Building a successful Master Franchisee business

August 23, 2018

The life of a Master Franchisee is a challenging one.

For growing franchise businesses, with multiple brands in their portfolio, success is measured not only by how well your owned-stores, and sub-franchisees are operating, but also by how well you are meeting the terms of your Master Franchise Agreement, and managing the relationship with your Master Franchisor partner.

Be an extension of the brand

As the Master Franchisee, you’ve worked extensively with the Franchisor, and have intimate knowledge of their business model, brand, and franchise operations.  It’s now your responsibility to push this training and best-practice down to your stores and sub-franchisee partners.

However, as your operations and franchise systems grow it becomes increasingly challenging to deploy resource into local markets for on-site training and ongoing support. So, how can you achieve this effectively?

Efficient management of your portfolio is underpinned by two elements:

1. An ability to ensure your stores and partners have access to the product, operational, and marketing content they need to drive the business plan forward and meet targets.

2. Control for your head office teams in the form of effective task management, allowing them to ensure compliance against key terms of your franchise agreement.

Unfortunately, for Master Franchisees that are growing quickly, investment in technology to support this can often lag behind. Instead, it’s not uncommon to find stores and partners being managed through spreadsheets, and for content to be shared via email attachments.

This is a mistake, and not a scalable approach to keeping your portfolio in-check. Content shared through attachments or shared drives, for example, can often be missed, leaving local partners using outdated or incorrect assets. While tasks shared through email can be missed altogether, and offer no way for your head office team to track receipt or task status and compliance against the franchise agreement.

Even many of the popular, generic task management tools can be challenged by your complex store hierarchies, and franchise model.

The tools every Master Franchisee needs

These challenges are the reason that you need tools built specifically for your industry; designed to help your teams get more done, and have greater visibility over activity.

Concrete has been working with retail brands, and Master Franchisees, for over ten years and is the leader in communication and task management tools for the retail sector.

Here’s how we can help to build more successful Master Franchisee operations.

1. Advertising and promotions

For many global brands, the master franchisor will typically reserve the right to review and approve advertising assets. This is to protect brand standards and the brand name.

When your portfolio comprises multiple stores and sub-franchisees, it’s vital that the brand isn’t damaged in any way through the use of outdated, or incorrect content. Look to invest in a system such as Concrete Publish that allows you to build a cloud-based content portal, and single-source of truth. Local stores and teams across your franchise network are then able to access this portal remotely for marketing support and to access the materials they need to implement the marketing plan effectively – whether that be in-store promotions, or local advertising.

If your promotions are time-sensitive, Concrete Tasks overcomes the challenge of trying to coordinate activity through email or generic task management solutions, meaning everyone knows what needs to be done, and by when.

2. Training & development:

If your stores, or partners, suffer from a high degree of staff attrition, you need to find a more scalable way to deploy the training assets that are to be used to onboard new store associates. This might include operational manuals, brand awareness guides and product knowledge.

When training assets are held as attachments on store email accounts they can easily be forgotten about. Likewise, paper-based training manuals quickly become outdated. This will delay the time it takes for a new store associate to begin selling effectively and providing great customer service.

Concrete Tasks allows you to set-up templated training tasks. Your local partners can then push these tasks down to a store level as their own. Both local partner management teams, and your head office teams, then have visibility over completion.

Training assets can be stored in Concrete Publish, affording your head office team a centralized location to curate training and development materials, and ensuring local teams always know where to go to get the latest, and most up-to-date materials.

3. Visual Merchandising:

Like advertising and marketing standards, it’s important that visual merchandising guidelines are implemented correctly by your stores and sub-franchisees. Unfortunately, email makes it hard to monitor activity. It can also be cumbersome to respond to local questions about real-estate, store layouts, or adaptations that need to be made.

Use Concrete Tasks to better manage and coordinate Visual Merchandising activity. The task dashboard makes it easy for planning teams to manage reminders, monitor feedback, and track task completion. If task assignees require additional support, they can open a chat with stakeholders or post photos back to help them resolve a problem. All activity is kept within a single application, providing a clear audit trail, and improving task completion rates.

4. Retail Operations:

From company announcements and new directives, to sharing standard operating procedures (SOP) and providing ongoing support; staying connected to your local franchise partner management teams and in-store teams is an important part of maintaining a high performing operation that executes quickly and effectively.

Stores can be bombarded with emails (store managers can spend up to 50% of their time in the back-office rather than on the shop-floor), which causes confusion, lacks accountability and can make it hard for local teams to prioritize. Regional managers can be equally pressured and can struggle to keep track of head office directives that their local stores need to implement.

Concrete Tasks provides head office and regional partner teams with hierarchical task assignment, enabling them to quickly create tasks, define categories, and send to selected stores or groups. For tasks issued by the head office team, regional managers can add additional content or notes tailored to their area.  

Build trust with Master Franchisors

Master Franchise brands are looking to work with franchise partners that they can trust to grow their business in a new, and often unknown specific territory. That's why when working with Master Franchising partners, it’s important to demonstrate that their brand is in safe hands and that you have the tools in place to manage operations as efficiently as possible.

Concrete can help with this. Book a demo with one of our experts below, and we can show you how!

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