The role of the Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) is ever evolving and growing. However, up until recently, there has been no strategic analysis for how the franchise industry tracks and evaluates the activities of FBC’s.
Seeking to understand developing trends in franchising, FranConnect created its first ever annual Franchise Operations Index Report, based on an analysis of over 165,000 FBC interactions between Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020.
The report (download the full report here) is set to become an industry gold standard and is designed to help franchisors benchmark their strategy and success against the broader industry.
5 Key findings in the 2021 Operations Index Report include:
- Franchisor-driven evaluations increased 9.4% in 2020 as brands shifted to more frequent, virtual interactions focused on ensuring franchisees were weathering the storm rather than the traditional compliance audit.
- The number of self-assessments more than tripled in 2020, as franchisors more heavily relied on them as the pandemic persisted.
- Unscored audits increased by 29% in 2020, which had been a growing trend even in pre-pandemic times.
- Evaluation strategies have clearly shifted, with a majority of brands now using a combination of scored audits, unscored audits, and self-assessments.
- The pandemic increased FBC’s span of control by over 21%, with each coaching an average of 34 units in 2020. This was primarily due to downsizing and furloughs, as well as franchise business consultants' ability to oversee more units because they were not spending time traveling.
Important takeaways to guide FBC engagement in the future
- In these exceptional times, be wary of overburdening FBC’s and keep track of the number of franchisees that each FBC supports.
- The change in self-reported scores and actual audit scores grew by 33% in 2020. Now is a good time to get some actual scored audits completed to show your franchisees exactly how and in which areas the scores differ from their self-reported scores.
- Have a very specific strategy for assessments. Set deliberate goals with a balance of face-to-face and virtual meetings. For example, at least 1 on-site visit per year and 1 virtual assessment per quarter.
Want to see our full report, dig deeper in the data, and uncover more insights? Download the full 2021 Franchise Operations Index Report now.