Carl Schirtzer is a franchise industry expert providing consultation to franchises in the following fields: business development, knowledge management, top-line revenue and operations.
Q: Describe some of the challenges franchise businesses face as they grow?
A: Generally speaking, there are two challenges that often come to light as a company begins to grow. The first is that the company is growing faster than expected. Although that is always great news for the franchise, the company typically has not planned for this rapid growth and needs support in managing the influx of openings, maintaining sound systems and supporting the current franchise infrastructure. The other is that the franchise system often misdiagnoses or ignores problems until later on in the process. They tend to respond and react on a daily basis, putting out fires appropriately. However, their vision of success becomes stifled by immediate problem solving, which limits the potential on how their franchise could operate better, be more successful and impact their bottom line.
Q: When you provide recommendations on a technology solution, what do you suggest?
A: For franchise companies, I typically recommend a solution provider that has experience with working with franchises and other multi-unit organizations. Many franchises have challenges as they begin to grow, so I want to ensure they use a solution that can grow with them.
The on-boarding process needs to be easy and quick – franchises don’t have a lot of time and need a solution that doesn’t require a lot of learning to adjust. A technology solution needs to have great online resources, customer service and versatility. Two things that are also very important to my franchise clients is first to find a solution that provides real feedback that allows them to get immediate data or recommendations on action to take the brand to the next step. Second, it should offer a platform that has the customization to match the flow of my client’s operations.
Q: How challenging is it for franchisors to manage communication with franchisees in the various markets virtually?
A: Communication, especially when it comes to the process of how franchisors roll this out system-wide to their franchise partners (franchisees) is really important in a franchise system. By providing an adequate channel for franchise partners to reach their corporate support and vice versa, from day one, it helps to establish the importance of ongoing communication and thus assists in relieving potential communication challenges. For franchise partners to be successful, ongoing education is also extremely important, and with multiple locations, often communicating virtually via an online training solution or sending details via a secured solution allows the franchisor and franchise partners to remain connected and share valuable information that will help their businesses grow collectively.
Q: Why would a franchise engage your organization?
A: Our company does one thing really well and that is to find patterns within a franchise’s infrastructure, whether it needs improvement or to determine potential for growth. We have a saying that “the achievement of a business seldom offers accurate insight into its aptitude and potential, but that true potential is revealed when you grasp the understanding of a company’s inner workings”. Regardless of a company’s current status, there is always room for improvement. Our role is to help identify these areas of opportunity and direct the organization to a more sound growth path to improve their overall success.
Schirtzer & Company
Orange County, CA
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Over the last two decades, Carl has assisted in the growth of a multitude of enterprises, ranging from educational programs, franchise organizations, to large and small business ventures. Carl’s expertise resides in the fields of business development, knowledge management, top-line revenue and operations.
Carl’s approach to an organization is both logical and methodical. He holds the position that the true health of a business is revealed when you grasp the inner workings of a company. He believes that all aspects of a business should be continually analyzed, pressure tested and adjusted, allowing for additional growth potential.