Keys to Delegation in Franchise Reviews
When you are reading franchise reviews, you will often read about lifestyle, or earnings growth potential but you may not hear about what makes these outcomes consistently achievable. If you are hands on as a franchisee there will be a limit to how much your business and earnings will grow. To get beyond this limit, you will need to be able to effectively delegate responsibility.
Michael Walker has spent a number of years as the National Operations Manager at Mrs Fields and Cookie Man and is passionate about the art of delegation. In this article, he discusses the importance of delegating tasks when it comes to expanding a business and what you should be looking out for in franchise reviews to give you an idea of the training and support you will receive to help you delegate effectively.
When examining franchise reviews, it is a good idea to look for comments on the support and training that the franchise system will provide you over the life of the franchise agreement. In particular, look for training in human resource management that will help you to delegate tasks. A good open question to ask is: “In what ways will you train me to delegate?”.
Many franchises will provide you with training when you join their system. Ask the franchisor and existing franchisees about Human resources training in the areas of hiring and training staff, how to manage your day to day operations and how to manage staffing requirements to support a growing a business, as these will be important things to look for in franchise reviews.
Many times the solution to effective delegation will appear simple, but the right training will allow you to recognise and take advantage of it quickly. One example is training to identify staff passions. By focusing on delegating responsibility for different roles to people who can get passionate about the role your delegation will be far more successful. Generally speaking, if you can, you are best to delegate tasks to a person in your team who can get passionate about that particular area, as they are more likely to take full responsibility for something that gets them excited. An example of taking advantage of a person’s strengths and interests would be if one of your staff members is studying marketing, delegate to them marketing related tasks.
"You are best to delegate tasks to a person in your team who can get passionate about that particular area, as they are more likely to take full responsibility for something that gets them excited."
Another key item to look for in franchise reviews is whether existing franchisees talk about being provided with guidelines to help you and your staff manage the various aspects of your franchise. It doesn’t matter how passionate a staff member you delegate responsibility to is, effective delegation will only occur with the proper systems in place. At Mrs Fields and Cookieman we have both detailed systems and daily checklists to make sure all staff and franchisees are on the same page about what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.
If you delegate without the proper systems, chances are that the results will be chaotic and counterproductive. Everyone has different standards and expectations, whether it relates to food safety, customer interactions or budgeting. If expectations are not clearly outlined staff you delegate to may find it hard to please you as a franchisee in their new area of responsibility. Ultimately the result of this chaos will be a poor experience for your customers and frustration for you as a franchisee. When looking at franchise reviews, look for information relating to system wide operating standards and procedures. For example, a food or beverage franchise might have benchmark standards for food hygiene practices, while a retail franchise may provide guidelines on how you and your staff should interact with customers, allowing everyone to work from the same page. These guidelines will be particularly useful should you expand and take on additional franchise units as it will simply be a matter of replicating the existing standards and procedures already in place, rather than relying on you to be there micro-managing tasks staff take on.
Often, the management and support team of a franchise have run their own business or are in fact franchisees themselves. When looking at franchise reviews, keep an eye out for this level of experience as this may impact what you get out of the support team when it comes to helping you delegate tasks.
Having a franchise support team who have experienced the challenges of delegation may provide you with unique insights and tips that only those who are on-the-ground can know. For example, before joining the support team, I used to manage a café where I used to be involved in all the daily operations, from preparing food to making the coffee. For a long time I was very hands on because I thought I could do everything faster or better than staff. When I took a different approach and started to effectively delegate key responsibilities in busy times it gave me time to set targets for staff and restructure my operations, we grew by 40% each year. I have seen first-hand how to effectively delegate and how not to. Having on the ground knowledge provides valuable insights, backed up by experience.
I wish you the best of luck in your search for the right franchise for you and remember if you want to grow your business significantly you will need to delegate, and having support to do so effectively will enable you to maximise your chances of success.