Creating the best support for a profitable franchise business
Todd Matea| Recruitment Manager | Smartline
Support is one of the key factors in contributing to franchisees satisfaction and running a successful franchise business. Smartline topped the franchisee satisfaction ranking on Topfranchise for the second year running thanks to their performance in support. We caught up with Todd Matea, Recruitment Manager at Smartline, to talk about best practices across the support area for a successful franchise business.
What is crucial within an organisation - and in particular within a franchise system - is the creation of a good team environment culture. In this respect it is very important to have a team of engaged and dedicated people at head office level who can create that kind of environment where franchise owners feel part of the team and are encouraged to express their opinions.
In this way franchisees are involved in providing ongoing feedback, which we really welcome as we can better tailor our support and develop best practice across the network.
It is also important that a franchise system aims to provide the best tools that allow franchisees to thrive, from operation to communications.
At Smartline we maintain a number of avenues to share information freely across the group.
- A dedicated Intranet to access all franchise information;
- Internal newsletters to share current events and new initiatives;
- Franchise Focus groups that are held regularly in all regions; these are really important as the feedback and street level information assists us in further developing our business model ;
- Quarterly State meetings, which are informative and crucial from a professional development prospective, as they give the franchisee owners the possibility to share their success and gain information that will better, enable their businesses.
- Annual Conferences and Leader Forums that provide opportunities to network amongst colleagues and Smartline suppliers .
"A good franchise system should always keep its franchise owners informed and structure its communication to be informative without being overwhelmed: in one word we could say it is a "smart" communication, so franchisees can find useful advice in short amount of time."
A good franchise system should always keep its franchise owners informed and structure its communication to be informative without being overwhelmed: in one word we could say it is a "smart" communication, so franchisees can find useful advice in short amount of time.
In turn we encourage franchisees to provide a constant feedback and help us to create a positive team environment within our extended franchisee network. This is main reason we engaged 10THOUSAND FEET to survey our network and benchmark the level of satisfaction amongst our group. I suppose our #1 Top Franchise ranking speaks volumes about the systems that we employ.
Our flat management structure and focus to provide quick and effective assistance when needed contributes greatly to our overall franchisee satisfaction. Of course this is all made possible by having dedicated support staff that are only a phone call away.
We also put a lot of effort into staying on the top of the game. At Smartline we maintain a policy of training senior managers to become independently accredited business coaches: this is major step in providing the best support possible in terms of interpersonal skills and in having people who can really help the franchisee think strategically and run an even more profitable franchise business.