At its center, franchising is based on an interdependent relationship between franchisors and franchisees. This relationship requires a high degree of cooperation and a set of shared goals and interests. When approached with professionalism and a willingness to minimize areas of disagreement, the franchisor/franchisee relationship can help everyone thrive.
According to franchise consultant Mark Siebert, the franchising relationship is unique among other business relationships because of the way that franchisees are positioned relative to their franchisor – more along the lines of a parent-child arrangement. As the “child” in the relationship, the franchisee is thus expected to go through a range of growth phases that move from dependency to maturity.
It is natural to think that at the beginning, a franchisee would rely heavily on the franchisor for support and guidance. Not only do franchisors anticipate this reliance, but they also provide training and materials designed to keep their franchisees moving through the early stages of the business. During this phase, many franchisees feel excited and positive about the future with the franchisor. With effective communication and support, this excitement should continue to be a core aspect of owning a franchise throughout the startup phase – and beyond.
The first three years of a franchisee’s experience is often referred to as the growth phase, in which contact with the franchisor is almost constant. The implications for both franchisee and franchisor here is that good communication is the key to moving successfully through this segment of a franchisee’s business life span. A quality franchisor will have robust support in place to keep the franchisee’s business on track.
After working together to build a business for several years, a franchisor and franchisee often come to the point where they feel they know what to expect from each other. Known as the maturity phase, this time in a franchising relationship can be mutually beneficial. The franchisor should continue to meet expectations and to provide continuing value to the franchisee, and devoted franchisees often thrive during this phase. This is what makes choosing the right franchise opportunity so important. Franchisees who know that investing their time, energy, and money into a franchise will be met with an equal amount of franchisor support can more confidently grow their business.
Understanding what traits create a good franchising relationship is an important part of making the relationship a successful one. During the initial investigation phases, both franchisees and franchisors should determine whether they find the other to be someone they can respect, who has a strong drive to succeed and profit from the relationship, and both offer input and ideas as well as listen when suggestions are made. There should also be clear and comprehensive communication that is ongoing, and proof that such communication will continue throughout the franchising relationship. Newsletters, emails, phone calls, and personal visits can lead to a sound, productive relationship built on effective communication.
At Real Property Management, we understand how important communication and ongoing support are for franchisees. With our proprietary systems, quality owner education, and ongoing support, we offer one of the best franchise opportunities available. If you are interested in learning more about Real Property Management franchise opportunities, contact us for more information.