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Is there a perfect time to hire your first franchise field coach? Especially the first time you hire someone specifically to do field coaching as a full-time role?
To be transparent… No.
There’s no perfect time because (we know, we know, it’s a cliche answer) every franchise system is so different! And every concept has unique needs.
But there are specific things to look for that will help you determine the right time to hire your first franchise field coach and tips for how to coach your franchisees for success even without someone in a full-time role.
There are two types of franchisee coaching: Operational and proactive.
Operational coaching is training your franchisees to operate the day-to-day of the business (how to make the sandwiches at the sandwich shop!)
Proactive coaching is coaching to help your franchisees grow and succeed in their business. This covers skill development, KPI analysis, accountability, mindset coaching, and goal setting.
Franchisees need operational coaching right away (of course) but they also need to start proactive coaching right from the start. Even if initially the goal setting looks like knowing how to read their profit & loss statements, getting 25 customers in the door, or breaking even.
But proactive field coaching when you have 1-5 franchisees doesn’t need to be done by someone who does that full-time.
You likely have a very small team at such an early stage of growth, so having the franchisor or one of the early operations team members take on the role of coaching franchisees is very common.
Early proactive field coaching for your first few franchisees could be done 1:1 or in group coaching programs. The important thing is that franchisees are getting proactive coaching, ongoing skill development, and goal-setting support for their business growth.
So when is the right time to hire your first franchise field coach… Well, there are two key things we notice often in our interactions with franchise systems.
First is that an effective field coaching program typically works well when there is one field coach for every 15-25 franchisees. That number largely depends on the concept itself.
The second is that generally at a certain point in growth, leadership’s schedules get extremely busy with development and strategic work, and proactively coaching franchisees starts to become unrealistic.
So… As you’re gearing up to 10 units, with a few more in the pipeline, it makes sense to look at hiring someone to be your system’s designated field coach.
This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but it’s a good guideline for when to begin looking for a full-time field coach to help your franchisees succeed.
Here’s another thing to consider when deciding when to hire your first franchise field coach — in the early stages of franchising there are a lot of things that need to be done to build successful franchise support: Resources, templates, examples, FAQs, and more.
Your first field coach may not work full-time doing 1:1 coaching with franchisees, they may do the initial training for your new franchisees as well, or they may help you build out your resource library.
Knowing that the first full-time role has many projects they may help you with in your early stages of growth is a good perspective to have when making your decision to hire.
Before you hire a full-time role, there are a few options you can choose from to ensure your franchisees are getting the proactive field coaching they need.
We’ve already gone over the option of having you, or one of your leadership team members take on this task, so the other option is fractional field coaching.
Fractional field coaching is a good option when you’re not quite ready for the full-time role. Your Field Coaches don’t need to be experts at the operational elements of your business, but they do need to be good at strategic growth coaching, and helping your franchisees succeed.
AC Inc created fractional field coaching services so brands that want top-level field coaching but aren’t quite ready to hire and train someone to be a full-time employee would have a great option available.
Here’s what the AC Fractional Field Coaching solution gives you…
Book an initial call to learn more about fractional field coaching options for your system.
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Do you have more questions about how to support and coach your franchisees? We discuss this and more in our free virtual AC Roundtables where franchisors gather on Zoom to collaborate and problem-solve together.
The AC Roundtables are a free resource we offer franchisors seeking collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. We’ve been running these virtual roundtables since 2020 and we always love to have new franchisors join us!
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