Achieving Success as a Franchise Leader

If you’re a founder or senior executive of a franchise brand and you were unable to attend the Franchise Leadership & Development Conference this week in Atlanta, I highly recommend you don’t miss it next year. I’ve always found the event produced by Franchise Update Media Group to be one of the best events on the franchise conference circuit.

The following are some points I’ve pulled from notes that I had taken at past FDLC events I had attended. I trust you’ll find them useful, and especially if you’re in a leadership position with an emerging franchise brand. Certainly, it doesn’t replace what you would have learned at the conference, but let’s consider it an early step on your path to success as a franchise leader.

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8 Key Focus Areas of Successful Franchise Leadership

From professional athletes to high-tech programmers, every career requires different talents. However, what makes a career as a leader of a franchise system different are skills that do not have to be acquired through rigorous training or years of schooling.

Instead, success in franchise leadership can come to anyone who is determined, dedicated and willing to invest in their personal development—and will pay off tremendously by developing a network of franchisees who respect your leadership traits. Below are key focus areas for individuals to become successful brand executives and great well-respected leaders:

  1. Consistency: As the franchisor, your franchisees will be looking up to you. Being consistent and following through on your word will let them know that they have a leader they can count on.
  2. Planning: Your franchisees are invested in the business, so it’s natural that they will want to know where it is headed and the steps necessary to get there.
  3. Communications: Make certain to share your vision with franchisees as well as with your team in an open, transparent manner to ensure confidence at all levels.
  4. Support: As a franchisor, everyone in the organization is your team member—meaning you have a vital role as a pillar of support and encouragement.
  5. Positivity: Focus on creating a positive space for your franchisees. This will help strengthen your bond and let them know you have their back.
  6. Respect: Every franchisee makes mistakes—it’s just a part of the business. Making sure your franchisees know you still respect them even when they slip up will go a long way. The same will be true for franchisor mistakes, but only if earned through mutual respect.
  7. Face Time: You can’t be expected to visit every franchise location every day. However, the occasional impromptu visit will help you learn more about the day-to-day operations and struggles of each individual location—and let them know you’re invested in solving their problems.
  8. Passion: Franchising means getting to work with talented, passionate colleagues who love what they do. Believe in the brand and believe in your franchisees—your passion will shine through and inspire them, as well.
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I’ll leave you with the following from to ensure there’s no misunderstanding about leadership:

In its simplest form, leadership is influencing other people to follow. Therefore, anyone who can influence people to follow them has leadership qualities.

Leadership happens at all levels within organizations and society, not just among those who work in defined “leadership positions.”

Leadership means different things to different people, different cultures, and in different situations. But it is always a multifaceted role.

Effective leadership enables followers to succeed. It sets direction, builds a vision, and adapts as circumstances require. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization. It’s dynamic, exciting and inspiring.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!