Top 10 American Franchises

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7 Essentials for Successful Franchisees’ Strategy


Franchisee success is all about moving forward daily to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself and team. You may have goals each day for your health, family and business. A good question to ask yourself is, “what actions align with what needs to be done today?


Your strategic plan for your business is no different. There may be overlap but your strategic goals are different than your franchisor’s. Simply, a well-thought-out strategic plan is your reference point to make sure the daily actions of you and your team are steps forward to reaching your vision. The following 7 Essentials for Strategic Planning ensures your business has a clear direction to success. Establish Your Clear Current Mission What value does your company provide? Your value can be a product, like McDonald’s, proprietary technology like AirBnB or a service, ServPro for example. Your mission is the daily guidance for your team. State your business’ value in simple terms. McDonald’s mission, from its website, is “To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.” Understandable, to the point and applicable for each franchisee. Now let’s say McDonald’s is one part of your company’s portfolio of various franchises. You may use the franchisors’ corporate mission for each business unit. And you may have an overall mission for your company like, “manage and grow each franchise to benefit the XYZ Company and its associates.” The Successful Franchisee sets the standard with its Mission. Set 1 External AND Multiple Internal Visions Sounds complicated but it’s not. Your company’s external vision lets your team know where you want to be in the future. You decide the time frame. Try to keep this within 3 years and have systems in place to re-evaluate at any time. Your Strategic Plan are the steps required to get from Mission to Vision. The Terrace Park Fire Department established a vision to “Protect our Village with the best unpaid-professional firefighters. We’re neighbors helping neighbors having their worst day.” Recruiting, training and equipment/technology upgrades became part of our strategic planning to reach our vision. “Multiple Internal Visions” are YOUR milestones at various future times:

  • Daily,
  • 3-6 months,
  • 1 year,
  • 3 years. McDonald’s vision is, “To move with Velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s serving more customers delicious food each day around the world.” This vision has no end and yet applies to daily actions.
  • Establish your vision for when it’s time to sell your business. Where is the value in selling your company? ImageFIRST worked with clients on 3–5 year service contracts. The sale value was a multiplier of those contracts and stated in the original partnership agreement. Restaurant franchisees see the value of their asset in consistent revenues. What is the sale value for your company?

Generate Strategic Ideas What projects can your team achieve to get you from Mission to your Vision efficiently? Brainstorm with your team using the table below as a discussion starter. Write your project ideas on Post-It Notes and use a different color paper for cost reduction projects and revenue enhancers. Do not edit any ideas. Put down ideas on each end of the spectrum: those requiring no resources and those you can accomplish if your resources were unlimited. NEMO Analysis Now it’s time to find the most effective 3-5 projects. Use the NEMO Grid to help you decide. Projects fall into 1 of 4 categories (in order of preference):

  1. No Brainers are those projects with highly positive impact AND require relatively less resources. These projects typically produce wins quickly.
  2. Expected Wins are projects with positive impact and require more resources including time and risk.
  3. Maybe projects have less impact than others and require few resources.
  4. Obviously Not projects do not need to go on the grid. Their impact is minimal AND require significant resources.

Copyright 2022   The next step is to have team members “champion” a project. This may take time to research and gather data to formulate their argument. Each project champion comes to the Strategy Group with reasons why their project is the most effective to pursue. Decide Discuss, debate and decide on 3-5 most impactful projects that require less resources. Cost reduction projects get preference. When costs are reduced (fixed or variable) there is a dollar-for-dollar impact on the bottom line. Don’t exclude revenue enhancers but $1 increases in revenue are offset by variable costs. Communicate and Implement Consensus within the strategy team is not required and rarely achieved. The team must speak as one committed voice moving forward and communicate the plan clearly to the rest of your teams:

  • Interim and end goals,
  • Success measurements and
  • The WHY for each project. How does each align with your vision?

Now your experts implement the specific projects with the resources allocated. Project oversight (preferably the project Champion) is critical and depends on your specific systems. Celebrate, Evaluate and Repeat Establish when and how each project is reviewed. Stay nimble and open to opportunities as they may appear during this process. Continually review your Strategic Planning system to make it more habitual, impactful and efficient going forward. Strategic planning is perpetual until you sell your business. CELEBRATE your team’s successes!  

About the Founder – 20 Years’ Experiences in Franchise Leadership Luke Frey helps improve franchise owners’ businesses where corporate support alone isn’t enough. He brings 45 years of varied professional experiences including 20 years as a franchise owner of ImageFIRST Cincinnati, 6 years as an industrial engineer for a Fortune 250 company (3 while living in Honduras, C.A.) and 19 years as a volunteer firefighter, 11 serving as Chief of Terrace Park Fire Department. All of these experiences, in addition to my drive to help others, have brought me to be a positive driving force for other franchisees’ successes. Luke is a member of the Center for Executive Coaching has published his first children’s book. To learn more about our value to you and Luke’s business philosophy visit, Luke’s Franchise Achievements:

  • Purchased the first ImageFIRST franchise available to the market in 1998 and assisted the franchisor in expansion to other major markets.
  • Grew his ImageFIRST franchise from $0 weekly revenue to over $50k in weekly contracted sales.
  • Expanded market to include the Columbus, Ohio region.
  • 4 out of 7 employees worked with Luke at least 15 years.
  • Sold his franchise and ensured a smooth transition of ownership.