Strengthen Franchise Relationships by Saying “Thank You”‚Äč

To celebrate Franchisees, I cite the lyrics to the Alabama hit song, “Forty Hour Week”. It’s my way of expressing gratitude for the many, many franchisees and their employees that do their parts every day to make, not only their franchise brands run each and every day, but also our great country. We often take so much for granted when things run smoothly, almost seamlessly. Of course, during COVID there were challenges, but many franchisees did what they had to do, and persevered.

And then, it hit me as I reread the last verse of the song…

There are people in this country who work hard every day. Not for fame or fortune do they strive. But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay. And it’s time a few of them were recognized.

Wow, how could I miss something that should be standing out front and center? Is it obvious? Do you see it yet?

Okay, let me make it easier to spot. In the verse above, change “people” to “franchisees” – Ah, there it is! There are franchisees in this country…

At times, there is some discourse (maybe more than we’ll admit) today around the franchise relationship and it really doesn’t need to be the case if the focus is clearly on relationship basics, and that starts with appreciation. Remember, many franchise organizations refer to their system as a family. Isn’t being family enough to expect appreciation?

Think about when a franchisee signs their franchise agreement and remits the franchise fee – they’re quickly told, “thank you” and they’re even recognized in the brand’s newsletter and also in press releases announcing them as a new franchisee. Yes, that’s awesome.

Now, ask yourself, is that the last time franchisees are actually thanked or recognized? Most likely that is often the case. But I’m not just referring to systemwide accolades. I’m talking about someone from the brand’s leadership team picking up the phone for a quick call or planning to visit when in the franchisee’s area. Or at the very least sending a hand-written note just to say, “thank you” and that they’re appreciated for their investment in the brand, for how they represent the brand, and for how they’re committed to protecting the brand.

So, why not jumpstart an improvement in your franchise brand’s culture by starting with “thank you” as the norm, rather than as the exception?

There are franchisees in this country who work hard every day. Not for fame or fortune do they strive. But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay. And it’s time a few of them were recognized.