When people hear the word “competition” in business, they often think of those they’re working against—the competing restaurant, the competing ice cream shop, the competing salon.
As someone who has worked as an executive in the franchise business for more than 30 years, when I hear the word “competition,” I think of the folks who work for the same business. In the last three decades, I’ve seen friendly franchise vs. franchise competition motivate business owners to work harder and sell more than any kind of amorphous, unknown competition across town.
That’s why at Pigtails & Crewcuts, we measure our franchisees’ numbers and compare them to one another. We also perform annual evaluations so our teams can see, year over year, how we, as a franchisor, rate them.
Whether you’re a franchise business owner or you’re just looking for ways to motivate your own employees, here are some tips to spark a little competition and drive business from the inside.
- Engage your employees (or franchises). Without engagement, there can be no competition. You’ve no doubt heard the word “engaged” as it applies to employees. But what does it really mean? It means a work force that’s interested and driven by the work at hand. As a business owner, you have the ability to engage employees by understanding them. What are their goals? What can you offer them as a reward that will make them work harder? Once you figure that out, you can set up a system of rewards and incentives that will drive your staff to do more for your business.
- Measure everything. Track sales, track social media follows, track repeat customers—track anything you can track. This gives your franchisees and employees measured data that they can look at year over year and compete with themselves.
- Publish those measurements. Numbers are way more meaningful when compared with other numbers. You might be surprised at just how motivated your employees or franchisees become when they learned that Sally ranks ahead of them, or Stan is creeping up on them. Numbers have the power to create more competition than any boss could.
- Award awards. We do this at their annual conference, handing out awards for excellence, sales, most hits on Facebook, the president’s award and a number of other silly awards that we tailor to our audience. Our franchisees love this, and have a lot of fun at the ceremony. By celebrating good work, a business leader is not just demonstrating appreciation. He or she is also planting a seed in the minds of the rest of the workforce, who will work that much harder to be recognized next year.
- Create scorecards. Don’t just evaluate the business. Evaluate the staff and how they handle business on a day-to-day basis. That can include timeliness in filing reports, cleanliness of the store, marketing maneuvers or any categories vital to the way the business is run. Use the scorecard as a conversation starter to discuss what’s working, what’s not working and delve into any issues the staff might be experiencing. We’ve done this every year since our franchises began more than 10 years ago, and we’ve always kept the results quiet.This year, to our surprise, our franchisees requested that we publish those evaluations so that all of the other franchisees could compare their results. They told us they want to know if a neighbor is doing poorly so they can mentor them and get them back into shape. This business is their investment, after all, and the last thing they want is someone ruining the brand. By publishing the scores, they can see who’s doing the best, and learn from the great ones.
How’s that for friendly competition?
Wade Brannon is the president of Pigtails & Crewcuts, based in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more go to www.pigtailsandcrewcutsfranchise.com.