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The Role of Franchisors in Supporting Low-Cost Franchise Success

From tailored support to creating a sense of community, Stratus CEO Doug Flaig shares some strategies that franchisors can use to help low-cost franchises succeed.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 04/18/24

Low-cost franchises make business ownership more accessible to many. However, as a result of a low initial investment requirement, franchisors need to be strategic and nimble in ensuring they still provide franchisees with the highest quality support possible. Doug Flaig, CEO of Stratus Building Solutions, spoke with 1851 Franchise about the unique challenges and strategies involved in supporting franchisees within a low-cost franchise system.

Tailored Support

Stratus Building Solutions has a three-tiered franchise system consisting of franchisor, master franchisee and unit-level franchisee. Master franchisees act as franchisors within their own regions and are responsible for translating corporate support into tangible benefits for unit franchisees. For the unit-level franchisees, the initial investment required is relatively low. 

With a low-cost franchise, there may not be an abundance of funding for specialized support and training. A good franchisor, however, will find a way to support franchisees to the highest level possible. For Flaig, this means tailoring the support to the specific needs of the brand’s franchisees. For example, Stratus’ franchisee base is largely made up of individuals whose first language is not English. 

“We’ve had to overcome different language barriers to guide our franchisees toward success and make sure they are supported. We’ve made sure our resources and materials are in multiple languages," said Flaig.  

This inclusive approach extends to the brand’s master franchisees, who often provide guidance and mentorship to unit-level franchisees. Most of the master franchisees are bilingual or have hired bilingual staff to make communication and support more effective.

In addition to training franchisees in practical skills like basic cleaning techniques, floor waxing and carpet cleaning, Stratus also teaches business acumen to help them evolve into adept business owners.

"We teach them how to be business people,” said Flaig. “We have our franchise business coaches that work with them to help promote them in their skill sets and bring them more opportunities to really grow their business."

Creating a Collaborative Community

Creating a collaborative community is another pillar of Stratus' approach. Flaig cited the example of a master franchisee in Louisiana who recently received the Team Leader award for going above and beyond in fostering a family-like atmosphere. By organizing events, hosting celebrations and recognizing franchisee achievements with an awards banquet, this master franchisee is an example of the culture Stratus strives to build. 

The brand hosts an annual meeting where seasoned franchisees mentor newcomers unprompted, simply because the brand’s culture encourages this type of guidance and collaboration. For a low-cost franchise that may not have an excess of capital to spend on elaborate support systems, creating a sense of unity and shared success among franchisees is especially beneficial.

A Shared Goal: Serving the Customer

At every tier of ownership, each entrepreneur shares the same goal of providing quality service to the customer. To ensure customer satisfaction, each role must play its part.

"My master franchisees are servants to the unit franchisees, and we're all serving the end customer," said Flaig.  

When it comes to low-cost franchises, the franchisor’s role in supporting the franchisee is vital. For Stratus, this means tailoring the support and training offered to the franchisee’s needs and creating a collaborative community. By doing these two things, Stratus is ensuring the success of every unit franchisee within its expansive network.

To learn more about low-cost franchising, check out these resources: