The best way to prevent poor performance & unhappy franchisees is by providing great franchise training & support
In the franchise world, a superior support system is vital to the growth and maintenance of a successful franchise. Here are 5 franchises that go beyond the traditional support offerings to provide their franchisees superior support.
Wild Birds Unlimited
Wild Birds Unlimited understands that when it comes to support, one size does not fit all. “It’s just like how we interact with our customers at our stores,” said Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer of Wild Birds Unlimited. “You could have two different customers who live only three blocks from each other, yet they have completely different backyards that require completely different bird feed and supplies.”
What it comes down to is different needs for different people, just as each business has its own unique needs. “At Wild Birds, we have four different support programs that franchisees can choose to participate in,” Pickett explained. “There’s Enterprise, Business Development, Answer Center, and New Owner Coaching.”
Each of those plans gives Wild Bird franchisees a support system tailored to their store’s needs. “In the end, it’s most important to consistently deliver and to make sure that everyone gets the absolute best support,” Pickett added.
Buffalo Rings & Wings
“The number-one piece of feedback I get is that we are great at collaboration,” said Philip Schram, Chief Development Officer at Buffalo Wings & Rings. “We work beyond just the technical. We put a lot of passion into the way we work with our franchisees.”
That passion shows and continues to guide the ever-expanding franchise. “Buffalo Rings & Wings currently has only four company-owned stores,” explained Schram. “The rest of our stores are franchisee-owned. You won’t find many other franchises with that ratio of company-owned to franchisee-owned stores.”
BWR uses their company-owned stores as test markets for practices designed to maximize the profit of the franchisee stores. “The focus is completely on them,” said Schram, “we love to serve the franchisees and watch them grow with us. It’s all about their growth, not ours.”
Two Men and a Truck
Two Men and a Truck is the largest franchised moving company both in the United States and internationally. The company is able to provide superior service by offering their franchisees dedicated teams whose sole purpose is to promote success and growth within the franchise model.
“Over the past few years, we have invested in and hired a high number of talented SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to offer specialized support to the franchisees,” said Denise Droscha, Operations Director of Two Men and a Truck. “Whether the areas involve recruiting and retaining staff, accounting, marketing tactics, sales, customer service, training, new technology or franchise business consultants, we have an expert ready and available.”
In addition to the SMEs, the company makes sure that operations are totally transparent to their franchisees. “Transparency allows franchisees and our support teams to assess the health and strength of any location and benchmark their key performance indicators against system standards and other franchisees,” explained Droscha. “With the click of a button, our support teams and franchisees can see their strengths and weaknesses as well as that of their peers. This information allows franchisees to engage with other franchisees to achieve higher results.”
Smoothie King is the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store in the U.S. and currently operates in 33 states. The brand offers their franchisees a wide variety of support systems, including product development, real estate and construction, training and support, marketing, and technology.
“We strive to respond quickly and assist our franchisees in any way possible,” said Kevin King, Chief Development Officer at Smoothie King. “This comes in the form of training, assistance with real estate, construction, remodeling, supply chain and how to better serve our customers. Finally, and really most importantly, is that we all strive to fulfill our mission to help everyone live a healthy and active lifestyle. All of our smoothies are created with the purpose of helping people achieve their goals."
Smoothie Kind also offers a quick and easy way for their franchisees to communicate with the company. “We have invested in a communication and training tool we call ’The Blend,’” explained King. “It is a portal accessible by all stores and provides the most current forms, guides, training tools and communication. This has increased the effectiveness of training and has given us a direct avenue to communicate with our stores.
Toppers Pizza is on the fast track to becoming a powerhouse pizza chain brand. They’ve doubled in size over the past three years, and top development markets are quickly selling out.
Toppers offers franchisees support in systems, training and construction, which is a huge plus when opening a new store.
“Using a technology-based training system has helped make the process easier,” said Director of Training. “We still have hands-on training but going with a tech-based system allows us to track our team member’s work, which results in better operated stores for our franchisees.”
In the ever-competitive pizza market, it can be hard to get your company’s name out there and stand out from the competition. That’s why Toppers also gives all their franchisees a complete promotional kit to help them break into new markets and make a name for themselves within the community.