In Part 6 of our home-cleaning franchise series, we looked at what a franchisor can and should do to ensure you’re well positioned to profitably convert leads and close sales. Here in Part 7, we explore key differences between franchisors who offer business-consulting services and those who actively coach and support you in all aspects of your life as a business owner.
It’s common practice for franchisors to assign business consultants to assist franchisees with things like:
- Starting the business.
- Learning the franchise system.
- Driving revenue growth.
- Expanding into more units or bigger franchise territories.
Essentially, the franchisor wants you to grow and expand so it can earn more royalties and fees. For franchisees motivated by all the same things, these business-consulting relationships work just fine.
However, a problem with the business-consulting model is that different people dream about owning their own businesses for very different reasons. Some hope to grow rapidly, or become multi-unit operators. Others may seek different things: work-life balance; a business that eventually ‘runs itself’ allowing them to travel; a chance to create jobs in their communities; or, simply opportunities to connect daily with great people and to spread happiness by fostering friendly, supportive work cultures.
The personal coaching model in franchising begins with a fundamental acknowledgement that cookie-cutter approaches to supporting and encouraging franchisees don’t always work. Each owner in the system has his or her own values, life goals, skills, knowledge, and talents. The personal coach’s job is to:
- Help the business owner identify personal strengths and weaknesses.
- Share their accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the game.
- Bring in the right team members—people who specialize in specific areas (such as business startup, marketing, sales, expansion, and so forth)—at just the right times to ensure each business owner achieves his or her own personal definition of success.
Here are a few key questions you can ask potential franchise partners to tease out which of the two models—business consulting or personal coaching—their systems favor:
- What skills and capabilities are most likely to land a person a job on your business consulting or coaching team?
- How—and how often—am I expected to interact with this person?
- What is the ratio of consultants or coaches to business owners?
- What types of things will my consultant or coach focus on? Will this change as my business matures and grows?
- Will I have access to coaching specialists in such areas as marketing or sales?
- What happens if I choose not to take my consultant or coach’s advice?
Be sure to tune in for Parts 8 and 9 of our series in which we’ll focus on the importance of nurturing strong franchise communities and promoting frequent, productive interactions amongst owners and franchise personnel!