The impact of shared values in franchising
In an increasingly saturated global market, the spotlight on organisational values has never been more important. World Values Day, celebrated annually on 19th October, prompts us to reflect on the intrinsic beliefs that govern our actions and decisions. This year, with the theme 'Values Bring Us Together', the focus shifts towards the cohesive power of shared principles, especially within the franchising sector, which forms a significant pillar in the commerce industry.
Within franchising, the alignment of values between franchisors and franchisees holds substantial weight. A symbiotic relationship, where both parties understand and respect mutual goals and ethical standards, forms the foundation upon which successful franchise businesses are built. Ensuring that values align is vital for cultivating a consistent brand image and operational harmony across all franchise units. Here, Frank Milner, Global President of the UK’s fastest-growing private tutoring franchise, Tutor Doctor, discusses the importance of incorporating values into a franchise’s business model.
“Our business model, which revolves around enriching the educational journey of students, is not merely a strategic choice but is also deeply intertwined with our foundational values of understanding, curiosity, ingenuity, ownership and grit. Our values are hand-picked to share knowledge, foster educational growth and to care for both our network and our communities."
Frank Milner, Global President of Tutor Doctor
“Simply having values was not enough for us. We have committed to not merely displaying our chosen values on the office walls and using them as buzz words, but instead using them as a guide, a business satnav of sorts, to influence our day-to-day decisions and our entire operations.”
The incorporation of values into business strategy is a critical aspect that prospective franchisees must research thoroughly. Understanding and assimilating the core values of a franchisor ensures that the franchisee is not merely entering a business transaction but is becoming a part of a larger ethos that resonates with their own beliefs. Often, prospects are looking simply to buy into a business which aligns with their own values, so making your company’s values and culture completely transparent and something you’re proud to share will play a huge part in encouraging prospective franchisees to join you.
While this applies across various sectors, in the context of an educational franchise like Tutor Doctor it implies a commitment to not just generating revenue but also genuinely contributing to the academic and personal development of students. While many businesses are understandably proud of their turnover and their growth, numbers are rarely the first thing prospects look for when identifying which franchise they’d like to join. In fact, in a recent article by Entrepreneur based on a survey of their regular contributors, ‘values’ was listed as the number one thing to look for when considering buying into a franchise, with ‘company culture’ coming in second. ‘Profitability’ came in way down the list at number six.
When a franchise operates with a strong values-based foundation, its influence seeps beyond its immediate business environment into the larger community. By providing services that are inherently rooted in core principles, the franchise becomes an entity that not only addresses a market need but also positively contributes to societal structures and development.
In a tutoring franchise, for example, this might translate to not merely ensuring student success but contributing to the creation of a learning-oriented community mindset. The franchise, in this scenario, becomes a crucial link in the chain that supports educational development at a community level. This can be work with local authorities, local schools, or with under-funded community groups – or in the case of many Tutor Doctor franchisees, it can be all three.
As World Values Day prompts us to reflect upon our foundational beliefs, for those within – or looking to enter – the franchising domain, it serves as a reminder to consider career paths which are not just financially viable but also ethically sound and societally beneficial.
The goal is to build franchises that do not operate in isolation but are integrated and contributing businesses within their communities. To achieve this, franchisors and franchisees need to ensure that their shared values are not just theoretical but are actively practised, influencing operational and strategic decisions at every level. It is through such cohesion of values and business practices that franchises can truly become value-adding businesses to their owners and to the societies within which they operate.
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