Franchise owners of the year

Organising an awards ceremony to celebrate the successes of a network of franchise owners can provide multiple benefits to both the winners and the network as a whole

A well thought out and executed awards ceremony for franchise owners can help to motivate a franchise network and stimulate interest in successful and profitable activities, rewarding those franchise owners who have traded successfully and been innovative in their approach to marketing or sales. This can in turn motivate the whole network, provided that certain protocols are observed.


It is important that the franchisor is seen to be fair and equitable with the awards. Careful consideration of various types of awards should be explored. The process is to motivate the network and as such it should not focus simply on top performers, but more on for example the growth within individual franchise businesses.

The awards should be beyond reproach and be clearly defined and understood by the network. Ambiguity should be avoided at all costs. In addition simply having top performers is not a good idea - it is important to use different criteria throughout the years of the awards therefore giving the opportunity for other franchise owners to achieve the accolades.

Publicity prior and post the awards is essential to maximise the impact. There is little point in expending time, energy and money if very few people are aware of the achievements. Valuable public relation stories can add significantly to the interest and ultimately the recruitment of new franchise owners. Don't forget the camera - a picture is worth a thousand words!


Ensure the same franchise owners are not winning the awards year-on-year - all this achieves is possible resentment within the network. Equally though, you need to reward top performers though. Having different awards encourages network participation and interest.

For example, having the best marketing idea often results in different individuals winning the award. As previously mentioned the best percentage growth within a business can encourage new franchise owners and quickly involve them in the successes of the franchise network. The awards depend on the type of franchise operation be it retail, white collar management or simply a man with a van. Try to choose awards which are relevant to the successful development of your franchise network and encourages motivation, development and success of the business.


There can be a degree of scepticism within the franchise network as to why certain individuals win awards. The franchisor should aim to minimise this response. This can be achieved in a number of ways by involving the franchise owners themselves, or if a franchise has a Development Team of elected franchise owners then together with the franchisor a democratic decision can be made.

The criteria should be simple factual or statistical information. Subjective awards such as best marketing idea need to be a consensus of the above parties in relation to how relevant the idea is in relation to the business. Often it is possible to actually gauge the success or otherwise of the idea within the marketplace, this of course can strengthen the argument for the award.

The presentation of the awards usually takes place at the annual conference and often can be part of the evening entertainment for a meeting.


The simple prize is a monetary gift, but often in franchising it can be conditional. If franchise owners are allocated marketing budgets for example, there could be an allowance that is made to their marketing budget and used in a specified way.

Often, suppliers to the franchisor may consider sponsoring a particular award. This can have a twofold benefit: of cost reduction and also possibly increasing the value and providing participation by the suppliers and brand recognition for the sponsors.

Awards can be presented in various guises, from a simple bunch of flowers or bottle of champagne to significant prizes such as holidays. Whatever the award, it should be presented with sincerity and befitting pomp and circumstance.

Reported by Gary Rigby