How to Get Your Priorities on Track
Overseeing a network of franchises can feel like herding cats at times. Each franchise owner or manager has their own concept about how to run the franchise, while the corporate office has its preferred way. Sometimes the methods align; sometimes they don’t.
But if you want your franchise network managers to be successful, there needs to be a clear list of priorities that everyone can get behind. The challenge, though, is deciding what those priorities should be and then balancing them appropriately so you can stay on track.
Here’s a closer look at how you can prioritize effectively so all your children’s services program franchises can thrive.
Choosing the Right Priorities in Your Children’s Services Program
Before you can balance priorities, you need to settle on what they are. Easier said than done, right? With only 22% of employees in the U.S. agreeing their leaders have a clear direction for the organizations they work for, there’s plenty of doubt to overcome.
The reason why prioritizing is challenging is that every business is a complex ecosystem of ideas, processes, and relationships. At the local franchise level, that ecosystem gets even more complex when you take into account varying customer needs that are location- or region-specific. Then there’s the fact that franchise managers already have a lot on their plates. It’s not always easy for them to know what to focus on to reach that next level of success.
Here at Listen360, we’ve spent years partnering with franchise networks like yours in the children’s services industry. Based on our experience, we recommend the following business priorities as a place to start:
- Build a strong brand
- Deliver exceptional customer service across all franchises
- Use technology to build efficiencies into your business
- Stay on top of research and changes within your industry
- Create and execute a strategic marketing plan both at the corporate and local level
- Ensure compliance with local and regional government regulations
Once you’ve determined the priorities that make the most sense for your children’s services franchise, and the order in which you’d like to prioritize them, the next step is to figure out how to balance them.
6 Tips for Balancing Your Children’s Program Priorities
Setting priorities doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be followed. It takes time and commitment to see them through, and along the way, you may need to make some adjustments.
Use the following tips as a guide to help corporate and franchise managers balance priorities, so you can achieve optimal results over time and ensure the end customer will benefit.
Apply resources based on priority
This may seem obvious, but it’s helpful to reinforce this idea upfront: Portion out your resources based on your hierarchy of priorities. Even the largest corporate business with tons of resources at its disposal still needs to apply those resources strategically. So in this case, the highest priority gets the bulk of the effort and resources, followed by the second-highest priority, and so on down the list.
Weigh new ideas against your priorities
New ideas are fantastic. But over half (54%) of executives struggle to align their innovation strategy with their business strategy. If the new idea or initiative takes away critical resources or requires you to put more resources into a lower-priority goal, you may need to reconsider. To stick to your priorities, think about holding off on the idea for a while, dropping it altogether, or finding a simpler, less resource-heavy way to achieve it.
Stay flexible and agile
That being said, things can change quickly in business. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one of your lower priorities could suddenly become a top priority based on any number of factors in your business, the industry, or the market. One of the best skills you can cultivate in your business is the ability to identify when a pivot is needed and flex appropriately to accommodate it.
Hire a skilled team
Following your priorities effectively means you might need to hire new employees with specific skills. You may need to expand your marketing team, or create a new technology team from the ground up. With your team in place, make sure you’re transparent about what you’re prioritizing and why, and then ask for their input. As one expert recently explained: “Engagement rises when employees take an active role in defining their goals and see the connection and link between their goals and the larger company’s purpose.”
Categorize urgent vs. important activities
Sometimes the most urgent items aren’t actually the most important — and you can find yourself easily distracted from top priorities when you drop everything to deal with the urgent stuff. Have a system in place for being able to decide what’s an immediate but temporary fire (urgent) and what’s critical now and over the long term (important) so you don’t needlessly waste time and attention.
Regularly check in with franchise customers
The end customer provides a great temperature check on whether your priorities are having an impact on the customer experience. One way to check in with franchise customers is through Listen360’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and other customer feedback methods that measure customer loyalty. With a simple NPS survey, you can ask one question to find out how franchise customers feel about your overall brand and/or service, which can further inform your business strategy and priorities.
Get Started with Listen360
Getting clear about what to prioritize helps all your franchises turn into top performers. To ensure your business priorities positively impact the customer experience, consider Listen360’s customer engagement platform.
Backed by an experienced team, Listen360 can help you survey and collect important customer data and make smart business decisions that keep customers coming back.
For more information, contact us today and we’ll be happy to chat.