Communicating Across the Pond: Big Frog Forums
“Communication – human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
Most franchise systems struggle with communication. And that means communication on multiple levels: within the franchise group itself, from franchisor to franchisee and from franchisee to franchisee. It’s well known that great system innovations come from the field; have you heard of “$5 Footlongs” and the “Filet-o-Fish” sandwiches? Those are multimillion dollar ideas that came straight from a franchisee.
In order for those game changing ideas to come about, communication is essential. One of the first things Big Frog put in place to facilitate this (and by first, I mean around 10 open stores) was a complete intranet system with forums and libraries. This intranet allows us, the franchisor, to communicate quickly and efficiently with the franchisees and the forums allow the franchisees to discuss ideas with each other (and we sometimes chime in, too).
Franchisees are very busy people. Not only are they running their business, but most of them have spouses, kids, pets, hobbies and life happening all around them. So sometimes it can be challenging to get them to allocate some time to the exchange of ideas on our forums. So Big Frog did something a little differently; in return for participating in the forums, we give quarterly supplies/discounts away in a random drawing for anyone actively engaging in our system. Last year alone the Franchise Group gave away over $2,500 in supplies and discounts to our franchisees.
We really are lucky to have such generous store owners that will take the time to comment on possible marketing strategies, new product testing, and customer satisfaction. This mutually beneficial interaction is truly priceless with people “in the field” speaking to each other, conquering challenges and motivating others to great successes. The intranet/forum system has been one of the best investments we’ve made, with priceless results.