REVIEW | FRANCHISE-CHAT
THE FRANCHISOR'S GUIDE TO IMPROVING FIELD VISITS by Greg
The Franchisor's Guide to Improving
Field Visits is an 88-page practical guide to understanding,
formulating, implementing, managing and improving a franchising
field visit programme. The book is primarily a franchisor guide,
but also contains specific advice and direction for field managers.
What's in it?
The first heading within the book, 'Are field visits a luxury
or necessity?' is, of course, a rhetorical question. Field visits
are of central importance to effective franchise chain management.
Yet, I'm sure many practicing franchisors and franchise consultants
will be surprised at the wide-ranging objectives and benefits an
effective franchise field visit programme can yield and achieve
within a franchise system.
The Franchisor's Guide to Improving Field Visits navigates
us through a range of benefits achievable through implementing an
effective field visit programme. These include:
Throughout the book, Greg emphasises the importance of developing
and maintaining strong franchisee-franchisor relations. Greg's experience
and research, quoted in the book, refers to the importance of franchisee
trust and respect for their field managers and franchisor. The bottom
line is, according to Greg's research, that a franchisee's propensity
to sell [their franchise] is significantly related to satisfaction
with their field managers. So says Greg, "
can a field
manager make a difference to the performance of a group of franchisees?
- Improving franchisee profitability
- Maintaining customer service standards
- Keeping the franchisor in touch with the coal face
- Maximising local market share
- Building commitment to system wide vision and brand values
- Enhancing the franchise relationship
The Franchisor's Guide to Improving Field Visits outlines
the various roles and functions completed by a field manager in
a comprehensive field visit programme. Here, some may be surprised
to learn that a field manager can and should be much more than an
Inspector. A field manager can also be an Ambassador, Business Consultant,
Operations Expert, Marketer, Coach, Trainer and Facilitator. Each
role is subsequently explained, and key competencies for field managers
Numerous practical tips and tools are provided throughout the book.
One of the most valuable is a six-stage process for effective field
visits, which emphasises the importance of preparation and structure.
Favoured also are sections entitled 'The art of giving feedback
constructively' and 'How to "unstick" conversations.'
Greg's training as a corporate psychologist, combined with extensive
practical franchising experience, is obvious and delivers considerable
value to readers.
How does it rate?
The Franchisor's Guide to Field Visits is a valuable resource
that will benefit not only franchisors but a variety of advisors
as well. The book's 88 pages are packed with important information,
background, tools and guidance based on years of experience and
For me, there are two key opportunities for improving future editions
(Note, these in no way detract from the existing value of the book).
First, I believe there is scope for expanding guidance for franchisors
on developing an infrastructure to establish, develop and manage
field managers/consultants. Second, there is scope for incorporating
research on how some plural franchise systems harness the benefits
of having both franchised and company-owned outlets to achieve system
wide adaptations. In particular, Jeffrey Bradach, in his book entitled Franchise Organisations, highlights the value of testing
and proving new initiatives in company-owned outlets, before presenting
them to franchisees.
Greg has done it again. At AUS$78, The Franchisor's Guide to
Improving Field Visits represents excellent value for the franchise
Given good field visits are such a vital function of franchise
system management it is astounding we have waited so long for guidance
and advice on this area. Greg helps demystify the function and process,
and by focusing his attention on field visits he provides leadership
in an area lacking 'best practice' information.
The Franchisor's Guide to Improving Field Visits will be
of interest to prospective and existing franchisors and their field
managers. Many franchise suppliers, especially franchise consultants
(but also lawyers!), will also benefit from a greater understanding
of the purpose, roles, functions and dynamics of completing successful
This book is available for purchase through www.franchiserelationships.com
Reviewed by Dr Callum
Floyd, Editor of Franchise-chat.com