People power: how culture and values can make or break a franchise brand

My Window Cleaner

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the delivery and maintenance of a brand’s values, ethos and culture have been instrumental to success. While the traditional format of keeping work and life completely separate has historically been the priority for employees and employers, modern business delivery has seen the rise of the two becoming closely intertwined, with each having a significant impact on the other. Here, Karen Prewer, the founder and Managing Director of the progressive van-based window cleaning franchise My Window Cleaner, discusses how culture and values are instrumental to franchise brands’ success.

Put simply, it has never been more important for franchisors to develop, nurture and champion a working environment and brand culture that inspires, motivates and supports their franchisees and employees. Corporate culture impacts everything about a franchise brand, from the overarching business strategies and processes to contributing to local success that solely benefits the franchisee and team operating in a specific territory. Everything about a positive brand culture can help optimise a franchise network’s performance, as we all know that happy members of a network or team are far more likely to deliver a service we would all be proud of. And while the task at hand is arguably more difficult for franchisors, who entrust entrepreneurs with maintaining and enhancing the standards of an entire franchise network, it is for this very reason that culture and values are vital for the growth of a franchise brand.

Having committed and motivated workers is the top aspect that leads to a company’s growth, as claimed by 83% of executives and 84% of employees1. Franchisees have the responsibility of making their franchise territory successful, and they will be doing so in a significantly more extensive franchise system. Therefore, if a brand’s work style does not align with their own, franchisors and the brand itself could face consequences. Understanding the shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that make up the culture behind a brand goes a long way towards helping determine if it is the best fit for prospects and their ambitions.

At My Window Cleaner, for example, we champion the little things. Our franchisees regularly share ideas and motivational messages on the network’s WhatsApp group, not only as a way of showing they are invested in the whole network’s wellbeing and success, but as a collaboration tool so everyone can benefit from what they learn as a business owner. But we equally never forget the larger-scale culture-defining activities, from organising regular social events for regional and national franchisees to offering opportunities to take part in franchise-wide marketing events.

There is a diversity of ways that, by helping develop a brand’s culture through close network engagement, prospects can identify which brands sound ideal outside of the day-to-day operations. Do not forget, it is vitally important that a franchise recruitment system is well oiled and well versed in identifying what makes a good prospect. If a potential franchise investor is not ticking the right boxes and demonstrating the right enthusiasm for working ‘on’ the business as much as ‘in’ it, then they may not be the right person to deliver and enhance exactly what makes a brand’s values and culture special.

Alarmingly, the UK is ranked 12th for job satisfaction in the world – 34% of employees would rather be unemployed than unhappy2. WorkBuzz’s State of Employee Engagement report also revealed that the top priority for job applicants is a consciously created culture that provides a wonderful employee experience3. This hard evidence demonstrates just how important it is for franchisors to build and maintain a culture anyone would be proud to represent and deliver – regardless of the industry that the brand operates in.

When you’re passionate about your work, it becomes a part of your life rather than a separate entity. Instead of striving for work-life balance, aim for work-life integration, where your work enhances and complements your personal life.  The development of company culture contributes to business success by having a positive influence that results in employees being more motivated, mindful, and satisfied with their workplace, which makes them more likely to remain present. Reducing turnover, increasing wellbeing and visibly putting a smile on franchisees’, employees’ and even franchisors’ own faces is certainly a direct route to success in the 21st century. And if that does not sound tempting, the low costs of recruiting, as well as supporting the company’s continuing procedure for operational planning that follows, is a significant boost in building a recognisable, trustworthy franchise brand!

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My Window Cleaner

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