What Makes a Great Franchise Leader?
Good leadership is a hard quality to define, but we know it when we see it. Sometimes we recognize leadership through the excellence of a long-term game plan or by smooth franchise relations. At other times leadership can be demonstrated by the willingness to make a sacrifice, respond to a challenge, or venture into uncharted waters. Leadership is that rare blend of tangible and intangible qualities that make others want to follow in the leaderís path.
Leadership may never be more important, nor more of a challenge, than when launching a franchise. To lead a new franchise company to growth and profit, the franchisor must understand and internalize a new philosophy: the customer is now the franchisee, not the consumer, and helping the franchisees serve the consumers is the goal. The degree of success that the company will enjoy as a franchise during those first years hinges directly on the ability of the owner to leave the realm of "entrepreneur" and take on the mantle of "team leader."
A leaderís philosophy for a franchise company MUST be: "When our franchisees make money, then we make money. Therefore, we will help them to succeed in every way that we possibly can."
In analyzing outstanding franchise companies, we see the following characteristics in their leaders:
8 Characteristics of Great Franchise Leaders
Is there really a "leader" among franchisees? Absolutely, and usually at least one from each region. It might be one of the first franchisees, or the most vocal, or the best at mentoring and aiding others. Franchisee leaders can be a powerful force for the positive if the franchisor has been effective in selecting and nurturing the right franchisee candidates.
The right franchisee as leader can assist even a struggling franchise system to survive by helping the franchisee group to understand one crucial issue: that even a poor "parent" is better than no parent at all Ė itís better to fix the system than to take it down. Wise words of experience from a franchise leader can be the glue that saves a franchise company, helping the entire group prosper.
If leaders, whether franchisor or franchisee, put a sincere desire to build a strong group of successful franchisees over their desire to make quick money, the franchise will truly operate as a partnership, and the leaders will bask in the glory of a smooth-working team building their brand and the ultimate value of their asset.
Written by Cheri Carroll and Howard Bassuk for Successful Franchising
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