This is the 4th part of the Inspiring Millennials in Franchising series, I recommend you start at part 1
In life there are moments, moments that shape us, that make us or without which our paths would be considerably different. At the heart of many of those moments is a person or people. Whether for good or bad, we all have the ability to significantly influence the lives of those around us.
In previous articles in this series we’ve discussed the importance of mentoring and some of the factors that influence millennial behaviour. This article focuses on how to practically support franchisees to achieve their goals and live more fulfilled lives.
There is, however, a preliminary step that must be taken in order to be successful in this approach, you must know yourself. This is not some airy fairy mumbo jumbo, but the most important part of being able to mentor, it’s what influences every answer, provides credibility and is the essence of your integrity. Knowing who you are as a franchise business and who you are as an individual is vital. The purpose of this article is not to discuss this however, but some suggested reading to help with this is Start with Why (Simon Sinek) or The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (Stephen Covey).
From a position of confidence and integrity you can then mentor those that share similar beliefs and values. This is an important point when looking to recruit and develop franchisees, before they come on board. You need to be pretty confident that they share the same values and culture that your franchise has. Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us (Seth Goden) provides some great insights into the importance of bringing people around you with shared values.
With the foundations laid, the next step is to understand your franchisee. Without understanding you will always act with a perception of what is important, rather than the reality. The only way to develop this understanding is time. Time to ask questions, time to build trust and time to nurture a relationship where there is openness and sharing. When interviewing prospective franchisees, this means spending more time listening to the franchisee than discussing your franchise opportunity. Find out their ‘why’.
Now, plan how you can support them from where they are today to where they need to be to achieve their goals and ambitions. To those, who on hearing this are thinking, “but it’s all about them, how self centred are they”, I would say, this is exactly why so few do this, it’s not easy and take a genuine passion for the success of others.
The plan should involve utilising your experience to support them in their journey, don’t underestimate how much expertise you have to give! But also, don’t think you have to do it on your own. Where you are less experienced, lack expertise or lack time you can bring in others to provide the mentoring. It’s beneficial if these other mentors take time to know and understand the franchise so their guidance is specific.
There are a few pivotal skills required to be a successful franchisee, most franchisors only focus on the skill of delivery. This is the franchisees ability to deliver the service to the end customer, it’s a child activities class delivery of massage to children, or the delivery of frozen yoghurt through a retail unit. Some support with business processes and software. A few, support with sales and marketing activities to drive the business forward. And even less support with helping franchisees understand the financial aspects of the business.
I encourage you to look closely at how you support your franchisees and whether you agree that there is more that can be done to support individuals to achieve their goals. A distinction to make here is between being reactive and proactive. I believe most franchisors are reactive, waiting for their franchisees to ask for help in case their time is taken up dealing with mundane queries. But to be truly successful with millennials takes a proactive approach to listen and ask the questions ‘what ales you?’, ‘what’s keeping you up at night?’ or ‘how can I help you more?’
By having a true understanding of your franchisees, combined with this proactive approach and you’ll know which areas they struggle the most in.
But it shouldn’t stop here, one of the biggest challenges of the millennial generation is the affect social media has on self esteem. There is a constant bombardment of friends and contact living colourful lives travelling the world or achieving ‘success’, this causes constant comparison and I believe reduces overall happiness. If you’re able to let your franchisees know how they are doing by providing positive encouragement drawing comparisons with their previous self you can show them the progress they’ve made.
Along a similar tact, it’s vital that feedback is provided at every opportunity. Through providing effective, constructive feedback you can help each individual learn what their strengths and areas of improvement are, supporting their own self awareness.
And finally, help them learn, although some of the previous points will support this, this takes a greater proactiveness to encourage your franchisees to read books in their field, attend CPD courses or gain additional qualifications. This personal journey helps provide a progression that supports overall happiness and keeps them at the forefront of their industry. And yes, this is not something just for your franchisee to do, as the experienced mentor, you have a foresight into the challenges they may face.
At Stryde, we are so passionate about this that we have built our business around supporting franchisors who aren’t confident or don’t have time to mentor these individuals in the financial aspect of their business. Here’s my unashamed plug about what we do:
As a niche provider of accountancy to franchisors and franchisees, our personal passion lies in mentoring businesses to know their numbers. We aren’t your run of the mill accountancy firm, we are excited about growing people, that’s why we work closely with franchisors to help encourage, inspire and impart the financial knowledge franchisees need to be successful. From franchise wide reporting that provides insights into what works and doesn’t work across the network, to giving franchisees complete confidence in the numbers, we believe it’s our privilege to support the reshaping of lives. Oh…and we happen to think we do great accounting too. 😉
If, like us, you have a passion for helping your franchisees grow and achieve their goals then please call us on 0330 043 4589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org