Procedure manuals and periodical reports, just for franchising?

A few months ago, I attended a session about internationalization and franchising in relation with hotel companies, during which there were some comments about the fact that the big Spanish companies, although having a clear long tradition and expertise within the industry, have scarcely acted as franchisers.

In my opinion, this is due to having dedicated much more time to day-to-day operation, the tangible part of the business, the Hotel management, instead of focusing on developing their brand as Hotel chain.

Even considering that in the last few years business model has suffered some changes, it seems that some influence may have also come from the fact that, in a relevant number of cases, these Hotel groups were not only establishment operators but also owning companies.

From my viewpoint, apart from other obvious considerations, there are two basic aspects to have in mind in order to be capable of franchising: a high level of available internal protocols, materialized in the existence of a sufficient number of procedure manuals, and counting on an adequate level of periodical information, contained in uniform, comparable and cumulative reports.

Procedure manuals, always adapted to each company according to its size, resources and needs, happen to be very useful to achieve several goals, like a consistency in movements and operations handling, an improvement in the performance and functioning of the main business areas or have available some departure rules which may allow consolidation or growth.

It has become basic that each area or department has clearly defined which specific tasks have to accomplished, how works should be carried out, who is responsible of taking care of them, the supervising or the follow-up, when is the right timing to get each thing done,…

Periodical information, taking for granted that the data which shape it have been obtained in a way that makes it trustworthy, accurate and convenient, provides enough elements for decision making according to business course, anticipate contingencies and make projections in a much more reasonable way.

But giving power or reinforcing these two aspects should not be considered as exclusive to big Hospitality companies, or just taking them into account if you are thinking about franchising, on the contrary, based on my experience, I am able to assure that may be tremendously useful for medium-sized or small chains, even for independent Hotels.

Just for a question of size, both the manual elaboration, adaptation and implementation time, and the needed period for defining which models to use, deciding the best way of obtaining all relevant data and incorporating documents to the report, in the case of periodical information, tend to be much shorter, so the results and improvements to be obtained in connection with a more effective business management become more evident in a smaller time lapse.

Of course, like in many other scopes, it is recommendable to be put in the hands of a professional, who has a first-hand knowledge of the business, with specific experience in these matters, in handling teams and situations, who is capable of supporting, advising and attending us while we are going through the distance we have to cover, until we reach the desired goals and targets.

(Post published on 26.Dec.2013, blog upgrade date is shown)

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