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Lessons From Franchise Execs: Sean Bock, President of Franchising at Heyday

Alignment between franchisees and the franchisor is the key to success in any system according to this franchise executive.

For Sean Bock, president of franchising at Heyday, a 10-unit skincare franchise on a mission to provide expert skincare that empowers everyone to be their best self, there are three things every franchisee should know before signing on with a brand — who the leadership team is, how the brand is financially supported and who the fellow franchisees are. These are the ingredients for creating a solid and lasting partnership in franchising, a recipe Bock gathered from years in the industry.

Before coming on board with Heyday, , Bock worked with international brands such as Drybar, Fun Brands and Cold Stone Creamery. He has experience in nearly every aspect of franchising from training and operations to sales and development.

Bock says  one of the biggest mistakes brands make when setting out on the franchising journey is going into it with a controlling mindset.

“A lot of times, franchisors have the misconception that this is their brand, you’re gonna do what we say, here’s the playbook, follow it to a T,” said Bock. “But the best relationships are a 360-degree loop of continuous improvement. And you can’t really improve unless you solicit input from the field, take the best ideas, test them out and implement them across the system.”

One of the most important lessons Bock learned during his career is the importance of alignment between franchisor and franchisee from the very beginning. He said that most issues with disgruntled franchisees start during the sales process because they aren’t properly aligned with the brand they’re committing to.

“A lot of the issues with disgruntled franchisees start in the sales process, even before they come on board,” he said. “Maybe they weren’t aligned properly with the expectations, or they were told that it would be a passive business investment when it wasn’t. What I learned early on is there needs to be alignment of vision before somebody comes on board. [As a franchisor], you have to have the tough conversations before they become a franchisee [if there isn’t alignment] because it’s a lot more difficult to do so afterwards.”

Watch the full interview with Bock above, or click here to watch it on YouTube.