Setting the standards in franchising

For many entrepreneurs, the concept of franchising is a lucrative one. With its foundations set in place and a proven track record to affirm its credibility, this business model is ideal for those who want to start a business that affords added support while still allowing them to make it their own. It is, however, important to note that with the support extended to new business owners, standards are also set in place that need to be met – allowing only so much room for originality. National Operations Executive of The Fish & Chip Co, Werner Hedder, shares more on these standards and why it is important for franchisees to meet these within the group.

In order to understand the importance of enforcing standards in a franchise, a franchisee needs to go back to the very definition of what a franchise involves.

Franchising is a business concept that it used to distribute products or services. There are two main parties involved in a franchise system: (1) the franchisor (or franchise owner), who lends his trademark or trade name and a business system to the franchisee at a fee; and (2) the franchisee, who pays a royalty and often an initial fee for the right to do business under the franchisor’s name and system.

Two key points need to be noted here. Firstly, the franchisor lends their trademark and business system to the franchisee, which means that what is exchanged still belongs to the franchisor, so they have the right to a say over how business gets done. Secondly, the franchisee is given the rights to act on behalf of the franchisor, meaning that the structures put in place by franchisor still need to be followed. Standards and all.

With a host of challenges in this industry, the topic of maintaining standards is surely the biggest one that franchised companies are faced with. Even with its guidelines, a franchise still provides business owners with a sense of independence to be original, which has also unfortunately led many franchisees to forget that they are acting as the face of the brand as a whole and when one store is different it will impact on the impression that the customer has of the entire brand.

The-Fish-Chip-Co.-Logo5No matter how much a business owner wants to amend or change the business to suit their own preferences, the franchise concept is one which demands a great deal of standardisation, and maintaining set standards throughout each franchise unit is vital to ensuring the brand functions in unison.

It is these very standards that have secured its continued success, after all.

The Fish & Chip Co. is committed to keeping their standards high at all times, and like to encourage their own franchisees through the following tips:

Follow the guidelines

The franchisor places guidelines for you to follow to ensure your store works effectively. From the right suppliers to use, how to prepare the meals and how to organise your displays, the guidelines shared are there to reflect the brand in the best possible light and help you secure your own success.

Always maintain your product and service quality

Quality is one of the most important aspects in any business. If what is served and the manner it is served in does not exude quality, you won’t receive quality support from patrons either. Quality doesn’t only come down to how the products are prepared, but also where they are sourced. The franchisor makes recommendations of which products to use and from which suppliers for a reason. Recommended suppliers will most assuredly comply with the standards of the brand, which is why they are recommended in the first place. On the service side of things, always remember that each customer is your most important one and needs to be treated as such – a customer can, after all, make or break your business no matter how great the brand is.

Work closely with your staff

It’s important to know who is working with you, and who is upholding your brands name on a daily basis. Support and encourage your staff to ensure that your customer is walking into a friendly and welcoming store. Also offer staff training as often as possible and take part in any exercises with them, that way you can be confident that your team is equipped to offer the best service and quality to your customers.

In the end it is important to note that the franchisor is not there to dictate how the franchisee secures their success. The franchisee still has a say in the business to make his or her own decisions. Yes, the franchisor has the final say over standard operating procedures in the franchise and elements that affect their best practice. Yet even with the guidelines for managing the business in place, the franchisor does not command the franchisee how a store should be run, which staff to appoint, when to do stock take, or how to manage income.

At the end of the day, success in any business cannot be achieved without the business owner taking responsibility for their own actions and running the business according to their own goals while bearing in mind the standards set forth by their franchisor.

Opinion piece shared by PR Worx.

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