Action Card returned from the pre-Mardis Gras festivities of New Orleans and the IFA Convention with some great takeaways and marching orders. The value of the convention cannot be understated. Between time on the convention supplier floor, break-out sessions, roundtable discussions, networking coffees, dinners and after hours talks, we were glad we made the decision to showcase our mobile brand standards review tool. Here are a few things we learned.
Protect Your Brand
I sat in on a business roundtable discussion lead by the Vice President of Operations at the UPS Stores, Jim Hillquist. Since Action Card was built to help streamline the site review process, I wanted to listen to what franchisors and Jim had to say on that topic. He asked the group which consisted primarily of franchisors what the most important outcome of their site visits was. Answers ranged from relationship building to revenue generation. The answer he gave was “protect your brand.” James has thirty years of experience with UPS Stores and is responsible for over 3,000 nationwide locations. Whether the issues had to do with compliance and legal liability or simply the importance of following a proven model at each location for the sake of all of the franchisees who bought into a brand, it was agreed that the review process was critical to the integrity of the franchise brand.
Find the Right Franchisee
Dave Buzza the Chief Development Officer with Alphagraphics wears a couple of key hats, both recruiting good franchise owners and then managing their success. He discussed the three types of franchisees, the willing and able, the willing and unable and the unwilling and unable. Each required a different management style and protocol. Dave stated that since he has to ‘live with who he recruits,’ finding the right owners and screening them carefully is where brand standardization and success begins. Alphagraphics does not plan on seeing a return on investment from new owners for five years. The key reason for this is the shear amount of capital and resources devoted to recruiting (not selling) the right franchisees.
What Does Action Card Need to Do Next?
Based on feedback from our clients, prospects and brand experts with whom we spoke, we’ve decided to add some new features to Action Card.
- Grand Opening Reviews. Franchisors need help coordinating and tracking the many collaborative tasks involved from signing a franchise disclosure document to opening a new location. We can help.
- Customer Surveys. We already help franchisors with on-site franchisee reviews. Why not help them with customer satisfaction surveys? The two go hand in hand.
- CRM Integration. We are about to begin integrating Action Card and Microsoft CRM with one of our clients and look forward to being able to replicate that integration for other clients