Three headaches FEC franchise owners face and how to cure them

We’re lucky enough to work with some great franchises in the family entertainment centre space, meeting some brilliant entrepreneurs along the way. In that time, we’ve come to understand that FECs operating a franchise model often have problems unique to them that differ from traditional businesses, and in turn we’ve made sure that our online booking system is able to support whatever requirements a franchise operator may have.

With our experience of working with franchises there are some consistent concerns that we’ve found plague the majority of franchises, so with this in mind we’ve taken a look at three of the most common headaches we see franchise operators suffer from and how you can prevent them.

A lack of structure and processes

There’s no point even even considering a franchise model if you don’t have a solid infrastructure that will support your franchisees. This extends to everything from the support, processes and systems you have in place.

Firstly providing great support and onboarding for franchisees makes it more likely everything will go smoothly and your franchisee will have a thorough understanding of the business and what they can and can’t do and how you’ll support them – this creates a happy relationship all round.

Putting processes in place also keeps everything running efficiently and documented and creates a simple understanding of how the business relationship should work and how the franchisee should handle specific situations that will undoubtedly arise.

Finally, having the same system in place for all franchisees allows you to relax safe in the mind that everyone is using the correct software system, and a solid booking, management and commerce solution could allow you to control your franchisees from one place and give them as little or as much control as you’d like – we’ve seen both ends of the spectrum when it comes to this and it really comes down to what works best for your business and aligns with your ethos.

Lack of Data

Although each franchisee should be heavily invested in their own data and reporting, you as the franchisor will also have a heavy interest in the performance of each of your franchises.

 Just a couple of the key metrics we find franchisors like to monitor:

• Income generated per location
• Marketing ROI
• Revisitation rate per location
• Top selling activities
• Top selling stock

Whilst these are just the most common pieces of data we see customers want to view, of course each business’s needs are completely different – this is one reason we decided to build our system on Salesforce, as there is no limit to the reporting capability, if it’s a metric you want to track you can do it with Salesforce and BookNow Software.

Brand Management

Maintaining a consistent brand throughout your franchisees is one of the most important things when it comes to your overall marketing. Keeping things consistent will help you attract new franchisees and grow customer trust and knowledge of your overall franchise.

Some of the challenges you face may be resistance from your franchisees who want to do things their own way, so it’s key that you manage this relationship and consider how best to respect their independence – perhaps considering how you can use their ideas for the betterment of the wider franchise and roll it out throughout.

Key things you’ll want to consider managing at HQ are brand guidelines, website platform and style and booking system. We work with a number of franchises, all of whom give out different levels of control to their franchisees, with some giving out full control of their booking system to franchisees whereas some prefer to lock it down completely at a HQ level.

Ensuring there is a clear understanding of branding and marketing expectations (again linking back to the first point about the processes) will help keep the relationship between you and your franchisees strong and clear.

We hope this has helped you with how you can best manage the relationship between you and your franchisees. If you’d like to get a better understanding of how a booking system like BookNow Software can help with the management of your franchise, just drop us a message via the form below.

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