consultants to update labor, accounting, tax. legal, competitive and strategic issues. Monitors compliance and discipline of franchises. Measures the franchise's performance and establish standards of excellence. He is also primarily responsible for seeking new franchisees and sell the franchise.
Responsible for giving the franchisees the correct information about the own product and that of the competitors, the own prices and that of the competitors, and the own communication and that of the competitors. Creates, designs, budgets and implements advertising, promotion, events, in-store-marketing, public relations, press, social media, sales force and direct marketing periodic campaigns in each territory. Keeps media relations with advertisers and partners with companies that add value to the brand, as banks, credit cards and the like. Responsible for CRM and for the interpretation of customers buying behavior using the corresponding metrics.
Responsible for developing the "company's knowledge library", working with each sector and designing the corresponding course, and for annual planning of training courses to franchisees and their staff. Develops new courses according to new scenarios or new trends. Implements the agenda of courses and assess the participants. Trains new franchisees and new employees at the request of franchisees. Develops, maintains and controls the intranet that allows franchisees to be in permanent contact with the knowledge of the franchisor and with the whole collection of training presentations.
Visits franchises according to a periodic plan with the objective of taking the pulse of the franchise activity and day-by-day issues in the place where they occur. In large cities where the franchises are not separated by great distances, one field representative can visit about 10 franchises per month. In remote cities, we must consider one field representative every 5 franchises. The function of this position is to take and dump data to a preformatted database, for those data can be later analyzed and thus produce cross-information with other sectors of the franchise system. Field representatives also acts as internal auditors of the franchisor, controlling financial or operational routines.
PURCHASING AND SUPPLY
Responsible for supplying products and/or raw materials to franchises, as well as disposables and everything a franchise need, following the purchasing procedures. Works based on budgets and actual revenues and consumption, analysing costs and formulas, selecting suppliers, storaging products and controling stowage conditions, delivering times, freight and thransportation procedures. The principal objective of this position is to develop a franchise network comprehensive logistic program.
When the franchise network grows, the number of people employed grows to the point of needing a centralized human resources department. Even when the employees belong to the franchisees, it is a good idea that the franchisor provide this service to them. Franchisee's employees thereby develop a greater sense of belonging and a greater motivation is achieved throughout the franchise network. Also the franchisor has a much more accurate picture of what is happening in each franchise with the personnel. The responsabilities of this position can range from payroll to audit the payment of social security contibutions by each franchise, advising the staff on issues like wages, vacation, pregnancy, accidents, legislation, unnion issues, employees files, medical documentation and related topics.
The art of growing and expanding needs a franchise network structural design. To engage in a battle involves infrastructure support, so that soldiers do not go to war without tools and without proper logistics. That's why the franchisor should support growth in a solid management structure, enabling it to mantain the achieved competitive position, increase its market share and basically build a strong brand and a memorable experience for each customer.