7 Must-Have Traits of Franchise Leaders

Franchise Leadership

What Does it Take to be a Successful Franchisor or Franchisee? Here are 7 Essential Leadership Skills.

Effective leadership defines a franchise system and is essential for success; both at the franchisor level and at the franchisee level. In franchising, leaders (franchisors) create more leaders (franchisees) who, in turn, create even more (employees/managers).

Anyone investing in a franchise should look at the qualities of the leadership team. Is there a clear vision? Does the team step up with support and guidance when needed? These are questions prospective investors can ask franchisees who are already in the franchise. Similarly, franchisors want franchisees with leadership skills to run their brands. After all, franchisees are business owners; they have to lead. If you are a person who can’t delegate or is innately negative, franchise ownership may not be for you.

Here is a look at 7 must-have traits of franchise leadership for both franchisors and franchisees.

1. A Positive Mindset

Positivity breeds positivity. It’s no question that a positive franchise owner will set an optimistic tone with his employees. With a positive mindset, employees feel more comfortable in their environment and empowered to do their best work. Similarly, franchisors who create a positive environment for the franchise system can inspire others to do the same. This creates an encouraging culture throughout the franchise system, motivating others to excel.

2. Adaptability

Pivot was the catchphrase of 2020. Franchise brands that were able to pivot survived — and even thrived —through the pandemic. Covid provided a great opportunity for the franchise industry to show off its resilience. Whether it was gyms offering virtual classes or restaurants adding curbside pickup, both franchisors and franchisees had to work differently to adhere to social distance restrictions. Franchisors helped their franchisees adapt by offering support and guidance.

3. Open to Risk

Any way you shake it, you can’t be risk-averse if you are a business owner. Going into any business is a risk, even one with a proven system. Franchising mitigates that risk, but franchisees still have to take a leap of faith. The franchisor — especially founders of franchise brands — are certainly the bigger risk-takers. Franchisors are the ones who develop the concept, turn it into a business, and then franchise it — all risks for sure, but with big upside potential.

4. Integrity

Integrity is a must for both franchisors and franchisees. Integrity — or a lack of integrity — can make or break the entire franchise system. The franchisor owns the license to the business and also the brand and image. Integrity and a good reputation are a must for a successful franchise system. Similarly, franchise business owners must act with integrity to uphold their reputations as leaders in their local communities and also as brand ambassadors.

5. Passion

To be a great leader in any setting, you must have passion for what you do. Going all-in on the franchise is a must for both franchisees and franchisors. No one will want to invest in a franchisor’s brand if they see that the franchisor is not excited about it themselves. Likewise, a franchisor will hesitate or refuse to award territory to a potential franchisee who doesn’t seem interested or excited about the franchise.

6. Strong Communication Skills

Open dialogue and constant communication are keys to success for both franchisors and franchisees. If you can’t communicate effectively, it’s next to impossible to lead a team and set expectations.

7. Ability to Delegate

A franchise owner should know how to delegate to scale his business. To achieve growth, franchisees must be able to rely on their teams to divide and conquer. If you are a person who wants to do everything yourself, there are a few owner/operator model franchises that may be a good fit; but for the most part, franchisees need to hire and rely on employees. Franchisees who want to scale their businesses can seek guidance from the franchisor who can help devise a long-term plan. By definition, franchisors delegate by awarding territories to franchisees. They also have to increase their support staff as the brand grows.

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