There are many things to consider when choosing a franchise to invest in. People naturally look at the potential financial rewards and if those marry up with their lifestyle goals. How enjoyable running the business could be for them and the support available from the franchisor are other key considerations. But what is just as crucial for them to consider is a franchise’s brand reputation as this will impact your business on so many levels.
Here, Kristen Horler, Head of Sales at Snap Fitness, discusses what prospects should look for when they’re researching a franchise’s ethos, code of ethics and values – and how important it is to place integrity at the heart of franchise operations.
Conducting your research
For those interested in investing in a franchise, it’s critical to do your research first. Engaging in in-depth research helps potential franchisees to make well-informed decisions and maximise their chances of success.
It’s only once you start to consider elements of the brand identity, like the website and social media presence, that you can begin to understand the brand’s culture. If its mission and values resonate with you, the franchise becomes a better fit – you’re buying the rights to its process and culture, so making sure you align with these is essential.
In theory the franchise might grab your attention but what about in practice? Engaging with current franchisees is a fantastic way to understand the ins and outs of the day-to-day operations, painting a clearer picture in your mind. As a general rule of thumb, speak to at least three different franchisees – and be wary of any franchise brands that seem hesitant to put you in touch with current franchisees.
The importance of integrity
So, you’ve conducted your research and you’re ready to invest, but why is it important for franchise prospects to choose a brand that puts integrity at the heart of their operations?
Trust and reputation: brands that value integrity are more likely to have a strong, trustworthy reputation. At Snap Fitness, we emphasise the importance of trust in the franchisor-franchisee relationship. Trust is a building block of any relationship and success emerges when this is maintained.
Ethical standards and leadership: cutting any corners in business will bite back at some point down the line. Sustaining best practice helps franchisees avoid any legal and ethical complications. Principled leadership is pivotal too. Snap Fitness is firmly committed to our family-first, fun, “One Team” culture which we find fosters a transparency, accountability and fairness at all levels of our operations.
Employee satisfaction: franchisor integrity creates a more attractive environment for employees to work within. A consistent approach leads to higher retention rates and greater staff commitment. Snap Fitness prides itself on our excellent franchisee support. Boris & Stefan, franchisees of our Hereford club echo this sentiment, “The support and guidance we received from Snap Fitness was exemplary – particularly when it came to the hiring process. We hired our gym manager with the support of the head office team and the results we’ve achieved since then speak for themselves.”
Long-term success: franchises that prioritise their ethos tend to earn long-term success – whether that is being more likely to overcome challenges, changes in the market or shifts in consumer preference. It is similar with customer satisfaction too. Brands who are honest and transparent with their customers inspire loyalty, reinforcing a positive brand reputation on the road to being a more successful business.
Kristen concludes, “As a testament to our own commitment to operating by ethical practices, Snap Fitness was recognised by the British Franchise Association in this year’s BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards. We were nominated in both the Brand Awareness and Culture & Leadership categories – our resolve to continue our mission in creating a family-first, fun “One Team’ environment remains as strong as ever.”