The Importance of Culture for Growing and Scaling a Franchise
Updated: Oct 23
Editor’s Note: This article was kindly shared with us by Paul Linenberg, President of Gotcha Covered. With over 160 franchises in the United States and Canada combined, Gotcha Covered is a custom window treatment franchise. The company specializes in providing end-to-end consultation to its clients and support to its franchisors.
Any franchise business needs strong systems in place in order to succeed. Many franchise owners are drawn to the industry by the built-in systems and shared resources that address the challenges business owners face when starting a new company from scratch.
But success in the franchise industry is not just about systems and structures. A company’s culture – the core values and vision shared throughout the business and embedded in its policies and practices – is an essential ingredient for sustainable growth and long-term results.
A strong, positive culture leads to franchisee and employee satisfaction, productivity and efficiency, customer loyalty, brand awareness, and profitability. Great cultures attract and retain top talent and build trust and meaningful connections with customers.
A poor culture, on the other hand, leads to toxic workplaces, low morale, turnover, negative customer experiences, and one-star reviews. It is hard for a company to scale with that kind of environment for the franchisor, franchise owners, and team members.
Every company has a culture, whether it has been consciously planned and implemented or has evolved over time. The best ones have a few things in common. Great company cultures do not just happen. They are the result of strategic development and careful implementation, and they are continually reviewed and refined to meet the changing demands of the workplace and market. They are also built on shared values that connect team members and leadership.
Here are the key elements of highly successful franchise company cultures. We will also cover how they support performance and growth and help franchisors and franchise owners level up.
#1: Shared Values
What drives you to go to work every morning? What are the principles that guide your interactions with colleagues, employees, and customers? What are your dreams and goals?
Identifying the values that motivate you and shape your actions should be one of the first steps of launching any business. Clear, concrete company values ensure consistency, intentionality, and accountability for any business.
For a fast-growing franchise, well-established values are the DNA of your brand. Deeply instilling company values in new employees and new owners from the beginning is the best way to embed essential guidelines and expectations for how the company operates. Authentic shared values owned by each team member are the bedrock of a resilient franchise culture and amplify the company’s mission.
Transparency and a common sense of purpose drive employee satisfaction and morale. Happy team members are more productive and efficient, and workers tend to remain at companies that support and value them. Positive workplaces are also attractive to new employees. Customers respond, too, with enhanced satisfaction, brand loyalty, and referrals to friends and family members. All of these add up to opportunities for growth.
#2: The Right Team
Leaders and managers must be diligent and build teams that reflect their values and mission. Everyone in the company, from individual franchise owners and their employees to the corporate team and leadership, must be working toward the same goals.
Skills and experience are critical, but trust and personality matter, too. Employees and franchise owners whose personality and vision are in sync with the company’s values and goals are the building blocks of a successful, positive culture. Franchise cultures thrive on the diversity of backgrounds the industry brings together. Celebrating the unique skills and experience each person brings to the company will inspire innovation and passion among team members.
Hiring the right people in the first place – and treating them well – ensures continuity and establishes a company as a preferred employer in its market. Turnover is expensive, and it is a distraction. Consistency and shared knowledge help teams deliver better results with greater efficiency in order to promote recurring customers.
True leaders don’t dictate culture and impose it on their employees. No leader is above the values their company represents.
Real leadership means serving as a model for employees and embodying your company’s values. When employees feel they are expected to do as you say, not as you do, the common bond created by a strong franchise culture will be strained. Team members who see different standards applied to others will question their commitment. Trust deteriorates, performance and morale suffer, and customer service is compromised.
On the other hand, when leaders communicate openly, share praise, provide fair criticism, and are willing to acknowledge their own mistakes, team members feel like they are part of something meaningful. When that happens, a company can see transformative results. Without a strong corporate culture and leadership, low productivity, reduced morale, and high turnover are almost guaranteed – which creates a recipe for poor customer experience and satisfaction.
Your franchise has a company culture now, whether you have created it thoughtfully or it has simply developed over time. It may work fine (for now), but without intention and strategy, the cracks will eventually show. Live up to your leadership role and commit to creating a strong company culture for your franchise now – it is the foundation for lasting growth.
How Will You Build Your Franchise’s Culture?
Do you see yourself as a strong leader who could create a positive, value-driven culture in the workplace? If so, you’re in the right place – and you might just be an excellent franchise owner.
So how do you find the perfect brand for YOU? At FranCoach, we are a national search firm dedicated to working with individuals who are interested in owning a franchise. We've partnered with over 600 of the top franchisors in the country, spanning nearly 70 industries.
When we work with clients, our number one goal is to help them find the absolute best franchise for them to own. If you’re looking to start a business, build a lasting legacy, make an impact in your community, and be your own boss, franchise ownership might just be the ideal path for you.
Reach out to us to learn more about potentially becoming a franchise owner. There’s never any fee for our service, so why not take the first step today toward your better tomorrow?