Supporting former corporate executives-turned-franchisees: former corporate executives are highly-accomplished individuals, who are accustomed to status, recognition, rewards and perks.

Author:Zickerman, Jason P.
Position:FW Focus: MANAGEMENT & OPERATIONS
 
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Former corporate executives can be highly-successful, high-performing franchise owners. Using effective strategies for supporting them and establishing clear expectations about the franchisee-franchisor relationship can lead to greater business success and satisfaction. Here are some keys to success with former corporate executives that can be applied in any franchise system.

Provide clarity about roles and responsibilities

Paint the picture for the executives as to how their days will look as a franchisee. Help them envision whether they see themselves progressing by doing what the system offers and requires of a high-performing franchisee. Transitioning corporate executives need to know the full reality of what they will be doing as a franchisee on a daily basis and how their time will be spent, not just the most appealing aspects that initially attract them to a concept. When the reality and visions match, one has a very beneficial relationship.

Overcome concerns about their perceptions

If it is true about a system, assure them that the relationship is not overly-controlling as they may perceive franchising to be. Clearly explain where they will have autonomy and enjoy their decisionmaking authority to which they are accustomed, and where they will have to follow the franchise system's obligations for the greater good of the brand. Be sure they understand the true comprehensive value of investing in a franchise versus an independent venture. Foster and embrace their desire to be entrepreneurial by leaving the corporate executive culture. Often, many of them don't realize that business service franchise concepts exist as another option for those who don't want retail consumer operations, and they become enlightened as to the broader franchising industry and how beneficial franchising is on many levels, including economic, consumer and business. Providing them details, educational points and new perspectives helps former corporate executives make the most informed decisions. It also helps them prepare accordingly with a clear outlook to become accomplished franchise owners.

Empathize, relate with your support system

Executives who were well-supported with direct staffs and plenty of human resources across divisions may have a tough reality when they experience life as a franchise entrepreneur who has to be more self-reliant. If they aren't good with administrative tasks such as sending their own faxes or changing printer cartridges...

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