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Franchise Power TipsTen Tips for Communicating Franchise Goals

 

Now that you understand the "language" of goal setting and you have your Goal Setting Worksheet (link to worksheet) and Meeting Planner (link to planner) to use, we turn our attention this month to "communicating" your goals.

Successful franchisors set goals annually. Do all of them achieve their goals? Why are some franchisors more successful in achieving their goals than others? One of the sure fire ways to make sure that YOU succeed in achieving YOUR franchise goals is by communicating your goals effectively. Below are ten tips to consider as you prepare to communicate your 2008 goals.

 

Ten Tips for Communicating Goals

 

Tip #1 - Communicate Early

Nobody likes surprises. Communicate early and often. People want to be part of the process. They understand that change has to happen in order to survive in today's global economy. Communicating early gives your team and franchisees time to more effectively implement their strategies.

Tip #2 - Give them the "Big Picture"

Share the "Big Picture" view of your goals sharing the "whats" and "whys". Give your team credit for understanding the significance of the situation. When people understand the long term impact of the goals and the significance to the success of the franchise, they become more willing to participate. Total participation breeds success.

Tip #3 - Use Visuals

Present your goals using visuals, charts, and hand-outs. A picture is worth a thousand words. Many people learn by "seeing" instead of "hearing." And many need time to reflect on what has been said, so provide them with a summary or call to action by distributing a hand-out of your most important points.

Tip #4 - Be understanding and empathetic

Change can be troublesome for established franchisees. Communicate that you understand their resistance and fear of change. Ask for their opinion. Mirror their feelings. Paraphrase their story.
"I understand that you have tried that before and it didn't work. However, all of our research indicates that now is the time to make these changes. Otherwise, our growth cannot be sustained."

Tip #5 - Communicate your expectations

Not only communicate your expectations, but the consequences for failure. Be willing to negotiate when possible.

Tip #6 - Speak persuasively, not abrasively

Foster a dialogue with your franchisees. Dialogue is the "free flow of meaning between two or more people." A study of 500 successful companies found that peak performance had nothing to do with "performance management". It was "dialogue" that enabled highly productive companies succeed.

Tip #7 - Check for understanding

Don't assume that everyone "gets it." Ask open-ended questions. "Do you have any ideas on how we could achieve increased customer service?"  "How do we introduce new services and satisfy the need of our customers?" "What do you think about _____?" "What is your opinion?"

Tip #8 - Demonstrate mutual purpose and respect

Strive to get everyone on the same page. Show respect for the ideas and concerns of your team and franchisees. Be respectful of your franchisees experience and knowledge. An open and honest dialogue dies when respect has been violated. Often those who perform the front line jobs have the most innovative and practical suggestions as to how to improve business and effect positive change.

Tip #9 - Link their goals to your goals

The only way to get support is to build them into the process. The goals need to be understood by both the franchisee and their employees. Provide tools that help them communicate those goals to their employees.

Tip #10 - Implement an Action Plan

Act on the suggestions that come out of the conversation/communication. Don't stop at simply communicating your goals and conducting a dialogue. Demonstrate that you value their ideas and follow up. Form a franchisee advisory team to conduct research and investigate best practices in your industry. Hold them accountable for their suggestions/contributions. Conduct monthly status conference calls or meetings. Find those who are willing to contribute. Refer to your Meeting Planner for specific actions and tasks. Good Luck!

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