When is the last time you stopped and thought about innovation for your franchise brand? We hear the word disrupt and about companies being disruptive. What does that really mean, and how can you be innovative or disruptive? I’m Angela Coté, Franchise Growth Catalyst, and I’m going to share with you an exponential growth tip on how you can be innovative and keep your competition on its toes!

But first… I’m going to start by telling you that, as a franchisee myself, it is definitely something that is important to me! Because we’re relying on the franchisor to help us be successful and to drive the brand, we need the franchisor to stay innovative. Having a natural tendency towards innovation should be in a franchisor’s DNA to make sure the company stays ahead of its competition.

As a franchise growth catalyst, I often hear from franchisees out in the field that that is one of their concerns too. Obviously profitability is number one and feeling supported is important too, but also knowing that their franchisor is working to stay innovative so that the brand stays ahead of the competition is key.

Part of the reason I think franchisors don’t think of, or take the time and energy to innovate, is probably that there’s a fear that there will be exorbitant costs involved. And people fear change and especially the unknown. But what’s more scary, going out of business because you didn’t stay innovative and ahead of the competition, or making some necessary changes? And sometimes it’s hard for the franchisor of the company, especially the founder, to see the need for the innovation, because they’re working in the business, and don’t recognize the need to do things differently. So it sometimes takes that outside set of eyes, or franchisees for that matter, to help drive that innovation.

This leads me to my exponential growth tip for today, which is…

Collaborate with your franchise partners to stimulate innovative ideas

Bring together your built-in network of partners who have skin in the game and feet on the ground in their local communities, and invite them to share with you their ideas. Take some time to question what’s being done, and allow for crazy, creative questions. The most creativity comes when we remove the barriers.

If you’ve been following me on social media, you may have seen that together with a colleague I have been facilitating Innovation Storms for franchise teams. The results that come from giving your franchise partners a voice in a creative nameless and rankless group setting are almost magical!

Whether you facilitate your own collaborative opportunity for franchise partners or bring in an outside facilitator like my colleague and I so you can participate and contribute along with your team, the point I’m making is that there is so much value in involving your franchise partners in your company’s innovation, from giving them a voice to extracting creative, real-world ideas from the front line.

If this peaks your interest and you want to learn more tips for keeping your company innovative, you can find me at angela@angelacote.com. I can’t wait to hear from you! And, in the meantime, go be awesome!!