What to expect from a franchise field manager to help you grow your business.

What To Expect From A Franchise Field Manager To Help You Grow Your Business 780X660

In these COVID-19 times, franchisees need more support than ever if they are going to come out the other side with an operating business. 

After a long involvement with the franchise sector, it is interesting to see courses running (webinars), in what makes a good franchise field manager. However, the basics will always apply,  and what I think every field manager and executive needs to consider.

It got me thinking about this most important role in the good times, and one that is unbelievably important at field level during and following this crisis.

In my view a good field manager is strategic, and more about facilitating through their management skills, the success of their territory of franchisees. Their efforts are focused on helping and allowing their franchise owners to run their businesses successfully.

Five (5) things a good field manager does

I recognise these attributes and actions in a good field manager;

  1. Contactable – can be contacted by phone or email and will normally give a timely response. May not always be what you want to hear, but will give a sympathetic ear, or a decision, and not over complicate the simple things. More complex issues are handled in a realistic timeframe – but handled.    
  2. Firm but fair – Will call a spade a spade (old saying), or transparent and honest. They will address an issue and give a reasonable response, and not just avoid it and leave issues unresolved.
  3. Delegates – Are happy to hear the issue is recognised and has been passed on to the person whose job it is to handle it. Good field managers know where the real issue lies, and is effective in collaborating with the person responsible to ensure it’s resolved.
  4. Strategic - Understands their job is about long term strategic issues (as well as the day to day stuff). Whether they assign a specific time, or just make it their business to handle, a good field manager is thinking in terms of the longer term of the business, not the immediate crisis.
  5. Vision – Have a vision for the company, or the part of the business they are responsible for, and are always trying to see the big picture.
Good Franchise Field Manager Has Vision Franchise Buyer

Five (5) things a poor field manager does

Unfortunately, with the good comes….I recognise these attributes and actions in a poor field manager;

  1. Priorities out of whack - Always saying they are overworked, too busy and think it all revolves around them! 
  2. Unresponsive - Rarely answers the phone (always too busy), and even though you leave a message on their voicemail (which tells you that they will call back) – they rarely do.
  3. Indecisive – They cannot make a decision, and are always telling you how this needs to be referred to other people in the company. They leave issues unanswered, and seem to go around in circles.
  4. No forward thinking - As they are too busy moving from one problem to the next, rather than fixing the cause of the problems. These often revolve around them, or the fact they didn’t see it through to get a suitable solution.
  5. Questionable motivation - Always trying to impress their boss rather than worrying about their territory of franchise owners, or the people whose lives they affect with their decisions. Normally thinking more about their next promotion than their current position.

Some trends from technology

As I am getting older, I probably am becoming more concerned by these trends, which I see are partly due to technology improvements, and possibly staff reductions in many organisations. I feel many organisations do not invest in sufficient training of field managers, partly due to people changing jobs on a regular basis. 

There are good field managers and poor field managers, and naturally they all think they are doing a great job, irrespective of how others see them. Maybe more 360 degree feedback analysis and other similar tools could give them a dose of reality.