8 Tips on How to Improve Franchise Relationships and Yourself


As I discussed in a previous article, franchise relationships are similar to a marriage in that they are a sacred union. Both share common ground in terms of levelling of expectations, coaching and support, effective communication, and growth and improvement.


What Marriage Can Teach Us About Franchise Relationships

Here’s Your Guide to Choosing a Milk Tea Franchise 

Greg Nathan, a world-renowned franchise relationship expert and registered psychologist wrote in his book Profitable Partnerships, “In searching for a useful way to describe how the business relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee works in practice, the marriage analogy is probably the most useful, largely because of the long-term nature of the relationship and the interdependence of each party on the other.”

Photo by Francorp.

8 tips on improving franchise relationships, and yourself

Here are the eight tips that Greg Nathan shared on improving franchise relationships during the Franchise Asia Virtual Conference: 


1| Listen to the other person with an open mind

Nathan said that the key here is to have empathy: understanding the side of the other person and wishing the best for him/her. With empathy, you can be able to understand the situation of your franchisor or franchisee and you can be part of the ways you both can achieve the best for your business.

2| Recognize what you have in common

The franchise relationship guru said that there are two things that a franchisor and a franchisee have in common: the shared passion for the brand, and the shared commitment for looking out for customers. Ultimately, both parties would want to have happy customers because at the end of the day, they are the ones that keep the business in business. Recognizing commonalities on goals and purpose and pursuing to fulfill those in a synchronized or systematized manner can therefore help improve the franchise relationship and the overall business performance.

3| Express appreciation for small gestures

A simple “thank you” costs nothing, as Nathan said, yet simple gestures like this can generate goodwill from people. When your franchisor or franchisee does something good for the business whether it’s on profit, human resources, or marketing, you should be able to show your appreciation because this can boost the morale and the drive for success. 

4| Be prepared to really forgive and forget

Sometimes, life is indeed unfair. Nathan said that this reality should prepare you to practice forgiveness, especially if your franchisor or franchisee commits a shortcoming or a mistake. It is then very important to go beyond the negative feeling of resentment and go on to the next step so you both can move forward and do better. 

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5| Talk about niggles so they don’t build up

Complaints, objections, and criticisms should be talked about in a friendly manner so that you won’t unintentionally hurt your franchisor or franchisee’s feelings and so none of you suddenly blows up from the build-up. Nathan emphasized that it is important that you talk to the other person about it but in a calm way and that you would only stick with the facts. 

6| Value diversity as it can drive high performance

There is indeed strength in diversity and Nathan said that diversity and differences should be appreciated instead of shunned. He compares this to nature where there is an ultra-diverse species of animals, plants, and living things and this is what makes nature so beautiful. Business executives should not make an organization full of people who are just like them and instead surround themselves with different people with different personalities, expertise, and perspectives.


7| Focus on improving, not proving yourself

Nathan said that proving that you are smarter, more competitive, or more successful than others is not the best way to tread on the path of business success. What’s more effective is to improve yourself always, especially in aspects where you’re most challenged. A person who wants to improve is humble, seeks feedback, and is the one that can truly make a change in the world. With this, you and your franchisor or franchisee can both be helpful in understanding each other and seeking ways to improve your relationship and your business.

8| Be open to seeking help

A person who realizes that he/she needs help and that being together is better than being alone is the one who learns more, improves more, and achieves more. A franchisor and a franchisee should be able to seek help from one another and both should be willing to lend a hand. After all, the success of one is the success of both. With this, Nathan said that a mandatory mediation can help in achieving success in resolving conflicts and is more practical than lawsuits.


What Marriage Can Teach Us About Franchise Relationships

Here’s Your Guide to Choosing a Milk Tea Franchise 

Greg Nathan will be holding a Virtual Field Manager’s Bootcamp on Oct 19, 21 and 23. The bootcamp aims to help owners, field and area managers, dealer coordinators and franchise executives create stronger franchise networks by improving relationships. For more information click here.


Sam Christopher Lim is the CEO of Francorp Philippines; President of U-Franchise Sales & Management; Chairman for ASEAN Integration of the Philippines Franchise Association; and Co-author of the book “12 Strategies of Franchising”.

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