Two years ago I took on my dream position as CEO of School of Rock. As a passionate musician myself it didn't take long for me to become completely immersed in the brand's culture. In my two years on the job, I have visited nearly 200 school locations across the U.S. in order to see the business up close and in-person. The time I spent on the road speaking with franchisees and learning the business from the grassroots level led to a thoughtful evolution of School of Rock's franchisor/franchisee relationship.
Here are five things we've implemented at School of Rock that have completely rewired how we support franchisees.
Use your time wisely
As a franchisor, a majority of our time can be absorbed with meetings to review the state of the business. Although this is important, the brand can suffer because of it. Your franchisees can suffer because of it.
When you dedicate only a few minutes each week to discuss the most recent trends, it conserves precious leadership time to dig into critical initiatives, discussions with teams and brand engagement. This also puts time aside for the whole community to discuss, co-create, and embrace a purpose statement that characterizes a multi-decade vision.
One of the best ways to create results for our stakeholders is to spend every possible minute building enduring value, staggering differentiation, and higher quality dialogue with franchisees. At School of Rock, we've been able achieve this by making a massive investment in our team, infrastructure, facilities, and intellectual property. Rather than spending our time focused on money, we are tilling and planting strategic seeds that result in a steep growth in existing schools enrollment, sales, and a spike in interest from prospective franchisees around the world.
Don't control the message
Rock N' Roll is loud, but so is a creative community. When you take the shackles off open debate, it allows for your brand's community to really open up and learn from each other. What does that look like? Consider a secure Facebook Workplace environment where team members can engage in dissent and debate. Not all posts may be flattering or comfortable, but every point made by franchisees is important to consider.
If you're not into Facebook, scheduled phone calls with owners may be beneficial for you and your brand. At School of Rock, every franchisee has my personal cell phone number with an invitation to call me 24/7. Some would label this chaos. We call it...