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Regularly scheduled franchisee coaching calls are a time for your field coaches to check in, help your franchisees move the needle in their business, and hold owners accountable to their action plans.
Sound fun? It is! At least we think so ????
Franchisee support is a key element of a successful franchise system. When franchisees are provided both operational and proactive support, they’re better equipped to improve profitability and achieve their goals.
Have questions about proactive vs operational franchisee support? Read this blog post for more details and definitions of the types of owner support.
Strategic growth coaching is part of your proactive franchisee support.
It’s not part of the daily operations or problem-solving in the franchisee’s business — instead, it helps move your franchisee’s business forward through strategic planning and regularly scheduled calls.
Your system’s field coaches (area managers, franchise business coaches, whatever your system calls your franchisee support role) have regular franchisee coaching calls to keep them on track, set action steps, and dive deeper into metrics.
Read the blog: Definition of strategic growth coaching for franchisees
Here’s where we can run into trouble or not leverage our field coaches properly…
When field coaches act as firefighters (solving problems as they arise) instead of focusing on coaching owners to be strategic about their business growth, we end up with a system that has no proactive support, just hotline support.
Having structured calls regularly (anywhere from 1-4 times per month) is a big part of strategic growth coaching. We need this kind of support as opposed to just having a hotline for day-to-day challenges.
Okay — we’ve defined what strategic growth coaching for your franchisees IS, and how your field coaches having regular calls with your franchisees supports system success — now we want to share how to schedule and conduct your coaching calls.
Your field coaches can’t just sit down with your franchisees and say, “I’m going to growth coach you” and in fact, franchisees need to be a big part of the buy-in and planning process to create real success.
To create buy-in around strategic growth coaching, be clear early in your vetting and recruitment process that your brand has a culture of coaching. Bringing this up early will help with vetting for the right prospects and make the transition smooth when they become a franchisee.
When you implement strategic growth coaching for existing franchisees, buy-in is extra important.
Having early adopter franchisees share their experience working with a field coach is a great option, and sharing the WHY behind this initiative helps owners understand the reason behind the coaching, and the value they’ll get from the experience.
Buy-in is the first step, and the next step is planning.
To create a plan, we need to know where your franchisee is at right now in their business — from financials, operations, staff, and sales — and where they want to go (their big goals).
This could look like performing a SWOT analysis, creating an accountability chart to see how their staffing is structured, and digging deep into the big goals for their business. When we determine where franchisees are and where they want to go, we can start mapping out the steps we need to take to get there.
We’ve created buy-in, and done the strategic planning, now we need to set up regular coaching calls to take the action steps to REACH those goals.
These franchisee coaching calls can range from weekly to monthly. For franchisees who are go-getters and are great at accomplishing tasks with limited direction, a monthly coaching call may work out well. For those owners who need more support and direction, you may want to do weekly or bi-weekly.
The plan you’ve created with your franchisees will help guide the calls, but for exact instructions for what we use here at AC Inc for fractional field coaching and executive coaching, check out the call structure below!
Start by asking how they’re feeling and what’s going on with them. There’s no point diving into deep work if their mindset is in a bad place. Checking in on how things are going is a great way to kick off the call.
Next, we ask what are the wins from the past few weeks — this gets the call off to a great start and sets a positive note for the rest of the conversation. The wins could be a metric they’ve achieved, an action step they took, an exciting PR moment, etc!
After wins, we ask what their challenges are.
It’s important for field coaches to stay in control of the conversation, and not let it become an hour of reactive problem-solving. When we ask about recent challenges, we take note of them and come back to the challenges after we’ve covered the rest of the call.
This is the time to have the field coach ask any questions and follow up on any action steps they’ve tasked franchisees from the past session. This is the accountability piece of the call.
During this part of the franchisee coaching call, we look at the scorecard. This scorecard is something the field coach and the franchisee create together that tracks a few specific metrics that are related to the big goals of that franchisee.
Next, we review the action steps from our last call and discuss the next steps to move them closer to their goals. While we’re reviewing and setting the action steps, it can be helpful to discuss any obstacles that may come up and how to overcome them.
Only then do we go back to the real-time challenges mentioned at the beginning of the coaching call. This ensures that we use this time strategically to move the business forward and then address the daily challenges.
Does the above feel like a lot to cover in a one-hour call? It can be or it can go by quickly. It varies depending on the specific action steps and the franchisee.
But having a structure laid out like this, setting expectations that this is what each coaching call will look like, and keeping control of the conversation will ensure each call reviews the progress and sets action steps to move the needle forward.
With a lot to fit into these strategic growth coaching calls, it’s important to set a few times through the year (we suggest quarterly) to dive deeper into the strategic plan, KPIs, and any bigger challenges that may adjust the next 90 days.
Having a deep dive call every quarter allows time to assess whether there are positive changes, whether we’re seeing progress towards the big goals, and assessing whether any goals need to be updated to better align with the business.
Do you have more questions about how to support 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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