4 ways to be a star franchisee

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Inside Franchise Business: turn yourself into a star franchiseeDo you have what it takes to become a franchise star performer?

Dean Salamone heads up and recruits franchisees at Rozzi’s Italian Canteen. Here he shares his insights into franchisee success, franchising and the franchise model.

1. What is your personal strength in business?

I have been involved in franchising (as consultant, a franchisee and now franchisor) for 17 years and have built solid relationships on trust and longevity. My experience means I can empathise with prospective and existing franchisees as to the sometimes emotional roller-coaster story of what it's like to be franchisee.

2. What have you learned about franchising?

People and money equal emotion. I like to refer to it as the great Australian second dream - running your own business. As a distribution model, franchising can be very successful for all stakeholders when done correctly and, wearing my recruitment hat, this means being honest and transparent with prospective franchisees about what the business actually needs from its stakeholders to succeed: planning and application.

I have also learned that you can take people on a fantastic journey with you. A willingness to embrace change and all the challenges that come with it seems to be a common theme for success.

3. What does it take to have an efficient franchise model?

  • Consumer relevance

  • Realistic growth plans and resources

  • Solid policies for consistency of product and/or service.

Your franchisor will drive efficiencies within the franchise model by way of innovation in product and technology. Franchisors are really the disruptors of their industry - they take a business model and scale it up for growth while retaining the fundamentals that make their business attractive to prospective franchise owners.

4. What do franchisees want from their franchisor support team?

Everyone’s definition of support can differ, but most franchisees want regular, open and honest two-way communication about how they can improve the running of their business. As a support team, we need to add value constantly.

5. How does a franchisor foster trust in the relationship with a franchisee?

Deliver what they say they are going to do - from the moment they receive an inquiry. It’s pretty simplistic, I know. However, franchisors need to show commitment to franchisee growth (while treating everyone equally and fairly) if they want franchisees to believe in them. Franchisors should always look for ways to help the ongoing profitability of franchisees.

6. What can franchisees do to ensure a good relationship with the franchisor team?

If you have been honest in your dealings with your franchisor and are seen as a brand advocate who knows the system and is prepared to support the system, you are giving yourself every chance of maintaining a fantastic relationship with your franchisor team.

7. In your experience, what is the most common mistake franchisees make?

Buying into a business and not truly appreciating what is needed to be successful. Contractually, it is called due diligence, but in its truest sense it’s about talking to other franchisees about the work involved, particularly in the early stages of the business.

8. What do you look for when interviewing a prospective franchisee?

Our first interviews with franchisees are relatively informal and really an opportunity for an open and frank discussion about both parties, as well as their key motivations for thinking about joining the Rozzi’s famiglia.

Sometimes we are not aligned, and that’s okay, but we are looking for service-focussed individuals who love the idea of producing new products every day. I look to see how many questions they will ask during the interview. You can never ask too many questions of a franchisor - they will be responsible for your investment just as much as you as a franchisee.

9. What do you think is the most important quality a franchisee needs?

The ability to embrace change and lead their team to high performance.

10. What does it take for a franchisee to be a star performer?

  • Live and breathe the brand - be infectious with that passion so it reflects on the teams they lead and manage

  • Have a respectful and collaborative relationship with franchisor support team

  • Maximise profitability while working within the business protocols

  • Be seen as a leader among fellow franchise partners.

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