How Important is Culture in a Franchise?
Whether you will be a first-time business owner or you’re a seasoned operator, building a successful new business should be a thrilling prospect, but it might also be a bit scary. While you will be building your OWN business, you certainly won’t be doing it alone. Not when you join a great franchise family, anyway.
In the best franchises, teamwork, community and open communication combine to create a culture much like a tight-knit family. As you research franchise opportunities, speak to their staff members and to their franchisees. Ask what helped shape the franchise company’s values and contributed to their growth and success. Ask how these values impact the franchisee operations, and whether these values remain consistent throughout the franchise network. Consider the ways these values might lay the foundation for the culture of the entire Brand.
Working within the right culture should help you feel energized, creative and worthwhile. It should help you gain a deep sense of satisfaction and motivate you to do your best and to help others do their best.
What can be accomplished when people work together for the common good…not just in terms of productivity, but also in the safety and sense of community that evolves from that level of teamwork? Healthy competition is great, and can spur people to better and better results, but true teamwork – working for the benefit of all – is so much rarer, yet much more valuable.
Listening to franchisees, hearing their opinions, paying close attention and taking timely action wherever possible is the way to build a high level of community in a franchise system. Through this dialogue and commitment, franchisees will ‘buy in’ to the Culture, believe in the Mission and in the leadership, and are better able to see themselves as true partners in the Brand.
As a franchise owner, your relationship with your local community is something that should be very important to you, and to your franchisor. Your goal is to be a valuable asset to your society, rather than to just make a profit from it.
Find ways to give back to the community, whether through philanthropic actions, community service or education, and encourage your employees and your customers to do the same. Consider teaching students or job seekers, or even consumer and business groups that might be interested in your area(s) of expertise, but without a sales pitch.
Realize that language and communication styles can and must change depending on where – and who – you’re speaking with.
You can develop the adaptability you’ll need by truly listening to your audience, whether employees, franchisees, prospects or clients. Don’t just pretend to listen while you wait for your chance to give your opinion or tell someone why they’re wrong. Help people to engage, ask questions, air their concerns and share their successes. That’s real communication!
How can you determine whether the culture in a franchise or other business is a good fit for you?
– Ron Bender