While driving my car through some pretty yuck roads near home today (note to self: I need to ask my local council where exactly the road spend is going to…my wheel alignment is getting worse by the day!)..I had a thought. Rare, I know, but all the same….
Wouldn’t it be really genius of an insightful franchisor to build in a proper exit and relief strategy into the franchise offering. What on earth do I mean, you ask?
Well, I have a super business contact in London who I love to have coffees with and just pick his brain. He is really passionate about small business owners having a proper exit plan that they can live with. He has seen time and again how really successful small business owners get to retirement age and fall foul of retirement pressure and end up losing out on the value of their life’s work.
So, my thought was around a franchisor actually building in a plan that will help the franchisee revisit his/her exit at whatever point is comfortable for them – with a set structure in place to give them value for their investment of time and money in the business. But, over and above that, it may well be a plan to fit in sabbatical periods for the franchisee. We all know that we work damn hard to get our businesses on the go and could all do with some time out to remind ourselves of where we are going, whether we are enjoying the journey and re-energise ourselves for the years ahead.
Emotional loyalty is pretty key for a franchisor who wants to retain franchisees – same rule applies as for all other businesses: it costs more to get in new franchisees than it does to retain existing ones. To keep franchisees engaged – my advice is to always look at how to enhance the model and add value over time. Sabbaticals may well be one more thing that is worth looking at.
I am not saying SPEND more, I’m saying be creative and offer the opportunity of relief and support during that time. I know that I could have done with being offered that at my five year anniversary of being with a company in my last employed role. Who knows I may well have remained with the company for longer!
But then my inner entrepreneur junkie would not have stayed quiet for much longer 🙂