Are you managing franchisees or herding cats?

Feb 11, 2019

Managing Your Franchisees

I Just met with a franchisor who raised a very common complaint. He said that when dealing with his franchisees it always seems like he’s herding cats. He said that none of the franchisees are willing to follow the franchise model because everyone has a better way of doing it.

Whether the issue is related to advertising, customer service, bookkeeping or even the services offered, no one seems to be on the same page. This is what we affectionately call, herding cats and while it is quite normal, it’s not a strategy and definitely not a strategy for growth.

What causes “herding cats” franchisee management?

“Herding cats” management typically is the result of not providing clear direction and standards to the franchisee and support personnel. In the absence of standards or at least complete standards, the franchisee will fill in the gaps by themselves. This almost always leads to inconsistencies across the system and makes it almost impossible to reign in the brand that you built.

Case study on managing franchisees

We recently worked with a well-established coffee franchisor, a company with an excellent product and a large following. They prided themselves as offering a brand experience based on the art of coffee. The only problem was that the experience differed from location to location.

Managing Franchisees: The solution to “herding cats” and franchisee management

The solution to Herding Cats is for the franchisor to establish clear processes and standards across the franchise system. Processes and standards that when incorporated into the franchisor’s training can be easily understood, replicated in any market and measured.

Once processes and standards are in place across your franchise system, the herding of cats is no longer an issue. When franchisees clearly know what to do and when to do it, they no longer fill in the gaps, and the herd of cats transforms into a focused team.

I would love for you to share your comments or your own herding story with me. Here is my LinkedIn post to add your comments. It is my passion to help franchisors grow and build empires.

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