As we approach the end of another year, it can be a very good idea to remind ourselves of good business practices. In the franchisee / franchisor relationship, the word compliance often gets the short end of the stick as it can be viewed through a negative lens. Find out what brand compliance really means.
Brand compliance, on a broader scale, includes uniformity, following the systems, treating your neighboring/neighbouring franchisees with courtesy and your customers with respect. It means adhering to the brand standards of keeping in line with The Grounds Guys’ Uniform Style Guide and proper marks and logos.
I heard a franchisee recently say, “Comply or Die” and at face value it sounded like an ultimatum. The truth of the remark actually lies in the power of the brand. If you choose not to “follow the rules” and “color outside the lines,” your business will not succeed. You have diluted the winning formula.
Another area of compliance refers to reporting of sales, submitting taxes, insurance and paying royalties. There are a lot of moving parts in this arena, so a refresh of best practices as we head into 2018 is a must:
- Be sure to have a bookkeeper who is prompt and knowledgeable working for you.
- Your receipt of accurate numbers the week following the first of every month is not only critical in managing your day-to-day decisions; it allows you to report your prior month sales by the 10th of each month.
- The amount you enter on your MSA is your invoice and when submitted to the corporate office, it is prepared for draft on the 15th. If your report is submitted late, the draft will occur the Friday following submittal.
Minimum payments can be an area where some owners are confused. Why do we have minimums? When are minimums drafted? What are your minimums? Minimums are part of the franchisee / franchisor model and are designed to motivate you to grow your business in a timely fashion.
If a business does not grow beyond the minimum royalty, you will be drafted the difference between your submitted report and the minimum in place. If you do not submit your report by the 10th of the month, your minimum royalty will be drafted. Reminder, once your report is submitted, the minimum amount will be credited toward your total, or, in the case of a lower than minimum report, the draft will remain the same. The Grounds Guys has minimums for a total of seven months. The levels begin in May and end in November. We do not draft minimums during the winter months as we realize some franchisees may not operate at full capacity from December through April. Your minimum scale is listed within your agreements; so take a few minutes to remind yourself of the dates and amounts within your minimum scale.
Understanding compliance, and operating efficiently in this regard, should empower every business owner. This information means you are not operating your business in the dark, and having it allows you to plan and prepare accordingly. For a deeper conversation about brand compliance, please contact your franchise consultant. It is my hope that every franchisee will move beyond brand compliance and into brand alignment – do the right things to protect the power of the brand.