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How Can You Convince Your Best Franchisees to Join Your Advisory Council?

An excerpt from my new book Franchise Advisory Councils: Your Most Powerful Tool for Leading Your Franchise to Ultimate Success. Download your free copy HERE

If you are a franchise, you want your individual franchisees to join your franchise advisory council. But how can you convince some of your best franchisees to join?

There are several reasons why your franchisees should be eager to give their time and join your Council. They feel honored to be asked, they gain a lot from talking and sharing ideas with other Council members who are in the same business, and they learn valuable information about the franchise and the industry. Finally, they are treated nicely. You will find members will be upset when their term is up. I have had Council members cry at their final meeting because they have so enjoyed being a member.

In today’s article we will enjoy some of the best strategies for recruiting franchises to join your council – and some additional strategies for getting the most benefits from their participation once they are there.

Avoid Compensating Council Members

I’ve seen members of Advisory Councils be compensated, and I’ve also seen Councils where members are not compensated.

Compensation is unnecessary, because it confuses the primary purpose of the Council, which is to generate ideas and advise upper management. Sometimes when Council members are compensated, they do not want to leave, because they want the money. And sometimes a member will even say, “I deserve more money than the other paid members, because my ideas are better, and I contribute more.” That is an argument that you can’t win. Because you don’t want people to be on the Council for an unlimited amount of time, offering compensation is not a successful practice.

However, meetings should be managed in a first-class manner with nice accommodations and food. An occasional gift is also acceptable. Of course, the company should cover all costs associated with attending the meeting.

Consider Having More than Just One Council

Don’t have just one main Council. Consider establishing additional Councils too.

In general, this is worth doing when you have somewhere between 25 and 50 franchisees, or even more. And if you have more than 100 franchisees, you should do this.

In addition to your main Franchise Council, specialized sub-Councils could include:

  • A Marketing Council
  • A Training Council
  • A Technology Council
  • An Innovation Council
  • A Sales Council

One benefit of having these additional Councils is that you will get more ideas. You can have these sub-Councils report to your main Franchise Council. And another winning step is to have one or two members from your main Franchise Council be members of the secondary Councils.

Another benefit of additional Councils is that they increase the number of franchisees who feel they have a leadership role within your franchise. They also give management the opportunity to choose from a larger pool of franchisees who can be called upon to evaluate new ideas and programs.

Best Practices for Getting the Most from Multiple Councils

Meetings of your main Franchise Advisory Council should be held in-person. How often should you hold those meetings? It depends on how many decisions you are working on, and on special considerations that are tied to your current activities. If you are launching a new product, starting a new marketing initiative, or expanding into a new part of the country, for example, you will want to have meetings every few weeks during those important periods. If you are in a time of sustainable and steady activity on the other hand, you might want to have your main Council meeting annually, or every six months.

Here are some proven strategies for getting the most from multiple councils – a Marketing Council, a Technology Council, and others you may have:

  • Many sub-Council meetings can be hosted on video. I have found that monthly meetings on Zoom, for example, can work well.
  • One member of your main Franchise Advisory Council should also be a member of each of your sub-Councils. That person can keep the main Council informed of what has taken place on each of them.
  • Participating members from the main Council should implement many of the same rules that are in place at the main Council – regarding length of service on the Council, responsibilities, etc. Those supervising members should also make sure that all members of the sub-Councils take part in setting agendas and that all members are assigned responsibilities in a fair and equitable way.
  • Include not only franchise owners, but also some of their employees. That will give you access to real hands-on people and move engagement past merely “ownership.” The sub-Councils don’t have to meet in person.

Get Your Free Copy of this Powerful New eBook Today

Today’s article in an excerpt from my new book Franchise Advisory Councils: Your Most Powerful Tool for Leading Your Franchise to Ultimate Success. Download your free copy HERE

Evan Hackel

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