How to Establish a Good Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship
By Steven Belmonte CEO, Vimana Franchise Systems LLC | March 27, 2016
To establish a good relationship you must first understand the foundation on which the relationship is built.
For example, one of the greatest personal debates we often face in the franchisor-franchisee relationship centers on character. Do you believe that it's possible for a person to possess both a public and a private character, even if the two are very different? What you do in private is your own business, as long as it doesn't affect your public performance, right?
Not necessarily - especially when your individual personal performance impacts your business performance. Once you divide your personality and your actions into two or more categories, you deviate from the very definition of the word "character." At its root, one's character is defined by one's integrity - "The quality or state of being complete, unbroken condition, unimpaired, of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty and sincerity." - (Defined by Webster)
Therefore, if your character - which defines who you are - is broken into two or more entities, you no longer have integrity because you are no longer "whole." Without integrity, you don't have much character. Unfortunately, without integrity it is still possible to run a successful business. However, the chance of your staying successful is greatly minimized, and while certain people may do business with you, it's most likely going to be out of necessity. When your integrity is low, "people know it."
How many times have you heard a franchisor or franchisee claim to operate with integrity? In the hospitality environment, integrity is achieved by walking the talk and doing for your franchisees, employees or guests what you say you are going to do.
Sounds pretty simple... and a great formula for a successful partnership, right? Partnership is achieved by accomplishing goals together and by teaming for the good of all parties. Unfortunately, just as in personal relationships, business partnerships sometimes fail because one of the parties takes his or her eyes off the original goal, or somewhere down the road loses integrity because of a flaw in his or her character (dishonesty perhaps, impaired judgment or in many cases the person "just doesn't care.")