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Don’t forget these six ingredients for franchise success

By Katie Rickson

Thinking about franchising your  Kids’ activity business?  Already started the franchise journey and looking for ways to make it a success? Enrolmy gets franchises – we’ve been there, and we work closely with kids’ activity franchises and multi-site operators every day. 

Our CEO, Dean Pendergrast previously created the successful MusiqHub which now has 25 music teachers, teaching 16 instruments at 155 venues, to over 3,500 kids across New Zealand. 

Here, in the first of our series on franchises and enterprises, Dean shares his experience and advice for would-be and current franchisors.

 

1. Create a win-win situation for franchisee and franchisor

A truly sustainable and robust franchise is one where both the franchisee and franchisor are winning and passionate about what they do.

Dean says he was able to grow MusiqHub: 

“because the teachers are successful. If we wanted the best students, we needed the best lessons and the best teachers.” 

Franchisees are a part of your network. It’s good for your brand and your business when your network feels supported and passionate about what they do. It also helps deliver a great customer experience when you can retain and improve talented staff.  

 

2. Technology

Due to the scale of their operations, franchises need processes that are both replicable and scalable. 

This is hard to achieve without the aid of smart, cloud-based tech.  

Dean explains that once he implemented MusicqHub’s technology:

“it took away a massive amount of business admin [that saving meant] we could reinvest in marketing, like promoting and visiting new schools.”

The system that was developed for MusiqHub was the first of its kind for franchises in New Zealand. It allowed franchisees to take bookings and payments and operate their business with clear financial principles, in line with best accounting practices.

As Dean explains, “MusiqHub exploded when we got the tech in place.” 

 

3. Excellent customer engagement

This is a no-brainer really, but it’s even more important as you scale and franchise your business. Having an attractive and functional website that provides a familiar experience to your customers is a good start. Ask what your customers know already, and you’ll probably think of the imagery of Instagram or the easy tile booking system of Airbnb.

How can your website emulate this experience? And, at the same time, how can you put your stamp on it so the way you engage and talk with your customers is easily identifiable as your brand? 

Also, don’t overlook the importance of accepting credit card payments. This is something that most people have come to expect when they are booking online. It means you get paid upfront, too, so you don’t have to waste time chasing for cash.

And don’t stop there. Take the opportunity to review all your correspondence and the type of images and words you use. You might want to create a word bank or branding guidelines if you haven’t already. 

The bottom line: you want the customer pathway and experience to be familiar, consistent, fast, and enjoyable. 

 

4. Reporting and oversight across all sites

There’s greater potential for black holes and compliance mishaps when you franchise your business. 

That’s why you need reporting and visibility across all your sites. Not just so you can satisfy compliance regulations, but also to allow you to check in on how your individual franchises are doing and to support them to experience growth or overcome challenges. 

When you are looking for a system that delivers reports, ask for one that gives you both an overview and the ability to drill down into the details.

 

5. Franchising from a place of strength

“It’s hard to franchise and do it well. You need to have market penetration and it takes a lot of thought, planning and expense,” Dean says.

To discover if you are franchising from a place of financial, market, and structural strength, ask yourself these crucial questions below.

  • Are you in a strong financial position? You can’t franchise yourself out of debt, your money problems will only magnify. 
  • Have you done your market research? Is there the demand for your services and activities to this scale?
  • Do you have the systems and staff in place?
  • Have you considered all the legal factors? See Franchise Association of New Zealand’s resources for extra guidance.

If you can answer yes to all these questions, the next step Dean says is: “to back yourself”.

 

6. Document your processes and share, share, share

For succession planning, troubleshooting, training and to follow best practice, franchisors must have a centralised place to create, store and share their processes. This allows franchisees to quickly and easily access the guides that they need to do their job well and makes your processes replicable and scalable across your network.

Create and maintain a hub for step-by-step guides of each of your processes: booking, payment, enrolment, refunds, health and safety, and more. You may also like to brainstorm different scenarios: what if this happens? What’s our compliments and complaints process? 

Don’t set and forget your processes. Your franchisees are on the frontline so they can help you explore and implement new and better ways of doing things. Also, ask what you can learn from your kids’ caregivers – take each item of feedback as opportunities to grow and improve.

 

Enrolmy can help you wherever you’re at on your franchise journey

Trying to develop your own systems and business processes can be expensive and how do you know where to start? Whether you’re considering franchising, or you’ve been doing it a while, outsourcing your tech to Enrolmy is a smart move. 

As an Enrolmy Enterprise customer, you get access to all our regular software perks, plus next-level support. This includes: 

  • structured and automated processes to handle the large scale of your organisation
  • detailed reporting across all your sites
  • a dedicated team to help you transition to your new software and deliver ongoing support
  • plus targeted support documentation made specifically for you.

 

To watch Enrolmy in action or to ask how we can help your franchise succeed click here today.

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