Michelle Rowan, President and COO of Franchise Business Review, has worked for 17 years to help franchisees understand the strength of their branding, customer satisfaction, and work environment. On this week’s episode of Atlanta Franchise Today, host Leslie Kuban, franchise and business management consultant, talks with Rowan to discover how she works with owners and corporations to complete her reviews and how the process can benefit both groups.
Regular business reviews are essential for companies to determine the success and longevity of their operations, but difficulties arise from two areas. First, it can be a struggle for management to conduct an internal review due to the time and resources needed to establish a firm understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their teams. Second, when brands own multiple franchised locations, the work becomes even more difficult as branding has to be thoroughly examined across each branch to determine consistency.
The benefits of having a third party assist in the process are that they can provide a better look at how a bussiness compares to its peers in the industry, have the resources to thoroughly interview the individual customers and workforce of each branch and provide in-depth explanations of scores to assist leadership in making changes if needed.
As part of her review, Rowan investigates the training, support, marketing, leadership, community growth and revenue earned by franchise locations. The input gives management a bird’s eye view of the different components at work and how successfully they mesh together. Data is typically collected through surveys and interviews, kept anonymous if the participant wishes, although Rowan encourages franchise owners to provide their names so that they can understand their place in the overall corporate structure.
Rowan has also discovered positive trends for many of the businesses they work with. “We’re excited to say that franchisee satisfaction is at an all-time high,” she explains. COVID motivated many franchise owners to step up and innovate to ensure their locations stayed profitable during the pandemic. Their efforts are paying off as the work culture and quality of life improves for customers, owners and employees.
That doesn’t mean that businesses don’t have areas to improve. Rowan notes that franchises often lack marketing help, limiting their growth and resistance to economic shifts. This is something that corporate teams will need to support their franchises on to ensure their continued success, even if not through direct supply. Different franchises vary in terms of their use of technology and innovation, with some being slower to adopt beneficial assets than others. Rowan encourages leaders to examine how they can assist owners in integrating new tools and training in their locations to stay competitive and profitable. Finally, she notes that communication can always be improved, regardless of how well a company may score during the review.
Above all, Rowan wants both franchise owners and corporate teams to remember that they only stand to gain from participating in the review process, as they can gain deeper insight into the success of their teams and the areas that need more work. After all, both groups want their businesses to succeed.
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