Field Managers as Business Consultants – Best Practice #22
What is the purpose for your Field Visits, and are you or your Field Managers capable of fulfilling all necessary roles to achieve it?
As a Field Manager, are you focused on driving improved franchisee performance and profit?
As a Field Manager, are you comfortable engaging with franchisees on their total business, including the preparation of a comprehensive [and ultimately franchisor approved] Franchisee Business Plan?
Field Managers need to wear many hats and fulfil multiple roles. We have for many years been helping franchisors transition their Field Visit Purpose, and Field Manager capability, toward adding a Business Consultants role, capable of engaging with, and positively influencing, franchisees at a ‘business’ level.
It is a generalisation but also a fact, based on our experience reviewing and improving many franchise systems, and training many Field Managers, that the Field Manager role has historically focused more on compliance and sales development than a holistic view toward supporting the development of a franchisee’s total business.
The latter, of course, requires confidence in many areas; not least understanding financials – and their relationship to the particular franchise’s business model and associated key success factors. It also requires good understanding of strategy and planning, along with enough operational knowledge and experience to engage in a more practical discussion.
There is much a franchisor can do to help develop this competence and, in turn, the Business Consultant role as a possibility within their Field Managers. They need to arm Field Managers with knowledge. They also need to have good leadership, structure and tools like those discussed in other best practices, such as a Leadership Focus on Franchisee Profit and Returns, use of a Standardised Chart of Accounts, Present and Discuss Benchmarking, Franchisee Business Planning, Regular Performance Monitoring and Review Cycle, and many other yet to be released Best Practices.
Only then can the franchisor be in the best position to help franchisees take advantage of all of the little 1%s and opportunities latent in their business and, as a result, the franchisor benefit from such combined increases at a group level. These can be surprising with sometimes very small franchisee increments leading to a substantial franchisor profit improvement.
Ultimately, we would say the success of the Field Manager’s/Business Consultants role would be best demonstrated by their respective franchisees operating to and achieving their franchisor approved comprehensive Franchisee Business Plan.
You can help make the transition in your company by considering a Franchise System Review and undertaking specific Franchise Field Manager Training, like the following:
- Field Visit Foundations: https://www.franchize.co.nz/franchise-training/#field-visit
- Improving Franchisee Performance: https://www.franchize.co.nz/franchise-training/#improving-franchisee
- Franchisee Business Planning: https://www.franchize.co.nz/franchise-training/#business-planning
About the Franchising Best Practice 500 Series
This is part of a series of franchising best practices. Franchize Consultants is sharing and publishing these best practices weekly for the betterment of franchising. We know that better knowledge and execution of franchising best practices leads to bigger and more valuable franchisor and franchisee businesses.