The following is an excerpt from Lonnie Helgerson’s book 5 Pennies: Ten Rules to Successfully Building a Franchise Mega-Brand and Maximizing System Profits.
There Is No Excuse For Not Spending Time In Franchisees Shoes!
I often tell my staff members that as a franchisor, we do not make our money when a royalty deposit is received. We and our franchisees earn it when the point of sale system rings up a sale for a customer and our job is to help our franchisees ring up lots and lots of them. Losing sight of this leads to fewer sales, frustrated franchisees, frustrated customers, and over time will become a significant branding problem.
I am a huge fan of the CBS series Undercover Boss and never miss an episode that is featuring a franchise company. There have been many brands featured on the show and a common thread is how incredibly important “getting in the trenches” becomes to the undercover boss at the conclusion of the episode.
In fact some of them, such as John Fuller the CEO of Johnny Rockets® who, on the show, worked in the field as a cook, server, and bartender, were so moved by the experience that they mandated corporate staff members to train by working in the field before they can work at headquarters. I applaud John and the others for making that mandate, but it really begs the question, “Shouldn’t we have been doing this all along?”
It’s common sense that if you work at the home office supporting the system franchisees in some capacity that you learn first-hand what makes things tick.
Franchise Mega-Brands such as McDonald’s® have been doing this since the beginning of time – and just look where that has gotten them.