The Benefits of a Collaborative Franchisee Network
In some franchise systems, individual owners operate completely independently, or even competitively.
This setup leads to many missed opportunities for collaboration, troubleshooting and client-sharing. In the printing and graphics industry particularly, studio owners benefit immensely from openly sharing ideas and best practices.
That’s why SpeedPro Imaging fosters a community of franchise owners that support and work with one another. We’ve created concrete initiatives that put our franchisees in touch and lets them easily share feedback with each other and SpeedPro corporate.
John Barber, co-owner of the SpeedPro Imaging studio in Norcross, Georgia, exemplifies the collaborative nature of our franchisee network. John and his partner Don Neder spearheaded a joint model of studio ownership that other franchisees have since taken up – and for good reason. John and Don doubled their studio’s revenue and tripled its customer count in less than two years after forming the partnership.
After finding huge success by working collaboratively, John has some advice for aspiring business owners looking to leverage a friendly, knowledgeable franchisee network.
“As a SpeedPro studio owner, we collaborate and know that tenured owners can share and mentor new owners, which makes the brand and system stronger – one question, one studio, and one client interaction at a time,” he said.
Achieve More Together
After more than a decade in the franchising industry as an executive vice president of franchise development, chief customer officer, senior vice president of franchise sales and chief development officer for large systems like Orion Food Systems, Focus Brands and Global Franchise Group, John decided to semi-retire.
Well, kind of. For him, “retirement” meant transitioning from the franchisor side of the industry to the franchisee side, and he started working with a franchise broker to find a concept that met his qualifications.
After a few twists and turns, John approached SpeedPro with an idea: He would buy into an existing studio and take the business to the next level. His expertise would help the current owner grow the business, while the co-ownership would give John some much-needed time off.
“I had many choices of brands and industries when I decided to be a franchisee instead of a franchisor, and I am very glad that my first franchise venture was under the SpeedPro Imaging brand,” he said.
John’s idea ended up being a huge boon for Don Neder and his already-successful studio. Together, the two employed a “divide and conquer” approach to the business. John handles finance, accounting, risk management, human resources and business development, while Don takes care of operations, project management and client relations.
This ownership model is a good fit for any duo with complimentary core competencies, John said. Shared values are also a must. Both John and Don are firm believers that the needs of customers and employees must come before that of the owners.
John and Don’s partnership is a perfect illustration of the power of collaboration. By combining their skills and expertise, they broke through a sales plateau and achieved a new level of success. Other SpeedPro owners have since reached out to them to glean insight, and John and Don are quick to share lessons learned and mistakes to avoid.
“No individual in a system is as smart as all of us,” John said. “I spent over a decade of my career as the franchisor for 11 franchised brands in the hospitality industry. In that time, I never saw such a collaborative spirit among franchisees to help one another grow and succeed as a system, that I’ve witnessed and am now a part of with SpeedPro. There is no competition among owners here.”
Find a Franchisor that Supports Collaboration
Franchisors play a huge role in developing mutually beneficial franchisee networks. Since the franchise is the tissue that connects all owners in the system, it’s up to that central team to create platforms for networking and information-sharing.
SpeedPro Imaging goes above and beyond to help our franchisees benefit from our network’s collective knowledge. Here are some initiatives currently in place:
- Monthly open-topic conference calls between owners and SpeedPro regional developers
- Franchise Advisory Council works with corporate to develop strategic initiatives
- Regional networking groups tailored to specific business topics
- Buddy Studio program connects new studios with established studio owners to ease their launches
- “Ask the Owners” email system, which owners across the continent use daily to consult on various projects
- Monthly training webinars
- Procurement support with suppliers and distribution partners
To learn more about SpeedPro’s model and what sets us apart in the franchising industry, read about some of the perks of being a SpeedPro studio owner.