Effective Delegation Strategies for Franchise Success

All successful business people have to learn to delegate. But I would argue that delegation is especially critical for franchise owners who want to own more than one franchise location, and who would like to see all their franchises succeed and grow.

I would also argue that many franchise owners have an especially difficult time learning to delegate to others. Many tend to fall into a pattern like this . . .

An owner starts by buying one franchise and works extra hard to make it successful. That owner learns that in order to succeed, it is necessary to stay on top of every detail of running the business. That owner can have a very difficult time transitioning from being the owner of just one location to being the owner of several or many. And similar difficulties can emerge even in one location if it starts to grow.

One supervisor cannot be hands-on in multiple locations, or in one location when it reaches a certain size. At a certain point, the owner has to hire competent employees, trust them, and delegate responsibility and work to them.

That poses a contradiction for many owners because the same style of supervision that brought success earlier on has to be left behind.

Steps to More Successful Delegation

First, have a clear vision and expectation of the roles you are hiring for. Perhaps you’re hiring a person whose job will be to open up new locations. Or perhaps you’re hiring a person whose job will be to hire and help you staff up – in other words, to be your HR manager. Or maybe you’re hiring someone who will be a retail and sales manager. To succeed, you need to hire people who have the experience, aptitude, and skills to handle the specific tasks you need done. You can then delegate those tasks to them and loosen your control over many details. You can then stop micromanaging and start to concentrate on bigger issues of expanding your business.

As the expression says, you can stop working in your business and start working on your business.

Second, hire people who can be delegated to. Does their experience indicate that they have been in the past and that they are open to input and suggestions? During interviews and screening, do they demonstrate the kind of a cooperative, personable and enthusiastic attitude that tells you they will be open to being delegated to?

Third, hire people who understand and communicate well. You can get a sense of this in interviews. When you explain a current challenge or set of expectations, is the candidate quick to understand and grasp the essence of what you are saying? Is he or she able to listen well and ask questions until a solid level of understanding is achieved? Pay attention to this issue. Hiring managers and then having to explain things repetitively to them is a frustration that can convince you that it is necessary to micromanage. And that is something to avoid.

Fourth, provide excellent training in the critically important skills the job will require. Often, franchise owners like to hire managers and other employees who have lots of prior, applicable experience. Those owners expect that a new employee’s previous experience will take the place of training – in essence, that the employee will arrive on the job “pre-trained.” There may be some truth in that. However, it is always more effective to carefully define the skills your new hires should have, develop metrics to measure them, and to train those abilities.

And Think about Relatability

As you meet with possible hires, ask yourself, “Is this someone I can relate to . . . someone I can see working with closely in the years ahead?”

One way to increase the likelihood of productive, long relationships is to consider offering very promising employees an opportunity to work their way toward limited partnerships in your franchise.

About Evan Hackel

Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, hosts “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business, and author of Ingaging Leadership. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit evanspeaksfranchising.com. Follow @ehackel or call 781-820-7609. Why not have Evan Hackel address your group about franchising success?

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