Fixing the Flat: How to Enhance the Performance of Your Franchise

Flat tire of a car on the pavement. Side view close up

 

Does your franchise company have a “flat tire?”

It’s something I’ve been dealing with lately with some of my clients: companies that have a staff of people who are good employees, but who aren’t all well placed in the organization. Sometimes these individuals are “placeholders” until a better fit can be found, in which case the owner is (hopefully) actively looking to hire the right employee to fill their spot. In many cases though, leadership doesn’t seem to see the issue – especially if the business is chugging along without many problems…or they have a personal connection that allows them to gloss over issues of underperformance.

The problem, however, is that just like driving on a tire with low pressure, having employees who aren’t well placed in their positions means that the business isn’t performing optimally. You might be moving along, but the pace is going to be slower, you won’t handle problems as efficiently, and it’s only a matter of time before you risk a full blow out. Is that a risk you really want to take?

From Good to Great

If you have an employee who is caught stealing from you, it’s pretty clear what needs to happen. After all, that’s more than a low tire…that’s criminal behavior. But sometimes the clues are much more subtle and it’s difficult for owners to see how the underperformance of one employee affects the entire organization.

The author Jim Collins writes about this in his book Great by Choice. In it, he states that when someone is doing a good job, it’s hard for an owner to think about replacing them. However, what if there’s an opportunity to bring someone in who could do a great job? Shouldn’t that be the goal?

Years ago I worked with a franchisee who was running a fairly successful store. The problem, however, was that even though he had a manager who was doing a good job – he wasn’t doing a great job; and the performance of the store was being impacted. I made the recommendation that he replace the manager with two part-time managers who had the experience and ability needed to really grow the business, and who could cover more hours than one person alone. Because of the owner’s emotional connection to this manager, however, he was initially resistant to make a change. Once I shifted his mindset and got him to understand that he couldn’t risk the future of his entire business on one individual, he followed my advice – and the business was better for it.

As the leader of a company, it’s your job to make changes to your organization when there’s an issue that’s holding back performance. Sometimes this means changing a person’s responsibilities, and other times it means replacing them entirely. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but you need to remember that you’re running a business – not a charity. And while it’s nice to want to help people, you can’t let your business go circling the drain in the process.

Without the emotional connection that owners often have towards their business, I’m able to come in with an objective eye and identify the problems that are causing performance issues. If you have questions, or would like help identifying the cause of your flat tire, please contact me.