A special relationship: New Zealand, Australia franchisors considered mature in operating systems and fostering franchise relations.

Author:Germann, Stewart
Position:Franchise Relations

The relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee is special and you could even say it is unique. It is based upon mutual trust and respect and I liken it to a marriage. Franchisors when they start out with their first four or five franchisees are learning and it can be a very steep learning curve with many mistakes being made. The skill of the franchisor in dealing with franchisees throughout the relationship will be a fundamental factor in determining the degree of success, which they will both enjoy.

New Zealand and Australia

Many franchisors in both New Zealand and Australia are considered to be mature both in their franchise system and in relation to the innovative programs installed to foster franchise relations. For example, in New Zealand there is Stirling Sports, the $2 Shop and Greenacres. In Australia there is Aussie Pooch Mobile, Autobarn and Michel's Patisserie. Franchise systems which operate in both New Zealand and Australia include Pizza Haven, Bakers Delight, Fastway Couriers and Wendy's Super Sundaes, to name but a few. In all of these cases, the franchisors operate and maintain positive programs to foster and enhance franchise relations. Examples of some of these programs include the following:

* Keeping franchisees informed and up-to-date.

* Telling franchisees the good news that occurs in the business each week.

* Sharing the bad news with franchisees who need to know.

* Keeping franchisees fully informed of future changes likely to affect them.

* Involving franchisees in discussion and decision making directly rather than just paying lip service to it.

* Making each franchisee and each employee of a franchisee personally responsible for quality work.

* Displaying management skills by predictability and order in management style and daily behaviour.

* Openly displaying the franchise mission statement, the goals and strategies.

It is important not to treat franchisees badly by berating them publicly or by demeaning or ignoring their efforts. It is far better to use positive ways to earn their commitment. Most people like to show how good they are and they enjoy being stretched, challenged, recognised and rewarded. Recognition is a most potent reward and hearing one's own name spoken in praise is very satisfying.

The franchisor, the franchisee and managers and employees of the franchisee must display leadership and managerial competence. It has been proven that motivation enables people to direct their efforts at a...

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