The Franchisor’s 10 Commandments

4 min read
Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. The following is an excerpt from Franchise Bible: How to Buy a Franchise or Franchise Your Own Business, Ninth Edition, which will be released April 20 through Entrepreneur Press. Pre-order now via Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Bookshop.

Franchisors often get off to a good start only to find themselves hitting a dry spell that we call the franchise doldrums (usually between 11 and 24 units). This can happen when the momentum of the first wave of “inner circle” franchise buyers ends. Apply the following to make your franchise organization thrive.

Even though you’re an expert in your field, turning your business into a franchise model is like starting a whole new business. You will find many educational options offered through Franchise Bible Coach to enable you to become a master of the franchise industry.

Your most important role as the leader of your franchise company is that of inspiration. Your franchise community will look to you for your vision and guidance. Never lose sight of the importance of your position as the visionary leader. This is the starting point for building a large, successful organization.

Related: The 10 Commandments of Franchise Ownership

As you grow you are going to bring more talent to your corporate team. Choose wisely and make sure that you hire based on the most qualified people for the job. Also make sure that everyone on your team are believers in your systems, culture and have a true commitment to the success of the franchise community.

You will want to implement a balanced approach to your infrastructure building. Take on too much, too fast and you can go broke. Too little, too late may result in your franchisees failing. Get specialized outside consultants to help you with this critical strategy.

It’s not uncommon to see new franchisors neglect attention to detail as they move through the first few years. This occurs for a variety of reasons, including lack of experience, operating short-staffed and the overall absence of functional tracking systems. Growing too fast has its ups and downs as well. Paying attention to detail and implementing systems and policies from the very beginning is essential.

Some franchise organizations have tried to grow using the traditional management model that they were accustomed to as an employer with employees. Franchise owners, however, are not employees, and the servant attitude that the Upside Down Pyramid structure offers in turn will make your franchise organization much more profitable and successful.

Many franchise organizations have suffered the fallout of bad decisions that could have easily been avoided if they simply considered the legal, [olitical and practical aspects of the decision and the impact it would have on the franchise community, and in turn, the overall franchise organization.

The best way to make sure that you are aligned with your franchise owners’ needs is to keep the lines of communication open with the operators that are in the trenches every day. You will be able to achieve your goal of building a robust support and training department by developing an effective owner advisory committee program for you company. A well-run committee can act as a rudder to help you steer your organization.

Be sure to start your annual conference program early so the first franchisees don’t feel slighted. This is the one time of the year that everyone is together and builds momentum.

Related: Franchising Your Business, Part 2: Building Your Franchise

Depending on the current size of your company, you may have some of these systems in place and may only want to update, fine-tune, or revise for your business model. We have found these to be the most impactful elements of a successful franchise organization.

You will find resources to learn more and tools to implement the Franchise Ten Commandments at

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