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Building a strong community: how an inclusive environment improves franchisee success


Creating an inclusive environment for franchisees is much more than a social responsibility for the franchisor; it is also a business decision which positively impacts innovation, adaptability and the brand’s long-term health. In doing so, the franchisor creates a collaborative platform where franchisees feel valued and can come together effectively to bring about sustained success.

Here, Kristen Horler, Head of Sales at Snap Fitness, delves into why it is so important to build an inclusive environment for franchisees. She explains what Snap Fitness does to ensure a close-knit, collaborative franchise network and shares what franchisees have to say about the close working relationships Snap Fitness has established for them.

Why is it important to build an inclusive environment for franchisees?

As successful franchises continue to grow, they welcome new franchisees into their network. Often these can be completely new to the specific industry and it is essential for franchisors to be committed to building a supportive and engaged franchisee community.

Creating a network where collaboration, across franchisees and not just with the franchisor, is actively encouraged is crucial to the success. Facilitating a system where there is regular communication between franchisees to share their insights, strategies and best practices will improve performance across the brand.

Moreover, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the internal community enhances motivation, engagement and mutual accountability among franchisees, ultimately contributing to longer-term prosperity and advancement of the brand.

What does Snap Fitness do to foster a strong franchisee community?

At Snap Fitness, we have extensive industry knowledge and experience, with a focus on trends, innovation and best practices. However, we know we need to ensure we’re listening to our franchisees challenges and sharing successes to build a stronger brand. To instil this sense of open communication, here are four initiatives that we engage in:

1. Franchise Advisory Council – representatives are voted into our UK Franchise Advisory Council and meet with our team quarterly on a formal basis and communicate consistently throughout the year. The leadership team shares plans for alignment so franchisees can put questions to us to influence what we take forward.

2. Network consensus – any developments that require a vote must get over 70% buy-in from the franchisees before it is adopted.

3. Regular correspondence – annual conventions and monthly webinars that allow franchisees to share day-to-day experiences, wins and challenges along with an opportunity to learn and improve.

4. In-person training and events – regular summits and roadshows where we share best practices and provide a platform where we encourage our team to give us feedback. These events also provide a chance to connect in person and build relationships to form a network of people you can call on if you need advice outside of your team.

We believe these commitments promote open communication, inclusive decision-making and a sense of belonging among franchisees. They empower the network to actively contribute to growth and success, resulting in a stronger, supportive community.

What do our franchisees say?

Actioning ways to create an inclusive environment for our franchisees is necessary for any franchise system, but what is more important is what the franchisees do themselves.

For John Prior, owner of Snap Fitness Addlestone, being open and honest is the first step towards strengthening bonds in the franchisee community. “Having an environment where people feel comfortable and confident encourages people to connect and collaborate.

“I think Snap Fitness’ ‘One Team’ culture is super important for this. Remembering we all have the same goals is key and helps to cement relationships between existing franchisees. Snap Fitness also gives us the platform to meet up regularly, which only adds to the close-knit family feel.”

John, who is known across the network for his passion in supporting fellow members of the team, is always on hand to offer his advice. “We have franchisee group chats, and if someone raises an issue, I think it’s important to be the first to reach out and lend a helping hand.

“If you make people feel valued and part of a wider community, they are more likely to trust in the brand. That solid foundation and belief in Snap Fitness’ processes and principles will put you on the road to success. Say, for example, a fellow franchisee doesn’t have significant experience in the industry - they need to feel confident to take the initiative and reach out to those who have the answers they’re looking for. I think this can only benefit their business in the long term, but it also makes you feel part of something bigger, a Snap Fitness family.

“I take real positives out of being involved in such a supportive network. We have a great culture, and I love everything Snap Fitness stands for.”

People like John are central to our network’s success. And it’s crucial to note that John’s support has been reciprocated. When he opened his Addlestone club, a number of franchisees from around the country visited to wish him well. This goes a long way in demonstrating that our relationship extends beyond business and lives up to our value of a trusting, family first, ‘One Team’ environment.

Providing the platform only goes so far. Having individuals willing to lean on each other for advice reinforces our model and helps them in growing their business.

Interested and want to know more about Snap Fitness?

The Snap Fitness profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.

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