5 Tips for Onboarding A New Franchisee Successfully

Streamlining Franchise Acquisition
More franchise locations become necessary as the business expands. At first, franchisors may only need several locations here or there. However, as they keep growing successfully, it begins to make sense for them to expand beyond a given town, state, or geographic region. If you’re a franchisor, you soon may have a turnover rate to contend with. When it comes to multiple locations, that ends up being costly. 

Hiring, training, and managing new teams for a single location is expensive for franchisees; without your guidance, associated costs could undermine the process. Solid franchising strongly suggests long-term investments in employees, and franchisors can help by providing franchisees tools necessary to properly train employees. 

Big franchises have standardized practices, despite unique franchisees, for this reason. Also for this reason, location managers or local partners must be chosen carefully. High turnover is more likely when individual locations are treated like gears in a machine, rather than given more direct attention. It’s better to choose carefully and enable locations over the long run. 

As a first impression, grand openings and pattern establishment help make that happen–when done properly. Here we’ll explore several considerations in that regard to help you most efficiently accomplish the establishment of a new franchise location. The idea is to get to the point where the new franchised business can itself become a resource for other locations that open up nearby as demand increases. You’re not the franchisee, but you can enable them.

1. Show Them Around – They Need a “Mentor” Initially
New franchises don’t know your processes even if they know your business reputation inside-out. You need to couple a new franchise with an experienced colleague to help the new business get their “bearings”, if you will, in terms of profitability. Such an individual or “launch team” may need to stick around a few weeks, months, or even a year.

Another great idea is getting all employees on the same page with onboarding software. For example, if you click here, you’ll find onboarding software that allows employees to more efficiently become familiarized with franchise processes. Since franchisees do on-site hiring; this is a way of keeping everyone on the same page across multiple locations.

Also, you want to make sure before you onboard a new franchise in a location where you know local market details, and the history of potential location owners or operators. Have they successfully run a new franchise in the past, or is this something novel to them? 

You need to know who and what you’re working with. Onboarding software helps keep everyone on the same page concerning details of franchisees that may not be visible or controllable from the core offices of the franchisor.   

2. A Margin For Error and a Monitoring Period Are Smart
Once new franchise locations have been established and started generating revenue, they’ve got to be monitored, and you need to expect they’ll make obvious mistakes. New franchise owners can’t read your mind, and they also have a mind of their own–even if you’ve got oversight personnel at the new location. 

You need to assume the best new outlets will make mistakes. Factor that into your budget, and it will seldom if ever be an irritant or reduce productivity.

3. Give New Franchise Outlets Resources They Can Use
This was alluded to with the onboarding software link listed earlier. Think about this: sellers benefit from a three-ring binder with pitches, logos, slogans, policy, and other such information readily available for when an unexpected situation develops. 

Whether you give a new franchise owner (and their accompanying staff) a physical binder of resources, a bevy of training videos, or an online repository to explore, new franchises need something they can reference when there’s no one to help in a novel situation. 

4. Keep Track of The Overall Process To Help Optimize
As you bring new franchisees into “the fold” of your overall franchise, you want to monitor the process from a distance to see what works, what doesn’t, and where improvements make sense. 

As you do this, you’ll continually refine the process until you’ve got a cadre of best practices on which you can rely. But keep in mind: the process of improvement never ends. Keep at it.

5. Clear Communication Of Necessary Operational Boundaries
New franchisees need to know where they “can go”, where they “can’t go”, what they “can do”, what they “can’t do”, what operational “best practices” are, and the list goes on. What are their profit margins for error, what benefits can be offered to employees, what on-site infrastructure will your franchise help facilitate, what latitude is available for hours of operation, what company policies define interpersonal relationships with staff? Just as new employees need boundaries in the workplace, so do new franchisees.

Cutting Through Challenges In Enabling New Franchisees
The more streamlined the process of establishing new franchisees is, the better it will be for your franchise overall. 

Some notable tips that generally apply to most franchisors—digital, on-site, or remote—involve introducing franchisees to operations and providing them with resources (like onboarding software) as well as oversight. 

Always factor in a margin for error over a protracted time period for new franchisees. Keep track of the process as things develop, and define operational boundaries. Last but certainly not least, be sure you know who you’re working with as regards franchisee management at the local level before authorizing any new locations.