Although many franchisees have some entrepreneurship experience or general business acumen, learning from those who have a background in the industry is always helpful. Experience is oftentimes the best teacher, so veteran franchisees can offer a lot of insight and advice for new franchisees to help them become successful. For this reason, mentoring programs – even informal mentoring – are a must for your franchise system.
A mentoring program can be one of the best business decisions you make, and can improve your franchise from the top down. Although the set-up for a mentoring program will look similar to other business initiatives – from goal-setting to follow-through – you may be less familiar with the most important part of a mentoring program: how to cultivate a mentor.
Choose the Right People
The most important step in cultivating a mentor is choosing the right people for the job. You should have a general idea of certain qualifications you’re looking for, such as years spent within your franchise, profit margin, or another way you measure individual success. However, the personal characteristics your potential mentor possesses will be astronomically more important than how they look on paper.
First and foremost, you want someone who will be invested in their mentee and their success, so when finding a mentor, look for someone who is compassionate. They will be friendlier and get along better with a mentee if they are personally invested – not just in the relationship, but also in your brand. Find someone with a compassionate and empathetic personality who connects well with others, and who is very passionate about your brand, concept and mission statement.
Explain How Mentoring Benefits Them
If you’ve chosen the right mentor, they will be a team player and won’t be too focused on what they can get out of the mentoring program. Still, it is important to make sure they understand that the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street that will also benefit them.
The franchise model is unique in that each franchise’s success is important on both an individual and more global level. When the individual franchises succeed, the franchisor succeeds, and the benefits of improved business are seen by all. Therefore, each mentor and their success are directly related to the success of newcomers, so they should want new franchisees to do well.
Some companies also offer different incentives for mentors, such as stipends, extra vacation time or other benefits, to compensate them for the time they will invest in their mentee. While this can attract more people to be mentors, it’s still important to cultivate a culture of teamwork, and show them how their mentor-mentee relationship can benefit them organically.
Franchisees are often attracted to the franchise model because it already has a framework to help foster their business success. However, when starting your own business, you can never have too much help – which is why mentoring programs within a franchise system are so essential.
At Winmark Corporation, we provide a steady business model, helpful resources and an open door policy to set our franchisees up for success. Visit our website to explore our growing franchise opportunities.