Creating Your Own Home Ground Advantage

Just prior to the last Olympics, which were held in Britain, I predicted Britain would win a record number of medals and I was right. I am not psychic, not a great fan of the Brits (I am an Aussie) and to be honest, not much of a sports fan. I am however a believer in what is often referred to as the “home ground advantage.”

An analysis of Olympic medal wins by Professor Ray Stefani at California State University has shown host countries on average win 46 percent more medals than in previous games. One reason for this is the powerful and positive impact of having lots of local supporters.

Psychologists have consistently found the support of others, what is technically referred to as “psycho-social support,” has a positive and powerful influence over all areas of our lives, including how we perform at sport and how we bounce back from life’s physical, mental and emotional challenges. Not surprisingly this “Supporter Effect” also operates in business, particularly in a franchised business, where there are numerous opportunities for franchisees to tap into the support of others.

In our research on thousands of franchisees at The Franchise Relationships Institute, we have found franchisees with high levels of family and social support consistently outperform those low in this area. This includes measures of profitability, customer service, and general satisfaction with their life as a franchisee.

A supporter can be defined as anyone who willingly invests their time, energy or resources in your success. We are not just talking about customers. Supporters can include employees, suppliers, financiers, family members, fellow franchisees, franchisor support staff and the local community.

Because this is such a broad group of people, franchisees need to continually focus on building a team of supporters. In a sense this is equivalent to creating your own home ground advantage.

Here are seven tips to help you build supporters. None of these cost more than a few dollars.

  1. Thank members of your franchisor team when they do something useful. They will be more likely to support you in the future if you are supportive of them.
  2. If you employ staff ask each of them what they are passionate about in their life and take an interest in this. Treat them as people first and employees second.
  3. Phone a franchisee who you have something in common with to ask how things are going and share something positive that has happened in your business recently.
  4. When suppliers call, ask them if they have any ideas on how they can help you to improve your business.
  5. Make a time to visit your bank manager to tell him or her how your business is tracking and your plans for the future.
  6. Thank your family for their tolerance and support of you spending so much time in your business. Make time to do more of the things they enjoy.
  7. Buy a coffee for a fellow business operator in your vicinity and share a few minutes together talking about business and life.

The truth is no one succeeds alone in business or indeed in life. Are you spending enough time building your own home ground advantage?

Greg Nathan is a psychologist, Founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute and author of several best selling books including, Profitable Partnerships.

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