global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

Change, and the importance of strategic planning

Change, and the importance of strategic planning

A guide to setting long-term goals for your business.

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

Content Partnership*

Words by Robert Stidham, founder and CEO of Summa Franchise Consulting and founder of Franchise Dynamics

As the world continues to manage the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that most franchisors and their franchisees are not going back to the way things were. We speak to a lot of franchisors that continue to talk about the “good old days” and returning to the way things were before they were faced with a new reality of business.

Within our firm, we currently spend a great deal of time talking about the “next normal”. Perhaps better expressed, we talk about the importance of re-imagining your franchise business: how does it remain relevant as we get through the event and what does your franchise company and franchisee’s business look like in the future?

Change for people is stressful and difficult. Most of us don’t like dealing with the unknown, rather we find comfort in routine. Perceived risk comes from what is new, rather than what is known. Generally, people find comfort in what is known rather than what is unknown, and people fear what is new. It is stressful. Simply put, people do not like uncertainty – especially in business.

“Change is continuing and it’s inevitable”

Within a company, change creates organizational stress for the franchisor and franchisee. Often, every part of your organization will have to do more work with much fewer resources. The perception of challenge and difficulty creates real operating issues for everyone. However, change is continuing and it’s inevitable.

We spend a lot of time talking to franchisors who are trying to figure out what the next normal is for them and their organizations. Many of them face real frustration, trying to run their business every day while trying to look above their business at the marketplace and figure out where they need to be to ensure their long-term viability.

Cost-cutting is not strategic planning. It’s a short-term tactical approach to solving a specific problem; generally, a business needs to reduce expense. Strategic planning is a longer-term management activity that allows leaders to set priorities, create focus, align resources, strengthen operations, and ensure that everyone is working towards common goals. A simple six-step process for planning could be defined as follows:

• Identify your current business strategy • Gather your key stakeholders and as much data about your current business as is possible and appropriate to the problems you’re trying to solve

• Perform a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)

• Formulate and test a strategic plan, based on your resources, capabilities, human capital and desired outcomes

• Execute your strategic plan

• Consistently monitor your performance against your desired outcomes and measure everything

In our experience, franchise organizations need to involve franchisees in this process as your planning will impact them directly. You will need their support in executing your plan effectively. Your plan needs to be written, shared, and measured constantly within your organization against your projected goals. Leadership should be communicating openly and honestly with all stakeholders, providing honest updates as to organizational progress as the plan is executed.

The other challenges that organizations face in trying to develop a strategic plan fall into several areas. First, is the individual associate (or franchisee) agenda. People tend to act in their own self-interest and struggle to see a bigger picture. Often, they are more concerned about the impact that change may have on their individual roles and responsibilities in a company than the company’s need to continue to operate.

Second, managers often have their own agendas for their organizations that may not fit well into the broader need of a company and the franchisee organization.

Third, franchisors and franchisees often have a different perspective on the problems and challenges – along with where the entire organization needs to position itself in the future for long-term success.

“Strategic planning is a longer-term management activity that allows leaders to set priorities, create focus, align resources, strengthen operations, and ensure that everyone is working towards common goals”

The simple fact of the matter is that every stakeholder is subjective from their point of view. The way in which that problem can get solved is to bring in an outside resource, such as a consulting firm, to assist and coach your organization through a process of objectively conducting an analysis of the business, using the stakeholders (including franchisees) to facilitate a broad dialogue about both where the business is and where it is going in the future.

In some cases, the consultant can bring franchise industry expertise, marketplace information, and share case studies to create confidence in the proposed plan. They can also objectively assist in the ongoing measurement of the performance plan.

Albert Einstein once said that “insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result”. Doing what has made your organization successful in the past may not ensure a successful future.

AT A GLANCE

Main HQ: Arizona, U.S.A.

Contact: info@summafranchise.com

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button

WHAT DO WE USE YOUR INFORMATION FOR?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

DO WE USE COOKIES?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

DO WE DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO OUTSIDE PARTIES?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

CHILDRENS ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY ONLY

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at globalfranchisemagazine.com/terms-conditions

YOUR CONSENT

By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page

CONTACTING US

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: subscriptions@aceville.co.uk